The best tablet for streaming
With so much content available, it’s important to have the proper devices for streaming movies, TV shows and music whenever — and wherever — you want. While a tablet doesn’t boast the size and detail of a high-end smart TV, it does offer convenience and portability.
Our guide will take a look at some of the best tablets for streaming, detailing what you need to keep in mind when you want to consume entertainment. We love the large and powerful Galaxy Tab S7 by Samsung, though there are other options worth exploring and much to consider when shopping for a tablet for streaming.
What to know before you buy a tablet for streaming
Tablet size is measured one from diagonal to the other, and typically range from seven to 14 inches, with the average supporting 10- to 12-inch screens. You won’t want to go lower than 10 inches, but even so, streaming on a tablet is likely limited to one or two viewers at a time. The size of a tablet, however, does allow you to easily take it with you or leave it on your lap to conveniently enjoy.
Most tablets offer Full HD resolution, or 1920 x 1080p. Because of the various sizes of the tablets, you may encounter some more uncommon pixel ratios, like 2000 x 1200p for example, but they won’t rival TVs that can feature 4K or 8K resolution, or even powerful laptops that feature 4K resolution. Due to the relative smallness, FHD resolution offers crisp images and bright colors in tablets.
You’ll want to look for a screen that features AMOLED technology, an innovation more frequently used on quality smartphones, tablets and laptops. It increases brightness and contrast while using less power.
WiFi is standard in all tablets, but newer models will have stronger and faster connections, which is necessary to avoid buffering. Most recent tablets feature the WiFi 5 (802.11ac9) standard.
Most users like to match the tablet operating system and company with that of their smartphone and any other connected devices. iPhone users will want to consider an iPad, while Android users will likely prefer many of the options available from Samsung, Amazon, or Lenovo. While this isn’t a strict rule, similar operating systems offer familiarity and ease of use, and likely any number of conveniences, including data transfer and identical charging ports.
Tablet for streaming features
Storage varies greatly among tablets and will influence price; smaller options will hold a mere 16GB, while some boast impressive 128GB and even 256GB of storage. While streaming doesn't take up storage, many services offer offline streaming by downloading content. This is a useful feature if you’re traveling and will be without WiFi or simply don’t want to use it. In that case, you’ll want to make sure you have enough storage to accommodate your needs.
Tablet speakers are generally decent, but like many TVs and monitors, their quality isn’t the primary focus. While you may want to invest in a set of earbuds or headphones, some tablets will boast more advanced speakers than others. Stereo speakers are a must, while some entertainment-focused options will include more immersive Dolby Audio. Some newer tablets may include four speakers instead of the standard two.
Tablet for streaming cost
You can expect to pay between $100 and $300 for a tablet. Newer models will be introduced at a high price, lowering the cost of other options.
Tablet for streaming FAQ
When can I start streaming content?
A. Once you acquire your tablet, you can go directly to the streaming-service website or app to begin enjoying your content. However, for popular services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, you'll need a subscription first.
How long does the battery last?
A. Most tablets will last anywhere from five to 10 hours on a full charge, though that length will be on the shorter end when streaming video. It’s recommended to keep your tablet plugged into a power source when streaming; otherwise, you may want to invest in a portable charger when on the move.
Which tablet for streaming should I get?
Best of the best tablet for streaming
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7: available at Samsung
Our take: A powerful tablet with a bright display and strong connection make this ideal for streaming and gaming.
What we like: Large, colorful 12-inch screen and Dolby Atmos offer impressive video and audio quality. Lengthy battery life. Sizeable storage. Available in various colors.
What we dislike: High price. Not ideal for Apple users.
Best bang for your buck tablet for streaming
Amazon Fire HD10: available at Amazon
Our take: Large display, quality sound and vivid colors make this affordable option best for content consumption.
What we like: Convenient tablet that is controlled by Alexa. Decent storage allows for downloaded content. Durably built. Quick, easy access to popular entertainment apps.
What we dislike: Battery may drain quickly. Rather bulky.
Honorable mention tablet for streaming
Lenovo SmartTab M10 Plus: available at Amazon
Our take: A versatile tablet that comes with a mini soundbar for quality streaming and listening.
What we like: Features a 10-inch, Full HD display. Includes Dolby Atmos docking soundbar that acts as a charger and a stand. Lightweight. Alexa-compatible.
What we dislike: Pricey investment. Loses value when used without the soundbar.
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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