The first few months of any new year are a strange time to be compiling a list of the best smartphones and tablets but, here at Android Headlines, we don't want to slack with anything. So, here we are with best tablets you can buy right now. To be clear this is not a list that is going to feature anything but tablets you can go out and buy right now. Which means that the few tablets from CES, Sony's Xperia Tablet Z and ASUS' new MemoPad's aren't going to be here. Having said that, this list should change considerably over the next couple of months.
Some of you aren't going to agree with that list – that's to be expected – and we welcome discussion in the comments, but let's keep it clean, yeah? Let's get things started shall we?
10. Acer Iconia B1
There's no beating around the bush when it comes to Acer's latest attempt at a 7-inch tablet is pretty awful. It's got a terrible display, low RAM and its MediaTek dual-core CPU really isn't up to much. The only reason it gets a spot on this list is down to its unavoidably attractive price-tag. It's just £99 in the UK which is £60 less than the Nexus 7 and while we wouldn't recommend it, for a lot of people it might do just fine.
- 7-inch WSVGA display with a 1024×600 resolution
- 8GB internal storage with room for micro SD card
- 512MB RAM
- Mediatek dual-core 1.2GHz processor (MTK 8317T)
- 0.3MP front-facing camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
- 2,710mAh battery
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
9. Acer Iconia Tab A110
Google proved that there was not only a market for the 7-inch tablets but a healthy one at that. With the Nexus 7 retailing for just $199 there's no denying that the cheaper a tablet is, the more likely people are to buy it. Acer's attempt at making an affordable yet quality Android tablet isn't all that great and while the specs seem to be pretty good, it's still going to ship with Acer's questionable build-quality, and updates are questionable. However, it is a good option for those not willing to spend much on a tablet and it's running Jelly Bean.
- 7-inch 1024—600 display
- 1.2GHZ NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB internal storage
- WiFi, micro HDMI out
- Average battery life of 7.5 hours
- Stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
8. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
As budget-minded tablets go, you could do a lot worse than Samsung's smaller offering. It might "only" have a dual-core processor and it might "only" have a screen resolution of 1024 x 600 but it's a solid offering from Samsung. It's got a rear-facing camera to boot as well. With an update to Jelly Bean, this is one of the better "wallet-friendly" tablets on the market.
- 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
- Launched with Android 4.0, but updated to Android 4.1
7. Sony Xperia Tablet S
We know that Sony's tablet is soon to be replaced with their new Xperia Tablet Z but, compared to the rest of the offerings here, it's still not that bad a choice. What sets this one aside from the pack is it's bizarre screen size of 9.4-inches which, could be a great compromise for you, or not enough space. Regardless, it's a quality tablet that should last you all day and bring you lots of happy hours on YouTube.
- 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
6. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
When Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 last year, we were all thinking that they must have something better than this up their sleeves. It turns out that they did but, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, besides having an awful name, is available on pretty much any carrier you'd like with LTE. That's great if you're looking for something to replace that laptop on the go and should ensure that you're kept connected all the time.
- 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
5. Kindle Fire HD
Coming in two flavors – with screen size being the only difference – there's a lot to love about Amazon's latest tablets. They've got good hardware, and if you're already invested in Amazon's eco-system then these are going to work out great. There also great options for little ones, its just a shame about the software.
- A TI OMAP 4470 – which is advertized 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%
- 4G LTE on AT&T for the 8.9-inch Version
- 16 to 32GB of Memory
4. Transformer Pad Infinity TF700
We know that ASUS has something big planned for MWC coming up soon but, outside of a new 7-inch tablet we have no idea what it might be. The Infinity is still a great tablet, with fantastic build quality and the real potential to replace your laptop while you're on the go – depending on what you need it for, of course – and it's still pretty speedy by even 2013's standards.
- 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
- Shipped with Android 4.0, updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
The Note line has been pretty good to Samsung and with the Note 10.1 it proved that the S-Pen was definitely not a gimmick and that coupled with the right hardware, you could really do something productive with it. It might look a little pedestrian on the specs but, it's a speedy device and with Multi-Window, it's perhaps the best tablet here at multitasking.
- 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
2. Google Nexus 7
There's no denying that the price and value of the Nexus 7 are part of makes it so attractive but, with stock Android and a decent screen, there's more to the Nexus 7 than its price. Tablets are often left in the dark when it comes to updates but here, there's nothing to worry about. The processor might be aging – just like most on this list – but, it's more than capable of most tasks. Besides, it's a Nexus.
- 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
1. Google Nexus 10
A lot of you reading this are going to disagree with this top-spot, and I encourage you tell me why in the comments – nicely, mind you. With a stunning display at 2560 x 1600 and a very speedy Exynos 5250 running on Cortex A15 this is the most powerful Android tablet out there right now. It'll also continue to be updated far longer than most of the tablets on this list. Yes, it might be incredibly difficult to get hold of but, it's the Android tablet worth waiting for and the best Android experience on a large display available.
- 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