Top Best Tablets for College Students to Buy in 2021

Heading out for college soon? With the current scenario of the education system, the need for a computer or tablet is inevitable. With the advanced modes of study, both, the

Heading out for college soon? With the current scenario of the education system, the need for a computer or tablet is inevitable. With the advanced modes of study, both, the school-going as well as the college students are in need of a computer system. So why not gift them one of the best tablets for college students? The scholars usually require a lightweight, multi-functional and easily portable tablet for themselves. Therefore, by keeping in mind their specific requirements, you must go out on a searching spree for the best tablet for a college student. To ease out your search, we have filtered our list with some of the best tablets for college students.

Today’s college students conduct most tasks using their computers, but they surely need a compact tablet for completing daily tasks efficiently and easily. These tablets can help them take notes instantly and complete many other demanding college tasks. They can also chill out on social media or watch YouTube and Netflix using a tablet. While laptops are the standard in colleges, many students are also opting for tablets instead. They are less costly and weigh less. They are useful; for taking notes; for streaming and work as good as any low-end laptop. Students can easily download the necessary note-taking applications or read an e-textbook on their tablets. They are also used for casual gaming.

See also: Best Tablets For Kids

Buying guide

The era of carrying heavy bags on shoulders with hard-bound books are gone. Students these days study in schools and colleges which have smart boards. Everything that was once written on the blackboards can now be studied through laptops and tabs. Students have also got adapted to cutting-edge technology and hence carrying Tablets to colleges is not a trend but a necessity. Buying a tab is not an easy task. It has to be done by keeping the technical specifications, the cost, the design and the quality in mind.

Here are a few things to check when you are buying a tablet –

  • Storage: If you are planning to buy a new Tab, the first criterion that has to be fulfilled is the storage. You would be saving a lot of lessons and notes for references. The file size would generally be large and you must make sure the storage space on the tab won’t run out easily. This is one of the most important requirements that you need to check.
  • Processor: No one would love to use an electronic gadget that isn’t fast. This is completely dependent on the kind of processor the gadget has. If you want your tab to work faster, then it is important to check for the specifications of the processor.
  • Design: Gone are the days where people were fine with carrying a briefcase-sized laptop and a brick size tablet. With the increase of people’s expectations, some of the tablet manufacturers are coming up with designs that are slimmer and sleeker. These slim-sized tablets would not be heavy to carry and they also don’t consume a lot of space.
  • Operating System: When you have a tab, you would not just be using it independently. You would be trying to connect it to the laptop or any other gadget. During data transfer, it is mandatory to have an OS that is compatible. Also, with the technological advancements, there are patches that get released frequently with respect to the OS.
  • Compatibility: Some of the tables may not be compatible with other devices. Also, downloading apps or even transferring data would become really difficult if the tabs aren’t compatible. Hence, checking if the tab is compatible with the other gadgets would help you decide on buying the right tab.
  • Connectivity: Some of the tabs would not come with features like Bluetooth connectivity. Some of them would not have infrared connectivity and there could be certain limitations using the USB as well. As a result, checking for connectivity features is also highly important.
  • Cost: Cost is an important factor because if the tab is too expensive, then you may have to constantly take care of it. As students, there are a lot of chances of you lending the tabs to your friends during one or the other occasion. If it is an expensive one then, it might restrict you from all these things.
  • Brand: There are numerous brands that manufacture tablets but only a few of them are known to be the best in class. It is up to your discretion to decide on the brand that you want to invest in.

List Of Best Tablets For College Students

2 in 1 Tablet HDR Ready for College Students

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, 9.7 inches

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, 9.7 inches

It is one of the best Android tablets that you can buy today and a worthy competitor to the iPad Pro. It comes with top of the line specifications. The design is completely glass and it is future-proof, being HDR-ready. It is slim and light and feels comfortable to hold. It weighs 389 grams and is slim at 5.6 mm. The hard drive is 32 GB with Ultra MicroSDXC, UHS 1. As for connectivity, there is one Type C USB C male to a USB 3.0 female adapter. The RAM is 4 GB and the flash memory size is 64 GB.  The Qualcomm processor clocks at a speed of 2.15 GHz. The battery life averages around 12 hours. The web camera at the back has a resolution of 13 MP.

The HDR screen is brilliant with pixel-dense Super AMOLED panels. The resolution is 2048×1536 quad HD with high contrast and bright lights. The quad speakers are excellent and provide a powerful volume when compared to other tablets. The speakers are also calibrated for your movement, so the orientation changes according to your movements. The tablet offers support for Bluetooth 4.2 version and comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the bottom.

The S Pen fully unlocks the potential of this tablet. It is 9.4 mm thick and easy to hold, coming with a rubber tip of 0.7 mm and a button on the side to bring up the Air Command tools. All other tools like Notes; Smart Select; Screen Write is present for the S Pen, along with additional functions like Translate; Magnify; Glance and so on. You can write and draw using the S Pen using Samsung apps or others from the Play Store. There is a loop in the keyboard to store the pen.

The keyboard has to be purchased additionally, but it is usable and functional. There is a back cover provided and everything folds up nicely. Though there is an S Pen included in the package, consumers must pay for the keyboard. It is an HDR-ready tablet and comes with powerful speakers.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • The speed of the tablet is pretty fast
  • It is a classy looking tab with high-end technical specifications
  • It comes with all the advanced features like Ultra MicroSDXC, UHS, and Type C USB connectivity
  • The 13 MP resolution back camera allows you to click clear pictures
  • Recommended for College students looking for a tablet with S Pen and powerful speakers
  • If you want a travel-friendly 2 in 1 tablet that offers great productivity, so long as you are willing to buy a keyboard separately.

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Amazing Screen with Sleek Portable Design

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Convertible 2 in 1, 12 inches

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Convertible 2 in 1

The design is stunning with Gorilla Glass on the front and a rubberized rear encased in a classy metallic frame. It is extremely portable with a slim keyboard that also doubles as a cover to close the tablet.The weight is 1.5 pounds and it is 0.2 inches thin. The dimensions are 11.4 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches.

For connectivity, there is one USB Type C port and that’s about all. The display is superb with Super AMOLED technology on the 12 inches screen with a resolution of 2160 x 1440 pixels. The power consumption is also lower due to the Super AMOLED technology. You can also make adjustments to the display using the Galaxy Settings, such as Cinema; Photo; Basic options, etc.

However, the stylus is not included with the tablet, though Samsung has bundled the keyboard with it. If you purchase the stylus additionally, you can use the cool Windows Ink feature, as it offers native support. It is powered by the Windows 10 and comes with the Intel Processor, 6th generation Intel Core m3 6Y30 clocking at a speed of 0.9 GHz, with 4M cache. The speed can be boosted to a maximum of 2.20 GHz in turbo mode. The RAM is 12 GB SDRAM DDR3 and it has a hard drive memory of 256 GB SSD, combined with Intel HD Graphics 515.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • AMOLED technology for the screen has been used in this tab.
  • The 6th generation Intel Processor offers high-speed performance and the OS that the tab comes with is Windows 10
  • The speed of the processor can perform up to 2.20 GHz in a special mode called the Turbo Mode.
  • College students who want a solid, though expensive 2 in 1 Windows tablet. You can easily throw it in your satchel.
  • For those who want to use the tablet in landscape mode, and not as an e-reader.
  • Students who want a laptop replacement, as it can function like a semi-laptop out of the box.
  • Suitable for creative professionals, as it comes with one of the best screen displays seen in tablets.

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Sleek and Powerful: Raising the Bar for College Students

Apple iPad Air 2 with Touch ID, 9.7 inches

Apple iPad Air 2 with Touch ID, 9.7 inches

Apple has actually managed to improve on the iPad Air with the iPad Air 2, pushing its limits again. It is 6.1 mm thin and is one of the slimmest tablets available in the market today. The camera is a new 8 MP iSight with a high resolution of 1.2 MP for FaceTime and 5 MP for the rear camera.  The dimensions of the iPad Air 2 are 0.2 x 6.6 x 9.4 inches and it weighs 15.4 ounces.

It has a premium look with a ceramic type rear. When you combine it with a Bluetooth keyboard, it becomes a perfect replacement for a laptop. The Touch ID is excellent and very useful for making payments on the go, even if you don’t have your credit card. The touchscreen is responsive and browsing is a pleasure.

The tab is powered by the A8X chip; 64 bit combined with M8 motion coprocessor and is very fast. The Split View feature available on the iPad Air 2 is very useful, as students can run two apps beside each other. The screen measures 9.7 inches. The screen has the multi-touch feature enabled and uses IPS technology with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. The battery life averages around 10 hours. The RAM is 2 GB DDR2 and the hard drive memory is 128 GB.

Why should you buy this?

  • The tab comes with A8X chip and the performance is extraordinary.
  • You can make payments on the go with the Touch ID feature.
  • Students who want a super light and powerful tablet with a touchscreen. You can comfortably hold it for hours.
  • Those who are willing to pay a high price for the superb built, great quality and amazing looks.
  • Great device for watching movies and television shows, with excellent screen colors and contrast and powerful speakers.
  • Suitable for gamers as well, with a rich, immersive screen.

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Ideal 4:3 Aspect Ratio for College Students

HTC Google Nexus 9, 8.9 inches

HTC Google Nexus 9

It launched with the Android Lollipop 5.0 OS and then went on to Marshmallow and Nougat. It has the latest NVidia 64 bit processor. The NVidia K1 Tegra chipset combined with the stock Android makes it a future-proof tablet and more powerful. The processor clocks at a speed of 2.3 GHz. The hard drive memory is 32 GB and the RAM is 2 GB DDR3.

It has a metallic frame with a rubberized back and is easy to grip. The Google Nexus 9 comes with a display size of 8.9 inches and a screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels on an IPS LCD screen.  The dimensions are 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches LWH and it weighs 15.4 ounces. It has a 10 point multi-touch display.

There is a new feature called the double-tap for waking the screen, which is quite useful for college students to quickly awaken the tablet, as it is quite heavy and would be tiresome to press a small button and clutch the tablet at the same time.

The keyboard need not be plugged in and you can connect it wirelessly over Bluetooth. The battery is powered at 6700 mAh and can last for an average of 15 hours. It has a rear camera of 8 MP and a resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels and a front camera of 1.6 MP.

Why should you buy this?

  • Useful to college students for productivity purposes with an ideal aspect ratio.
  • Those who want to surf the net or edit documents, as it comes with more height in the landscape mode and offers more headroom for reading text. Screen size is good for working.
  • College students who want good audio performance, for watching movies and listening to music or playing games.
  • The overall processor speed of the tab is 2.3 GHz and it has a memory of 32 GB with a 2GB DDR3.
  • The battery on this tab lasts up to 15 hours. You need not have to worry about charging it frequently.

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Most Definitive Mini Tablet for College Students

Apple iPad Mini 4, 7.9 inches

Apple iPad Mini 4

The screen is an excellent 7.9 inches of Retina display. It is sleek at 6.1 mm and it weighs only 0.16 pounds. It offers an excellent build quality in a stunning aluminum body that is also rugged. The dimensions are 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.2 inches LWH and it is very comfortable to hold in a single hand. The screen comes with a new IPS panel and is spectacular with detailed and accurate images. The resolution remains 2048 x 1536 pixels with a pixel density of 324 PPI, offering sharp images, and it also comes with an anti-reflective coating.

The iPad Mini 4 is powered by the A8 chip and offers a powerful performance. It originally ran the iOS 9 with the Split View mode, allowing students to run two apps right beside each other. It has a dual-core A8 chip quad-core graphics, clocking at a speed of 1.5 GHz and a RAM of 2GB.

The iPad Mini 4 has an 8 MP iSight camera on the rear offering more detail to images, so you can take some good shots with it, in case your phone is not available. It also has the Touch ID fingerprint feature, so that it makes it easy and quick to log into your tablet instead of typing out a code. You can also use it to authorize Apple pay payments. The battery life averages about 10 hours.

It has a hard drive capacity of 128 GB. A touchscreen pen is also included along with an iPad mini case.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • The tab comes with the latest Apple iOS 9 and a dual-core A8 chip with higher performance.
  • The storage size is 128 GB which is huge and more than sufficient for college students.
  • Suitable for college students who can use the tab with the Apple Pencil.
  • Those looking for top build quality in a mini-tablet.
  • Also suitable for artists and designers.
  • Great productivity tool for students.

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Low-Cost Tablet for Students with Amazon Prime

Fire HD 10 with Alexa, 10 inches

Fire HD 10 with Alexa

It is a widescreen tablet with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a display resolution of 1080 pixels (1920 x 1200) on the 10 inches Full HD screen. The screen uses the IPS panel and comes with good viewing angles as well as bright colors.

It is not a conventional Android tablet, it makes use of the Fire OS, which is a custom Android skin, making use of only the core blocks of Google’s Android and replacing the rest with Amazon blocks.

Alexa is a great addition to the Fire HD 10. Another noteworthy addition is the Dolby Audio, which improves the speakers, offering good quality for audio.  The tab is powered by the MediaTek quad-core processor clocking at a speed of 1.8 GHz with a RAM of 2 GB. The internal storage is 32 GB to 64 GB but there is also a microSD slot that enables increasing storage up to 256 GB.

It has a 2 MP rear camera without flash along with a VGA unit for the front. Photo qualities are average. The battery life averages around 10 hours, so you can get about 8 hours of video streaming.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • Great for college students who love Amazon content, though you will need Amazon Prime.
  • Good for streaming movies from Netflix or Amazon Prime Videos
  • Suitable for streaming text from Kindle and read comfortably for long periods.
  • Not suitable for you if you regularly use Google apps like Maps; Calendar; Google Play, as these are not available on it.
  • For college students who want a cheap, durable tablet for work and play.

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Lightest, Water Resistant Tablet for College Students

Sony Xperia Z, 10.1 inches

Sony Xperia Z

This is a very light tablet with an excellent screen and a lot of innovative features. It looks great with a glossy, scratch-resistant front. Most of the navigation is to be done with the software buttons on the screen. It is one of the slimmest tablets available on the market at 6.9 mm or 0.27 inches thickness. Other dimensions include 10.5 x 6.8 inches and its weight is 1.09 pounds. To add to this, it is also water as well as dust resistant.

The screen display is a Full HD with a resolution of 1200 x 1920 pixels and a density of 224 PPI. It is also equipped with Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine, offering vivid photos and videos. You can just buy the 16 GB model, and then increase the storage to 64 GB using the microSD card. The Sony Xperia Z is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset, with quad-core Krait clocking at a speed of 1.5 GHz. This is combined with a RAM of 2 GB.  The hard drive memory is 16 GB and the battery life is around 9 hours.

As for the battery, it is powered at 6000 mAh with charging done using a micro USB connection. The OS is Android, but it is skinned with Sony’s overlay, though there is not much bloatware. In fact, apps like the Polaris Office can be used by college students for notes. The keyboard is included and it offers support for touch typing as well as swiping from one key to another, guessing the words

Why Should You Buy This?

  • College students who want a super light tablet with a beautiful screen and a great keyboard.
  • For those who want a beautiful and powerful tablet, which is also dust and water-resistant.
  • This glossy tab comes with a scratch-resistant front. It is made for rugged usage.
  • The display comes with Full HD technology and the resolution is 1200 x 1920 pixels.
  • The battery on the tab lasts for 9 hours straight when you charge it once.
  • You can just buy the 16 GB model and then increase the storage to 64 GB using the MicroSD card.

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Other models worth buying

A Cool Tablet from the Google Stable

Google Pixel C:

best tablet for college student

This can be considered to be the best tablet for college students in terms of note-taking and work on multiple activities. It might be on the expensive side. However, the array of functionalities would make you go the extra mile. The best features include its super light-weight and multi-functionality that makes it the best tablet ever for the students. Google Pixel C is compact and slim and can be highly portable to carry from one class to the other for taking effective notes with much ease. In addition to this, the tablet is also equipped with good sound quality, connectivity, battery life and can be a boon for the ardent readers and music lovers.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • It comes with a keyboard and you can use it according to your convenience.
  • The memory on this tab is 3GB and the performance is brilliant.
  • Made exclusively for students, reading on this tab is very comfortable.
  • The sound quality is fabulous and for music lovers, this is the best tab out there
  • Comes with NVidia Tegra processor, can be used to create and edit videos.

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A Multi-purpose Tablet for College Students

Microsoft Surface Pro 4:

best tablet for college student

This is another great model of the best tablet for college students. It can function well for the textbooks in addition to the ease of drawing and sketching. The tablet features a large screen of 12.3 inches that comes with low glare and high contrast. This can be considered perfect for the eyes of the young students who have to sit and work on their tablets for longer periods. The battery life is also good that can last for 9 hours at a stretch that is one of the main prerequisites of the young scholars. The Microsoft Surface Pro is the ideal tablet for college students as well as for the professionals and for personal use.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • For students who have taken a course related to drawing and sketching, this is the tab to consider
  • The screen is pretty huge and one does not have strain their eyes much.
  • The kickstand allows the user to switch from tab mode to the laptop within moments.
  • Battery life is up to 9 hours. It lets you stream videos and also study for longer hours.
  • The screen resolution is 2736×1824 pixels and it comes with PixelSense screen technology.

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Sleek looking Flip-tablet from Asus

Asus Transformer Book Flip:

best tablet for college student

Wish to add class to your tablet’s design? You can go for the Transformer Book Flip model by Asus. This tablet is sleek and affordable. This tablet model is a 2-in-1 laptop. Therefore, it functions well both as a laptop and a keyboard. The Transformer model by Asus features Windows 10 and Bluetooth. It comes with a 4 GB of RAM and around 64 GB of internal storage. This storage capacity is almost grand for college students. Even the battery life is great of around 11 hours keeping in mind the needs and requirements of the students.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • Comes with a 4GB DDR3 RAM and performance isn’t a problem
  • With 1TB hard disk storage, storing huge data is possible with this 2-in-1 laptop
  • The screen is 15.6 inches and it can easily be qualified as a laptop more than a tab
  • The build is pretty good and made for rough and tough usage
  • It is pretty sleek and the design is pretty.
  • It comes at an affordable cost

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Best Budget Tablet for College Students in 2021

Acer Iconia Tab 10:

best tablet for college student

If you are on a budget, then this model of the tablet by Acer can be the perfect one for you. You can accomplish almost anything on this tablet as you can on a laptop. There is a 2 GB of RAM and an 8-inch screen with smooth and beautiful features. The battery life is also quite good There is 16 GB of internal storage that can be expanded. However, based on the academic needs, 16 GB would be great for the students.

Why Should You Buy This?

  • Comes with Mediatek MT8163A processor and the performance is good
  • 1080p@30fps resolution offers good screen quality
  • Comes with a micro USB 2.0 port and a microSDXC
  • Has Quadcore 1.3 GHz processor that would help the tab perform at its optimum level

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Stylish Looking Tablet for Tech Students

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3:

best tablets for college students

One of the most stylish and sleek designs of the modern age tablets for the students is the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3. If you are a study freak, then this tablet can help you accomplish almost anything. There is a great element of fun too as it offers versatile features to the bright students. The tablet is super lightweight and comes with an 8-inch screen. The tablet also includes a rotatable camera that can make your photography session quite fun and exhilarating. In addition to this, the so-called “yoga” posture of the tablet can make you use it any way you want. Therefore, the students can be convinced of great portability with the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 model.

Why should you buy this tab?

  • It has an 8-inch screen and one can easily read their lessons on the tab.
  • The tab can be turned and twisted and can be used easily.
  • The battery lasts till 8 hours and you need not worry about charging the battery frequently.
  • High-quality aluminum casing offers sturdiness to the tab
  • It comes with Dolby Atmos surround technology which delivers excellent sound quality.

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See also: Top Best Android Tablets

Frequently asked questions

Do all Tablets for college students come with a CD drive?

No, none of these tabs come with a CD drive. When all the data can be stored on USB drivers and micro SD cards, there is no need to have CD drives anymore.

Are all tablets 2-in-1?

Only a few of them have the 2-in-1 feature. 2-in-1 feature in tabs allows the user to use the tablet as a laptop when needed. Some of the tabs recommended here come with this feature because a few students would be traveling and during such times, using them as a laptop can be beneficial.

Can students buy these tabs?

Yes, all these tabs are specifically designed for college students. The advanced features, quality and cost are perfectly made to suit the requirements of college students.

What kinds of tablets are best for the students?

The tablets that come with longer battery life and with multiple features required to make and edit notes are the best ones for students. Students would be gathering information and also working on the tablets simultaneously. Thus, battery life has to be really good.

Do all these tabs come with an external keyboard?

Most of the Samsung tabs come with a keyboard bundled. If needed, college students have to buy the keyboard separately. Having keyboards would enable you to work faster.


While going through the above list of tablets for college students, do consider the battery life and the apps supported by the tablet, along with the processing power of the device. The best tablets for a college student would be something that is light and slim, as it makes it more portable when you need to move from one lecture to another. Mobility is an all-important factor. It should also be stylish, as you need to use it for personal use as well.

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