The 5 Best Tablets For PDF Reading
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When shopping for any tablet, you’ll need to narrow down a storage capacity, battery life, and screen size that suits your needs and preferences. Much like the best tablets for books, the best tablets for PDF reading will prioritize a crisp resolution and an eye-friendly screen — but PDF reading, in particular, will require PDF transferring or access to the right apps. For that reason, compatibility is a must-consider feature here.
Because they function like portable computers, most non-e-reader tablets are great for reading PDFs because you can simply download a PDF reader from the app store. That said, keep in mind that different tablets work with various operating systems and therefore only allow access to compatible apps. Before you opt for any one tablet, ensure that your PDF reader of choice is available in its app store.
For tablets that don’t use apps like e-readers, you’ll probably need to transfer your PDFs from your computer to your e-reader using a data-transfer cord. The good news is that most e-readers come with the necessary wire for transfers. Plus, they’re eye-friendly for hours of easy reading and tend to have very long-lasting batteries — but the bad news is that not all e-readers are easy to transfer PDFs onto, and most are only black and white.
Below, you’ll find a classic e-reader that works well with PDFs, as well as several tablets that are great for reading plus watching, gaming, and web surfing.
1. The Best Android Tablet For PDFs
If you’re a fan of Android devices, there are several reasons why the SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S6 is the best tablet for PDFs: For one, its 10.4-inch screen is vivid and crystal-clear, while its metal case is durable, yet slim and lightweight (just over 1 pound) for easy travel. Your order also includes the S-Pen, which attaches magnetically to your tablet and allows you to write notes and sign documents with ease. The battery lasts for an average of 13 hours. Plus, you can use this tablet for way more than reading PDFs including watching videos, surfing the web, and checking your e-mail. Last but definitely worth noting, it’s earned an overall 4.7-star rating from more than 1,500 reviewers. (This tablet is Wi-Fi-capable only, not cellular.)
- Operating system: Android
- Available colors: blue, gray, rose
- Battery life: 13 hours
- Screen size: 10.4 inches
- Storage: 128GB (also available in 64GB)
One reviewer wrote: “Great tablet. [...] Wanted a tablet with native stylus functionality for easily making handwritten notations on documentation. Transitioning my career into IoT and its great for reading documentation and making notes using Xodo. I also use it as an eReader for the all the technical PDF books humble bundle seduced me into purchasing.”
2. The Best Apple Tablet
When it comes to Apple’s iPads, one reviewer called the 2021 iPad Pro “by far the best one yet,” and they’re not alone. Its XDR Liquid Retina screen “must be seen to be believed,” while its M1 chip delivers impressive graphics, speed, and a decent battery life for reading, watching, creating, and gaming. All of these qualities combined with its Apple Pencil compatibility (not included) and access to the Acrobat Reader app (through the app store) make it a no-brainer for reading PDFs. Additional convenient features include 4K video recording, Face ID, and 5G connectivity if you opt for the cellular tablet.
- Operating system: Apple iPadOS
- Available colors: silver, space gray
- Battery life: 5 hours 28 minutes
- Screen size: 12.9-inch
- Storage: 128GB (Also available in 1T, 2T, 256GB, and 512GB)
One reviewer wrote: “Overall, it is a great product. The screen size is def a plus when reading large technical docs in PDF or other formats.. longer battery life is highly desirable.”
3. The Best E-Reader For PDFs
The Kindle may be the most popular e-reader, but it’s notoriously difficult to use for PDF reading. The Kobo Libra 2 offers many of the same features — a glare-free touchscreen, tons of font options, adjustable color temperatures, and an IPX8-waterproof design — but for a great price and with the ability to drag and drop PDFs (and 14 other file formats) directly onto your device. The e-ink screen is clear and eye-friendly, and the 32GB of storage hold thousands of e-books and PDFs. Using the built-in Bluetooth technology that wirelessly syncs up to your Bluetooth headphones or speaker, you can even use it to listen to audiobooks. (Please note that this e-reader is black and white.)
- Operating system: Linux
- Available colors: black, white
- Battery life: “weeks,” according to a few reviewers
- Screen size: 7-inch
- Storage: 32GB
One reviewer wrote: “Great reader. Load your own fonts, borrow Overdrive books right from the device, read epubs and pdfs.”
4. The Best Budget Tablet
For a device that’s less than $100, the Fire HD 10 is “worth every penny,” according to multiple reviewers. Despite its low price, you can transfer PDFs, use the Kindle software, or download one of the many PDF readers from the app store. Plus, you can stream movies, make video calls, play games, surf social media, and more. It’s also fast thanks to the octa-core processor, vivid with its HD display, and long-lasting with a 12-hour battery life. No wonder it’s earned a 4.6-star overall rating and more than 68,000 reviews. (This tablet is Wi-Fi only.)
- Operating system: Android 9.0 Pie
- Available colors: black, denim, lavender, olive
- Battery life: 12 hours
- Screen size: 10.1-inch
- Storage: 32GB (also available in 64GB)
One reviewer wrote: “The resolution is superb. I love that when you open a pdf from the browser that the Kindle software is automatically started and sizes the pages in the pdf to fully fit the screen! The battery life is great as well. The browser works great. I love reading books on the Fire HD 10 tablet. I can increase the font size on the big screen.”
5. The Best 2-In-1 Laptop
For those who regularly work with documents or would like an option with a lot of versatility, this Lenovo Flex two-in-one laptop offers the functionality and versatility you need to make your life infinitely easier. The Windows 10 operating system makes it easy to pull up your PDFs, and the hinge design with its fold-back keyboard allows you to use it as both a touchscreen tablet and a highly portable laptop. It also comes with a digital pen for signing and note-taking, and the 1-hour quick-charge and 10-hour battery life ensure that you’re always powered up and ready to go.
- Operating system: Windows 10
- Available colors: black
- Battery life: 10 hours
- Screen size: 14-inch
- Storage: 256GB
One reviewer wrote: “Love this laptop. It is perfect for all of my needs in a home computer. I create a lot of documents and this laptop is just right for doing that. Very easy to use right out of the box. Love the backlit keyboard! It can also double as a tablet which fits all of my needs.”