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This selection of the best tablets for traveling abroad, internationally, remote working, or traveling in an air plane is for those of you who do so often and require the right device for specific travel needs.
Whether you just love to travel or work on the road, a great tablet can be a lifesaver.
As a rule, remote work professionals like digital nomads or those traveling need a tablet with 8+ hours of battery autonomy, high-quality display, and top-notch hardware.
On the other hand, if you only need a device for movies and browsing during international flights, you can get by with cheaper but reliable tablets.
For this reason, we have researched and will present the best tablets for international travel for all needs. Let us explore them one by one and see why each of the tablets we tested made it into our top picks.
- 1. iPad Air: Best Travel Tablet (Overall)
- 2. Lenovo Flex : Best Tablet For Traveling Abroad & Remote working
- 3. Samsung Galaxy S7: Best Tablet For Car Rides
- 4. Fire HD 8: Best Tablet For Traveling (Kids)
- 5. iPad Pro: Best Tablet For Watching Movies On A Plane
- 6. Vankyo MatrixPad: Best Tablet For Flying
- 7. Amazon Fire HD 10: Best Tablet For Traveling In Europe
- 8. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: Best Tablet For Watching Movies Offline
- 9. iPad Mini: Most Portable Travel Tablet
- What is the best device to watch movies on a plane
- Can I use a tablet on a plane
- Is A Laptop Or Tablet Better For Traveling?
- Pros And Cons Of Using A Tablet For Traveling
- Using A Tablet For Traveling Without Internet
- Can I Text On A Tablet If I’m Not On Wifi?
Best Tablets for Traveling (Travel Tablets)
Below, you’ll find our choices on the top travel tablets for traveling aboard, on a plane ride, or in the car or even for remote work. These travel tablet picks are versatile in many aspects and are tested hands-on by our expert team.
1. iPad Air: Best Travel Tablet (Overall)
The current iPad Air is one of the most popular choice for travelers and remote workers who frequently are in a plane or commenting… and for good reasons. Ever since Apple announced this device, it became clear that it has everything someone needs when traveling abroad.
Performance wise, the iPad Air is simply one of the most powerful travel tablets ever made. The iPadOS helps a lot and the tablet has no problems handling multitasking and demanding software like Photoshop or Procreate.
Display: The 10.9-inch display is the perfect size for working on the go or watching movies on international flights. With small bezels and a modern, slim design, iPad Air is also lightweight, making it ideal for travelers.
Additional unique features of this tablet that you may not find from the standard manufacturing notes is that it has evolved from previous models and has the following features:
- Both cameras on the iPad Air are hard to beat compared to other tablets for traveling, video conferencing via Zoom and taking photos/videos of the places you visit.
- The battery lasts up to 10 hours, which means the iPad Air can handle most international flights. Long hours of battery life is essential for travel.
If you’re unsure whether you need am iPad or a laptop, see: iPad vs Laptop Pros and Cons: Replacing a Laptop with iPad.
When you consider that this device costs almost half the price of flagships like the iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface Pro, it’s no wonder why it’s #1 on our list. The unique properties of the iPad Air make it one of the best tablets for traveling and commuting.
2. Lenovo Flex : Best Tablet For Traveling Abroad & Remote working
As with our previous recommendation, the brand new Lenovo Flex is a great value and is one of the best tablets for travelers and remote workers. With great specs, modern design, and 5-star reviews all over when it comes to the battery, Lenovo Flex easily made it onto our list.
The main difference with the iPad Air is that the Flex has an integrated keyboard. So it is more of a 2-in-1 tablet. With its 14” FHD IPS touchscreen, this is an ideal device for those looking for both a laptop and a tablet.
More on the display & performance: The Display is FHD IPS and is flexible, just like it’s name. The build of this laptop allows for folding, flexibility, and durability when using the laptop daily and in unique situations. Not only is it a 2-in-1 laptop, but it performance well overall (4GB RAM, SSD hard drive).
Additional storage: 5 Fastest MicroSD Cards (256GB, 512GB, 1TB)
On the other hand, if you need an ultimate portable and lightweight tablet for on the go, this might not be the best choice.
The tablet works perfectly with the S version of Windows 10 and the Ryzen 3 CPU does an amazing job of multitasking, browsing, streaming, and other key traveling must-haves in a tablet.
3. Samsung Galaxy S7: Best Tablet For Car Rides
If you read our blog posts often, you’ll know that the Galaxy Tab S7 has made it into almost every list we have made. Samsung has created one of the best Android tablets around, and there are plenty of reasons why the S7 is a great choice for traveling abroad.
If you don’t want an iPad, but want something of comparable value, then this is your pick. It’s especially useful for tablet use while traveling.
Display: Starting with the screen, this Samsung device comes with a stunning 12.4” AMOLED display. Samsung is known for its premium displays and this is no different. We really think this size is perfect for working and watching movies on the go.
Display aside, the S7 is an amazing choice for experienced Android users. It handles demanding apps and multitasking without a hitch. During our test, the S7’s battery lasted a full workday.
Finally, this is an amazing choice for creatives as the S7 can be combined with Samsung’s professional Active Pen for the ultimate travel tablet to be used for business or leisure when on the move.
4. Fire HD 8: Best Tablet For Traveling (Kids)
If you are looking for a good, cheap tablet for traveling, Amazon has the solution. The Fire HD 8 is an amazing solution for traveling with kids.
Display: In general, we do not think an 8-inch display is enough for professionals on the go, but the Fire HD 8 will work well for those who have kids or are traveling and want to also use their tablet as a book.
However, if you need an entry-level tablet for your kids to watch movies or play games while flying, it does not get any better than this. For around $100, you get a device that lets you surf the web and watch movies and series on Netflix with ease.
- Another great feature of the HD 8 is its battery autonomy. Amazon claims that the device can last up to 12 hours of continuous use. That’s impressive considering the price.
- One aspect of the Fire HD lacks is the camera quality, especially when compared to that of the iPad or Samsung higher tier models. Though, it has noticably improved since previous models.
In a few words, the HD 8 is a smart choice for anyone who needs a reliable, affordable tablet with a small screen. It’s also a great tablet for using e-books and audiobooks when traveling.
The one thing many of these types of standard tablets lack is a physical keyboard, however the Bluetooth connection allows for an external keyboard to work with the tablet when traveling.
5. iPad Pro: Best Tablet For Watching Movies On A Plane
And from the cheapest, we move on to one of the most expensive tablets for traveling. Well, the 2021 iPad Pro certainly justifies its price. As the most powerful tablet ever created, this is an amazing solution for professionals who need a tablet for traveling abroad.
Like the iPad Air reviewed above, the Pro version works great with the Apple ecosystem and all apps and software.
However, the iPad Pro is better in pretty much every aspect. It has the best display we have ever seen in a tablet, top-tier cameras, and outperforms many laptops.
If you’re drawing or writing, you may want to see an alternative like a Digital Writing Pad.
In conclusion, the iPad Pro was created specifically for creatives. That’s why it’s an ideal solution for professionals like photographers, designers, freelancers, etc. who spend a lot of time traveling.
In the below video, we have our hands on review of the iPad models that we have tested:
6. Vankyo MatrixPad: Best Tablet For Flying
Vankyo is a relatively new tablet brand that has quickly built a following with its reliable, VfM devices. The MatrixPad is also a smart choice for casual and professional travelers on a budget.
UPDATE: Vankyo Matrixpad appears to no longer be sold on various online marketplaces. As an alternative, the standard Android 10 tablet is very similar and can be found here:
Display & performance: When we first tested this tablet, we could not believe it was being offered for around $100. With solid hardware specs, a nice 10” FHD display, and a great battery (11 hours of autonomy), this is a perfect tablet for traveling.
While the MatrixPad is not the most powerful tablet on the list, it’s definitely more powerful than the Amazon tablets, but the screen resolution is comparable. Therefore, this is a smart choice for those looking for a more powerful budget tablet for traveling.
7. Amazon Fire HD 10: Best Tablet For Traveling In Europe
If you liked the features and price of Amazon’s HD 8 but need a bigger screen, the HD 10 is the best tablet for you. Amazon’s largest tablet is a reliable choice for travelers, even if you are a business traveler.
Performance:The hardware specs are similar to the HD 8, and the slightly larger battery covers the more demanding 10-inch display. In general, we think this model is better for travel if you do not have kids with you.
Display: The price difference with the HD 8 is very small, and the larger screen is much more comfortable for adults. One thing the fire HD lacks a bit in addition to the camera is the speaker.
Many users use an external speaker or bluetooth headphones when traveling with their tablet, so the price point makes sense if you don’t need a fancy audio system. See more on this in our post, Best Tablet Speakers for Loud Sound (Wireless and Bluetooth).
So if you are looking for a super-affordable, reliable tablet for surfing the web and streaming while traveling, the HD 10 is a great budget solution with its FireOS operating system and improved changes.
8. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: Best Tablet For Watching Movies Offline
The Galaxy Tab A7 is the second Samsung tablet for traveling on the list. Like the S7, this model also brings Samsung’s reliability. However, this model comes at half the price. Let us examine why.
Although the A7 has an amazing display, it is smaller (10.4”) than that of the S7. However, this does not mean that this screen size is not convenient for various tasks while traveling.
When it comes to performance, the Tab A7 has no problem handling all Android apps and numerous tasks like streaming or browsing.
Then, when you add in the great battery and cameras, this is the perfect affordable Samsung tablet for travel.
So if you do not need a tablet to be your primary computing device, the A7 is the best Samsung choice.
9. iPad Mini: Most Portable Travel Tablet
When it comes to combining portability with reliability, it does not get any better than the iPad Mini. With a gorgeous 10.2-inch display and solid performance, the 2020 Apple iPad Mini is a “pocket-sized” beast.
This device can easily be carried in your backpack when traveling. In fact, you will not even feel it’s there. Aside from its ultimate portability, the iPad Mini is an affordable all-rounder.
If you are a designer or artist, you will be happy to hear that the device can also be combined with the Apple Pencil (1st generation only).
If you are drawing, then you’ll want a drawing tablet for traveling. In this case you may want a screen, you may or may not want to consider a drawing tablet that connects to a laptop. For example, see our post on the best budget drawing tablets with a screen.
During our test, it had no performance issues and the battery lasted around 10 hours. For all these reasons, this is the best choice for Apple fans who need a powerful yet affordable tablet.
Are Tablets good for International Travel & Abroad?
If you had asked us a few years ago, we would probably answer no. These days, however, tablets have become increasingly powerful. In fact, some models like the iPad Pro even outperform laptops.
Add to that the fact that tablets are more portable than any laptop or desktop, and yes! Tablets are perfect for international travel.
Whether you are just traveling for leisure or for business, you can find a top-notch tablet to meet your travel needs.
From affordable tablets like the Amazon Fire HD 10 to more premium solutions like the Samsung Tab S7, the choices are endless.
What is the best device to watch movies on a plane
If you want to watch movies on a plane, you should prioritise two different features; battery and display.
When it comes to battery, there are many tablets and laptops that can handle international flights without needing to be recharged. For example, all of our selections tested above have batteries that can last more than 10 hours of continuous use.
As for the display, that depends entirely on your needs and preferences. For example, if you are a parent who travels with kids, you might opt for a tablet with a smaller screen, like the Amazon Fire HD 8.
On the other hand, if you are looking for the ultimate movie experience, you can choose a higher-end device with an amazing display like the iPad Pro, iPad Air, or Samsung S7.
Can I use a tablet on a plane
Currently, there is no restriction when it comes to using a tablet on a plane, but you’ll need to check with the plane you board. The only thing you need to do is turn off your tablet during takeoff and landing. Also, do not forget to put your tablet in Airplane Mode during the flight.
This is the reason why tablets are generally the most popular devices that people take on flights. Tablets are also very portable and generally lighter than laptops.
The fact that they do not have an integrated keyboard makes tablets even more convenient for international and domestic flights.
Is A Laptop Or Tablet Better For Traveling?
Answering this question is not easy because it all depends on your needs. For example, professionals may need a larger screen as they tend to work more hours in front of a computer.
Therefore, a laptop for travel is a better choice if you need to work while traveling. Similarly, if you need a device for demanding games or advanced software like AutoCAD, you should opt for a laptop.
On the other hand, most people need a portable device when they travel. If that’s the case, tablets are generally more portable than laptops. Also, as tablets have become more powerful, premium models like the iPad Pro can also be used as primary computers.
For this reason, you can go for a tablet even if you need to combine work and travel.
How To Choose The Best Travel Tablet
The first thing that you want to consider is the operating system and the display size. Apple products are usually better for regular everyday use and have high resolution displays, but if you are interested in watching movies or Netflix on your tablet, Android tablets will be a better fit.
When it comes to Microsoft products us is really dependent on the application that you need to be used on your device.
The Surface 3 has both Windows and Android which would make it device best for students who need Microsoft programs like Word or Excel and also want a tablet for reading, games etc.
Tablets with Windows 8 are not compatible with anything other than Windows 8 programs so if you’re looking for an all-around tablet this might not be a good choice for you.
Pros And Cons Of Using A Tablet For Traveling
A tablet is better for traveling than a laptop. The reason being that tablets such as a Samsung Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire, or iPad are slimmer and lighter which allows them to fit easily in handbags and backpacks. On the other hand, laptops are bulky and heavy so they aren’t suitable to carry around everywhere you go.
If you need a holder, see the 7 Best Adjustable iPad Stands [iPad holders]
Tablets are slimmer and lighter than laptops, which makes them much easier to carry around. They also require less power, which is perfect for traveling. Because tablets are so easy to carry around they also make for an easier surface to write on when you’re in the library or cafe and even flying.
Best types of Tablets to use for traveling
Amongst our research finding the best types of tablets for traveling, long plane rides, car rides, and commuting, we found there are various different aspects to further consider and weigh out.
For example price, battery capacity, and features that are useful for traveling are important when considering the type of tablet. This is ideal to understand or be reminded of before you choose your top picks to review.
Here is our chart we created based on our research to determine the best types of tablets for traveling:
|Travel Tablet Type||Price||Battery Capacity||Travel features|
|2-in1||High||Medium – low||Keyboard, stylus|
|Standard||Medium/High||High||Stylus, on-screen keyboard|
|Budget||Low||Low – medium||Minimal|
|Hybrid- detachable||Medium/High||Medium – high||detachable keyboard|
Many sources are considering the best laptops for international travel a ‘Digital Briefcase’ (source)
Using A Tablet For Traveling Without Internet
Some tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab or iPad, work independently of a wireless network. This means that you can still use your tablet for reading and surfing the internet without wifi or internet as long as you have a cellular data plan.
Tablets are also less expensive than laptops so if you’re looking to save money when purchasing technology for your travels, a tablet is an affordable alternative to a laptop.
The main downfalls of tablets are that they can’t be used for work or for gaming as efficiently as laptops and they cannot replace laptops completely. The reason for this is because tablets simply don’t have the same capabilities as laptops do such as powerful GPU chips. However, the iPad Pro and its M1 chip make it possible for gaming now.
Can I Text On A Tablet If I’m Not On Wifi?
Tablets, such as the Kindle Fire and Fire HD operates independently of a wireless network so there is no need to worry about how you will use this tablet without wifi if you have a data plan. If you dont have a data plan, then you can still access the internet if you are in a wifi area or have a wifi adapter.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
Tablets that were easier to carry and cheaper than a laptop scored higher on our list of top travel tablets. We also chose tablets that had no need for wifi or internet in most cases because it can operate independently of a wireless network, these are those that have a data plan and this typically costs extra, but can be worth it for many who are traveling often.
We considered that access to the internet outside of wifi areas even if the user does not have a data plan into our list as this is a commonalty of travelers who use tablets.
Tablets that were chosen on our list were less cumbersome than laptops when used outside of work due to their smaller size, lighter weight, and ability to be carried around easily (unlike laptops which must be powered on for uses similar to a tablet)
We considered the less powerful tablets lower on the list, because many tablets cannot replace laptops completely; as they lack the same capabilities such as powerful GPU chips and cannot replace them when it comes to work or gaming activities.
Determining the best tablet for traveling, remote working, commuting or riding a plane means weighing out the pros and cons that we have displayed in this blog post. This includes the display, battery, performance and and additional aspects we reviewed based on our hands-on testing that matches the price point you need.
When traveling with a tablet you may not have all the documents you need at any moment. A good tablet will be able to retrieve these laptops and access Wi-Fi on the fly. These tablets can also be used to translate languages on the go when internationally traveling or not he plane.
The top tables for traveling abroad will have a good battery capacity, quick charging, high resolution screen, and connectivity that matches your smartphone and other devices.