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Top 10 Best Android Tablets, Monthly Power Rankings – November 2012

November 30, 2012 - Written By Tom Dawson

It’s been some time since we brought you the Power Rankings for the Tablet side of things and it’s been a strange time of year for tablets. While everyone has been rushing to get new phones on the market not a lot of companies have been bringing new tablets to the market. There are some stellar tablets on offer though as we lead into the Christmas season. It might well be better to wait and see what’s announced at CES next year but, if you’re looking to treat yourself at Christmas than these are some of your best options.

10. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 2

For some time now, the Galaxy Tab line has been churning out tablets of good quality but, the 7-inch version that started it all can’t hope to achieve the same level of greatness now that the Nexus 7 is on shelves. With the Galaxy Tab 2, Samsung wanted to create a low-cost tablet – which they did but the Nexus 7 offers far better value for money. There are some benefits to the Tab 2 though, such as a lot of accessories and a second camera. But, all told, it’s a fairly average piece of hardware.

  • Dual-core 1Ghz TI OMAP 4430
  • 1GB RAM with 8, 16 or 32GB of Storage
  • 7″ 1024—600 LCD Display (an okay 170 ppi)
  • VGA front-facing camera and a 3.2MP rear-facing camera
  • Dual-band WiFi b/g/n, GPS, WiFi Direct and DLNA
  • 4000 maH battery

9. Acer Iconia Tab A700

The Taiwanese company has tried to bring some good tablets to the burgeoning market and some have enjoyed success – the A100 was the first 7″ tablet to run Honeycomb – and they’ve usually kept the experience stock. The A700 has a really nice display to it but, aside from that it’s a fairly run-of-the-mill Android tablet. Tegra 3 is here as it is everywhere and to top it off there’s questionable build quality, as there always has been from Acer. If all you want is something to watch films on – this will serve you well but other than that…

  • Quad-core 1.3Ghz Tegra 3
  • 1GB RAM with 16, 32 or 64GB of Storage with room for microSD card
  • 10.1″ 1900—1200 IPS Display (giving you 224 ppi)
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera with 5MP rear-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n with GPS
  • 9800 maH battery

8. ASUS Transformer Pad TF300

A lot of the time when it comes to Android tablets – we think of ASUS, and for good reason. Ever since the dark days of Honeycomb the company has been bringing us quality tablets, like the Transformer TF101 that brought us a viable alternative to our laptops. Then the Transformer Prime came along and as brilliant as it was, it sure did have its problems. With the TF300 ASUS set out to bring the same package at an affordable price and while the TF300 might be a little “plasticky” compared to the Prime there are no signs of WiFi or GPS problems here, and it comes in a range of colors as well. A solid all-rounder even if it is a little rough around the edges.

  • Quad-core 1.2Ghz Tegra 3
  • 1GB RAM with 16 or 32GB of Storage with a microSD card slot
  • 10.1″ 1280—800 LCD (149 ppi)
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera with 8MP rear-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n, GPS
  • 22 Watt Hour Battery overall

7. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 2

There might not be a lot to love about this Galaxy Tab 10.1 successor, as it’s decidedly average and doesn’t even pack a Tegra 3 under it’s belt. But, the 10.1 2 has something that a lot of tablets in this list don’t – availability. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 2 is available on AT&T, Sprint and now Verizon with LTE connectivity. For a lot of people that’s a big deal and it does come at a cost but, it makes a tablet truly portable and gets you good speeds – even away from the coffee house’s WiFi.

  • Dual-core 1Ghz TI OMAP 4430
  • 1GB RAM with 16 or 32GB of Storage with room for a microSD card
  • 10.1″ 1280—800 LCD Display (again at 149 ppi)
  • VGA front-facing camera and 3.2MP rear-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n, GPS and WiFi Direct
  • 7000 maH battery

6. Sony Xperia Tablet S

The latest in a line of tablets from Sony has had a rough start, it went on sale and was then halted as Sony worked out some kind of defect that left the screen vulnerable to water damage throughout the manufacturing process. Well, just recently, they’ve gone back on sale in some markets and it’s back! What makes the Xperia Tablet a little bit special is its screen size – at 9.4″ it’s perhaps the perfect compromise for those looking for something in between a 7.0″ and a 10.1″ tablet. The Tegra 3 is here and there are some really cool accessories for it as well.

  • Quad-core Tegra 3
  • 1GB of RAM with 16, 32 or 64GB Storage with room for a microSD
  • 9.4″ IPS at 1280—800 – giving you 161 ppi
  • A 1 MP front-facing camera with a rear-facing 8MP camera
  • WiFi b/g/n and GPS
  • 6000 maH battery

5. ASUS Transformer Pad TF700

The Transformer Pad Infinity is the true successor to the Transformer Prime and comes with a whole lot extra packed into the metal frame. First of all, this has a stunning IPS panel that comes close to the Nexus 10’s screen resolution – making it a perfect work horse when combined with that keyboard-come-battery. Aside from the stunning resolution you’ll find a slightly higher clocked Tegra 3 and a fairly stock build of Android to top it all off.

  • Quad-core Tegra 3 clocked at 1.6Ghz
  • 1GB RAM with 32 or 64GB of Storage + a microSD slot (remember those?)
  • 10.1″ 1920—1200 Super IPS+ (that’s a healthy 224 ppi)
  • A 2.0MP front-facing camera as well as an 8MP rear-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n, GPS and a full-sized USB port on the Keyboard Dock
  • 25 Watt Hour overall battery
  • An added bonus: Have a Transformer Prime? Use its keyboard dock with the Infinity

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung has made the Galaxy Note line quite successful, with the Note II now available on all four major carriers and with the Note 10.1 they’re been hoping to bring the same sort of success to their tablet line up. While the use of a stylus in 2012 is questionable, there are still a lot of benefits to pen input – quick notes are often easier to make through writing them and with the Wacom powered tech in the Note 10.1 it’s as close to pen and paper you’re going to get. It recently got an update to Jelly Bean in some markets and lets not forget the awesome multi-window feature that makes a lot of things a lot easier to do.

  • Quad-core Exynos at 1.4 Ghz with Mali400MP GPU
  • 2GB RAM with 16, 32 or 64GB of Storage
  • 10.1″ 1280—800 LCD Display (that’s 149 ppi)
  • 1.9MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing camera
  • WiFi B/g/n, GPS and a 3G capable model
  • 7000 maH battery

3. Amazon Kindle Fire HD

It’s strange to see the Kindle Fire still in this list but, when it comes to value for money, the Kindle Fire HD range brings a lot of bang for your buck. The hardware is good and while it might not be true Android, for content consumption it does the job and if you’re a heavy Amazon user then you can enjoy all that great content on either the 7.0″ 1280 x 800 display or the even better 8.9″ 1920 x 1200 display, depending on which tablet you go for. If you’re all Google though, you’re better off looking elsewhere as this is all Amazon, all the time.

  • A TI OMAP 4470 – which is pegged to outperform the Tegra 3
  • Dual-band WiFi with a pair of antennae and MIMO Support
  • Stereo Speakers
  • HD Front-facing camera with a custom Skype application
  • HDMI Out
  • HD IPS Displays – 1280 x 800 for the 7-incher and 1920 x 1200 for the 8.9-incher
  • Laminated Touch Sensors – said to decrease glare by 25%
  • Bluetooth
  • 4G LTE on AT&T for the 8.9-inch Version
  • 16 to 32GB of Memory

2. Google Nexus 7

There seems to be no shifting Google’s own tablets from this and quite frankly, that’s a wonderful thing to be able to say. For years now people have been wanting Google to take better control of the Android eco-system and while they still need to do that, the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 offer something close to that dream of ours. We all know and love the Nexus 7 and if you haven’t got one yet, now’s a pretty good time to buy one. With a new 3G version as well, the pure Google tablet has gotten that little bit better.

  • 7″ 1280—800 HD IPS Display (that’s 216 ppi)
  • Quad-core Tegra 3 Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB of Storage
  • 1.2MP Front-facing camera
  • WifFi b/g/n, NFC and GPS
  • A sizable 4325 maH battery
  • HSPA+ on AT&T, T-Mobile and most GSM carriers.
  • Corning Gorilla Glass

1. Google Nexus 10

This should be no surprise to anybody either, the Nexus 10 is not only the best Android tablet around today but, it carries the highest resolution of any tablet on the market. Besting the iPad’s “retina display” and making the Transformer Pad Infinity look weak. There’s two NFC chips in the Nexus 10 making it easy to connect your Nexus family with this newest addition. The Exynos 5250 in here is Cortex A15 and a stunning chip, it might not shout as loud as the Tegra 3 but it’s certainly faster and more efficient. If you’ve been looking for a replacement to the XOOM then this is the only choice to consider – if Google has any left in stock, of course.

  • 10.05-inch “True RGB Real Stripe PLS” at 2560 x 1600 (298.9 ppi compared to the iPad with Retina display at 263.92 ppi)
  • Dual-Core Cortex A-15 CPU – Exynos 5250 withMali T604 quad-core GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage with no room for microSD
  • 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with flash and 1.9MP front-facing camera
  • WiFi, Dual NFC Chips, one at the front and one at the back, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • microUSB as well as microHDMI
  • 9000 mAh battery for 10 hrs of HD video