An in-depth look at some of the best tablets for international travel, ranging in prices and specifications from beginner to advanced.
There is no doubt that tablet technology is advancing fast; it keeps getting better all the time. This is great news for travelers.
With so many great features these days, using a tablet while on your travels can be very helpful and convenient. You can use them for entertainment, communication, and research for a very affordable price.
Although I still believe that laptops are a better choice for most travelers, many tablets are a close second. Improved features, specs, and the convenience of carrying a small and compact tablet is just as good.
Some tablets these days are just as powerful as many laptops and they are quickly becoming the first choice for travelers.
Let’s go through the best tablets for international travel first. Have a look at all the features and specs and choose which one suits you the best. Then we will dive into our buyer’s guide and review some of the factors you should consider when selecting your tablet and some frequently asked questions.
Best Budget Tablets
#1. Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet With Alexa
The Fire HD 10 tablet happens to be Amazon’s thinnest tablet yet. It has the largest display of the Amazon’s tablets as well at 10.1 inches with a full HD of 1080p. It has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 (224ppi).
It runs on an Octa-core 2.0 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM. When it comes to storage, it comes with either 32 or 64GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 512GB of additional storage. Plus there are options for unlimited cloud storage from Amazon for certain types of content.
Its battery lasts up to 12 hours of reading, watching videos, web browsing as well as listening to music. Its audio operates on Dolby Atoms with dual stereo speakers and a 3.5 mm stereo jack and built-in microphone. It’s also Alexa hands-free enabled.
The tablet has access to all kinds of content via both the Android and Samsung app stores, millions of movies, TV episodes, songs games, apps, books, among other content.
When it comes to its camera, the tablet has a VGA front-facing camera plus a 2MP rear-facing camera with about 720 HD video recording. It has dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity as well.
The tablet is available in punch red, marine blue, and black colors, it weighs 17.7oz (500grams), with dimensions of 10.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches and the customer support facilities screen sharing, emails, web as well as phone.
It’s bright with a vivid screen and excellently snappy performance are really impressive. Its price is fantastic as well. Those are the biggest for sure.
The camera isn’t going to cut it if you want extremely high res pictures. But if that is really important to you, it’s likely your phone has a great camera on it and you won’t want to be taking lots of pics with your tablet. If you need to snap a photo of something in a hurry or make a video call the cameras are plenty for a great experience.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet is my first choice if you are looking for a quality tablet on a budget. It is very fast and responsive, has a great HD display, and lots of storage space. It’s also very durable and will stand up to the test of travel.
The Alexa feature is really nice to have, giving you quick voice access to entertainment, including music, games, books, and more. You can also use it for voice calling and messaging and even control your smart home with your voice!
You can also join Amazon Prime, giving you access to thousands of movies, tv shows, and books and millions of songs all in one place.
Join now and get a great discount on Amazon Prime through this link. And check out the Amazon Fire 10 by clicking on the button below.
#2. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7 Inch
The Samsung Galaxy A 7 inch tablet is technically a modification of the galaxy tab E a sister model. It operates on an Android operating system. I love this tablet. We bought two of them for our children to travel with. They love them! And we all use them.
It holds a charge for 11-12 hours which is long enough to make it through long flights and taxi rides as you work your way to your destination. Even many international flights!
It has a display screen size of 7 inches as it weighs 14 oz and its dimensions are 4.27 x 0.34 x 7.35 inches. It comes in two different colors that are black and white.
The cameras work great! The primary camera has a resolution of about 5MP, and the front camera has a resolution of 2MP; both cameras record videos with a maximum resolution of 720p at a smooth 30 frames per second.
The tablet’s touchscreen accuracy and response is great as well. It gets a little warm during use, but better than other tablets with similar specs.
Lastly, the tablet comes with a 24 months warranty, but the non-removable battery is only covered with a 12 months warranty.
It is really great value for the money. It is a very capable machine from a very reputable company. The right size as well. Powerful and portable.
The 8GB of onboard storage is a bit underwhelming. The ability to expand that with a microSD card to more than 1TB is a pretty simple workaround though.
The Samsung Galaxy A 7 inch tablet is another great tablet for someone looking for great features and quality at a value price.
It’s lightweight and portable design makes it easy to store and carry with you.
One great feature that I like is the ability to expand the installed 8GB storage drive to an additional 1TB with a microSD card. That’s amazing storage space for a tablet!
Another great feature is the option of the dual camera. It’s very easy to switch from portrait to video modes. Overall, there are some great features with this tablet. It comes with a built-in radio app and access to many others through the Google and Samsung app stores. I like that it is smaller and lighter than the Amazon Fire HD 10 and usually it’s cheaper!
Best All-Purpose Tablets
#3. iPad Air 4 – 4th Generation
The iPad Air 4 is a brilliant little tablet with plenty of power for the average user. It has a couple different sizes to choose from and a display that will not disappoint for all your movies and games. It is a tablet that some people will find powerful enough to be a laptop replacement.
The battery will go for 10 hours and the cameras are 7MP in front and 12MP in back. Some folks will find that as good as their phones.
The hard drive space is not expandable. So you will pick either 64GB or 256GB when you buy it and that is what you will have. And the price is a little higher than the last generation.
Overall, this really is a great all-purpose tablet. I highly recommend it.
#4. Apple iPad 11 Inch
The iPad Pro is designed with an ultra-thin body with an edge to edge display without a home button. It has a storage capacity of up to 1TB. It has a true depth camera which facilitates face ID.
It comes with an optional apple pencil 2 and a smart keyboard. The tablet is widely available in both silver and space grey colors. It operates on an A12X processor. It has a brilliant 11 inch display with promotion technology as well as true tone.
The primary dual cameras have a resolution of 12p with auto HDR and 4k video at 30 fps while the front camera has a resolution of 7MP face time HD with auto HDR.
It has a battery life cycle of up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, listening to music, watching videos, and up to 9 hours of surfing the web on cellular data. It weighs about 469 grams.
Lastly, it has a dimension of about 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.24 inches.
It has a beautiful and high refresh rate display, it’s extremely powerful, the apple pencil is far more practical, and the USB-C port makes your experience a lot easier.
It’s extremely expensive compared to other tablets, it has no headphone jack; the IOS limitation is extremely frustrating. The iPad app ecosystem is underdeveloped and feature-limited.
Apple has clearly been the #1 tablet retailer since the very first year. If you are an Apple fan, you will love this iPad. Apple is the highest-earning company on the planet for a reason.
This particular tablet has been upgraded and has updated specs from previous years. I really like the retina display and Touch ID feature. The iPad is fast and very reliable and has a vibrant 9.7″ screen. The Apple design is great. I love the modern look and feel of the iPad.
As far as camera quality goes, it’s pretty great. Like many other tablets, this is something that can be improved on. But this isn’t the main reason you get a tablet. The image quality is really good for video calls and connecting with others in that way.
The main advantage Apple has is access to the Apple store. There you will find a huge selection of games and apps that can be used for a variety of things including travel.
#5. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 powers through everything you might need as it’s even much lighter than the sister brands that fall before. The tablet has a touch screen that measures 12.3 inches, a minimum screen resolution of 2736 x 1824, and a maximum screen resolution of about 2736 x 1824 pixels.
It runs on your choice of three Intel processors: i3, i5, or i7. It runs on Window 10 operating system and comes equipped with either 4, 8 or 16GB of memory, and hard drive storage of up to 1TB solid-state hard drive.
It weighs about 1.7 pounds with a dimension of 15.22 x 9.2 x 1.6 inches.
The battery is made of lithium polymer, and the power source is corded-electric. The battery gets up to 10.5 hours of battery life between charges.
It also comes with a surface pen which definitely makes your experience more fun and it supports both Wi-Fi protocols as well as Bluetooth devices inclusive of the mouse, headsets, as well as printers.
The tablet has some ports and connectors inclusive of a full-size USB 3.0 port, a surface for charging, a microSD card slot, a mini-display port version 1.2, cover connectors among others.
Lastly, the tablet has about six sensors, including an accelerometer, hall effect, Wi-Fi SAR let apps that allow activities like tracking motions as well as determining location, an ambient light sensor, and a gyro.
The surface pen is standard and works effectively, it has a pixel-dense display, and strong performance all way round.
The Surface Pro 7 tablet is a bit heavier compared to its sister tablets, and the battery is not efficient since it drains faster with real-world usage.
So, I guess I saved the best for last. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is truly a powerhouse that anyone will love. If you are looking for that special travel tablet, this could be the one for you.
The Surface Pro uses the Windows 10 platform and gives you the versatility of both a laptop and a tablet. Go from being an ultralight and very portable tablet to a fully functional laptop in a snap.
This tablet is a high performer using 10th gen Intel Core processors which run cool and quiet.
The 12.3″ screen is a great size which provides extremely high contrast and low glare. Includes the Surface pen so you can sign documents or take notes.
For me personally, the Microsoft Surface Pro is the clear winner. But it doesn’t come without a price.There are other tablets that are higher in price, like the Microsoft Surface Book 3, but you can get a great tablet with amazing features at a better cost.
What is the best tablet under $200?
If you are on a budget and want to stay under $200, the best tablet I can recommend is the Amazon Fire HD 10. As mentioned in my Best 10-inch tablets under $200 post, the Amazon Fire HD 10 is a top-rated seller with many 5 star reviews.The new version includes Alexa Voice which is a great feature, along with 1080p resolution and a new quad-core processor which is up to 30x faster than previous models. You can read more about the Fire HD 10 here, and check the current price on Amazon here.
What is the best tablet for battery life?
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is one of the best tablets for battery life. It can run for more than 15 hours on a single charge! I recommend you check it out.
It comes packed with an octa-core 3.09 GHz processor, 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. And you can upgrade the storage with an external MicroSD card to expand the memory by more than 1 TB if you want to load more movies or games on yours. It has a brilliant crystal clear HD display which is great for those games and movies.
A pen is included as well, which is great for kids and adults. Perfect for everyday tasks and much more. It’s also very inexpensive for a tablet with many great features and long battery life.
You can get the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 on Amazon.
What tablet should I get for my children to keep them entertained?
If you will be traveling with children, you will definitely want something to keep them occupied and entertained for the duration of the trip. Most tablets that are designed for kids will typically come equipped with a parent account, timer, and the choice of pre-selected websites and apps that are safe for kids.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet is a great choice. It comes with one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited and a kid-proof case. It has a vibrant display, 32 GB internal storage, and has up to 12 hours of mixed-use battery life. You can also choose to extend its storage capabilities with the addition of a microSD card that will add up to 256 GB.
For a family to share, you may even opt for the Apple iPad Air. It has a 10.2-inch screen with a true tone display and wide color. It allows up to 10 hours of battery life and is capable of running high performance and powerful apps.
Which tablet For you?
As you can see, there are several choices of tablets that are great for international travel. You can use any of these for any type of travel, work, leisure, and anything in between.
Now buying a tablet for travel can be a bit more expensive than some other travel gadgets, but you have lots of options to choose from. If you are on a budget, I recommend the Amazon Fire HD.
For a solid tablet that has great features and specs, and has a mid-level price point, go for the Samsung Galaxy Tab. If you want a powerhouse tablet that gives you even more features and quality, but has a little bigger price tag, go for the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with either choice.
How do I choose a tablet to travel with?
First, you need to decide if it is more important to you to have a larger screen or a lighter weight one. A bigger screen is typically a heavier tablet. Once you know which of those is more important to you, here are a few more things to think through.
First, you should consider how big you want the tablet to be. Remember, you will be traveling with it, so you don’t want it to take up too much valuable room in your bag. Most tablets range in size between 8 and 13 inches and are designed with portability in mind.
Battery life is another aspect to consider, especially when you will want it for a long international flight. Always note the size of the battery it is equipped with as well as the total efficiency of the tablet. Once you determine the battery life of the tablet, check that against user reviews to determine its accuracy.
Accessories are something else you may want to consider with your purchase as well. If you want to doodle, then make sure it comes with a pen stylus. If you want to be able to use it as a computer at times, you might want to consider a small, portable keyboard.
But again, think about how much room you have and how many items you want to tote around with you. Are the accessories you are looking at absolutely essential for your trip?
The resolution, screen size, and processor speed are all important specs to consider as well. The available amount of RAM or memory is also critical and will affect the overall performance of the device. Remember, you don’t want a slow or sluggish device.
There are three primary operating system, or OS, choices for tablets to choose from iOS, Android, and Windows. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you should research each of them before making your decision. Most people just match the operating system of their phone or their main computer.
How many GB do I need in a tablet?
You want a tablet with at least 32GB of storage if you plan to download any video pictures or audio files. If you don’t use your tablet much or if you only use it to get on the internet, you could get away with as little as 16GB.
Are tablets worth it in 2021?
Tablets are worth buying because they can be used for a variety of things from entertainment to work. They’re extremely versatile and can do anything a laptop, mobile phone or tv can do.
If you want to use it more like a laptop, just add a bluetooth keyboard and mouse like this one
If you want to use it for illustration or art, many tablets have a stylus or pen that is a perfect addition and allows you to express yourself in that way as well.
Reasons not to get a tablet
I personally like tablets. They are so powerful and that power, along with the portability and versatility, can’t be beat. There are a few reasons not to get one though.
- If you need a screen larger than 13 inches
- If you need a computer with a large keyboard and mouse
- If you need a lot of ports to plug things in
- If you need a more ergonomically designed solution
What is the advantage of having a tablet?
Tablets have a number of advantages. They have a lot of functionality that phones don’t and don’t have the same size or weight of a laptop. Even the chargers are smaller. The software is easy to find and quick to download as well.
Should I buy a tablet or laptop?
Tablets can be more convenient when it comes to browsing the web, listening to music or podcasts or watching videos, and they are more portable. Laptops have more powerful processors and storage capacity which allow you to load larger programs and store more and larger files and run more complicated programs.
Can you text from a tablet?
You can text from either an android or apple (iOS) tablet. Here is a quick explanation of how to do it from each.
Texting from and iOS tablet
1 – Text message forwarding
Tap the toggle switch beside your iPad to enable text message forwarding for it. You are prompted to type a code on the iPad to activate the feature. After you type the code, your iPad can send text messages to both iPhone users and non-iPhone users.
2 – iMessage
iMessage texts work on an ipad and can include photos and videos just like other text messages. Just sign in to iMessage and go to Settings and then to Messages and turn on iMessage.
Texting from and Android tablet
Android tablets don’t have phone numbers associated with them, but there are some options.
1 – There is an app called Mysms. It has a few limitations, but is a great free option.
2 – There is another app called Pulse, if you don’t mind paying a little bit to make texting possible from your tablet. It also allows you to text from Windows, macOS, iOS, the web as well.
3 – Use Google Voice if you don’t mind texting from a phone number that isn’t your current one.
And consider messaging by means other than SMS. There are other apps that allow you to message, and you’re likely already using or could easily download and use to message. A few of them include Telegram and Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp.
Can you use a tablet without Internet?
Yes, many apps on tablets function fine without an internet connection. Some games or other programs won’t work or won’t sync your progress or changes until you are connected again to the internet either through Wi-Fi or a cellular signal.
As long as you have access to a Wi-Fi or internet signal you can use your tablet to access the Internet. Another option you have is to purchase a data plan and use cellular data to access the internet when you aren’t close to a Wi-Fi connection.
Can you do everything on a tablet that you can do on a laptop?
The average person will find they can do everything on a tablet they can do on a laptop. There are some specific large programs that won’t run on a tablet. But there are usually scaled back, or lite, versions of those programs that will.
Is there a monthly fee for a tablet?
You do not necessarily need a data or cellular contract for your tablet. It will run just fine so long as you are connected to Wi-Fi, and that is entirely free. If you want to have full functionality of all your apps when you are away from Wi-Fi you will need to purchase a contract through a cellular provider and pay those monthly fees.
What can I do on a tablet without WiFi?
Without Wi-Fi you can do a lot on a tablet! But to take full advantage of all your tablet’s features you will want to connect it to a data plan from a cell phone company or tether it to a mobile hotspot or cellphone.
Most apps will run without Wi-Fi. But here are a few ways to connect with the internet on a tablet without a traditional Wi-Fi connection.
1 – Buy a data plan through a cell phone provider like this one. It would be linked to just that one tablet.
2 – Use a mobile hotspot like the one below. This allows you to connect multiple devices to the same hotspot and might be cheaper if you are looking to connect multiple devices and don’t want to pay for them to each have a separate data plan.
Hotspot – Top Pick
Hotspot – Best Value
Hotspot – Premium Choice
3 – You could ask someone if they can use their phone as a hotspot for you. Here’s how to do that.
4 – Our last tip here isn’t a way to do it without a traditional connection, but to find a traditional connection via a Wi-Fi finding app like WiFi Map, Instabridge or Osmino Wi-Fi. Or just look for a Starbuck or McDonald’s. They always have them and you can typically just park outside and use their Wi-Fi if you don’t have time to go in and grab some food.
Can you get internet on a tablet?
Yes, you can get the internet on a tablet really easily by using a data plan from a phone company or Wi-Fi connection. Both options are built into every tablet already. These make it easy to connect to the Internet while you’re at home or on the go.
What makes a tablet fast or slow?
There are a few things that can make a tablet fast or slow.
First, the processor and RAM of the tablet need to be large enough to run the apps you want to use.
Second, if you fill up the hard drive all the way the tablet will have a hard time running at top speeds. So don’t do that.
And finally, over time the cache can become bloated and cause it to slow down. You can clear out the cache of individual apps in the App’s Menu or clear the cache of all the apps by going into Settings > Storage > Cached data
What makes a tablet run faster?
A tablet will run faster if you make sure to do the following; run as few apps al one time as possible, have a fast processor, have enough RAM, and have a strong internet or data connection.
How can I get free internet on my tablet?
Here’s how to get free Wi-Fi for your tablet
1 – Use any cell active phone as a hotspot
2 – Use a WiFi finding app like WiFi Map, Instabridge or Osmino Wi-Fi.
3 – Find a nearby Starbucks or McDonald’s
Wrapping It Up
I hope you found this guide helpful and you are well on your way to finding the right tablet for your international adventure!
If you enjoyed our Best Tablet for International travel guide, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:
Thanks for reading!
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!