While many pilots opt to buy an iPad for aviation purposes, others prefer Android tablets, especially because they offer better value for money.

While we cover both in this article, if you’re specifically looking to buy an iPad for aviation, take a look at our guide to the best iPad for Pilots where we cover the most recommended models for student, private and professional pilots in more detail.

4 of the Best Aviation Tablets for Pilots

Best for Foreflight: iPad Pro

iPad Pro - Best Tablet for ForeFlightsIn our experience, the best aviation tablet for ForeFlight is the iPad Pro.

Foreflight themselves recommend this model due to its wonderfully crisp and clear Liquid Retina display, powerful chip, and at a minimum 128GB of storage space to store VFR sectionals, A/FD sheets, airport diagrams, IFR enroute charts, etc. with room to spare.

So you can activate moving map capabilities in ForeFlight, the Cellular + WiFi option is also preferred.

If you haven’t got space in the cockpit for the 11-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the latest iPad Mini and iPad Air models can also be used and are recommended by ForeFlight.

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Best for Student Pilots: iPad Mini

iPad Mini - Tablet for Student PilotsDue to its smaller 8.3″ screen size, the iPad Mini is ideal for student pilots, as they typically learn in planes with small cockpits.

64GB or 256GB models are available, as well as WiFi or WiFi + Cellular. As a student pilot, a model with 64Gb and just WiFi is sufficient, though upgrading to the Cellular option can be a smart idea as you progress beyond a student pilot license.

Due to the iPad Mini’s compact size, you’ll appreciate being able to hold it one-handed.

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Best for Garmin Pilot: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 - Best for Garmin PilotThe Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a great pick for Garmin Pilot where a powerful processor is required to make sure everything runs quickly and smoothly.

The S7 has an 12.4″, 1600 x 2560 pixels display, and is available with 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

If you would prefer greater resolution (2800 x 1752), we would recommend the Galaxy S7+ with its exceptionally crisp AMOLED display is the logical choice.

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Best Budget Pick: Amazon Fire HD 8

Amazon Fire HD 8

Budget-conscious pilots should look to the Amazon Fire HD 8.

While the display isn’t as high resolution, and it doesn’t contain a chip that is as powerful as other tablets, the Fire HD 8 will get the job done in the cockpit at a low price.

Its compact size and smaller 8″ screen size mean that it can just about be used one-handed, and is available with a storage capacity of 32GB or 64GB.

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What to Consider if You’re a Pilot Buying an Aviation Tablet

  • ForeFlight vs. Other Electronic Flight Bags

If you plan to use Foreflight, keep in mind that it is only compatible with iPad devices.

There’s a whole world beyond ForeFlight, though.

There are other EFBs available to Android tablet users, including Avare, FltPlan Go, WingX, and Garmin Pilot among others, several of which are free to use.

  • Tablet & Screen Size

Getting the overall size of the tablet and the size of its screen size right is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best aviation tablet for your needs.

Smaller tablets are often preferred, especially by student pilots, due to the lack of space in the cockpit, particularly if you want to use a yoke or suction mount instead of a kneeboard.

  • Internal Storage Capacity

We recommend not going below 64GB of internal storage. You want enough space to be able to store all the various data and files you need, with plenty of room to spare.

More storage space also means that the tablet can be used away from the cockpit for other purposes like watching Netflix, playing games, etc.

Benjamin, on his journey to becoming a licensed pilot, went through the costly and time-consuming process of testing a vast number of pilot supplies and gear that every pilot and aircraft owner needs in the cockpit.
He is committed to sharing his expertise and product recommendations, so you don't have to go through the time-consuming and expensive process he did.
Benjamin also answers interesting questions about the world of private and commercial aviation.
Benjamin has been quoted or mentioned in major publications, including The Savvy Globetrotter.