7 Best Tablets For Musicians (Performance + Practice) | 2020

Gear & Tech Reviews

7 Best Tablets For Musicians and Music Lovers (Performance + Practice + Surfing) | 2020

If you're a musician looking for the best tablet that can handle all your music and daily needs, look no further. We've reviews 7 of the best tablets for music on the market today. 

Best Tablets For Musicians Gigging Sheet Music

So, you're looking for the best tablet for musicians you can load up with all the music making apps you can shake a stick at? 

Whether you're after the best tablet for gigging, the best tablet for displaying sheet music or the best tablet to use as a portable recording studio, you'll also need it to handle all types of everyday use. 

With their bigger screen size, capacity to comfortably run larger processors and their greater portability, tablets are fast replacing smartphones and computers as the tech of choice for musicians. And in a world where Apple undeniably has the lions share of the tablet market, the devices featured in this review will show you that Android and Microsoft aren't willing to lie down and submit.

So be it as a multi-tasking music production machine or for chilling out watching Youtube videos, we've found 7 of the best tablets musicians will love. From the affordable to the pricy, to the feature dripping premium, to the beginner friendly, let's dive into the review right after we consider the top 5 uses of a tablet for those of you of a musical persuasion.

Top 5 Uses Of A Tablet For Musicians 

1 - Sheet Music (Chord Charts and Tablature)

Get with the program. It's not 1999 anymore. Cluttering up the place with all those sheet music and tablature print outs is a waste of time and a headache. Many digital sheet music apps these days allow you to not just read chord charts with lyrics and scores, but playback charts, transpose scores, and create set lists.

2 - Apps and Sound Tools

Metronome, timer, amp modelers, digital music, multi-track recording apps, synths... they're all easy to handle on a tablet. It's often a pain to get out your laptop or trudge to the other room to sit at your desktop every-time you want to do your musical thang. Buying a portable, light-weight tablet solves all these irksome pain points and will make your playing and listening time more enjoyable.

3 - Music Player

Want to nail that rhythm in the new song you're learning on guitar? Grab your tablet, load up your music player of choice and get jamming. Whether you're listening to your own uploaded music library or want inspiration from music streaming apps, one thing's for sure, you'll have a ton of choices to choose from on your tablet. 

TOP TIP: hook your tablet up to a bluetooth speaker to get extra playback volume and oomph.

4 - Recording (Home and Live)

Whether you want to record regular practice progress clips, catalogue song ideas or create multi-track studio productions, tablets are one of the top gadgets every musician should have. This is because now it's easier than ever to lay down music on the go by pairing up your tablet with devices such as iRig and Line 6 Sonic Port and your favourite music software apps.

5 - Youtube and Online Tutorials

From how to play that intro riff to how you change the bpm in your latest music app - most things you need to know are laid out in a video somewhere online. So whether it's for work, research or general surfing, for convenience alone a tablet is the wise way to go. And with that extra screen real estate, squinting at your smartphone will become a distant memory.

7 Best Tablets For Musicians 

Tech Spec

Header

Screen Size

12.3 "

Resolution

1824 x 2736

Storage

128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB

RAM

4GB/8GB/16GB

CPU

Intel Core m3, i5 or i7

Dimensions

292 x 201 x 8.5mm

Weight

768g/770g/784g

Battery

13.5 hours

Front Camera

5MP

Rear Camera

8MP

  • Long battery life
  • Plenty of different spec configurations to choose from
  • Bit heavier than most tablets
  • Comes with Windows 10 Home not Windows 10 Pro

Are you tempted to change your Windows laptop or desktop for a tablet but you're a little dubious as to whether or not it'll cut the mustard? The latest Surface Pro from Microsoft is definitely up to the task. And then some.

With its integrated kickstand, optional Surface Pen and detachable keyboard, Microsoft’s flagship tablet gives you outstanding battery life and full laptop functionality.

If you're looking for a tablet for music production and are wondering about the Surface Pro's performance and capabilities, you're in safe hands. There are 3 processor configurations; Intel m3, i5, and i7 coupled with a range of storage and memory options to choose from. For music producers and musicians serious about their craft, the Intel Core i7 option with 16 GB RAM, and sizeable 1TB SSD will easily handle any CPU heavy programs thrown at it.

If you want to save yourself some cash and don't need such lightening fast processing power, the less expensive i3 or i5 could never be called sluggish and are equally worthy options also.

Final thoughts? This premium tablet is a top choice for all professionals and not just music and media creatives but anyone in the market for a high-end suited and booted tablet.

Check price on Amazon

Suggested Alternatives and Add-ons: Microsoft Surface Go | Microsoft Surface Pro Type Cover | Tablet Microphone & Music Stand Clamp |



Tech Spec

Header

Screen Size

12.9 "

Resolution

2048 x 2732

Storage

64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB

RAM

4GB/6GB

CPU

A12X Bionic

Dimensions

280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm

Weight

632g

Battery

9,720mAh

Front Camera

7MP

Rear Camera

12MP

  • Large screen makes displaying multiple app windows a breeze
  • Super fast processor
  • Average battery life
  • One of the most expensive tablets on the market

Love of the Apple iPad Pro by both working musicians and the masses alike have made it top dog in the tablet market for many years. Thanks to it’s whacking great screen, fast processing power and commanding choice of apps, if you have a generous budget the iPad Pro should be top of your list to consider.

You can use the tablet with a nifty Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil which will help musicians turn the iPad Pro into anything from a music mixing workstation to a live recording device. Having multiple app windows open at the same time in your mobile DAW is now also easier on your eyes too thanks to the high res 2048 x 2732 retina display. And despite the large 12.9 inch screen size, the Pro is easy to stick in your backpack on the go.

Featuring a super fast A12X Bionic processor chip, if you're planning on using the tablet for live music performance, you'll be pleased to know the iPad Pro gives ultra low-latency and thus solid execution of multiple tasks running at once. Above all, from the guys that brought the world GarageBand and Logic Pro, the iPad Pro is built to make you feel you can trust it won't let you down when you need it the most.

If you’re looking to use a tablet only to do basic tasks this high end iPad would be a waste of your money as it's by no stretch of the imagination cheap. If on the other hand you have large-scale professional and pleasure reasons to get a new tablet, the new Ipad Pro may be one of the best future-proof investments you’ve made all year.

Check price on Amazon

Suggested Alternatives and Add-ons: iPad Pro 10.5" | iPad Pro 11" | Full Body Shockproof 12.9' Case |


RHA - British Engineered & Designed For True-To-Life Sound

Tech Spec

Header

Screen Size

10.5 "

Resolution

1600 x 2560

Storage

128GB/256GB

RAM

6GB/8GB

CPU

Snapdragon 855

Dimensions

244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm

Weight

420g 

Battery

7,040mAh 

Front Camera

8MP

Rear Camera

13MP + 5MP

  • Light-weight and easy to carry
  • AMOLED display makes Youtube viewing a delight
  • No headphone jack
  • S Pen stylus prone to falling off the back

The versatile Galaxy Tab S6 is light-weight and portable with performance to impress anyone doubting that Android can pull up their sleeves and go the full twelve rounds with Apple.

The crisp 10.5 inch AMOLED display and Quad AKG speakers makes both work and play a pleasurable experience on the S6. And the speedy Snapdragon 855 processor means multi-tasking between taking notes, checking emails and using music applications is a easy as pie. From music to movies, media loaded quickly and streamed like clockwork over WiFi many users report.

The battery life is very decent on the Tab S6. However, despite Samsung claiming you get 15 hours, standard video playback battery tests have reported 11 hours. Because battery life is deadly important to anyone using a tablet for music performance, bear in mind when using more power hungry apps, you'll likely get less than 11 hours juice.

Luckily though this isn't an issue for those of us not planning on entering the Guiness Book of Records for the longest ever recorded live show in history. And it's still longer than you get from most similar spec Apple iPads (iPad Air 3 2019 = 10 hours approx).

With it's stellar processing performance, optional S pen and detachable keyboard, for those of you preferring to get an iPad alternative without compromising on performance and speed, Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is one of the best non iOS Android tablets on the market today.  

Check price on Amazon

Suggested Alternatives and Add-ons: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e | IVSO Backlit Keyboard Case | Universal Tablet Mount Music Stand


Tech Spec

Header

Screen Size

10.5"

Resolution

1668 x 2224

Storage

64GB/256GB

RAM

6GB

CPU

A12 Bionic

Dimensions

250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm

Weight

456g

Battery

Li-Po 8134 mAh 

Front Camera

7MP

Rear Camera

8MP

  • Works with 1st gen Apple Pencil
  • Easy to set up thanks to iCloud
  • Battery life not the best due to upgraded spec
  • Can't add extra storage

Want an iPad but can't justify paying the eye-watering cost of the iPad Pro? With its compatibility with a Smart Keyboard Cover and 1st Gen Apple Pencil the latest iPad Air is well worth your attention. 

Fist off, for those of you using hefty music production multi-tracking and apps, you'll be pleased to know Apple have upped the storage size to 64GB/256GB on the Air. The battery life also has been upgraded from the previous model with you getting around 10 hours of normal use. 

Due to it's laminated display the screens thinner top glass layer sits snugly on-top of the LCD panel underneath. What this means is the colours and clarity of the colours shine through on this latest Air model noticeably more than previous.

So what if you've done your research, come across the iPad Mini and can't make your mind up which one to go for? If you're planning on using your tablet predominantly for making music, we'd recommend you go for the Air.

The larger storage size options combined with the 10.5-inch Retina screen alone make the Air more ideal for musicians - the virtual controls and dials on many music making apps are much easier to use. Oh, and as usual latency on music software is excellent.

This iPad is for professionals and anyone who can't get enough of media in any form.

Check price on Amazon

Suggested Alternatives and Add-ons: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e | IVSO Backlit Keyboard Case | Universal Tablet Mount Music Stand


Tech Spec

Header

Screen Size

10.1"

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Storage

32GB/64GB

RAM

2GB

CPU

Octa-Core 2.0 GHz

Dimensions

262 x 159 x 9.8 mm

Weight

432g

Battery

Up to 12 hours

Front Camera

2MP

Rear Camera

2MP

  • Affordable small price tag
  • GPU big upgrade to the previous model 
  • Build quality feels a bit cheap
  • 2MP camera not amazing

Amazons Fire HD 10 is our most inexpensive tablet on the list. Whilst it won't be the tablet of choice for serious musicians, it will easily cope with the bedroom musicians everyday demands of using practice tool apps, making notes or general web browsing.

The Fire HD 10 features an upgraded octa-core 2GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM and capable battery life of up to 12 hours. Many users testify that thanks to it's improved processing power, the new HD 10 feels snappier than the HD 7 or 8. The 1080p 10.1 inch screen makes reading and watching videos more enjoyable than the other models also.

If you want to binge watch your favourite shows on apps like Netflix or download movies, these larger files can very quickly gobble up the storage space on any tablet. Fortunately, the Fire HD now supports microSD cards up to 512GB - double that of it's predecessor.

With it's dual-band Wifi connectivity and easily navigable interface, you'll be up and running virtually out of the box. Our top tip however would be to install Google Play Store app as whilst the Amazon Store is good, some users report it lacking some of their favourite choice apps.

In conclusion, Amazon's Fire HD 10 tablet is perfect for those looking for a cheap easy to use tablet for general entertainment and leisure use.

Check price on Amazon

Suggested Alternatives and Add-ons: Fire HD Charging Dock | Fire HD 10 tablet Case | Full Bodied Rugged Case Fire HD 10 |

Amazon Music Unlimited Offer Best tablets For Musicians
4 Months of Amazon Music Unlimited Only £0.99 was £39.96!

Instant access to over 2 million songs and 1 thousand + music playlists and stations programmed by Amazon's music experts.


Tech Spec

Header

Screen Size

10.1"

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Storage

16GB/32GB

RAM

2GB

CPU

 Snapdragon S4 Pro

Dimensions

17.2 x 26.59 x 0.71 cm

Weight

495g

Battery

10 hours

Front Camera

2.2MP

Rear Camera

8.1MP

  • S-Force 3D surround sound is impressive
  • Crystal clear display
  • Unit is waterproof
  • Not the lightest

Another tablet great for musicians and everyday peeps alike, the Sony Xperia Z tablet can easily replace your bulky laptop. This sleek, ultra light, and attractive tablet delivers fast responsive performance all thanks to the Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU that'll keep up with most music projects.

Both waterproof and dust resistant, the Tablet Z will stand up to use in the sweatiest of gigging venues or grubbiest of music studios. With its nice looking 1920 x 1200 HD screen It's easy to read song sheets containing chords, lyrics and standard notation alike. 

For those of you wanting to use a tablet as a controller for other devices and share content between multiple monitors, you'll delight in the simple One-touch mirroring on the Xperia Tablet Z. Because as every musician knows, any chance to avoid the dreaded studio cable spaghetti is a win.

Whether you're a Music producer or guitarist jamming at home this great all-rounder tablet offers high-res muѕiс ѕuрроrt and praiseworthy battery life. And along Sony's marketplace apps the Xperia Z tablet is compatible with all the аррѕ you know and love available on Google Play Store.

Check price on Amazon

Suggested Alternatives and Add-ons: Infinite Executive Keyboard Case | Adjustable Tablet Holder | Shockproof Waterproof Sleeve


Tech Spec

Header

Screen Size

10.1"

Resolution

1920 x 1200

Storage

16GB/32GB/64GB

RAM

1GB/2GB/3GB/4GB

CPU

HiSilicon Kirin 659 

Dimensions

24.3 x 16.2 x 0.8 cm

Weight

476g

Battery

7500mAh

Front Camera

8MP

Rear Camera

8MP

  • Long battery life
  • Great sound quality
  • Bit heavier than most tablets
  • Android software hogs lots of space

If you don't feel like spending the extra cash to get a high-end tablet, Huawei's Mediapad M5 is good basic tablet that's well made with loads of features.

There are many reasons  for you to buy the Mediapad 5. Above all, it is packed with features and won't cost you an arm and a leg. The quad stereo speakers tuned by Harman Kardon knocks-out better audio quality than the average tablet, and the tablet is compatible with Creative Capacity Pen and detachable wireless Bluetooth Keyboard.

In addition, the tablet comes with little bloatware, meaning you get more space. Couple that with the expandable storage via an optional microSD card, you can cram all the apps, music and movies onto the device to you fancy.

Busy musicians will love the 2.9 hour Quick Charge feature, because we know how much it sucks when you're busy on the go and realise you forgot to charge your device.

If you’re a musician that doesn’t need a tablet for high-performance music making with all the bells and whistles, the M5 Lite will be ideal. From making set lists, keeping your digital practice planner up to date this guy is fine for daily use. If you're after a tablet with more firing power, don't disregard Huawei just yet. Check out it's more powerful big brother MediaPad M5 Pro.

Check price on Amazon


Suggested Alternatives and Add-ons:
 FINTIE Mediapad M5 Lite 10 Keyboard Case | Creative Pen |  Mediapad M5 Lite 10 Folio Case 


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