The Top Rated Travel Tablets for the Money
Tablets are the Swiss army knife of travel electronics. They are small enough to easily pack and allow us easy access to entertainment, travel and translation apps, and the ability to blog or edit photos. We generally prefer them to laptops because of their low profile characteristics and ease of use. We have no problem editing our travel memories (photos and videos), blogging, or keeping contact with out friends. When it comes to purchasing travel tablets for adventuring there are a lot of great options out there, and a lot of bad ones.
Tablets are about one third the size of laptops and one fourth the weight, making them easy to stash in a backpack without taking up too much room. When it comes to taking pictures, tablets do not have great cameras, so if you were looking to use it as a camera, reconsider. When looking at tablets for travel you should focus on these traits: speed, ease of use, battery life.
If you are looking for comprehensive packing list by country, check out these:
- Japan: https://travelpackingchecklist.com/packing-list/backpacking-japan/
- Thailand: https://travelpackingchecklist.com/packing-list/backpacking-thailand/
- Europe: https://travelpackingchecklist.com/packing-list/pack-for-europe/
- South America: https://travelpackingchecklist.com/packing-list/backpacking-south-america/
- USA: https://travelpackingchecklist.com/packing-list/traveling-america-usa/
Best Overall Tablet: iPad
If you have other Apple products this should be your go to travel tablet. It syncs up with an iPhone and has a ton of hard drive storage, plus cloud storage, for all your photos and videos. The iPad pro weighs under 500 grams, has a 9.7 inch screen with a 1536 x 2048 resolution, boasts a super fast A9X processor (with 2 GB of RAM), and has up to 256 GB of storage for videos, pictures, and music. The pro also includes a ton of cool accessories such as a smart keyboard, pencil support, and four speakers that make it seem like a stereo. This is by far the best tablet for travel with its array of easy photo and video editing apps, as well as the convenient travel and map apps you can download to it. The only reason you shouldn’t be using this for your travels is if you’re a Google purist, or need something that functions more as a laptop.
Ease of Use: 10
Battery Life: 8
Best Tablet/Laptop Hybrid Alternative: Microsoft
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 fits in the realm of a tablet and laptop hybrid, with more emphasis on the tablet. If you’re looking for something that has a bit more functionality than the standard tablet, the Surface Pro is for you. Fully loaded with Microsoft Office and Windows 10, you can easily build spreadsheets for work while editing photos and Skyping with friends. It also comes with a number of extra accessories that usually are additional cost on other tablets, such as a folding keyboard and a stylus pen. It’s a bit heavier than the other tablets, weighing slightly less than 800 grams, but it also has the biggest screen on this list at 12.3 inches. The resolution is a whopping 2,736 x 1,824 and it has a number of processor options that can increase speed (and cost). The battery lasts up to around 9 hours and quickly charges. This is great for people needing something small to replace their laptop with. The biggest downsize is the price, as it is on the higher end of the tablet spectrum and priced closer to entry level travel laptops. Still, for travel, nothing is better.
Ease of Use: 9
Battery Life: 7
Best Android Tablets on the Market
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Whether it’s for travel or general life, you really can’t review tablets without including the Samsung Galaxy Tab X2. The main competitor to Apple’s iPad, this tablet has everything you need and more. There isn’t much that this tablet does to differentiate itself from an iPad, except it runs Android instead of OS. The prices are competitive with Apple, and at most stores they are priced at the same level. It is by far the lightest weight tablet on this list, weighing under 400 grams. It also comes with up to a 9.7 inch screen, a 1536 x 2048 resolution, an ultra fast Octacore CPU with 3 GB of RAM, and up to 64 GB of storage. It’s very thin which makes it great for packing, and it feels good in your hands making typing easy. The downside to this tablet is the battery life, it doesn’t hold a very long charge and it can take up to four hours to fully juice back up. Still, it’s an excellent tablet for the price.
Ease of Use: 7
Battery Life: 6
Google Pixel C
This is the first tablet that Google has actually made itself, and some would say it’s equal to Apple iPad Pro, although the price point is much higher than entry level iPads. It has an amazing 10.2 inch display and feels great in your hands. For an extra cost you can add a convenient keyboard dock that makes blogging and typing painless, a must have for travel writers. The Pixel has amazing travel apps, more storage than iPad, easily syncs with your other Google products, and is great for editing photos and video. It also has the best battery life of tablets on this list. It weighs around 500 grams, has a 2560 x 1800 resolution, a Tegra X1 CPU with 8 GB of RAM, and comes with up to 64 GB storage. If you think 64 GB is not going to be enough, you can easily upload your photos and videos to Google Drive for more space. The battery will last up to 10 hours which puts it on par with most laptops, and it boast a 8 megapixel camera which is higher than most tablets, but still weak compared to what’s on your phone. As mentioned before, it is more expensive than the iPad Pro but is the best Android tablet out on the market currently. Update: With the current update this is now a fantastic tablet!!
Ease of Use: 7
Battery Life: 8
Best Travel Tablet Summary
Selecting a good tablet comes down to what’s in your budget and what you need from it. Most tablets have similar functionality and will be fine for light tasks such as photo editing, video editing, blogging, storing media, and Skyping with friends. The exception to this is the Microsoft Surface Pro, which is essentially a laptop in tablet form. If a tablet doesn’t fulfill your needs, check out the best lightweight laptops for travel.