Smartphones might be the go-to for casual mobile gaming, but if you’re a dedicated esports player looking to climb up the ranks? Tablets are unrivaled. Sure, they’re not as portable, but they’re packed with powerful processors, high refresh rate displays, and long-lasting batteries. Their bigger size also means the only thing you’ll be battling is your enemies, and not a cramped, fidgety screen.
Here are our top picks for the best esports gaming tablets available to buy right now. We’ve selected powerhouses that’ll give you full control over your gameplay, whether hacking away at your opponent’s health bar or conquering otherworldly lands. We’ve even included a kid-friendly pick for budding gamers too.
How to Pick the Right Tablet for Your Gaming Needs?
While the run-of-the-mill tablet will have no problem playing casual titles like Candy Crush and Fruit Ninja, esports games are a whole other beast. They’re often battery-draining, have hefty file sizes, and require heaps of power. Considering this, factors to consider when picking a tablet for gaming include:
- Display: A large, clear, and high refresh rate display ensures your gaming experience will be immersive and smooth. For esports, stick to a display with a refresh rate above 90HZ. The display coating should also be durable and easy to clean.
- Processor: Opt for processors with high clock speeds and multiple cores. Games, particularly esports titles, are intensive and require a lot of power to run properly.
- Battery life: If you intend to game on the go or travel throughout the day, a long-lasting battery life is a must-have. Stick to a battery that can last for over 12 hours, or at least 5 hours when put under heavy load.
- Storage space: Games eat up storage space, so you’ll need at least 128GB of onboard storage, ideally 500GB. Most tablets have expandable storage options, and some are even packed with 2TB of onboard storage.
Aside from the device itself, another vital consideration is the OS system you want to use. Each system has its fair share of pros and cons, and is better suited to different needs.
Android Tablets for Gaming
Android tablets tend to be more affordable than other tablets on the market, and the Android store also brags the best selection of apps (and games). As of 2022, there are over 3 million apps available to download, many of which are free or cheaper than those found in the Apple store. Because Android is an open system, you can also customize virtually everything, allowing you to effortlessly tailor the tablet to your aesthetic and individual needs.
While Android is a versatile platform and offers the best selection of games, it does have its drawbacks. The open system and lack of regular updates makes it more susceptible to viruses, and app compatibility isn’t a guarantee – some games won’t fit your exact screen resolution or work with your Android OS version. With that said, most of the top esports games should run smoothly.
Apple Tablets Tablets for Gaming
While Apple tablets aren’t cheap, they’re exceptionally secure, easy to use, and receive regular updates. The Apple app store also has a dedicated game subscription service, known as Apple Arcade, where you can gain access to a huge selection of premium titles at a small monthly cost. The subscription includes new and exclusive games, as well as timeless classics, and can be shared across multiple devices.
Sadly, Apple tablets are pretty limited when it comes to customization. While recent updates have introduced widgets and macros, Apple still can’t match Android’s versatility. The Apple app store also has a smaller selection of games available.
Windows Tablets for Gaming
Windows tablets essentially function as portable desktop replacements. They give you access to full Windows applications and are typically packed with power, have plenty of ports, and offer more configuration options than other tablets. Windows 10 and 11 both have strong security and deliver a fast performance.
As standalone tablets though, they do have a few disadvantages. The Windows dedicated app library is extremely small, and not all desktop programs are optimized for touch screen controls. Windows tablets also tend to have short battery lives because of their PC-grade processors.
Best Android Tablet for Gaming: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+
Samsung, a top 10 global brand established in 1969, has been hailed for its tech innovations throughout the decades, from defying conventions with their foldable phone line, to introducing the world to curved UHD TVs. While Samsung isn’t exactly a gamer-oriented brand, its products are a firm favorite with gamers thanks to their reliability, power, and durability. And when it comes to Android tablets, nothing quite beats the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+. Calling it a beast is an understatement. Loaded with a lightning-fast snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8 GB of ram, and an immersive 12.4 inch, 120HZ display, it effortlessly pumps out high FPS in even the most intensive esports titles. Its mega 10,090 mAH battery also guarantees at least 7 hours of run time, and thanks to its surprisingly slim and lightweight chassis, it boasts phenomenal portability.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ comes in three sleek colors – graphite, pink gold, or silver – and offers 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage, with support of up to 1TB of external storage. The tablet also has integrated software (Game Booster) that automatically optimizes your settings for the best gameplay experience. The only real gripe we have with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ is that it doesn’t include the charger in the box, despite its hefty price tag. For a compatible controller, check out our guide on best Android bluetooth controllers, we covered everything there.
Best iOS Tablet for Gaming: M1 iPad Pro (2021)
Apple is one of the big five tech companies and has made a name for itself throughout the world. Over the past few decades, it has gained a huge fan base devoted to its ecosystem, who praise its customer service and products for their attractive but simple designs and user-friendliness.
While Apple has experienced success with the mainstream consumer, the esports community hasn’t been quite as… receptive. This isn’t a surprise, considering most of Apple’s products aren’t quite powerful enough for intensive gaming, despite their premium price. But the latest iPad Pro breaks from the mold. Packed with the latest-gen M1 chip and a Liquid Retina XDR 12.9 inch display that can deliver a refresh rate up to 120HZ, the tablet is more than a worthy rival for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+. You’ll have no problem running graphically-demanding games at max specs, and unlike many other tablets, the iPad Pro doesn’t run hot and feels comfortable to hold. Its built-in motion sensors and touch controls are also insanely accurate, and it comes with up to 2TB (yes, terabytes) of internal storage.
The iPad Pro has a generous battery life, with a single charge granting you up to 10 hours of light to moderate use. It’s also durable and able to withstand spills, sweat, and drops. While the iPad Pro is expensive, especially if you fork out for all the peripherals, the device is definitely futureproof and sure to last for years to come. The iPad Pro comes with a standard 1-year warranty, but you can buy an extended warranty that covers accidental damage. For controllers compatible with iPad OS, check out our list of the best Bluetooth controllers for iPad.
Best Windows Tablet for Gaming: Asus ROG Flow Z13
No brand screams gamer quite like Asus – they sell a whole range of products designed with esports players in mind, including 360HZ overclocked displays, laptops loaded with latest-gen processors, and low-latency mechanical keyboards. Asus has even partnered with several professional gamers, tournaments, and teams throughout the years. They ship globally and most products come with a 1 to 3 year warranty.
The Asus ROG Flow Z13, a hybrid tablet and laptop device, is designed to give esports players desktop power in a portable device. Inside its slim, lightweight chassis is a latest-gen Intel Core CPU, a monstrous RTX 3050 Ti GPU, and up to 16GB of RAM. These specs are absolutely gamechanging, and are sure to make lag, stutter, and FPS drops a thing of the past, no matter if you’re diving into a mobile title or graphically-demanding PC esports game. Games also look great too; its 13.4 inch IPS display is clear and color accurate, and the built-in 170-degree kickstand ensures you’ll always find the optimal viewing angle.
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 doesn’t skimp out on connectivity either; it provides all the ports your gamer heart could ever want, including an audio jack, USBA-socket, a microSD card reader, a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 support, and a socket compatible with the ROG XG Mobile box, an external graphic dock. Additionally, there’s a plethora of add-ons available, including some of the best esports controllers for PC.
Now, this power does come at a price. The battery life is subpar and limits how portable this 2-in-1 device can actually be. However, the battery is still decent enough for a few hours of moderate use, and it does pack fast-charging technology.
Cheap Gaming Tablet for Kids: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
Amazon quite literally changed the world. Within just a few decades, it established itself as the largest online retailer, set up one of the most successful cloud computing services, and influenced how we interact with and consume digital media. It’s also responsible for household staple tech products like the Echo Dot, Fire TV, and Kindle.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon has also created (and successfully marketed) their own line of tablets. While Amazon tablets can’t match the power and versatility of the other tablets featured on our list, they are extremely affordable, durable, and well-optimized with all of Amazon’s services. They’ve even developed a tablet tailored for kids (aka, budding gamers): the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro.
The Fire HD 10 Kids Pro features an octa-core processor, attractive 10.1-inch display, and 3GB of RAM. The device is powerful enough to run light games such as Angry Birds and Monument Valley, and the touch controls feel superb. The Fire HD Kids Pro also has built-in parental controls to keep your child safe while they browse and play.
While the tablet might not boast the best specs, it’s insanely affordable and the kid-optimized software makes it the perfect choice for parents. Although, be aware that the Amazon app store is pretty limited. The Fire HD 10 comes with a generous 2 year warranty, a 1 year Amazon Kids+ subscription, and protective bumper case. Amazon delivers to most countries and also offers free shipping and monthly payment options.
What is better than a Gaming Tablet? A Handheld PC.
A handheld PC is a portable computer that’s often equipped with gamepad controllers. The device is typically small enough to carry in one hand, but robust enough to run triple AAA titles. While not as well-known as tablets, handheld PCs are by far the best option for gaming on the go, thanks to their compact size, powerful chips, and ergonomic design. You can check out our recommendations for handheld PC’s right here: Best Handheld Gaming PC