If you’re looking to be more productive in the new school year (whether that’s at uni or college), having a brand new tablet can really help things out. Here’s Trusted Reviews’ picks for the best tablets to buy for students.
Tablets are no longer the after-thought devices they once were. In fact, if you so please, you could get away with using a tablet as your main work device (I ended up writing most of my dissertation on an iPad Mini). All you need to do is connect any old Bluetooth keyboard and you’re off.
Related: For the very best tablets, we’ve got you covered
Back to the tablets themselves though, there’s so options out there that it can be confusing to know where to start. Well, to that end, we’ve set out three key price brackets (all under £500) to help you get straight to the tablet you can afford. It’s pricey enough trying to sort out a new wardrobe for the next school year – the last thing you want to do is to spend all your maintenance loan on a tablet.
Cheap and cheerful – Under £100
Much like with the affordable smartphone market, it’s perfectly reasonable in 2020 to spend less than £100 and still get a decent tablet for your money. Case in point, the Fire Tab HD 8 is a great option from Amazon’s tablet collection.
While the Fire HD 8 Plus is a slightly better buy, it does have an asking price above the £100 mark, so for the budget conscious out there, the standard HD 8 is the one to go for.
For just £89.99, the HD 8 packs a slick 1,280 x 800 LCD IPS screen and a clean UI that makes for easy navigation between apps. Of course, being an Amazon product, Amazon Prime members will get the most out the tablet thanks to easy integration with Amazon’s services like Prime Video and Amazon Music.
Great value for money – £100-£300
Sticking with Amazon’s devices for a minute, the Fire HD 10 offers an even more robust experience than the Fire HD 8, all for just £149.99. Aside from the additional retail space you get from a 10-inch screen, the Fire HD 10 also offers a solid battery life of up to 12 hours.
Combining those two factors, the Fire HD 10 because a great option for anyone looking to stream the odd episode of their favourite show in between lectures. The tablet’s stereo speakers even do a decent job of conveying sound if you don’t have a pair of headphones to hand.
Alternatively, if you’re not too fussed about having an iPad that’s already been on the market for a few years, you can now pick up the 6th Gen iPad 9.7” for a fraction of its original price.
Given that the 2018 iPad is going so cheap, it’s the best option for getting into the Apple ecosystem and that glorious App Store without breaking the bank. As a slim, powerful tablet that boasts Apple Pencil compatibility for the art enthusiasts, we gave a rare 5-star rating to the iPad 9.7-inch.
The best of the best (within reason) – £300+
The typical student budget doesn’t accommodate for spending close to a grand on a high-end tablet, so don’t expect to see the iPad Pro make an appearance here even though it’s arguably the best tablet going. Instead, these are the absolute tip-top tablets we’d recommend within the sub-premium category.
Kicking things off with another device of Apple’s, the Apple iPad 7 (or iPad 10.2) offers some of the best value for money we’ve ever seen on a tablet. Even now, the bundled A10 chipset allows iPad OS to run buttery smooth, which in turn makes multitasking easier than ever.
If you’re taking an art course (or enjoy drawing in your spare time) however, then the additional costs of having to fork out for an Apple Pencil can add up. For an all-in-one experience, the superb Galaxy Tab S6 Lite could be just the ticket.
Despite its affordable price tag, the S6 Lite comes bundled with Samsung’s S Pen, which can also be used for note-taking during classes. While Android isn’t quite as well optimised for tablets as Apple’s offering, the S6 Lite’s UI is still clean and the inclusion of Samsung’s own-brand apps do help to make the most of the S Pen functionality.