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We have updated this article with the latest best tablets for college 2016

If you are searching for a computer for college, you might want to consider checking out some of these options when trying to find the best tablet for college or school!  Not that long ago, laptops were an essential requirement for many college students and even those younger and in high school.  But in recent times laptops have taken a step behind another electronic gadget. It is now tablets that have replaced, to a large extent, the requirement for laptops in the classroom and kids and parents are asking, what tablet should I buy?

I am not saying that laptops have lost their place among college students but elegantly designed portable tablets with long battery life have acquired a huge market share among college and high school students. Students preferred laptops as a means of carrying a computer throughout college to labs, classes etc. In terms of portability, tablets are more generally lighter and easier than laptops and they are installed with more power than before and come with updated software and apps. So, some specially designed student tablets and college tablets have become the perfect choice for students.

Stand Alone Tablets

Some tablets are exclusively designed for student and office purpose. They offer most of the functionality of a computers like word processing as well as running educational apps. Power, functional apps and portability are best suited for students.

Parents often get confused on the different models of tablets and laptops. They cannot decide which would be the best educational tool for their child. Well let’s look at some of the best tablets for college or school that can easily beat laptops.

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ASUS Zenpad Tablet

ASUS Zenpad comes with the latest display screen quality and boots quicker. This tablet offers you the opportunity to obtain 5GB of cloud storage which is provides perfect college backup. It’s light in weight and if your college work needs quick tablet then this is the best option for you. All in all, ASUS Zenpad is an excellent option for high need students.

More Info on ASUS ZenPad:

ASUS ZENPAD Z170C-A1-BK 7″ 16 GB Tablet

Operating System Android 4.4
Brand Asus
Color Black
Screen Size 7 inches
Max Screen Resolution 1024 x 600 pixels
Processor 1.2 GHz Intel Atom
Label ASUS Computers
List Price $92.50
Manufacturer ASUS Computers
Average Battery Life (in hours) 8 hours
Item Weight 9.6 ounces
Rear Webcam Resolution 2 MP
Processor Brand Intel
Flash Memory Size 16.0
Publisher ASUS Computers
Warranty 1 Year North America Warranty
Price Disclaimer

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

This tablet is the flagship model which runs Windows 8.1. Its main USPs are that it has 12″ screen and comes equipped with a stylus which is very useful when using OneNote. As someone that has a tablet with a stylus, I can say I LOVE that feature!  So many options and uses that I can’t imagine not having it now. Microsoft is now offering discount on Surface Pro 3.

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The external keyboard by Microsoft is an optional add on. It comes in handy when you are taking notes and can type rather than writing. Windows 8.1 is a wonder with touchscreen devices. The $799 model comes with Intel core i3 processor, 64 GB storage capacity.  Students should be happy enough with this model, but there are higher end models as well that come with the i5 and i7 processor.

If your budget is lower Microsoft also offers the original Surface 3 which is priced at $499 and has a 10.6 inch screen.

More features of Microsoft Surface 3:

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (64 GB, Intel Core i3, Windows 8.1) – Free Windows 10 Upgrade

Screen Size 12 inches
Brand Microsoft
Color Silver
Battery Life Up to 9 hours of battery life
Storage Options
64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Full-size USB 3.0
microSD card reader
Headset jack
Mini DisplayPort
Cover port
Processor 4th Gen Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 processors
4GB or 8GB memory options
TPM Chip for enterprise security
Office Microsoft Office 365 (sold separately)
List Price $799.00
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro
Network & Wireless Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Technology
Screen 12”ClearType Full HD Plus Display
Resolution: 2160 x 1440
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Touch: multi-touch
CPU & Wireless


4th Gen Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 processors
System memory: 4GB or 8GB memory options
TPM Chip for enterprise security
Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Technology
Price Disclaimer


best tables for students

This waterproof tablet is ideal for students. Sony Xperia Z can perform anything you need to do from web browsing to watching movies. This table offers you a total durable display screen and you will certainly not need to replace your screen after a few months. It has excellent battery quality and can last up to a couple of days from battery charger.

More Info on Sony Xperia:

Sony Xperia Z SGP312U1/B 10.1-Inch 32GB Tablet Black

Operating System Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Brand Sony
Color Black
Processor 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4
Number of Processors 4
Hard Drive 32 GB Serial ATA
Label Sony IT
List Price $599.99
Battery Life 9-hour
Special Features Integrated Card Reader
Touch Sensitive Screen
Video Recording
Graphics and Display LCD Native Resolution
Product Dimensions 11.9 x 8 x 1.9 inches
Operating System Android 4.1
Item Weight 2.2 pounds
Size 32 GB
Price Disclaimer

Apple iPad Air 2

It is definitely true that Apple has been a major player and instigator in the growth of the tablet market. Their tablets have made a huge impact in this niche. This recent version, iPad Air 2 has a 10.1 inch screen size and 1.5GHZ 64 bit dual core processor.  It has both front and rear facing cameras.  Based upon the price, your options can vary from 16GB storage capacity to 128 GB. With Microsoft Pad for iPad, Apple wanted to give users a paradigm shift from iOS tablets. With this suite, users can smoothly work on Word, Excel, PowerPoint and take notes on OneNote software.

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As far as the iOS is concerned, there are millions of apps available from educational to entertainment apps. In addition Apple has a book store which is exclusively dedicated to textbooks.  The store has educational video and multimedia content too.  The Keyboard Cover for iPad Air 2 is in great demand with students who want to type in their classroom notes. For those who prefer handwritten notes the AluPen Digital is a good option from Just Mobile.

More Info on Apple iPad Air 2:

Apple MGLW2LL/A iPad Air 2 9.7-Inch Retina Display, 16GB, Wi-Fi (Silver)

Brand Apple
Color Silver
Screen Size 9.7 inches
Hardware Platform Mac
Screen Resolution 2048×1536
Label Apple Computer
Processor 1.5 GHz None
List Price $499.00
Memory Speed 1600 MHz
Graphics Coprocessor PowerVR SGX543megapixels4
Average Battery Life (in hours) 10 hours
Operating System Apple IOS 8
Product Dimensions 0.2 x 6.6 x 9.4 inches
Item Weight 15.4 ounces
Size 16 GB
Price Disclaimer


Samsung Galaxy Note Pro Tablet 12.2

Samsung is the largest smartphone making brand in world. It is doing a superb job with tablets too. The Galaxy Note Pro is known most for its 12.2 inch screen size. This tablet includes a stylus and an array of apps to take advantage of. The 12.2 inch screen is the biggest attraction point of this tablet as you almost feel like you have a laptop screen here. The release of Microsoft Office for Android has made this tablet more viable as a replacement to a laptop. One version of this device can connect to 4G LTE but wifi is ‘the connection’ for most students anyways so this feature is redundant for students at least. You can get an add on keyboard specifically for this model by Zagg.

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I have the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro as part of my work arsenal.  The stylus was the reason that I chose this tablet for school.  I’ve found that it works well when I’m on the road or busy waiting for kids to get done with what they are doing and I still have some work to do.

The above three tablets can be single handedly used as laptops. The next four tablets are best used in combination with laptops.  These tablets are good for taking notes and as electronic textbooks but are not able to do all the functions of a laptop. These tabs can be considered as good college tablets but with some limitations.

More Info on Samsung Galaxy Note Pro Tablet 12.2:

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, 32GB (Wi-Fi), Black

Brand Samsung
Color Black
Product Dimensions 8 x 11.6 x 0.3 inches
Item Weight 15 ounces
Battery Life Up to 13 hours
Flash Memory 32 GB
Processor 1.9 GHz Exynos 5400
Special Features Built-in Flash
Built-in Microphone
GPS capability
Integrated Card Reader
Touch Sensitive Screen
Video Recording
List Price $749.99
Operating System Android 4.4
Price Disclaimer

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2

As a student if you are finding it a pain to take in handwritten notes, then you can happily switch to this Lenovo model which has the AnyPen feature. You can use the same pen to write your notes on the screen of a Lenovo Yoga using the stylus. With a stylus, any object which conducts electricity can be used to write as a pen onscreen and the screen renders a superb compatibility.

Image Source: Amazon.comThis is basically a Windows 8.1 tablet which can be upgraded to Windows 10. This tablet ($350) has an 8.1 display screen with an abundant space for battery. Therefore for just one single charge this tablet runs for a day of school or college.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 More Info:

Lenovo Yoga 2 10-Inch Windows Tablet with Keyboard (Intel Quad Core 1.86 GHz Processor, Bluetooth, Windows 8.1, 2GB RAM, 32GB Flash Storage) Certified Refurbished

Brand Lenovo
Color Black
Screen Size 10 inches
Hardware Platform PC
Processor Intel Atom
List Price $599.00
Average Battery Life (in hours) 18 hours
Operating System Windows 8
Item Weight 3.2 pounds
Product Dimensions 13.9 x 9.9 x 3.5 inches
Flash Memory Size 32 GB
Price Disclaimer

Toshiba Encore 2

Toshiba specifically designed this model for handwritten notes. This model has stylus and can run on Microsoft OneNote.  It also runs all other applications which are supported by Windows 8.1, including the Office suite of products.

Image Source: Amazon.comThe screen size is 8 inch and comes with a storage capacity of 64 GB. It will have additional storage capacity with its micro SD expansion slot which supports SDXC3. We’ve found this tablet for school for $350.

Toshiba Encore More Features:

[easyazon_bestseller items=”5″ locale=”US” node=”1232597011″ tag=”techiesense05-20″ title=”Bestseller Toshiba Encore “]

Operating System Windows 8.1
Brand Toshiba
Color Gold
Screen Size 8 inches
Screen Resolution 1280 x 800
List Price $199.99
Processor 1.4 GHz Intel Atom
Graphics Coprocessor Mobile Intel HD graphics
Item Weight 13.4 ounces
Processor Brand Intel
Flash Memory Size 32
Price Disclaimer

Asus Memo Pad 7

Some students are on the look out for an inexpensive, useful and portable tablets for college use. This tablet can be the perfect choice for them. If you are someone that loses everything that isn’t attached to you, don’t spend a fortune on a tablet for college then! Pad 7 is the latest version of Asus Memo. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat on a 1.33 GHZ quad core Intel Atom processor. Thus when you compare  its price of $149 it really becomes a rock star.


The 16 GB internal storage can be stretched to 64GB with the help of an external micro SD card. The tablet has 7″ display screen.  You also get the advantage of text of Google which is available in almost every Android. If students need a break from studies then Google Play has movies,  music and other entertainment zones.

Asus Memo Pad 7 More Info:

ASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME170C-8G-BK 7-Inch 8 GB Tablet

Processor 1.2 GHz Intel Atom
Brand Asus
Color Black
Screen Size
7 inches
Screen Resolution 1024 x 600
Hard Drive 8 GB EMMC
Average Battery Life (in hours) 9 hours
List Price $129.00
Item Weight 9.6 ounces
Product Dimensions 4.3 x 7.6 x 0.4 inches
Processor Brand Intel
Flash Memory Size 8
Operating System Android 4.3
Price Disclaimer

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Apple iPad Mini 2

This model isn’t the recent version from Apple but if you want an iPad which is less expensive than the updated Apple iPads then we recommend the iPad Mini 2 ($300). Some students’ requirements are fulfilled by ebook reading and web surfing. For them an iPad is a status or style requirement. This version has a display screen of 7.9″.

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Though this model runs an old version of Apple, it is capable of running the latest Apple software like iOS 8.3. This tablet has both front and rear facing cameras.  You can connect this app to iTunes and app store for all the latest movies and music. It has 16GB internal storage but no external capacity and has wifi.  If required, it also offers 4G LTE connection.

Apple iPad Mini 2 More Info:

Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display 2048 x 1536 16GB, Wi-Fi, 1.3 GHz, 1 GB DDR2, 5 MP (Silver)

Screen Size 7.9 inches
Brand Apple
Color Silver
Screen Resolution 2048 x 1536
Hardware Platform mac
Processor 1.3 GHz
Hard Drive 16 GB
List Price $399.00
Average Battery Life (in hours) 10
Item Weight 11.7 ounces
Product Dimensions 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
Rear Webcam Resolution 5 MP
Operating System Apple IOS 7
Size 16 GB
Price Disclaimer

Final Thoughts

The above choices are the best options currently available and the definitely are choices to consider when looking for the best tablet for college or school for you or your kids. We think of this as our Best Tablet 2015 list of what’s awesome and available now! Now think about your budget and requirements and choose the one you like best and that fits your budget. Students, you can pick the best suited one for you and what’s going on in school!

Let us know what tablet is best and your favorites from this list in the comments below!  We’d love to hear from you.

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