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Which tablets have 5G?

If you’re fanging for next-gen mobile speeds, you’ll need an iPad or other tablet that supports 5G.

Nathan Lawrence
Apr 18, 2024
Icon Time To Read3 min read

For years, iPads and other tablets have included cellular connectivity. Instead of only being reliant on WiFi for connectivity, cellular tablets let users get online via mobile data. The catch is you either need to tether to a smartphone or other hotspot, or sign up for a tablet data plan. Nowadays, tablets are getting up to speed with smartphones, offering 5G compatibility for mobile networks in Australia.

What is a 5G tablet?

Tech jargon can be confusing, particularly when it comes to connectivity. A 5G tablet is one that’s capable of connecting to 5G mobile networks and older mobile technologies, like 4G and 3G. Without a 5G-compatible iPad or other tablet, a tablet cannot use the 5G portion of the Telstra 5G, Optus 5G or Vodafone 5G networks, depending on which provider you have a data-only plan with.

The potentially confusing part is for local wireless networks. NBN-compatible routers and modem-routers typically offer two WiFi bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. All modern tablets with WiFi should be able to access the internet via a 5GHz WiFi network, but only tablets with 5G cellular capabilities are eligible to sign up for 5G data-only mobile plans.

Remember, you need a 5G-capable tablet with a 5G data-only plan offered by a 5G mobile provider to tap into the connectivity perks. If you’re in the market for a data-only mobile plan, here are your options below.

Info Box
5G coverage Australia
Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all have their own respective 5G mobile networks in Australia. The most widespread 5G coverage is the Telstra 5G network, which is available to 87% of Australians. Optus 5G covers more than 2.1 million Australian households, while Vodafone 5G is available to 1,000+ suburbs. Note that 5G is typically more readily available in major cities. Use the interactive map below for an idea of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone 5G coverage around Australia.

Which iPad models have 5G?

According to Apple, these are the iPad models that support 5G mobile data:

  • iPad (10th generation or later)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation or later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation or later)
  • iPad Air (5th generation or later)
  • iPad Mini (6th generation or later)

At the time of writing, that’s the two latest iPad Pro models and the latest models for the iPad, iPad Air and iPad Mini. Apple advises looking out for the 5G status icon at the top of your screen to ensure you’re connected to a 5G network.

Which Android tablets have 5G?

Outside of later-model iPads, newer Android tablets offer 5G connectivity. Samsung offers a handful of Galaxy Tabs that support 5G: namely, the Tab S6 5G; Tab S8, S8+ and S8 Ultra; Tab S9, S9+ and S9 Ultra; and the Tab A9 and A9+. The TCL Tab 10 5G also offers 5G connectivity. Other tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 also offer 5G support.

Do I need 5G with a tablet?

5G may be the fastest mobile technology on the block, but it’s also most unnecessary. Why? Lower latencies, faster download speeds and speedier upload speeds are great for home internet. But when you’re using mobile data, they’re less important because of tablet-specific use cases.

You should consider a 5G tablet and data-only plan if you want the lowest possible latencies for online gaming or faster app and file download speeds. Outside of that, you’re better off saving money with a 4G plan. Video streaming for the highest-resolution content that can be displayed on tablet screens typically maxes out at around 15Mbps. Even if you want 25Mbps for the extra bandwidth breathing space, 4G data-only plans can comfortably hit those speeds.

Even better, save money with an older 4G tablet or a WiFi-only tablet. Most modern smartphones have straightforward tethering, which converts the mobile phone into a WiFi hotspot. Connect a WiFi-only tablet or any other WiFi-capable device to a smartphone hotspot to use its data. The only catch there is you’ll want a bigger data plan if you do this all the time, so check out popular SIM-only mobile plans from our database below that have at least 60GB of data.

5G tablet frequently asked questions

Is there such a thing as a 5G tablet?
Yes, while not as common as 4G cellular tablets, 5G tablets are starting to become more common. Consider recent models of the iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Mini, iPad Air and Samsung Galaxy Tabs.
Can I get 5G on a tablet?
Yes, recent model cellular tablets from Apple and Samsung support 5G mobile connectivity. Alternatively, use a 5G smartphone as a hotspot and connect your tablet to it via WiFi for 5G connectivity.
Does a 5G tablet need a SIM card?
Yes, a 5G tablet needs some kind of SIM to use mobile data. Choose either a physical SIM card or an eSIM (if the tablet supports it). Alternatively, cellular tablets also have WiFi, so you can use that to get online.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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