Shopping for tablets means entering a maze of brand names, sizes, features and specifications. If you’re comparing non-iPad options—especially when looking for an affordable tablet or model designed for a specific task—it’s easy to come out the other side more confused than when you began. So we’ve done the hard work for you. All you need to do is pick a broad category (think: Android tablet, e-reader or drawing tablet, and we’ll show you the best tablet to buy. But first, let’s answer a few simple questions.

Do I need a tablet?

Think of tablets as a halfway point between smartphones and laptops. If you can relate to any of these scenarios, you might want to consider buying a tablet:

  • You want to enjoy your mobile media on a bigger screen than a smartphone.
  • You need to get work done wherever you go without dealing with the bulk of a laptop.
  • Your family needs an additional shared device (or two).

What are the main types of tablets?

There are countless tablets on the market and they are becoming more specialized and diverse every year. Here’s a simple breakdown to make the types easier to understand.

  • Slate: Essentially smartphones with bigger screens, this style of tablet is most common.
  • Hybrid or 2-in-1: These tablets have PC-like functionality, thanks largely to physical keyboards that can be concealed or detached.
  • e-Reader: These models have the sole purpose of letting users purchase and read digital books.
  • Drawing: Ideal for artistic pursuits, drawing tablets are purpose-built for detailed rendering using an electronic stylus or pencil.

What tablet features should I consider?

Figuring out your personal requirements should be job number one before heading to the store. Here are some things to noodle:

  • Size: Most tablet screens range from around seven inches all the way up to 15. How big (or small) do you need yours to be?
  • Accessory support: Do you want to use a stylus? Game controller? Wired headphones? Not all tablets support all accessories. Be sure to check for features like Bluetooth version support and headphone jacks. (We’ve also rounded up our favourite wireless headphones of 2021.)
  • Storage: If you plan to store lots of videos, music or apps, look for models with plenty of built-in or expandable storage.
  • Connectivity: Can you make do with Wi-Fi or do you want a tablet with cellular capability?
  • Cameras: Not all tablet cameras are created equal. If photo or video quality is a big deal to you, check out this megapixel guide.

For more information about choosing the right tablet for you, visit our tablet buying guide, which compares iPads against other tablet brands.

What type of tablet are you looking for?

Best Android Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, 64 GB SM-P610NZAAXAC

Screen size: 10.4 inches | Storage capacity: 64 GB | Weight: 1.03 lb | Operating system: Android | Battery life: 13 hours (typical device usage) | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

This large-screened yet surprisingly slim and lightweight Android tablet is a fantastic jack-of-all-trades with an affordable price point. It charges quickly (a necessity if you’ll be using it on the go) and is great for watching streaming video, playing games, jotting notes, drawing, mirroring content on your TV and even doing a bit of work.

Pros Cons
An S Pen is included and attaches magnetically to the tablet for easy toting. It plays games well, but performance may falter slightly with more graphically intensive Android apps.
Storage can be expanded beyond 64 gigabytes with a microSD card. The TFT screen is fine for most activities but won’t wow viewers the way Samsung’s top-of-the-line OLED displays do.
The 8 MP rear camera should meet most casual video and photography needs.

Best Budget Tablet

Samsung Galaxy 8

Screen size: 8 inches | Storage capacity: 32 GB | Weight: 0.76 pounds | Operating system: Android | Battery life: Not specified | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Buying on a tight budget? You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the eight-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A. Powerful enough to play most games and stream standard HD movies, it’s light, portable and a good fit for everything from backyard TV binges to late-night reading.

Pros Cons
It’s a great size and weight for one-handed activities, such as reading and video calls. 32 GB of storage isn’t a lot these days, though it can be expanded via a microSD card slot.
The 2 MP front camera is fine for quick selfies and video calls with friends and family, while the rear camera is higher resolution at 8 MP. A relatively low-resolution TFT screen means Full HD video is off the table.
It’s designed to support a variety of common accessories, including Samsung’s S-Pen stylus.

Best Drawing Tablet

Cintiq 16 Creative Pen Display DTK1660K0A

Screen size: 15.6 inches | Storage capacity: n/a | Weight: 4.2 pounds | Operating system: n/a | Battery life: n/a | Wireless connectivity: n/a

Purpose-built for drawing, this Wacom tablet doesn’t run games or stream video. All it does is provide a digital canvas for your imagination—and it does this extremely well. It connects to your PC and is compatible with professional creative suites, including Adobe, Corel and Autodesk products. It’s the perfect gateway from pencil and paper to stylus and screen.

Pros Cons
An expansive, 15.6-inch Full HD display lets you get up close to your work while drawing fine details. It doesn’t come with a stand, which some digital artists find essential.
The Wacom Pro Pen 2—Wacom’s best pen yet, with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity—is included in the box. The display, while bright and crisp, can’t quite match the clarity of the 4K screens found in professional drawing tablets.
It comes with a three-month license to Wacom’s own drawing software, Clip Studio Paint EX, ensuring you have everything you need to get started.

Best Gaming Tablet

Microsoft 12.3

Screen size: 12.3 inches | Storage capacity: 128 GB | Weight: 1.71 pounds | Operating system: Windows 10 Home | Battery life: 10.5 hours (typical device usage) | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

If you want a tablet that can play more than just mobile games, look no further. The ultra-slim Surface Pro 7 runs Windows 10, so if you connect a mouse and keyboard it can be a legitimate gaming PC. Of course, it won’t run bleeding-edge games with graphics settings maxed, but you’re unlikely to find a better PC gaming experience on a tablet this thin or affordable.

Pros Cons
The spacious 12.3-inch touch screen with a terrific resolution of 2736×1824 helps bring out the tiniest details in games. You may end up spending considerably on accessories since it doesn’t ship with a keyboard, mouse or stylus.
A 10th generation Intel Core i3 CPU paired with 4 GB of quick RAM provides plenty of power to run popular games. There’s no cellular connectivity, so you’ll need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot for online gaming on the go.
The fast 128 GB solid-state drive reduces time spent waiting on loading screens.

Best e-Reader

Kobo Libra H2O N873-KU-BK-K-EP

Screen size: 7 inches | Storage capacity: 8 GB | Weight: 0.42 pounds | Operating system: n/a | Battery life: Can go weeks without charging | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi

A Cadillac among dedicated e-reader devices, Kobo’s Libra H2O is thin and light, offers a choice between physical and touch-screen controls, allows you to read in portrait or landscape mode and provides a gentle, colour-shifting backlight for night reading. Plus, it’s waterproof, making the H2O a perfect companion for bathtubs and pools.

Pros Cons
The high-definition Carte E Ink touch screen simulates paper and is perfectly viewable in direct sunlight. It’s certainly speedy for an e-reader but still feels a bit sluggish compared to traditional tablets.
Built-in OverDrive support lets you check out books from libraries right on your Kobo. It can’t play audiobooks.
Wi-Fi means you can browse, buy, and download books wherever you find a hotspot.

Best Tablet for Note Taking

RCA 10.1

Screen size: 10 inches | Storage capacity: 32 GB | Weight: 2.1 pounds | Operating system: Android | Battery life: Not specified | Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

This practical and affordable Android tablet is a workhorse. It’s ideal for tapping out notes in class or during meetings using the bundled keyboard, which attaches to create a laptop-style experience. And when you’re done work, it can double as a means to watch videos and play mobile games.

Pros Cons
The HD touch screen supports styluses, should you prefer scribbling notes by hand. A MicroSD slot allows you to upgrade storage, but only up to 128 GB.
A quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM gives this tablet enough oomph to serve as more than just a digital notebook. It’s a little heavy and bulky compared to top-tier tablets, but still easily portable.
It’s Google Play certified, meaning you’ll have quick access to hundreds of thousands of Android apps—both productivity and entertainment—from the Android store.

Best 2-in-1 Laptop Tablet

HP Spectre x360 Convertible 13-aw2010ca 170GGA

Screen size: 13.3 inches | Storage capacity: 256 GB | Weight: 2.88 pounds | Operating system: Windows 10 Home | Battery life: Not specified | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

HP’s Spectre x360 blurs the line between tablet and laptop. Like a laptop, it has plenty of processing power, runs Windows 10 and has an attached keyboard and trackpad for laptop-like flexibility. And when you want to use it in tablet mode, it has a touch screen that swivels and lays flat. The only real trade-off is a little extra weight and girth.

Pros Cons
Its big, gorgeous, Full HD screen is ideal for everything from watching movies to working on spreadsheets to browsing the web. At 0.67 inches thick, it’s definitely chunkier than a traditional tablet.
The swiveling screen allows for a variety of configurations, including a sandwich board–style viewing stand. The keyboard can’t be detached.
A USB port means you can easily connect a variety of devices and accessories.

Get Everything You Need

How we choose products: Simply put, we don’t recommend any products we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Our writers leverage a number of sources as a starting point, including reputable third-party reviews, Walmart.ca user reviews, and Walmart Canada’s category specialists. theHUB editorial staff has final say for all products included in this guide.

Any product claims noted are provided by the manufacturer, unless otherwise stated.

Prices shown are subject to change. Please check Walmart.ca for the latest pricing.

This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

Chad Sapieha has been writing about video games and technology for more than two decades, with thousands of stories appearing in national publications including The Globe and Mail and The National Post, and appearances on CTV News, Global News, and CBC radio. He has also written about parenting in the digital age for Today's Parent, Parenting.com, and Common Sense Media. Chad lives in Southern Ontario with his wife, daughter, and a criminally adorable dog named Ron Swanson.