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The very best tablets for studying books, PDFs, and extra

June
12, 2021

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While some people prefer to read on real e-reader devices, complete with layered screens that realistically simulate the reading experience of a physical paper book, others prefer to grab a good book on one of the best tablets to read.

The main difference between the two comes from a couple of factors: screen technology and versatility. For example, while an iPad Air can run more than a million apps from the Apple App Store, the bestselling Kindle Paperwhite is more limited in its content selection. While it has a glare-free screen that you can take to the beach with you without sunlight, it can't do much more than make you read and listen to books.

Since you may want access to games and software outside of the Kindle store, the best tablets for reading will be better suited to your needs.

Best overall result: iPad Air 4th generation ($ 549)
Best for books: Amazon Fire HD 8 ($ 90)
Best for PDFs: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 ($ 200)
Best for comics and manga: Amazon Fire HD 10 ($ 125)
Best for reading and surfing the internet: iPad Pro 11 M1 ($ 799)
Best for playing and reading: iPad Pro 12.9 M1 ($ 1,099)
Best cheap tablet for reading: Amazon Fire HD 7 ($ 50)

Best Overall: iPad Air 4th Generation ($ 549)

Credit:
Apple

It probably won't shock anyone that our first place is taken by the 4th generation iPad Air. Since its announcement in 2020, the Air has served as the perfect bridge between the standard iPad and the premium iPad Pro. It might not have the largest screen, but compared to most e-readers, its 10.9-inch liquid retina display looks massive. Combined with a full 10 hours of battery life, the latest iPad Air is the best reading tablet you can buy.

Best for books: Amazon Fire HD 8 ($ 90)

Best for books: Amazon Fire HD 8 ($ 90)

Credit:
Amazon

Although you don't have full access to the Google Play Store, the Amazon Fire HD 8 gives you the most popular apps like Netflix, Facebook and TikTok all at your fingertips. Up to 12 hours of reading time means you don't have to worry about being interrupted by a low battery notification until it's time to take a break. The Fire HD 8 tablet is unique in that it offers both ad-supported and ad-free options, with the latter incurring an additional cost.

Best for PDFs: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 ($ 200)

Best for PDFs: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 ($ 200)

Credit:
Samsung

One of the main advantages of using an Android device is the file storage system. Since you can get documents from almost any source and open them in a snap, the Samsung Galaxy A7 is your best choice for reading PDF files. A 10.4-inch screen offers plenty of space to display pages in a readable presentation, and you have access to the full Google Play Store, unrestricted access to all popular PDF reader apps.

Best for comics and manga: Amazon Fire HD 10 ($ 125)

Best for comics and manga: Amazon Fire HD 10 ($ 125)

Credit:
Amazon

The downside to using an iPad for reading is that you can't buy Kindle eBooks on the device itself. Instead, you have to manually go to the Kindle Store in a separate web browser to purchase content before sending it to the tablet. The Fire HD 10, on the other hand, is almost as big as the iPad without the restrictions mentioned. That means you can download comics and manga straight from ComiXology to the device and then view them on a spacious 10.1-inch screen.

Best for reading and surfing the Internet: iPad Pro 11 M1

Best for reading and surfing the Internet: iPad Pro 11 M1

Credit:
Apple

As a more versatile candidate for the title of Best Tablet for Reading, the 11-inch iPad Pro is a welcome midpoint between the iPad Air and the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It was developed for use with the iPad Magic Keyboard and offers a laptop-like experience for optimal Internet surfing. The latest M1 version is just as powerful as the latest MacBook Pro, so you'll see results faster than the lower-priced base iPad.

Best for playing and reading: iPad Pro 12.9 M1

Best for playing and reading: iPad Pro 12.9 M1

Credit:
Apple

Other than that, it doesn't differ that much from the 11-inch model other than screen size, but the 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro has an HDR screen that improves the graphical representation of the display when gaming. As with other iPad Air and Pro models, it is compatible with third-party gaming controllers such as the Xbox gamepad via a Bluetooth connection. It also has support for the Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard for additional functionality.

Best cheap tablet for reading: Amazon Fire HD 7

Best cheap tablet for reading: Amazon Fire HD 7

Credit:
Amazon

At $ 50, it's hard to beat the Amazon Fire HD 7 in terms of value. A 7-inch IPS screen offers a wide range of viewing angles, so you can read from the side while you do other things. With up to 7 hours of reading time, it's well-suited for those looking for a no-frills reading tablet that masters all of the basics. Of course, like other Amazon Fire devices, you'll have to spend a few more dollars to get rid of the ads.

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