Best Gaming Tablets – Buyer’s Guide

Just like the IBM tech guys in the 1980s never thought that decades later there would be portable devices several times more powerful than their most advanced computers, gamers in the 1990s would have been blown away had they known what the future had in store for them. And that a day would come, many years down the road, when they would be able to play some of their favorite games on the best gaming tablet imaginable: a light, powerful, portable ergonomic device, without the hassles of expensive and cumbersome laptops or desktop PCs.

Well, that future is here, and even though you can’t play Crysis 3 or The Witcher 3 on Ultra with a gaming tablet (not yet, at least), there are some great apps and mobile options available that will perform perfectly on a gaming tablet.

It is an excellent option for mobile games aficionados, casual players, or just a fun travel replacement for your PC gaming experience.

Take a look at some of the best gaming tablets currently available on today’s market:


1. ASUS ZenPad 3S 10

Best general use tablet for gaming

Asus Zenpad 3S 10 Gaming Tablet - best gaming tablet

This ASUS ZenPad is an excellent solution for your gaming needs. It is an Android tabled embedded with a powerful Dual-Core 2.1 GHz plus a Quad-Core 1.7 GHz processor ensuring fast and outstanding performance, 4GB of RAM and IMG GX6250 graphics which come together to deliver an impressive gaming experience.

The 2k screen display makes gaming on this device a pleasant visual experience, as gameplay will look sharp and highly-detailed (even without a Super AMOLED screen option familiar to Galaxy tab users). 64 GB of Hard-drive will come in handy for your games, but you still want more, a micro-SD card can be added.

The aluminum case gives it a premium look that’s just beautiful to look at. The quality of its interior components matches its sleek design.

Overall, a fantastic gaming tablet that is both sturdy and good looking.


2. Dragon Touch X10

King of the budget android gaming tablets

Dragon Touch X10 Budget Gaming Tablets - best gaming tablet

Do you think that a gaming table might be expensive for your budget? Look no further than this; the Dragon Touch X10 is the king of cheap tablets! Costing around a hundred bucks, it is fully prepared to provide a magnificent compromise between price and performance.

Featuring an Octa-core 2.0 GHz CPU, 1 GB ram (negative side) and Android 5.1 Lollipop is powerful enough to play most mobile games, even though it will take longer to load than other more powerful and costly competitors. The Octa-core CPU is a definite plus, however.

If you are looking to play some games on a tablet, but you do not want to spend your hard-earned money on a more expensive option, then this is definitely for you. Just don’t have unrealistic expectations.


3. NVIDIA SHIELD K1

The best dedicated gaming tablet

NVIDIA Shield K1 Gaming Tablet - best gaming tablet

Being Nvidia, the market leader when it comes to GPUs focused on gaming, no wonder that when they make a gaming tablet, it will exceed expectations. That is what the NVIDIA SHIELD K1 does; it delivers an authentic gamer experience to the consumer.

In what consist that “gamer experience”? You may ask. It merges the familiarity of the Android software with their own to provide exceptional performance and more availability of games.

Full HD screen display, 2 GB Ram, a Nvidia Tegra K1 processor consisting of a 192 core – NVIDIA Kepler GPU and 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU come together in the jaw-dropping gaming experience.

However, wait! What’s the use of all this performance boost if I will be limited to the Android store for my games? That is where the Premium Shield gaming library comes in allowing you to buy a wide selection of games on top of those available on the Android store.

Do you want to give it a try? Many fans proclaim this truly the best tablet for gaming. Unfortunately, this model of the Shield tablet has been discontinued, and brand new ones are hard to come by. Anyhow, you can still find it used on Amazon, but it’s not cheap.


4. Apple iPad Pro MLMQ2LL/A

Most Powerful iOS Gaming Tablet

Apple iPad Pro MLMQ2LL:A iOS Gaming Tablet - best gaming tablet

Known for bringing popularity unto tablets, the iPad is known for their premium quality delivery, and let me tell you; this iPad Pro is no different. Although it wasn’t really designed with gaming in mind, it provides an impressive gaming experience, being more than capable of handling all your favorite mobile games. The beautiful 9,7” 2k retina display will make game graphics look astoundingly vivid and colorful, a real wonder to the eye. Battery life provides up to 10 hours of use, which is impressive for the quality of both the display screen and the processor. And it even comes with a front-facing camera.

Overall, the iPad Pro is a solid choice for a gaming tablet and for general use. However, compared to other competitors it is kind of pricey.


5. Lenovo ZA1N0007US Yoga Tab 3 Plus QHD

Excellent Android tablet for demanding games

Lenovo ZA1N0007US Yoga Tab 3 Plus QHD - best gaming tablet

Delivering superb mid-range tech products, Lenovo did it again with the Lenovo Tab 3 Plus a brilliant tablet for your gaming needs. It is both potent and ergonomic perfect for gaming for extended periods of time. A phenomenal 10.1” Full HD IPS display harvesting the power of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 and the 3 GB RAM to provide an enjoyable gaming experience. Fast and dynamic gameplay with the crisp graphics is everything you ever need. Also, the up to 18 hours of battery life is amazingly long and will come in handy when gaming on-the-go. The stand included in the tablet is an advantageous feature that facilitates and increases the variety of use, and especially helpful when you are gaming.

Overall, the Lenovo ZA1N0007US Yoga Tab 3 Plus QHD is a stupendous mid-range gaming tablet.


Best Gaming Tablet Roundup:

ASUS ZenPad 3S 10

  • The best general use Android tablet you can find to game on. It is sturdy and premium looking. One of the best tablets available at its price range.

Dragon Touch X10

  • The best cheap gaming tablet available. It is an excellent compromise between quality components and price. Nevertheless, do not expect it to perform at the highest levels.

NVIDIA SHIELD K1

  • It is without a doubt THE tablet for gamers. Nvidia managed to create a portable product explicitly tailored towards players, and they could not have done it better, offering both a powerful device and an extended gaming service. Unfortunately, it was discontinued and is only available used.

Apple iPad Pro MLMQ2LL/A

  • Apple products at its best, especially for gaming purposes. Beautiful screen display, decent internal storage, and wonderful overall performance, it is a great gaming tablet to have if you are looking for an Apple mid-range device.

Lenovo ZA1N0007US Yoga Tab 3 Plus QHD

  • Great versatile Android tablet by Lenovo. It is ergonomically designed and has excellent performance for a mid-range tablet. The speedy processor makes it suitable for gaming or for general use. The 9300 mAh Li-ion Battery (and amazing extended battery life} is a big plus to consider, mainly if you need to use it on-the-go.

 

Gaming Tablet Buyer’s Guide:


What is the best tablet for gaming?

  • It all depends on what you expect, what sort of experience you’re looking for, and what you can afford. Modern tablets are getting faster and more powerful with each generation of devices, and most can already handle the hardware demands of complex games that just a few years ago would tax even the most powerful desktop system.

What are the features that make a tablet good for gaming?

  • Similarly to PCs, a good tablet for gaming will be one with a robust processor (CPU) and a strong graphics card (GPU). In PCs, these components are separate from each other, but in a tablet the manufacturers use what is called a SoC (System-on-a-chip) solution that includes both a CPU and the GPU. So, if the tablet in question has a good SoC, meaning good CPU and GPU, it will perform great on gaming.

What is the best operating system for gaming? IOS or Android?

  • It depends on your gaming preference. Android has more games, but they often lack the quality and exclusivity of IOS ones. The Apple store receives better curation than the Android one, and game developers are more eager to exclusively develop to their platform, meaning a library of better games. However, Android support game emulation which means you could play games like Pokemon Red or Mario Bros on your gaming tablet through a game boy emulator, while in an Apple product you cannot.

What are the benefits of gaming tablets?

  • Gaming tablets are the best mobile devices you can find to game on. They are often more powerful and have better screen displays than smartphones, so, in a way, are really just smaller PCs you can effortlessly carry around with you to play some game apps. Of course, they lack the speed and internal storage (as well as the mechanical keyboard), so they can’t replace the gaming experience delivered by a powerful PC (or gaming laptop) delivers, but they remain a fun option to play some older or simpler games.

 

Actually, they are a great way to play classic games on-the-go since they are many times more powerful than older consoles and PCs. Reliving the memories of classic PS1, Gameboy or PS2 games on a lightweight, portable device discards the need for the clunky hardware of the original system and the CDs or cartridges the games came loaded on. That’s a lot of fun, but keep in mind some games and emulators are not super optimized to play correctly every time, so be sure to check if the emulator is compatible with your device or if the game is well adapted to the emulator.

Sadly, these emulators are only natively supported by Android devices (and some Windows tablets, like the Surface Pro), so most Apple users will miss out on the classic revival aspect of gaming on a tablet. Unless, of course, the game in question hasn’t already been adapted by the Apple store.

 

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