Featured: Top 10 Best Android Tablets, Monthly Power Rankings – May 2013

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May has become a strange time of year to release a tablet, thanks to the announcement of last year’s Nexus 7 which took the competition right to the Kindle Fire and proved that a tablet didn’t have to be expensive, to be good. Here we are, one year on and the Nexus 7 is still chugging along, with a successor very likely to be unveiled at Google I/O this month. That hasn’t stopped Samsung from releasing their Galaxy Tab 3 and there are rumors of a Toshiba device packing a Tegra 4 coming soon. So, it finally looks like 2013 is heating up when it comes to tablets, having said that, we’re still waiting for something major to come in and shake things up. Maybe that’s a new Nexus 7, who knows?

10. Acer Iconia A1

Acer-Iconia-A1-photo-forward-1024x772There was a time where Acer would release tablets to keep up with everyone else, but it seems that those days have long come and gone. Now, the company is more interested in releasing affordable tablets that everyone can get their hands on. It’s hard to fault them, it’s worked for both the Kindle Fire and now the Nexus 7, so why not Acer? Well, the problem here is that the A1 might be too much like an iPad Mini for a lot of you, with its 7.9-inch display and the same resolution, you might find yourself yearning for something a little more Android. Nevertheless, it’s a decent tablet that shouldn’t be retailing for much, and it could offer a nice compromise between size and screen real estate.

  • 7.9-inch 1024 x 768 IPS LCD display
  • Quad-core MTK 8125 processor clocked at 1.2GHz
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage; Expandable to 32GB via microSD card
  • 5MP shooter on the back, VGA camera on the front
  • 3250mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 – Jelly Bean

09. ASUS MeMo Pad ME172V

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It’s been pretty difficult for manufacturers to join in on Google’s little game of selling devices at cost, even ASUS who makes the current Nexus 7 wants to make a profit, and to do that they need to keep the specs down. Here, in this 7-inch MeMo Pad from ASUS the specs really have suffered. That’s not to say that this won’t be a decent tablet for those that aren’t looking to spend a lot of cash, it’s an ASUS which means it’ll be well-built and the software is both near-stock and well-supported. However, there is something so much better in the form of the Nexus 7, for not a lot more.

  • 7-inch 1024 x 600 IPS Display
  • 1 GHz VIA WM8950 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of Storage, with microSD support
  • 1MP front-facing camera
  • 4,270 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

08. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

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You might be wondering why the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has been shifted down a spot in favor of the Galaxy Tab 3, well, it’s pretty simple really. If the Galaxy Tab 3 is here, than the 10.1 version can’t be far behind and let’s also think about which one of these is going to be supported longer by Samsung? If you’re looking for a decent 10-inch tablet and don’t want to spend the earth, you’re much better off waiting until Samsung release the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Having said that, this is available on pretty much every major carrier, most with LTE so if you need something to get online while you’re out and about, this might still be an option – just don’t pay full price for it, please.

  • 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
  • Launched with Android 4.0, updated to Android 4.1

07. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

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The Galaxy Tab is what started all of this way back when, with this 7-incher Samsung is releasing another tablet that should probably go for a pretty decent price. The Galaxy Tab 2 that came before this wasn’t exactly expensive, of course compared to the Nexus 7 it didn’t look great on paper. Here though, Samsung have changed very little, which is actually a little disappointing to see. However, there are few things here that will please people; a rear-facing camera and of course, expandable storage. It’s not available in the States just yet but, it will be coming very shortly. It’s also been updated with the look and feel of the Galaxy S 4 and some could say it looks better than last year’s model.

  • 7-inch LCD Display at 1024 x 600
  • 1.2 Ghz Dual-Core CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1.3-megapixel camera round front
  • 8 or 16GB of storage, with microSD support
  • WiFi and 3G: HSPA+21
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 111.1 x 188.0 x 9.9mm at 302g(Wi-Fi), 306g (3G)
  • 4,000 mAh Battery

06. ASUS Transformer TF700

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There’s one thing that can be said for ASUS, and it’s that they make brilliant Android tablets. Even when Honeycomb wasn’t much to behold, ASUS was making tablets that people wanted to own, and they introduced the brilliant Transformer line. The Transformer line has quite literally transformed the way a lot of us use tablets, some of you out there might have even replaced your Laptop with one of these. The TF700 is the top of the line, with a decent Tegra 3 CPU, a high-resolution display and a quality build to it. This is definitely a tablet not to be messed with.

  • Quad-core Tegra 3 clocked at 1.6Ghz
  • 1GB RAM with 32 or 64GB of Storage + a microSD slot
  • 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
  • Shipped with Android 4.0, updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

05. Sony Xperia Tablet Z

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On paper, the Tablet Z is a strange device, it’s got a processor we saw in last year’s smartphones and a Full HD display. This puts it comfortably in between the more run of the mill tablets and the likes of the Nexus 10. This is a great-looking tablet, in black it almost looks like a piece of slate or something, it really is a looker. However, it’s not all great, Sony are asking a little too much for this for most people’s taste and compared to the Nexus 10, it almost looks outdated. Regardless, if you like the look of the Tablet Z and can afford it, you should pick one up. Sony are pretty good at supporting their tablets, their updates might take a while but, they do come.

  • 10.1 inch 1,920 x 1,200 display
  • 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 6,000mAh battery
  • 8.1MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing camera
  • DLNA enabled
  • NFC
  • PlayStation Certified
  • Four stereo speakers
  • 32 or 64 GB internal storage and removable SD card slot
  • Universal IR blaster
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

04. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

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What started off as something easily dismissed as a gimmick, has quickly become a hallmark of Samsung devices. The S-Pen is great for a lot of things, and while most people are familiar with its uses for Fruit Ninja, in a tablet of this size, it’s relatively easy to get some decent work done. Sure, you won’t be writing the next American novel on here, certainly but, for those looking to take notes on the go, the Note 10.1 could be the perfect compromise between a heavy laptop and a notebook.

  • 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
  • Launched with Android 4.0 but updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

03. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

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If the Note 10.1 is a compromise between a laptop and a notepad, thing of the Note 8.0 as a middle-ground between what’s happening right now and the laptop in your back. For those that are a little more mobile in life, the Note 8.0 offers a quality tablet experience with a fairly decent screen resolution and of course, the S-Pen and its suite of apps to get some notes taken on the move. The Note 8.0 is clearly inspired by the Galaxy S 4 and while it could be considered too pricey, there’s a lot of value on offer here. This could be the perfect tablet for a student or someone leading a busy life in the City.

  • 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos 4412
  • 8-inch WXGA display (1280 x 800 at 189 ppi)
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • 5 megapixel (rear), 1.3-megapixels (front)
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 and 5 GHz; WiFi Direct; AllShareCast; Bluetooth 4.0; USB 2.0
  • 2GB RAM, 16/32/64GB storage with microSD card support (up to 64 GB)
  • 210.8 x 135.9 x 7.95
  • 338 grams
  • 4,600 mAh

02. Google Nexus 7

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Hey! It’s May, it’s Google I/O, this thing is old now, right? Well, that remains to be seen but, even if Google did announce a follow-up to the Nexus 7, this plucky little device would still pose great value. Compared to the new Galaxy Tab 3, the Nexus 7 still looks much better on paper, it’s also going to be supported for a long time to come, which means if you just bought one, then you can rest assured your device is still going to be current for the next 18 months or so. Couple that with a possible price cut at this year’s I/O and what you’re looking at here is possibly the best value in an Android tablet on the market right now.

  • 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.
  • Launched with Android 4.1, updated to 4.2 Jelly Bean

01. Google Nexus 10

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If the Nexus 7 is best value, then you can describe the Nexus 10 as best in class. Sure, you can argue that stock Android is a little boring compared to TouchWiz or other skins but, you can’t argue with 2560 x 1600. That’s the best resolution on a tablet right now and it really does show, text is crisp and colors look great. Not only that but, it sells for a respectable price as well, not like the Nexus 7 but, this is perhaps in a whole other realm to the Nexus 7. There aren’t a lot of apps to take advantage of this display (still) but, movies, photos and text all look stunning on the Nexus 10. Thanks to it being a Nexus, it will live on longer than most in this list as well.

  • 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

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