Best tablets for older people to buy in 2023
From Apple to Amazon, there's a wide selection of tablets perfect for older users. Here's what to look out for, and our guide to the top models.
Tablets are an attractive prospect for older users, and it’s easy to see why. Displays are bigger than phones, they are great for travelling and easily pack enough power for tasks without needing to rely on a cumbersome laptop or desktop.
In 2023, slates will come in a wide variety of screen sizes and price points. So whether you’re on the hunt for a new tablet, or are currently looking to buy a device as a gift for a friend or relative, there will definitely be a model for you.
The big temptation is to go with Apple – thanks to the relative safety of the iOS App Store and general ease-of-use of its software – and we broadly agree this is a great choice for most older (or all) users, although it is not the only option.
There are some models from Amazon and Lenovo that are also worthy of your consideration. While they may lack the sheen and premium feel of Apple’s line-up, they are typically more affordable and provide more customisation.
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For the latest product releases, take a look at our Google Pixel Fold release date and Google Pixel Tablet release date pages.
Best tablets for older people at a glance
- Best premium tablet: Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch, £1,249
- Best affordable tablet: Amazon Fire HD 10 (with ads), £109
- Best for large screen: Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, £799.99
- Best all-rounder: iPad Air 5th gen, £639
- Best affordable Apple: iPad 9th gen, £334.99
- Best portable tablet: Apple iPad mini 6th gen, £569
How to choose the best tablet for older people
A user may be older, but that doesn’t mean for a second that they don’t know their way around a tablet – or are somehow less able to use one as a result of age. There are, however, a few considerations that may be helpful to know before buying a device: display size and quality, accessibility features, battery life and how intuitive it is to navigate.
Many of these are normal aspects of shopping for shiny new tech but they may be more important for some that are more mature among us. Before hitting purchase, you want to consider why the tablet is needed. Is it for checking the news with a morning coffee? Catching up with some reading during a well-earned holiday? Or perhaps bingeing a new series or documentary on Netflix, Disney+ or Prime Video?
If you're using your tablet to watch videos, be sure to check out the best Disney Plus offers, top BT Sport deals and Sky Sports offers for this month.
In most cases, narrowing down this why will quickly narrow down your options. If it's portability, there are some small tablets. If it’s power, there are powerful tablets. If it’s general ease of use, there are some that offer simple navigation, and so on. It’s no different than buying for anyone else - just find out why the tablet is needed and that’s your starting point. The next major factor to consider is budget.
Luckily, accessibility is a key factor of both iOS and Android operating systems these days, so no matter which one you do go for there should be quite a few options built in. These will let you alter the user experience, such as changing the size of text, adding audio descriptions, magnifying the screen, text-to-speech and more.
Plenty of tablets are discounted in this month's Amazon Spring Sale. Find out the most useful Amazon Spring Sale UK deals.
Other notable mentions:
- Premium Android tablet: Samsung Tab S8+, £849
- Great e-reader tablet: Kindle Paperwhite, £104.99
- Affordable e-reader: Kindle, £69.99
- Budget Android tablet: Samsung A8 10.5-inch, £219
- Great smaller Amazon slate: Fire HD 8, £89.99
How much money should you spend?
The tablets we have chosen for this list range from around £200 to £1,000, so it is clear there is a massive variety in price points when it comes to buying a new slate. How much you spend will ultimately depend on the exact specs, storage space and display size you need. In general, the better the tablet, the more it will cost.
If the user needs a tablet for basic internet browsing, streaming and emails it’s fine to stay at the lower end of the spectrum – say between £200 and £600 – but anyone who needs more power or built-in storage will likely have to pay a bit more.
We highly advise sticking to well-known brands when buying a new tablet, so that will include Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, Microsoft and Huawei (although check the specs for that last one before spending money as some may not play well with Google apps). The reason for this is simple: they are the most likely to be well supported in terms of future software and security updates, alongside customer support.
Best tablets for older people in 2023
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch, £1,249
Best premium tablet
- Fantastic high-res display
- Beautiful high-end design
- iOS is easy to set up and use
- Expensive, especially for higher storage
- Large frame is not the best for portability
If you need power over portability and don’t mind paying for the luxury, the iPad Pro (12.9-inch) is the best of the best. Priced from around £1000 this slate isn’t for everyone, but this iOS tablet is undoubtedly premium, sleek and easy to use. The high-resolution display is a high-point, and there’s a lot of customisation offered in the settings: screen zoom, text size, audio descriptions, motion sensitivity, call routing, voice control, support for the Apple Pencil 2, and so much more.
As we wrote in our review of the most expensive Apple tablet: “We’ve tried to push it to various limits, we’ve actively gone looking for faults, and the only one we can really point to is its price. Even then, though, the amount of premium technology on board this tablet goes a very long way towards justifying paying so much for it.”
Read the full Apple iPad Pro 2021 review.
Buy the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021):
- Buy the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch at Amazon
- Buy the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch at Very
- Buy the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch at Argos
- Buy the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch at JD Williams
Amazon Fire HD 10 (no ads), £109
Best affordable tablet
- Affordable for a full HD tablet
- Easy to set up and use
- A wealth of content on tap
- Lacks support for native Google apps
- Definitely focused around Amazon
- Not as powerful as other slates
If you need a well-rounded tablet with a solid screen, simple navigation and a good selection of apps (without going into best budget tablet territory) we recommend the HD 10 slate from Amazon. The 10-inch Full HD display is great for watching content and reading e-books, and it feels premium – without costing it. We advise going for the model without ads, as it provides a better user experience.
As we wrote in our review: “[The] Amazon Fire HD 10 occupies a welcomed middle-ground. You get a well-balanced, largely well-designed 10-inch device on which to watch your favourite shows. It has enough power to do a range of tasks and the… Show Mode increases its versatility and appeal. All without charging a fortune.”
Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 review
Buy the Amazon Fire HD 10
- Buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 at Amazon (no ads)
- Buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 at Currys (with ads)
- Buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 at Argos (with ads)
- Buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 at John Lewis (with ads)
- Buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 at AO (with ads)
- Buy the Amazon Fire HD 10 at JD Williams (with ads)
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, £799.99
Best for large screen
- Lovely 12.6-inch 2K display
- Thin bezels and aluminium frame
- Stylus comes in the box
- Software not as good as rivals
- No 3.5mm headphone port
- Not the best for portability
If a large high-resolution display is your main priority, consider the P12 Pro tablet from Lenovo, which has a really nice 12.6-inch 2K panel alongside tiny bezels, a premium aluminium frame and a solid battery life. This is one to buy if you want a tablet for watching your favourite streaming platforms or handling some artistic projects as there is a stylus pen bundled in the box. As we wrote in our in-depth Lenovo Tab P12 Pro review, we found it to be great for entertainment, although the cost point may be a little bit high for some users as it gets pretty competitive at this price point.
Read the full Lenovo Tab P12 Pro review
Buy the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro
Apple iPad Air 5th gen, £639
- Contains Apple’s M1 chip
- Design feels premium
- iOS software is fantastic
- No Face ID biometrics
- Yes, it’s still pretty expensive
- No 120Hz refresh rate
If you want an all-rounder – a premium tablet without having to pay the £1000 price point of the Pro models – the iPad Air (5th gen) is our pick. The software is very easy to use, there’s a broad selection of accessibility features and it has a sleek and high-end design. It’s got the same chipset as the iPad Pro, and we found the performance to be top-notch overall. Simply put; a great user experience.
As we wrote in our review: “It’s got that legendary Apple quality and, aside from the price, which can get high if you need a cellular model with 5G or more storage, there’s little to complain about with this latest slate. In fact, there’s a lot to love.”
Read our full Apple iPad Air 5th gen review
Buy the Apple iPad 5th gen
- Buy the Apple iPad 5th gen at Amazon
- Buy the Apple iPad 5th gen at Currys
- Buy the Apple iPad 5th gen at Argos
- Buy the Apple iPad 5th gen at John Lewis
Apple iPad 9th generation, £334.99
Best affordable Apple slate
- Punches above its entry-level price
- Easy to set up and use
- Slim, appealing, design
- Runs on an older processor
- Lacks high specs of its siblings
- Older aesthetic as of last year
The iPad (9th gen) may not have the high-end feel of its pricier siblings – and has an older design thanks to the black bezels and physical home button – but it would be a big mistake to think that it’s lacking. The iPad is a force to be reckoned with for one reason: it provides an iOS tablet at a more affordable price point. That’s a pretty big deal, and we found the user experience to be fantastic throughout.
As we wrote after going hands-on with the tablet: “It’s powerful and lasts all day. Support for Apple Pencil (albeit just the first generation) is welcomed and highly useful, and we never once felt like we were using outdated hardware. If you’re looking for an iPad, and you aren’t a power user, then this is the iPad for the masses.”
Read our in-depth iPad (2021) review
Buy the iPad (9th generation, 2021):
- Buy the iPad (2021) at Amazon
- Buy the iPad (2021) at Very
- Buy the iPad (2021) at Currys
- Buy the iPad (2021) at Argos
- Buy the iPad (2021) at John Lewis
Apple iPad mini 6th gen, £569
Best portable tablet
- Bright, vibrant display
- Beautiful design and easy-to-use
- Highly portable design
- Most expensive iPad mini model ever
- Can feel more fragile than other models
If portability is your priority, the iPad mini (6th gen) is for you. To put it bluntly, you won’t find a better tablet in this form factor. The iOS user experience remains suitably premium, the refreshed design is attractive and the 8.3-inch display is great for browsing apps and watching content on the go. Taking a well-deserved holiday and need a smaller tablet that will easily fit into your carry bag? Go for the iPad mini.
For more, read our full iPad mini 6 review
Buy the Apple iPad mini 6th gen:
- Buy the Apple iPad mini 6th gen at Amazon
- Buy the Apple iPad mini 6th gen at Very
- Buy the Apple iPad mini 6th gen at Currys
- Buy the Apple iPad mini 6th gen at John Lewis
- Buy the Apple iPad mini 6th gen at Argos
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