Not too long a go all students wanted a laptop to do their homework in. Then tablets came along and now an iPad or 2-in-1 is just as likely to be on the top of the list for school or university supplies.

Laptops certainly still have their place, but tablets have found a market among people who like their very small and light designs, long battery lives and touch simplicity. For parents and students trying to decide which is the best tablet for college, iTablets has written this article with a whole list of recommendations which combined with the right software and accessories can earn a place in almost any backpack.


Stand-Alone Tablets


1) Microsoft Surface Pro 4


The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the flagship tablet running Windows 10. It has an 12.3 inch screen and comes with a stylus that is especially handy when running One Note and making handwritten notes. Microsoft’s external keyboard is an optional extra though and costs approx. £120 but its certainly recommend for talking non handwritten notes. One of the best things is that Windows 10 is well suited for computers like this one that can easily transition between functioning as a tablet or a laptop.

Most students would be happy with the intel core m3 version which comes with 128GB of storage but there are also more expensive versions with i5 and i7 processors and more storage. Microsoft also offers its Surface 3 which is a 10.6-inch Windows tablet whose starting price is £380 which can make it a better option for some students. 


2) Apple 12.9 inch iPad Pro


The iPad is responsible for creating the table market we now today, and it is the best-selling option. Apple has release the first iPad designed to take the place of your laptop in the 12.9 inch version of the iPad Pro. This iPad Pro has a 2.26GHz 64-bit dual-core processor, front and rear cameras and 32-256GB of storage capacity varying on price.

The Apple Smart Keyboard can turn this computer into a 2-in-1 or there are many third party options for the doing the same. In addition the Apple Pencil is a pressure-sensitive stylus for taking hand-drawn notes. The release of Microsoft Office for iPad was a paradigm shift for iOS tablets. With this productivity suite users can work with their favourites Word, Excel ad PowerPoint and take class notes with OneNote. Plus those who prefer Google’s office applications can use them as well.

The best thing is that there are over a million iOS apps available in a wide variety of categories from e-books to games. In addition there is a section of Apple’s book store dedicated to textbooks that have been enhanced with video and other multimedia content like animations. And the release of iOS9 brought about side-by-side multi-tasking to this tablet. 


2) Samsung Galaxy TabPro S


Another great Windows 10-based option is Samsung’s offering the recently released Galaxy TabPro S. This 2-in-1 has a 12-inch clear Super AMOLED display and unlike many of its rivals comes bundled with a clip on keyboard.

It is powered by a 2.2GHz dual-core Intel core m3 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of built in storage. It has however a minimum number of ports and depends on a single USB-C port for almost everything including removable memory cards.


Second Computer Tablets


Many of the most popular tablets are ones that while very useful are best used in combination with another computer like a desktop PC.  These tablets are good for taking notes in a class, serving as electronic textbooks or keeping the user entertained with music, videos and games but they might not be able to do everything a student requires. These are mid-size or smaller tablets but many prefer them for hand writing notes because they are smaller more portable and easier to hold, They are the best option for watching videos or playing advanced games which makes them good secondary computers. 


1) Apple 9.7 inch iPad Pro



The 9.7 inch version of the iPad Pro has almost as much power as its bigger brother but its smaller than 10-inch display makes it less suitable to be someone’s only computer. Still it can run all the same applications as the 12.9 inch model including Microsoft Office.

The tablet can still be turned into a 2-in-1 with a reduced-size version of the Apple Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil is also still available for hand writing those important notes.]

This version of the iPad Pro has a 2.16 GHz dual-core A9x 64-bit processor and is one of the few on the list that can have a cellular package with its optional 4G LTE built in on its mobile versions. Apple however does not include a memory card slot, but there are micro SD card readers that can attach to the lightning port.


2) Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7


This tablet is another one that is good enough to be someone’s only computer just being held back by its smaller 9.7 inch display. This model runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and includes a Samsung Exynos 5433 processor with one set of four cores running at 1.9GHz for high performance and a second set at 1.3GHz for battery saving and it comes with 32GB of storage. The Tab S2 9.7 doesn’t come with a keyboard but Samsung offers an optional keyboard cover designed to turn this tablet into a 2-in-1.


3) Dell Venue 8 Pro 5855


Those who want Windows 10 in a smaller form factor can turn to the latest version of the Venue 8 Pro which has an 8 inch display. Despite this small size the tablet packs a punch and can handle all but the most demanding applications. It runs Microsoft’s operating system on a 2.24GHz quad core Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor. Dell offers a range of configurations for example 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage to 2GB/64GB and 4GB/64GB. Prices start from £250 for the 32GB to £400 for the 64 GB models.  

In addition Students who want to turn this mid-size tablet into a desktop PC can purchase the Dell USB-C to HDMI/VGA/Ethernet/USB 3.0 Adapter.


3) Apple iPad Mini 4



Apple hasn’t forgotten about people who want a more portable and lighter tablet. The latest IPad mini has a 7.9-inch screen, making it suitable as an ebook reader that can also access the Web, email and social networks.

The tablet has both front and rear facing cameras but no memory card slot. It is available with 16GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage capacity. And there are number of add on keyboards available from third party accessory makers for those wishing to turn this mid-size model into an ultra 2-in-1. It connects to iTunes and the App Store easily as you would expect for all the movies, music and software you need.