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The best Samsung tablets in 2020

best Samsung tablets 2020
(Image credit: Future)

The best Samsung tablets may not dethrone the Apple iPad Pro, which reigns supreme in the tablet space in terms of brand recognition. But that doesn't mean that Samsung tablets won't offer spectacular features that will satisfy your tablet needs. 

Samsung slates offer big, bright screens that make your favorite shows on YouTube TV look fantastic, and allow you to clearly see your creations come to life in Adobe Photoshop Sketch. Productivity on Android is pretty easy too, with apps such as Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

A highly recommended Samsung tablet is the Galaxy Tab S6, which is a productivity-first slate with an optional keyboard that packs a touchpad -- something we wish Apple would figure out already. Check out our Galaxy Tab S6 vs iPad Pro face-off to see which slate would be best for you.

Samsung is a leader in the smartphone industry, so we're not surprised that the tech manufacturer can apply some of its machine magic to its tablet devices.  And Samsung releases quite a few tablets a year, so it can be a little bit overwhelming to get a good idea of which tablet will tickle your fancy the most. That's why we've rounded up a list of the best Samsung tablets that we've personally reviewed and tested in our labs. 

What is the best Samsung tablet?

The best Samsung tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, according to our in-house testing, industry benchmarks and real-world experience.

Samsung has given us one of the best Apple iPad Pro alternatives in the Android space at a time when Android tablets are beginning to lose steam. The Galaxy Tab S6 is a slick and slender tablet with a beautiful, visually pleasing 10.5-inch display and speedy performance. 

Unlike the iPad Pro, the Galaxy Tab S6 comes with a stylus. And what's really cool is that the stylus can be charged on a magnetic dock located on the back of the Tab S6.

Our editor gushed about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 as the best Samsung tablet, and even proclaimed that it would make an amazing laptop replacement if the detachable keyboard accessory was included with the device.

But perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 doesn't meet your needs and you're looking for something a little bit more bare bones or something less pricey. This buying guide will give you a quick overview on the best Samsung tablets that will fit your desires.

best Samsung tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The best Samsung tablet overall

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Display: 10.5 inches, 2560 x 1600 | Size: 9.6 x 6.3 x 0.2 inches | Weight: 0.95 pounds

Fast performance
Integrated S Pen charging
BookCover Keyboard has a touchpad
Powerful speakers
No headphone jack

The Galaxy Tab S6 isn't just an excellent tablet, but it also solves some of Android's limitations with DeX mode, a desktop-like interface that supports up to 20 windowed apps at once. Also making the Galaxy Tab S6 a viable laptop alternative is the new keyboard, which now has a touchpad. As expected, Samsung nailed the hardware; The Galaxy Tab S6 has a gorgeous 10.5-inch display surrounded by slim bezels, fast performance and an included S Pen.   

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review.

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch)

Best Samsung tablet with small footprint

CPU: 1.3 GHz Quad-core Exynos 5433 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Display: 8 inches, 2048 x 1536 | Size: 5.3 x 7.8 x 0.22-inches | Weight: 9.3 ounces

Gorgeous AMOLED display
Strong performance
Svelte design
Short battery life
Blurry front camera

With its stunning Super AMOLED display and stylish, svelte design, the S2 8.0-inch may be similar to Samsung's 9.7-inch tablet, but this 8-inch tablet is much easier to keep in the palm of your hand. Its soft-touch back offers a good grip, so you're less likely to drop this slate. The S2 also has an excellent 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, which shoots crisp photos that we found to be accurate with true-to-life color.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch) review.

3. Samsung Galaxy Book (12-Inch)

Best Samsung tablet with Windows 10

CPU: Intel Core i5-7200U | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Display: 12 inches, 2160 x 1440 | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 2.6 pounds

Vivid, AMOLED display
Windows 10-based tablet
S Pen
Detachable 2-in-1
So-so battery life

Samsung's 12-inch Galaxy Book is a Windows 10-based tablet that wowed us with its vivid Super AMOLED display. Making matters better for the panel, it also supports HDR video content, which offers a wider, richer range of colors. It also packs Samsung's S Pen, which makes it easy to open proprietary apps for note-taking and screenshot annotating. So while Apple's new iPad Pros may offer powerful processors, this detachable 2-in-1 earns our respect as one of the best Samsung tablets with its desktop operating system that isn't hampered by the limitations of iOS. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Book (12-inch) review.

How to choose the best Samsung tablet for you

With the variety of options available on the market, it may feel daunting to choose the best Samsung tablet. But as long as you clarify what needs you'll want your tablet to fulfill for you, choosing the best Samsung tablet should be breeze.

If you're an on-the-go student or worker who is constantly away from a power source, you'll want to opt for a Samsung tablet that can last for more than 8 hours. A good choice in this case would be the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, which has a battery runtime of nearly 9 hours.

Perhaps you're looking for an operating system that's Windows based so that you're not limited to Android OS. In this case, the Samsung Galaxy Book (12-Inch) might be the best pick for you.

And maybe, more than anything, having a gorgeous, eye-catching display is the one feature that is most important to you. In this case, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch) might be the biggest draw for you -- it's also smaller and more portable for slate fans who can't bear carrying out a clunky tablet.

How we test Samsung tablets

To offer our readers a thorough and exhaustive review of the Samsung tablets that come through our labs, we dive into testing battery life, display quality, performance, multitasking muscle, and even audio quality. If there are additional accessories like an S pen or detachable keyboard, we give it a whirl through real-world experience to give our readers the best description of what they can expect from the Samsung tablet review unit.

For performance, for example, we use the Geekbench benchmark to test the tablet's processing power. We also measure Samsung tablets' graphics capabilities using the 3DMark benchmark. 

We sift through the Samsung tablets' software to see what pre-installed apps and programs you'll get to play around with -- or delete -- once you get the Samsung tablet for yourself.

We also compare Samsung tablets with other competitors, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 vs. the Apple iPad Pro, to give our readers a better perspective on which tablet would be the best slate for their needs.