It is not easy choosing the best tablets for PA school when there are a slew of tablets out there. To make your life a lot easier, we’ve rounded up only the best performing tablets that provide great bang for your buck.

When it comes to portability, note taking and keeping things well-organized, tablets are the way to go. Installing your favourite note taking apps (we’re looking at you, Notability and Microsoft OneNote) on the tablets we’ve recommended is a cinch.

For some physician assistant students, a tablet may not be very, very useful during the didactic year, nonetheless, its importance during the clinical year cannot be overemphasized.

Without further ado, we look at the best tablets for PA school and what is tucked inside each tablet.

Best Tablets for PA School at a Glance

No. Item  
1 Apple iPad Pro (2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Microsoft Surface Go Check Price on Amazon
3 Apple iPad Mini Check Price on Amazon
4 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Check Price on Amazon
5 Apple iPad Air (2020) Check Price on Amazon
6 Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Check Price on Amazon
7 Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Check Price on Amazon
8 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Check Price on Amazon
 

 

1. Apple iPad Pro (2020) 12.9-inch  (Editors’ Choice)

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The Apple iPad Pro is the best tablet for PA school and our Editors’ Choice. It is the best iPad for PA school.

With a 12.9-inch screen, and a 2048 x 2732 pixel display, its screen is beautiful, bright and super responsive with a 120Hz refresh rate.

It comes with 6 GB RAM which makes it exceptionally fast.

The iPad Pro’s whopping 1TB of internal storage space lets you store as many images, videos, and documents as possible. You may well buy models with lesser internal storage. Available internal storage includes 128 GB, 256 GB, 512GB and 1TB.

As you would expect, it runs one of Apple’s best operating systems: iPadOS 13.4. Because Apple is way ahead of the curve, you will almost never experience any lag when using the Apple iPad Pro.

The Apple iPad Pro has been built to handle the power needs of a top-notch tablet thanks to its very outstanding long-lasting 9720 mAh battery.

Elsewhere, the iPad Pro speakers are superb and breathtaking!

Another interesting thing to note is that transferring items from an iPhone or iPad to the new Apple iPad Pro is so, so fast and can be done effortlessly.  If you own a MacBook, syncing videos, images and other files is seamless.

With its powerful hardware and beautiful display, the Apple iPad Pro remains the best tablet for PA school. If you believe in spending money on tools that make your tasks a lot easier, the Apple iPad Pro is worth considering.

PROS

  • Impressive display
  • Excellent audio
  • Fast operating system
  • Responsive Face ID
  • Incredible battery life
  • Excellent pen integration

CONS

  • No provision for external storage
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

Apple iPad Pro (2020) 12.9-inch Key Specifications

Display: 12.9-inch IPS display, 2048 x 2732 pixels
Chipset: Apple A12Z Bionic chip
OS: iPadOS 13.4
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, hotspot
Size: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches (280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm)
Weight: 1.41 pounds (641g)
Rear Camera: 12MP, 10MP
Front Camera: 7MP
Battery: 9720 mAh

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PROS

  • Impressive display
  • Excellent audio
  • Fast operating system
  • Responsive Face ID
  • Incredible battery life

CONS

  • No provision for external storage
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

Apple iPad Pro Key Specifications

Display: 12.9-inch IPS display, 2048 x 2732 pixels
Chipset: Apple A12X Bionic chip
OS: iOS 12
RAM: 4GB/6GB
Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Connectivity: Dual SIM, 4G LTE (1 Gbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0
Size: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.23 inches (280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm)
Weight: 1.39 pounds (631g)/ 1.4 pounds (633g)
Rear Camera: 12-megapixel camera with wide-angle F/1.8 lens, quad-LED flash with slow sync, phase detection auto focus, wide colour gamut capture
Front Camera:  7-megapixel camera with F/2.2 lens
Battery: 9720 mAh

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2. Microsoft Surface Go

best tablets for pa school Check Price on Amazon

With the Microsoft Surface Go, you get most of the features present in the Surface Pro. The Surface Go is cheaper than the Surface Pro.

You can watch Netflix, surf the web and more importantly carry out all MS Office-related tasks on the surface Go. It can handle any light task than can be done on a typical Windows 10 PC.

Because it utilizes Windows OS, apps can be installed from the Windows store facilitated by the preinstalled Windows S which can be updated to Windows 10 or Windows 10 Pro.

The Surface Go is a portable and sturdy tablet which can also double as a PC with a keyboard attached. You can write and draw on its surface. Be ready to download a few updates when you first use the device.

The display is excellent for the price – don’t expect an Apple iPad Pro-like screen!

With regard to speed and performance, this tablet is just OK. It is not as lightening fast as the Apple iPad Pro 12.9, Apple iPad 9.7, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.

You will only notice the not-so-fast speed if you have ever used high-end tablets in the past. Opening multiple browser tabs or apps will make it lag somewhat.

You can play games (light games, of course) on the device, but it is best suited for small tasks like surfing the web, reading ebooks, checking mails, editing tasks on the go as the name suggests.

It has a USB-C port and a port for speakers and headphones. It is shipped with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB or 64 GB of internal storage.

The bezels are just perfect for holding the tab when the keyboard isn’t there. You don’t want to worry about accidentally tapping something on the screen.

Like some reasonably priced tablets out there, the Microsoft Surface Go battery will not last the whole day if you are constantly streaming videos and playing music. To get the most from the battery each day, we recommend using its battery saving mode and setting the screen brightness to its darkest.

If you’ve always wanted a productive, flexible, handy desktop alternative, without compromising efficiency, then the Microsoft Surface Go is easily the way to go.

PROS

  • Excellent display
  • Good design
  • Affordable price
  • Decent performance and speed

CONS

  • Not as good as Apple tablets
  • Average battery life

Microsoft Surface Go Key Specifications    

Display: 10-inch display, 1800 x 1200 pixels
Chipset: Intel Pentium 4415Y
OS: Windows 10
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Size: 9.65 x 6.89 x 0.33 inches (245 x 175 x 8.3 mm)
Weight: 1.15 pounds (522 g)
Rear Camera: 8-megapixel camera
Front Camera:  5-megapixel camera
Battery: 3411 mAh

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3.
Apple iPad Mini 

best tablets for pa school

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The iPad Mini is for physician assistant students who need a very a portable iOS-powered tablet for reading, note taking and other tasks. Like most iPads the new iPad Mini is sleek – but this is not why we love the tablet.

Its outstanding processing speed which is made possible by the Apple A12 Bionic chip makes it standout from most tablets and that is why we love it.

Apps on the iPad Mini run pretty fast without hiccups. It is one of the best tablets for PA school. You won’t have problems installing and using Notability on the iPad Mini.

The Apple iPad Mini ships with 3GB RAM. It has 64GB and 256GB storage options. This storage is enough to store your movies, pictures, and other files.

With a beautiful LCD capacitive screen, and a True Tone display which fine-tunes the screen to suit the lighting conditions wherever you are using the device. Your eyes won’t suffer from strains as a result of screen lightening whenever you’re taking notes or reading.

Since the tablet is small and lightweight, carrying it around is easy.

The iPad Mini has a 4G variant, which makes internet connection and download speeds a lot faster.

If you love taking pictures, the iPad Mini has a 7-megapixel selfie camera, and an 8-megapixel HDR rear camera. Gold, Silver, and Space Gray are colour variants of the iPad on the market at the moment.

The battery life of the new iPad Mini is excellent. You can get up to 10 hours of productive work out of the tablet on a single charge. It is highly recommended and remains one of the best tablets for PA school.

PROS

  • Very, very good performance and speed
  • Excellent battery life
  • Crisp and colourful display
  • Lots of apps
  • Good OS

CONS

  • No new design tweak
  • RAM size can be improved
  • Has thick bezels

Apple iPad Mini Key Specifications       

Display: 7.9-inch display, 1536 x 2048 pixels
Chipset: Apple A12 Bionic chip
OS: iOS 12.1.3
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 64GB/256GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Size: 8.0 x 5.31 x 0.24 inches (203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm)
Weight: 0.66 pounds (300.5 g)
Rear Camera: 8-megapixel camera
Front Camera:  7-megapixel camera
Battery: 5124 mAh

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4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

best tablets for pa school

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Right now, our absolute favorite Android tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which is also one of the best tablets for PA school.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is one of Samsung’s best tablets you can buy now. It packs as much oomph as the Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch).

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’ screen is a nice, large, 12.4-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate, bolstering its gaming credentials. Its Super AMOLED display is super responsive, amazingly bright, colorful to boot and delivers a stunning picture quality thanks to its HDR10+ feature. You won’t have problems using it in direct sunlight.

The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’ credentials are further established with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, which is complemented by 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

Samsung has made available three storage/RAM variants on the Tab S7: 128GB/6GB, 256GB/8GB, or 512GB/8GB.

What’s more, it supports 5G connectivity.

As for the sacrifices one has to make, the optional book cover keyboard case isn’t a chart-topper, however, it makes the Tab S7 Plus a viable laptop replacement.

Looking for a tablet that can last all day? This is it.

But overall, this is one of the best tablets money can buy for those willing to pay a premium and the best Android tablet for PA school by and large.  

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PROS

  • Beautiful super AMOLED 120Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Stunning display
  • Very good build quality
  • 5G Connectivity option
  • Fast performance
  • Thin and Portable
  • Excellent audio

CONS

  • Limited port offerings
  • Pricey

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Key Specifications

Display: 12-inch, Super AMOLED, 1752 x 2800 pixels
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
OS: Android 10, upgradable to Android 11
RAM: 6GB/8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Size: 11.22 x 7.28 x 0.22 inches (285 x 185 x 5.7 mm)
Weight: 1.27 pounds (575 g)
Rear Camera: 13MP, 5MP
Front Camera: 8MP
Battery: 10090 mAh

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5. Apple iPad Air  (2020)

best tablets for pa school

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Apple has always won the tablet race. The Apple iPad Air is no exception. This tablet is one the best iPads that isn’t an iPad Pro.

It is lightweight, thin and comes in handy for simple tasks like reading, using the internet and streaming videos. It is also great for taking notes with the Apple Pencil.

The Apple iPad Air can boast the same battery life as Pro iPads. It is also super fast as it utilizes Apple’s A14 processor.

The iPad Air has more than enough memory: 64 GB or 256 GB storage space. The choice is yours.

Good price, speed, excellent performance and portability are some of the hallmarks of the iPad Air.

One trivial drawback is that the left and right bezels are so small; you may accidentally tap something on the screen.

The Apple iPad Air is highly recommended for physician assistant students.

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PROS

  • Cutting-edge display
  • Very fast performance
  • Responsive OS

CONS

  • Finger print scanner could be better

Apple iPad Air Key Specifications             

Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD display, 1640 x 2360 pixels
Chipset: Apple A14 Bionic chip
OS: iPadOS 14.1
Storage: 64GB/256GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
Size: 9.75 x 7.03 x 0.24 inches (247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm)
Weight: 1.0 pounds (458 g)
Rear Camera: 12MP
Front Camera:  7MP
Battery: 28.6Wh

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6. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

best tablets for pa school

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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 PA school.

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. 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.

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.

Face recognition for unlocking the device is fast and responsive.

Aside from taking notes, if you’d like to draw on the Surface Pro 6, then we recommend getting a stylus.

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 best tablets for PA school.

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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)
OS: 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. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

best tablets for pa school

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is one the best Android-powered tablets on the market just like the Galaxy Tab S4 and Tab S6. Specifically, 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 PA school.

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 PA school.

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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
OS: 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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8. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

best tablets for pa school

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Another good Android tablet for PA school deserving of note is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7.

It’s juiced up with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.

There‘s another spin on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7: You could opt for the model with 8GB of RAM. There are variants with 256GB or 512GB of storage. The model with 6GB of RAM is adequate for PA students.

Mystic Black, Mystic Silver and Mystic Bronze are colour options you can choose from.

As far as the design and build quality are concerned, Samsung nailed it. The Galaxy Tab S7 sports a design similar to the iPad Pro.

At 9.9 inches and 1.1 pounds, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a lightweight and easy travel companion.

Aside from gaming, the tablet allows you to do many other things effortlessly.

Given its Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset and 6GB of RAM, the Galaxy Tab S7 can handle multiple tabs running simultaneously without any sign of slowdown.

As far as sound goes, what comes out of the tablet speakers is actually decent.

Battery life is reasonable, allowing for a full day’s work.

A minor but is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7’s DeX mode. It still has room to grow.

There’s no getting around the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 remains an excellent tablet, and one of the best tablets for PA school.

PROS

  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good design
  • Fast performance
  • Thin and Portable

CONS

  • DeX-mode could be improved

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Key Specifications

Display: 11-inch, IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1600 x 2560 pixels
Chipset: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+
OS: Android 10
RAM: 6GB/8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Size: 9.99 x 6.51 x 0.25 inches (253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3 mm)
Weight: 1.1 pounds (498 g)
Rear Camera: 13MP, 5MP
Front Camera: 8MP
Battery: 8000 mAh

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No. Item  
1 Apple iPad Pro (2020) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Microsoft Surface Go Check Price on Amazon
3 Apple iPad Mini Check Price on Amazon
4 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Check Price on Amazon
5 Apple iPad Air (2020) Check Price on Amazon
6 Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Check Price on Amazon
7 Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Check Price on Amazon
8 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Check Price on Amazon
 

 

Bottom Line

We’ve reviewed the best performing tablets for physician assistant (PA) students in detail. These tablets are a great pick for PA students who need tablets that just work without issues.

Every tablet we’ve recommended is what considering for PA school depending on your preference and budget.

Tablets have limitations. Again, if you do not enjoy note taking on a tablet you might want to consider the best laptops for PA school.