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Don’t Leave for College Without One of These Top-Rated Tablets in Your Bag

Popular Mechanics Logo By Harry Rabinowitz of Popular Mechanics | Slide 1 of 9: Traveling around campus with all your books, assignments and notes is hard enough. Add other essentials like a portable charger, laptop, battery pack, and a bite to eat and suddenly your backpack can feel like an anvil. Luckily for college students, tablets have gotten so good that the best of the best can replace most of the books and papers in your bag. The best tablets are lightweight and can easily handle textbooks, note-taking, lab work and down-time entertainment. But shopping for a great tablet can be a headache, with every company giving you multiple models to choose from. That’s why we’ve collected the best of the best for college students to take to school this fall. Read on for our top recommendations, plus essentials to consider before shopping. Looking for more must-have devices, gadgets, gear and accessories for school? Check out our stories on the best Apple Watch charging stands, the best wireless headphones, and the best college laptops.Best Tablets for CollegeWhat to ConsiderThe best tablets have a lot in common: a high-resolution screen, great software, long battery life and room to customize. Below are a few major points to keep in mind when picking your ideal tablet.Operating SystemUnlike computers, tablets run a wide variety of different operating systems. With any new tablet, it's best to match the software as closely as possible to your existing devices. Students using Windows and Android will be best served by a tablet running the same operating system. Similarly, anyone with a MacBook will find excellent cross-connectivity using an iPad.StorageMost tablets are sold with different amounts of storage built-in. Students working with larger files, such as photos and videos, may want to consider purchasing a tablet with at least 128GB of storage. Users working mostly online will be fine with the average 64GB models.AccessoriesAccessories like an attachable keyboard or digital stylus can transform your tablet experience. If you plan on using such accessories, make sure your tablet of choice is compatible.How We SelectedMany of these recommendations come from hundreds of hours of in-house use. For the products we couldn’t test ourselves, we perform intensive research, reviewing content from expert sources like Wirecutter, CNET, Tom’s Guide, DigitalTrends, and others, as well as thousands of consumer reviews from online storefronts like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. As for the products themselves, we evaluated them on performance, design, build quality, and price. Also, every tablet we cover has an average customer rating of 4 stars or more.

Traveling around campus with all your books, assignments and notes is hard enough. Add other essentials like a portable charger, laptop, battery pack, and a bite to eat and suddenly your backpack can feel like an anvil. Luckily for college students, tablets have gotten so good that the best of the best can replace most of the books and papers in your bag.

The best tablets are lightweight and can easily handle textbooks, note-taking, lab work and down-time entertainment. But shopping for a great tablet can be a headache, with every company giving you multiple models to choose from. That’s why we’ve collected the best of the best for college students to take to school this fall. Read on for our top recommendations, plus essentials to consider before shopping.

Looking for more must-have devices, gadgets, gear and accessories for school? Check out our stories on the best Apple Watch charging stands, the best wireless headphones, and the best college laptops.

Best Tablets for College

What to Consider

The best tablets have a lot in common: a high-resolution screen, great software, long battery life and room to customize. Below are a few major points to keep in mind when picking your ideal tablet.

Operating System

Unlike computers, tablets run a wide variety of different operating systems. With any new tablet, it's best to match the software as closely as possible to your existing devices. Students using Windows and Android will be best served by a tablet running the same operating system. Similarly, anyone with a MacBook will find excellent cross-connectivity using an iPad.

Storage

Most tablets are sold with different amounts of storage built-in. Students working with larger files, such as photos and videos, may want to consider purchasing a tablet with at least 128GB of storage. Users working mostly online will be fine with the average 64GB models.

Accessories

Accessories like an attachable keyboard or digital stylus can transform your tablet experience. If you plan on using such accessories, make sure your tablet of choice is compatible.

How We Selected

Many of these recommendations come from hundreds of hours of in-house use. For the products we couldn’t test ourselves, we perform intensive research, reviewing content from expert sources like Wirecutter, CNET, Tom’s Guide, DigitalTrends, and others, as well as thousands of consumer reviews from online storefronts like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. As for the products themselves, we evaluated them on performance, design, build quality, and price. Also, every tablet we cover has an average customer rating of 4 stars or more.

© Popular Mechanics; Courtesy Microsoft

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