Best Tablet 2023: Top Tablets From Apple, Samsung, Amazon and More
No matter the operating system you're after -- iPadOS, Windows, ChromeOS or Android-- these are the best tablets tested and reviewed by CNET editors.
Updated Oct. 20, 2023 9:00 a.m. PT
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission.
Reviews ethics statement
Joshua GoldmanManaging Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
ExpertiseVR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tabletsCredentials
Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Tablets are versatile tools that can be used for everything at home, school, or work. Whether you're checking email, managing finances, testing your art skills or casually browsing YouTube and watching videos, a tablet can do it all. Finding the best tablet isn't hard, either, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming, and that's where CNET's testing and reviews can help.
Let's start with Apple, which updated its entire iPad lineup in 2022. Along with faster processors across all of the latest models, Apple introduced the 10th-gen iPad with an entirely new design. The updated look and features come with a higher price, however, so Apple is still selling the ninth-gen iPad as its least expensive option.
Meanwhile, Android tablets have made a comeback. The Google Pixel Tablet and OnePlus Pad are excellent and affordable options that are good for family or home use (Pixel Tablet) or as a personal mini laptop (OnePlus Pad), and the slates in Samsung's newest Galaxy Tab S9 series, while expensive, all have excellent AMOLED displays.
In the value segment, Amazon's Fire tablets remain the best tablet option for cheap and kid-friendly models. But if you're looking for something that's good for productivity and entertainment there's an affordable Chromebook that blurs the line between laptop and tablet.
What's the best tablet?
The ninth-gen iPad from 2021 is the best tablet that we continue to recommend, despite the availability of newer iPad models. That's mainly for its position as the lowest-price iPad, which at around $300 offers excellent value. There are definite advantages to spending up for newer models, though (multitasking with the M1 processor on the iPad Air, a better front camera on the 10th-gen model iPad, and second-gen Pencil support on iPad Pros and Airs). If you're definitely going with an iPad, we strongly recommend you check out the entire iPad lineup because there might be a better option for your needs. And keep in mind, new iPads are expected this fall, so you might be better off waiting right now if you can.
Not interested in an iPad? Our other top picks for the best tablets 2023 has to offer right now are below. All offer ways to get popular apps, but you'll want to check that your must-have apps are available on the device before buying (don't look for Fortnite on the iPad through the App Store, for instance). We included budget tablet and premium tablet options, as well as laptop-replacement devices at prices in between, including Android tablet and Apple iPad options. We even threw in tablet PC and Chromebook options. All of these products (or previous versions thereof) have been fully reviewed or anecdotally tested by CNET editors.
We've always appreciated the entry-level 9th-gen iPad for its affordable price. Although this mode's getting a bit old now, it's still very functional: Its older A13 chip and Lightning-charger-equipped, Touch ID home button design all feel somewhat out of date but work fine. This iPad's screen size is perfect for everyday work and fun, there's an auto-zooming front-facing Center Stage camera, and unlike the 10th-gen iPad, the first-gen Apple Pencil doesn't need a dongle to work. This one also has a headphone jack, and It's still compatible with a range of keyboard cases, too.
Apple's 2022 iPad Pro refresh added a more powerful M2 chip, faster Wi-Fi 6E and optional 5G connectivity, and a new Pencil 2 "hover" feature that activates the display when the stylus is in close range. Not many apps take advantage of hover, though, and the rest of this iPad design is the same as the previous model. The iPad Pro lineup are still the only models with faster 120Hz variable refresh rate displays, a step-up Mini LED HDR display on the 12.9-inch model, Face ID and depth-sensing lidar cameras and a faster Thunderbolt 4 port. If you don't mind that the front-facing camera isn't landscape-oriented yet like the 10th-gen iPad's -- and you have the money to burn -- this is the most advanced model, but it doesn't get you any closer to being a Mac. Keep in mind, Apple's expected to maybe have a newer OLED iPad Pro in the works for next year.
Google's versatile, dockable Pixel Tablet doubles as a home hub and a speaker dock-enabled assistant, and its multitasking features work great. You'll have to find your own stylus and keyboard options, but Google has otherwise served up a pretty great family iPad alternative for anyone in the Android ecosystem. A fast Google Tensor G2 processor, good front camera for video chats, and crisp display, plus a clean Google Android software experience, make this one of our favorite new tablets this year.
The OnePlus Pad boasts a great display, an excellent optional keyboard case, and most of the performance and features you'd expect from a premium Android tablet, but at a sub-$500 price. The OnePlus Pad vs. Google Pixel Tablet decision is a tough one (we prefer Pixel Tablet overall), but the OnePlus Pad feels like a sleeker personal mini-laptop with its keyboard case and stylus, which we loved.
The Galaxy Tab S8 Plus was our favorite pick last year, but the newer S9 series arriving in August adds IP68 water and dust resistance and a newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. This is essentially the Android equivalent to Apple's iPad Pro, available in three different sizes and prices and all featuring AMOLED displays. Our favorite is probably this Plus model, which has a big screen that's not too massive. Samsung's DeX interface gives it an edge for productivity if you're looking for a more laptop-like feel from the tablet. It's built around a beautiful 12.4-inch, 2,800x1,752-pixel Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother-looking visuals. Samsung also includes one of its great S Pens, so you're ready to start sketching and taking notes right out of the box. The tablet can also double as a wireless display, so you can extend your Windows laptop's screen space on the go. While you can also hunt around for a Tab S8 model on sale, Samsung's already offering up some discounts on the new tablets, too. We'll loop back when we've finally finished reviewing the S9 Plus.
The iPad Mini got a big redesign a couple of years ago, and it's still a great pick for anyone who wants a small tablet. Its A15 processor is still capable, and this model supports Pencil 2 and a more bezel-free display, but it's tough to swallow the fact that this smaller 8.3-inch model has a relatively high price for its size. Some folks love this model as a smaller, lighter mobile device option that's well-sized as an upscale ebook reader.
Amazon continues to make the best inexpensive tablets for media consumption. The Fire HD 8 is the middle of the lineup, hitting a sweet spot for price and performance. The 2022 model sports a thinner, lighter design, a faster processor and an hour more battery life (13 hours vs. 12) than its predecessor. It's definitely a good low-cost option for streaming video, reading ebooks and web browsing, but we still recommend waiting to pick it up when it's discounted, which Amazon regularly does. We also recommend spending an additional $20 for the Plus version, which adds 1GB of RAM, wireless charging and a 9-watt power adapter.
The 10-inch Amazon Fire HD tablet is faster and better than the 7- or 8-inch Fire tablet, and it's still a pretty low $150 (or less). For the Amazon Fire HD 10, there are two storage options, 32 and 64GB. The Amazon Fire HD tablet also charges its battery via USB-C now. A Plus version of the tablet adds wireless charging, 4GB of RAM and a soft-touch finish.
While there are several imitators, the Surface Pro continues to offer the best detachable two-in-one PC experience. The 2022 version jumps from an 11th-gen Intel CPU to a newer 12th-gen one and moves to a slightly faster type of RAM. There's also a 5G version that switches from Intel to a Microsoft/Qualcomm ARM-based chip for faster mobile wireless with long battery life. Unfortunately, unless you get a bundle, the keyboard and active pen are still separate purchases. Also, the Surface Pro 8 is still around and worth considering, especially because it's at a better price.
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is an awesome little 11-inch ChromeOS tablet with a detachable keyboard and touchpad. It's a good pick if you're looking for an affordable ultraportable device to get some work done on the go, sketch or jot down notes in class, or do simple stuff like email, web browsing, gaming, reading and streaming video.