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To help you find the best tablets for musicians, we spent hours combing through customer reviews and technical specifications sheets to learn more about the best options available on the market today. Then, we narrowed down our selections based on three main features and functionalities: performance, display quality, and user-friendliness. We recommend finding a tablet that gives you a good combination of all of these features so you get a comprehensive and seamless music production experience.
According to the results of our analysis, we selected the Apple iPad Air 4 as our top pick for the best tablet for musicians award. Keep reading to learn more about this excellent tablet and the other best tablets we selected for this buying guide.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: With years of meticulous adjustments and fine-tuning to its design and performance, this tablet for musicians is an easy pick for our top spot. The tablet features a powerful A14 Bionic processor, lightweight and durable design, and colorful, sharp Retina display, making it perfect for musicians of all specializations.
In our analysis, the Apple iPad Air 4 is the best tablet for music production because of its powerful A14 Bionic processor and user-friendly interface, and operating system. The A14 chipset is one of Apple’s best to date, and it can power audio recording and music production apps without experiencing extensive freezing or stuttering. iPadOS, the operating system on all new iPads, is incredibly user-friendly and gives you access to Apple’s incredible App Store, which only features high-quality music production apps that are vetted by a quality assurance team.
When it comes to design and form factor, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something more well designed than the 4th-generation iPad Air. With a large, 10.9-inch display, you’ll get plenty of real estate for navigating through music production and listening apps. The display features Liquid Retina technology, which creates brilliant colors and a sharp resolution with 2360 x 1640 pixels. Plus, the iPad Air is compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil and the new Magic Keyboard from Apple, both of which are excellent accessories for creating and producing music. It’s one of the best iPads on our list.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This powerful tablet features access to Samsung’s innovative DeX user interface, which creates a PC-like experience for comprehensive music production and listening. The tablet also features a powerful Snapdragon processor, stunning display, and compatibility with keyboards, and the excellent S Pen stylus.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a powerful tablet for musicians that features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, which keeps everything from the operating system to the best tablet app for sheet music running without a problem. The Snapdragon chipset also powers the innovative DeX user interface mode, which creates a laptop-like experience for power users and music producers. This, paired with the S Pen stylus and detachable Bluetooth keyboard increases your efficiency and productivity. Speaking of efficiency, check out our guide to the best tablet keyboards.
The Galaxy Tab S6 also features a premium design quality and aesthetic thanks to its bright and vibrant 10.5-inch display. You’ll get thin bezels around the screen and a high display resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. We were also impressed by the quad speakers, which are Dolby Atmos compatible and tuned by AKG. The Tab S6 also features an all-metal body that’s both lightweight and durable. Unfortunately, the tablet doesn’t feature a headphone jack for wired audio listening, but it still works seamlessly with Bluetooth headphones or the best wireless speakers.
Award: BEST PORTABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This extra-portable tablet sports a 7.9-inch Retina display with a high resolution and bright, vivid colors. You’ll also get a powerful A12 Bionic processor and a lightweight aluminum body for better portability and durability.
If you’re looking for the best tablet for music lyrics, music production, or simply music listening on the go, then the Apple iPad Mini is the best option for you. The tablet sports a 7.9-inch screen size with Retina display technology and a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. This screen quality creates an immersive and super detailed experience for any music application. The only downside to the iPad Mini’s display is its somewhat outdated, traditional iPad design with larger bezels. However, this doesn’t negatively impact performance in any way.
The iPad Mini also performs incredibly well thanks to the internal A12 Bionic processor and seamless iPadOS operating system. Apple’s App Store gives you tons of access to cutting-edge and user-friendly music apps, as well as plenty of other apps like games or productivity software. You’ll also get a long-lasting battery with the iPad Mini, rated for 10 hours of use throughout the day before needing to be recharged. While this may not be the largest battery ever, it’s impressive considering the iPad Mini’s smaller overall size, making it one of the best tablets for travel on this list.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best tablet for guitar tabs, as well as viewing and producing music due to its extra-large display and powerful A12Z Bionic processor. Plus, you’ll get seamless support for the latest Apple Pencil and the new Apple Magic Keyboard so you can use the tablet like a laptop.
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 offers stellar design quality and performance over any other tablet for musicians available today. For starters, this iPad gives you a ton of power thanks to its internal A12Z Bionic processor. This is one of Apple’s fastest chipsets available today, and the difference in performance is noticeable when compared to last-gen iPads and Android tablets. You can increase your overall performance and efficiency when you pair the iPad Pro with the second-gen Apple Pencil and the new Magic Keyboard from Apple. These two accessories can recreate a laptop experience, which is perfect for music producers and musicians alike.
Related: See also the best tablets for note taking.
The iPad Pro also features one of the largest display sizes you can find on the market today. Measuring in at a whopping 12.9 inches, this display is perfect for reading guitar tabs and other sheet music while you’re on the go. The Retina display features vibrant colors and sharp details, as well, making it perfect for editing music videos. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that the large screen size here can decrease portability somewhat, but fortunately, the iPad Pro is durable with its aluminum body, in case that’s something you’re worried about. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for the best tablet computer.
Award: BEST FOR BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re a music industry professional, then you know how important it is to have a powerful tablet that can act as a laptop while still giving you access to music production, viewing, and listening apps. This tablet gives you that access thanks to its keyboard and stylus compatibility, powerful quad-core processor, and excellent display quality.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 blurs the line between laptop and tablet by allowing you to attach a keyboard and stylus to the device. It also runs on the Windows 10 operating system, which may be more familiar to you than other tablet operating systems. Also, you won’t have to worry about sacrificing power or performance going this route. The Surface Pro 6 carries a powerful quad-core processor inside to make everything tick without a problem.
Like many other premium tablets, the Surface Pro 6 features an all-metal body for added durability and a premium level of aesthetics. You’ll also get a whopping 12.3-inch display with an impressive 2736 x 1824 pixel resolution quality. The display is bright and colorful, and it competes for the best display quality available on the market today. We were also impressed by the performance of the accessories, including the keyboard and stylus. The keyboard is comfortable and the stylus operates incredibly smoothly for a great user experience. We do wish the Surface Pro 6 featured a few more connectivity ports, including a USB-C port, but what’s currently still works fine for the most part. Be sure to pair it with the best tablet cases to ensure your device is protected.
Award: BEST AUDIO
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for the best tablet for music sound quality, then you can’t go wrong with this option and its premium speakers tuned by Harman Kardon. On top of the premium audio, this tablet gives you a 2560 x 1600 display resolution and a responsive octa-core processor.
The Huawei MediaPad M5 is an 8.4-inch tablet that focuses mainly on creating a premium user experience with a solid design and subtle, yet reliable underlying performance. For starters, the tablet’s casing is made from a durable metal material and the display takes your viewing experience to the next level. The 8.4-inch display features a stellar 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution that looks sharp, colorful, and detailed. You’ll also get a curved-edge glass for a more comfortable experience. The Huawei travel tablet also sports dual speakers that give you rich, loud audio thanks mostly to the fact that they’ve been tuned and certified by Harman Kardon. These speakers make this option the best tablet for music listening without headphones you can buy today.
The MediaPad M5 backs this premium design up with a powerful processor and smooth UI. The Kirin 960 chipset allows you to browse without hesitation and even play most mobile games with ease. We were also pleased to find a vanilla version of Android installed on the tablet. This means you aren’t getting all the extra bloatware and strange UI features that many companies try to throw in. The MediaPad gives you a solid 64GB of internal storage but also includes a microSD card slot that you can use to expand your internal storage space for pictures of your travels. It’s one of the best Chinese tablets on our list.
Award: BEST CONNECTIVITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you use your tablet to connect to external sources often for your music needs, then this tablet is the best option for you. With a wide selection of ports, reliable performance with its Intel processor, and a slim, extra-portable design, this tablet for musicians is an excellent middle-of-the-road choice.
The Fusion5 FWIN232+ S1 tablet for musicians is an excellent mid-range performer that gives you reliable speed, a portable design, and excellent connectivity options. For starters, the tablet features a quad-core Intel Atom Cherrytrail processor and 4GB of RAM. This isn’t the latest and greatest chipset available today, but it provides consistent reliability and stability, which is worth its weight in gold for tablets. The tablet runs on the Windows 10 operating system, as well, so you know you’ll be getting a good user experience here.
The Fusion5 tablet is also designed to be slim, lightweight, and portable, weighing just 1.5 pounds and measuring just 0.39 inches thick. The 10.1-inch display is big and bright, with a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution, which is lower than we’d like to see in a modern-day tablet. Fortunately, it still looks good, even with music apps, so all is well there. We were also impressed by the Fusion5’s connectivity options. You’ll get a mini HDMI port, USB-A port, USB-C port, and a headphone jack, all of which give you a ton of versatility in connected accessories to the tablet or connecting the tablet to external multimedia devices. It’s a great option if you’re a gamer and also looking for the best gaming tablets.
Award: BEST USER FRIENDLY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This tablet for musicians offers a lot of versatility at an affordable price point, including long battery life, high-quality display, and compact design. Plus, the tablet has access to Amazon’s ecosystem, making it extra user-friendly and good for non-music applications as well, like reading or watching Prime Video.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet is perfect for casual musicians who want a device to handle both their musical needs and other casual entertainment needs. With seamless access to Amazon’s entire ecosystem, you’ll be able to use Alexa voice commands, watch Prime Video, and read Kindle ebooks, all on this device alone. Each of these applications works well on the Fire HD 10, and music applications also work very well thanks to the processor. All of this is also made possible through Amazon’s excellent Fire OS 7 operating system, which is user-friendly and responsive.
The overall design of the Fire HD 10 tablet is also worth noting here. As the product name implies, the tablet sports a large, 10-inch display so all of your video games and other entertainment is more immersive. The display gives you Full HD resolution with good brightness and accurate color reproduction. You’ll also get a 6300 mAh battery for upwards of 12 hours of operating time, which is much better than you’ll find on similarly priced tablets. Another positive design aspect here is the inclusion of a USB-C port, which enables faster charging and more versatility in connection options. It’s also one of the best tabs for reading on our list.
Award: BEST LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: This tablet offers an incredibly lightweight and thin design that makes it easier and more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time. You’ll also get one of the best batteries on the market today and excellent display quality with sharp resolution and bright colors.
The Sony Xperia Z4 tablet for musicians offers an excellent user experience thanks to the device’s incredibly lightweight and thin design. The device weighs in at just 13 ounces, which is the same as 0.81 pounds. It’s also super thin, with just 0.24 inches of thickness. This design makes the tablet extra-comfortable to hold for longer periods of time, which is perfect for music professionals who are always on the go. On top of that, the Sony Xperia Z4 offers a large battery that can give you up to 16 hours of power.
The Sony tablet also gives you a 10.1-inch screen size with a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, which gives you vibrant colors and sharp details. The device is powered by an excellent octa-core Snapdragon 815 processor, which runs music apps, gaming apps, and productivity apps with ease. You’ll also get water and dust resistance on the Xperia, for that added boost to durability and portability for traveling musicians. Pack it up in one of the best travel backpacks, and you’re ready to go.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re on a strict budget for your next music tablet, then this option is the perfect choice for you. The device gives you a bright, 7-inch display that’s incredibly portable, expandable storage with a microSD card slot, and a headphone jack for listening to all of the hottest tracks.
The Amazon Fire 7 features a 7-inch display that’s bright with vivid colors, making it perfect for listening to music and using music apps on the go. However, keep in mind the fact that this tablet doesn’t have as high a resolution as you will find in other tablets. Since this is the best budget tablet for musicians, this sacrifice in display quality is to be expected for a lower cost. However, the display still functions well enough and you should be able to do most of your work without a problem. This is especially true for reading sheet music, where the lower display resolution shouldn’t be too big of a detractor.
This budget tablet has also been upgrading from previous models specifically in the processor department. The quad-core 1.3GHz processor keeps everything on the Fire 7 running with ease and powers advanced features like hands-free Amazon Alexa voice control. We were also impressed by the Fire tablet’s inclusion of both a headphone for easier music listening and a microSD card slot, which allows you to upgrade your internal storage up to 512GB. With this kind of storage, you’ll be able to store plenty of music tracks and guitar tabs for on-the-go use. If you need a keyboard option, you might also want to check out our best tablets with keyboards guide.
After identifying the top-rated tablets for musicians based on customer reviews and technical specifications, we set out to rank each option based on their feature sets and overall functionality. First and foremost, we ranked the tablets based on their performance. Music production and editing require a lot of power, so the tablets with the most powerful processors were ranked the highest in our evaluation. We also gave more bonus points to tablets with higher amounts of RAM.
Next, we looked at the overall user experience. If you’re using your tablet for reading sheet music or guitar tabs, you want to be able to access them while holding an instrument. This is why simplified and streamlined user interfaces won more points in our evaluation. Tablets that offer seamless integration with app stores and other devices were also highly regarded in our rankings.
Finally, we looked at display quality. The bigger the screen size, the better the tablet is for musicians. Music production is a very visual line of work as much as it is an auditory line of work. Larger displays with brighter colors and sharper resolutions earned the most points. We were also impressed by tablets with displays that were compatible with styluses for better efficiency in navigation and operation.
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