Looking for the best gaming tablet money can buy in 2020? We have everything you need to find the Apple, Android, Windows, or cheap tablet for your needs! We even put a smartphone in the mix somewhere. Curious? Check out our picks below.
Gaming is quickly becoming one of the most prevalent pastimes in the world and playing away from home no longer has to be a pipe dream. It was hard to take mobile gaming devices seriously until recently. While Smartphones brought an entire generation of Free-To-Play titles, low-quality cash grabs, and some gems like Plants vs.
Zombies, the mobile gaming market was built around cheap weak devices. Despite these tenuous roots, mobile gaming pressed on to mature into a full-fledged part of modern gaming that even hardcore gamers can get behind. Devices have begun to tap into the actual PC Gaming market by offering unique methods to game away from your desk.
What used to be a market filled with bloatware and digital atrocities has begun to produce amazing AAA quality games. The market that once offended true gamers has now slowly shifted toward real mobile gaming with Apps like Fortnite and PubG offering the quintessential mobile experience. Technological innovation has lead to powerful apps for streaming your games to Windows and Android devices. And with a new mobile market comes a need for devices that allow you to play on the go.
Whether you want to take your Steam library with you on vacation or play Clash of Clans from the office, Gaming Tablets are a newer innovation to the mobile gaming market that offer the perks of a laptop without the bulky design and large form factor.
In this guide you’ll find our curated list of Gaming Tablets followed by a breakdown of all the technical features such as OS issues that you should to be aware of when considering a Gaming Tablet. We’ve covered the best products of 2020 and a few unique Tablet style devices as well. If you know what type of tablet you want, read on! If not jump down to our buying guide where we’ll walk you through what matters and how to decide.
13.5-inch and 15-inch @ 2.5K
10.1-inch IPS LCD @ 1080p
Fire OS (Android)
9.7" LED @ QXGA (1536 x 2048)
12.9-inch @ 2048x2732 pixels (Retina)
7.9-inch @ 2048x1536 (Retina)
10-inch (1800 x 1200)
Windows 10 S
9.7” QXGA (2048 x 1536) sAMOLED
10.1-Inch @ QHD(2K)
2K 5.7-inch WCG @ 120hz
(2160 x 1080) AMOLED 6.0-inch @ 90hz 1ms
Best Gaming Tablet
If you want nothing but the best, the Surface Book 2 has you covered. You spend a lot of time in front of your screen, why not make sure it is the best experience possible?
Microsoft went for Apple’s throat with their newer line of laptops. The surface line offers sleek powerful tablets and laptops that fit into the same niche as the MacBook Pro. At first glance the Surface Book 2 is a bit hard to pin down. The Surface Book 2 is actually a 2-1 Tablet/Laptop hybrid. The screen detaches and allows the Surface Book 2 to be fully converted into a Tablet. The Surface Book 2 works as a solution for Gaming on the go as well as any other work required by a laptop. It’s got an insane battery life of 17 hours and the most powerful Tablet you can buy for consumer use. Your games will look fantastic and run amazing on a Surface Book 2.
So, is it a Gaming Tablet? The lines are blurring but in weight, design, and function, the Surface Book 2 offers all the features of a Tablet but with a full-fledged Windows 10 OS. It also offers the power you would want when booting up CS:GO or Overwatch. That means you aren’t restricted to the glut of mobile games on Android or iOS. Instead you can play any game that has come to PC (And Android) ever. While Gaming Tablets offer amazing quality for playing mobile versions of our favorite games, nothing beats being able to play Fallout 4 on the go and then finish up a sick drawing afterward. The Surface Book 2 can be used as a drawing tablet, a full-fledged computer, a gaming machine, a television screen. It’s similar in weight to a MacBook Air as well. The screen is gorgeous and approximately 2.5K.
The GTX 1050 and 1060 can be installed on this incredible laptop/tablet combo putting it on the same level as a premium desktop gaming PC. Few devices offer the power of a full-fledged Nvidia GPU while allowing for a touch screen as well. That means you’ll be able to use Media editing software such as Photoshop without a hiccup. The Touchscreen is great for artists and has a natural feel allowing you to use pressure while drawing. The Surface has a suite of software features that are designed to take advantage of this as well. We selected the Surface Pro 2 because it runs for hours without dying, is absolutely the MOST powerful tablet-style device on the market, can be used as a full-fledged laptop.
The biggest con is the price. It’s expensive. The good news though is that the Surface Book 2 can replace more than just your need for a tablet and be used for a variety of needs. From work to play. This is the BEST experience you’ll get on the market.
Best Budget Gaming Tablet
Great processing power and a crisp screen gives a great gaming experience for those that are on a tighter budget.
Amazon entered the tablet market with the Kindle quite a few years back and has continued to pump out new Kindle iterations year after year. Eventually they moved into the HD tablet market with solid durable devices designed for Media consumption and light office work. The Fire HD 10 has been around for a while but is the best iteration of the Kindle so far. With a long battery life, beautiful colors, and access to streamlined Amazon applications, its simply become THE device for families on-the-go and the occasional gaming session.
If you love watching Netflix, playing Fortnite, and reading books late at night, the Fire HD 10 is an excellent budget option. One of the best parts of the Fire HD is the color range. It just looks good. The Fire HD has a streamlined Android operating system that is easy to use and has a multitude of features for families (Such as screen time limiting programs). The Fire HD 10 is inexpensive and it's not uncommon for fans to have several within a household. It only has modest power for running as a gaming device when compared to a true gaming tablet so be aware that the Fire is not the most powerful device on the market. In a pinch though it’ll soothe your need for gaming and Netflix to boot.
One of the largest cons of using an Amazon tablet is that the App Store is somewhat limited. With a little work though you can load the Google Play Store onto the Fire HD 10 since the OS is based on Android. It’s safe and easy for your tablet so that shouldn’t be a hindrance to having a great mobile experience.
Runner Up (Budget)
Slightly more expensive than the Fire, but packed with a higher definition screen and more powerful processing.
Asus has created a solid Gaming Tablet with the Zenpad 3S 10 that falls into the category of affordable and yet powerful. It’s more expensive than a Fire HD 10 but will give you the power you need to play any mobile game fast and efficiently. The 2K screen is absolutely gorgeous and makes mobile games look top notch. With a 2.1 GHz processor and a quad Core ARM Cortex 1.7 GHz processor you’ll never want for power. 4GB of RAM and an ample 64GB of storage space. This tablet checks off all the boxes for power.
The 9.7-inch screen feels perfect for mobile Gaming. It’s enough room to see anything clearly but keeps the Zenpad lightweight (A huge boon for those who travel often). One of our favorite features of the Zenpad is the emphasis on high-quality color. The visuals pop and even simple tasks like watching YouTube have a professional gorgeous feel to them. When connected to 7.1 Surround sound headsets, the audio is on par with the best devices and you can hear directional audio clearly. This is great for hearing somewhat sneaking up on you in an intense battle royale round and allows you gorgeous audio-fidelity when streaming Desktop games. Asus also offers proprietary streaming software for watching Twitch or YouTube matches as well. This is useful if you love to chill and watch footage of Dota 2 for hours on end.
The biggest con is that the Audio is far better suited for 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound Headsets. The audio is only stereo and just can’t get as loud or as directional as other Gaming Tablets. If you want a solid design and enough power to play anything on mobile though, this is your go-to device. Like most tablets, the Zenpad is designed around Android. Android is a positive because you have access to unique Android apps and games with a user-friendly touchscreen experience. It can be an issue if you were imagining a Windows 10 device with fully fledged PC Gaming experiences. It’s not all bad news though because you can still use the Steam App to stream from a Gaming PC.
Best iOS Gaming Tablet
Just go with the Pro. Period. There are a lot of other models, but if you want the best tablet Apple has to offer, the iPad Pro is the choice.
Apple has a huge product line of iPads and new iterations come out regularly. Whether it’s an OS update or a tech upgrade, the iPad changes often. If you love mobile gaming and have little to no interest in non-mobile gaming, iOS offers a ton of awesome games usually before Android. The iPad gets a new iteration every year and recently they’ve announced an iPad Pro that prioritizes size and screen quality (Almost 13-inches of room!). It’s needless to say that top-tier Apple products run smooth and have great design. It’ll have all the power you need, incredible battery life, and access to the streamline Apple Eco-System. If you are looking for a tablet, the iPad Pro is king. As the original innovators of tablet technology, Apple has created the iconic tablet.
So, what’s to like? First off, Apple is king of visual fidelity. The Retina Display is one of those unreal technologies that sounds fancy but when put next to another non-retina display make you see just how much better retina is. It makes 2K look even better while removing that glare and sheen normally seen on a glass surface. The OS is easy to navigate and fantastic for Social Media use as it comes equipped with easy to use camera features that are bursting at the seams with quality.
The iPad Pro is also powerful, and some iterations can hold a ton of information. This tablet is light but huge with a screen that makes you feel like you are gaming on a small monitor or a laptop. As a creative or media professional, nothing comes close to the iPad Pro except for the Surface Line from Microsoft. When it comes to Gaming, despite having only 4GB of RAM, Apple is notorious for being able to squeeze maximum performance out of its product line and you’ll have blazing fast gaming speed.
There are a lot of cons to Apple products when you focus on Gaming. Price is always the largest obstacle with Apple. Apple products are some of the most expensive and also some of the hardest to repair. This is a large concern because Apple products are notorious for glass screens that break with the lightest touch. Luckily, they have several different models that offer a great option for gaming while cutting features for those who love iOS and want to sync with an iPhone. The other major con is that an iOS device locks you into only iOS compatible games.
Many AAA games can run on OSX but not iOS. Steam came up with a fantastic streaming option this year but Apple refuses to let them host this on the App store meaning that your games list is pretty restricted. iOS prioritizes mobile titles though, so the iPad Pro is great for mobile gamers and even has some AAA options like Fortnite and PUBG.
Runner Up (iOS Gaming Tablet)
Slightly smaller screen than the Pro if it is too big for your liking.
If you are locked into the Apple Eco-System with an iPhone or MacBook, the iPad Mini 4 is an amazing option to consider. As always, iOS is able to get mobile games and apps before anyone else and rarely has glitches or flaws. Apple products are always powerful enough to get the job done and the Mini 4 is no exception. It’ll run any mobile game for hours with a smooth framerate and responsive controls. The Retina display is killer and at 7.9-inches it’ll still seem larger than you’d need because the quality is so clear. Gorgeous visuals. Easy to use. It’s Apple after all.
As we mentioned earlier, iOS won’t allow you to play modern games from a desktop PC, but it will allow you to play numerous titles, often mobile exclusive ones such as Elder Scrolls Blades. The store will have any product you really want from the mobile realm and as new options like Nvidia Now are developed it is almost certain that a streaming option for iOS will come out. That being said, iOS is a blast to game on. Apple devices have some of the best touch-screen sensitivity and amazing power behind them making any game on iOS fun to play. The Mini 4 is also a good device to bring to meetings and organize your schedule with.
We listed the cons earlier with the iPad Pro, but they aren’t as grievous with the iPad Mini 4. That is because it is far cheaper and at this price point you don’t have to worry about repairing it as much as you would if you broke the bank with the iPad Pro. It still will limit you in terms of available games and unfortunately user customization. This often boils down to preference though and any gamer can find something they love to play in the app store. Also, be aware that some features such as the Apple Pencil don’t work with the Mini.
Runner Up (Windows 10 Gaming Tablet)
If you don't have the budget for the Surface Book 2, the Go is a great alternative. The same great features with a toned down screen size and processing power.
The Surface Go took what was great about the Surface line from Microsoft and simplified it. Cheaper, lighter, just as usable, it’s the best device for using Windows 10 on a budget. The visual quality is great with a 10-inch screen that functions just shy of 1080p. With 4GB and 8GB RAM options, playing AAA titles through the Windows Store or on Steam is a possibility. With Xbox Game Pass you actually have some amazing options as well and this device syncs perfectly with an Xbox allowing some unique cross-play options. Gaming on the Go will look and feel great while keeping your wallet healthy.
How does it work? The Surface Go operates a stripped down version of Windows 10 known as Windows S. This version can only use Microsoft Apps that are downloaded through the Windows Store. This OS prioritized speed and takes less space than full-scale Windows 10 but it unfortunately makes using the number one provider of PC games (Steam) albeit impossible. The upside is that Windows S is VERY easy to opt-out of. Any Windows 10 S user can choose to ditch Windows 10 S for a full-fledged version of Windows 10.
Currently the decision is permanent so devices that nix S edition will run a full-scale version of Windows 10. This is great for gamers though! Using a full-on version of Windows 10 allows you to play your entire Steam Library and game while on the go. Meanwhile the obscure resolution (1800 x 1200) looks great at this size while helping games run fast. You’ll have your pick of any PC game with all the features and quality of a normal Tablet. It’s an amazing solution for gaming on the go.
The biggest con is that the GPU isn’t very powerful (Not a huge issue at these lower resolutions) and disk space can be limited. We recommend getting as much disk space as possible with the Go, but it won’t be a huge issue as long as you aren’t installing huge AAA games that take up 40GB regularly.
Consider other surface products: Windows has a huge selection of Windows Surface tablets that are less powerful, smaller, or offer different features. These are always available as an alternative to the Surface Pro or Go. If you love Windows 10 or want PC Gaming options in tablet form, Surface is your absolute best option.
Best Android Gaming Tablet
Powerful contender to the iPad. If you are comfortable with Android and their app ecosystem, they are a great choice.
Samsung hasn’t always succeeded in the Smartphone market but over time they’ve continually innovated and made better and better mobile devices that include epic quality tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the latest pinnacle in design from Samsung (And it doesn’t explode). Samsung has created a device that offers the premium quality of an Apple product with all the features that Android oriented users love. Running a blazing fast version of Android 6.0, this Tablet is perfect for mobile gaming and awesome for playing games like Injustice on the Go.
Although the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 isn’t designed to play Steam games or modern PC Games, with the newest Steam app, it’s particularly easy to stream your games to the Galaxy Tab S3. This allows you to play awesome high-quality titles as long as you have a PC capable of streaming from and acceptable input/output devices (A controller or mouse). Other streaming platforms are just coming around as well such as Geforce Now that may allow even more top-tier gaming on Android.
If you are playing Android compatible mobile games though this tablet will have all the power, you need. With 32GB of room (Expandable up to 256GB) and 4GB of RAM, Vulkin Graphics, AKG Harman Speakers, and a blazing fast processor, you’ll be gaming at the best quality on mobile. This is especially awesome considering some of the massive games coming out on mobile in the near future like AC:Rebellion as well as the Mobile editions of classic battle royale games.
Our only con is that this can’t play PC games without a bit of extra work, but we are raving fans of the Galaxy Tab S3!
Runner Up (Android Gaming Tablet)
Analogous to the Mini in the iPad line, the Yoga Tab 3 is a great option if you are on a tighter budget, but want the Android gaming experience.
Lenovo makes great business products and the Yoga Tab 3 Pro falls into a strange category as it is great for business but uniquely suited for gaming. One of our favorite features is the ability of the Yoga Tab 3 to turn into a projector. Instead of requiring a unique dock or being constricted to the Tablet, with the Yoga Tab 3, you can game on a wall and feel like you are console gaming on the go. This will require an external device Input device as it is impractical to game in projection mode with a touch-screen.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 has some of the best battery power out of any of our options on this list and make a perfect partner to whatever you are doing. It even has a hook-like bevel allowing you to hang it and accomplish unique tasks such as watching a cooking show while cooking. The audio quality is fantastic and has good directional sound by using 4 front-facing speakers. It’s loud and not shy about that. When it comes to power, the Yoga Tab 3 is strong enough to lay any mobile game you’ll throw at it and then some. Gaming at 2K looks fantastic and we highly recommend giving it a go! It isn’t the most powerful Gaming Tablet but it’s one of the best options for those in love with Android.
The biggest downside is the limitation of the Android operating system. Any mobile OS tends to be pretty exclusive when it comes to gaming options. Like all Android devices though you can stream your Steam portfolio and play any PC game that your system will throw at it. So, if you use steam there's no barrier to playing amazing games on the go.
At Computex 2018, several Gaming phones were announced. While they offer the power and strength of a tablet, Gaming phones are specifically designed with some very unique features. Despite being a newer product, some companies have shifted to exclusively support Gaming phones instead of Tablets. We don’t foresee this as the direction the entire industry will move but it is important to be aware of the newer technology that is on its way.
Best Gaming Phone
If you are looking to get a phone built for gaming, the Razer is a great choice. Initial feedback has been great and it is packed with a 1440p screen @ 120Hz.
Razer is known for making some amazing peripherals and over the last few years has entered the gaming space with a variety of laptops and tablets. Recently Razer retired the flagship tablet they developed so that they could focus on a unique mobile niche, the gaming phone. Until now, there has never been a dedicated gaming phone. Despite being much smaller than a traditional tablet, the Razer phone boasts some stellar hardware.
The first thing you’ll notice is that Razer catered to the hardcore gaming market by including a 120hz screen that supports HDR and boasts 1440p resolution. That means any game playing on this will look buttery smooth and have gorgeous color. 120Hz is unheard of in the mobile space and while it might seem puzzling given the typical games that are played on mobile devices, the lack of screen tearing, and visual artifacts just makes this phone stand out even more.
The Razer Phone also boasts a powerful 835 Snapdragon processor and 8GB of RAM meaning that you’ll have no issue in running the most demanding applications and running them fast. The starting storage is generous (64GB) but an additional 2TB can be added through MicroSD. Like other Android products, you can now stream your steam library to this phone meaning that it’ll give you incredible visuals in a small form factor.
Unfortunately, one drawback is that this phone falls into a weird category. With a 5.7-inch screen, it’s large for a phone, but still small for a tablet. One thing that might turn a consumer off to the Razer phone is that it is Sim Card based, meaning carriers like Sprint and Verizon won’t let this phone work. Companies like T-Mobile and AT&T though work very well, and it can be used internationally.
It’s hard to say whether the ROG phone would best the Razer Phone yet. The largest factor in Razer being the current champion is that ROG recently announced the ROG phone and we haven’t been able to test or even see reviews on the phone outside of in-person Computex previews (such as the one done by Linus Tech Tips). If the ROG Phone lives up to its promise though, it may revolutionize gaming on a mobile device. Besides having killer sound, powerful graphics, and stellar design (Shoulder buttons similar to a real controller!) ROG has a unique feature that kicks the usability up a notch.
The ROG Phone can be connected into a special dock that adds Keyboard and Mouse Support, Monitor support (Up to 4K) and 7.1 Surround sound support. In essence, the docking platform turns the ROG Phone into a device similar to a desktop PC and allows you to play games like Mobile Fortnite with amazing accuracy, as nothing can beat the traditional mouse and keyboard combo. They’ll have to start making rules against this. ROG looks like they’ll blow the competition out of the water soon.
The biggest drawback is that you can’t just walk into a store and pick up an ROG Phone. They’ll be out soon though to go head-to-head with Razer. You can see some great footage from Computex though. Keep an eye out!
The Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 was developed to offer a powerful gaming tablet that uses Nvidia GPU products. Unfortunately, they have discontinued the K1 and support may be limited, if you can find one though, it allows high-quality gaming on a very powerful device. We mention the Shield because it was a beloved item and the rumor mill occasionally makes it seem as if the Shield Tablet will have a successor. So, keep your ear to the ground if you are still looking in the future for developments from Nvidia. They currently sell a successor that’s designed to link up with television sets. If the Gaming Tablet market continues to grow it’d be expected to eventually see a follow-up device from them.
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