The Best Budget Gaming Tablets

Android tablets have come a long way to become a trusted line of tablets for gaming and many professional tasks.

The iPad Pro, however, still remains their most powerful competition. Most people regard it as the best in many ways. It is, however, relatively expensive.

The many options and improvements on Android tablets mean you can get a good Android tablet for gaming without having to spend too much.

Before opting for a gaming tablet, you need to consider some key factors, such as processing power, battery life, screen size, and charging speed, among others.

This article covers both cheap tablets for casual gamers and more powerful tablets for professional gamers.

How we picked and tested the Best Budget Gaming Tablets

In this article, our focus is on tablets that operate on an Android operating system. However, we have also included the best picks for Amazon Fire OS, iPads, and Windows tablets.

Best budget tablets for playing games

  1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 – Best Samsung Gaming Tablet
  2. Lenovo Tab P12 Pro – Best gaming tablet Android
  3. Amazon Fire Max 11: Best Budget Tablet for Gaming
  4. Apple iPad Pro – Best iPad for Gaming
  5. Asus ROG Flow Z13 – Best Windows gaming tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9: Best Samsung Gaming Tablet

  • Screen Size: 11 inches
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels, AMOLED
  • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Processor
  • RAM: 8 GB / 12 GB
  • 120 HZ refresh rate
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is the best pick. This multipurpose tablet comes equipped with perfect features ideal for a nice gaming experience.

It comes with an 11-inch AMOLED screen with a 2560×1600 pixel resolution and a 120 Hz display that is large and clear enough for gaming. It will display your game in rich, vivid colors and provide fast gaming transition.

Processing power is maintained by a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and 8 GB of RAM that can be boosted to 12 GB if you regularly multitask on your tablet.

If you like saving files on your tablet, you will have 128 GB of storage space and another 256 GB option. You can still upgrade the memory using an external microSD card up to 1 TB.

Like the S9+ and S9 Ultra, it features Dex mode, which easily makes it a good laptop alternative. Dex mode allows you to connect it to a keyboard and mouse and then use it as a laptop.

Unfortunately, this tablet is a premium tablet, and it does not come cheap. Additionally, poor haptics and the lack of a 3.5 mm jack for inserting headphones are some major gaming disadvantages of the tablet.

Pros

  • AMOLED display
  • Powerful performance
  • Long battery life
  • Expandable storage

Cons

  • No 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Expensive

Lenovo Tab P12 Pro: Best gaming tablet Android

  • Screen Size: 12.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels, AMOLED
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:10 ratio 
  • 120 HZ refresh rate
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM8250-AC Snapdragon 870 5G (7 nm)
  • RAM: 6 GB / 8 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB Expandable to 1 TB
  • Android 11

If you are on a budget but need a good Android gaming tablet with a good screen at an affordable price, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is your best pick.

It features a large 12.6-inch screen with 1600 x 2560 pixels and an AMOLED display at 600 nits brightness, which is perfect for gaming. Additionally, the 16:10 aspect ratio makes it possible to use it both in landscape and portrait orientation.

For processing power, you have a Qualcomm SM8250-AC Snapdragon 870 5G and 6 or 8 GB of RAM options for multitasking. To save files and install software, you will have 128 GB and 256 GB options that are expandable to 1 TB using a dedicated microSD slot.

The price is a standout feature of this tablet. It will give you the best value for your money compared to the other tablets in this review. Unfortunately, you will still not have a 3.5 mm jack for your headphones.

Pros

  • Great AMOLED display
  • Expandable storage
  • Long battery Life
  • Powerful Processor
  • Affordable Price

Cons

  • No 3.5 mm Audio jac

Asus ROG Flow Z13: Windows Gaming Tablet

  • Screen Size: 14.6 inches
  • Resolution: 2960 x 1848  Pixels
  • 120 HZ refresh rate
  • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SM8450 (8-core)
  • RAM: 12 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB / 256 GB Expandable to 1 TB
  • Battery Life: 6.5 hours

The new Asus ROG Flow Z13 is a unique tablet compared to others highlighted in this list. It is a hybrid between a tablet and an Asus gaming laptop.

It comes with the latest 12th generation Intel Core i7 processor, which is more powerful than most laptops. Additionally, it has a dedicated NVIDIA Geforce RTX 3050 graphics processing unit.

When you add this to 16 GB of RAM, you have a powerful device.

You will be able to play any complex game without problems or unnecessary lags. To save your files, you have 500 GB of storage space on purchase, but you can boost it with an external device if it is not enough.

Such powerful tablets regularly overheat and make some operational noise. The Asus ROG Flow Z13, however, is very quiet when working. This is thanks to a well-planned fan system that is quiet and ambient.

Display is also very important when it comes to gaming. You need a large and clear screen with a fast refresh rate for gaming. The Asus ROG Flow Z13 comes with two screen options, both great for gaming.

One comes in at 13.4 inches in size, which is slightly larger than an iPad Pro but with an equal 120 HZ refresh rate. Finally, for the resolution, this tablet matches up to a large desktop computer. You have a clear Full HD 1920 x 1200 pixels or a 4K display resolution.

As mentioned, you can either use this hybrid tablet in tablet mode or combine it with a magnetic keyboard, touchpad, and stand for laptop mode.

The overall look of the tablet looks cool and baking-like, with a colorful glass view into the tablet.

Because of its power and hybrid nature, plus its gaming look and feel, this Windows tablet is our best overall pick. However, the price is quite high, and because it is too close to a laptop in terms of usage, many will prefer to go for a laptop instead.

Apple iPad Pro M2 – best iPad for Gaming

  • Screen Size: 12.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2732 x 2048 Pixels
  • Processor: M2 Processor
  • RAM: 8 GB / 12 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB to 2TB
  • 120 HZ  refresh rate
  • Battery Life: 10 hours

Before the gaming-dedicated Asus ROG Flow Z13 came about, the Apple iPad Pro had been the top pick despite being a multi-purpose device.

The first thing that stands out on this iPad is the large 12.9-inch screen. It is not the size that is unique, but the liquid Retina XDR display, which is unique to iMacs and iPads.

The screen has an overall brightness level of up to 1000 nits to 1600 nits at maximum output. This means that you will easily use this tablet even outdoors in ambient environmental light without issues.

Like the Asus ROG Flow Z13, the iPad Pro also has a fast 120 HZ refresh rate that is perfect for gaming. The iPad Pro is one of the best tablets available on the market today and outperforms its predecessors thanks to a powerful upgrade from the M1 to the M2 processor.

The tablet comes in different RAM and storage options, with either 8 or 16 GB of RAM and 128 GB up to 2 TB of storage. If you choose to pick 8 GB and 256 GB of storage, then it is far cheaper than the Asus ROG.

These specs, although seemingly small, will run a host of games on the App Store without problems. The iPad Pro is great, but unfortunately, it is not cheap.

Pros

  • Good screen display
  • Powerful processor
  • Bright screen
  • Magic keyboard and Apple pencil 2 compatible.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Non expandable storage

What Should I look for in the Best Budget Gaming Tablets?

  1. Storage and Processing Power
  2.  Best Tablet OS for Gaming: Android, Windows or iPadOS
  3. Screen size and Resolution
  4. Cellular vs Non cellular tablets

Storage and Processing Power

For basic or casual gaming, 2 GB to 4 GB of RAM is recommended. However, for more complex gaming, 8 GB to 16 GB of RAM is recommended. Larger RAM results in more powerful processing and multitasking.

Games can take up a significant amount of storage space, so it’s important to have ample internal storage or expandable storage options. Look for tablets with large storage capacities or support for microSD cards to accommodate your gaming library.

 Best Tablet OS for Gaming: Android, Windows or iPadOS

When choosing a tablet for gaming, the kind of operating system to choose is totally a matter of personal preference. If you are an Android user, you will find yourself inclined towards Samsung tablets or Lenovo tablets. You will have access to Google Play games and a user-friendly interface.

If you prefer an iPad OS, the Apple iPad Pro is the best pick. You will get your games from the Apple Store or Apple One.

Screen size and Resolution

For basic gaming, 7 to 10 inches screen size is most ideal. For the best user experience in complex gaming, we recommend a screen size of 10 inches and above. A larger tablet will provide a better experience. However, the larger size means the tablet is heavier to carry.

Choose the one that feels most comfortable in your hand. Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels and above is ideal for gaming. You do not have to use an AMOLED display, but it is better than without. Finally, a 120 Hz screen refresh rate and above is ideal for gaming.

Is a Cellular Gaming Tablet better?

A cellular tablet will cost slightly more than a non-cellular one. However, you do not have to use a cellular tablet for gaming. If you use your tablet near a WIFI connection, you will not have to use a cellular connection.

  1. What is the best tablet to game on?

    The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is our pick for the best tablet to game on. The iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy S8 Ultra and S9 are also good alternatives to gaming.

  2. How much RAM does a gaming tablet need?

    For basic or casual gaming, 2 GB to 4 GB of RAM is recommended. However, for more complex gaming, 8 GB to 16 GB of RAM is recommended. Larger RAM results in more powerful processing and multitasking.