The 8 Best Gaming Tablets to Buy in 2018

Take your games on the go

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Gaming on the go definitely has its appeal. Being able to pull out a portable device and delve into a game for a little while is an enjoyable way to pass the time. You might be on a bus or train, waiting at an airport, or stuck in line at the DMV — all places you wouldn't have space for a beefier gaming platform. That’s when a great gaming tablet can come in handy. Compared to a phone, they offer more screen space and a much bigger battery which provides more play time.

Finding the best gaming tablet for you will be a matter of assessing your budget and needs. Apple has truly killer tablets that excel in gaming thanks to their powerful mobile processors and thanks to a recent push for more advanced 2-in-1 laptops, there are also some highly versatile machines that can serve as both a laptop and a tablet while packing gaming-worthy internal components. With Nintendo’s latest gaming console built into a tablet form factor, gaming on the go is about as good as it’s ever been. Below, our best gaming tablet picks.

Our Top Picks

Best iOS: iPad Pro 2018

iPad Pro 2018

Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to gaming tablets, Apple’s iPad Pro 2018 is the most powerful option out there. Thanks to the A12X Bionic chip inside, the new iPad model can power through all the best games available on iOS. You’ll get amazing graphics and high frame rates for a clear and smooth experience on an 11- or 12.9-inch display. So, whether you want to play PUBG Mobile, Minecraft, or Fortnite, you’ll get a top-notch mobile gaming experience.

The new iPad Pro’s utility extends well beyond gaming, as well. With support for the Apple Pencil, you can draw and paint digitally on the tablet with impressive quality and tracking of the stylus. You’ll also be able to mark up documents if you plan to use it for work-related tasks. Going even further in the way of productivity, the tablet offers support for Bluetooth keyboards like the Smart Keyboard Folio which means you can turn your iPad into a near laptop-like device. You’ll be able to get work done on the go, and when all your office asks are squared away, you can switch right over to gaming. The iPad Pro 2018 is currently available in silver and space gray; you can choose between 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB models.

Runner-Up, Best iOS: New iPad 2018

Apple’s new iPad 2018 isn’t quite as powerful as the latest iPad Pro models, but the A10 Fusion chip inside is still a plenty powerful piece of hardware for mobile gaming. Perhaps best of all, the new iPad costs less than half the price of the iPad Pro. The iPad 2018 has a 9.7-inch Retina display, offering crisp visuals in the games you play and plenty of screen space to enjoy the graphics. If you’re trying to play Fortnite and see an enemy player off in the distance, it’s definitely going to be easier on a large tablet screen like this than it would be on a smaller smartphone display.

Like the iPad Pro, there’s also a lot more you can do with the iPad 2018 beyond gaming. It has an 8MP camera capable of recording Full HD video and a support for FaceTime. If you connect a Bluetooth keyboard, you’ll also be able to squeeze some productivity in between games. This is the first basic iPad model to support the Apple Pencil, meaning you’ll also have the option to get creative and artsy with the powerful stylus. With a 10-hour battery life, you'll have plenty of time for games, emails, and sketching. You can pick up a 32GB or 128GB model in silver, space gray, or gold.

Best Android: Galaxy Tab S4

If you’re looking for a powerful Android tablet to game on, it should come as little surprise that Samsung is behind the best one out there. The company’s recent Galaxy Tab S4 is as good as an Android tablet gets right now, with crisp screen quality, Dolby Atmos surround sound, a large 10.5-inch AMOLED display, and the performance you need for the best Android games. Compared to the iPad Pro, the Tab S4’s Snapdragon 835 chipset isn’t as powerful, but it’s still plenty enough for high-quality gaming.

In terms of gaming, what really makes the Galaxy Tab S4 shine is its brilliant 2560 x 1600 Super AMOLED display with support for HDR. The Dolby Atmos speakers can also push out some quality audio if you're playing at home or plug in your headphones. You’ll also have plenty of room for games thanks to the support for microSD storage, which will let you affordably increase your tablets storage capacity (they come with 64GB or 256GB of internal storage, depending on the model you choose). The Galaxy Tab S4 also includes the capable S Pen stylus and can work with a keyboard cover (sold separately) for improved productivity.

Runner-Up, Best Android: Galaxy Tab S3

The Android tablet market is a bit of a sad place, and that’s made all the more apparent by Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3. Despite its age, it still stands out above other Android tablets thanks to its combination of versatility, a dazzling Samsung display, and a high-end Snapdragon 820 chipset. This chipset is a downgrade from the Snapdragon 835 found in the Tab S4, but it’ll still keep up reasonably well with Android gaming, so if you want to save a bit of money, it's still a great option.

Even though it's not Samsung's latest model, the Tab S3 still includes a dynamic display with an HDR-ready Super AMOLED screen measuring 9.7 inches and boasting 2048 x 1536 resolution. In other words, your games are going to look great, and so will all the videos you watch. With its Quad Speakers, you’ll get nice sound as well. And, like the newer model, the Galaxy Tab S3 includes an S Pen stylus for enhanced functionality and supports a connected keyboard for productivity. You can grab one now in black or silver.

Best Splurge: Surface Book 2 15-Inch

While it certainly doesn’t come cheap, Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 (specifically the 15-inch model) offers the most impressive tablet experience you’ll be able to find. Where the iPad Pro makes an attempt at being a versatile device, the Surface Book 2 knocks it out of the park. Inside, it’s loaded with powerful internals that make it a highly capable productivity machine, and the 15-inch model with an Intel Core i7 processor is paired with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and 6GB of VRAM for a powerful gaming experience that won’t be matched by any of the other tablets on this list. Simply put, a strong dedicated graphics processor like the GTX 1060 is going to be hard for any tablet/smartphone-grade system-on-a-chip to beat.

While you’ll probably only be gaming with the Surface Book in its laptop configuration, it offers a true tablet mode, with the screen portion fully separable from the base. With the Surface Pen, you also get incredible stylus quality for when you feel like getting artsy after a long gaming session. Of course, another huge benefit with this option is the access to full PC video games that are available on Windows machines.

Best Windows: Lenovo YOGA 730 w/ GTX 1050 4GB

Lenovo YOGA 730

Courtesy of Amazon

If you want to get the Windows 2-in-1 experience but don’t have the money to blow on something like the best-in-class Surface Book 2, then Lenovo has you covered. The Lenovo Yoga 730 is a capable 2-in-1 offering the full laptop experience while adding the ability to flip the screen over and use the device as a tablet (though the keyboard doesn’t detach). The model we’ve picked out here includes a 15-inch display in either Full HD or 4K for clear visuals whether you’re gaming, working, or watching videos. Powering the visual experience is an Intel Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U processor paired with a highly capable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB of VRAM.

The Lenovo Yoga 730 — with the specs we’ve selected — should make for a competent gaming device in popular esports games like Overwatch and League of Legends. If you’re trying to survive in a battle royale, you’ll be able to run Fortnite on this hardware. And, with a Thunderbolt 3 port, you even have the potential to connect the Yoga 730 to an external graphics card for vastly improved graphics.

Best Tablet Alternative: Nintendo Switch

You might be thinking, “the Nintendo Switch is a video game console,” and you’d be right to think so. But, at the same time, the Nintendo Switch is also a perfectly portable gaming tablet. With its 6.2-inch display, it’s not incredibly big (especially with many phones these days packing in screens that large and even larger), but it’s still got the feel of a traditional tablet in your hands. That feeling is only increased with the controllers attached on either side. While the small size, 720p display, and few apps available for the Nintendo Switch may make it a fairly mediocre tablet, the games available to it make it easily one of the best gaming tablets there is.

No other tablet is going to give you access to the best new games straight from Nintendo. With the Switch, you get online connectivity, docking to send the video signal to a TV, detachable controllers with advanced gyroscopic sensors and HD Rumble, and microSD card expandability. And then you get the freedom to play amazing titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Pokemon Let’s Go.

Best Amazon Fire OS: Fire HD 10

If you don’t have a very big budget, you can still get a decent tablet that will let you enjoy games on the go. Amazon offers some of the most compelling budget tablets around, and the Fire HD 10 is the best of them. They run Amazon’s own Fire OS and have access to Amazon’s market for apps and games. This isn’t exactly the same as what you’d find on Google Play, but there will be plenty of apps and games. And, if you absolutely need Google Play’s offerings, you are able to get Google Play installed — albeit with a little effort.

The Fire HD 10 offers a 10.1-inch display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, meaning you’ll get a large, clear picture. The base storage is 32GB, but you can expand that up to 256GB with a microSD card. It has a quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and offers up to 10 hours of battery life. While the hardware’s performance won’t make it the best gaming platform on this list, it’s easily the most affordable. And, if you just want a tablet to enjoy media and play the occasional mobile game to pass the time, this will do the job.

Our Process

Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular gaming tablets on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 50 different tablets overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 16 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the tablets themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.