Top-10-Android-Tablet-Buying-Guide-Monthly

Top 10 Best Android Tablets Buyers Guide: March 2014 Edition

March 23, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

It’s been quite some time since we did a buyer’s guide like this for tablets, and that’s because frankly, there’s been little movement in the Android tablet game for some time. However, in the past couple of months we’ve seen Samsung crash back into the tablet game at full speed with the Galaxy Note Pro and Tab Pro lines, as well as Sony introduce a refined Xperia Tablet Z. So, the question is, towards the end of the first quarter of 2014, how does everything stack up? Hopefully, the below list will answer that question and also let you know what the absolute best tablets to buy right now are. We take into consideration a number of things here; value, specs, performance, longevity and more. What we think however, might not be the same as what you think, so please don’t hesitate to reach out – we love to hear what our readers think!

10. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon-Kindle-Fire-HDX-89-Review-AH-11

It’s tough to put the latest Kindle Fire HD tablets so low down in this list, especially from a pure hardware standpoint. However, with such a strong showing from industry stalwarts like Samsung and co, the Kindle Fire leaves a lot to be desired. The Snapdragon 800 and the 2560 x 1600 display (in the 8.9-inch version) are stunning, and deliver great performance and a very enjoyable experience, as we found out in our review. However, with the lack of Google services, and a bizarre interface that certainly takes some getting used to, Amazon’s tablets don’t quite live up to the promise. If you’re simply interested in a tablet to browse the web, read and watch stuff on then you can’t go wrong, but if you’re looking for something more then there are much better offerings down below.

  • 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

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch are available…from Amazon.

09. Google Nexus 10

Nexus 10

Surprised to see the Nexus 10 this low down? You really shouldn’t be. Aside from a stunning display, and speedy updates there’s not much that helps the Nexus 10 keep up with its brothers and sisters. The dual-core Exynos CPU is starting to show its age and considering that the Nexus 10 launched in November 2012, the 18-month update period promised by Google is about done with. Which means the whole point of buying a Nexus is pretty much moot with the Nexus 10, as there’s no guaranteeing updates will officially hit the slate after the Nexus 10 becomes 18-months old. Of course, there’s a great community out there backing this guy up, and the display is still great. Still, 2560 x 1600 is becoming commonplace and with the Snapdragon 800 hitting a number of tablets, the Nexus 10 is lagging behind.

  • 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 4.4.2 KitKat
  • microUSB as well as microHDMI
  • 9,000 mAh battery for 10 hrs of HD video

The Nexus 10 is still available from the Play Store.

08. ASUS Transformer TF701T

Oh6lIc7QbFcjgvoz_500

ASUS has been making great Android tablets since the dark days of Honeycomb. The Transformer TF701T is no exception, however it lacks the same sort of pizazz that previous Transformers have held in the past, and they now feel more like work than they do play. Which is perfectly fine if that’s what you’re looking for, the keyboard dock here makes the Surface’s Type Cover look silly and adds ports and battery life. The Tegra 4 here is great for gaming with and generally consuming any and all High Definition content. All-in-all it’s a good tablet, and ASUS have since updated it to Android 4.3, it’s just a shame that there isn’t anything (aside from the keyboard dock that will cost you extra) to make the TF701T stand out from the rest of the pack.

  • 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 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • Battery life up to 17 hrs (pad + docking)

Buy the ASUS Transformer TF701T from Amazon.

07. Sony Xperia Tablet Z2

0_Xperia_Z2_Tablet_colourrange

This latest tablet from Sony features a Snapdragon 801 and 3GB, so why the hell is it seventh in this list?! Well, it’s certainly not because this is a bad tablet, far from it but rather because the creme de la creme of Android tablets hasn’t gotten much better and well, it’s tough at the top. Sony’s latest offering is indeed impressive, however it lacks a killer feature, it’s simply a very good tablet. One that is a little let down by the 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 display, which is great and all but when everyone else is shipping 2560 x 1600 panels (in tablets under 9-inches even) then the Xperia Tablet Z2 looks like a missed opportunity from Sony. Coming in at 6.4mm thick, it seems clear that Sony has chased form over function, but there are niceties such as water resistance and an IPS panel to be happy with. A great tablet, certainly but ultimately one that misses the mark in a key area and costs a little more than its worth.

  • 10.1 inch 1,920 x 1,200 display
  • 2.3 Ghz Snapdragon 801
  • 3GB RAM
  • 6,000mAh battery
  • 8.1MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing camera
  • DLNA enabled, NFC, PlayStation Certified
  • IP55 and IP58 ratings for water and dust-resistance
  • 32 or 64 GB internal storage and removable SD card slot
  • Universal IR blaster
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat

06. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2

TabPRO (12.2) 4

When Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab Pro line they were some of the most powerful tablets on the planet, and the peak of the range is this, the 12.2-inch monster that is the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2. Imaginative naming aside, Samsung has gone far out with this one, a 12.2-inch display a tablet makes this almost an Ultrabook with no keyboard. With a Exynos Octa-Core CPU and 3GB of RAM this is one hell of a power house, and the display is good to at 2560 x 1600. However, we question just how a 12.2-inch tablet would be day-to-day and so for that reason, the Tab Pro 12.2 feels like something to be admired, but difficult to live with.

  • 12.2-inch 2560 x 1600 Display
  • 1.9 Ghz Exynos Octa CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of storage with microSD exansion
  • WiFi bgn/ac with dual-band MIMO support, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB 3.0
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with a Magazine UX on top
  • 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 9,500 mAh

You can purchase the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 from Amazon.

05. LG G Pad 8.3

AH-GPadReview-8

Forming a great compromise between size, performance, price and portability the G Pad 8.3 from LG is a great tablet to get your hands on. It’s now available from Verizon in the US as well, making it somewhat more accessible to a lot of users. It’s been on the market for some time now, but with a 1920 x 1200 8.3-inch display, a Snapdragon 600 and 2GB of RAM, the excellently put together G Pad still holds its own. The aluminum back and premium build are nice touches and all-in-all it’s a great choice if you want something bigger than 7-inches, but nothing too big. It might not be the best performer on the market, but it’s snappy enough for most people.

  • 8.3-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS Display (273 PPI)
  • 1.7 Ghz Quad-Core Snapdragon 600
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB of Storage, with MicroSD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Android 4.2.2 (with update to Android 4.4 coming)
  • 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3 mm (8.54 x 4.98 x 0.33 in)
  • 338g
  • 4,600 mAh Battery

04. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro

Note Pro Spen and Multiwindow

Essentially the same tablet above a couple places, but with the incredible S-Pen from the Note line of phones, the Galaxy Note Pro makes much more sense of being a 12.2-inch tablet. The S-Pen is more productive, and the 12.2-inch display allows for some great opportunities creating works of art, notes or even boring pie charts for your business colleagues. A do-it-all devices, the Note Pro suffers from the same issue as the Tab Pro 12.2, for some its simply too big. At that sort of size, it’s hard to recommend such a tablet, but if you can deal with the large display, the rest of this tablet will not disappoint.

  • 12.2-inch 2560 x 1600 Display
  • 1.9 Ghz Exynos Octa CPU or 2.3 Ghz Snapdragon 800 in the LTE model
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32 or 64GB of storage with microSD exansion
  • WiFi bgn/ac with dual-band MIMO support, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB 3.0
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with a Magazine UX on top
  • S-Pen and features like Air Command included
  • 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 9,500 mAh

The giant Galaxy Note Pro can be found on Amazon.

03. Google Nexus 7

Nexus 7 white

You might be wondering why the Nexus 7 is so high up the list while the Nexus 10 has fallen considerably. Taking into account value, longevity and performance the 2013 Nexus 7 still holds its own against anything else out there. It still remains one of the best tablets for the money, and the 1920 x 1200 7-inch display is stunning. The Snapdragon S4 Pro might be getting on a little now, but for a 7-inch tablet like this, that’s plenty enough power to get through day-to-day tasks and some decent gaming. With the latest version of Android to hit the Nexus 7 before pretty much anything else in this list, that’s perhaps reason enough to buy the Nexus 7, but the great display and excellent value back that reason up plenty.

  • 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 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 3,950 mAh battery
  • Wireless Charging

You can buy the 2013 model of the Nexus 7 from Amazon or the Play Store.

02. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4

TabPRO 8_ 1

 

Perhaps the absolute best compromise between size and performance, the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 features a stunning 2560 x 1600 display and the Snapdragon 800 and 2GB of RAM make it one of the best performing tablets below 10-inches. Borrowing the design of the Galaxy Note 3, the Tab Pro 8.4 is a good-looking machine and while it’s a shame Samsung still thinks we need physical buttons, the tablet is very portable, indeed. As Android users, we have to face the uncomfortable truth that there simply aren’t enough tablet apps out there, forcing us to rely on apps designed for smartphones, with an 8.4-inch device as nice as this though, the compromise here isn’t exactly a hard pill to swallow.

  • 8.4-inch 2560 x 1600 Display
  • 2.3 Ghz Snapdragon 800
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16 or 32GB of storage with microSD exansion
  • WiFi bgn/ac with dual-band MIMO support, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB 3.0
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with a Magazine UX on top
  • 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 4,800 mAh

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is available on Amazon.

01. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition

Galaxy-Note-2014-AH-13-e1391108670733

 

Wondering why the 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1 is at the top of this list, again? Well, let’s look at this way, it has the same great display resolution at 2560 x 1600, features the S-Pen in all its glory and isn’t too big like the Galaxy Note Pro. Looking for a powerhouse that isn’t like taking a laptop display with you? This is it. We reviewed this guy and found it to be a great overall tablet, aside from performance issues we’re sure Samsung has worked hard to fix. It’s also somewhat more affordable than the Galaxy Note Pro, or the Tab Pro 12.2, even. Which makes for a tablet that still offers some of the best that Samsung has to offer, without completely emptying your wallet in the process. A solid performer all-round, there’s little reason not to pick up the Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition if you’re looking for a ten-incher with lots of power and a bag full of features.

  • 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

You can buy the Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition from Amazon.