If you’re a big reader like I am, you’ve probably read a few comic books in your day, and today we’re going to talk about the best tablets for reading comics.
Now I wish I could give you just one answer, but it’s a little more nuanced than that, so I’m going to give you my top picks for a variety of situations that you might fall into, like best overall, best budget option, best for manga, etc.
Comic books are like any kind of book in that they can really pile up. And they’re quick to read, so if I bought physical copies of every comic I purchased, my house would be overrun. But tablets make it easy to read digital comics, so let’s run through which tablets you might want to take a look at.
If you just want a quick list, take a brief look at this chart with all my picks in a row:
I’ll be real, the Apple iPad Air is by far the best option when it comes to reading comics on a tablet. The quality is there, it’s lightweight, the systems work fast and flawlessly, and the retina screen is GORGEOUS. Like seriously, though, I can’t get enough of these.
The downside is, of course, the price. The iPad Air is cheaper than, say, the iPad Pro, but it’s well known that Apple does not come cheap. It’s a case of you get what you pay for.
If price isn’t an issue for you, and you truly want the best, then go with the iPad Air. But if you’re looking to get a tablet just for comic book reading, then I’d pass for a budget friendlier option.
And speaking of budget options, Amazon has definitely cornered the market on decent yet affordable tablets. And the Kindle Fire HD is the higher-end product, yet is still very reasonably priced.
Overall, I’d say the capacity of the Amazon Fire HD is great for reading comics. There is a small problem though. If you’re reading comics via Marvel Unlimited or DC Universe, you’ll have to figure out another way to use these. It is totally possible to side-load comics from those apps (just Google it), but it can be a bit annoying to not have them already available.
That said, if you use the Kindle or Comixology apps, you should have no trouble at all with the Amazon Fire tablet, since they own those two properties.
If you want a high-end tablet that is not Apple-related, then I recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6.
This tablet is almost every bit as good of quality as the iPad (I say almost because Apple is very good at seamlessly integrating their software and hardware, which is the one advantage is has over Android, but the result is negligible).
If you’re an Android tablet user, this is the one to beat. It’s got access to all the comic-reading apps that you’d want, a hefty amount of RAM, and a massive amount of internal storage at 128GB, which is perfect for comics.
And it helps that, as high-end tablets go, this one is actually pretty affordable. It’s cheaper than the iPad at least, with only a minor difference in quality.
Now if you want something that is big, so you can read comics in a form that is even bigger than the original trade paperbacks, then look no further than the iPad Pro. It’s 12 inches, and has all the features that make it a good tablet for comics: a large memory (you can get up to 2T), a beautiful screen, and increased quality.
And of course, this all comes with a price, and the iPad Pro is probably the most expensive item on this list. But hey, if you want the best, here’s the best. But there are a few alternatives you can look at, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro.
For reasons I’ll get into below, I actually don’t recommend smaller tablets for comics. And that’s why I haven’t listed a more expensive, quality option here, such as the iPad Mini.
Instead, I recommend you go with a cheaper option, and the Amazon Kindle Fire 7 will hardly cost you anything compared to any of the other options on this list.
It’s only 7 inches, and while this may be okay for manga and certain types of comics, it’s not one I recommend for most comic book reading. You have to do a lot of zooming in and switching ratios to have a good reading experience, and it’s just nothing compared to the larger tablets.
I knew I had to get another player on this list besides Apple, Samsung and Amazon. And I had to go with Lenovo. The laptop I use is actually made by Lenovo, and it has served me very well. I love it. Lenovo makes quality products.
This tablet is actually really affordable, comparable to the Kindle Fire HD, which is about the range that you’ll find this in, in terms of quality. But this is an Android tablet, which makes it more compatible with apps like Marvel Unlimited and DC Universe.
Now I would not normally recommend an eReader for any kind of comic book reading, however, there is one instance where I would make an exception, and that is most manga or otherwise black and white comics.
If you’re already a reader of books in general, you might want one of these already. And if you purchase your comics through the Kindle app or Comixology, you can access them on this device. It doesn’t make sense to read a color comic book on a black and white screen, but it does just find with the colorless comics. In fact, it’s better on the eyes.
The Kindle Oasis is the largest and highest-end Kindle eReader, which makes it the most ideal eReader for comics. I highly recommend it for that purpose, and for reading other books besides comics. If you do both, it may be perfect for you.
Okay, so we’ve gone through all my favorites on this list, but let’s discuss the different factors you should consider when making a purchase. Because maybe you’ll find something else works well for you instead, but you should have a good idea of what to look for.
So let’s dive into some of the most important factor when choosing tablets for reading comics.
This is number one for me. If you want to read comics on a tablet, it has to be compatible with the right apps. That means primarily the Kindle app, the Comixology app, the Marvel Unlimited app, and the DC Universe app. These are the heavy hitters when it comes to comics.
You will probably find some other apps from independent comic book publishers as well, but those are likely available if you’re on iOS and Android, though you might want to consider Comixology as an alternative.
The good news is that almost every item on the list above has these. Pretty much any iOS or Android device will carry these apps and keep them updated. Some may begin to perform sluggishly over time, especially on the lower-end tablets. But overall most tablets will have the comic reader you’re looking for.
Next up, let’s take a look at the size. Most tablets average around 10 inches, which is about what I recommend for comics. Most comics are actually printed at a 6.625″ x 10.25″ ratio, which makes a 10″ tablet just barely smaller. In other words, a comic on a 10″ tablet will be about the size intended for reading comics.
The larger tablets are closer to 12″ and this can be really fun if you really want to enjoy the artistic experience on a tablet. The more artful tablets can look beautiful on these larger screens. It’s a real luxury experience.
On the flip side, most smaller tablets are around 7″, and I honestly don’t recommend this size for reading comics. I included one recommendation above, but overall I’d try to avoid these. A smaller tablet, much like using a phone for the same purpose, will lead to a lot of zooming in and scrolling to see all the details. Overall, I just don’t recommend them.
There are really two types of good screens for viewing comic books: LCD with IPS panel, and LED with AMOLED tech.
Then there’s also the resolution to consider. Overall, I find Apple to have the best screens, both in terms of resolution and technology, followed closely by Samsung, and with Amazon taking up the more affordable rear.
Next, we’ll look at Battery life. When you start reading a good comic, it becomes hard to stop, and tablets are not nearly as energy efficient as an eReader, so it’s harder to go for hours and hours of reading without needing a recharge.
Typically, most tablets run for 8-10 hours of continuous use. Try to find something in that range or better.
It’s easy for a tablet to be slow, especially if you’ve owned it for a while. That’s why having a good amount of RAM will help your tablet stay fast for longer.
The Kindle Fire HD has about 3 GB of RAM, which is the minimum I would look for. I’d try to shoot for something higher if you want a higher-end tablet.
Hard Drive Space and Download Speed
Lastly, comics can take up a lot of space, since they are basically a ton of high-quality images. That means that you want something with at least 32 GB of hard drive space to handle everything you have in addition to all other apps, music, and videos you might have on your tablet. Something more in the range of 64 or 128GB is better. Some, like the iPad Pro can go as high as 2 TB, which is insane for a tablet.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your tablet can easily download those comics onto the tablet. For that, you’ll need a good WiFi connector or cellular connectivity. If you already have an unlimited data plan for your phone, it might be worth it to get a tablet that can be added to it. But that’s just if you want the get fancy.
Overall, I’d recommend an iPad for those who want the best, an Amazon device for those on a tight budget, and a Samsung for the people in between. Any of these will likely create a pleasant reading experience for the comic aficionado.
I know I’ve enjoyed reading my share of manga on my Oasis, so I’m sure you’ll find something you like as well!