It’s hard to beat the flexibility of a tablet for finishing lesson plans, communicating with parents, or listening to your favorite playlist while grading the stack of articles. The right tablet will help you get more done, even though a teacher’s job is never truly done. It’s more convenient than a laptop and more powerful than a smartphone. We searched the market for the right tablets for teachers.
Choosing the Right Tablet
When it comes to the purpose, design, and style of a tablet, you have a lot of choices, but there are a few main factors to consider when deciding on the right device for your needs:
- Look for a tablet with at least eight hours of battery life if you want to keep up with your whole school day and beyond.
- Consider how you want to access the internet and whether or not you want to pay for cellular service.
- Storage: On a tablet, space for images and files will quickly fill up, so look into cloud storage options in addition to the GB cap.
- Software: For smooth computer integration, select an operating system that is consistent with the rest of the technology in your home and classroom.
Best All-Around Tablet: Apple iPad
It’s difficult to go wrong with this best-in-show tablet, which features a 10.2-inch screen, an 8MP back camera, and up to 10 hours of battery life. The new version of the Apple iPad comes with some of the most lauded features of higher-end devices (think quality efficiency, responsiveness, and affordable screen size) without the higher-end price tag (starting at under $350). Choose from a 32GB or 128GB Apple iPad, as well as a Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi + cellular model, all of which come in a variety of colors to match your personal style. There’s also good news for teachers who are always scribbling notes on the go: you can broaden the features of this tablet with add-ons like the smart keyboard or the Apple Pencil, which transform your computer into a notebook for handwriting or drawing. “IPads are great for folks who want high-tech capabilities with little complexity,” say reviewers. It has a long battery life, is easy to use, and it syncs with your iPhone.”
Consider the Amazon Fire if you’re making your first foray into tablet ownership and aren’t sure how much you really need one, or if you’re just trying to purchase on a budget. “The best media tablet you can find for under $150,” according to PC Mag. The Fire is quicker, more powerful, and has a longer-lasting battery than ever before in its latest release. With a 10.1-inch touchscreen, Amazon’s latest device rivals Apple’s newest iPad at a fraction of the price. Educators with young children at home can appreciate Amazon FreeTime, a free feature on any Fire that allows parents to build child profiles to set learning goals, manage content, and restrict screen time for their children. “I’ve been playing with it since I opened the box and have found that the sound quality, picture quality, and video playback are superior to every other tablet I’ve used,” says one reviewer. I’m quite impressed by the storage space and battery life. In every way, it’s wonderful and strong! From now on, this will be the only tablet I use.”
Best 2-in-1 Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Samsung’s new Galaxy tablet is unrivaled as a two-in-one platform for Android users. Thanks to a fast internal processor and massive (for a tablet) internal memory, the Tab S6 offers simplicity, ease, and versatility while providing the performance of a laptop. With an attachable smart keyboard (complete with track pad) and the latest version of Samsung’s S Pen, switching to laptop-style functionality is easy. Both of these accessories come standard with the tablet, so you’ll be ready to go as soon as it arrives. Reviewers’ Real-Life Experiences: “You can use the Tab S6 as a laptop if you want it to be. It also works with any Samsung/Android, Gear/Galaxy, or Bluetooth-enabled unit. The S Pen fits well as a mouse and is very accurate. The layout of Dex mode is very similar to that of the Windows desktop. For me, the battery lasts all day.”
Best Splurge Purchase: Apple iPad Pro
If you’re looking for high-end results, the iPad Pro is the device for you. From Apple’s largest screen to notably sharp color accuracy to a camera that rivals some of the best smartphones on the market, this gadget pulls out all the stops. The Apple iPad Pro is the tablet to purchase if you want to mimic the features of your laptop with something more compact, just like the Samsung Galaxy did for Android users. This is particularly good news if you’ll be transporting your tablet between your home and your classroom—laptops are big! Last but not least, if you’re upgrading to a Pro and already own an Apple Pencil for another product, double-check that your devices can work together. Reviewers’ Real-Life Experiences: “The iPad Pro is clearly the best tablet computer in its class. The screen is stunning, the processor is lightning fast, and the apps are fantastic. Integration is simple because I store my files on iCloud: Documents that I annotate appear on my machine immediately after I make a change. So, though it isn’t a desktop substitute for me, I use it almost as often as my laptop.”
Best Mid-Level Tablet for Media: Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite
Not everyone needs a tablet that can compete with their work laptop. The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite is a good option if you’re an Android user looking for a quality mid-range tablet that you’ll mainly use for entertainment or education. It’s less costly than Apple’s cheapest tablet, but it has some of the same main features, such as a long battery life. Due to the device’s powerful parental-control capabilities, marketing for the MediaPad has recently started to cater toward younger consumers. If you’re sharing screen time with children at home, the tablet is a good option. Reviewers’ Real-Life Experiences: “I purchased this pad so I wouldn’t have to battle my wife over our iPad Air, and I’m very pleased with what I got. It has all of the advantages of the iPad Air, plus a few extras. The sound quality is outstanding! With four speakers and a 10-inch HD monitor, watching videos is a fantastic experience.”