TOP 10

Featured: Top 10 Android Tablets, Monthly Power Rankings – April 2012

April 16, 2012 - Written By Randy Arrowood

Looking to buy a new Android tablet, or see how your current tablet stacks-up against the competition?

Every month we rank the Top 10 Android tablets on the market.

We base our rankings on several factors: device age, hardware specifications, OS version, sales, popularity and buzz factor. Tablets that have not been released won’t be included in the rankings.

Tablets Ranked 1 through 10

1. ASUS Transformer Prime

It’s really not up for debate: ASUS is the benchmark that all other Android based tablets are measured against. They hit a home run with the original Transformer, and they certainly didn’t lose any ground with the introduction of the Transformer Prime. Beautiful screen, ICS out of the box and a quad-core Tegra 3 processor are all features that you’ll find on this tablet, and it’s a pleasure to use to boot. The camera on the back of the Prime might be the best tablet shooter that you can get, but that front facing camera is weak, even for video chat.

Buy Your ASUS Transformer Prime at Our Amazon Store


  • Display: 10.1-inch Super IPS+ (1280—800)
  • OS: Android 4.x (Ice cream Sandwich)
  • Processor: Tegra 3 quad-core
  • Memory: 1GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Cameras: 1.2MP front; 8MP rear
  • Ports: 3.5mm audio, HDMI, microSD slot, dock
  • Battery: 25 wH (12 hours)
  • Dimensions: 263 — 180.8 — 8.3mm ; 586g

 2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

This ranking focuses on the first Galaxy Tab 10.1, but the next Galaxy Tab 10.1 is pretty much more of the same in the hardware category. Taking another page from Apple, Samsung chose more of a refresh for the Tab than the path that ASUS took for the Transformer, but it’s still a very solid number 2 in the Android race. The Tegra 2 dual core processor is weak compared to number one, but that’s not where the problems end. The rear camera has much lower resolution that the Prime, and it shows in every way, but video chat quality is better. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be eclipsed this year by the Galaxy Note 10.1, and the lack of attention to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 proves it.

Get Your Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1-Inch at Our Amazon Store


  • OS: Android 3.2
  • Screen: 10.1-inch, 1280×800
  • Processor: Dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Camera: 3MP, 720p video (rear); 2MP (front)
  • Battery: 7,000 mAh

3. Motorola Xyboard/Xoom 2

This is what happens when you let a carrier partner run all over you and name your products, you end up with a tablet named the Xyboard. I’m sorry, it’s actually XYBOARD. The name might be a train wreck, but the owners of the Xoom 2 seem to like it. Having spent some time with the 8.9″ version of this tablet, it was a very solid performer, but there’s just not a lot to separate the XYBOARD from the pack. It has a very nice display, a dual core TI OMAP processor and plenty of RAM. It’s just a remarkably unremarkable device that happens to look pretty good and performs pretty well. Except for the camera, as that’s a fairly typical Motorola letdown.
Buy your MOTOROLA XOOM at Our Amazon Store


  • OS: Android 3.2
  • Screen: 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 TFT-IPS
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 16GB & 32GB
  • Camera: Back: 5MP/1080p HD, Front: 1.3MP
  • Weight: 21.3 ounces
  • Battery: 7000 mAh Li Ion

4. Amazon Kindle Fire

There was some internal debate about including the Kindle Fire, and the Nook later in this list of the 10 best Android tablets of the minute. Amazon doesn’t market the Fire as an Android tablet, and in fact has totally distanced their fork of Gingerbread from its Android roots. The Fire isn’t packing the best specs in its class, but Amazon clearly knows a thing or two about what people are willing to buy. The tablet lags a bit, looks just like a Blackberry Playbook and isn’t running Honeycomb, but in the <$200 category it’s a pretty solid choice. Oddly, the Fire doesn’t have a camera at all, which makes scanning bar codes and searching by pictures in the Amazon app impossible.

Get Your Kindle Fire at Our Amazon Store


  • OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Screen: 7 inch IPS 1024—600 resolution display with 169 PPI
  • Size: 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm) at 14.6 ounces (413 grams)
  • Processor: Dual Core TI OMAP4
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 8GB
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours of continuous reading

5. ASUS Transformer


The original Transformer can still be bought new, and if you just don’t need all that the Transformer Prime offers the original ain’t so bad. Not only does the original Transformer smoke last year’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, it’s going to smoke this year’s version as well. It looks good, it’s got that keyboard dock thing and it works very well. Kind of sad that last year’s model of any Android tablet would land in the top 5 of this year’s model, but the Transformer has stood the test of time. ASUS did the Transformer right and it could have very easily landed higher up this list.

Buy the ASUS Transformer at Our Amazon Store


  • OS: ICS 4.0
  • Screen: 10.1″ IPS (1280 x 800) 10 point multi-touch input
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 16GB /32GB
  • Camera: 1.2MP (front), 5MP Auto focus (rear)
  • Battery: 9.5 hours; 24.4Wh Li-polymer Battery – 16 hours with Eee Station

6. Lenovo Ideapad K1

I spent a week with a K1, and at the end of that time I was totally unimpressed. Not that there was anything wrong with it as much as there just wasn’t anything special about it. At all. The specs are standard, the design is standard and the camera is standard, meaning it sucked. I sent it back because, for the money, it just wasn’t a great tablet. And at the time it was a $400 device. Hopefully Lenovo can step up and deliver a great tablet in 2012. The K1 at $299 would be priced about right. At $399 it’s a pass.

Get Your Lenovo K1 Ideapad at Our Amazon Store



  • OS: Android 3.1
  • Dimensions 10.4″ x 7.4″ x .523″ 1.65lbs
  • Screen: 10.1″ 1280×800
  • Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Camera: 2MP Front, 5MP Rear

7. Sony Tablet S

From the side view it looks more like a door stop than an Android tablet, but don’t knock it until you’ve at least picked one up and held it in your hand. That unique but odd wedge shape is actually really comfortable to hold, and makes laying the tablet in front of you on a table or desk a more pleasant experience. Spec wise, there’s nothing here to get overly excited about. Tegra 2, 1GB RAM and Honeycomb are what Sony is offering here, pretty much just like everyone else. What Sony does offer is the Sony Entertainment Network, providing a streaming music service, video rentals and Crackle. And don’t forget that the Tablet S has a built-in universal remote control capabilities with built-in IR.

Get the Sony Tablet S at Our Amazon Store


  • OS: Android 3.1 Honeycomb
  • Dimensions: 9.5″ x 6.86″ x .4″ 1.3lbs.
  • Screen: 9.4″ 1280×800 TFT
  • Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Camera: 0.3MP Front, 5MP Rear

8. Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet

The Nook Tablet is the Barnes & Noble response to the Kindle Fire, and on the hardware front it wins the battle. The wheels don’t come off until you compare the BN ecosystem to the Amazon content juggernaut. The really big disadvantage to the Nook is the lack of apps and content outside of books, magazines and newspapers. There are Netflix, Hulu and Pandora apps for the Nook, but beyond that the pickings are pretty slim. If you’re so inclined, CM 9 Alpha is available for the Nook, but at $249 there are better options available to get you to a proper tablet setup. It’s OK. Just OK.

Get the Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet Here Cheap!


  • OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Processor: TI OMAP 4
  • Screen: 1024×600
  • Dimensions: 8.1″ x 5″ x .48″ 14.1oz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 16GB

9. Acer Iconia Tab A200

Acer doesn’t get a whole lot of love in the Android tablet market, but they do a pretty a good job with their devices. The A200 is a slightly toned down refresh of the A500, and as a <$400 tablet it’s not a bad choice. It’s sporting last year’s Tegra 2 chip and it lacks a rear camera, but it’s a well-built device that performs well under most task loads. The biggest drawback of this tablet is the 149ppi pixel density on an otherwise acceptable display. 720p videos from Netflix looks just fine, but images fall a little flat. As a mid-range ICS tablet the A200 is a nice choice, with the heavy hitting A700 due soon enough.

Buy the Acer Iconia A200 From Amazon


  • OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9
  • Dimensions: 260 x 175 x 12.4 mm Weight 700 g
  • Screen: 800 x 1280 pixels, 10.1 inches (~149 ppi pixel density)
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Camera: 2MP Front Facing

10. ZTE Optik


It’s a shame that this little tablet is tied to the Sprint network, because aside from that little hindrance it’s a more than adequate little contender. This snappy little beast offers up the same resolution of the big boy tablets, but at a pretty impressive 216ppi pixel density. ZTE has been known more for making devices for others than selling under their own brand, but the Optik is sign that ZTE is serious about making a name for themselves. If a 7″ tablet is in your future and you are tied to Sprint, you’ll have a very hard time finding anything that even comes close to Optik. And it’s only $100 with a 2 year contract.


  • OS: Android 3.2 Honeycomb
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Dual Core Snap Dragon
  • Dimensions: 193 x 119.4 x 13.2 mm 400g Weight
  • Screen: 1280×800 (~216ppi density)
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Camera: 2 MP Front, 5 MP Rear