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Best Tablet for PhD Students and Researchers [2024]

Looking for the best tablet for PhD students?

This article lists top tablets that will aid your study, perfect for researchers and students surrounded by papers and books.

If you are looking for best tablet for PhD students then look no further than this article. With this article, I will present a comprehensive list of tablets that will undoubtedly aid with your study, whether you are a researcher or a research student. When discussing academics or researchers, one imagines a person drowning in papers, books, and journals all around them.

best tablet for phd student

Speaking from experience, as a researcher, the number of papers I have to read, analyze, and critically assess may get rather frantic at times, and bookmarking everything here is really unpleasant for me. Tablets simplify the lives of professionals in this day and age. My guide to the best tablet for researchers like you and me explains what makes them perfect for academic work.

Using the proper tablet for your work is advantageous to your research and profession, so simply select the one that best suits your work style, and presto, your workflow will be faster, more efficient, and more productive.

The latest styluses are comfortable to write with, and a plethora of well-integrated software alternatives make annotating papers, taking notes, and even sketching diagrams a breeze on a modern tablet. You’ll never have to use a printer again.

best tablet for phd students

There are numerous possibilities, and simple reading and writing do not necessitate cutting-edge hardware, so it should not cost more than €450/$500 (with stylys) to acquire something that will last you up to five years. For the first five months of my PhD, I’ve been using my Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and love it. If I maintain using it till I finish in four years, it will only cost €9 per month!

You probably already have a preferred operating system, and it makes sense for any new devices you acquire to run on the same/similar platform. You’ll already be familiar with the layout, and they’ll fit more seamlessly into your workflow. As a result, I’ll divide this post into a few recommendations for Windows, Apple, and Android users, with a special mention at the end for the ReMarkable tablet, which does not fall into any of these categories.

Windows Tablets

If you’re searching for quality, I don’t believe there’s any competition among Windows users. Microsoft has invested much in research and development of its own-brand tablets, which take advantage of all of Windows’ capabilities. The Surface Go is an excellent pick for a tablet, offering the full power of Windows, a great-feeling stylus, and the extra bonus of laptop functionality.

The headline price ($399) is deceiving, as the stylus ($79) and type cover (not required for tablet use, $99) must be purchased separately. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent device! The connectivity with Microsoft applications (like as OneNote) is also superb, so you won’t have to look far to find great apps for your tablet. If you’re searching for a new laptop with adequate power to run some code, consider a higher-end Surface, like as the Surface Pro 6. It has all of the benefits of a tablet, but it can also be used to replace a laptop.

Apple iPads

If you already possess a Mac or an iPhone, it makes sense to choose one of Apple’s products, but don’t let that deter you if you don’t. The current iPad choices are excellent and cover a wide range of pricing points.

For merely reading, the iPad 10.2 should suffice, and it costs only €395/$428 when purchased with an Apple Pencil for annotation. Apple’s app store is likely the most well-established on our list, so you’ll discover a plethora of useful apps for working with your research library and annotating PDFs.

I don’t believe that anything more powerful than the iPad 10.2 is required for reading and annotating papers, but if you have other uses for your tablet (such as replacing your laptop), it’s worth looking into the higher end iPad models. The iPad Pro, for example, with its upgraded 2nd generation Apple Pencil and better keyboard attachment, may be more suitable for you.

Paperlike’s screen protectors are another excellent iPad-only add-on that will make writing on your tablet more enjoyable. If you’re concerned about losing the feel of paper when moving to a tablet, these €34/$38 screen protectors have got you (and your screen) covered!

I wouldn’t recommend an iPad if you’re a Linux user, though; the best citation managers for Apple tablets have poor/no Linux integration, and you’d be better off with an Android or Windows device.

Android Tablets

Android tablets are last on the list. There is a wide variety of options from various brands. Android tablets are not the ideal option if you need anything similar to a full laptop replacement; I do not believe Android is powerful or versatile enough. If you want a tablet for reading and annotating that isn’t Apple or Windows-based, consider an Android tablet. Android software also works better with Linux than any other option on this list.

For scientists, I believe the Samsung Galaxy tablet line is the clear victor. The bundled S-Pen stylus is likely the greatest among all Android tablets (important for a good experience when annotating papers), and the prices are reasonable.

At the time of writing, the Tab S6 was the most recent Samsung tablet. However, its latest capabilities aren’t necessary for reading and annotating documents, therefore I’d recommend the Tab S4. It costs €499 and includes the S-Pen pen. I wouldn’t bother with the keyboard cover unless you already have a laptop; the keyboard cover is fairly pricey considering its low quality.

I personally possess a Tab S4, and I adore it. The new S-Pen feels much nicer to write with than my Surface Pro 3 from 2015! If I wasn’t a Linux user, I would have chosen an iPad or a Microsoft Surface, but a Tab-S4 was the perfect compromise for me.

Honourable Mention: The reMarkable

If you enjoy the feel of paper and are willing to sacrifice functionality and a color screen for a device that provides a fantastic writing experience, a reMarkable tablet is worth investigating. They’re from a small firm and are still at the experimental stage, but nothing beats the tactile feel of paper!

The reMarkable employs an e-ink display, which means that instead of a backlight like the LED screens on the rest of this list, pictures are created with actual ink pixels. It provides the most natural and least eye-strain-inducing user experience, but at the expense of color images and running on a proprietary system with limited functionality beyond a notepad and PDF viewer. The €499 pricing reflects the experience rather than the functionality.

When I was considering purchasing a tablet for myself in August/September 2019, I only excluded the remarkable due to its lack of color display. Astronomy has much too many color graphs, and I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to view them! Aside from that, they may be the finest option on our list for replacing the entire experience of writing and reading on paper.


I hope you found this breakdown of the possible options helpful! Getting a tablet for research does not have to be a stressful experience. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has fully replaced paper and improved my organization. I will never lose a paper or note again! I’m more than happy to share my enthusiasm for paperless working.

There are also many of low-cost Windows tablets available. I have no experience with them, so I cannot speak for their quality, however solutions like as the ASUS Transformer Mini may be a better fit for you if your budget is limited.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What tablet works best for studying?

The Surface Pro 7 is an excellent alternative to consider. With a relatively thin laptop form and a detachable keyboard, it feels more like a laptop when typing than a tablet when held in your lap.

It boasts a significantly more powerful processor, allowing you to run your apps considerably faster. The Surface Pro 7, with its 12.3-inch display and full Windows 10 operating system, is an extremely powerful tablet.

Other tablets lack CPU options comparable to the Surface Pro 7’s Core M3, Core i5, or Core i7. In addition, it contains up to 32GB of DDR4x RAM, whilst comparable tablets have only 8GB or less.

What is the best approach to study using a tablet?

Here are a few strategies to maximize your tablet’s potential for studying:

  • Look into several apps, like the free BrainPop and the premium Crash Course, to learn more about what you’re studying. I particularly enjoy Seymour’s Science Adventure’s interactive nature.
  • One of the nicest features of tablets is the camera, which allows you to film yourself and then post your films for everyone to view. If your parents are also new to the technology, you can ask them to teach you.
  • Tablets are ideal for when you want to pursue something new while still having ready access to your academics.

Which tablet is the greatest to use every day?

The iPad Air is the finest tablet for everyday use since it includes many important things that people want to be able to do on their tablet, such as viewing movies, writing emails, and playing games. The iPad Air’s large screen also allows you to watch shows and movies. Furthermore, the iPad Air boasts a high-resolution screen, which means that the movies or shows you view will be quite clear.

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