The best iPad alternatives can save you cash compared with Apple's pricier offerings, or just allow you to escape from dependence on Apple's ecosystem. So whether you want a tablet for photo editing, video streaming, web surfing or using apps, they're well worth checking out.
Whatever your reason for seeking non-Apple options, we've gathered together the best iPad alternatives below, from brands including Samsung, Microsoft and Lenovo. These include the best Windows tablets, the best Android tablets and the best Amazon tablets you can buy today.
We'll give you the pros and cons of each device, and share the facts and figures you need to choose between them. Meanwhile, if want to use a stylus with your tablet, you may prefer our guide to the best drawing tablets for photo editing.
The best iPad alternatives in 2022
New for 2022, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the best iPad alternative you can get right now. Its 14.6-inch Super AMOLED screen is not just very generous but it also boasts high-end picture quality. With a 16:10 ratio, which is slightly wider than the normal 4:3 ratio, it boasts deep blacks, zingy colors, a refresh rate of 120Hz, and a resolution of 1848 x 2960 pixels.
Running Android 12, this premium tablet is incredibly thin, at just 5mm, making it a stylish look, although it still feels robust enough to use and carry comfortably. On the rear it has 13MP (wide) and 6MP (ultrawide) camera; there's also a dual-front camera, and features some neat integration with the Galaxy S22 Ultra phone.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, with 8-16GB RAM, makes everything feel smooth and responsive in use. The 11,200mAh battery promises up to 14 hours of video playback. In short, this is a premium iPad alternative, and you won't find finer anywhere on the market today.(opens in new tab)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ has now been eclipsed by the newer Galaxy tablet, featured above. But it's still a premium tablet indeed, and if you can save a bit of money on the S8 Ultra, it's still worth considering.
The S7+'s Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor is a fast performer, and its impressive 10,090mAh battery saves you having to plug it in for hours on end. The 12.4in Super AMOLED screen, with its 120Hz refresh rate, is a joy to behold, and the S Pen stylus is a close match for the sensitivity of the Apple Pencil 2.
It’s a great choice for photography, with its 13MP wide and 5MP ultrawide cameras giving you gorgeous, vivid colours, especially when teamed with the Panorama, Night and Live Focus modes. There’s also a great Single Take mode, too. You tap the shutter once and move around a bit for up to 10 seconds, and you'll get a variety of stills with different styles, angles, and formats created automatically. The 8MP front facing camera also provides a first-rate experience for video calls and selfies.(opens in new tab)
Launched last September, Surface Pro 8 is Microsoft’s main rival to the iPad, although it offers quite a different experience overall. That’s because it’s really designed to be teamed with a clip-on keyboard (sold separately), making it easy to swap between using it as a tablet and a hybrid laptop.
Sure, you can do that with an iPad as well, but you’ll still be using iOS software. The Surface Pro 8, though, runs full-blooded Windows, so you’re get a proper PC experience rather than just running mobile apps. On the other side of the equation, we’re still waiting for Windows 11 to be able to run Android apps.
Photography-wise, you get a 10MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD and 4K video, that offers clean and clear images, and an impressive amount of detail. The 5MP front-facing camera, meanwhile, offers 1080p Full HD video and does good job of making video calls in less-than-perfect light, thanks to its Ambient Color Sensor.
More broadly, Intel's latest 11th-gen Core i5 and i7 processors give this tablet super-fast performance. The high-res screen with a 120Hz refresh rate makes for a lovely looking display. And connectivity is good too, with two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports (the iPad Pro only has one), plus a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port.
Looking for a cheap iPad alternative? Then you want the new Amazon Fire 7, which is due for release on 29 June, and is currently available for pre-order.
It's very cheap, and quite basic. So don't expect anything like the performance or features of an iPad. But if you just want a basic 7-inch tablet for streaming videos, looking up stuff on the web, using Alexa and running apps, it will certainly do the job. (Well, up to a point: you won't be able to run iOS or Android apps, but the Amazon app store is full of equivalents to all the popular ones, so you won't be far off.)
This 2022 model is an update on the previous 2019 model, so make sure you buy the right one. The main difference is that it's 30% faster than before, thanks to a new quad-core processor, twice as much RAM and a new operating system (FireOS 8). You'll also get up to 10 hours' battery life; a 40% improvement on the older version. And thirdly, there's a USB-C port for connecting your tablet to modern devices.(opens in new tab)
Want a cheap tablet that will run Windows? Then our recommendation is the Microsoft Surface Go 2. Like the pricier Surface Pro 8 (number 3 on our list), this is a hybrid device that can be transformed into a laptop with Microsoft's Type Cover (sold separately). It’s a lot cheaper though. This reflects its less powerful processor, which means it runs by default in Windows 10 S Mode. You can switch to Windows 10 Pro if you need to, though: it’ll just run a little slower.
On the plus side, the Go 2 comes with a powerful 8,000MAh battery, and there’s good connectivity, with a USB-C, a Surface Connector and microSD ports. The HD screen is bright and colourful, and offers a range of viewing angles. If you need a stylus, the Surface Pen snaps magnetically to the side. And the 8MP rear camera does a great job of dealing with natural light.
In short, if you’re short on funds but want a tablet that’s focused on productivity rather than media consumption, it’s an excellent buy. If, however, your priorities are the reverse of that, see the new Amazon Fire 7 at number 4 on our list.(opens in new tab)
If you’re looking for a premium tablet experience but don’t want to pay top dollar, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a great choice. Released in 2019, it’s cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S7+ (number 2 on our list), but still a very capable device.
Compared to the S7, you’re getting a smaller screen (10.5 to 12.4 inches) with half the refresh rate (60Hz to 120Hz), no 5G support, and a slightly smaller battery (7,040 mAh to 10,090 mAh). There’s also an older Qualcomm processor, slightly less RAM and it runs a slightly older version of Android.
But these are pretty minor differences, and on the whole this is a high-end tablet indeed. In particularly, the cameras are exactly the same on most models. And so if your budget can’t quite stretch to a Samsung Galaxy S7+, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a very worthy alternative.(opens in new tab)
Short on cash? The Samsung Galaxy Tab A was first released in 2018, and so doesn’t cost much at all these days, especially if you get a refurbished or used model. And yet it’s still very capable. With a large HD display and impressive battery life, this now classic tablet is a great choice for a little light surfing, casual gaming, listening to music and watching videos.
Obviously, you get what you pay for. So the Tab A hasn’t got the fastest processor, its 8MP and 5MP cameras are nothing special and it’s running an older version of Android. But still, for a budget buy, this is a solid choice.(opens in new tab)
If you mainly want to use a tablet for media consumption, but want a more premium experience than the Amazon Fire 7 (number 4 on our list), then consider the Amazon Fire HD 10.
It’s got a great HD-resolution screen for all your entertainment needs, and very good audio for the price. Neither match up to the superior quality of the latest iPad Pro, but for most people they’ll be perfectly acceptable, particularly if you’re using a decent pair of headphones.
As with all Amazon tablets, you won't be able to run Android and iOS apps. And while there are FireOS equivalents, if you’re wedded to a particular app that may be a deal breaker. The cameras (5MP on the front, 2MP on the back) are nothing to write home about, either.
The Amazon Fire HD 10, then, should mainly be considered as a device for light web browsing and enjoying films and music rather than anything more serious and business-like.(opens in new tab)
Choosing the best iPad alternative is largely about striking a balance between features and price. And the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro manages to offer a number of premium features at a surprisingly affordable cost.
Its display, for example, is much higher quality than you might expect at this price. Offering 2K resolution of 1600 x 2560 pixels, this OLED screen is beautifully colour-accurate and offers an impressive 500 nits of brightness. This is matched by decent audio, too, coming from the P11 Pro’s four stereo-effect speakers.
The battery life is another highlight, with the 8,600mAh battery keeping the tablet going over multiple days. You also get a fast charger as a free extra, making this a great choice for trips and long journeys.
If these two elements were matched elsewhere, this could be a real iPad Pro killer. As it is, in all other respects this tablet is fairly so-so. For example, it doesn’t have the fastest processor, the 13MP + 5MP rear cameras are competent but uninspiring, and it’s not great for productive work. Still, if a high-end screen and long battery life are the main things you’re looking for, this tablet will offer you excellent value.
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