The Best Tablets, E-Readers, and E-Notes of 2023


Tablets continue gaining ground in the market, even as laptop computers slim down enough to fit in paper envelopes. They’re useful as both highly portable productivity tools and as entertainment devices—whether you’re a gamer, binge watcher, or an avid reader. Sometimes, you just don’t need a whole keyboard attached to your portable computing device. But over 13 years after the original iPad debuted, it now seems like there are too many tablet devices to choose from.

There’s no need to splurge on the most expensive tablet available. That’ll snag you a capable device, but that strategy could also work against you, depending on your needs. If you all you want to do is read books, for example, a giant slab of glass with a battery that needs a charge every night just isn’t the way to go, both for your budget and usability. And if you’re worried about what all that screen time is doing to your eyes, it might finally be time to embrace an E Ink screen.

We’ve done all the hard decision-making work for you, so here are our recommendations for the best tablets, e-readers, and e-note devices you can buy.

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The Buying Forecast

With most companies timing their product announcements and releases to ensure they’re in consumer’s minds, and on store shelves, in time for the holiday shopping season later in the year, we’re not expecting a lot of new hardware anytime soon. But back in 2022, Apple debuted its M1 iPad Air upgrade in March, so new hardware isn’t completely off the table.

There are also some exciting innovations on the horizon when it comes to screen technology other than LCDs and OLEDs. E-readers have long been limited to monochromatic screens due to the limitations of E Ink’s electronic paper technology, but while a handful of color E Ink devices have debuted over the past few years, the performance and quality of the displays has been lacking.

That’s about to change very soon, as e-reader and e-note makers will soon be debuting devices using two new screen technologies. E Ink’s new Kaleido 3 screens promise better color saturation, color depth, and improved resolutions for devices where speedy screen refreshes are critical, while the company’s Gallery 3 e-paper displays boost the color fidelity from just 4,096 shades to over 50,000, using a “four particle ink system: cyan, magenta, yellow and white.” Gallery 3 also pushes resolutions to 300 DPI, matching black and white E Ink displays, and is expected to debut on devices like Pocketbook’s Viva very soon.

The editorial staff of Gizmodo independently test and review each product found in our Buyer’s Guides. If you purchase something using our affiliate links, G/O Media may earn a commission. Affiliate linking does not influence our editorial content.

The Best Tablet For Most: Apple iPad (10th Generation)

Image: Apple

Artists relying on Photoshop or those using their tablet as a video editing tool should consider the iPad Pro or the iPad Air, which feature the same M1 and M2 processors used in Apple’s laptops and smartphones. But if you need a tablet for gaming, watching streaming content, reading books and magazines, and web surfing, the $449 10th generation iPad, which debuted just last month, is a solid choice. It has a lot of the same features as the pricier $599 5th generation iPad Air, including a 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display, a USB-C charging port, Touch ID biometric security, and support for the original Apple Pencil stylus, but moves the 12MP front-facing camera to the edge of the tablet so it’s easier to make FaceTime video calls in landscape mode. It’s also powered by the A14 Bionic chip that debuted in 2020, which should still provide enough power for most users, even those wanting to use the iPad as a basic productivity tool.

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