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Here are our top choices for the best Samsung tablet

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Android tablets have waned in popularity over the past few years, leading many companies to all but abandon them. But no one gave Samsung the memo: It regularly releases new tablet options every year, channeling its Android know-how into respectable software hosted on killer hardware. So whether you choose our top overall pick — the Galaxy Tab S7 — or any other option in this roundup, the best Samsung tablets all have plenty to recommend compared to iPads, Fires, and other popular brands. Especially if you find a Black Friday tablet deal on one.

Best overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

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You have a large number of high-quality Galaxy Tabs to consider, but above everything that’s on offer, the Galaxy Tab S7 stands out as our go-to recommendation. It launched last summer but remains the best Samsung tablet today — and often sells for far less than its original asking price.

The most important aspect of any tablet is its display, and in this regard, the Tab S7 has a lot going for it. You’re treated to an 11-inch LCD panel with a 2560×1600 resolution and a buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate. So whether you play a lot of games or watch a ton of movies, they’ll all look excellent on the Tab S7. Plus, thanks to the Snapdragon 865+ processor and 8GB of RAM, you’ll be able to do most of what you want without skipping a beat.

Samsung includes an S Pen with the Tab S7 at no added cost, with this version of the iconic stylus offering a mere 9ms latency for lifelike drawing and writing. When you aren’t using it, just place the S Pen on the back of the Tab S7, and magnets will keep it secure.

When all of that is said and done, the Galaxy Tab S7 ends up being one of the best Android tablets overall. It has the RAM for reliable Android gaming or for productivity with DeX mode. Your only real question is whether 11 inches offers you enough screen space; if not, either the massive S7+ or S7 FE could fit the bill better.

Pros:

  • 120Hz display is very smooth
  • Slim bezels and premium metal design
  • Flagship performance
  • Comes with an S Pen
  • 45W wired charging speeds

Cons:

  • Screen is not AMOLED
  • Expensive

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Mystic Black

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  • From $499 at Amazon
  • From $650 at Best Buy
  • From $499 at Walmart
  • From $650 at B&H Photo

The one to get

When it comes to the best Samsung tablet around, we have to give the crown to the Galaxy Tab S7.

Best upgrade: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

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Should you find yourself with a bit more money to spend and want something even more impressive, that’s exactly where the Galaxy Tab S7+ comes into play. It shares most of the same DNA with the regular Tab S7, though it brings a couple of welcome upgrades, the first of which is an even prettier display. Along with a larger 12.4-inch size, you also get an AMOLED panel instead of an LCD one. This means richer colors and deeper blacks for an even more immersive experience.

The larger size of the Tab S7+ also gives you a bigger battery, with Samsung promising up to 14 hours of video playback. You get the same Snapdragon 865+ processor and 8GB of RAM, along with the S Pen and its impressive 9ms latency.

Both the Tab S7 and S7+ support Samsung’s DeX desktop interface and work with an optional keyboard cover, but those two things shine especially bright on the S7+. The larger screen is top-notch for working on documents, spreadsheets, and managing Zoom calls, so if you want to have your tablet function as a sort of laptop replacement, the Tab S7+ is perfectly equipped to do just that.

If you’re weighing the Galaxy Tab S7 vs. the S7+, take some pressure off yourself: Both tablets are excellent, so neither is the “wrong” choice.

Pros:

  • AMOLED display with 120Hz
  • 12.4-inch size is great for productivity
  • Has the Snapdragon 865+ processor
  • Large battery with fast charging
  • S Pen included for free

Cons:

  • Might be too big for some people
  • Very expensive

Best upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Mystic Black 12.4-inch

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  • From $729 at Amazon
  • From $850 at Best Buy
  • From $849 at Walmart
  • From $849 at B&H Photo

Bigger is better

With its massive AMOLED screen and larger battery, the Tab S7+ goes a step beyond for those who can afford it.

Best for streaming and battery life: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

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Most Samsung FE devices maintain the excellence of flagship phones at a discounted price, like the flagship-killing Galaxy S20 FE. But the “Fan Edition” of the Galaxy Tab S7 series doesn’t quite live up to the label. Instead, Samsung took elements of the S7 and S7+ and jammed them into a massive tablet that’s more affordable than both, but made some significant compromises to justify the price drop.

The Galaxy Tab S7 FE gives you tons of perks for a mid-range tablet, tempered with price-cutting compromises outshone by the other S7s. It has the same massive 12.4-inch display as the S7+, but you get a TFT LCD instead of AMOLED and 60Hz instead of 120Hz. It comes with an S Pen and supports DeX mode for productivity, but its Snapdragon 750G chipset limits its performance compared to the S7’s 865+. And even though its cellular version offers 5G, its speeds will be limited by its 4GB of RAM.

If you can afford it, the S7+ triumphs here. But the Galaxy Tab S7 FE beats other older, cheaper offerings on this list, like the Tab S5e and S6 Lite, while crushing the Tab A series. The main battle is the Galaxy Tab S7 FE vs. Galaxy Tab S7, and there are a few reasons to choose the FE here. It gives you an extra 2.4 inches of screen space, a much larger battery to compensate, and Android 11 out of the box, which means it’ll get an extra year of support compared to the S7.

If you can do without 120Hz — and many people won’t notice the absence unless they’re already used to the feature — this tablet looks plenty bright and colorful and will last 13 hours per charge whether you’re at home or on the road.

Pros:

  • 10,090mAh battery
  • 12.4-inch display
  • More affordable than other S7s
  • Comes with S Pen, 1TB microSD slot
  • 5G support

Cons:

  • Lacks AMOLED, 60Hz refresh rate
  • Snapdragon 750G speeds are only average
  • Only 4GB/64GB base memory
  • Only 8MP/5MP cameras

Best for streaming and battery life

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Fan Edition

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  • $499 at Amazon
  • $530 at Best Buy
  • $465 at Walmart
  • $530 at B&H Photo

Made with frugal Samsung fans in mind

The latest Galaxy Tab isn’t a powerhouse, but it works excellent for all-day casual streaming with a massive, bright display.

Best for students: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

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While we’re on the subject of low-cost tablets, we should mention the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. This 2020 tablet is older and smaller than the S7 FE, but the Tab S6 Lite has a few strong attributes worth mentioning for students — and a much lower price.

In regard to its display, the S6 Lite boasts a 10.4-inch LCD panel with a 2000×1200 resolution. Whichever app or game you’re running will look good here, and thanks to the included S Pen, you have a perfect canvas for taking notes in class or drawing during your free time. For comparison, cheap Galaxy Tab A tablets don’t typically come with an S Pen and often drop to HD resolution.

Pair its stylish display with excellent stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the S6 Lite gives a lot for a small amount of money.

Samsung does drop the ball with the Tab S6 Lite’s performance; its Exynos 9611 chipset leaves a lot to be desired. There’s also the fact that you don’t get a fingerprint sensor of any kind, which is annoying if you use banking apps and password managers. But it’s a great middle-ground purchase for students who want an affordable, relatively compact tablet for class.

Pros:

  • Aluminum design looks and feels nice
  • Solid LCD panel
  • Stereo speakers sound great
  • Free S Pen in the box
  • Has a 3.5mm headphone jack

Cons:

  • Disappointing performance
  • No fingerprint sensor

Best for students

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4-inch, 64GB

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  • From $349 at Amazon
  • From $350 at Best Buy
  • From $349 at B&H Photo

Use it for work and play

The Tab S6 Lite is a great choice for students, largely thanks to its included S Pen and super affordable price.

Best Chromebook 2-in-1 tablet: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

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Picking a Samsung tablet is simple: Go for the Tab S7 series for premium quality or the Tab A series for budget quality. But there is a third option: Forego the Android ecosystem altogether and buy one of the best Chromebooks that pulls double duty as a laptop and tablet. Samsung’s Android skin does a great laptop-lite experience with DeX mode, but Chrome OS is a more tailored experience overall than One UI.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook has the best display on this list, with a 13.3-inch 3840×2160 (4K) AMOLED touchscreen. Shipping with a built-in stylus, this Chromebook is designed for a beautiful tablet experience. It’s also extremely attention-grabbing, courtesy of its fiesta red design. It’ll make a statement whether you’re using it in laptop, tablet, or tent form.

Beneath the surface, you’ll get a 10th Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD — very solid specs for a Chromebook. In exchange, you’ll have to accept a higher-than-average price and lower-than-average battery performance compared to other Chromebooks. This device likely won’t last you as long as a Tab S7 for streaming marathons, thanks to the 4K visuals and laptop-quality processor demanding extra power.

A Project Athena device, this Chromebook will give you reliable performance for years to come. Unlike an Android-based tablet, which will only get you a few years of support at most, you’ll get seven more years of updates with the Chromebook, so it should last you a good long while.

Pros:

  • 4K AMOLED display looks fantastic
  • Eye-catching chassis
  • Garaged active pen
  • Project Athena certification
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Support through June 2028

Cons:

  • Pricey for a Chromebook
  • Not the best battery life
  • Can get warm on the bottom

Best Chromebook 2-in-1 tablet

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

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  • $830 at Amazon
  • $999 at Best Buy

Pulling double duty

Samsung doesn’t just do Android well. This Chromebook tablet has outstanding performance powering a gorgeous 4K display.

Best compact budget tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

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Just as with Samsung smartphones, Galaxy S tablets typically crush their Galaxy A Tab counterparts. But if you’re in the market for a cheap Android tablet that doesn’t make too many compromises, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is your best bet to compete with Amazon or Lenovo tablets built for the budget market. It’s incredibly affordable, with the excellent app library Fire Tablets lack, plus the Samsung tools and tricks you know and love. And at 8 inches, weighing just 13oz/367g, it’s much easier to hold while lying in bed than any other pick on this list.

Keep in mind that this is truly a “budget” tablet. Its MediaTek MT8768T Helio P22T chipset can clock 4 x 2.3GHz + 4 x 1.8GHz; solid but nothing to write home about. With a 1340×800 TFT display, it won’t be able to hit FHD when streaming. And like most in its class, it has thicker bezels on the top and bottom. But for its price, these specs aren’t bad at all.

You’ll get decently long-lasting battery life, dual stereo speakers, 15W fast charging, expandable storage up to 1TB, Android 11 out of the box, and up to 4GB of RAM — equal to the base RAM of more expensive Samsung tablets. The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite also uses a lightweight aluminum frame that makes it especially comfortable to hold. So for casual streaming and browsing without eating into your savings, this is a great option.

Pros:

  • Super affordable
  • Lightweight and stylish
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Stereo speakers

Cons:

  • Slowest performance on this list
  • Display isn’t particularly pretty
  • No S Pen included

Best compact budget tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite 8.7-inch

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  • $130 at Amazon $159 at Walmart

Scrimp and save with Samsung

It won’t match S Tabs for speed, but the ultra-affordable A7 Lite is a great alternative to cheap Fire and Lenovo tablets.

Bottom line

Samsung’s lineup of Android tablets is rather impressive, seeing as hardly anyone else supports the form factor. Looking through its list of available options, we have to give our highest recommendation to the Galaxy Tab S7.

The Tab S7 has the latest specs you could ask for, packages them up in a really nice design, and comes in at a price tag that’s pretty fair when you consider everything you’re getting — a 120Hz display, high-quality S Pen, Snapdragon 865+ processor, and so on.

There are other options out there if you have different tastes and budgets, but overall, the Galaxy Tab S7 strikes that balance of being the Samsung tablet to get.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

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Michael Hicks is a Senior Editor for Android Central who covers Android, Oculus, smart home and fitness tech, and other devices, including tablets. A Bay Area native, he loves underperforming sports teams, running, and tormenting his friends as the DM for D&D campaigns.

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