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Gaming on the go is a different experience. Instead of crazy headsets and lightning-fast mouse clicks, it’s often a simpler process — not a completely immersive game experience. Still, that doesn’t mean that gaming on a tablet has to be a bad experience. Many popular franchises such as Minecraft, Fortnite and Call of Duty have made successful switches to the touchscreen, and there are countless options on the App Store and Google Play for further fun games.
But picking the right tablet to game on isn’t easy. With so many Android and Apple devices out there, it’s difficult to distinguish between which screen is best for you. There are a number of factors to consider: screen size, operating speed, availability of a keyboard, headphone connectivity, among others.
So, with all of those considered, here are the best five gaming tablets out there.
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1. iPad pro
Sometimes the best answer is the one you might expect. iOS has long been the smoothest operating system — a few weird glitches notwithstanding. And it’s on that strength alone that the iPad pro is the ideal system to play games on. This particular model, though, offers more, and can function like a proper gaming system.
A USB-C port allows for the connection of an XBOX or Playstation controller, meaning you can bring your major games, Call of Duty, for example, to the tablet, with high-quality retina display.
A 13 inch screen is also plenty big enough for users to take in the action. It also runs Steam games very effectively when connected to a PC or MAC, widening your potential options. And, if you have an Apple TV, airplaying is also an option, bringing Minecraft, Fortnite, or any number of popular options to the big screen with ease.
2. Microsoft Surface Pro
PC is widely regarded to be better than iOS in the gaming world. Traditionally, PCs have developed a wider selection of games, spanning a number of decades — all at a slightly more affordable cost than their Mac counterparts. And although Mac has made headway in recent years, especially for Steam games, hardcore gamers still see PC as the way to go. It is for that reason, then, that the Surface Pro is among the best options out there.
Like many Windows machines, its appeal is in its versatility. There’s no better option for reaching back into the archives, and playing an old Civilization or Fallout game. For those less-advanced, timeless classics, the Surface Pro excels. Further additions, such as the inclusion of a keyboard within the $1,600 price tag, as well as a kickstand, give the Surface Pro a unique edge.
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus
The advantage Samsung has on the rest of the gaming tablet market is a funny phrase you might have heard: XBOX Cloud Gaming. Launched in 2019, it was a way to take your XBOX on the go; all you needed was a controller and a subscription to XBOX Live premium, and you could plug in anytime. Well, it hasn’t always worked out that way, and there have been some hiccups, especially on Macs. Android claimed the rights to the Beta version — then dubbed xCloud — and has been the best way to take your XBOX on the go ever since. Furthermore, the Galaxy Tab was early to the 5g game, making wireless speeds quicker than some of the other options out there.
It’s also lightweight and comfortable to carry. The only major drawback is that it doesn’t have an audio jack, so a nice pair of wireless headphones may well be necessary.
4. Amazon Fire 10
The Fire is a different kind of tablet. Rather than being high-powered processing machines, set up for handheld versions of popular franchises, they’re versatile machines, and fantastic value for more casual gamers. But that doesn’t mean you’re limited to Candy Crush.
Games that require more running power, such as racing thriller Asphalt can run smoothly on the Fire, with little to no lag. And the other basics are there, too: a high quality display, user friendly interface, and a USB-C port for added flexibility. Dual speakers and a headphone jack, as well as a good Bluetooth setup, mean you sacrifice little in a gaming experience. And for such a cheaper price, it’s an enticing option.
5. iPad Air
There is a happy medium to be found between the inexpensive Fire and more advanced iPad Pro or Galaxy Plus. And, if you want a portable device that comes with the standard slew of other perks — music, streaming, email, news — as well as some kind of gaming capability, the iPad Air hits the mark.
It doesn’t run as fast as its more expensive counterparts, and playing top-end games on Steam may well lead to a bit of lag, or a longer loading time, but it handles anything thrown at it very well. That means you can plug in your XBOX or Playstation controller, operate steam games and enjoy excellent screen quality — all with a few dollars off.
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