|COVID-19 Update: Many caregivers and seniors are searching for ways to support and connect with their loved ones while maintaining isolation and social distancing guidelines. We’ve compiled a list of 10 essential products to help older adults stay happy, healthy and connected, whether they are aging in place at home or in an assisted living community.|
The 10 Best Tablets for Seniors 2020
For seniors who want to stay connected, surf the web, and share photos, a tablet is often the ideal device. Lighter and more streamlined than a laptop, yet with a larger screen than a smartphone, tablets are user-friendly for most older adults. Tech-savvy seniors will enjoy keeping up with the latest trends, while less experienced users won’t have to read a 100-page manual to get their device up and running.
As more seniors embrace all types of technology, including tablets, it’s easier to track the benefits of tablet use among seniors. Tablets allow seniors to keep in touch with long-distance family and friends via video chat apps and social media. Apps are available to help seniors and their caregivers keep track of medications and health goals. Games help keep seniors’ brains sharp, and reading is easier on tablets thanks to adjustable brightness and text sizes.
Whether you are a senior purchasing your first tablet or upgrading to a newer model, or looking into purchasing a tablet for a loved one, we compiled this list to help you find the best tablet for your needs and budget. We considered specs, features, cost, and customer reviews. Prices and availability are subject to change.
The latest version of Apple’s iPad is a solid overall pick, with a bright, high-resolution 9.7-inch screen, 10 hours of battery life, and a fast A10 fusion chip processor. You can supplement it with bells and whistles like the Apple Pencil and a keyboard (sold separately), but on its own the Apple iPad 9.7 is still a powerful yet easy-to-use device that lets you take photos and videos, surf the web, and use all of Apple’s popular apps. LaptopMag gave the Apple iPad 9.7 four stars; CNet gave it an 8.6 overall rating, and customers on Amazon gave it 4.7 stars. Prices start at $329.
- 10 hours of battery life
- Supports Apple Pencil (sold separately)
- Lightweight (1.03 lbs)
- Thick bezels
- Smaller screen than other tablets
- Medium-quality camera
2. Lenovo Tab 4
The Lenovo Tab 4 is an inexpensive tablet that delivers on battery life, sound quality, and screen size, making it a good option for seniors who want a tablet that provides a good user experience without breaking the bank. Choose between an 8-inch and 10-inch screen; both run an Android operating system and boast more than 11 hours of battery life. While it can’t replace a laptop for productivity, if you want a tablet for simple tasks like Internet browsing, checking email, keeping up with social media and taking photos, this is a solid bet. LaptopMag gave it four stars, and CNet gave it a 7.3 overall rating. It has 3.9 stars on Amazon. Prices start at $126.75.
- 11+ hours of battery life
- Front-facing speakers
- Low-resolution display
- Heavier than some other tablets
- Not made for high-performance tasks
The Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro is an affordable yet powerful tablet that is great for seniors familiar with Android operating systems. If you’re relying on your tablet to watch videos and listen to music, this is an ideal device. It has four excellent speakers, a 10.8-inch screen, and sharp 2K resolution. This tablet also boasts long-lasting battery life and a light, 1.1 lb chassis. The MediaPad M5 Pro’s camera quality is lacking, and the buttons are on the back of the device, making them a little hard to reach. Techradar gave the Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro four stars, while LaptopMag gave it 3.5 stars. Customers on Amazon gave it 4.4 stars. The Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro starts at $449.00.
- 9+ hours of battery life
- Excellent sound quality
- Affordable price
- Comes with an EMUI skin that may be tricky to use
- Medium-quality camera
- Hard-to-reach button placement
Often referred to as the “Cadillac of tablets”, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is so powerful and versatile, it can essentially replace a laptop. Seniors who prefer the Windows operating system, need a device for work productivity, and don’t mind shelling out a little more money can look no further. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has a large, 12.3-inch screen, but weighs less than two pounds. Its Core i5-8250U processor means you can run multiple programs with ease and reliability. An optional keyboard and Surface Pen come at an extra cost, but can make typing easier. LaptopMag gave the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 4.5 stars; CNet.com gave it an 8.2 overall rating, and it has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 starts at $919.00.
- Fast processor
- 9+ hours of battery life
- Large screen in a lightweight chassis
If you like using your tablet on-the-go, then the Apple iPad Mini might be the right device for you. It offers many of the same features as the larger and more expensive iPad Air in a compact, 7.9-inch package. While that might be too small for some users, it still packs 3 million pixels into its display, so you can see every detail when watching videos or browsing photos. The Apple iPad Mini also offers an option for cellular coverage in addition to Wi-Fi, to help you stay connected anytime, anywhere. The Verge gave the Apple iPad Mini an 8.5 rating, while LaptopMag gave it four stars. It has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon. The Apple iPad Mini starts at $399.
- Compatible with Apple Pencil (sold separately)
- Very portable; weighs .66 lbs and is 6.1 mm thin
- Fast A12 processor
The Sony Xperia Z4 is a durable yet lightweight tablet with some unique features. Its waterproof design means spilling a drink or touching the screen with wet hands isn’t a problem (note that the headphone jack and USB port are points of vulnerability). As an Android device, it has an extremely customizable interface; you can arrange apps in whatever way works best for your needs. It has a bright, 10-inch screen that is ideal for reading and watching TV and movies. The keyboard (sold separately) and camera leave something to be desired, especially for the price, but overall this is a solid, functional pick. TechRadar gave it 4.5 stars, and CNet gave it an 8.0 rating. Customers on Amazon gave it 3.9 stars. Price starts at $699.
- Very customizable
- Lightweight (less than one pound)
- Poor keyboard performance (sold separately)
- Only has 32G of storage
- Large bezels
The Apple iPad Pro may be more tablet than some users need, but if you’re looking for productivity and performance, look no further. Designed for professional use, this tablet offers both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular connectivity options; an incredibly fast A12X Bionic processor, and compatibility with productivity-enhancing tools like a keyboard and the latest Apple Pencil (sold separately). The Apple iPad Pro is a high-end device that goes above and beyond what most seniors may need from their tablets, but for those who are still working, enjoy gaming, or just like having the latest technology, it may be worth the price tag. TechRadar gave the Apple iPad Pro 4.5 stars, and CNet gave it an 8.3 overall rating. It has 4.6 stars on Amazon. The Apple iPad Pro starts at $799.
- Powerful, fast processor
- Large 11-inch display
- Face ID
- Apple Pencil and keyboard sold separately
- Headphones not included
Amazon enthusiasts may find that the Amazon Fire HD 10 is the ideal tablet for them; others, not so much. This bargain tablet has a big, 10.1-inch display, and focuses on Amazon’s array of apps and services, including the Alexa assistant. This means users can control the tablet with voice as well as touch commands. The downside is, it does not support Google apps like Gmail, Chrome, and YouTube. This limitation may be a dealbreaker for some users, but for Prime subscribers who mainly want a tablet for streaming media, web browsing and video chatting, this is an inexpensive yet functional option. LaptopMag and TechRadar both gave it four stars; customers on Amazon gave it 4.2 stars. The Amazon Fire HD 10 starts at $149.99.
- Bright, high-resolution display
- Includes Alexa assistant
- Ideal for those who primarily use Prime services
- Mediocre battery life
- Poor quality camera
- Doesn’t support YouTube or Google apps
Considered Samsung’s answer to the iPad Pro 10.5, the Galaxy Tab S4 is a solid option if you’re more familiar with the Android operating system. It comes with an S Pen, and a mode that transforms the display into a desktop-like interface. However, according to some reviews, the touchscreen can be unresponsive, and the keyboard (sold separately) has a non-intuitive design. With long battery life and a 10.5-inch screen, the Galaxy Tab S4 is best suited for users who want basic tablet functions like watching media, web-browsing, and reading. Techradar gave the Galaxy Tab S4 3.5 stars; The Verge gave it a 6.5 rating, and it has 4.5 stars on Amazon. Prices start at $649.
- S Pen included
- Narrow bezels
- Large screen
- Keyboard (not included) difficult to use
- Glitchy touchscreen
10. Dell XPS 10
The Dell XPS 10 tablet boasts the best battery life of any device on our list – a whopping 20 hours when connected to the keyboard dock (not included). If you’re an active senior or don’t like to be tethered to cords, this might be the ideal device for you. While not as powerful as other tablets on our list, it is more than serviceable for all your basic tablet needs – Internet browsing, streaming media, taking and sharing photos, and word processing. It’s slim and lightweight, yet still has a large, 10.1-inch display. PCMag gave the Dell XPS 10 four stars; CNet gave it a 6.8 overall rating, and it has 3.3 stars on Amazon. The Dell XPS 10 starts at $679.99.
- Extremely long battery life
- Speakers built into keyboard dock
- Sharp, high-resolution screen
- Limited storage
- Performance bugs
- Incompatible with non-Windows RT programs