The best iPad alternatives give you the power and features of Apple's tablet, but without the price tag. Some of them will even offer up different features that the iPad lacks. The likes of Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft dominate this space but there are some other players, such as Amazon, you might want to consider too.
In this guide we've included a range of devices that mimic the functions of the iPad – portable tablets that will enable you to stream content, create work and use a variety of apps. We've tried and tested the majority of these tablets – see our how we test page for more info on how we put products through their paces. If you specifically want something for creating digital art, then check out our list of the best drawing tablets.
The best iPad alternatives available now
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At 14.6-inches, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is larger than the biggest iPad Pro. Its slim design means it's very portable, and Samsung's AMOLED screen technology makes for an impressively rich display. It's ideal for watching films on, or for viewing or making your latest art creation. The tablet ships with an S Pen in the box, whereas you'd have to buy an Apple Pencil separately if you were using an iPad. One downside of this tablet compared to the iPad is that the caliber of creative apps is better on Apple's App Store than on Android's Google Play Store. If you're happy with Android apps, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a very viable iPad Pro alternative. Find out more in our Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review.
Microsoft's Surface Pro 9 is another device taking on the iPad Pro. Its PixelSense screen has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate – a rate usually found on gaming monitors. As well as being great for gaming, it also works well for work, watching films and creating digital art. The 10MP camera's also impressive, and can follow you around a room, like Apple's Centre Stage feature. The Surface Pro 9 comes in three iterations, an Intel i5 or i7 versions as well as an SQ3 5G variant, which is designed for working on the go. In our Surface Pro 9 review, we found that the 5G version was unable to run some digital art software, such as Rebelle 5, and would recommend the Intel versions for anyone wanting to do more serious art work or intensive gaming. One plus compared to the iPad, though, is that the Surface Pro 9 will run full software rather than apps. And of course, as it's a laptop/tablet hybrid, those who want to use it like a laptop might find it preferable to Apple's tablet.
The HP Chromebook x2 11 is a premium Chrome OS device, which will be ideal for anyone already a Chromebook convert, and could impress those who've yet to try out the Chrome OS, too. The 11-inch tablet doubles up as a laptop and can handle common tablet uses such as streaming, working and creating art. However, it's worth noting that you are limited by Chrome OS – there's no full version of Photoshop on Chrome, for example. Its screen isn't as impressive as the iPad Air, offering 400 nits compared with the Air's 1,000, and it's slightly bulkier, though this does make room for more ports. Unlike similar offerings from Microsoft or Apple, this tablet comes bundled with a keyboard and stand, the former of which cleverly doubles up as a screen protector. Overall this is a user-friendly tablet and how well you get on with it will largely come down to how you feel about Chrome OS. Find out more with our HP Chromebook x2 11 review.
This offering from Lenovo takes on the standard iPad in terms of cost and performance. It isn't quite as fast as the standard iPad, but it is cheaper, and has decent performance and battery life. A panel attaches to the back of the tablet to form a stand, and there's even a little nook for a stylus to slot in neatly, and charge. Bear in mind that this tablet doesn't support LTE, which means you can't connect to the internet without a WiFi connection – a pain if you work a lot on the go. Overall, though, this is a solid tablet at a great price.
Okay, so it doesn't exactly rival any of the iPads, but if just need something that enables you to browse the web and stream some content, then Amazon's Fire 7 tablet is a cheap and cheerful solution. You won't be able to run all the apps you're used to, as neither the Google Play Store nor Apple's App Store are supported, but Amazon does have its own alternatives. The camera isn't really up to much, especially compared to Apple's offerings, but again, you get what you pay for, and you're not paying an awful lot for this tablet.
Another of Microsoft's hybrid laptop-tablets, the Surface Go 3 has a gorgeous design and is the cheapest in the software giant's range. When we reviewed the Surface Go 3, we found the 10.5-inch screen to be impressively bright and also liked the size of the device – nifty enough to carry in a tote but solid enough not to feel cheap. It's worth noting that the Surface Pen and Type Cover cost extra, and to get the most our of this device we think you'll need both. We also found that in our tests that performance was a little underwhelming, but for light tasks and stylish design, you can't go wrong with the Surface Go 3.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus may have been superseded by the S8, but that doesn't mean that it should be overlooked as an iPad alternative. It's got a gorgeous 12.4-inch screen to start with, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus Processor offers decent processing power and it boats a 120Hz refresh rate, which will keep up with most users. There's a 10,000mAH battery too, which means you don't have to worry about running out of juice too often. As an iPad Pro rival, it is still on the more expensive side. If you've not got the budget but want a Samsung tablet you might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 or the S6.