Whether you’re on the road, in a plane, or on a train, a reliable tablet can be a lifesaver. It provides you with hours of entertainment, news, games and more, and doesn’t take up much space in your luggage. These lightweight devices can be just as powerful as laptops, with vibrant, vivid displays. If they include LTE or telecommunication support, they become like oversized smartphones, connecting you with friends and family, no matter where in the world you are.
Still, finding the right pick for travel can be tricky. If you’re looking for a good combination of processing power, screen size, and portability, we’ve got a range of options for you, based on top-rated user reviews.
1. Best Overall: Apple iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular)
- Fast performance
- Reliable battery life
- Larger screen than predecessor
- USB-C charging
- Lots of tablet-optimised apps
- No night mode for camera
- No headphone jack
Everything you’re looking for in a modern tablet can be found in the 10th-generation Apple iPad. With a large, 10.9-inch display that nearly goes from edge to edge, and a thinner, lighter design than its predecessor, it’s a beautiful tablet. But it’s a powerhouse, too. The latest iPad carries the A14 Bionic chip – the same processor that’s in the iPhone 12 – so it’s extremely fast, and will hold up well to video streaming and gaming. If you like taking pictures from a tablet on your trips, the iPad will not disappoint – it features a 12-megapixel back and front camera – although reviewers say night pictures will come out less than satisfactory, since the tablet doesn’t have a Night mode, or flash. Still, the iPad makes up for it with features like a Touch ID fingerprint scanner for quick access, and a USB-C port for quick and convenient charging.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh167.14 for 12 months with select banks.
2. Best Budget: Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
- Premium design and build
- Solid performance
- Loud, clear speakers with Dolby Atmos
- Excellent battery life
- Slow charging
- Weak front and rear cameras
A favourite among reviewers for its affordable price and powerful performance, Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is a full-sized, 10.5-inch tablet. It supports full high definition (HD), 1080p picture quality and quad speakers in its slender, 6.9mm-thin body, so you can enjoy hours of streaming with no issues. Reviewers love the surprisingly immersive sound quality on this tablet, thanks to its Dolby Atmos integration. However, many of them wish the device included a fingerprint sensor for better security and faster online purchases. Even so, the tablet provides excellent value for its price. Its battery life is excellent and can last all through long-distance flights, but do note that it does take over three hours to fully charge, so it’s best left plugged in overnight. See other budget tablets.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh63.75 for 12 months with select banks.
3. Best for Children: okaysea Kids Tablet
- Pre-installed Kidoz app
- Two kinds of parental control
- Full access to Google services
- Comes with a protective case and screen protector
- Charging is slow, say reviewers
With over 1,500 4.5-star reviews, okaysea’s kids tablet is the perfect combination of design and quality that’s focused on children. Its large, 10.1-inch, HD touchscreen is bright and vivid, and is encased in a thick, shock-resistant protective cover. The device also comes with a blue light-blocking screen protector to help reduce strain on the eyes. Parents can download a large number of updated educational apps from Google Play, and can also count on the pre-installed Kidoz app for thousands of games, videos and apps. Reviewers appreciate the multi-layered parental control options in this tablet. The FamilyGroup app allows parents to stay connected with their kids while their tablet is on, for instance, through video chats or messages. It also allows them to check on their usage activity. The Kidoz app comes with a slew of security features, too, like age filters, screen time limits and content management. Check out other tablets for kids.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh42.90 for 12 months with select banks.
4. Best for Work Travel: Lenovo Tab P11 with Keyboard Pack and Precision Pen 2
- Good speakers
- Excellent battery life
- Includes micro-SD and Sim card slots
- Comes with functional accessories
- No audio jack
- Not ideal for gaming
With an 11-inch, full HD display, along with 128GB storage (expandable), Lenovo Tab P11 is definitely a strong contender when considering tablets for travel. The device is powerful, thanks to a 2.0 GHz octacore Snapdragon 662 processor under its hood. You can also slip in a Sim card on your travels to stay connected with the workplace, and reduce your dependency on Wi-Fi. The tablet has four stereo speakers on the front, and with support from Dolby Atmos, produces excellent sound for video calls and streaming. Its lightweight and slim, at just under 7.5mm, so it’ll slip into your backpack or briefcase without any trouble. Reviewers commend its reliable, 18-hour battery life, which has seen them through long flights and days in foreign cities.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh132.25 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: The manufacturer provides 1-year warranty.
5. Best for Outdoors: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active4 Pro
- Military grade durability
- Long battery life
- Battery is replaceable
- Expandable storage
- Heavier than other tablets
If you’re an adventure seeker or avid backpacker, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro is made for you. With MIL-STD-810G military certification, it’s ultra-rugged, and able to withstand shocks, drops, rain, dirt, mud and any other condition you can think of. Both the tablet and the S Pen (included) are also IP68 certified, which means they’re dust-proof, and water resistant to a maximum depth of 1.5m for 30 minutes. While it has an impressive 15-hour battery life, the Tab Active4 Pro is also one of the few tablets out there that allows you to replace the battery, if needed. Reviewers in colder parts of the world say they can use the touchscreen with their gloves on – an added bonus, if you’re visiting destinations where it’s currently winter. The Tab Active4 Pro is equipped to handle 5G connections and Wi-Fi 6, and overall, makes for a powerful tablet to take into the great outdoors.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh149.17 for 12 months with select banks.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.