It’s back to school season, and pretty soon you or your loved one will be heading off to college. If you’re reading this post, it’s likely the case that you’re short on one thing: a great a new tablet to bring with you.
Most tablets are built for general, everyday use, but there are a handful of tablets intended for the specific use of getting work done. And, in case you’re unaware, you’re going to have to get a lot of work done while in college. A tablet is a must-own device for college students nowadays, especially if they live on campus and their dorm room doesn’t provide the most ideal working conditions. Students can take their tablets with them anywhere to get their work completed. Of course, there’s also the entertainment value that tablets provide, with great options like Netlfix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.
So without further ado, here are the top 5 best tablets for college students:
If you are currently a student, you may want to take advantage of Amazon’s Prime Student Free Trial. You’ll get six months of Prime Student for free, which includes perks like free movie streaming, free photo storage, early access to deals, free Audible content, free access to select ebooks, and free two-day shipping on over 50 million eligible items.
1. Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi
Asus’s Transformer line of tablets function more as a laptop/tablet hybrid, and until now, the Transformer line was just middling. But Asus’s latest Transformer, the T300 Chi, is a formidable foe against its rivals. It comes standard with a keyboard dock that allows college students to type away on a full size keyboard without having to worry about using the screen to type. The T300 Chi also comes with a 10.1-inch screen that sports a 1920×1200 resolution. It’s clearly intended for working.
It also has a Micro USB 3 port and a Micro USB 2 port, HDMI output port, mic jack and a micro SD card reader. It comes with a free year of 1TB Microsoft One Drive storage, too.
It’s a slim tablet, and the brushed metal gives it a standout look among its peers. The tablet itself attaches to its keyboard dock via a neodymium magnetic hinge, and you can easily attach and remove the device to and from its dock. So if looks concern you, the Asus Transformer T300 Chi is a solid choice.
38 percent of Amazon reviewers rate it a full 5 stars, with another 28 percent giving it a 4 star rating.
Price: $349 (32GB), $399 (64GB)
- 10 Hour Battery Life
- MicroSD slot
- Needs Windows 10 Update (free)
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5-Inch (+ Keyboard Case)
As far as tablets are concerned, Samsung’s line of tablets directly rival the quality of Apple’s. But where Apple’s iOS system falls short, Samsung’s Android OS shines through. Their best tablet for students is the Galaxy Tab S 10.5-inch tablet, which we recommend buying with the official Samsung Keyboard Case so that you have a physical keyboard along with it.
The Galaxy Tab S uses a 1.9 GHz Exynos 5 Octa processor (two quad cores), and comes with 3GB RAM. It has an 8MP camera on the rear as well as a 2.1MP camera on its front. The device sports a beautiful Super AMOLED display with 2560×1600 WQXGA Resolution.
It also comes in at nearly 11 hours as far as battery life is concerned, so college students are able to get their work done and then binge-watch Sense8 on Netflix all in one sitting. Go ahead, do it; we won’t judge you. The Galaxy Tab S is one of the best tablets to buy for the money.
- Big screen
- ~11 hour battery
- 8MP camera
- Beautiful display
3. Apple iPad Air 2
While Apple isn’t our personal preference, it’s undeniable that iPads appeal to many, especially those who already own a Mac. The iPad Air 2 is a beautifully designed 9.7-inch tablet that sports an A8X chip with 64-bit architecture and an M8 Motion Coprocessor (meaning, it’s fast).
The iPad Air 2 also sports an 8MP iSight Camera with a FaceTime HD camera on the front. It has a 10 hour battery life, and is available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models. It’s generally well-loved on Amazon, with 83% of reviewers rating it 5 stars.
Price: $448 (64GB), $653.34 (128GB)
- High resolution
- 10 Hour battery life
- Storage options
- Incredibly thin
- iOS 8
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 3
While Microsoft’s Surface line of Windows tablets launched to little fanfare, the Surfaces available now are much more formidable and impressive, gaining Microsoft some attention in the tablet space. Now that Windows 10 is out and available for a free upgrade for the Surface Pro 3, the pricetag — admittedly heavy — is all the more worth it.
The Surface Pro 3 has a huge 12-inch screen with a 2160×1440 resolution. It has a fantastic 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage options. It comes with a Surface Pen, too, and there’s a keyboard dock available (although it’s sold separately). It has a microSD slot for expandable memory, and it comes with a kickstand on its back.
The Surface Pro 3 is a workhorse, so it’s certainly a great choice for back to school season. The new Windows 10 allows your PC and Surface Pro 3 tablet to work in sync with one another effortlessly, so you can work on the go or back at the dorm.
Price: $655 (i3, 64GB), $819 (i5, 128GB)
- 4GB of Ram
- Micro SD slot
- 12-inch Screen
- Storage Options
- Windows 10 Capable
- Have to upgrade to Windows 10 (free, though)
5. Google Nexus 9
The Google Nexus 9 is the best general purpose Android tablet available. It runs Lollipop 5.0, and allows you to have quite a few apps open at once without losing anything along the lines of performance. Switching between apps is fluid, and it’s comfortable to hold. It is smaller and slightly lighter than the iPad Air 2. As far as its thickness, it falls between the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 and the iPad Air 2. It has a native resolution of 2048X1536, and is powered by a 2.3GHz dual-core Denver CPU. The battery lasts longer than the Apple iPad Air 2, too.
Its biggest weakness is the fact that the largest capacity tablet only comes with 32GB of memory, and there’s no microSD slot. However, there are so many great free (and paid) cloud storage apps that give you more space in the virtual world, so it isn’t a big issue.
Price: $395 (32GB)
- Looks Great
- Runs Smoothly
- Only 32GB
- Doesn’t come with physical keyboard