The best tablet for college students
For when a smartphone may be too small and a laptop too cumbersome, a tablet offers a versatile middle ground, especially for college students with a variety of needs. The right tablet provides a platform to efficiently research and work while also providing an outlet for entertainment and staying connected.
For the busy college student with a diverse range of obligations and interests, we recommend the Apple iPad Pro. Since specific needs and budgets may vary, our guide will look at all the key features a student may require, as well as the many options available to make college life less arduous and more enjoyable.
What to know before you buy a tablet for college students
Whether or not you have a laptop that’s regularly used is a major influence on what kind of tablet you should buy. If you already have a laptop that functions as a regular workstation, you’ll likely want a tablet that offers more portability and compatibility with existing devices. Seek out a smaller option with an operating system that matches your laptop and phone.
If you don’t have a laptop or don’t prefer to use one, then you’re likely to want a larger, more powerful and versatile tablet that’s adept at multitasking. Keep your device arrangement in mind as you read through considerations and possibilities.
Most tablets range in size from 7 to 14 inches. Size is measured from one diagonal to the other. Larger screen sizes may serve those better who are studying design, graphics or arts. Some scientific pursuits may also be better served with a larger, more detailed screen. If you’re collaborating with others, you may want a larger screen as well.
Price increases as size does. Most tablets are around 10 or 11 inches and suffice for most activities, including consuming content.
Consider what systems with which you’re familiar as well as what other devices you own. You’re likely to find the most efficiency by matching a tablet’s system to that of your smartphone, laptop and even TV.
Android and iOS are among the two most popular, but some models run Windows. Android tends to be the cheapest and most accessible, using the expansive Google Play store to acquire apps. Many people with artistic pursuits champion iOS as a system that has enough power and intuition to allow for easier usage.
Tablet for college students features
Tablets range in storage from as low as 16GB up to 256GB. Most have 64GB, which is sufficient for most users. Some models offer expandable storage or ports to connect an external hard drive. Those students involved in audio, video or graphics may require more storage than those who spend most of their time browsing, researching and word processing.
Quality speakers aren’t the focus of most tablets, but some do provide decent options with crisp and clear sound. Two-speaker stereo sound is common, but some higher-end models feature four speakers for better fidelity.
Most batteries can run between six and 10 hours on a single full charge, depending on what programs are being run. Consider how often you’ll be using the tablet while away from an outlet as well as how good you are at remembering to charge your tablet when at home.
Tablet for college students cost
You can find quality, versatile tablets for $200-$500, though those who prefer Apple products can expect to pay a bit more.
Tablet for college students FAQ
Can I add file storage space to the tablet?
A. Most Android tablets include microSD slots to allow you to add storage space, though iPads do not allow for such extended storage. If you’re concerned about space, we recommend looking into Cloud services that provide ample storage as well as services for security, backing up documents and collaboration.
What accessories do I need with a tablet?
A. In most cases, you’ll want a pair of headphones to use in conjunction with your tablet, particularly for studying or enjoying streaming content in public spaces. Newer tablets may lack a headphone jack, so Bluetooth earbuds are recommended. A power bank or portable charger is a worthy investment to keep your battery running, as is a case for protection.
Which tablet for college students should I get?
Best of the best tablet for college students
Our take: Among the best Apple has to offer, this iPad boasts fast processing, a stunning display and plenty of useful features for students.
What we like: Sports beautiful Retina display and four high-quality speakers. Thin, light design with lengthy battery life. Easy to type; use a trackpad and engage the touchscreen. Terrific camera.
What we dislike: One of the most expensive tablets available.
Best bang for your buck tablet for college students
Our take: Budget-friendly tablet that offers long usage designed for reading, writing, playing and streaming.
What we like: Inexpensive model ideal for consuming content and browsing. Front- and rear-facing cameras, microSD slot and stereo jack. Decent microphone and speakers.
What we dislike: Smaller size. Lacks speed for multitasking.
Honorable mention tablet for college students
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e: available at Amazon
Our take: High-quality Android tablet that can substitute a laptop with its portability and power.
What we like: Average-size screen featuring stunning clarity and colors with AMOLED display. Light and thin. Charges quickly with a long-lasting battery.
What we dislike: Lacks a headphone jack. Best for Android users.
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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