7 Best Tablets for Pilots in 2024 (Latest Models)

If you’re a pilot looking for a reliable and efficient way to navigate the skies, a tablet can be an invaluable tool. With the right device and apps, you can access charts, maps, weather information, and flight planning tools all in one place.

But with so many tablets on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best fit for your needs. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best tablets for pilots. Whether you prefer Apple or Android, we’ve got you covered.

Our picks ship with decent internals that will enhance your performance in the cockpit. We’ve recommended tablets that are fast, durable, and cater to various budgets. So, you can access your maps, aircraft flight manuals, navigational charts, and the like with ease.

On our list are iOS and Android tablets that can run the most important aviation apps (we are looking at you, ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, and Avare) you need. From Apple iPad Mini 6 to Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, we look at the best tablets for pilots money can buy.

Best Tablets for Pilots at a Glance 

No. Item  
1 Apple iPad Mini 6 (2021) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus Check Price on Amazon
4 Apple iPad Air (2022) Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Check Price on Amazon
6 Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Check Price on Amazon
7 Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) Check Price on Amazon

 

[mc4wp_form id=”3558″]

 

What specs should a good tablet for pilots have?

Before buying the most suitable cockpit tablet, it’s important to know and understand the specs you need to keep your aviation programs running smoothly.

At a minimum, your tablet should have

  • 32GB of storage (128GB or higher recommended)
  • Wi-Fi only or WiFi + Cellular models
  • At least 7.9’’ screen

With these fundamentals in hand, you are on your way to finding a tablet that will enhance your performance in the cockpit.

1. Apple iPad Mini 6 (2021) (Editors’ Choice)

best tablets for pilots

Check Price on Amazon

The Apple iPad Mini 6 (2021) is the best tablet for pilots and our Editors’ Choice. It is the best iPad for pilots.

Built on Apple’s speedy A15 Bionic processor and featuring 4GB of RAM, along with an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD screen, it has specs that rival other flagships. The A15 Bionic processor that powers the 2021 iPad mini can handle everything you throw at it.

Aside from its super fast processor, the screen stands out, too. Text looks sharp on the screen as do photos and videos.

Storage is a bit restrictive. Available internal storage includes 64GB and 256GB only. If that’s your main concern, you should probably lean toward the 2021 iPad Pro 12.9-inch which comes in 128GB, 256 GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

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

You can write, draw, annotate PDFS, and take notes with the Apple Pencil (2nd generation). The Apple Pencil 2 attaches magnetically to the iPad mini 6.

Apple says the 19.3Wh battery in the iPad mini 6 provides an all-day battery life, however, in truth, the battery will last up to 10 hours on a single charge.

On the negative side, the 2021 iPad mini has no headphone jack. That’s slightly painful.

You’ll be hard-pressed to be disappointed with the iPad mini 6 performance. Overall, this is an exceptional iPad you can take anywhere and the best tablet for pilots.

PROS

  • Exceptional display
  • Super-fast performance
  • Beautiful design
  • Light and portable
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil 2
  • Very good webcam
  • Long battery life
  • USB-C charging

CONS

  • No multiuser support
  • No headphone jack

Apple iPad Mini 6 (2021) Key Specifications

Display: 8.3-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD display, 1488 x 2266 pixels
Chipset: Apple A15 Bionic
OS: iPadOS 15
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB/256GB
Connectivity:  Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, hotspot
Size: 7.69 x 5.31 x 0.25 in (195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3 mm)
Weight: 0.65 pounds (293 g)
Rear Camera: 12MP
Front Camera: 12MP
Battery: 19.3 Wh

Check Price on Amazon

 

2. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) best tablet for pilots

Check Price on Amazon

The iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) is Apple’s top-of-the-line tablet as of 2023, featuring a powerful M2 chipset that gives it laptop-level performance. While some may argue that the M1 from the previous generation is more than enough for most tablet activities, the M2 ensures that this device is future-proof.

Apart from the M2, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) shares many similarities with its predecessor, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021), such as its large 12.9-inch, 120Hz display that utilizes mini-LED technology for superior picture quality compared to smaller iPads. Despite packing all this tech, the tablet is surprisingly slim and lightweight.

Additionally, it features Face ID, capable cameras, and supports accessories like Apple’s Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil 2, which boasts hover-detection that makes it perfect for drawing.

As expected, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) comes with a hefty price tag, nevertheless, for those who want a tablet with unbeatable performance, this is the device to go for.

PROS

  • Lightning-fast performance
  • Exceptional display
  • Slim and sleek build
  • M2 chip
  • Incredibly durable
  • Good audio

CONS

  • Pricey

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) Key Specifications

Display: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED LCD, 2048 x 2732 pixels
Chipset: Apple M2
OS: iPadOS 16
RAM: 8GB/16GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band, hotspot
Size: 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm
Weight: 682 g (Wi-Fi), 685 g (5G)
Rear Camera: 12MP, 10MP, TOF 3D LiDAR scanner
Front Camera: 12MP
Battery: 40.88 Wh

Check Price on Amazon

 

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

best tablets for pilotsCheck Price on Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus’ predecessor, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus was (heck, still is!) an excellent tablet. However, the Tab S8 Plus is slightly a cut above it and, of course, the rest (Android tablets, that is) out there.

Its internals are nothing to scoff at – Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, more than enough RAM (8GB or 12GB), 128GB or 256GB of storage, and Android 12 operating system.

Performance is on par with what the 2021 iPad Pro 12.9-inch boasts. The sheer amount of power makes the Tab S8 Plus an appealing upgrade.

Samsung nailed it again with the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus’ display. It does keep the same 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate from the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which is not necessarily a bad thing. And it’s bright enough to make reading and watching videos a pure joy.

Just like the 2021 Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch, the Tab S8 Plus’ premium design will blow you away. It sports a flashy metallic finish.

Elsewhere, the AKG speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning on the Tab S8 Plus pump out clear sound. We are pleased with the balanced profile of the sound.

What’s more, using the Galaxy Tab S8’s S Pen is a pure joy. Samsung has reduced the S Pen’s latency making it faster just like a real pen.

There’s also the cameras. The rear holds a pair of 13MP and 6MP ultrawide sensors. Dominating the front is a 12MP ultrawide sensor, perfect for video calls.

Samsung’s class-leading tablet ranks very high for its battery performance. The 10,090 mAh battery tucked inside the Tab S8 Plus offers excellent endurance.

There’s very little to complain about with the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus, except for perhaps the price tag. If you want to save money, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus isn’t for you. 

If you’ve been an iOS loyalist for years, it’s worth taking a look to see what else is out there.

Overall, this is a great piece of hardware that anyone should be proud to carry around. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is highly recommended.

PROS

  • Immersive Super AMOLED display
  • Premium design
  • Good cameras
  • High-performing processor
  • Good S Pen integration
  • Large battery capacity

CONS

  • Limited upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus Key Specifications

Display: 12.4-inch, Super AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+ 1752 x 2800 pixels
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
OS: Android 12
RAM: 8GB/12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Size: 11.22 x 7.28 x 0.22 inches (285 x 185 x 5.7 mm)
Weight: 1.26 pounds (572 g)
Rear Camera: 13MP, 6MP
Front Camera: 12MP
Battery: 10090 mAh
GPS: Yes

Check Price on Amazon

 

4. Apple iPad Air (2022)     best tablet for pilots

Check Price on Amazon 

The Apple iPad Air is for anyone who needs an iPad Pro-like performance from a portable tablet at a fraction of the price. It is a fit for casual users and creators alike.

Its 10.9-inch Liquid Retina multi-touch display looks fine, especially in its color reproduction. You can use the Air comfortably in either portrait or landscape orientations.

The best part of the 2022 iPad Air, however, is its performance. It is fast thanks to the Apple M1 chipset tucked inside it. This tablet delivers at all times. You can watch videos, play games, and read on the Air 2022 with zero performance lag.

Like the 2021 iPad Mini, storage is a bit restrictive. The base model ships with 64GB of storage. Though, there is a variant with 256GB of storage, and we recommend this. If you need more storage, your best bet is the iPad Pro 2021 which comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

It’s worth noting, as well, that the 2022 iPad Air ships with the outstanding Apple Pencil 2 which attaches magnetically and charges wirelessly. This makes the Air 2022 an ideal pick for writing, drawing, and taking notes without a hitch.

Audio quality from the Air’s two speakers is just ok, while admittedly lacking bass and the staggering audio performance iPad Pro users enjoy.

Then there’s the cameras. The tablet boasts a 12MP rear camera and 12MP ultra-wide selfie camera. One thing Apple’s added to this 2002 Air is the Centre Stage feature which automatically pans the camera to keep everyone in centre view during a video call.

What else should we include? Well, the responsive Touch ID built into the power button is an A+ in our book. How about the Face ID feature? Well, there isn’t one really.

Again, the 2022 iPad Air is 5G compatible.

Plus, it features a remarkable battery life and debatably one of the best we’ve ever come across. The Air 2022 will stay powered up for an entire workday and more.

Oh, and for the record, the 2022 iPad Air has no headphone jack. Not a deal breaker, but worth bearing in mind.

Overall, this is the best tablet for just about everyone. Its performance and price tag make it easy to pull the trigger on a purchase order. Highly recommended.

PROS

  • Super-fast M1 processor
  • Colorful display
  • Thin and portable
  • Good design
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil 2
  • Good speakers
  • 5G connectivity
  • Long battery life

CONS

  • Storage is restrictive
  • Expensive peripherals

Apple iPad Air (2022) Key Specifications

Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD display, 1640 x 2360 pixels
Chipset: Apple M1
OS: iPadOS 15.4
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 64GB/256GB
Connectivity:  Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, hotspot
Size: 9.75 x 7.03 x 0.24 in (247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm)
Weight: 1.02 pounds (462 g)
Rear Camera: 12MP
Front Camera: 12MP
Battery: 28.6 Wh
GPS: Yes

Check Price on Amazon

 

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

best tablets for pilots

Check Price on Amazon

Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus, 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 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 one of the best Android tablets for pilots by and large.  

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
GPS: Yes

Check Price on Amazon

 

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8Check Price on Amazon 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is juiced up with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage.

Performing like a pricier machine without skimping on build quality or features, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8 delivers excellent value.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and Tab S8 Plus, one of the main appeals of the Tab S8 is its performance. In fact, the speedy performance of the Galaxy Tab S8 firmly shoves it up the class ladder.

The Tab S8’s 11-inch thin-film transistor display is impressive.

At 11 inches and 1.1 pounds, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is a lightweight and easy travel companion. The tablet comes in three colour options – Graphite, Silver or Pink Gold.

An A+ for the Tab S8’s S Pen which feels like a real pen while writing.

The speakers on the Tab S8 are not your typical tin cans. They deliver dramatically superior sound.

We are always happy to see a headphone jack on phones, tablets, and laptops — there’s simply no excuse to leave it off the spec sheet. Sadly, there is no headphone jack on the Galaxy Tab S8.

Samsung packed in a reasonable 8,000 mAh of battery capacity into the Tab S8’s chassis.

The one flaw with this tablet, though, is the absence of an in-screen fingerprint reader. It’s a shame, but not a dealbreaker.

The Galaxy Tab S8 (as well as the Tab S8 Ultra and Tab S8 Plus) still beats the heck out of any Android tablet on the market.

PROS

  • Impressive performance
  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Good design
  • Excellent S Pen integration

CONS

  • No in-screen fingerprint reader

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Key Specifications

Display: 11-inch, TFT 120Hz, HDR10+ 1600 x 2560 pixels
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
OS: Android 12
RAM: 8GB/12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, 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: 1.10 pounds (503 g)
Rear Camera: 13MP, 6MP
Front Camera: 12MP
Battery: 8000 mAh
GPS: Yes

Check Price on Amazon

 

7. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)

best tablets for pilots

Check Price on Amazon

The Apple iPad Pro 2021 is stacked with so much power. Packed with Apple’s powerful M1 chipset and 8GB of RAM, the iPad Pro blazes through apps, browser tabs and videos without any sign of slowdown. You won’t have a problem viewing maps. 

You can opt for the model with 16GB of RAM. For viewing maps and charts without a hitch, the 8GB RAM variant is pretty OK.

But before you get swept up by all that power, let’s not forget that beautiful new Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display. The 2021 iPad Pro’s gorgeous display is on the level of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. Pictures look more intense, expressive and realistic.

As for audio, you’d be equally impressed. The iPad Pro’s audio is respectable.

New for the iPad Pro is a USB-C port with USB4 and Thunderbolt 3 support. This means you can connect compatible devices and accessories effortlessly.

As you would expect, the iPad Pro isn’t filled with the kind of bloatware that manufacturers usually lade cheap tablets and phones with.

Elsewhere, it offers a ton of storage. Available internal storage includes 128GB, 256 GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

Apple isn’t skimping on the battery with the iPad Pro; the 40.88 Wh cell offers excellent endurance.

Sure, the iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch is still a bit out of range for some people, price-wise. However, it gives a lot.

On the negative side, the colour options are a bit restrictive. Like its predecessors, the iPad Pros 2021 come in Silver and Space Gray colour options.

Overall, the iPad Pro 2021 is an outstanding tablet, and it remains one of the best tablets for pilots.

PROS

  • Outstanding display
  • Super-fast performance
  • Slim build
  • Durable
  • Incredible battery life
  • Good audio
  • USB4 and Thunderbolt 3 support

CONS

  • Limited colour options
  • Pricey

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) Key Specifications

Display: 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR Mini LED display, 2048 x 2732 pixels
Chipset: Apple M1
OS: iPadOS 14.5.1
RAM: 8GB/16GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
Connectivity:  Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, hotspot
Size: 11.05 x 8.46 x 0.25 in (280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm)
Weight: 1.50 pounds (682g)
Rear Camera: 12MP, 10MP
Front Camera: 12MP
Battery: 40.88 Wh

Check Price on Amazon

No. Item  
1 Apple iPad Mini 6 (2021) (Editors’ Choice) Check Price on Amazon
2 Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) Check Price on Amazon
3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus Check Price on Amazon
4 Apple iPad Air (2022) Check Price on Amazon
5 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Check Price on Amazon
6 Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Check Price on Amazon
7 Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) Check Price on Amazon

 

[mc4wp_form id=”3558″]

 

Bottom Line

Our picks are the best tablets for pilots. These recommendations are perfect for pilots who need durable, fast, and decent tablets that just work without issues.