tablet
Whether it's to write essays, draw, read, edit or shoot videos, tablets are ideal companions for school and college work. Image Credit: Unsplash/Sandipan Das

Smaller than a laptop, lightweight, and packed with educational software programmes, tablets are quickly becoming the go-to device for remote learning (and sometimes, in-class learning). All of them can be synced to the cloud, so you don’t need much storage space, and if you sign up for essential software services on the device, like Office 365, you are ready to tackle whatever the semester throws your way. Pick up one of these devices with Amazon Prime membership, and get it as early as tomorrow.

If you're looking for back-to-school supplies, don't forget to check out our list of 21 essentials. Also, shop smart by reading our nine-step guide on how parents can save money on back-to-school items, and keep yourself apprised of great discounts.

Here is our list of the best tablets that we think are suited for school use:

1. Best Overall: Microsoft Surface GO 3

Pros

  • Optimised for Microsoft productivity apps
  • Connectivity includes USB-C port, headphone jack and microSD reader
  • Adjustable kickstand for comfortable use
  • Large RAM space
  • 1080p HD front and rear cameras

Cons

  • Can get warm after hours of use
  • Battery life may be lesser than claimed

A hybrid tablet goes a long way, especially when it comes with its own built-in kickstand. The Microsoft Surface Go 3 two-in-one device can be laid flat on the desk for note-taking, propped up for watching lectures or paired with a keyboard (sold separately) for the laptop experience. The 10.5-inch tablet only weighs 544 grams, meaning it can be carried easily between classes in your backpack. Its spacious 8GB RAM lets you run multiple apps at the same time without lag; plus, all your favourite productivity apps in the Microsoft Suite, like Word and PowerPoint, are optimised for Surface. If you want to transfer notes and projects between devices, the tablet has a USB-C port and a microSDXC card reader. Both cameras offer high-definition 1080p video quality, and with these great specs, you can expect to study for 11 hours on a single charge. Add a Surface Pen and a Type Cover keyboard from Amazon.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh176.67 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh142, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh238, and a two-year damage protection plus one-year extended warranty for Dh303.

2. Best for Productivity: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Android Tablet

Pros

  • Supports multitasking
  • Mirrors PC display in Samsung DeX mode
  • 8GB RAM and 120Hz display for gaming
  • 12-megapixel front camera
  • Expandable storage to up to 1TB
  • Comes with a magnetic S Pen

Cons

  • Battery life is less than the claimed 15 hours

Coming in a close second is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 for students, and this is a great value bundle, thanks to the S Pen included. While you could opt for the bigger screens in the S8+ and S8 Ultra versions, we thought an 11-inch display would work best for busy college-going students. Your S Pen not only magnetically snaps onto the back of the tablet, but it also charges itself there, so that you're always ready to jot down notes in class. Its multi-window feature lets you keep track of an online lecture whilst marking up a textbook PDF on the side all at once. Then there's the option of using your tablet like a PC, thanks to the Samsung DeX mode, which is superb for browsing multiple windows just as you would on a computer. When a long study session calls for a quick gaming break, don't hesitate to fire up your favourite titles on the Galaxy Tab S8 - it has 8GB of RAM and a liquid smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

Bonus: Buy it with zero per cent installments and pay Dh198.17 for 12 months with select banks.

3. Best for Design Students: 2021 Apple Ipad Mini (8.3-Inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB), Starlight (6th Generation)

Pros

  • Large 256GB storage capacity
  • Compact and lightweight at 293 grams
  • 12MP front and rear cameras
  • Runs graphics-intensive apps
  • Supports DisplayPort

Cons

  • Apple Pencil is sold separately

The sixth generation of iPad Mini fits in the palm of your hand, making it perfect for the occasional note-taker in class. It features an 8.3-inch liquid retina display and an A15 Bionic chip, boasting colours as vivid as seen on its bigger counterparts. For projects that require shooting and editing videos, this tablet’s 12-megapixel wide back camera and 12 megapixel ultra-wide front camera do the job spectacularly. Graphic design students can add an Apple Pencil, which attaches to the side of the tablet, to sketch and draw. With access to thousands of Apple Store apps, users can use the versatile tablet as a notepad, film studio, scanner, canvas and more. Enjoy up to 10 hours of battery life.

Bonus: Buy it with zero per cent installments and pay Dh225.75 for 12 months with select banks. Add an Apple Pencil for Dh439.01.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh171, a one-year damage protection for Dh285, and a one-year extended warranty plus 2-year damage protection for Dh363.

4. Best Budget: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Pros

  • Comes with a magnetic S Pen
  • Long 12-hour battery life
  • Expandable storage to up to 1TB
  • Useful note-taking features in the Samsung Note app

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM

A robust, reliable tablet, the best part about this version of Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the S Pen that comes with it. With a 10.4-inch screen and slim design, the tablet can easily slip into school bags or backpacks (we still recommend buying a protective case – see options here). Never worry about misplacing your pen again - the tablet's magnetic holder keeps the accessory safe and sound. Its 64GB capacity provides plenty of space, with the option of up to 1TB of expandable storage via a microSD card. Since it’s an Android tablet, it provides access to the Google Play Store and its many apps. Students will find it a breeze to organise their notes on the Samsung Note app, which lets you tag your memos by class or content for sifting later. The Tab S6 Lite delivers up to 12 hours of battery life.

Bonus: Buy it with zero per cent installments and pay Dh79.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh57, a one-year damage protection for Dh95 and a one-year extended warranty and two-year damage protection for Dh121.

5. Best for Young Students: Lenovo Tab M8 HD 2nd Generation

Pros

  • Has a dedicated Kids Mode for educational apps
  • Display protects eyes from straining
  • Long 18-hour battery life
  • Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity

Cons

  • Only 2GB of RAM

We rated the Lenovo Tab M8 as the best family tablet to have with children around, in 2022. No doubt, with its built-in Kids Mode and parental controls, the 8-inch device functions just as well as a school tablet for the young ones. Its TÜV-certified display cuts back on exposure to blue light – protecting your children's eyes as they study and solve homework problems. With a Dolby Audio-tuned speaker, it’s well-suited to watching or listening to lectures, podcasts and presentations. Because it offers only 2GB of RAM and a two-megapixel front camera, 5-megapixel at the back, the tablet's average specs help the device stay online for 18 hours of uninterrupted web browsing.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29, a one-year damage protection for Dh48, and a one-year extended warranty plus two years of damage protection for Dh61.

6. Best Value: Huawei Matepad 10.4-Inch, 2022

Pros

  • Work on four windows at the same time
  • Perform two different tasks within the same app
  • Desktop layout
  • TÜV-certified display reduces eye strain
  • Annotate, capture snippets and convert handwriting to text with the M-Pencil

Cons

  • Doesn't include stylus

Another large-screen tablet, the Huawei MatePad 2022 has a 2K resolution display with quad speakers. With a smart keyboard and a mouse, you're all set for a portable desktop experience. A convenient hover-over feature with a mouse cursor even lets you preview apps in small windows without having to open them. With 128GB space, and the ability to expand storage with a microSD card, the tablet handles load well. This means apps run without the likelihood of lags, and additional features, like multi-window view for up to four windows, work seamlessly, even allowing you to work on two tasks within one app at the same time. While its cameras are not top-of-the-range and it only has WiFi connectivity, the tablet makes for a decent mid-range device that will serve your education needs without breaking the bank. Make the most of your MatePad notes by adding an M-Pencil stylus.

Bonus: Buy it with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh101.35 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for D86, a one-year damage protection for Dh143, and a one-year extended warranty plus two-year damage protection for Dh182.

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.