If you are a gamer looking to buy one of the best tablets for emulation, this guide will help you make the right choice.

We’ve recommended tablets with decent internals for emulating a good number of PSP, NES, PSX, N64, NDS, GameCube, SEGA, PS2, SNES games, and more without issues.

Now, what would be a good tablet for emulation? This guide answers this question in greater depth.

Best Tablets for Emulation at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Huawei MediaPad M5 Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Check Price on Amazon
4 Amazon Fire HD 8 Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Check Price on Amazon
6 Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Check Price on Amazon
7 Amazon Fire HD 10 Check Price on Amazon
8 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Check Price on Amazon

 

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (Editors’ Choice)

best tablets for emulation

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the best tablet for emulation. It is our Editors’ Choice.

Tucked inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. Storage options are quite okay – 128GB or 256GB. With regard to RAM, you either go for the 6GB or the 8GB option.

Like most modern Samsung gizmos, the S6 tablet is powered by Android 9 Pie operating system (OS). The storage, RAM, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor combination makes using this tablet a joy, and perfect for emulating games.

Aside from emulating games, you’ll be to answer calls on the Tab S6, if you use a Samsung phone. It is also possible to respond to messages, too.

You’ll find three camera setups on the Tab S6: The rear sports an 8-megapixel camera. On the front, you’ll find one 13-megapixel standard and one 8-megapixel ultrawide cameras. It is worth nothing that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 does not have an LED flash.

As far as battery performance goes, the Tab S6 will last all day on a single charge.

If you enjoy using a wired headphone with your tablet, well we are sorry to announce that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 lacks a headphone jack. It’s not all bad news: you could use Bluetooth headphones or a USB-C dongle.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 remains the best tablet for emulation.

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PROS

  • Good cameras
  • Excellent speakers
  • Fast performance and speed
  • Beautiful display

CONS

  • No headphone jack
  • Average battery life
  • DeX mode could be improved

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Specifications    

Display: 10.5-inch HDR OLED display
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Operating System: Android 9 Pie
RAM: 6GB or 8GB
Storage: 128GB or 256GB, with microSD expansion
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Size: 9.63 x 6.28 x 0.22 inches (244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm)
Weight: 0.92 pounds (420 g)
Rear Camera: 8-megapixel
Front Camera: 13-megapixel standard, 8-megapixel ultrawide
Battery: 7040 mAh

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2.
Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4

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Another tablet with decent specs for emulating games is the Huawei MediaPad M5.

Huawei has succeeded in making a tablet that is sleek, durable and elegant. The display is great but not as good as what you will get from some high-end tablets.

This tablet has 64 GB storage, 4 GB RAM and a MicroSD slot. There are 4GB and 128GB variants. These variants are just OK for emulating games.

The MediaPad M5 which utilizes Android 8.0 (a phone version) has a very good battery life – about 7 to 8 hours when streaming videos. The battery life is one of the selling points of this tablet.

The 8.4-inch tablet has four speakers with excellent amplifiers designed to give you nothing but the best sounds. You’d be surprised by the sound quality of this tablet – it is simply outstanding.

Apart from emulating games, if you read a lot even at night, then the ‘eye comfort’ mode lets you read without straining your eyes.

The fingerprint reader works very well, too and is extremely responsive. It is better than what most top-tier tablets and phones offer. The fingerprint scanner doubles as the home bottom.

In terms of build quality, the MediaPad M5 can compete favourably with the likes of Galaxy Tab S4 and Apple iPads. Notification lights on tablets are becoming rare these days. But the MediaPad M5 has a notification light which you would find useful.

The camera isn’t great – just average especially in low light conditions.

One refreshing thing about the default apps shipped with tablet is that they can be uninstalled. So you are not forced to keep apps you do not need or use. HiCare, Consumer, Amazon Shopping, Outlook can be uninstalled.

You will love using the thump pad which enables you to make quick gestures that activate some functions.

The Huawei MediaPad M5 comes with a USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter.

By and large, the Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 is one of the best tablets emulation

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PROS

  • Impressive speakers
  • Very good performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Good display

CONS

  • Average camera
  • No headphone jack

Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 Key Specifications

Display: 8.4-inch IPS LCD touchscreen, 2560 x 1600 pixels
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 960s
Operating System: Android 8.0 (Oreo)
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Size: 8.37 x 4.91 x 0.29 inches (212.6 x 124.8 x 7.3 mm)
Weight: 0.70 pounds (316 g)
Rear Camera: 13-megapixel camera
Front Camera:  8-megapixel camera
Battery: 5100 mAh

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3.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

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Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is one of the best tablets for emulating games.

One outstanding feature of the Galaxy Tab S4 is its 10.5-inch 2560 x 1600 Super AMOLED display which is crystal clear with very sharp colours. Camera and sound from the tablet’s four speakers are excellent, too.

The sound gets even better when you turn on the Dolby Atmos.  Pictures and videos taken indoors and outdoors are natural and clear.

Though not as expensive as the Apple iPad Pro, its hardware is very robust. The face recognition/iris scanner works well even with your glasses on.

It has a 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage option. For a couple of dollars more, you possibly will get the 256 GB version. There is a USB-C port, OTG (On the Go), a headphone jack and a MicroSD card for extra storage. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo OS.

Additionally, the Tab S4 has a dual band WiFi radio that connects effortlessly to 2.4 and 5 GHz routers.

As is the norm with most high-end gizmos, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is fast and can handle several apps running concurrently without a drop in speed. Video streaming, YouTube, Facebook all function superbly. It is a great tablet for note taking and drawing.

It has a blue light filter which decreases digital eye strain, so your eyes won’t feel so tired.

The Galaxy Tab S4’s 7300 mAh battery which is a considerable improvement on the Galaxy Tab S3’s 6000 mAh battery lasts all day with heavy use and full brightness, and 3-4 days with minimal usage.

But the cherry on top of this package is the Samsung DeX feature which was first introduced with Samsung Galaxy S8+ and S8. The Samsung Dex feature allows you to use your tablet like a PC or laptop screen.

Given its solid internals, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is worth buying, and remains one of the best tablets for emulation.

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PROS

  • Improved Dex interface
  • Responsive stylus
  • Laudable display
  • Good battery life

CONS                                 

  • Delicate
  • Pricey

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Key Specifications

Display: 10.5-inch HDR Super AMOLED display, 2560 x 1600 pixels
Chipset: Snapdragon 835 processor
Operating System: Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie)
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB/256GB, expandable to 400 GB via microSD
Connectivity: 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Size: 9.81 x 6.47 x 0.28 inches (249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm)
Weight: 1.06 pounds (482 g)
Rear Camera: 13-megapixel camera
Front Camera:  8-megapixel camera
Battery: 7300 mAh

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4. Amazon Fire HD 8

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Like most tablets on list, the Fire HD 8 boasts a decent display (1280 x 800 pixels) with excellent colour. It is durable and very easy to use.

When it comes to speed (uses a 1.3 GHz Mediatek quad-core processor), and battery life (6 – 7 hours), this tablet ticks all the boxes.

You won’t experience any lags when performing tasks. Most apps on the Fire HD 8 load pretty fast.

The battery lasts even longer if all you do with the tablet is surf the web and read.

With a screen size 2 inches smaller than the Fire HD 10, you get everything the Fire HD 10 offers.

You can access web version of YouTube. To download apps, you have to go to Amazon’s own app store which has fewer apps than Google’s app store.

It is shipped with 32 GB of storage. There are slots for two SIM cards and a microSD that can take up to 400 GB of external storage. You can make and receive phone calls on this tablet.

The speakers (which you would find on the left side) produce fairly reasonable loud sound, but lack bass.

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 has two cameras: a two-megapixel camera on the rear and one in front for video calls. The two cameras are anything but great.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is for performing easy activities like watching videos, playing light games, checking social media accounts such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as streaming TV shows.

It is a great mid-range tablet which uses Android 8.1 Oreo. If you need a reasonably priced tablet that works great, then the Fire HD 8 is a must-buy.

Want an improved version of the Fire HD 8 or a better alternative? A few more dollars will get you the Fire HD 10 with a better processor and screen resolution.

All in all, it is one of the best tablets for emulation.

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PROS

  • Useful hands-free Alex integration
  • Very affordable
  • Impressive Show Mode
  • Solid build

CONS

  • Average battery life
  • Sluggish navigation

Amazon Fire HD 8  Key Specifications

Display: 8-inch IPS LCD HD screen, 1280 x 800 pixels
Chipset: MediaTek MT8163
Operating System: Android 7.1.2, Fire OS
RAM: 1.5GB
Storage: 16GB or 32GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Size:8.4 x 5.0 x 0.4 inches (214 x 128 x 9.7 mm)
Weight: 0.80 pounds (363 g)
Rear Camera: 2-megapixel camera
Front Camera: 2-megapixel camera
Battery: 4750 mAh

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5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

best tablets for emulation

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e remains one the best Android-powered tablets on the market just like the Galaxy Tab S6 and S4. If you’ve used the Tab S4, and enjoyed its performance, then the Tab S5e is equally as good.

Shipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, and powered by Android 9 (Oreo), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e can deliver a solid performance similar to what most Apple iPads offer. That’s why it is one of the best tablets for emulation.

Like the Apple iPad 7 (10.2-inch), its exterior is made from aluminium – anodised aluminium, to be precise.

With regard to weight, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is reasonably lightweight at 0.8 pound (400g). It is lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 which weighs 1.06 pounds (482 g), Apple iPad Pro 12.9 which is 1.39 pounds (631g), and the Microsoft Surface Go is weighs 1.15 pounds (522 g).

The entry-level model is equipped with 64GB storage, and 4GB of RAM. The 64GB is upgradable up to 128GB for a fee, of course.

One outstanding feature of this tablet is the DeX software. You’ll love the Dex feature even more when you pair your Tab S5e with a keyboard.

Additionally, the Tab S5e has fingerprint scanner and face unlock features. The fingerprint reader isn’t quite as responsive as what you find on most Samsung smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.

When it comes to battery performance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is competitive with iOS powered tablets. You get an impressive 14 hours of use, equivalent to what the manufacturer claims.

We recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e as one of the best tablets for emulation.

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PROS

  • Good AMOLED display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Affordable
  • Impressive speakers
  • Good design

CONS

  • Face unlock could be improved
  • No S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Key Specifications

Display: 10.5-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 1600 x 2560 pixels
Chipset: Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670
Operating System: Android 9.0 (Pie)
RAM: 4GB, 6GB
Storage: 64GB, 128GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Size: 9.65 x 6.30 x 0.22 inches (245 x 160 x 5.5 mm)
Weight: 0.8 pound (400 g)
Rear Camera: 13-megapixel
Front Camera:  8-megapixel
Battery: 7040 mAh

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6. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

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If you want all the functions of Windows 10 coupled with everything a tablet can do, then go for the Surface Pro 6. It can serve as a tablet as well as a laptop and is perfect for emulating games.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 comes with several internal storage variants depending on your budget and needs. It has 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB storage options. You can go for the 8 GB RAM with Core i5 or 16 GB RAM with Core i7. All versions come preinstalled with Windows 10 Home.

The display and performance are a lot better than that on the Surface Pro 4. Its display resolution – 2736 x 1824 pixels – is gorgeous and first-rate.

The Surface Pro 6 is very lightweight and slim, and the audio quality is better than what you would find on most tablets; it is pretty loud and very, very clear.  Despite the fact that the Surface Pro 6 has no built-in fan, it rarely gets warm even while running power-intensive applications.

It has four ports: a USB-A port, a headphone jack, a mini DisplayPort and a surface connect port. Surprisingly, the Surface Pro 6 has no USB-C port. It has a MicroSD slot concealed under the kickstand.

Basic tasks like using Microsoft Office related programs, surfing the web, taking notes, streaming videos and more importantly programs like Photoshop and Revit can be done on Surface Pro 6. It is also great for light gaming.

You can get roughly 6 to 7 hours of battery life depending on the applications you are running. Using the battery save mode and the suggested brightness settings will make the battery last a day or more.

Face recognition for unlocking the device is fast and responsive.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has no USB-C port. We don’t see this as a big issue. You could get a USB-C to USB-A adapter if you must connect your USB-C devices to the tablet.

If the absence of a USB-C port does not give you pause, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is absolutely worth owning. It is indeed one of the tablets for emulation given its decent internals.

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PROS

  • Impressive display
  • Excellent performance
  • Good battery life

CONS

  • Pricey
  • No USB-C

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Key Specifications

Display: 12.3-inch LCD screen, 2736 x 1824 pixels
Chipset: Intel Core i5 or i7 (8th Gen)
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
RAM: 8GB/16GB
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292 x 201 x 8.5 mm)
Weight: 1.70 pounds (770 g), or 1.73 pounds (784 g)
Rear Camera: 8-megapixel camera
Front Camera: 5-megapixel camera
Battery: 5940 mAh

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7.
Amazon Fire HD 10

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Even with a little cash to spare, getting a good tablet shouldn’t be a problem. One good slate which is quite budget-friendly without compromising quality is the Amazon Fire HD 10. It is an Android-powered tablet that uses Android 5.1.

The Fire HD 10 has a 10.1-inch screen size and 2 GB of RAM. Its battery strength (3830 mAh),which allows you roughly 10 hours of use and 2 megapixel camera is not so bad for a cheap, efficient tablet.

It is either you go for the 32 GB or the 64 GB internal storage.

For gamers on a tight budget, the Amazon Fire HD 10 is worth considering. It is one of the best tablets for emulation.

PROS

  • Affordable price
  • Impressive screen
  • Alexa is useful
  • Excellent performance

CONS

  • Body made of plastic
  • Camera isn’t fantastic

Amazon Fire HD 10 Key Specifications

Display: 10.10-inch screen, 1920 x 1200 pixels
Chipset: Mediatek MT8173
Operating System: Customized Android 5.1, Fire OS
RAM: 2GB
Storage: 32GB or 64GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Size: 10.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches (262 x 159 x 9.8 mm)
Weight: 1.11 pounds (504 g)
Rear Camera: 2-megapixel camera
Front Camera: Yes
Battery: 3830 mAh

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8.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7

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When it comes to churning out high-end tablets with great performance, Microsoft is still not quite at the level attained by Apple and Samsung. That said, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a decent 2-in-1 tablet with pretty good specs for emulating games.

The touchscreen display is as impressive as what the previous models produced by the Redmond manufacturer parade.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 now has a USB-C port, which is a good addition, nonetheless, it is not Thunderbolt 3. There is a USB-A port on the Pro 7.

With regard to CPU, three models are available: Core i3, i5, and i7. The Core i7 variant has a faster processing speed than the Core i3 and i5 models.

The base configuration (that is Core i3), comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. If you prefer more RAM, you could go for the 8GB (Core i5) or 16GB (Core i7) model. For more storage options, pick up the Core i5 version (256GB) or the Core i7 (256GB/512GB/1TB). Remember, you’ll pay more to get the models with more storage and RAM combinations.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 isn’t like some tablets with bloatware – if truth be told, you won’t find any bloatware on the Pro 7.

Face recognition via Windows Hello works great.

Battery life is not the Microsoft Surface Pro 7’s strong point. Other tablets boast excellent battery performances with good battery capacities.

If a solid battery performance is one of the features you don’t joke with, you may consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e (7040 mAh), or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (7300 mAh).

All in all, we recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 as one of the best tablets for emulation.

PROS

  • Excellent display
  • Good design
  • Improved processing power
  • USB-A and USB-C ports

CONS

  • Almost the same as the Pro 6
  • Average battery life
  • Bezels are rather thick

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Key Specifications

Display: 12.3-inch display, 2736 x 1824 pixels
Chipset: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
RAM: Up to 16GB LPDDR4x (non-upgradable)
Storage: Up to 1TB SSD
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax
Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292 x 201 x 8.5 mm)
Weight: Core i3 and i5: 1.7 pounds (775 g); Core i7: 1.74 pounds (790g)
Rear Camera: 8-megapixel camera
Front Camera:  5-megapixel camera
Battery: 5702 mAh

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No. Item  
1 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Huawei MediaPad M5 Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 Check Price on Amazon
4 Amazon Fire HD 8 Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Check Price on Amazon
6 Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Check Price on Amazon
7 Amazon Fire HD 10 Check Price on Amazon
8 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Check Price on Amazon


Bottom Line

We’ve x-rayed in greater depth, the best tablets for emulation. These tablets have beefy internals for emulating games. They are highly recommended.