It is assumed that more portable gaming devices will automatically perform worse than their cumbersome counterparts and while this is usually the case, there are also some powerful portable options worth checking out. This includes gaming tablets, which have been an often overlooked section of the market for a long time.
With options from Apple, Samsung, and Asus, there’s no shortage of options either. From gamers who just want the highest possible specs to those on a budget or with specific size requirements, there’s something for everyone.
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is the best option for full power
Available from the Asus website starting at $1,299.99
It’s no surprise that the 2022 offering of Asus’ gaming-specific Republic of Gamers department offers one of the most powerful tablets on the market. The ROG Flow Z13 is perhaps the best option for gamers who want to get the most out of their tablet, with specs that match some of the most respected gaming laptops on the market.
With 16GB of RAM, a 12th Gen Intel Core processor, up to 1TB of storage, and an included detachable keyboard, the Asus ROG Flow Z13 is a powerful machine. Disadvantages include the price, which goes up more to go from an integrated graphics card to an NVIDIA card, and its heavy design.
The Apple Ipad Mini is perfect for gamers who pack light
Available on Apple’s site starting at $499
As with smartphones, tablets seem to have grown slowly over the years, and while they’re great for gamers who appreciate a large screen, they’re not ideal for consumers who specifically want portability of tablets. . Fortunately, Apple’s iPad Mini is light and small at just 8 inches.
At $499, the price isn’t too steep considering the sleek design and premium feel, but there are performance trade-offs. The A15 Bionic chip should run well in most games, but battery life will take a hit. Upgrading to the 256GB version may be necessary for gamers as the base 64GB model is quite inadequate.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is Samsung’s most powerful tablet
Available on Samsung’s website starting at $1099.99
While Samsung doesn’t offer a fully gaming-focused option in its ever-expanding Galaxy lineup, the specs of its new top-end model will be more than enough to put a smile on most faces of players. The best feature is the 14.6-inch AMOLED screen that runs at a constant frequency of 120Hz, making every game smooth and beautiful.
Furthermore, Samsung’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor has enough power to tackle anything. The tablet’s biggest weakness is its battery life. Although Samsung claims it will last all day, heavy use will let it empty faster, which isn’t ideal for long trips.
The Xiaomi Pad 5 offers an affordable alternative to the iPad
Available on Amazon from $439
For decent gaming specs on a budget, there are few tablets better than the Xiaomi Pad 5. With a Snapdragon 860 processor and 6GB of RAM, performance may not take more of a hit than one might assume. . With an attractive 11-inch 120Hz display, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is not a pain to play with.
Even the build quality doesn’t seem far off from its high-end competitors, which is often expected when looking beyond the big two tablet manufacturers Apple and Samsung. The only big problem is that the Xiaomi brand has repeatedly been flagged for privacy issues, as reported by Forbes.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 has an unbeatable price
Available on Amazon starting at $149.99
While high-end specs will naturally garner the most interest from gamers, it’s worth noting that tablet gaming is often a more casual experience than PC or console gaming and therefore doesn’t necessarily require of the best specs. For users primarily interested in killing time on the go with a lighter gaming experience, the Amazon Fire HD 10 is worth buying for its price alone.
3GB of RAM and a maximum of 64GB of internal storage may not sound like much, but they’ll do the job when running mobile titles in the Amazon Fire app store. Add in great durability and solid battery life and there’s very little downside to picking one up for gamers who can live without more demanding titles.
The 12.9-inch M2 iPad Pro is Apple’s most powerful tablet yet
Available on Apple’s site starting at $1099
Described as “the ultimate iPad experience”, the latest iPad Pro features Apple’s M2 chip for a performance boost over its predecessors, which may be just what gamers are looking for. Although it’s almost identical, this new processor also means faster performance and smoother graphics.
Those graphics are best enjoyed on the larger 13-inch display, which delivers stunning visuals without sacrificing battery life. Of course, that screen can easily be a hindrance for gamers who need something more practical for travel. The price is also steep, which means it’s worth weighing up whether it’s worth it before buying a new iPad.
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is an interesting hybrid
Available on Amazon from $1,199.99
For PC gamers who don’t count on being able to swap out all their desktop options for the iPad App Store or Samsung’s equivalent, the Microsoft Surface Book 3 might be worth a look. Marketed as a laptop, the high price includes a detachable keyboard, but the touchscreen works well enough to make it perfect as a tablet, too.
With an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, its specs are impressive as a tablet and the integrated graphics should handle most of the gaming challenges the user throws at it. Weaknesses include the 13.5-inch screen which is too big for a tablet and the limited range of games offered by the Microsoft store compared to other mobile app stores.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ can be a good compromise
Available on Samsung’s website from 849.99
Although choosing a slightly older generation model automatically means making some sacrifices in terms of specifications, it may be the best choice for gamers who don’t want to pay the price of a gaming laptop for their portable gaming machines. The Galaxy S7 line is a few years old now, but it still brings strong performance to the table.
In fact, with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage in the S7+ model, along with a 12.4-inch AMOLED display that almost matches its successor, the Tab S7+ may not really look like any compromise. With the potential for further price drops in the future and Samsung offering trade-in deals, this could be the perfect solution.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 offers quality on a budget
Available on the Lenovo website starting at $322.49
The bad news for gamers is that the Lenovo Legion Y700, a tablet from Lenovo’s gaming department whose specs almost match top brands but at a lower price, remains out of their US lineup. The good news is that Lenovo’s Tab P11 Pro is still a half-decent alternative.
With a MediaTek processor offering 6GB of RAM and running on the Android operating system, it’s an incredibly solid choice considering the relatively low price. Of course, an OLED display is always a plus, and it helps give the P11 a vivid, high-quality feel that gamers can get along well with.
The iPad Pro M1 brings Apple quality to a lower price
Available at Walmart starting at $699.00
While the latest generation of high-end products may be fine for gamers who want their device to run the biggest games possible, there are many compelling reasons to opt for an iPad with an older M1 chips. For one thing, it shouldn’t have any trouble running the biggest games on the store for a long time.
While $700 still seems high, older iPad Pros are selling for less, to the point that many consumer guides like Phone Arena are encouraging consumers to skip the new model for the 2021 release.