Galaxy Tab S6Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central

Best Android Tablets for Students Android Central 2020

Android tablets come in all different shapes and sizes and picking the best one can be tough for a student. But it's easier to pick the perfect tablet when you have one as powerful as the Galaxy Tab S6. With S Pen support and 8GB of RAM, this will handle anything and everything you come across.

Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 heroSource: Hayato Huseman

If you need a tablet capable of handling almost any task, then you don't want to look past the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. When picking one of these up, you'll be happy to know that Samsung includes an S Pen with every purchase, so you don't have to fork over extra cash.

Under the hood, the Tab S6 sports either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of expandable storage. This has been combined with the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset, which is found in many of your favorite 2019 flagship phones. This will allow you to take advantage of Samsung Dex Mode, which turns your Tab S6 into a desktop-like experience. Having a desktop-like experience on a 10.5-inch display is an extremely portable experience that you won't want to leave behind.

While you won't have to pay extra for the amazing S Pen and those features, you will if you want the full package. This means extra dough upfront to get the Samsung Keyboard Cover or another Bluetooth keyboard to stay productive during classes.

Pros:

  • S Pen included
  • Up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage
  • Latest processor
  • Support for Samsung Dex Mode

Cons:

  • Most expensive option
  • Keyboard cover is extra

Best Overall

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Best tablet to get all of your work done and some play

The Galaxy Tab S6 is fantastic from top to bottom with S Pen support and an optional keyboard cover to get work done.

Best Value: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite ReviewSource: Joe Maring / Android Central

Samsung's latest tablet is the little brother to the Galaxy Tab S6. With the Tab S6 Lite, the company opted to replace the S5e that previously had been one of our favorite value tablets. With this new tablet, you'll get a familiar, lightweight, sleek design, along with the specs you would expect.

Samsung has equipped the S6 Lite with 12 hours of battery life, along with a microSD card slot, making it a perfect tablet for media consumption. The company also unveiled an updated S Pen, which sports a new design, a finer tip, and improved latency compared to the S Pen found with the standard Galaxy Tab S6. All of this makes for an impressive Android tablet, packed with loads of features and more to do almost anything for you.

Considering that the Tab S6 Lite is aimed at the value market, some corners had to be cut. Going back to media consumption, Samsung included two AKG-tuned speakers, instead of the four found on the Tab S6. Plus, the microSD card slot is only capable of using up to a 512GB card, while other tablets offer support up to 1TB.

Pros:

  • Lightweight design
  • 12 hours of battery life
  • MicroSD card support
  • New S Pen Included

Cons:

  • Storage expansion limited to 512GB
  • Just two speakers

Best Value

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Save a few bucks with an extremely good tablet

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6 gives you an almost-perfect productivity device without a hefty price tag.

Best Portable Power: Lenovo Tab M8 FHD

Lenovo Tab M8 FHD LifestyleSource: Lenovo

It's all fine and dandy to have big display to take down all of your class notes during lectures, but what if you have a laptop to handle the heavy lifting and want something a little smaller and more portable? That's where the Lenovo Tab M8 FHD comes in with its 8-inch display.

The Tab M8 FHD sports 32GB of built-in storage, along with a support for up to a 2TB microSD card. Many of the memory cards that you buy today will work perfectly fine, including some of the newer ones with this greater capacity. On the audio side of things, there's a single Dolby Audio-tuned speaker, to go along with the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack. This means that you can use your favorite traditional headphones in the event that you don't feel like messing with Bluetooth.

MicroUSB has been slowly phased out of many other devices on the market, but the same can't be said for the Lenovo Tab M8 FHD. For some reason, Lenovo has opted to keep Micro-USB over the vastly-superior USB Type-C for its charging needs. The LCD panel will be just fine with its 1280x800 resolution, but it definitely doesn't hold up compared to similarly-priced tablets.

Pros:

  • Dolby Audio-tuned speaker
  • 18-hours of battery life
  • microSD card slot
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • LCD display

Best Portable Power

Lenovo Tab M8 FHD

Great for those who don't want the "big" screen

If you want to get work done but don't want a big screen, the Tab M8 FHD from Lenovo fits the bill with its 8inch display.

Best for Media Playback: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019)Source: Samsung

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to heading back to school, and the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is pretty impressive. This tablet has an almost edge-to-edge display with minimal bezels, which makes for a better viewing experience than the competition.

Samsung touts that the Tab A 10.1 will last for up to 13 hours, and comes in three different storage options. Plus, there is a microSD card slot which can hold up to 512GB so you'll never run out of space.

Corners had to be cut with the Tab A 10.1, however, and it starts with the Full HD 10.1-inch display, which is lower resolution than other models. There is also no S Pen support, and you will have to use a third-party Bluetooth keyboard for when you need to get some papers done.

Pros:

  • 10.1-inch edge-to-edge display
  • 13 hours of battery life
  • 32GB/64GB/128GB storage options
  • MicroSD card support up to 512GB

Cons:

  • No S Pen support
  • No OEM keyboard option
  • FHD display

Best for Media Playback

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

Made with media consumption in mind

Samsung's Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is a good budget pick with media consumption in mind without a lot of extra features.

Best for the Amazon Life: Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon Fire HD Tablet on plane official lifestyleSource: Amazon

Amazon's Fire HD line of tablets have been considered to be extremely great value for what you get. No, you're not getting top of the line specs, but the Fire HD 10 has turned into quite a serviceable companion.

Amazon "nerfs" these tablets to keep the price point low, but the Fire HD 10 sports 32GB of base storage, with microSD expansion up to 256GB. There is also unlimited cloud storage for any of your Amazon content, so you won't have to worry about taking up precious real estate. This combined with built-in Alexa and you have a fantastic companion device. And that 10-inch display will be more than capable of handling some Netflix binge-watching sessions.

The first big pitfall with the Fire HD 10 is the lack of the Play Store. Instead, you'll have to rely on the Amazon App Store which does not have as many apps compared to the Play Store. Fire tablets are powered by Fire OS, which is based on Android but isn't exactly the same Android you'll find elsewhere. Differences include the home screen and ways to navigate throughout the tablets options.

Pros:

  • Amazon Alexa built-in
  • MicroSD card support up to 256GB
  • Unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

Cons:

  • No Google Play Store access
  • Fire OS isn't quite Android
  • Full HD display
  • No OEM keyboard cover

Best for the Amazon Life

Amazon Fire HD 10

Big screen on a budget

If you need a bigger screen and Amazon Alexa, the Fire HD 10 will help you through the toughest days.

Best for Reading: Amazon Fire HD 8

Amazon Fire HD 8Source: Phil Nickinson / Android Central

As is the case with the Fire HD 10, the Fire HD 8 is also not designed to be a powerhouse tablet. This is for those who want to read some content on the go, without taking up a bunch of real estate in your backpack or messenger bag.

Amazon Alexa is built-in and gives you what Alexa has to offer in terms of a voice assistant and more. This includes Alexa Skills, which can be installed to help you find the right answers during study sessions. Plus, it's lightweight and portable with its 8-inch display, so you can get take advantage of the built-in Kindle app to get some reading done without carrying books.

On the other hand, multi-tasking may be problematic with the Fire HD 8's 1.5GB of RAM. There is also only 16GB or 32GB of storage, leaving you to rely on a microSD card for any heavy-lifting on the storage side. You'll also be using Fire OS, which is based on Android but isn't exactly the same. It provides quick access to Amazon services while opting for the Amazon App Store over the Google Play Store.

Pros:

  • Multiple color options
  • Quad-core processor
  • Ultra-portable and lightweight
  • Alexa built-in

Cons:

  • Only 1.5GB of RAM
  • Amazon App Store
  • Only 32GB or 64GB of storage

Best for Reading

Amazon Fire HD 8

Get some reading done without the books

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is the perfect companion tablet to get some reading done without weighing you down.

Bottom line

There are quite a few different Android tablets to pick from, especially if you're a student. Use-cases are different for everyone, but our favorite Android tablet for every situation is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.

It has all the power you'll need for multitasking and to get some work done, but best of all, Samsung includes an S Pen in the box, allowing you to take notes wherever along with using the S Pen's features. You can take advantage of the new Samsung Dex Mode for more of a desktop-like experience when you pick up Samsung's Keyboard Cover.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central and iMore. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he'll get back to you.

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