Just because you're getting older doesn't mean that you can't keep up with technology...
From large, easy-to-read screens to affordable prices for those with limited budgets, many of today's tablets offer benefits to those facing common struggles that come with ageing.
So how do you know which tablet is best for you?
Whether you're looking to upgrade or searching for your first tablet, these 4 tablets are great picks for seniors.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for 2020
Best Budget-Friendly Tablet for Seniors
If you're looking for an affordable option to do the basics -- such as checking email, playing casual games, or streaming your favorite shows and movies -- the Amazon Fire HD 10 makes for a great option.
While it features larger edges around the screen than many pricier tablets, the extra room makes the tablet a little easier to hold without touching the screen.
The spacious 10-inch display also provides plenty of real estate making text easy to read and allowing you to zoom in on images and web pages without having to scroll every few words. Reviewers found the screen colourful, though it's not the brightest panel on the market.
Still, as long as you're not in direct sunlight, you shouldn't need to crank the brightness very much.
The tablet isn't the fastest option available either. However, if you don't mind waiting a few extra seconds for apps to load and don't plan to play the latest games or juggle multiple apps at once, it offers excellent performance for the price.
The tablet uses a modified version of Android which automatically sorts content by type -- such as games, apps, TV shows, and books -- making the tablet simple to operate if you're new to tablets or want something basic but effective.
While the tablet won't top the charts in term of power or design, its large format, reliable performance, and easy-to-use software make it ideal for seniors looking for an affordable tablet.
Related Guide: Best Budget-Friendly Tablets
Best Overall Tablet for Seniors
With top-of-the-line performance, a sleek design, and an easy-to-learn interface, the Apple iPad Air (2019) is the ultimate tablet for seniors.
The lightweight design makes it easy to hold for hours on end while built-in colour adjustment tweaks the screen for optimal viewing no matter where you are.
Apple's iOS software is also easy to use, putting settings and millions of apps at your fingertips. You can use it on the go thanks to mobile data support in select models as well.
The 10.5-inch display is one of the best available in a tablet in 2020, offering excellent contrast, vibrant colours, and plenty of detail. Whether you're reading books, flipping through magazines, or watching a movie, you'll won't miss a thing.
There are even capable cameras if you want to video chat with the grandchildren or snap a few pictures.
Combining powerful specs with a large screen and top-shelf design, the Apple iPad Air is an excellent senior tablet that should offer reliable performance for years to come.
Best Small Tablet for Seniors
The Apple iPad Mini (2019) packs most of the performance of Apple's top-end tablets into an ultra-portable package perfect for tossing in your bag or bringing along on your next trip across town.
The 7.9-inch screen wowed reviewers with its clarity, colourful images, and detailed images. It even adjusts the screen based on the lighting around you to ensure an optimal experience whether you're relaxing in bed at night or enjoying the breeze outside during the day.
Using Apple's A12 Bionic chip, the tablet is one of the most powerful available in 2020. Whether you're looking to play games, read books, check your email, or stream your favourite TV shows, the tablet will do so with no delays or stuttering.
All of this with an easy-to-use interface which tends to stay the very similar -- both between software updates and iPad versions. So learning how to use the software once means you should be set for years to come.
Combining chart-topping power, a beautiful display, and a super-portable design, the Apple iPad Mini (2019) should be on the radar of any senior looking for a small, feature-filled tablet.
Best Full-Featured Android Tablet for Seniors
Offering the full Android experience at a price closer to Amazon than Apple, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1" (2019) is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a full-featured Android tablet.
While the tablet isn't going to outrun an iPad, its performance is solid. Reviews show you can check email, message friends, surf the web, video chat with the grandkids, and play casual games with no problems.
The design of the tablet is simple but sturdy and it weighs just over one pound. This means it's not too heavy to hold for longer periods.
The star of the tablet is the 10-inch display. The size is perfect for reading books with text enlarged or flipping through digital magazines with complex formatting. It'll also help the details in videos and pictures really pop.
All of this is available without the app limitations and customizations of Amazon's Fire series. The Android version is even recent, with the table running Android 9.0 Pie.
With excellent battery life, a simple-yet-sturdy design, and a spacious screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1" (2019) is an excellent choice for seniors looking for a dependable tablet for casual use and media consumption with a bit more power and features than Amazon's budget-friendly Kindle line.
How We Chose
We selected these models based on analysis of expert reviews from around the web, user feedback on sites like Amazon and carrier stores, forum comments on our site, social media discussions, and more.
When answering the question, “What makes a tablet a great choice for seniors?”, we considered the following primary criteria:
A tablet doesn't do much good if you can't count on it to last a while. We researched models in this roundup to ensure they will offer dependable performance for years to come.
Easy to Use Software
While not always the case, there's a better chance that a senior will be less familiar with technology than a teen or younger adult. We wanted to choose tablets that offer clean, easy-to-use interfaces to help make the tablet fun to use and avoid confusion.
While budgets vary from person to person, we wanted to be sure that all of our picks offer good value compared to competing models. Our picks cover everything from the budget-friendly to the top tiers.
The best place to find out about how well a tablet works is from the people using them every day. If there's a problem, reviewers will usually let you know in a hurry. All of our picks are well-reviewed across multiple sites to ensure that information is as accurate as possible.
We compared the things most people in Canada consider when choosing a tablet for seniors.
In short, we did the research—so you don’t have to.
Which is Better for Seniors: Android or iPad?
So, when budget isn't an issue or you're looking for the best performance available, an iPad is likely the better pick. Android excels in affordable tablets for basic use.
You might also consider Android if you also have an Android phone. This means you wouldn't have to repurchase apps to enjoy them on your tablet.
There isn't one that is automatically better than the other, but the topic is a bit more complex than we can cover here. Check out our iPad vs Android Tablet buyer's guide for more information.
Can I Use Mobile Data on My Tablet?
If you're looking to download apps, stream video, check email, or surf the web while away from Wi-Fi, tablets that have data connections are essential.
Unfortunately, many lower-priced Android tablets are Wi-Fi only. So if you'd like to use a SIM from your carrier to take advantage of 3G or 4G access, be sure to check specifications before buying. Even higher-end tablets which support mobile data might have variants which do not.
However, both iPad models listed in this roundup support mobile data. Just be sure to buy a model with the feature enabled.
You can find a full list of specs for the latest releases in our tablet reviews. Our comparison tool also makes it easy to filter tablet options based on 3G and 4G connectivity to suit Canadian networks.
So What's the Best Senior Tablet for the Money?
This question is hard to answer...
If you don't need much from a tablet, Amazon's Fire tablets offer great value. But they're never going to top the benchmark charts or win design awards. You certainly wouldn't want to use them productivity or design work.
On the other hand, while the latest Apple iPad Air is sleek and very capable, you'll never use it to its full potential if you only want a tablet to check your email and stream the occasional episode of your favourite TV show.
Generally speaking, screen visibility and ease-of-use are likely the most important things to consider when choosing a tablet for seniors. Of course, if you're a grandpa who loves to game or a grandma who loves to draw, that may change slightly.
If you're not sure what you need in a tablet, our Tablet Buyer's Guide breaks down all the important features and specs to help you find the perfect choice for you.
What If I Just Want to Read Books?
While any tablet out there will read e-books with no problem, if that's your sole use for a tablet, you might be better off with an e-reader.
Depending on the model of tablet you're considering, you might find that an e-reader costs a little more. But in exchange, you'll get much better battery life, a screen that is easier on the eyes, and software specifically designed to make book reading easy and enjoyable.
For more details check out our eReader and tablet comparison guide.
What About Microsoft Tablets?
Microsoft offers a range of 2-in-1s that can function much like a tablet.
However, they're quite a bit pricier than anything in this lineup. They're also a bit more laptop than tablet. But if you'd like to be able to use the same apps you use on your computer, they might be a good pick.
You can see a few of the most popular options here.
While you might see the occasional tablet model running Windows 10 from other manufacturers, they're generally under-powered and frustrating to use. We'd generally recommend steering clear.
Recap: Best Senior Tablets
- Amazon HD 10 (2019): Best Budget-Friendly Tablet for Seniors
- Apple iPad Air (2019): Best Overall Tablet for Seniors
- Apple iPad Mini (2019): Best Small Tablet for Seniors
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1" (2019): Best Full-Featured Android Tablet for Seniors
Still Not Sure?
Tablets are a great way to interact with the grandchildren, keep up with the news, and stay connected with the world around you. As this roundup shows, there are plenty of great tablets for seniors.
But there is still not a single pick that will be perfect for everyone.
The models above offer a variety of options across a range of price points to help you find the perfect match for both your needs and budget.
If you’d like to see additional tablet options, our tablet comparison tool makes exploring the models available simple.
Related Guide: The Best Cell Phones for Seniors
Disclosure: You should know that in some cases, we may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to you) for products purchased through the links on our site. These links help support our work but they do not influence our content. Our editorial recommendations are always genuine and we try to feature only the best products and services. Why trust us?