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Top 10 Best Android Tablets Buyers Guide: January 2016 Edition

January 15, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

2015 has come and gone, and while CES 2016 has just blown on through, it appears the world of Android tablets is still firmly set in 2015, which was perhaps set back in 2014 itself. With few Android tablets making the headlines or offering users compelling reasons to upgrade from their already existing tablet, it’s an interesting time to be an Android tablet fan. The fact is that the majority of hardware from 2015 or even 2014 will serve the majority of users more than adequately. What if you want to start off the year with one of the best Android tablets available though? Well, this list should give you some pretty good ideas.

10. Lenovo Tab 2 A10

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Lenovo is a name that many in the US might associate with laptops and computers still, but they’ve been plugging away at the mobile market for a good many years now, and their tablet offerings are readily available in the US. The Tab 2 A10 from Lenovo represents some of the best value for money that you can get with an Android tablet that runs Google’s vision for Android, instead of Amazon’s. It runs Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, and as we found it our review, it’s a commendable offering from Lenovo. Great for the kids, a first-time tablet or to have lying around the living room, the Tab 2 A10 is great value. It might not have all the features people are looking for, but it gets the job done for a great price tag.

Buy the Lenovo Tab 2 A10 from Amazon

09. Amazon Fire, Fire HD

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When Amazon first launched the Kindle Fire line of tablets, everyone was wondering whether or not such a cheap tablet could be worth it. The first generation was, and some years later Amazon offer a tablet for $50! Granted, that tablet isn’t the prettiest or the best specced out there, but it works, and works well for half a Benjamin. This and the Fire HD, a more respectably-featured version of the same blueprint are both great for consuming content, playing games and watching movies, that sort of thing. It goes without saying that these are some of the best tablets out there for the kids, but also for the user that won’t be making the most out of the more expensive tablets that are available out there. Besides, what else can you get for $50 these days?

Buy the Amazon Fire from Amazon

08. Dell Venue 8 7000

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Known for their capable, yet unexciting laptops in recent years, Dell spent much of 2015 trying to turn around their image. With sleek laptops like the Dell XPS 12 and their new Venue line of Android tablets, we’d say they succeeded with that. The Venue 8 7000 is a line of tablets that offer users a sleek and good-looking piece of hardware with an excellent display at 2560 x 1600 along with stock Android, unfettered by Dell. The only problem with the Dell Venue 8 however, would be the fact that Dell is looking for a pretty penny for their new tablet, whether or not it’s worth it is up to you, but our review might help you out.

Buy the Dell Venue 8 from Amazon

07. Samsung Galaxy View

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Samsung practically invented the Android tablet with the original Galaxy Tab, but they’ve not been afraid to experiment with them in the past. The Galaxy View is their latest experiment, a massive 18.4-inch display monster. For a lot of users, a tablet is simply a larger display, and with the Galaxy View, Samsung have taken that idea and ran with it, it’s just a shame that this is just a 1920 x 1080 display, with smaller tablets packing in sharper displays. Still, if you use the Galaxy View as a portable TV, as Samsung practically intend you to, then you shouldn’t notice this too much. Great for playing games, catching up on TV and well, having a giant tablet on hand whenever you need it, the Galaxy View is certainly a change of pace, and we have to give Samsung credit for that.

Buy the Galaxy View from Amazon

06. Lenovo YOGA Tab 3 Pro

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When Lenovo first launched their first line of Android-powered Yoga tablets, they had their main feature pretty much perfected. The stand that was also a handle and a massive battery made the Yoga line instantly flexible for any sort of situation. With the Yoga Tab 3 Pro, Lenovo have practically perfected their formula, while adding in some nice extras. The stand is now also a hook, which is a lot more useful than you might first think, and this model features a projector, to make your content even bigger no matter where you might be. The software has gotten much better, and ultimately this is a great tablet to carry around as well as use around the home, just so long as you don’t mind the big hump that is the tablet’s greatest strength and weakness for some.

05. Google Nexus 9

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The Pixel C might be in town, but the Nexus 9 is still an Android tablet worth considering. Especially if you want something that is just the right size at 8.9-inches and has a good-looking display and some pretty powerful speakers. Add on top of that the Tegra K1 from NVIDIA and you have a powerful Android tablet capable of handling pretty much anything you throw at it. With Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow running on this already, this is one of the most up-to-date tablets in this list. We’ve called the Nexus 9 underwhelming in the past, and as is the case with most stock Android tablets, there’s not much to do or see here, but it’s  a solid piece of hardware that has a great screen attached to it as well.

Buy the Nexus 9 from Amazon

04. NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1

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Despite its unassuming appearance, the SHIELD Tablet K1 is packing some serious performance under-the-hood, and it’s one of the most versatile Android tablets out there. An upgrade from the original SHIELD Tablet, this is more powerful and any battery problems have been fixed. Running stock Android on top of a 8.0-inch 1280 x 800 display, this can be used for whatever you want really, even if you’re just looking for a simple tablet experience to get minor tasks done. For the gamers out there however, there’s much more to it and it can be used to stream Steam games straight to it, as well as be connected to a TV for even more fun. Powerful, versatile and great value there’s little reason not to look into the SHIELD Tablet K1.

Buy the SHIELD Tablet K1 from Amazon

03. Google Pixel C

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The Pixel C was undoubtedly the big surprise from Google last year, and while it hasn’t been on sale for long it’s made us think a little harder on what it means to be an Android tablet. Hardware alone does not make a great experience as we discovered while reviewing it, and while that hardware is of course excellent, the software lets it down.With a good-looking display and a pretty stellar build, the magnetic party tricks and excellent keyboard only just cover up a barebones software experience that leaves Android tablets sorely lacking. Still, if you know and love Android, need a good keyboard and want a tablet that not only looks the part but should stay up-to-date and in one piece for a couple of years, the Pixel C is definitely a great choice.

02. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

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The Xperia Z4 Tablet launched much earlier than the Pixel C, and yet it still does a better job at pulling double-duty as a laptop. For one thing, the keyboard also features a trackpad, which is okay but nice to have nonetheless, and for another Sony actually paid attention to the software. When connected to the keyboard, there are slight changes like a quasi Start bar that make using Android as a laptop much, much easier. When we reviewed the Xperia Z4 Tablet last summer, we were also blown away by how thin and light the entire package was, while also packing in water-resistance as well as an excellent 10.1-inch display.

Buy the Xperia Z4 Tablet from Amazon

01. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 – 9.7-inch

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Samsung know how to make good-looking displays, and that’s what tablets are all about, which makes the Super AMOLED packing Galaxy Tab S2 an excellent choice. Not just for watching movies or YouTube, but also for browsing the web and playing games. With an excellent display and some of the best software features added to Android, Samsung continue to make the best overall tablet experience for those looking for an Android device. While not the cheapest out there, this is a tablet that’s definitely worth it.

Buy the Galaxy Tab S2 from Amazon