Tablet radiation is a serious concern these days. If you want to know which tablets have the lowest radiation, or SAR value, or which tablets have the highest radiation, you’re in the right place!
There are a few ways you can find SAR Values for tablets and we’ll go over those here. However, I put a handy chart together and included the newest and most popular cell phone models in 2022.
Jump straight to the Tablet radiation chart now! (it includes 80 current models in 2022).
What’s the lowest radiation tablet? The Samsung Tab S8 (Model SM-X700) has the lowest SAR value at 0.231 W/kg over 10 grams when used against the body of the models researched in this article in 2022.
What’s the highest radiation tablet? The Microsoft Surface Pro LTE (Model 1807) has the highest SAR value at 1.841 W/kg over 10 grams when used against the body of the models researched in this article in 2022.
Generally, models with cellular capability will have higher SAR values, as you will see in the chart.
Over the past decade, tablet and iPad usage, as well as the use of computers, cell phones, and Wifi, has significantly increased.
Most people who use a tablet or other devices regularly throughout their day have a continuous exposure to non-ionizing RF (radiofrequency) radiation.
Is this safe? We know electronic devices emit radiation and some emit more than others. Let’s dig in.
Tablet Radiation – What is Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)?
A key consideration in worrying about exposure to radiation is a concept called the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is a measure of how fast the body absorbs energy when exposed to radiation.
Specifically, SAR refers to the energy taken in per kilogram of tissue, which is represented by watts per kilogram, or W/kg.
The concern is that tissue has a specific rate of absorption “limit” and that anything past that can cause cellular damage.
This is particularly dangerous when in terms of microwave frequency, which builds and causes heat, but all RAF radiation can build to cause heat, including tablets and cellphones.
Too much heat and absorption turns into cellular damage and in turn, can cause cancer.
The SAR matters because though the FCC has limits and standards in place for all cellular devices, they don’t consider:
- That our bodies get bombarded at certain times with RAF radiation, which has a compounding effect, meaning each individual source of radiation is additive and makes exposure more dangerous
- The microwave heating effect occurs below the SAR limits set by the FCC
Basically, for smaller people, the rate of absorption will be higher, leading to more cause for concern. (Our article on safe cell phone distances to babies.)
Tablet SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) Levels by Brand and Model (Chart)
Find Your Tablet Model Number
I’ll list the instructions for finding your tablet model for the most popular brands/models so you can find it in the chart below.
You can find your Apple iPad model number a couple ways:
From the iPad in settings:
- Tap on General (it may open in General when you launch settings).
- Tap About – the first listed option
- The model number is listed here. If you see a number that doesn’t correlate with the A#### above, tap on the model number and it will flip over
On the iPad Itself: it’s very small but on the back side of the iPad in tiny print on the bottom you can find the model number.
Find your Samsung Galaxy Model number options:
From the settings app:
- Open the settings app
- Select the About tablet option in the left side menu
- The model number will be listed in the model number section
On the Samsung Galaxy tablet: similar to the iPad, you can find the model number on the back bottom of the tablet. It’s the first characters written, like SM-T510
Find your Microsoft Surface Model number options:
You can find your Microsoft Surface model number from the Surface app:
- Select Start then type “Surface”
- Select the app from the results
- Tap Device Information
- The model number will be listed here
You can find the Microsoft Surface model number from Settings:
- Right click on Start
- Tap Settings
- Tap System
- Scroll down and tap About
- The model number is at the top of the page
Apple provides this information regarding RF exposure:
iPad has been tested and meets applicable limits for radio frequency (RF) exposure.
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) refers to the rate at which the body absorbs RF energy. The SAR limit is 1.6 watts per kilogram in countries that set the limit averaged over 1 gram of tissue and 2.0 watts per kilogram in countries that set the limit averaged over 10 grams of tissue. During testing, iPad radios are set to their highest transmission levels and SAR is evaluated in real-time, over time intervals as specified by applicable regulations. iPad is evaluated in positions that simulate use against the body.
Apple uses the latest approved regulatory methods adopted in the industry for testing and managing device radios to meet RF exposure limits. These methods track radio usage and RF exposure in real-time and manage power to ensure that the iPad complies with applicable RF exposure limits.
Cases with metal parts may change the RF performance of the device, including its compliance with RF exposure guidelines, in a manner that has not been tested or certified.
Microsoft provides this information on their SAR information page:
What is a SAR value?
Every mobile device model is tested for radio wave emissions. Using an internationally standardized method that meets government and regulatory requirements, a measurement is made to determine how much electromagnetic energy is absorbed by body tissue. This gives the SAR (specific absorption rate) value. Governmental and regulatory agencies have established SAR limits under which mobile device use has been determined by them to be safe. All Microsoft devices are designed to comply with the relevant governmental SAR level.
Important user information
Microsoft has sold its feature phone business to FIH Mobile Ltd and HMD Global Oy effective November 30, 2016. The feature phones SAR values available in this tool are valid only for feature phones manufactured by Microsoft Mobile.
Features of device models are sometimes revised or improved during production. This could lead to a situation where the same device type appears to have different SAR values. If so, please refer to the user guide shipped with your device to see the SAR value of your device.
This is Samsung’s SAR information page. It doesn’t have a lot in the way of explanation but instead links out to different sources. Feel free to check them out.
SAR Value by Tablet (Sortable Table) (help finding your model number directly above)
|Brand||Model||SAR (2 W/kg (over 10g)) (Body)||Source of Data|
|Apple||iPad Air 5th Gen (Wifi) - A2588||0.91||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 5th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2589||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 5th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2591||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Mini 6th Gen (Wifi) - A2567||0.79||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Mini 6th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2568||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Mini 6th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2569||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 9th Gen (Wifi) - A2602||0.44||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 9th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2603||0.98||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 9th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2604||0.98||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 9th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2605||0.98||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 12.9in 5th Gen (Wifi) - A2378||0.36||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 11in 3rd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2301||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 11in 3rd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2459||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 11in 3rd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2460||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 11in 3rd Gen (Wifi) - A2377||0.51||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 12.9in 5th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2379||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 12.9in 5th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2461||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 12.9in 5th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2462||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 11in 2nd Gen (Wifi)||0.96||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 12.9in 4th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2069||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 12.9in 4th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2232||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 12.9in 4th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2233||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 12.9in 4th Gen (Wifi) - A2229||0.85||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 11in 2nd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2068||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 11in 2nd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2230||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Pro 11in 2nd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2231||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 4th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2072||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 4th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2324||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 4th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2325||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 4th Gen (Wifi) - A2316||0.92||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 8th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2428||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 8th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2429||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 8th Gen (Wifi) - A2270||0.46||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 7th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2198||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 7th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2199||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 7th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2200||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad 7th Gen (Wifi) - A2197||0.45||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 3rd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2123||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 3rd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2153||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 3rd Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2154||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Air 3rd Gen (Wifi) - A2152||0.65||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Mini 5th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2124||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Mini 5th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2125||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Mini 5th Gen (Wifi + Cell) - A2126||0.99||Apple|
|Apple||iPad Mini 5th Gen (Wifi) - A2133||0.84||Apple|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab A7 Lite 8.7" 32GB WiFi - SM-T220||0.68||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab A8 10.5" 32GB WiFi - SM-X200||0.44||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S7 FE - 12.4" 128GB Wi-Fi - SM-T733||0.592||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4" 128GB - SM-P610||0.305||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab A7 Lite 8.7" 64 GB WiFi - SM-T220||0.68||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S8 11" 128GB WiFi - SM-X700||0.231||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S7 Plus 12.4” 128GB WiFI - SM-T970||0.545||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab A8 10.5" 64GB WiFi - SM-X200||0.44||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S8+ 12.4" 128GB WiFi - SM-X800||0.421||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S7 11” 128GB Wifi - SM-T870||0.275||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab A8 10.5" 128GB WiFi - SM-X200||0.44||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra 14.6" 256GB WiFi - SM-X900||0.289||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S7 FE 12.4" 64GB Wifi - SM-T733||0.592||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4" 64GB - SM-P610||0.305||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S7 Plus 12.4” 256GB Wifi - SM-T970||0.545||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S7 FE 12.4" 256GB WiFi - SM-T733||0.592||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra 14.6" 512 GB WiFi - SM-X900||0.289||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S8 11" 256GB WiFi - SM-X700||0.231||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra 14.6" 128GB WiFi - SM-X900||0.289||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab S8+ 12.4" 256GB WiFi - SM-X800||0.421||Samsung|
|Samsung||Galaxy Tab A7 10.4" WiFi 32GB - SM-T500||0.47||Samsung|
|Microsoft||Model Surface Pro||0.79||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro (2017) - 1796||0.867||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Model Surface Pro 2||0.76||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Model Surface Pro 3||1.0||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Model Surface Pro 4||0.773||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro 6 - 1796||0.867||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro 7 - 1866||1.58||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro 7+ - 1960||0.997||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro 7 + LTE - 1961||0.884||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro 8 - 1983||1.48||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro 8 LTE - 1982||1.497||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro LTE (2017) - 1807||1.841||Microsoft|
|Microsoft||Surface Pro X - 1876||1.498||Microsoft|
Type of Radiation Emitted by Tablets
When cell phones (check out cell phone radiation levels here) became extremely commonplace, the world’s governments and scientists were given pause: was it safe to have these little devices pressed against our heads for any duration during the day?
We know that at certain levels, radiation damages cells and can cause cancer, but what about in something as small as a phone or a tablet? Are they dangerous, and if so, why?
Tablets and cellphones emit radiation, which can be broken down into two additional subcategories: ionizing and non-ionizing. Some examples of ionizing radiation are:
- Radiation from space
In other words, they type of radiation you want to stay away from unless absolutely necessary.
Examples of non-ionizing radiation include:
- Radiofrequency waves
- Power frequency (as emitted by most electronics while they’re simply plugged in)
The difference between these two types of radiation are the wavelengths, or how intense the energy of the waves are.
High energy waves damage cells; this is the same reason exposure to unshielded sunlight can cause cancer.
Luckily, tablets don’t emit this hyper-dangerous type of radiation, just the radiofrequency type.
With that said, however, the radiofrequency radiation emitted by tablets still causes heating, and there are many studies done that suggest at high doses it can also be carcinogenic.
Health Implications of Radiofrequency radiation
Since radiofrequency radiation isn’t as high energy as ionizing wavelengths, it isn’t as immediately dangerous.
This would be true if we only used cell phones and tablets for a few minutes out of the day, but most people are on their devices for hours.
Some studies indicate that even minor appliances and the electricity they emit — which is also low frequency like RF radiation — are possibly carcinogenic.
The difference between your fridge and your tablet, however, is that you don’t have the fridge inches from your face for hours a day, or sitting in your lap while you watch a movie. You certainly aren’t carrying your fridge around in your backpack or pocket, either, so with your tablet or phone, you’re constantly bombarded with RF radiation.
As we stated before, the potential for damage to your cells exists in both the energy-level of the radiation and the length of exposure.
While tablets are not particularly energetic, most people have at least casual interaction with computers on a daily basis.
Couple that with tablet use, either for leisure or in our jobs, and you have a tremendous amount of low-grade energy wavelengths bombarding our bodies on a daily basis.
According to the World Health Organization, this can be potentially cancer-causing.
Additionally, the rise of a specific type of brain tumor — glioblastoma— mirrors the increase in availability of tablets and cellphones.
An Italian study on the effects of casual cellphone use on tumor generation found that there appears to be a direct link to cell phone and, by extension, tablet use.
How do you protect yourself from tablet radiation?
At this point, you’ve probably started to wonder how you can protect yourself from all these RF waves, right? Of course, you could just chuck the thing out the window and live in a cave, but that’s not a good solution to anything. Let’s take a look at some daily practices that will make your tablet use safer.
- When you’re not using it, take the extra second to turn it fully off. (Here’s a guide to turning wifi off on all your devices.)
- Keep your tablet charging away from people, like in a specific corner of the room.
- Don’t have cellular or WiFi connected if you’re not using it.
- Never sleep with it near your body, especially your head.
- Keep your tablet away from kids, and if they must use them, limit tablet time.
- Consider buying a radiation shield — they’re inexpensive and easy to apply. This is a good tablet radiation shield from a reputable company.
- Avoid using it when your signal isn’t great; this makes the tablet work harder to find a connection and in turn, emits more radiation.
- If you use your tablet to communicate, either do visual communication where the tablet can be at arm’s length, or use speakerphone options.
- Place your tablet on a surface when working, if possible, to avoid sitting it directly on your body. If you are at an airport or other situation where there are no tables, put a backpack or purse between you and the tablet.
- If a child needs to speak on the tablet- say, if grandma is calling — use it on speaker mode. Children’s little bodies absorb radiation faster than adults. (Check out Is iPhone Radiation Harmful to Babies?)
Conclusion: Infrequent, intelligent tablet use is critical
Now you know more about tablets, radiation and absorption than you probably ever wanted to, but it’s important that you understand how these daily-use items can affect our health. Sure, using a table every once in a while wouldn’t ever be a big deal, but people use computers every single day, for work and play, and that exposure adds up.
With a low SAR tablet choice, limited exposure times and proper storage/charging, you can dramatically reduce your chances of long term damage. Also discuss and practice good electronics habits with your kids, ensuring they too are safe.
Read next: Things You Need to Know About Fitbit EMF Radiation