Pull out the popcorn, because it’s time to look at which tablets are the best for your endeavors as a movie buff. Whether you prefer action, comedy, documentaries, or something in between, you know you want crisp colors, a vibrant screen, and enough battery to sustain you for that late afternoon Twilight Zone marathon.
Plus, tablets are ready to go with you wherever you travel. Stuck on a plane? Need to occupy a little someone bored in the backseat during a trip to grandma? Want to lay on your bed instead of falling asleep on the couch again? Your tablet is there wherever you are, ready for an instant movie night or a lazy afternoon.
In this article, we are going to show you some of the best tablets for watching movies and browsing the Internet. We’ll also share with you tips and tricks to consider during choosing. Let’s get started.
Who Should Get This
If you’ve got an array of favorite TV shows and movies you can’t bear to miss, friends who willingly describe you as a movie buff, or a child who can never sit still when you just need a little peace of mind, then you probably already know that a tablet is a great choice for you.
You can watch all your shows in great quality while getting additional functionality as needed from the tablet for other pastimes such as surfing the web or playing games. They also perfectly fit the bill for portability and accessibility.
However, if you aren’t a big movie fan, the tablets here probably aren’t the best for you. While you could still be browsing the market for a great tablet, these models focus on the display and visuals rather than other features you may value more.
Best Tablets for Watching Movies: Our Picks 2022
The tablets outlined below all have specific traits that push them ahead of the pack when it comes to watching TV, videos, or movies.
1. iPad Pro
- Best For: Overall
- Key Features: Apple M1 chip. TrueDepth camera system. 5G and ultrafast WiFi. 12MP wide camera. Long lasting battery.
- Screen Size: 12.9 inches
- Battery Life: 10 hours
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
The iPad Pro, outfitted with incredible internal specs and an incredible screen, is one of the best movie-watching tablets on the market. This is a premium option, and you see that both inside and out. The huge display looks great, and the Retina XDR display works with the P3 color.
In addition, both cameras are sharp and clear. The 5G is extremely fast, giving you quick downloads and streaming, while the all-day battery life allows you to relax without worrying about an outlet. The app store access is another large bonus that increases versatility.
Any issues here are ones you’ll see with any Apple product. This is an expensive product. In addition, as it’s self-contained, there aren’t any ways to expand the storage unless you use an outside service.
- Best For: Versatility
- Key Features: Included S Pen. Bright coloration and large, high-resolution screen. Excellent front/rear cameras. Easy sync.
- Screen Size: 11 inches
- Battery Life: 6 hours
- Weight: 1.01 pounds
The Tab S7 is another great movie-watching tablet due to its strong internal processor, bright coloration, and amazing screen. The TFT LCD display, which looks amazing no matter what you’re playing, is also backed by incredibly strong Dolby Atmos AKG quad speakers.
When you’re not watching, this tablet does a great job for regular use as well. Though the edge-to-edge display is geared towards cinematic viewing, the included S Pen and responsive screen are both functional and easy to operate.
The menu controls sit on the tablet’s edge, which is a bit of a bummer. The battery could also last a bit longer. Even so, this is a complete machine that goes a long way if you like to watch videos in bed.
- Best For: Battery
- Key Features: Long-lasting battery. Slim, lightweight design. LTE connectivity. HD webcams and Dolby Audio.
- Screen Size: 13 inches
- Battery Life: 15 hours
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
While a good screen is critical when looking for a movie-watching tablet, strong battery life matters as well. The Pro X is a sturdy, long-lasting tablet that stays on for 15 hours at a time. That means you can watch movie after movie without any shut-off issues.
Backing that is a 13-inch, edge-to-edge display, Eye Contact technology, and a lightweight design. The entire product is powerful, but manages to stay relatively portable. The connectivity and Dolby Audio are both great too.
While it’s not a big issue, especially considering all of the Pro’s specs, the screen is prone to fingerprint smudging more than other models. If you watch a lot, be prepared to wipe down the screen more than you may be used to.
- Best For: Display
- Key Features: 12.3-inch molecular display. Powerful processor. High resolution display. 10-hour battery life. Optional keyboard/stylus.
- Screen Size: 12.3 inches
- Battery Life: 10 hours
- Weight: 1.59 pounds
Featuring a gorgeous 12.3-inch molecular display and an extremely strong internal processor, the Pixel Slate is a well-rounded tablet with a focus on entertainment. Not only does the 6-million pixel screen bring movies to life, but the front-facing speakers enhance the audio.
There are also a ton of multitasking tools, from split screen to multi-window browsing, and the battery lasts for a solid 10 hours. It updates automatically as well. If you want to do more, the optional keyboard and pen both greatly increase usefulness and functionality.
You don’t get a ton of storage here, which is important to note going in. The accessories, while useful, are also sold separately. That can drive the price up a bit if you want the whole package.
5. iPad Mini
- Best For: Compact
- Key Features: Solid storage. A15 Bionic chip with Neural Engine. Touch ID. 12MP wide back camera. Multiple colors. Landscape stereo speakers.
- Screen Size: 8.3 inches
- Battery Life: 10 hours
- Weight: 0.65 pounds
While “mini” is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of a movie-centric tablet, the iPad Mini does a great job of creating a cinematic viewing experience in a small package. The 8.3 inch screen absolutely pops thanks to the Liquid Retina display and True Tone technology.
You get all of the iPad’s fantastic features here, just in a smaller package. Viewing on this model never feels strained or awkward. Rather, it gives you an easily-manageable tablet that you can bring with you anywhere. Perfect for users who travel or commute on public transportation.
The iPad mini, being an Apple product, is definitely on the more expensive side. Even so, it’s hard to find something that blends its features so well.
6. Fire HD 10
- Best For: Budget
- Key Features: Full HD display. Plenty of useful apps. Lightweight and portable. Strong battery. Affordable.
- Screen Size: 10.1 inches
- Battery Life: 12 hours
- Weight: 1.4 pounds
Most tablets that create a solid movie-watching experience are on the higher end of the price spectrum. The Fire HD 10 gets around that issue by staying at a low price point while still delivering a full HD display, solid construction, portable size, and powerful battery.
This model doesn’t just look great either. It comes with and supports a range of popular apps and it’s fully Alex compatible. There are also several colors to pick from, which is a nice bonus for users who enjoy a bit of customization.
The biggest issue with the tablet, and a big reason for its lower cost, is that it doesn’t have a ton of storage space. However, if you’re mainly using it for apps or just want something that looks great for a movie or show, it’s hard to get better value.
Best Tablet for Movies: What to Consider in 2022
Display Size & Aspect Ratio
If you wanted a small display you could just use your smartphone to watch movies. Instead, look for tablets that offer large displays so you’ll be sure to see your favorite actors clearly. These also tend to be easier to hold and position for a comfortable viewing angle even if they do sacrifice some portability.
Additionally, tablets tend to come in 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios. If what you’re watching doesn’t match, your tablet will automatically create a blacked out edge to compensate.
HD isn’t the only type of high-quality display anymore, and it isn’t even one of the best. Classic HD is only 720p, while FHD (full high definition) runs at 1080p, and ultra HD is a stunning 4K screen (though you’ll be hard pressed to find those on tablets).
There’s also Retina Display made by Apple that boasts high pixel counts. You’ll want your tablet to be at least 1080p if you’re using it specifically to see movies and shows as clearly as possible.
Most benchmarks test devices by running video in a continuous loop while the device in airplane mode, so you can expect many battery estimates to be accurate when it comes to watching videos.
But in general, video is a pretty heavy battery drain and you don’t want to have your tablet die in the middle of a movie, so make sure to choose something that’s sure to withstand your longest marathons.
If you’re a student, you can get a lot of the best streaming services at a discounted price. Amazon offers prime for just $7 a month which includes Prime Video, while Spotify and Hulu have partnered to offer their services for just $5 a month.
Not a student? Don’t worry — many mobile carriers have started packaging streaming services with their cell plans, so you could have free access to Netflix, Hulu, or other streaming platforms for no additional charge. Keep in mind though, if you change your phone provider you may lose access to these accounts.
While the movie theaters are nice once in a while, Netflix and chill can be just as satisfying. Whether you’re watching old favorites or new releases, these tablets will have your back when you’re streaming for hours on end, at high resolutions, or balancing screen size with convenience.
Do you regularly watch movies on a tablet? We’d love to hear about some of your favorites in the comments below!