Which tablet is best for running emulators?
October 21, 2021 11:40 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for advice on which tablet (iPad or Android and which model) to buy for both work and play. For play, I have some questions about emulators (nothing illegal; I'm emulating games I already own). I'm wanting to emulate perhaps even up to PS3 games. Price range is $750 or under.

I'd like the best screen. It seems like OLED screens are the top of the line, but I may be wrong... I haven't done a ton of research into that. I'm pretty certain that no tablets have headphone jack spots anymore (uggh thanks Apple), but that's always a plus if they do.

I'm planning on buying the Valve Steam Deck whenever I have the chance to do so, but I still would love to have a tablet that can play all the games that I own (within reason... I don't expect PS4 or Switch or anything like that).

Also, I'm pretty sure that the newest iPad models allow you to run Photoshop on them. Is this exclusive only to iPads or could an Android tablet do the same thing?

Lastly, I have a pretty beefy computer (Windows 10) that I built. But I'm looking for portability. Is there a way to stream the image that would normally be displayed on a monitor instead onto my tablet?
posted by ggp88 to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Response by poster: Also, for further information, I have an iPhone but a Windows PC. I'll be using Microsoft Office a lot, specifically Excel and Word.
posted by ggp88 at 11:41 PM on October 21, 2021


Response by poster: Last thing (I really wish I could just edit my original post and include this post and the above post about having an iPhone and Windows PC...)

I was looking around on YouTube and saw praise for the Lenovo 2021 P11 Pro. (Here's the video if anyone is interested.) I see that this video was posted on July 9th. Is it's info still up to date? I also see that the tablet's price is $429. As I said, I'm willing to go up to $750. Is $750 beyond necessary for what I'm looking for? I want a quality tablet that will last a long long time.

Also, if I had a preference between an Android and an iPad, I'd have to go with iPad. This is because it would be easier to effortlessly sync up with my iPhone. But I also have heard that Android might be better for the type of things I want to do. Also, doesn't Apple put that infamous "Apple Tax" on their products? I'm looking for raw power and potential, not what's "hip". The ability to easily sync up with my phone is a nice extra, but it's something I'd quickly discard in favor of more quality, power, abilities, features, etc.
posted by ggp88 at 12:01 AM on October 22, 2021


Apple has a policy against emulators on the app store. Googling suggests that people have ways around this of varying degrees of sketchiness; so depending on your comfort level with using the iPad in ways that Apple is actively trying to stop, you might be able to get it to work? But if emulators were an important use for me I wouldn’t get an iPad.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:51 AM on October 22, 2021 [3 favorites]


How to Install Emulators for iPhone Using 4 Easy Methods
If you’re wondering what ‘various degrees of sketchiness’ entails.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:55 AM on October 22, 2021


Response by poster: "Apple has a policy against emulators on the app store. Googling suggests that people have ways around this of varying degrees of sketchiness; so depending on your comfort level with using the iPad in ways that Apple is actively trying to stop, you might be able to get it to work? But if emulators were an important use for me I wouldn’t get an iPad."

Okay, thanks Bloxworth Snout. What Android tablets are the best for my purposes?
posted by ggp88 at 1:16 AM on October 22, 2021


Best answer: Microsoft is making some really nice tablets now. They are really pretty, top-drawer screen, able to do anything you'd want a WIN11 machine to do. They are not cheap, not sure if they are as pricey as Apple to get comparable machine.

I'm looking into it for a few reasons-- I could get an end run around MS and Apple by putting a nice linux OS on it, and I love the idea of it being able to have its own SIM card, so I'd always be connected, and no worries about playing silly little games when trying to log in at coffee shop airport ET CET.

Buying everything from MS is pricey but it gets good ratings all over the place. Just a thought, might be you'll want to look into this; with iPad you're married to Apple, with android you're married to Google, with an MS machine you can be married to MS while having a really sweet affair on the side with Linux.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:43 AM on October 22, 2021


Response by poster: Thanks dancestoblue! What Windows tablets are you looking at / which do you recommend?
posted by ggp88 at 3:09 AM on October 22, 2021


Best answer: Is there a way to stream the image that would normally be displayed on a monitor instead onto my tablet?

NoMachine works well for this kind of thing. Windows/Linux/Mac client/servers and Android and iOS clients are all free as in beer.
posted by flabdablet at 4:02 AM on October 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: If you're not checking out the likes of Eta Prime and Taki Udon on YouTube, you might want to have a look at those channels - they're both very interested in the topic of emulation on mobile devices, and review specific hardware in the context of usability and performance for emulation gaming.
posted by wotsac at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2021 [2 favorites]


In terms of Android tablets, Samsung seems to be the only one bothering to compete on quality and with iPad-like features these days, and as far as I know pretty much the only game in town if you want an OLED tablet. The Amazon tablets are OK but not great, Lenovo has some offerings but I haven't heard much about them, and pretty much everything else is cheap trash.

In your shoes--if you go with Android, and others make a compelling case against it so I won't rehash that--, the Galaxy Tab S7+ (NOT the S7, which has a TFT display) and the previous gen Galaxy Tab S6 (NOT S6 Lite, also TFT display) are probably the best contenders in this space, if you want OLED. If OLED isn't as strict a requirement, then any S7 or S6 would do fine.
posted by Aleyn at 12:39 PM on October 22, 2021


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