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Published May 6, 2022 4:00 PM

Samsung makes some of the best Android phones, so it’s no surprise that it also makes some incredible tablets. Catering to a broad range of users, Samsung’s “Tab” series provides excellent experiences for browsing the web, playing games, and consuming media. There are Samsung tablets to fit any budget, from the affordable Galaxy Tab A7 Lite to the gorgeous, extravagant 14.6-inch Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. No matter what you plan to use your tablet for, or what specs you crave, the best Samsung tablets have something for everyone.

How we chose the best Samsung tablets

I’ve tested and reviewed many tablets over the last 10 years writing for publications like TechnoBuffalo, XDA Developers, and Android Central. I use a laptop for work but rely on my tablet for everything else, including editing photos, playing games, and watching movies. I love the tablet form factor because it’s more portable while still offering the performance and battery life necessary for getting work done.

When selecting the best Samsung tablets, I drew on my years of experience and spoke with other writers across the industry about what they value in a tablet. I also researched recommendations from other critics and users to give me more insight into the essential features of a tablet, including display resolution, battery life, and performance.

Things to consider when picking the best Samsung tablet for you

Finding a good tablet to pair with your Android phone has become increasingly challenging in recent years. The iPad dominates the tablet market, and only a select few companies continue to release decent alternatives. If you use a Samsung Galaxy phone, and pick up an Android tablet to match, you’ll get convenient cross-compatibility features that allow you to make calls, send messages, and send files between your Samsung Galaxy mobile devices. Regardless of whether you pick a Samsung tablet or go with another brand, here are some things to keep in mind when picking out your next tablet.

Display

Tablets are made for casual computing, so watching video, playing games, and browsing the web makes screen size and display resolution a vital part of the overall experience. Nobody wants to watch The Batman on a small, low-resolution display that looks pixelated and blurry. Even if your main focus doesn’t require vibrant colors or sharp lines, a larger, higher-resolution display makes everything easier to see and provides more space for creating content and getting work done. At this point, a 1080p resolution is a good baseline for most tablets.

Samsung’s high-end mobile devices typically feature AMOLED technology. AMOLED, short for Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode, features the same screen technology as OLED TVs and other devices, where each pixel is independently backlit by an LED light, allowing for precision control over color and contrast. AMOLED displays also have a capacitive touch layer integrated into the screen, so they can operate as touchscreens. Samsung tablets feature a proprietary version of this technology called “Super AMOLED,” which Samsung claims can integrate the touchscreen sensors into the display without adding an extra layer.

Performance

People use tablets for basically anything you can do on a computer, including video production, creating presentations, and streaming movies. That means your tablet needs to be powerful enough to handle these tasks—not just today, but a few years down the road. Like all computers, tablets start to feel slower over time. So it’s important to choose one with a more powerful processor and higher RAM if you expect it to last, especially if you’re using it for heavy-duty work. 

Samsung tablets are almost always powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, identical to the ones used in its smartphones. Its latest high-end tablets, the Galaxy Tab S8, S8+, and S8 Ultra, feature Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processors. Meanwhile, you’ll want to find a device with at least 8GB of RAM so that it’s better equipped to handle multiple tasks.

Battery life

Ideally, your tablet should have a large enough battery to last an entire day or longer on a single charge, even if you use it as your primary computer for work. Of course, how you use your tablet has a significant impact on battery life. If a tablet’s battery drains in under 8 hours, especially if said hours are spent browsing the web, we would only recommend it for secondary use behind a laptop or other device. The last thing you want is for your device to run out of battery when you’re away from an outlet.

Software support

Android is infamous for its fragmented nature, with different variations available from many manufacturers and new updates rolling out to different devices over months after their initial release on Google devices.

It’s become less of a problem over the last few years, but buying a tablet that runs a recent version of Android out of the box should be a priority for most people. You will get the latest features, including improved security against malware and other threats. Samsung typically pushes out new updates quickly, often not long after Google updates its Pixel smartphones.

We recommend picking a tablet that supports the current version of the operating system, Android 12. At the very least, it should run Android 11 and still be eligible for new security updates. Companies generally promise to support their devices with new Android updates for a couple of years, and security updates for even longer. So check what kind of support your device will get in the future.

Storage

Tablets are generally used in place of, or as a companion to, laptops. This means you need a decent amount of storage for things like apps, photos, and files. Tablets often generally have less storage than laptops and desktops, though. It’s wise to rely on cloud storage when you can, though you will inevitably need some key files in local storage since they load faster and don’t require an internet connection. 

Some low-end tablets may have as little as 64GB of storage, but we recommend trading up for something larger, 128GB hard drive or more. You’d be surprised by how quickly a device runs out of storage as you start saving media and files. Some tablets also support expandable storage with microSD cards. This is a great solution for storing text files and photos. Keep in mind, however, that some apps and files must be stored on the primary hard drive, and files stored on microSD tend to load slower than built-in storage. Expanding your storage is usually a good idea, but it isn’t a substitute for upgrading to a larger internal hard drive, especially for video editing projects and other processor-intensive work.

The best Samsung tablets: Reviews & Recommendations

If you don’t need a ton of processing power, tablets are now perfectly capable of being your primary computer. They’re now powerful enough to watch movies and TV in HD, edit videos, and play some great games. If you want an Android tablet and specifically like Samsung, we’ve assembled a list of the Samsung tablets we’d buy today.

Best overall: Galaxy Tab S8+

SAMSUNG

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Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Galaxy Tab S8+ is packed with a beautiful 12.4-inch OLED display, a massive battery, and powerful specs.

Specs

  • Display: 12.4-inch Super AMOLED (1752 x 2800 resolution; 120Hz)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM options: 8GB, 12GB
  • Storage options: 128GB, 256GB
  • Battery: 10,090 mAh
  • Charging: 45W fast charging
  • Android OS version: Android 12 (One UI 4.1)

Pros

  • High resolution, 120Hz display
  • Terrific design
  • Excellent performance

Cons

  • Some might find the screen too large

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8+ is the most well-rounded tablet in the company’s 2022 tablet lineup. It features a gorgeous 12.4-inch 120Hz OLED display, quad speakers with Dolby Atmos support, and Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. Samsung somehow crams 8GB of RAM into its thin and light design. A 10,090mAh battery that supports 45W fast charging so that you can charge the battery from 0% to 100% in 82 minutes.

Beyond its core specs, the S8+ also features a suite of high-end quality-of-life features, including an in-display fingerprint sensor, Wi-Fi 6 and 5G support, and a 12MP ultra-wide front camera. If you take a lot of selfies with your tablet or make frequent video calls, the device has auto framing, which can zoom and pan to keep your picture centered around any people in the frame. The device also comes with an S Pen, which has been updated to be more responsive and can magnetically attach to the tablet. Meanwhile, Samsung’s One UI 4.1, a proprietary variation of Android 12, offers a helpful multi-window feature for effortless multitasking. 

With a beautiful design, great features, and one of the best tablet displays we’ve ever seen, the Galaxy Tab S8+ has everything we look for in an Android tablet. It will fit into your workflow whether you’re writing papers, watching a video, or editing photos.

Best for gaming: Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

SAMSUNG

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Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: With a 14.6-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, and up to 12GB of RAM, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the perfect gaming tablet.

Specs

  • Display: 14.6-inch Super AMOLED (1848 x 2960 resolution; 120Hz)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM options: 8GB, 12GB, 16GB
  • Storage options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • Battery: 11,200 mAh
  • Charging: 45W fast charging
  • Android OS version: Android 12 (One UI 4.1)

Pros

  • High resolution, 120Hz display
  • Up to 16GB of RAM
  • Enormous battery

Cons

  • A 14.6-inch tablet can feel unwieldy

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the company’s new flagship tablet, wins a lot of superlative competitions, including “best large Samsung tablet.” We decided to highlight it for its capabilities as a gaming device because of its expansive 14.6-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED display. There are many great games on Android, and a larger screen gives you more space to enjoy them.

Beyond its incredible display, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has the power that you need to play great games. It comes equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and can be upgraded to 16GB of RAM. This makes it powerful enough to play intensive games and edit video. You can game for hours thanks to the 11,200mAh battery, which should last a full day of heavy use.

Like our best overall pick, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra comes with an S Pen. The S Pen is perfect for the Ultra’s larger display, particularly if you enjoy drawing. The Ultra also supports an auto framing feature for taking selfies and video calls. However, the Ultra takes it a step further with a dual front camera (12MP ultra-wide and 12MP wide). And, similar to our overall pick, it runs Samsung’s One UI 4 built on Android 12 and supports a multi-window feature for using multiple apps at once. The multi-window feature looks particularly great on the Ultra’s 14.6-inch display.

Whether you use the Ultra for gaming or just want a really big, powerful tablet, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is unlike any other Android tablet.

Best with Windows: Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360

SAMSUNG

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Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: The Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 offers the performance of a laptop and the form factor of a tablet.

Specs

  • Display: 13.3-inch FHD Super AMOLED (16:9 ratio); 15.6-inch FHD Super AMOLED (16:9 ratio)
  • Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core i7
  • RAM options: 8GB, 16GB
  • Storage options: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • Battery: 63Wh (Typical); 68Wh (Typical)
  • Charging: 65W USB Type-C Adaptor
  • Software: Windows 11 Home

Pros

  • Excellent 2-in-1 design
  • OLED touchscreen
  • Lightweight
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Limited port selection

Technically, the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 isn’t a tablet. It’s a 2-in-1 laptop with a hinge that lets you convert the standard clamshell into a tablet form factor when you want to use its touchscreen rather than the keyboard. The lightweight Windows 11 machine features a 13- or 15-inch 1080p OLED touchscreen and comes with Samsung’s S Pen, making it a great laptop for artists and note-takers.

The Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 comes equipped with a 12th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. Depending on the size you choose, you can also upgrade the device’s internal storage to 1TB. This should be plenty of space to store your photos, videos, and files. The convertible laptop also includes a 1080p camera for video calls and a fingerprint sensor on the power key. 

The biggest downside of the Book 2 Pro 360 is it features a fairly limited port selection. There are only three USB-C ports (one of which is Thunderbolt 4) and no HDMI or CF card slot for photographers. However, the display does support DCI-P3 color gamut, which offers a more saturated and vibrant image. DCI-P3 is nice if you’re a photographer because it allows you to see more accurate colors in your pictures.

Best for kids: Galaxy Tab S7 FE

SAMSUNG

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Buy it used or refurbished: Amazon

Why it made the cut: The Galaxy Tab S7 FE’s large display and mid-range specs are great for kids’ work and play.

Specs

  • Display: 12.4-inch TFT LCD (1600 x 2560 resolution)
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM7325 Snapdragon 778G 5G
  • RAM options: 4GB, 6GB, 8GB
  • Storage options: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Battery: 10,090 mAh
  • Charging: 45W fast charging
  • Android OS version: Android 11 (One UI 3.1.1)

Pros

  • Large display
  • Massive battery
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Low-quality TFT LCD display

If you don’t want to get your kid a laptop, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a sensible mid-range tablet featuring a 12.4-inch TFT LCD display, a Snapdragon 778G processor, and up to 8GB of RAM. It also packs a massive 10,090mAh battery, which should be enough to last a day of heavy use. With a 5MP front camera, expandable storage, and stylus support, it has all essentials for a kid who needs to do homework and wants to explore their passion for the arts. The Galaxy Tab S7 FE is not nearly as flashy as the now-dated Galaxy Tab S7 series. And it doesn’t come close to the newer Galaxy Tab S8. Despite that, Galaxy Tab S7 FE is solid for an older mid-range tablet and has aged into a price that reflects its value. 

Best budget: Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

SAMSUNG

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Buy it used or refurbished: eBay

Why it made the cut: If you’re looking to save money and don’t need a powerful tablet, the Galaxy Tab a7 Lite is a solid choice.

Specs:

  • Display: 8.7-inch TFT LCD (800 x 1340 resolution)
  • Processor: Mediatek MT8768T Helio P22T
  • RAM options: 3GB, 4GB
  • Storage options: 32GB, 64GB
  • Battery: 5,100 mAh
  • Charging: 15W fast charging
  • Android OS version: Android 11 (One UI 3.1)

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Great for reading
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Low-end performance

With a compact design, 5,100 mAh battery, and support for expandable storage, the Galaxy A7 Lite is an excellent option if you’re trying to buy a tablet for less than $200. The 8.7-inch display makes it the ideal size for reading, playing games, and browsing the web. And its dual stereo speaker setup will provide excellent sound when watching a video. It features up to 4GB of RAM, which should be enough to handle most Android apps. The Octa-core Mediatek processor, however, leaves something to be desired. 

Even with slightly outdated specs, though, the Galaxy A7 Lite offers great value. A sturdy metal frame, LTE connectivity, and compact size make it a perfect travel companion. Plus, you get two free months of YouTube Premium, which is a nice little perk.

FAQs

Q: What is Samsung DeX?

Samsung’s latest Galaxy tablets support Samsung DeX, a feature that allows you to connect Samsung mobile devices to computers and TVs and use a more Windows-like environment for browsing the web, using apps, etc. With DeX enabled, you can run up to five apps at once, drag-and-drop files, and use your tablet as a touchpad.

To use Dex with a Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet, you need a monitor and an HDMI adapter. (We also recommend pairing a mouse and keyboard to get the full PC experience.) If you plan to use your tablet as a laptop replacement, DeX can make it much easier to use a traditional PC desk setup with your tablet. According to Samsung, most recent Samsung Tablets support DeX, including the Galaxy Tab S7 series, Galaxy Tab S8 series, the Galaxy Tab Active Pro, and Galaxy Tab Active 3.

Q: Do Samsung tablets come with Microsoft Office?

Samsung and Microsoft formed a partnership years ago by bundling some Microsoft apps, including OneDrive and Office, on Galaxy mobile devices. The ongoing partnership has seen Microsoft apps come preloaded on the latest Galaxy mobile devices, such as the Galaxy S22 series and Galaxy Tab series.

Q: Do Samsung tablets support accessories?

Samsung makes accessories for many of its phones and tablets, including cases, keyboards, and Samsung’s S Pen stylus. These accessories often cost extra, though Samsung occasionally includes them in the box. For example, the Galaxy Tab S8 series tablets come with an S Pen.

We recommend workers looking to carry around a tablet in lieu of a laptop purchase a keyboard case, especially if you plan to travel. Gamers will likely want to buy a controller. Pairing your tablet with the accessory can elevate it beyond a simple screen for watching movies and web browsing.

Final thoughts on the best Samsung tablets

Samsung makes an incredibly robust lineup of Android tablets, which fit all kinds of needs and fit every price point. If you enjoy using a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, you can expect a similar level of polish from its tablets.