The rear camera will allow you to shoot in 4K at 60 frames per second. Face ID works equally well in portrait and landscape modes. The newest Apple Pencil lets you quickly and effortlessly change brushes or switch to the eraser with but a light double tap, all without interrupting the flow.
The 2nd generation Apple Pencil is a little expensive.
As it is almost always the case, Apple iPad Pro is the best option for college students enrolled/majoring in graphic design, photography, and other similar creative fields. In addition to its cutting-edge hardware and excellent screen, the model is equipped with a high-end 12-megapixel camera.
11" Liquid Retina display (2388 x 1668), IPS
Processor: Apple A12X Bionic (4 x 2.5 GHz + 4 x 1.6 GHz)
RAM: 4 GB
Memory: 256 GB SSD
1 x USB Type-C
12 MP / 7 MP
Up to 10 hours
7.02" x 9.74" x 0.23"
The model allows you to open the built-in kickstand and add the Surface Pro signature cover that features luxurious Alcantara® material and a really responsive, full-blown keyboard. The fanless cooling system makes the model practically silent. Its seamless OneNote integration lets you capture and organize everything across different devices.
An extra USB port wouldn't hurt.
Microsoft Surface Pro 5 is a powerhouse with looks to match. Sure, you can use it for taking notes and studying in general. But the device can do so much more than that. It is as much a tablet for college students as it is a compact, portable computer that gives you the best of both (PC and tablet) worlds.
12.3” PixelSense™ display (2736 x 1824), IPS
Processor: Intel Core i5-7300U (Turbo up to 3.5 GHz)
RAM: 4 GB
Memory: 128 GB SSD
Windows 10 Pro
1 x USB Type-A (full-sized), microSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, Mini DisplayPort
8 MP / 5 MP
Up to 13.5 hours
7.9” x 11.5” x 0.33”
Its magnesium-aluminum alloy build gives the model a nice silver tone and makes it particularly sturdy but really lightweight. Incorporating fiberglass anti-dust construction, the keyboard is easy to maintain. Packing dual side-mounted stereo speakers, the tablet is capable of creating a surprisingly immersive surround-sound effect.
Large bezels make the tablet look a touch outdated.
ASUS Transformer Mini T103HA is a great convertible for students who don't need all that much computing power. It is a reliable, lightweight, practical, and convenient device. Come school year, you'll definitely be able to benefit from this transformer and everything it has to offer.
10.1" (1280 x 800), IPS
Processor: Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (Turbo up to 1.92 GHz)
RAM: 4 GB
Memory: 128 GB eMMC
Windows 10 Home
1 x Micro-USB, 1 x USB Type-A, microSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, Mini HDMI port
- / 2 MP
Up to 12 hours
6.8" x 10.3" x 0.6" (with attached keyboard)
1.9 lbs (with attached keyboard)
Real Pen stylus works with or without ink. Using this pen, you'll be able to draw on regular paper, immediately digitize, and save what you write. This way, you can edit, organize, merge, and share your notes in an instant, without ever losing track of your ideas and inspirations. The Halo keyboard doubles as a drawing board.
The built-in memory capacity is limited.
Lenovo Yoga Book (ZA0V0224US) is easily the most impressive tablet in its price range. Though its hardware is lightweight compared to the product's more expensive competition, all of the little and not-so-little things like the 15-hour battery life and the awesome halo keyboard make a really appealing case.
10.1" (1920 x 1080), IPS
Processor: Intel Atom x5-Z8550 (Turbo up to 2.4 GHz)
RAM: 4 GB
Memory: 64 GB SSD
1 x Micro-USB, microSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro HDMI port
8 MP / 2 MP
Up to 15 hours
6.72" x 10.1" x 0.38"
Samsung Flow connects 2 Samsung devices with a single touch. This way, the technology allows you to wirelessly share files without even activating Wi-Fi. With Adaptive Fast Charging, it takes the battery less than 3 hours to fully recharge. The precise, pressure-responsive S Pen lets you navigate and draw with ease.
The back cover tends to heat up after an hour or two.
Samsung Galaxy Book is a good tablet for college students with Samsung smartphones. It is not a bad device for other people but its price-performance ratio prevents the model from scoring higher on our list. That said, with a name like Samsung behind it, it might just be worth the price.
10.6" (1920 x 1080), IPS
Processor: Intel Core m3-7Y30 (Turbo up to 2.6 GHz)
RAM: 4 GB
Memory: 128 GB eMMC
Windows 10 Home
1 x USB Type-C, microSD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack
- / 5 MP
Up to 9 hours
7.05" x 10.28" x 0.6" (with attached keyboard)
~1.75 lbs (with attached keyboard)
Apple iPad Pro
The All-New iPad
The latest Apple iPad Pro doesn't really require that much advertising, does it? We can pick it apart and examine what it is exactly that the product has to offer but, at the end of the day, this is iPad we're talking about. You know it won't be cheap. You also know that you'll be getting your money's worth.
According to Apple, the biggest selling point of this iPad iteration is the display. But we would like to start in a slightly different place. It isn't as glamorous but, as far as we're concerned, the model's 256-gigabyte SSD makes just as much of a difference.
First of all, it is an SSD, meaning that the tablet will be booting up itself as well as the applications in no time at all. Furthermore, that "256-gigabyte" part implies that you can use the tablet to store loads of information. More often than not, the issue with tablets is that there isn't a whole lot of built-in memory, so you're always relying on your Internet connection. With an SSD like this one, you'll be a lot less reliant on Wi-Fi or cellular data.
The rest of the model's hardware is no joke either. Equipped with an 8-core Apple A12X Bionic CPU (4 x 2.5 GHz + 4 x 1.6 GHz), this tablet for college students will be able to tackle the most demanding applications. Running on iOS 12, it is easily the fastest iPad and one of the fastest tablets today.
It might not be the most defining characteristic (but definitely the most noticeable one) but you can't talk about the newest iPad without talking at length about its display. More specifically, the model's all-screen design that practically turns the tablet into a piece of glass capable of doing whatever you need and however you need it.
The display goes from edge to edge, making the already sophisticated gadget look nothing short of remarkable. Packed with true-to-life color and ProMotion technologies, the model makes everything look rich and dynamic and feel more responsive. The company's trademark color accuracy didn't go anywhere, bringing you the most vibrant and vivid picture with excellent color depth.
Face ID coming to iPad was always a matter of time and, finally, it is here. As secure as the next facial recognition/authentification algorithm, it works equally well in portrait and landscape modes.
A lot of people associate iPad with Apple Pencil and its 2nd generation does not disappoint in the slightest. Though a little on the expensive side, the pencil is a huge upgrade over its predecessor. With a light double tap, you'll be able to quickly and effortlessly change brushes or switch to the eraser, all without interrupting the flow.
In short, as it is almost always the case, Apple iPad Pro is the best tablet for college students enrolled/majoring in graphic design, photography, and other similar creative fields. In general, it is still an iPad Pro but enough has been changed and improved upon to completely justify a new model.
Microsoft Surface Pro 5
A Powerful Rig in a Tiny, Sleek Body
Microsoft Surface Pro, ever since its introduction, was doing a bang-up job combining technical excellence with sleek aesthetics and the fifth iteration does it even better than its predecessors. Though the people behind it do not advertise the model as a convertible, calling this device a tablet would be incredibly reductive, no offense to tablets. Armed with an Intel Core i5-7300U CPU that's able to Turbo up to 3.5 GHz, it is practically a desktop PC or a mid-range laptop masked as a tablet. Running on Windows 10 Pro, it will allow you to do anything you can do with a regular computer and seldom able to do with a traditional tablet.
The model allows you to open the built-in kickstand and add the Surface Pro signature cover that features luxurious Alcantara® material and a really responsive, full-blown keyboard. You'll be able to play some of the more demanding games, work, create, and study anywhere you want.
As far as we're concerned, the only thing that separates this tablet from a really good mid-range laptop is that the model in question comes equipped with but a single USB Type-A port. Sure, you can always add a USB hub or stick with Bluetooth but it would be nice to see an extra USB interface in the 6th Surface Pro generation.
Especially considering the fact that the device already comes equipped with a mini DisplayPort, so you might as well go all the way and turn this ever so sleek, compact, and stylish tablet into a full-blown portable entertainment, work, and study machine.
The Best of Both Worlds
Being compared to a computer is the biggest compliment for any tablet, provided it keeps the advantages that convinced you to go with a tablet in the first place. Fortunately, the model stacks up really well against its tablet competition. It weighs just 1.7 pounds, which is really impressive considering that the device measures 7.9” x 11.5” x 0.33” in overall dimensions and incorporates a 12.3" screen.
Delivering brilliant colors and a razor-sharp 2736 x 1824 resolution, the model allows you to bring your creative ideas to life and enjoy them on a large screen with a rich, crisp, and dynamic image. Furthermore, the display responds particularly well to the newest Surface Pen and your fingertips.
There's a lot we can talk about here, from the fanless cooling system to its seamless OneNote integration, delivering you the tools to take digital notes, jot down ideas, make to-do lists, keep track of meeting notes, and so much more.
But, without boring you any further with the details, Microsoft Surface Pro 5 is a powerhouse with looks to match. Sure, you can use it for taking notes and studying in general. But the device is able to do so much more than that. It is as much a tablet for college students (especially engineering students) as it is a powerful, compact, and portable computer that gives you the best of both (PC and tablet) worlds.
ASUS Transformer Mini T103HA
Can't go too Wrong with a Transformer
ASUS Transformer Mini T103HA, as the name suggests, is a proper transformer, meaning a convertible model that is as much a tablet as it is a laptop. Needless to say, a combination like that has a lot of advantages over traditional laptops and tablets. You can remove the keyboard and use the model as a drawing tablet.
Though the said keyboard is as slim as they come, with just 1.5mm key travel, it is always nice to have that option to separate the keyboard from the screen and be able to rely solely on touchscreen interactions when necessary.
The model's advantages don't end there and we will cover them in a moment. But first, let's consider its disadvantages because, naturally, the device has those too. We wouldn't necessarily describe the Intel Atom x5-Z8350 CPU weak, with its ability to Turbo up to 1.92 GHz.
But we definitely wouldn't call it powerful either. With this middle-of-the-road, mediocre processor, you simply won't be able to run multiple demanding apps at the same time. That being said, most medical students and other students that don't really need a powerful rig to study should find this tablet adequate and sufficient enough.
Plus, this device comes packed with 4 gigabytes of RAM, so it isn't like you won't be able to multitask at all here, just that you won't have the option to do so while juggling some of the more hardware intensive programs.
Feather-Thin but Sturdy
On one hand, we can't say that this tablet for college students is a looker. Fitted with large bezels/edges, it looks a little outdated. On the other hand, its magnesium-aluminum alloy gives the model a nice silver tone and makes it particularly sturdy but really lightweight. The whole thing adds up to just 6.8" x 10.3" x 0.6" (with an attached keyboard) in overall dimensions and weighs less than 2 pounds (again, with the attached keyboard).
Plus, going back to the keyboard for but a moment, incorporating fiberglass anti-dust construction, you'll be able to keep it nice and neat without barely ever cleaning it.
Tablets aren't known for their sound. And while we can't say that the model is necessarily an exception to this rule, it is definitely not a good example of that either. Packing dual side-mounted stereo speakers, it is perfectly capable of creating that immersive surround-sound effect that you get from quality speakers.
All things considered, ASUS Transformer Mini T103HA is a great convertible for students who don't need all that much computing power. It is a reliable, lightweight, practical, and convenient device. Come school year, you'll definitely be able to benefit from this transformer and everything it has to offer.
Lenovo Yoga Book (ZA0V0224US)
Studies and Cinematic Experience on a Budget
For the most part, Lenovo Yoga Book (ZA0V0224US) is a great budget model and the best tablet for students on this list. Naturally, the "budget" part carries with it certain disadvantages. In this case, it is mostly hardware. Though the Intel Atom x5-Z8550 CPU is able to turbo boost up to 2.4 GHz, needless to say, it doesn't stack up that well against its more expensive competition.
With your general, everyday studies, you should be able to put this 2-in-1 tablet to good use but you definitely won't be able to play anything other than basic Android games or some of the more forgiving apps. Four gigabytes of DDR3 RAM is nothing to scoff at but nothing to write home about either.
Setting the hardware aside, however, there's a lot to like about this model. For one, it comes equipped with a robust 8-megapixel rear camera, something that you will seldom find even in high-end tablets. With a camera like that, you'll be able to shoot quality full HD videos at 60 frames per second, which is pretty impressive for a budget tablet.
The model's 10.1-inch 1920 x 1080 screen is nothing to complain about either. Its color reproduction is realistic and overall impressive and, combined with the built-in Dolby Atmos speakers, the tablet delivers an immersive, almost cinematic experience.
Halo Keyboard and Create Pad
Though it does have a lot going for it, one would argue the most defining characteristic of this convertible tablet for college students isn't even the tablet itself but the stylus that comes with it. More specifically, a Real Pen stylus that works with or without ink. Using this pen, you can draw on regular paper, immediately digitize, and save what you write. This way, you'll be able to edit, organize, merge, and share your notes in an instant, without ever losing track of your ideas and inspirations. Needless to say, it is great for people who prefer the handwriting approach.
Don't care for paper? That's fine too. Though that "2-in-1" title does imply that the model comes equipped with a keyboard, it is no regular keyboard. Dubbed "halo keyboard", it automatically completes your words and corrects them as you type, allowing you to work quickly and efficiently. Delivering haptic feedback and keyboard shortcuts, this little halo peripheral provides an experience very similar to using a real keyboard, making typing a real breeze.
However, dissimilar to a "real" keyboard, you can always turn it into the so-called Create Pad and use the model as a drawing tablet.
All in all, Lenovo Yoga Book (ZA0V0224US) is easily the most impressive tablet in its price range. Though its hardware is lightweight compared to the product's more expensive competition, all of the little and not-so-little things like the 15-hour battery life and the awesome halo keyboard (the affordable price goes without saying) make a really appealing case.
Samsung Galaxy Book (SM-W620NZKAXAR)
The Tried and Tested Tablet
Samsung Galaxy Book is one of the oldest, most recognizable tablets on the market today. The only reason we haven't put it closer to the top of our list is because it doesn't really bring anything we haven't seen before, it doesn't differ that much from the previous version, and its price-performance ratio isn't all that impressive.
Still, this is a great tablet for college students in general and the best option for Samsung fans in particular. Earlier Samsung Galaxy tablets were being distributed with Android, similar to their smartphones. Here, the device runs on Windows 10 and, for our taste, this is a better choice.
We don't have anything against Android and it definitely has its advantages too. But Windows is just a better operating system for studying and a more suitable option for 2-in-1 tablets. Among other things, it works better with the Microsoft Office suite and so many students all over the world rely on it in for their school projects.
What we have here isn't the cheapest option on the market today but it does have the hardware to match. The Intel Core m3-7Y30 (Turbo up to 2.6 GHz) won't allow you to run triple-A PC titles, naturally, especially considering the always subpar graphics card that the tablets come equipped with but it will let you use multiple apps simultaneously without much of a hiccup.
Multitasking is as much CPU as it is RAM but, packing 4 gigabytes of the latter, the model is able to manage the task with relative ease.
Another little detail that makes this model particularly suitable for Samsung fans and people with the company's smartphones is Samsung Flow. Using the said technology, you're able to connect two Samsung devices with but a touch. This way, it allows you to wirelessly share files without even activating Wi-Fi. Furthermore, it lets you receive and respond to notifications from third party and native apps.
The battery here, on average, lasts for around 9 hours, not the most impressive performance. However, with Adaptive Fast Charging, it takes less than 3 hours to fully recharge, so that's not too bad at all.
Last but not least, the table comes supplied with a precise, pressure-responsive S Pen that allows you to navigate and draw with ease.
Bottom line, Samsung Galaxy Book (SM-W620NZKAXAR) is a good tablet for college students with Samsung smartphones. It is not a bad device for other people but its price-performance ratio prevents the model from scoring higher on our list. That said, with a name like Samsung behind it, it might just be worth the price.
What Is a Tablet for College Students?
You can't really study, let alone graduate any college these days without proper digital tools at hand. To a larger or lesser extent, we all have those tools. You're likely in a possession of a smartphone right now. There's a good chance you have a laptop, an all-in-one desktop, or a proper gaming rig in your room.
But what about tablets? Sure, as far as education is concerned, these devices aren't as popular as full-blown laptops. But they have their advantages too. As you'd imagine, you can always bring a tablet like that with you to class, which isn't necessarily something you can't do with a laptop as well but the overall convenience and practicality aren't even in the same ballpark. Plus, the lines between the two are becoming more and more blurry with each passing year.
What Features to Compare
A tablet for college students isn't necessarily a different animal compared to most good tablets. The things that you're looking for here will be very similar to the things you ought to be looking for in any tablet. At the end of the day, the deciding factor will be your budget. With high-end consumer electronics in general and computers in particular, you can seldom go wrong with the most expensive option. But whether that option is viable for you is a different story, isn't it? Anyway, you know your budget and you know how much you're willing to spend on a tablet, so all we can do here is help you figure out the most fitting option.
Don't care for the distractions and looking to really focus on your studies? That's a noble, albeit not the most realistic goal. If you don't plan on using your tablet for anything other than browsing the Internet for different studies and articles, you can afford to go with a smaller, less technologically impressive screen.
Plus, it's not like you won't be able to use it for good ol' multimedia entertainment anyway. Even the least impressive display on this list boasts an HD resolution, so you should be able to enjoy your favorite Netflix flick.
All that being said, a bigger display with a higher resolution will give you a much more detailed, dynamic, and authentic image, so it might just be worth it paying a little extra.
With hardware, it is very much a similar story to the display. What constitutes a proper tablet for college students really depends on what the college student(s) in question is looking to do with the device. You don't need a whole lot of RAM or a powerful processor to browse the Internet. You will, however, need them to run multiple hardware-demanding applications at the same time.
With a mid-range/high-end tablet, you're able to do so much more than just shooting emails, watching YouTube videos, looking for the necessary information, and checking your social media accounts from time to time. If that's all you need from a device like that, feel free to go with an inferior (hardware-wise) tablet. Otherwise, we would recommend something a little more powerful, with a robust CPU and maybe an SSD.
Interfaces and Battery Life
These characteristics are about as simple and straightforward (from a consumer standpoint) as it gets. This isn't one of those cases where less is more. There's no downside to having as many interfaces as possible and as much available battery life as possible, other than the elevated price tag that may or may not follow these things.
Size, Camera, and Other Things
You should be able to figure out the right size and weight for your tablet. Wireless connectivity options rarely differ that much these days, except for the protocol version.
With cameras, it is a little different. Most people pay attention to the number of megapixels since it is exactly what the companies behind these devices advertise most. The issue is that these numbers don't matter all that much, so consider reading up on the particular model and its camera before making the final decision.
Tablets: The Good and the Bad
Doesn't Hurt Being a Little More Open-Minded
People hate what they (we, really, let's be honest here for a moment) don't understand, it really is that simple. Every single time a new technology hits the mass market there are people concerned about its impact and they are seldom optimistic about the future it will hold in our lives. In times like that, we like to think of Douglas Adams.
To rephrase his brilliant observation, people like to believe that every technology, every mechanism, just about everything that was already present in the world when you were born is completely normal and ordinary, more or less a natural part of the way this world works. Now, anything invented between your fifteenth and thirtieth birthday is fun and exciting and you might even consider choosing it as a future career prospect. Finally, everything invented after that is against the natural order of things and has no place in our society.
Sounds equal part hilarious and ridiculous, doesn't it? Nevertheless, that is more or less how people view these things more often than not. Now, we are not saying that we all should just immediately embrace every new technology without giving it a second thought. Take tablets, for example. No matter how sophisticated, these are mere tools, capable of doing lots of good and bad for children and adults like. So, let's talk about these possible effects.
The Bad Effects
Tablets share the majority of its advantages and disadvantages with other computers. First and foremost, staring at any screen for prolonged periods of time isn't good for your eyes, this one should probably go without saying. The best, most sophisticated displays utilize a number of cutting-edge technologies to reduce the damage as much as possible but there's probably no way they will ever be able to completely negate the adverse effects.
People are social animals. We need actual, real-life, human interactions. Sometimes, these devices take that away from us. Sure, on paper, it all makes sense. Why would you want to spend hours dressing up, putting yourself together, commuting to the other part of town when you can just chat with your friends online? Because it's not the same thing, that's why. It doesn't give you the same level of satisfaction. It simply isn't as good for you as face-to-face conversations.
Mental health aside, staying glued to your screen, surprisingly enough, doesn't do your physical condition any good either. Sure, taking a walk to the subway station doesn't constitute an actual workout but it is still infinitely better and more beneficial than hugging your couch for hours on end.
The Good Effects
The Internet and the devices that allow you to access it gets a bad rep from people who don't really understand it. No matter how you slice, how can you say that a device that allows you to immediately access a practically infinite amount of information and humanity's combined knowledge is inherently bad? It's been around for over decades now and the educational opportunities these devices with Internet access present are unfathomable.
With a tablet and an Internet connection that you can find virtually anywhere these days, your educational opportunities are virtually endless. You can pick up just about any skill you want, learn anything you feel like learning, and figure out the answer to just about any question, all without making a considerable financial investment.
And do not even get us started on the ability to instantly connect to any person on the planet and the economical, educational, and overall societal advantages it holds.