The evolution of cellular tablets has been nothing short of remarkable. From being mere extensions of smartphones to now serving as powerful standalone devices, they have carved a niche for themselves.
They combine the convenience of mobile connectivity with the functionality of a larger screen, making them indispensable for many.
Now, I’ll be sharing my insights on the top cellular tablets you can find on the market, drawing from my hands-on experience and the numerous repairs I’ve undertaken.
1. Galaxy Tab S7+12″ 4 256GBCheck on Amazon Check on BestBuy
Galaxy Tab S7+ seamlessly blends PC performance with the portability of a tablet. The cinematic viewing experience is unparalleled, thanks to its edge-to-edge display and the quad speakers tuned by AKG with Dolby Atmos surround sound.
The redesigned S Pen is a game-changer, making tasks like note-taking and presentations a breeze. Gaming on this tablet feels almost console-like, and the camera quality is top-notch. The connectivity options are also commendable, allowing for easy syncing with other compatible devices.
It’s a personal favorite, and I believe it offers great value for its price.
|12.4 Inches, 2800 x 1752 Pixels
|PC-like with DeX mode
|Redesigned with 9ms latency
|Quad speakers tuned by AKG with Dolby Atmos
|13MP and 5MP dual back, 8MP front-facing
|Sync with Galaxy Tab S7|S7+ WiFi
2. Microsoft Surface Pro LTECheck on Amazon Check on DvaSata
Android and iOS are the two most popular tablet operating systems, which makes sense since most users are already familiar with them. But it might be worth going for a Windows tablet, especially if you could use a tablet with a desktop-class operating system.
The screen didn’t awe us like the iPad Pro, but you still get a high-resolution 12.3” panel on a budget. PixelSense panel is one of the most vibrant LED panels we’ve seen in a while, but we wish they opted out for an OLED panel instead.
The image is super sharp, as the 2736 x 1824 resolution gives it a texel density that’s similar to the iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S7+. The cameras are good; the 5-megapixel front sensor will output crisp HD video, perfect for video calls, and the 8-megapixel rear sensor gives you a bit higher resolution and improved video quality.
For CPU, they went with the dual-core Intel Core i5 i5-7300U. It’s kind of odd to see a dual-core chip in 2024, but remember that this is a laptop-class chip. They paired it up with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
All in all, the experience is snappy, with fluid animations and a phenomenal browsing experience. Surface Pro LTE features the full Windows 10 experience, so you can have all of your favorite desktop applications right at your fingertips.
|Surface Pro LTE
|Memory Storage Capacity
|2736 x 1824
3. Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 64GB)Check on BestBuy Check on eBay
While I’ve always been fond of larger tablets, there’s something uniquely appealing about the compactness of the iPad Mini.
The 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display is vibrant and sharp, making everything from browsing to watching videos a delightful experience. Powered by the A15 Bionic chip, its performance is smooth, and multitasking feels effortless. The 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage is a notable feature, especially for video calls.
I did notice some minor issues, but they weren’t deal-breakers by any means. Overall, it’s a device I’ve grown to like, even with its quirks.
|Memory Storage Capacity
|Display Resolution Maximum
|2266 x 1488 Pixels
|Wi-Fi + Cellular
4. Apple iPad (10.2-Inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 32GB)Check on Amazon Check on BestBuy Check on eBay
After spending some time with this device, I can say that my experience has been a mixed bag. On one hand, the 10.2-inch Retina display is absolutely stunning, making everything from browsing to watching videos a delight.
The A10 Fusion chip ensures that everything runs smoothly, and the 802.11AC Wi-Fi 5 provides a stable internet connection. The 8MP back camera and 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera are decent for capturing moments and video calls.
The stereo speakers provide clear sound, and the device supports both the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil (1st Generation). While the device boasts up to 10 hours of battery life, I found that it can vary depending on usage.
The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is a nice touch, but I’ve had occasional hiccups with it.
I did encounter a few hiccups. The charging time seemed a bit longer than I’m used to, and while the battery life is advertised as up to 10 hours, I found it to be slightly less in real-world usage.
|10.2-Inch Retina Display
|A10 Fusion Chip
|802.11AC Wi-Fi 5
|1.2MP FaceTime HD
|Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
5. Microsoft Surface 3 10.8″ FHDCheck on Amazon Check on Kiky
Powered by an Intel Quad-Core Atom x7-Z8700 with a clock speed that can turbo up to 2.40 GHz, it’s designed for multitasking, though it’s essential to note that this is an entry-level tablet. It’s not meant for heavy-duty tasks like running professional software such as Auto CAD or Photoshop.
For remote classes, meetings, and movie watching, it’s more than capable.
One thing I appreciate is the variety of connectivity options. With standard Wi-Fi protocols (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth 4.0, connecting to the internet and other devices is a breeze.
The inclusion of a USB 3.0 Type-A port, Mini DP port, Micro USB Port, Micro SD card slot, and an audio jack ensures versatility in terms of peripheral connections.
I did encounter some issues with app compatibility from the Microsoft Store, likely due to the OS. But for those who are looking for an entry-level tablet that can double up as a computer (especially when paired with a wireless keyboard), this is a solid choice. Just remember, the active pen and keyboard are sold separately.
|Intel Quad-Core Atom x7-Z8700 1.60 GHz
|Memory & Storage
|4GB RAM, 64GB SSD
|Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
6. Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus 10.1″Check on BestBuy Check on Lenovo
Under the hood, Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus 10.1″ is powered by a quad-core processor, ensuring smooth multitasking. The tablet also offers a decent storage capacity, and the built-in Bluetooth feature is a nice touch for connecting external devices.
While it has its merits, it didn’t quite resonate with my personal preferences. There are other tablets in the market that, in my opinion, offer a more comprehensive experience. That said, for someone looking for a basic tablet with a decent set of features, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus 10.1″ might be worth considering.
When trying to pick the best cellular tablet, the first thing you need to look for is the screen size. Bigger screens are great for professional users who need a lot of screen space, and they are perfect for watching videos and drawing.
However, you should still consider the smaller models, as they offer greater portability.
You can get the best tablet on the market, but it won’t make any difference if you need to charge it a couple of times a day. Apple devices have the best power management system, and in turn, they get the most battery life.
So if you need a tablet with a lot of battery life, consider going for the iPad.
4G<E vs 5G
If you have 5G coverage in your area, you should seriously consider getting a 5G model. It is 100 times faster than 4G and LTE, with transfer speeds of up to 10 gigabits a second, which is faster than most optic fiber connections.
However, they will cost extra, so it might be worth saving some money and going for the 4G or LTE model.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but due to chip shortages, many tablets are out of stock, and those that are can be severely overpriced. Always check the MSRP price and compare it with the listing price, so you don’t get ripped off.
Apple is one of the few manufacturers that manages to keep all of their models in stock at close to the MSRP price.
What is a tablet with cellular?
A tablet with cellular is a type of tablet device that includes a cellular network connection, allowing it to connect to the internet and make phone calls or send text messages without being connected to Wi-Fi. This type of tablet is often referred to as a cellular tablet or a 4G tablet.
Which tablet is best with SIM?
It will depend on the user and your budget, but if you don’t mind the extra splurge, we recommend going for the iPad Pro. If you want an Android tablet, go for the Galaxy Tab S7+. They both support 5G, so you can enjoy those 10-gigabit speeds if you have coverage in your area.
Can I use the cellular tablet as a regular phone?
While you can make calls and send texts, cellular tablets are primarily designed for internet browsing, apps, and multimedia. It might not be as convenient for regular voice calls due to its size, but you can use VoIP services or Bluetooth headsets to make it easier.
Is there a monthly fee for cellular connectivity?
This depends on the service provider and the plan you choose. Typically, there is a monthly fee associated with cellular data plans.
How is the battery life affected by cellular use?
Cellular connectivity can consume more battery than Wi-Fi. However, modern tablets are optimized for efficient battery use, so the impact might be minimal. Always refer to the product’s specifications for estimated battery life.
The Bottom Line
After I dissected, repaired, and analyzed a plethora of cellular tablets over the past few years, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for their design, functionality, and versatility. The eight tablets highlighted in this guide stand out not just for their performance but also for their resilience and build quality.
While each has its unique strengths, they all offer the promise of seamless connectivity on the go. As technology continues to advance, I’m excited to see where the world of cellular tablets heads next.
But for now, the ones I included on this list are the cream of the crop. I hope my insights help you find the one that’s perfect for your needs.