Are you on the hunt for the best 10-inch tablet around? The 10-inch form factor is the sweet spot for tablets. You get a great balance between performance, screen size, and overall usability. Tablets in this segment can readily function as laptop replacements, media consumption devices, and more.
As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of disparity between all 10-inch tablets, with varying price tags and capabilities. However, today’s selections fit a variety of use cases and budgets. A 10-inch tablet is a great device to have on hand, especially where a laptop would be more cumbersome. So, after looking at dozens of options, here are our top picks:
- Best Overall: iPad Air 5th Generation
- Best Runner-Up: iPad 10th Generation
- Best Windows Tablet: Microsoft’s Surface Go 3
- Best Android Tablet: Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
- Best Budget Option: Galaxy Tab A8
#1 Best Overall: iPad Air 5th Generation
- 10.9-inch screen (2360 x 1640 pixels)
- 64 GB memory storage capacity
- Apple M1 8-core CPU chip with 8-core GPU and Neural Engine
- Compatible with Smart Keyboard Folio and Magic Keyboard
The iPad Air 5th Generation is one of the best 10-inch tablets you can buy. You’ve got access to an exceptionally fast processor in Apple’s M1, making this a great fit for any sort of task. The latest iPad Air also comes with full support for the Apple Pencil, making it a great choice for digital artists.
The iPad Air is lacking some of the iPad Pro’s more premium functions, like the higher refresh rate. If you can tolerate the slower refresh rate, you’ve got a beautiful display and more than enough power to serve as a laptop replacement for the likes of productivity apps.
Apple also sells a compatible keyboard for the iPad Air, which should make word processing on the go a far simpler task. All in all, this is a fantastic tablet for gaming, work, and general media consumption.
|The iPad Air uses the Apple M1 as its primary processor and GPU.||It is quite expensive.|
|Apple’s iPad Air is compatible with the latest Apple Pencil.||Newer iPad Airs no longer come with Face ID, instead using the more cumbersome Touch ID.|
Check out the iPad Air 5th Generation on Amazon.
Best Runner-Up: iPad 10th Generation
The best runner-up is the iPad 10th Generation. Apple is known for high-performance tablets, and the latest iPad is no exception. While it may lack the Apple Silicon processor seen in iPad Pro and Air models, the base model is no slouch. The latest base model iPad comes with an A14 Bionic processor, a beautiful Retina display, and up to 256 GB of storage.
You’ve got access to USB-C fast charging, so you can ditch the Lightning cables to power the device. The base model iPad isn’t quite as powerful as the more expensive Air, but it can more than handle multitasking and productivity.
It does come with support for the first-generation Apple Pencil, giving digital artists a capable and precise input option. The biggest drawback to the base model are the lower storage configurations, with the cheapest model only having 64 GB of onboard storage available, with no options for expansion.
|You’ve got plenty of color choices for the outer body.||The base model iPad has lower storage, with no means of expansion through microSD.|
|Apple has added USB Type-C support for charging and peripherals.||It doesn’t support the latest Apple Pencil.|
Check out the iPad 10th Generation on Amazon.
Best Windows Tablet: Microsoft Surface Go 3
- 10.5” 220 PPI touchscreen
- 11 hours of battery life
- Bluetooth 5.0, a headphone jack, a USB-C port
- Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Windows 11 OS
Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 is a laptop replacement tablet with a few twists. You’ve got access to a stellar 1920×1280 screen, options for 4 or 8 GB of RAM, and an Intel i3 processor on some models. The Surface Go 3 also runs Windows 11, which is great for handling work-related tasks.
The performance of the Surface Go 3 does leave a little to be desired. It is nearly as high-powered as the Surface Pro line. The battery life also could be better, with Microsoft’s claimed 11 hours not matching real-world usage. The Surface Go 3 does provide a full version of Windows 11 for portable usage, with all the perks of a tablet. You will have to spend extra on an appropriate stylus and keyboard, sadly.
|The Surface Go 3 features a full version of Windows 11.||The performance is average at best.|
|The tablet can be set for multiple user profiles.||It is fairly expensive for what it is.|
Check out the Microsoft Surface Go 3 on Amazon.
Best Android Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
What makes the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite one of the best 10-inch tablets available is the overall design and function of the device itself. Generally speaking, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line is a great choice for users looking for an affordable tablet with plenty of performance. Here, you’ve got a full metal body, included stylus, and a hi-res screen.
The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite has plenty of battery life, with some users reporting up to eight hours of usage while under heavy load. It is a bit lacking in overall performance; the Snapdragon 720G processor is average at best when it comes to multitasking.
However, for overall media consumption, it’s a great device. You’ve got a generous 2000×1200 display to watch your favorite shows, and it is one of the rare options on this list with expandable storage.
|The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes with full Samsung DeX support.||The performance is average.|
|Samsung has included the S Pen for note-taking and more precise work.||It doesn’t feature a high refresh rate display, so note-taking can feel sluggish.|
Check out the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
The Galaxy Tab A8 is a premium tablet available for a budget price. It features a similar all-metal body to the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite but has a few notable differences. The processor is different, for one, which makes it slower than the S6 Lite.
You can get the device with 3 or 4 GB of RAM, with the latter suggested for the likes of multitasking and productivity. It does have great battery life for its size and price, coming in at around nine hours overall, even when playing games or watching movies.
It does lack S Pen support, so you’re stuck with more generic stylus options. Like the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, it has a microSD slot for expandable storage. This is a great media consumption tablet, and the pricing will be a relief to your wallet.
|It comes with an all-metal body.||It doesn’t come with S Pen support.|
|The Galaxy Tab A8 should fit any budget.||The front-facing camera is low-powered, which can result in grainy images.|
Check out the Galaxy Tab A8 on Amazon.
Picking the Best 10-inch Tablet: What to Know
The 10-inch tablet is one of the most diverse form factors, and there are plenty of considerations to keep in mind when choosing one. Here are a few crucial criteria to remember when shopping for your next tablet.
Everyone is going to have different tastes, that is just part of life. You’ve got multiple choices for your tablet’s operating system, which will boil down to how comfortable you are with a given interface.
Android tablets are the most common 10-inch options around, but getting continual updates can be an issue for some devices. Google’s mobile OS is one of the most fragmented around, with some devices coming with no hope for future service updates in the years to come. That said, Samsung is always a fine choice, especially in terms of overall support.
Apple’s iPadOS serves as a tablet-oriented extension of iOS. You can expect quite a few years of support when choosing an Apple tablet, with at least five years of updates for most devices. Apple tablets tend to be more expensive overall, however.
Windows tablets are rare in the 10-inch form factor but do bring the full operating system in a compact form. You would do well to avoid more budget options, as you’ll likely be dealing with subpar components and performance. The Surface Go 3 is a fine choice if you absolutely must have Windows.
You’ll also find some tablets running Google’s ChromeOS, essentially acting as a touchscreen Chromebook. The performance on these can vary wildly but could be a great choice for kids and students in need of a device to access the internet.
Overall battery life is going to vary greatly between devices. As a general rule, you’ll want a device with at least six hours of battery life between charges. Both the iPad Air and the base model iPad have excellent battery life, with around ten hours of usage on a single charge.
You could likely coax more time out with adjustments to the system brightness and other habits. Most of the tablets covered in this guide clear six hours easily, but your usage may vary wildly with the likes of something like the Surface Go 3.
What are you looking for in a tablet? Whether it’s intended to be an idle web browser, a media consumption device, or a full-on laptop replacement, you’ll have to decide what matters most to you in a tablet.
Generally speaking, tablets aren’t the best laptop replacements, but you can do some work on them. The iPad line has access to word processing, spreadsheets, presentation creation, and quite a bit more. A solution like the Surface Go 3 gives you access to the wide range of Windows-only applications available for work.
If you’re aiming towards media consumption, or reading in general, then something like the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a great choice. You could even go for the Galaxy Tab A8 if you want to keep things a little more budget-friendly. While the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes with full Samsung DeX support, it isn’t going to be an ideal replacement for a full Linux, Mac, or Windows laptop.
Using a 10-inch Tablet: What It’s Like
If you’ve used a smartphone, you’re familiar with the method of operation for most 10-inch tablets. Both the iPad and Samsung tablets covered in this guide will function quite similarly to the smaller smartphones available from both manufacturers. This can be great if you’re used to using a particular interface for your daily phone usage, as it acts as a familiar environment.
The Surface Go 3 is the odd duck out, thanks to the fact that it uses Windows 11 as its primary operating system. Windows doesn’t have a mobile equivalent these days, so it is like using your laptop’s interface with your fingers or a stylus. All in all, a tablet should be easy to use, which all of these devices accomplish. The choice is more down to your needs and preferences.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©serhatctk/Shutterstock.com.