Android Holiday Gift Guide Tablets

Android Tablets Gift Guide 2013 / 2014 Edition: Top 10 Tablets

November 21, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

The shopping season is well and truly upon us and tablets are on the menu more than they ever have been. With Android tablets gaining in popularity massively in these past 18 months or so, it’s not hard to see why people are looking to purchase Android tablets more than ever. Here are some of the best Android tablets to buy for your family and loved ones this year. With a great selection available on shelves in 2013, there’s an Android tablet for practically anyone.

10. Sony Xperia Tablet Z

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Sony have fast become a big contributor to Android over the last couple of years and the Xperia Tablet Z is a pretty great Android tablet. While it doesn’t stand up to other 10-inchers on this list in terms of specs, it does have a lot of style going for it. Did we forget to mention that it’s also water-resistant? Making this the only tablet you can play Angry Birds in the tub with. Specs wise, there’s nothing to suggest that the Tablet Z is a slouch and it’s a solid, all-round option from Sony that’s well worth considering.

  • 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

Buy the Sony Xperia Tablet Z on Amazon

09. Toshiba Excite Pro

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Toshiba haven’t been known for decent Android tablets, and for good reason, they didn’t exactly enter the market with a great device. However, they’ve made some changes and stuck to what they know best. The design of the Excite Pro is certainly nothing exciting but, there’s some visual flair on offer here, even if the device’s bezels are fairly sizable. All-in-all though, the Excite Pro is one of the few Tegra 4 tablets on the market and has a decent display to complement that power. If you’re looking for a solid, run-of-the-mill Android tablet with great specs, you can do far worse than the Excite Pro.

  • 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 LCD Display
  • Quad-Core Tegra 4 at 1.6 Ghz
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32GB of Storage
  • 9.5 Hour Battery
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

By the Toshiba Excite Pro on Amazon

08. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 and 8.9

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets have always offered some great value for money and this year’s Kindle Fire HDX duo of tablets takes things to a whole new level. Shipping with high-resolution displays and Snapdragon 800 CPUs, the HDX gets things right where it needs to. All of the boxes are ticked, it’s just a shame that Google Play Support isn’t included here. However, if you’re fine with what the Amazon ecosystem can offer, then these are great tablets and they often have great potential to become powerful stock Android tablets, too.

  • 7-inch 1920 x 1200 Display or 8.9-inch 2560 x 1600 on the 8.9-inch model
  • Quad-Core 2.2 Ghz Snapdragon 800 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16 and 32GB storage options for both
  • 10-12 hour batter life
  • HD front-facing camera on both models, with 8MP rear-facing camera on the 8.9-inch model
  • 3G and 4G LTE available through a network in your region

Buy the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 on Amazon

07. Lenovo YOGA 8 and 10

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As we discovered in our review, the Lenovo YOGA tablets running Android offer a truly unique design compared to all other tablets. At first, you might be thinking that’s great when being used on a desk but, what about when you want something more portable? Well, the hump on the side that holds the battery, it’s super-easy to read books and magazines on the device without losing grip. Battery life is absolutely amazing on these tablets, as is the general overall experience. It’s just a shame that the specs aren’t a little bit better but, for how much Lenovo is asking for these, it’s hard to wish for anything better.

  • 8-inch or 10-inch 1280—800 resolution IPS display
  • 1GB of RAM
  • MediaTek MT8125 Quad-core 1.2GHz processor
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • MicroSD card support
  • 5MP camera on the back
  • 1.6MP camera on the front
  • 6,000mAh or 9,000 mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 – Jelly Bean

Buy the Lenovo YOGA 10 on Amazon

06. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note range have proven immensely popular over the years and the Galaxy Note 8.0 is one of the easiest tablets to take notes with on the go. It’s light, portable and offers the same sort of true pen input as the Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 and Galaxy Note 3. However, Samsung seem to be asking a little too much for the Galaxy Note 8.0 and unfortunately, the specs have already been surpassed by tablets like the LG G Pad 8.3 and this year’s Nexus 7. However, if you still find yourself writing notes down, and a 10-inch tablet is too large for your usage, then the Note 8.0 is the best way to go.

  • 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

Buy the Galaxy Note 8.0 on Amazon

05. LG G Pad 8.3

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LG’s re-entry into the Android tablet market has been a successful one, it’s a decent tablet with some great specs to boot. While everyone else seems willing to chase lower and lower prices when it comes to smaller Android tablets, LG is actually trying to deliver a different tablet. With an 8.3-inch display, a higher build quality and a faster processor than most, the G Pad 8.3 brings the best of the LG G2 to tablets and for those looking for something a little different, the G Pad 8.3 certainly fits that.

  • 1.7GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 600 Processor
  • 8.3-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200 pixels / 273 ppi)
  • 16GB
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Rear camere 5.0MP / Front 1.3MP
  • 4,600mAh
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
  • 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3mm
  • 338g

04. Google Nexus 10

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While the word is the 2012 model of the Nexus 10 is to replaced any day now, last year’s model is still a very capable device. Mostly because of its 2560 x 1600 display, which is becoming something of a standard, and the fact that Nexus devices often stay far more up-to-date than others. While that might not be as much of a consideration for tablets, it is nice to know that what you’re investing in isn’t going to become obsolete. Samsung’s Nexus 10 is a great tablet, with stereo front-facing speakers, a great display and easily one of the best ways to consume everything Google on the go.

  • 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 or 32GB 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
  • 9,000 mAh battery for 10 hrs of HD video

Buy the Google Nexus 10 from Amazon or the Play Store

03. ASUS Transformer TF701T

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It’s taken ASUS a long time to come back to the Android tablet market with the same sort of fervor they entered with but, they finally did it. 2013 marked the return of a super high-end Android tablet from ASUS and the TF701T is one mean machine. Packing the Tegra 4, a stunning 2560 x 1600 display, near stock Android and the ability to actually get work done on the go, thanks to a proper keyboard, the TF701T is a great machine. Regardless of whether or not you’re looking for a tablet for work or play, ASUS’ latest will let you do everything, in style. It sure is pricey but, it’s worth it as it’s more of an investment than anything else. ASUS has a big commitment to Android and they always take care of their users with prompt and solid update support.

  • 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 IPS Display
  • NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad-core CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB of Storage with microSD card slot
  • 802.11n dual-band WiFi, microHDMI port, Bluetooth 4.0 etc
  • Android 4.2
  • Battery life up to 17 hrs (pad + docking)

Buy the Transformer TF701T on Amazon

02. Google Nexus 7 (2013 Edition)

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Last year’s Nexus 7 made us all think twice about what a decent Android tablet should cost and since then, Android has dominated the smaller end of the tablet market. You can argue that there’s not much you can do with 7-inches but, with a resolution of 1920 x 1200, this is a fantastic tablet to consume content with. No matter whether or not that’s books, movies, YouTube, Kindle books, Netflix – it doesn’t matter what it is, it all looks great and runs great on the 2013 model of the Nexus 7. Having recently been updated to Android 4.4 KitKat, it’s the most current device in this list and it also offers some of the best value for money as well.

  • 7-inch 1920—1200 resolution display (world’s highest resolution tablet)
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor
  • 16GB and 32GB internal storage options
  • 5MP rear camera, 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • Android 4.3 – Jelly Bean
  • 3,950 mAh battery
  • Wireless Charging

Buy the Nexus 7 from Amazon or the Play Store

01. Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition

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Strange and confusing nomenclature aside, Samsung’s latest 10.1-inch Galaxy Note is absolutely brilliant. With some teething problems that should have been ironed out by now, the 2014 edition of the Note 10.1 has all the specs and features you could want. With a stunning display and true pen input to be as creative as you like on the go, this year’s model is much improved from the previous model. TouchWiz is here with a whole raft of features and the S-Pen is better than ever, carrying much of what made the Galaxy Note 3 so great over to the larger form-factor, the 2013 Galaxy Note 10.1 is a pricey, yet very capable Android tablet. It’s a shame about the physical buttons on an otherwise very sleek design but, this is definitely the showstopper tablet to buy this year.

  • 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 LCD Display
  • 1.9 Ghz Samsung Exynos Octa-Core CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16Gb of Storage with microSD card slot
  • 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera
  • Android 4.3 with TouchWiz
  • 8,220 mAh Battery

Buy the Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition from Amazon