6 of the Best Gaming Tablets in 2018
Tablets keep you entertained. They are better options for gaming in the backseat of the car than bringing a heavy laptop. The top gaming tablets have the latest operating systems whether you are working with an Android, Apple iOS, or Microsoft Windows.
You will need fast speeds and enough memory to store large games as well as large screens with high resolution. It can be overwhelming comparing all the various specs as some are confusing to novice players. Even to pro gamers, you can easily get lost in flashy looks that’s why we have done the homework for you.
Best Gaming Tablets to Buy in 2018
1. NVIDIA Shield K1: Best Overall
NVIDIA is a world-renowned brand for their graphics cards. If you are looking for a stellar tablet that brings lots of value to your gaming sessions, you will love the NVIDIA Shield K1. It is a model built with exclusive features for solid gaming.
Small but Powerful
At only 8 inches, and operating on Android 5.1 Lollipop, this is the smallest gaming tablet on this list. It features a matte textured back and an anti-slip surface at the front. The back harbors a 5MP camera while the front also has another 5MP camera. It gives you two front-facing speakers that are impressive for the size of this tablet.
You will find all the ports comfortably on the top while the buttons are on the right side of the device. It won’t be a while before you have learned where the buttons for different functions are located. We like that it can accommodate up to 128GB cards and it includes a mini HDMI and USB port. It also gives you a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can play and have blasting sound at the same time.
Nvidia has equipped this tablet with their exclusive Tegra K1 mobile superchip with 192 cores. Its Kepler GPU is its best feature for gaming as it excels at 29fps and 32fps for most battle animations. You can comfortably play first-person shooter games with intense graphics and the least delays even when you have opened a couple of tabs or chatting with your friend and also hoping to catch an email when it pops up.
You will like that it uses a 2.2GHz quad-core processor with 2GB DDR3 RAM. It supports most GeForce graphics card features which include subsurface scattering and HDR lighting among others.
With the inclusion of the SHIELD controller, it is like playing over Xbox 360 and Wii U. SHIELD controller connects over Wi-Fi which transforms it into a gaming system to reckon with. Be ready to game and even compete to win with Nvidia Shield K1.
This tablet boasts a full HD 1080p screen. It renders videos and games with incredible color and contrast. Forget about losing a target in the shadows as it can now compete effectively with the likes of PS3.
You don’t get a USB cable or power brick with this tablet. These are some of the extra features you have to forego to get a high-quality gaming tablet on a budget.
Nvidia Shield K1 is an absolute must-have for pro-gamers. Designed to support intense graphics, you can count on this tablet to deliver impressive gaming performance. You get just the right storage and light gaming on a daily basis.
2. Apple Ipad Pro 12.9-Inch MQDA2LL/A: Best iOS Tablet for Gaming
This is an updated iPad Pro 12.9 inches, wider than its predecessor at 10.5 inches. It is a next-generation iPad with advanced features to make it worth your while. For tech geeks, you may not notice much of a difference in the proline so don’t hold your breath. But if you are buying your first iOS tablet for gaming, you might as well start with this particular model.
Apple iPad Pro MQDA2LL/A uses an exclusive Apple A10X chip. It combines a 12-core and a 6-core GPU to give you console-quality graphics and the ability to game with speeds similar to a PC. Talk of multitasking and playing some of the latest games it is a breeze when using this tablet.
You get 4GB of RAM which puts it at par with top gaming tablets. That is why it is stupid fast and vibrant at the same time. It comes with 64GB flash memory to give it the computer-like prowess only witnessed in some of the best on the market.
Not to mention, it is powered by the latest iOS 11 which gives you instant markup and instant notes. You get an advanced control center alongside an app dock. Better still, the new multitasking mechanics which make it a hub for multiple apps while indulging in all your favorite games with no delay.
Design and Display
It is easy to notice the improvements made on the screen. The retina display is a good 2732 x 2048 pixels. It is probably the best you will get for the money. It is bright, vibrant, and colorful to say the least. It uses ProMotion technology for less latency and its True Tone display ensures you get just the right illumination to match your environment.
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch is super large. You can indulge in all your games as it is more engaging and you get a little more out of the wide display when competing.
This iPad is the most expensive of the line. You will dig a little deeper than you would when buying newer models in the iPad Pro line like the 9.7-inch with fewer features.
Apple lives up to the promise of producing iPads close to laptops. The Apple Ipad Pro 12.9 is an incredible model as it follows through with the capability of using iOS 11 which makes everything computer-like. It’s lighter than other gaming tablets even with its additional cores. Every gamer in love with iOS cannot pass on this iPad.
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 10.5-Inch SM-T830NZALXAR: Best Premium Android Gaming Tablet
High-end tablets were a reserve for iPads. But here is a tablet that can beat the iPad Pro at its game. The newest in the Samsung line; Samsung S4 is not your average joe when it comes to Android on tablets. With an improved user interface and stunning display, you are looking at one of the best tablets with PC-like performance in entertainment.
A Modern Design that nearly hits the Mark
Samsung S4 is all about productivity in whichever area you want including gaming. It includes Samsung DeX mode software which gives you a more intuitive user interface. You get desktop-like qualities that make it easy to switch tabs.
Not to mention it can switch to laptop-like mode without any additional software and it has a system tray, a task bar, and resizable Windows.
This tablet uses the Snapdragon 835 processor. Though not a PC processor, Samsung has played a few tricks to make it more viable for games. It runs more efficiently when multitasking which results in longer battery life up to 6 hours when gaming.
Whether you are just gaming in front of the TV or while waiting for a friend at the park, you should see significant improvements in how long the battery lasts while playing 3D games.
It also charges 25% faster than the Samsung S3. This means getting back on the game sooner than you would previously.
With this tablet, you get a free S-pen. Not that you will miss it when gaming but it is a nice addition to those looking for a tablet that will double up as a tool for the office.
Display, Storage, and Sound
This is where the S4 ticks. It has a super AMOLED display that is bright, and all the colors are punchy whether in the sunny outdoors or indoors. You will like that it can fit widescreen games such that you can transfer your favorite PC game and watch it comfortably on the S4.
You get to choose from 64 or 254GB of internal memory. 256GB makes sense for gamers, not to mention, it is expandable up to 400GB with an SD card.
A unique feature on the S4 is that it boasts AKG quad speakers that will surely blow your games to give a full cinematic experience. It couples the speakers with far-field mics that allow you to make commands while the tablet responds when it is out of reach.
Some users have reported bugs in the DeX software. It does not work 100% all the time. This can cause unexpected delays which are obviously annoying. Another thing is the lack of a case which is expensive to acquire. You will notice that it has a glass exterior that looks delicate and makes it susceptible to damage when stored without a case.
It’s without a doubt that the Samsung S4 is a premium tablet. It boasts better performance for Androids tablets and is a first with advanced features. The large display, processor, and cinematic sound are some of the features you will love about the S4.
4. Asus ZenPad 3S 10 9.7-Inch (Z-500M-C1-GR): Most Affordable Gaming Tablet
Asus is not new to the gaming world. Every device they make is geared towards a better gaming experience even in their tablets. The Asus ZenPad 3S 9.7-inch is an ideal pick for light gaming thanks to its fast chipset and amazing 2K display.
Design and Display
Asus ZenPad 3S takes the day looking at its vibrant exterior available in a titanium gray or glacier silver. At 9.7 inches and featuring Android 6.0 version, it does not compromise on the features that make it an option for gaming. Thankfully, it is upgradeable to 7.0 if you are looking for more speeds when playing graphic-intense games.
This tablet weighs only 15.2 ounces. It is not tiring to carry it around campus when in its case or in a bag. We like that it has a superfast fingerprint reader that will open the tablet even before you are through reading all the pop-ups. It can store up to five prints to provide seamless digital recognition.
The 2K IPS display is a nice touch that allows immersive gaming and watching of videos. Its ASUS TruVivid technology and True2Life technology deliver realistic images that are similar to those of high-end TVs. It optimizes the sharpness of images as well as giving wider contrast levels.
TruVivid technology also enhances the touch responsiveness which results in a faster input.
Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a beast under its slim aluminum body. Powered by a superior hexa-core processor with 4GB RAM, it takes tablet gaming to a new level. Coupled with IMG GX6250 graphics, it can handle the latest title like a pro.
It is both a productivity tablet as it is for gaming. It’s the only one you will need to hand in projects and also relax when completing your favorite series. The high-capacity 5900mAh battery gives you up to 10 hours of use, and it supports Qualcomm fast charging.
To further enjoy gaming, ASUS has their gaming genie that is an intuitive toolbar with useful in-game features. Talk of in-gaming searching, live broadcasting, and speed boosts, all you need is the tap of your finger, and you have it all covered. You can record games as well as join online forums for gaming tricks and so much more.
First, the tablet does not come with a fast charger. Second, the quality of the camera is on the low-end compared to other high-end tablets like the iPad Pro.
Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a cool tablet with some unique features not seen on most brands. It is affordable with a superfast processor, advanced graphics, and fast charging battery. The remarkable sound quality and the large screen all work together to give you memorable gaming time and time again.
5. Microsoft Surface Pro 4 SU3-00001: Cheap Gaming Tablet
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is the most desirable pick for gaming. Described as anything but ordinary, we can see why it is a favorite among gamers. Not to say you cannot game with its previous versions like the Pro 4 but this model is a game changer.
Pro gamers can pick this model and never have to wonder why you did in the first place. With an 8th gen intel core processor, it is faster and more powerful than most gaming tablets. It switches to a laptop in seconds with the optional keyboard when you need it for productive purposes.
For gaming, this tablet will last a good 9 hours and 13.5 hours for regular use. It balances out the battery life for everyday tasks whether in the house, at the office, or on the go. Not to mention, it weighs only 1.7 pounds to improve portability while giving you laptop-like performance.
This is an intelligent tablet in that it has Cortana2 intelligent assistant and password-free sign-in. You not only get to be productive in your work, but you can also connect it to your smart home and receive assistance on your daily tasks.
Gaming Performance and Display
As we said, Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has an 8th gen quad-core Intel processor. It is a hub for multitasking with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM. It is a Kaby Lake-R CPU Core i5 8250U that is still capable even without the higher clock speeds experienced with Whiskey Lake-U series CPUs.
The tablet utilizes an Intel UHD Graphics 620 that is as good as it gets with tablet gaming. It is remarkable to see how it renders videos and 3D games such that you can indulge in modern titles.
Better still, it supports widescreen viewing thanks to its 1500:1 contrast ratio. You get a fully immersed viewing experience that accounts for better gaming. You will love its bright colors and deeper blacks that exhibit a tablet that is aimed at full entertainment.
We would have loved to recommend this tablet as the very best, but it’s hard without a USB-C port. For most people using Microsoft Surface Pro 6 as their laptop, it can come with setbacks of not being able to unlock superfast transfer speeds while all its other connective features are faster.
You may not want to upgrade to Microsoft Surface Pro 6 if you already own a 2017 version, but for those looking for a decent Windows tablet, this is for you. It is a favorite 2-in1 model that is excellent for gaming and productivity. You will have to include accessories to unlock transfer capabilities, but that is about it.
6. CHUWI Hi9 Air 10.1-Inch Gaming Tablet
Introducing the CHUWI Hi9 Air. A remarkable tablet; this model represents real gaming performance. From the slim form factor to the split-screen capabilities, you will love how sleek it looks and feels.
CHUWI Hi9 Air is powered by a Deca-Core MediaTek 6797 Helio X20 CPU. It is a powerful chipset that delivers multitasking capabilities. You can game and open multiple tabs without any lags in input. It promises smooth gaming as it can handle intense graphics owing to the ARM Mali-T880 780Mhz graphics card.
You get 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. This means it can handle hours of gaming and also provide storage for small memory games. The internal memory is also expandable to 128GB. It opens up possibilities for storing even more games for playing on the go.
At 10.1 inches it is designed to be in a landscape orientation. For most people, it will work perfectly, but if you have small hands and playing a game with onscreen controls, it’s going to be a bit challenging.
Design and Display
Weighing only 1.2 pounds, it is lighter than models regarded as light like the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. It comes in an all-metal body in large bezels. You get a 13MP, Samsung-made rear camera, and a 5MP front camera.
It has dual-LTE SIM ports and dual speakers. Its sound will require using headphones, no wonder you have the 3.5mm headphone jack. It will come in handy when looking for an immersive listening experience.
This tablet comes with an 8000mAh battery. We would have expected more battery life, but it only manages up to 5½ hours of gaming.
CHUWI Hi9 Air like most gaming tablets offers a 16:10 ratio screen for cinematic viewing. It boasts a sharp display though it lacks auto-brightness when in the outdoors or bright light. But you won’t struggle to game in the indoors thanks to its vibrant colors.
Among the things we did not like is that it does not support the use of a keyboard. It does not allow laptop-like uses like completing projects that depend on using MS office and other applications. On the positive side, it is powered by Android 8.0 which is pretty easy to customize.
CHUWI Hi9 Air is ideally a tablet for novice gamers. It is lightweight, gaming-oriented, and offers split viewing. It may seem like the lesser known brand, but CHUWI proves to be a dependable in an affordable design.
Gaming on a tablet can be super fun if you get the right one. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to compare hundreds of products before making a decision. Acknowledging that tablets are not created equal will help you look at the graphics and processors that make a high-performance gaming tablet.
We have looked into some of the top brands. The NVIDIA Shield K1 is our top pick owing to its Kepler GPU and the ability to use it with the Shield controller. You will also find the Apple iPad 12.9-inch a great pick since it is fast and it can multitask like crazy.
We can’t leave out the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 9.7-Inch among our main recommendations as it is also built for gaming. Have a blast with one of our Six Best Tablets for Gaming.