The best iPad alternatives are becoming increasingly capable. The days when only Apple tablets were powerful, stable, and reliable enough for us to recommend are now long gone.
So whether you are looking for a tablet with a larger screen, a more affordable price, or a different operating system, it pays to shop around outside the Apple Store. If you love all things Apple, then you're in the wrong place! But don't worry, you can check out our guide for the best iPads for photo editing.
Brands such as Samsung, Microsoft, and Lenovo are constantly innovating and giving Cupertino a run for its money. However, with so many tablets on the market, choosing between them can get confusing. So to help you out, we've gathered together the best iPad alternatives in one handy place.
Below you'll find the best Windows tablets, the best Android tablets, and the best Amazon tablets available today. We explain the pros and cons of each device and share the facts and figures that will help you compare them. Alternatively, if you prefer to use a stylus with your tablet, see our guide to the best drawing tablets for photo editing.
The best iPad alternatives in 2023
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Launched in February 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 a 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.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S8 Tab Ultra review.
Best for value
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ was released in August 2020, and 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 from 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 colors, 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.
Best for productive work
Launched in October 2022, 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 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 a 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. In terms of connectivity you get two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports (the iPad Pro only has one), plus a Surface Connect port, but there's no audio jack.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 9 review.
Best cheap alternative
Looking for a cheap iPad alternative? Then you want the new Amazon Fire 7, which was released on 29 June 2022. But although it's one of the most modern on our list, be aware that it's very cheap and quite basic.
Don't, in short, 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 of battery life; a 40% improvement on the older version. And thirdly, there's a USB-C port for connecting your tablet to modern devices.
Best cheap option for work
Want a cheap tablet that will run Windows? Then our recommendation is the Microsoft Surface Go 3, which was launched in September 2021.
Like the pricier Surface Pro 9 (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 won't run particularly quickly, especially when using resource-heavy software like Photoshop.
However, 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.
Short on cash? The Samsung Galaxy Tab A was first released in 2018, 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.
Best from amazon
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.
Released in May 2021, it's got a great HD-resolution screen for all your entertainment needs and very good audio for the price. Neither matches 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.
Best for battery life
Overall, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is a well-rounded device that offers a colorful and sharp display, quick performance, and decent battery life in normal use. The Dolby Atmos tuned speakers provide a loud booming sound (for a tablet anyway).
The stylus is comfortable and accurate to use, but the experience is subpar, with palm rejection almost non-existent. And while fantastic for movies, the tablet is let down by its 16:10 ratio which makes it unwieldy to hand-hold and use comfortably, with productivity apps and content feeling more at home on shorter screens.
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. Most importantly, the 13MP + 5MP rear cameras are competent but uninspiring. Still, if a high-end screen and long battery life are the things you’re looking for, this will offer you excellent value.
Read our full Lenovo Tab P12 Pro review.
How we choose the best iPad alternatives
We chose the best iPad alternative tablets in this guide by determining what products best complete with the range of tablets that Apple offers. We chose options to rival Apple's tablets from the top-of-the-range iPad Pro down to the entry-level iPad. This covers a range of price points and capabilities.
We also chose tablets that we have tested and are happy to recommend based on our positive experiences using the devices. Finally, we try to choose the tablets that are most widely available in different stores and across different countries so that the guide can service the most people possible.
Can a tablet replace my computer?
This question is very dependent on what you need to use your computer for and which tablet you buy. The short answer is yes, most tablets can offer the most basic functions of a computer such as checking and replying to email, working on documents and spreadsheets, watching videos, and even light photo editing. Although, you might find it is easier to get tasks done on a computer as computer operating systems like Windows are designed for multitasking, and computers generally have a larger screen and more stable cursor and keyboard experience. There are some tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro series that are tablets that run full Windows OS and offer powerful processors, this tablet would be the most suited to being a full laptop replacement.
Can I transfer my Apple App Store purchases?
No, this is not possible. Anything purchased on the App Store on any of Apple's devices is locked to the Apple ecosystem. If you want any software or content on another device, you would be required to repurchase it, providing it is available for Android/Windows operating systems.