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Best Samsung tablets in 2021

best Samsung tablets 2021
best Samsung tablets 2021 (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The best Samsung tablets are competitive rivals that can stand tall in the savage ring against the Apple iPad line, offering all kinds of spectacular, convenient features that will satisfy your tablet needs.

The best Samsung tablets offer large, bright screens that make your favorite shows on Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+ and other streaming platforms look like a visual treat. With the best Samsung tablets, you can see your creative talents come to life in Adobe Photoshop Sketch and other artist-friendly apps. Productivity on Android is pretty easy, too, thanks to apps like Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

One of the best Samsung tablets is the Galaxy Tab S7, which is a productivity-first slate with an optional keyboard that packs a touchpad — something we wish Apple would figure out already. 

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 S7, according to our in-house testing, industry benchmarks and real-world experience. It's excellent for drawing thanks to its stylus (the popular S pen), which, unlike the iPad Pro, comes included in the box.

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 S7 is a slick and slender tablet with a beautiful, visually pleasing 11-inch display and speedy performance. 

Our editor gushed about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 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 S7 Plus 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.

The best Samsung tablets you can buy today

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch)

5. Samsung Galaxy Book (12-Inch)

best Samsung tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

best Samsung tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The best Samsung tablet overall

Specifications
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Display: 11-inch, 2560 x 1600 (S7), 12.4-inch, OLED (S7+)
Size: 10 x 6.51 x 0.25 inches (S7), 11.22 x 7.28 x 0.22 inches (S7+)
Weight: 1.1 pounds (S7), 1.3 pounds (S7+)
Reasons to buy
+Improved S pen+Great speakers+5G support
Reasons to avoid
-No headphone jack

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is one of the best Samsung tablets due to its battery life. This tablet can offer over 13 hours of battery life. Wow!

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ both have excellent cameras: an 13MP main camera and a 5MP secondary ultra-wide lens. On the front is an 8MP selfie camera. Check out our full review to see our editor's pictures with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. Both tablets are updates of the Galaxy Tab S6 and feature an improved S pen that is included in the box. The Galaxy Sab S7 and Galaxy S7+ have faster processors and 5G connectivity.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is one of the best Samsung tablets, too, with its 12.4-inch,  2800 x 1752-pixel screen, but due to its magnificent AMOLED display, there is a dip in battery life (it lasts 8 hours and 51 minutes).

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus review.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

best Samsung tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

Best mid-range Samsung tablet

Specifications
CPU: Snapdragon 750G (5G); Snapdragon 778G (Wi-Fi)
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB (only option for 5G), 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Display: 12.4-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel TFT LCD (60Hz)
Size: 11.21 x 7.28 x 0.25 inches
Weight: 1.34 pounds
Reasons to buy
+S Pen included+Long battery life+Premium design
Reasons to avoid
-No fingerprint sensor

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was a hit among Android users who wanted to get a taste of all the bells and whistles the S20 had to offer without spending a fortune. Naturally, Samsung thought it was a good idea to extend the "FE" series to its Galaxy Tab S7 line, giving consumers an opportunity to snag a great tablet without breaking the bank.

In our review, we were most impressed with the Galaxy S20 FE's battery life. It lasted 13 hours on our battery test, which will allow you to last all day with your tablet without remaining tethered to an outlet. We also love that the S20 FE comes with the beloved S Pen. We gave the Galaxy S20 FE a solid four-star rating because it's an excellent sub-flagship device that offers excellent, lightweight productivity.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review.

best Samsung tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

best Samsung tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The best Samsung tablet overall

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Fast performance+Integrated S Pen charging+BookCover Keyboard has a touchpad+Powerful speakers
Reasons to avoid
-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.

best Samsung tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

best Samsung tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Best Samsung tablet with small footprint

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous AMOLED display+Strong performance+Svelte design
Reasons to avoid
-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.

best Samsung tablet: Samsung Galaxy Book (12-inch)

best Samsung tablet: Samsung Galaxy Book (12-inch)

Best Samsung tablet with Windows 10

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Vivid, AMOLED display+Windows 10-based tablet+S Pen+Detachable 2-in-1
Reasons to avoid
-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.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!