It’s no secret that Android tablets are a lot less popular today than they were a few years ago. Despite that, Samsung continues to be one of the few companies that still releases new tablet options regularly. That’s a good thing for you and me because Samsung knows what it takes to create a killer tablet. Whether you get our top overall pick — the Galaxy Tab S7 — or anything else mentioned in this roundup, here are the best Samsung tablets you can buy in 2021.
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
Source: Joe Maring / Android Central
You have a large number of Galaxy Tabs to choose from, but above everything that’s on offer, the Galaxy Tab S7 stands out as our go-to recommendation. It’s one of the newest tablets in Samsung’s lineup, and for most folks, it’ll be the best one you can buy.
The most important aspect of any tablet is its display, and in these regards, the Tab S7 has a lot going for it. You’re treated to an 11-inch LCD panel with a 2560×1600 resolution and a buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Whether you play a lot of games or watch a ton of movies, they’ll all look excellent on the Tab S7. Plus, thanks to the Snapdragon 865+ processor and 8GB of RAM, you’ll be able to do most of what you want without skipping a beat.
Samsung includes an S Pen with the Tab S7 at no added cost, with this version of the iconic stylus offering a mere 9ms latency for lifelike drawing and writing. When you aren’t using it, just place the S Pen on the back of the Tab S7, and magnets will keep it secure.
When all of that is said and done, the Galaxy Tab S7 ends up being one of the best Android tablets overall.
- 120Hz display is very smooth
- Slim bezels and premium metal design
- Flagship performance
- Comes with an S Pen
- 45W wired charging speeds
- Screen is not AMOLED
The one to get
When it comes to the best Samsung tablet around, we have to give the crown to the Galaxy Tab S7.
Best Upgrade: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus
>Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
Should you find yourself with a bit more money to spend and want something even more impressive, that’s exactly where the Galaxy Tab S7+ comes into play. It shares most of the same DNA with the regular Tab S7, though it brings a couple of welcome upgrades, the first of which is an even prettier display. Along with a larger 12.4-inch size, you also get an AMOLED panel instead of an LCD one. This means richer colors and deeper blacks for an even more immersive experience.
The larger size of the Tab S7+ also gives you a bigger battery, with Samsung promising up to 14 hours of video playback. You get the same Snapdragon 865+ processor and 8GB of RAM, along with the S Pen and its impressive 9ms latency.
Both the Tab S7 and S7+ support Samsung’s DeX desktop interface and work with an optional keyboard cover, but those two things shine especially bright on the S7+. The larger screen is top-notch for working on documents, spreadsheets, and managing Zoom calls, so if you want to have your tablet function as a sort of laptop replacement, the Tab S7+ is perfectly equipped to do just that.
- AMOLED display with 120Hz
- 12.4-inch size is great for productivity
- Has the Snapdragon 865+ processor
- Large battery with fast charging
- S Pen included for free
- Might be too big for some people
- Very expensive
Bigger is better
With its massive AMOLED screen and larger battery, the Tab S7+ goes a step beyond for those that can afford it.
Best Value: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
There’s no doubt that the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ are extremely capable machines, but if you’re working with a smaller budget, the Galaxy Tab S5e is a fine alternative.
Looking at the core specs of the Tab S5e, you’ll see it’s a well-rounded device. There’s a 10.5-inch AMOLED display with a 2560×1600 resolution, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage that can be expanded with a microSD card. You also have the option of getting a keyboard case if you’d like to get a bit of work done.
The Tab S5e provides a user experience that most people should be quite happy with, though there are a couple of drawbacks to hit this low price — namely the lack of an S Pen and a generic design. If those two things don’t bother you, the Tab S5e is an easy tablet recommendation for anyone looking to save a bit of cash.
- AMOLED display looks fantastic
- Good performance for most tasks
- Reliable battery life
- Competitive price tag
- Has an optional keyboard case
- Doesn’t have a headphone jack
- No S Pen included
- Boring design
A quality tablet for less
Thanks to its excellent screen, performance, battery, and price, the Galaxy Tab S5e is a tablet value you can’t ignore.
Best for Students: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Source: Joe Maring / Android Central
While we’re on the subject of low-cost tablets, we should mention the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. We don’t think it’s as good of an overall value as the Tab S5e, but for students, the Tab S6 Lite has a few strong attributes worth mentioning.
In regards to its display, the S6 Lite boasts a 10.4-inch LCD panel with a 2000×1200 resolution. Whichever app or game you’re running will look good here, and thanks to the included S Pen, you have a great canvas for taking notes in class or drawing during your free time. Pair that with excellent stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and you’re getting a lot for a small amount of money.
Samsung does drop the ball a bit with the Tab S6 Lite’s performance, unfortunately, which leaves a lot to be desired. There’s also the fact that you don’t get a fingerprint sensor of any kind, which is annoying if you use banking apps and password managers. You get a better experience in those regards with the Tab S5e, but if you really want a tablet with a great display and an S Pen while spending as little as possible, The Tab S6 Lite has you covered.
- Aluminum design looks and feels nice
- Solid LCD panel
- Stereo speakers sound great
- Free S Pen in the box
- Has a 3.5mm headphone jack
- Disappointing performance
- No fingerprint sensor
Best for Students
Use it for work and play
The Tab S6 Lite is a great choice for students, largely thanks to its included S Pen and super affordable price.
Best Productivity: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Source: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
Our next pick is an interesting option — the flagship tablet Samsung released back in 2019. It’s the Galaxy Tab S6, and while it has since been replaced by the Tab S7, a new lower price makes it a great deal if you’re looking to get high-end specs and features for a reasonable cost.
The Galaxy Tab S6 gets big points for its display, processor, and battery, all of which hold up quite nicely. The 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display is just as gorgeous, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor continues to be incredibly fast, and the 7,040 mAh battery has more than enough juice to keep you going through all of your work and play.
An S Pen is included with the Tab S6, and while there’s no way to store it on the tablet like you can with the Tab S7, it works well for notes and drawing. You can also get a solid keyboard accessory if you want, which when paired with Samsung DeX, turns the Tab S6 into a really capable laptop. This is something you also get with the two Tab S7 models, but given the lower price of the Tab S6, it makes this experience a lot more accessible.
- Gorgeous AMOLED screen
- Snapdragon 855 is still plenty capable
- More affordable than ever
- Great battery life
- Comes with an S Pen
- In-screen fingerprint sensor isn’t very reliable
- Can’t store S Pen on the tablet
Last year’s flagship holds its own
If you want a flagship tablet experience without going broke, the Galaxy Tab S6 stands out as a worthy option to consider.
Best Kids Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition
Last but not least, we’d like to highlight the Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition. It’s no longer the newest or most interesting Samsung tablet you can buy, but for the right buyer, it could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Having a tablet that you can let your kid use without worrying about it breaking is a huge convenience, and with the Tab A Kids Edition, that’s precisely what you get. It comes with a case pre-installed, giving it ample protection against drops, falls, and all other damage. It’s also quite compact with a screen size of just 8 inches, making it easy for smaller hands to use.
What makes the Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition even better is its price, which is easily the lowest out of any of the tablets mentioned in this article. Your kid will be happy, your wallet will be happy, and that’s honestly the best combo we can think of.
- Ships with a rugged case
- Kid-friendly user interface
- Compact design for small hands
- 13-hour battery life
- Super affordable
- Mediocre specs across the board
Best Kids Tablet
Keep your kids (and budget) happy
Between its rugged design and kid-friendly software, the Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition is a perfect fit for your little one.
Samsung’s lineup of Android tablets is rather impressive seeing as how hardly anyone else is supporting the form factor, and looking through its list of available options, we have to give our highest recommendation to the Galaxy Tab S7.
The Tab S7 has the latest specs you could ask for, packages them up in a really nice design, and comes in at a price tag that’s pretty fair when you consider everything you’re getting — a 120Hz display, high-quality S Pen, Snapdragon 865+ processor, and so on.
There are other options out there if you have different tastes and budgets, but overall, the Galaxy Tab S7 strikes that balance of being the Samsung tablet to get.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joe Maring is Android Central’s Senior Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip for the site? Reach out on Twitter @JoeMaring1 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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