The best tablets for seniors are straightforward to use, while still boasting a range of functional features to help seniors surf the web, watch content, and keep in touch with loved ones. Tablets are a popular choice for seniors for good reason; these slates have a more user-friendly interface than computers, but with a larger screen than a smartphone.
The top tablets for seniors pack useful applications and straightforward access to the web in a handy device. They have the hallmarks of any good tablet, including a high-quality display and speedy performance, but with a few extra features that make them simpler or more comfortable to use. Read on for the best tablets for seniors to keep the elders in your life online and in touch.
— Best Overall: 2020 Apple iPad Air
— Best Budget: Amazon Fire HD 10
— Best Large: Microsoft Surface Pro 8
— Best for Reading: 2021 Apple iPad Mini
— Best for Video Calling: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
How We Picked the Best Tablets for Seniors
When searching for the best tablets for seniors, we considered over 30 tablets from the top brands. Through product research, some hands-on experience of our own, and consulting reviews, we narrowed down the top picks for seniors. Here’s what we considered:
Performance: Even if the tablet is only used for basic tasks, it’s nice to have one that runs quickly and for as long as you need. When considering performance, we chose tablets with enough processing power to smoothly handle day-to-day tasks (like checking emails, browsing the web, streaming content, and messaging or video chatting). However, many of the options on our list go above and beyond, with excellent processing power, sharp visuals, and great cameras to make taking care of basic tasks a pleasure.
User-Friendliness: The best tablets for seniors makes it possible to get even less tech-savvy elders online. We looked for a clean interface and a comfortable and sleek design (with bonus points for durability).
By choosing tablets from major brands, we ensured good app availability; easy-to-use apps make it simpler for elders to navigate new technology. Although we prioritized a simple interface, we didn’t only stick with simple products. For the tech-savvy seniors out there, there are several powerful and versatile tablets on this list that can even replace the best laptops.
Price: Tablets range widely in price, with lower-end models coming in very affordable and higher-end picks costing more than some computers. We included budget-friendly picks, ideal for seniors on a budget or occasional tablet users We also included some premium picks for seniors who want a robust tablet for daily use.
The Best Tablets for Seniors: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: 2020 Apple iPad Air
Why It Made The Cut: The iPad Air has a powerful processor, gorgeous and easy-to-use interface, and access to pretty much any app a senior could need.
— Operating System: Apple iPadOS
— Screen Size: 10.9 inches
— Battery Life: 10 hours
— Storage Capacity: 64 or 256 GB
— Attractive, easy-to-use interface
— Excellent cameras
— Great build quality
— Powerful and fast performance
— Lacks 3.5mm headphone jack
The 2020 Apple iPad Air isn’t just the best tablet for seniors — it’s the best tablet for most users. Stunning graphics, Apple’s clean and simple-to-use interface, and excellent app access make this tablet a stand-out choice. This tablet packs impressive performance (rivaling many computers) into a sleek and durable metal frame that will hold up to everyday use.
The 2020 iPad Air features a sharp and colorful display that boasts excellent graphics. The 10.9-inch display, a 12MP back camera, and a 7MP front camera helps take crisp photos and sets up seniors for clear video calls with loved ones.
With a super speedy processor, this tablet can be used as an entertainment tablet or as a laptop replacement for seniors. This tablet is more than powerful enough to handle everyday tasks, as well as tasks like working and photo and video editing for more tech-savvy seniors.
One major drawback of any iPad is its price; Apple products do tend to come with a heftier price tag. Despite their higher price point, many users continue to choose Apple tablets for their beautiful interface and excellent app options that exceed what Android and Windows tablets offer. The Apple App Store offers users access to over a million apps, each vetted by Apple.
Best Budget: Amazon Fire HD 10
Why It Made The Cut: The Amazon Fire HD 10 boasts an excellent battery life, straightforward navigation, and hands-free capabilities (powered by Amazon Alexa), all for an affordable price.
— Operating System: Android OS (Amazon Fire OS)
— Screen Size: 10.1 inches
— Battery Life: 12 hours
— Storage Capacity: 32 or 64 GB
— Very affordable
— Great battery life
— Decent image quality
— Limited app availability
— Cheaper model displays ads on the lock screen
The Amazon Fire HD 10 tops the list for the best budget tablets for seniors. An octa-core processor makes performance fast enough for everyday use, and a large 10-inch Full HD screen, a dependable battery (lasting 12 hours on a full charge), and decent speakers make using this tablet a pleasant experience.
Clear navigation options and voice control make this tablet a stellar choice. This tablet comes with Alexa (Amazon’s voice assistant) for hands-free use. Alexa can be used for a variety of tasks, from opening apps and searching the web, to pausing media and checking the weather. For seniors with compatible gadgets, it can also be used to control smart home devices.
A few other features add to this tablet’s ease of use. It’s thinner and lighter than previous Fire tablets, plus the screen is strengthened with aluminosilicate glass to protect it from damage. This tablet is split-screen enabled as well, so users can have two compatible apps at the same time. Users also have the option to add a microSD card for up to a terabyte of extra storage for their own media — a whole lot of storage for an affordable device. These features make the Amazon Fire HD 10 an excellent inexpensive tablet for seniors and more, ideal for all tech newbies who want a budget-friendly option.
One drawback of the Fire 10 HD is that it doesn’t have access to the Google Play app store, which limits app options. Users will still have access to many major apps like Amazon Music, Prime Video, Netflix, Kindle, Skype, Spotify, and more.
Best Large: Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Why It Made The Cut: A large 13-inch screen and powerful processor gives this tablet an edge for working, watching media, and other everyday tasks.
— Operating System: Windows
— Screen Size: 13 inches
— Battery Life: 16 hours
— Storage Capacity: 128, 256, 512 GB or 1 TB
— Large, high-resolution screen
— Excellent visuals and audio
— Built-in kickstand
While a large screen is less portable, it gives far more space for watching shows, working, and daily computing tasks. With a 13-inch screen, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is the best large tablet for seniors looking for some serious screen space. Behind its big screen, this tablet features some serious configurable specs as well to function seamlessly as both a tablet and a laptop.
Right out of the box, this tablet comes with Windows 11 and a built-in kickstand. For such a large screen, a kickstand is a nice touch. The kickstand adjusts nearly 180 degrees to hold the tablet at a comfortable angle for viewing — and viewing is a pleasure with a high-resolution display. This tablet boasts beautiful graphics and dual front-facing speakers for a more immersive experience, whether for watching a favorite film or video-chatting with the kids. Both the front and back cameras on this tablet are excellent, producing crisp and clear images.
As a Surface Pro, one of the main draws of this tablet is its powerful processor. Paired with the large screen, this tablet can handle all sorts of tasks. All of these features are wrapped up in a sleek device with a 16-hour battery life to power through a full day’s worth of work and play.
Best for Reading: 2021 Apple iPad Mini
Why It Made The Cut: A small handheld size, crisp display, and Apple’s True Tone technology make this tablet the ideal portable reading buddy.
— Operating System: Apple iPad OS
— Screen Size: 8.3 inches
— Battery Life: 10 hours
— Storage Capacity: 64 or 256 GB
— Very portable
— Crisp display
— True Tone technology
Although they offer less screen space, small tablets are ideal for reading. The 2021 Apple iPad Mini is the best reading tablet for seniors, cramming a range of attractive features into a pocketable package. With a 8.3-inch screen, it’s the perfect size for cozying up with an e-book, at home or on the go.
Though small, this tablet doesn’t skimp on great features for reading and much more. The Liquid Retina display screen is beautiful to look at with sharp text and vivid colors. True Tone technology adjusts the display intensity and color according to current conditions to make the image more natural. The screen also has ultra low reflectivity, which means less glare and distractions while reading.
Several other features make this tablet awesome for everyday use. It features the perks that come with every Apple iPad, including a fast processor, a simplistic and appealing interface, and access to a plethora of apps from the App Store. This tablet looks and feels as luxurious as other iPads as well with a durable metal body. A 12MP wide back camera and ultra-wide front camera also makes it tempting to take snapshots while out and about. Explore other options in our guide to the best eReaders.
Best for Video Calling: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
Why It Made The Cut: A large and vibrant screen, crisp speakers, and a 13-hour battery life make this affordable tablet the one to choose for video chatting.
— Operating System: Android 10
— Screen Size: 10.4 inches
— Battery Life: 13 hours
— Storage Capacity: 32 or 64 GB
— Vibrant display
— Great speakers
— Excellent battery life
— Decent camera quality for its affordable price
— Display is on the dim side
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is another affordable and feature-filled tablet, ideal for seniors that like to video call. The 10.4-inch screen features a minimal bezel, which means the image takes up more of the screen so grandma and grandpa can see their friends or grandkids in detail. Paired with a long-lasting battery and a slim and light design, this tablet is a stellar choice for video calling. A 5 MP front-facing camera and a 8 MP rear-facing camera offer a decent image, while Dolby Atmos speakers with surround sound provide clear audio.
This tablet’s battery lasts up to 13 hours so there’s no need to scramble for a cord halfway through a Skype call. The lightweight design makes this tablet easy to hold and carry around, in case you want to carry it around the home while on a call. This tablet also keeps its built-in 3.5mm headphone jack (unlike many Apple products) to make it easy to plug in any headphones while calling.
Along with the excellent 10.4-inch ultra-widescreen display, many of these features also make this slate an excellent entertainment or lightweight game tablet for seniors. While this tablet boasts fewer features than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, it’s significantly cheaper, making it the best tablet for seniors to video call.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Tablets for Seniors
Tech-savvy seniors can take advantage of all the functions modern tablets have to offer, while beginner users will appreciate the shorter learning curve of a tablet. Regardless of experience level, there are a few factors to keep in mind when shopping the top tablets for seniors. Consider the tablet operating system, screen size, ease of use, and performance.
When it comes to tablets, the top three operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Apple OS, and Google Android. For seniors with multiple devices or previous experience with tech, consider familiarity with different operating systems. A familiar operating system means a shorter learning curve and the chance for seamless integration between devices.
If the tablet will be a standalone device, consider the operating system’s ease of use and app availability. Apple OS (found on Apple iPads) is known for its clean and simple design and robust App Store. Tablets running Android or Windows are also strong contenders. There are far more tablets that run Windows or Android software compared to Apple OS, including many budget-friendly options and slates with customizable features.
For some seniors, it makes sense to match the operating system to loved one’s devices. For example, if family and friends all use Apple products, an iPad will provide access to iMessage and FaceTime to stay in touch. Plus, it will be easier for loved ones to walk their elders through using the familiar device.
Small tablets have a screen size of 7 or 8 inches while large tablets measure 11 to 13 inches across (and there are plenty of options in between). Large screens are great for viewing media, plus they give more space for maximizing text size and zooming in. Large screens are a good idea for seniors who want to use their tablet for everyday computing tasks or for watching shows and movies.
Smaller screens are very portable and more comfortable to hold. Small tablets are the better choice for seniors that want to bring their tablet on-the-go or those who want to be able to hold their tablet with one hand, such as for reading in bed.
Ease of Use
The best tablets for seniors are intuitive to use so even tech newbies can take advantage of their features. A good tablet for seniors has a clean design with access to useful apps.
Good screen contrast and quality speakers go a long way in helping seniors with poor vision or hearing, but any good tablet for seniors will include some accessibility features. The simplest functions to look for include easy-to-find screen zoom shortcuts, volume controls, and text size adjustments, as well as voice control options. Some tablets also have more robust features, like hearing aid compatibility and assistive touch controls.
For most senior users, one of the main performance specifications to consider is battery life. You’ll want the tablet to last through daily activities, like checking emails, calling loved ones, and reading or watching content. Look for a tablet with 10 plus hours of battery life, which should even last heavy users through much of the day.
It’s worthwhile to consider the performance features that are most important to the user. For example, some seniors may seek out a tablet with a high-quality camera and display for video calling, while others prefer a slate that’s comfortable to hold and easy on the eyes for reading.
Q: How much do tablets for seniors cost?
Tablets vary widely in price, ranging from simple devices that cost around $100 to laptop-rivaling slates costing over $1,000. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars on a good tablet. Consider your intended use for the tablet when setting a budget: for light browsing and occasional reading, you can find budget-friendly choices that will fulfill those needs. For a tablet that can perform similarly to a laptop, expect to invest more. If you're looking to upgrade, find out how to recycle electronics.
Q: What size tablet is best for seniors?
It depends on the intended use for the tablet. Larger tablets are great for watching shows and movies, and they’ll offer more screen space for zooming in on images and displaying large text. Smaller tablets are lightweight, portable, and easier to hold. If you’re unsure, it doesn't hurt to aim in the middle-ground; a 9- to 11-inch screen size is a popular choice that provides enough screen for your viewing pleasure, without being unwieldy to use or store. If you're looking to stay organized, consider one of the best tablets for note-taking.
Q: How can I make my tablet senior-friendly?
To make a tablet senior-friendly, start with completing as many setup steps as possible. This includes adjusting display and font sizes, installing useful apps, creating and saving necessary logins, setting up accessibility features, and setting up necessary permissions, like app access to the microphone, camera, and contacts. A tidy screen is much less confusing than a cluttered one, so organize the home page, with priority given to frequently-used apps. Consider purchasing any additional accessories that might make the tablet easier for seniors to use as well, such as a tablet stand or tablet pen.
The 2020 Apple iPad Air features an attractive interface, fast performance, and excellent design and build quality. This tablet is made to handle all the tasks a senior can throw at it, from viewing movies and calling the grandkids, to getting work or other productive tasks done.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.