Tablets are part of most households these days, often replacing traditional home PC setups. They can stream, surf the web, measure your door frame, and even recognize your voice. Whilst tablet computers have been around in one way or another since in invention of GridPad in 1989 thanks to Palm Computing founder Jeff Hawkins, one company, in particular, change the face of tablets forever.
January 2010 saw Steve Jobs and Apple take on the tablet market and announce the iPad, an oversized iPhone that literally no one realized they needed. However, as Jobs went on to present perhaps one of his most legendary keynotes, people began to realize that tablets were just cheap laptops and didn’t really innovate. Apple was onto something with the iPad, so much so that the lifetime sales of all iPad models are climbing over 425 million as of March 2021.
Although Apple has dominated the tablet market, Android and Windows-based tablets have also enjoyed success in the space. Microsoft’s Surface line hit over $2 billion in 2021 Q2 earnings for the first time, with Samsung Galaxy tablets shipping over 8 million tablets in 2021 Q1 alone.
How we chose the best large-screen tablets
If you’re going to buy a tablet, it’s probably worth getting one as near as, or over, 10” to get the benefit of that extra screen space compared to a smartphone. All of our recommended tablets are over 11” and include all kinds of features and price points to suit every kind of buyer. Like anything else, if it’s bigger, it will cost more, but not as much as you might expect. Let’s take a look at our five best large-screen tablets.
Which large-screen tablet should you buy? Here are our top picks for 2021
12MP Camera, 10MP Ultra-Wide camera, and LiDAR scanner for practical AR use
Fantastic screen quality
Sharp and snappy
Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil sold separately
The cream of the crop is also the most expensive, especially the 2021 model. If you’re looking for a multimedia tablet that does everything it’s supposed to do with the added benefit of supporting image/video/audio editing, the iPad Pro ticks every box.
Although the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil will add roughly $300 to the price tag of the best large-screen tablet iPad Pro, they really are the best in class. The Magic Keyboard comes with a trackpad, which is complemented by a keyboard that hits a nice middle ground between mechanical and membrane. The Apple Pencil is magnetically charged from the iPad itself and features an amazing response time and feel, there isn’t a better drawing or design experience out there digitally.
The screen itself is stunning thanks to its Retina XDR status and near-bottomless P3 wide color gamut. It’s the kind of screen that makes every other screen you have to look at a bit pants by comparison, which is fine in our book, but be prepared to fork out over a grand for the full iPad Pro setup.
10,090mAh all-day battery
Solid screen quality for the price
Lacking some high-performance specifications for professional use
Looking for an Android tablet that performs yet doesn’t break the bank? Samsungs Galaxy Tab S7 FE delivers on every front, but they haven’t always been known for great products in the tablet space. Cheap, unresponsive screens and plastic casing plagued the Samsung tablet line for years until they stepped up their game.
The S Pen comes bundled in with this best large-screen tablet, making it an instant bargain for creatives. The bargains don’t stop there, the 12.4” screen is a 1600 x 2560 TFT effort strikes a good balance between premium and budget. The twin AKG speakers feature Dolby Atmos for a set of superb-sounding tablet speakers for its price point.
FE stands for Fan Edition, which means you won’t find a flagship tablet hidden behind that budget price tag. This best large-screen tablet tries to give users the best of both worlds and it largely succeeds, but heavier tasks such as audio engineering and video editing may struggle on highly detailed projects.
Type cover included, Surface pen sold separately
Native Windows 11 support
Expensive when compared to alternatives
Microsoft often falls short of the mark when venturing out into branded devices, we’re looking at you Zune, and Windows Phone. This is mostly due to either build quality or half-baked content ideas that pale in comparison to the competition. These days, it looks like Microsoft has been humbled by past experiences and is in the premium hardware and software business for good with their Surface lines.
Surface Pro 7 rocks a 12.3” 2736×1824 screen which is backed by Intel’s iris plus onboard graphics. It’s not going to be playing Cyberpunk 2077 on ultra anytime soon but it’s going to provide some vibrant and crisp visuals to back up the resolution of that big screen.
The type cover comes included, which means users can go from a tablet to laptop-style set up in seconds, making Surface Pro 7 a versatile bit of kit. It’s one of the few best large-screen tablet offerings that run, and is built for, Windows 10 natively. Oh, it’s also guaranteed a free upgrade to Windows 11 when available.
HiPen H6 and Keyboard included
A budget offering not designed for professional use
There are quite a few Microsoft Surface-like copycats that seem like a great deal at the time, but they’re not what they’re cracked up to be. Wish specials are easy to find online, but opening up that box that promises ‘elegant lifestyle’ and ‘happy typing’ actually offers poorly built electronics with questionable Windows 10 builds installed.
The Chuwi Ubook, however, trying to appeal to those on lower budgets, is a decent alternative to a Microsoft Surface that comes with a keyboard (which includes a trackpad) and a stylus pen. Its 4 core 2.6Ghz Intel processor and 8GB Ram should have enough horsepower to get any office task done, but we wouldn’t recommend this best large-screen tablet for any heavy lifting software applications. Chuwi UBook probably won’t handle Photoshop or Premiere Pro very well, for example.
The 2K screen resolution will be perfect for streaming and playing low-demand games found on the Microsoft Store. This is very much a casual use product, ideal for lightweight applications, ideal for those wanting to chat on Messenger to family overseas. If you keep that in mind, you won’t go wrong with this best large-screen tablet.
OLED, HDR10, and Dolby Vision compatible
Up to 15 hours battery life
Pen and keyboard add up to $100 to the price tag
Lenovo isn’t the first brand you’d first think of when looking for the best large-screen tablet. Better known for office workstations and their Lenovo Legion gaming brand, they have entered the Android tablet space with an almost outdated OS but still manage to make it work with some great features. Its beautiful 2.5K OLED screen provides 11.5” worth of vivid and realistic images thanks to the added power and clarity of Dolby Vision. Users of this best large-screen tablet will be treated to sharper contrasts and a massive color palette whilst making sure your eyes aren’t strained thanks to its eye comfort certification.
Under the hood, you’ll find a more than capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC that helps this best large-screen tablet up to 15 hours battery life on a single charge. Looking to imitate the iPad Pro, the aluminum casing houses four JBL speakers tuned by Dolby Atmos. There are no issues with the sound quality on the P11 Pro, that’s for sure.
It’s pegged for gaming and high-performance app use but with 6GB RAM, if you want to push the limits of it on-the-go, we’d probably suggest a higher-end best large-screen tablet to cope with the resource demand. However, if you’re looking for a large-screen tablet that is a good iPad Pro Android alternative, albeit with less horsepower, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is a wise move.
There we have it, some great best large-screen tablet options with Android, PadOS, and Windows users in mind. With the best large-screen tablets, as previously mentioned, a higher price point is standard and users should be under no illusion otherwise. There are cheaper alternatives as mentioned above, but you won’t get the high performance to match. Nine times out of ten, users will want the best large-screen tablet for a specific reason other than streaming.
Things To Consider
Which operating system should I pick?
This is completely down to personal preference and what devices you have already. Already have an iPhone? Go for an iPad. used to Windows PCs and laptops? a Surface will probably be a good choice. They all fundamentally do the same thing but in slightly different ways, so don’t worry too much.
Will I loose picture quality with a bigger screen?
Most tablet screens over 10 inches have a 2K resolution, which means twice as many pixels and definition as standard 1080P HD. This is more than enough to provide you with crisp visuals for whatever you decide to use the tablet for.
I'm looking to use a big tablet for professional purposes, is there anything I need to look out for?
We would recommend checking the system requirements for the software or applications you’re looking to use, this should pretty much tell you which tablet you should go for. for any video, audio, or image editing, the iPad Pro 12.9 inch is a great all-rounder.
The iPad Pro is the culmination of eleven years of iPad ups and downs, condensed into a sleek-looking powerhouse that does everything you need a tablet to do. The 12.9-inch retina display is gorgeous and brilliant not just for streaming, but for gaming, editing audio/video/photos, and much more. Also, the Apple Pencil is the best digital drawing experience and is being adopted over traditional graphics tablets inside various professions. It’s the most versatile tablet we’ve had the pleasure of using and can fully get behind the iPad Pro as the best large-screen tablet.