Just as we did with our last Top 10 Best Android Smartphones Buyers Guide we're mixing things up with our Android tablet rankings as well. From now on you can think of this as your buyers' guide to the best Android tablets out there on shelves at the moment.
How do we make this list? Well, we consider many aspects of what makes one tablet a more viable purchase than the other. Ranging from how well they'll be supported in the future, how much they cost, are they good value, their availability in the US and more. These lists are completely unbiased and are more to do with what we think is the best in general, not what we like the best. Indeed, only a handful of staff here own a device on these lists and we're constantly keeping up with the pace of new devices.
Recently, the Android tablet space has been taken a storm by quality 7-inch tablets, and even the arrival of a completely new and refreshed Nexus 7. That doesn't mean that there isn't room for anyone else though, Samsung still have good tablets out there and even Toshiba is back with a Tegra 4 packing device. We've got a fair few new tablets this month, so without further a do, let's get started!
10. Lenovo IdeaTab A1000
While we all think of Lenovo as "that laptop manufacturer" they have had a few attempts with Android tablets in the past and now they're back with a 7-incher. The IdeaTab A1000 is arguably the best attempt at an Android tablet the company has shipped to date. While the display resolution of 1024 x 600 and the internal storage of just 4GB do let it down, for $149 it's a solid offering. When we reviewed the A1000 we found it to be snappy, it's dual-core CPU managed to keep up with us and the added front-facing speakers help with media consumption. For $149 you're not going to get a lot for your money but, with a decent-looking display and performance that's more than acceptable, Lenovo have done their best to cut a compromise and it seems to have paid off.
- 7-inch 1024—600 resolution TFT Display
- 1GB of RAM
- 16GB internal storage (with 4GB for apps) expandable via microSD card slot
- Android 4.1.2
- Mediatek 8317 dual-core processor running at 1.2GHz
- front-facing VGA camera
- 3,500mAh battery
09. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0
The Galaxy Tab is what started off Android tablets, even if it was still running phone software with no real tablet apps. Now on its third generation, the Galaxy Tab from Samsung continues to offer decent value. It is a shame that Samsung didn't mix things up a little more from the Galaxy Tab 2 here but, this still has some added benefits you don't find elsewhere. For instance, there's an SD card slot and a rear-facing camera. Whether you love it or hate it, Samsung's TouchWiz does offer a little added value and if you're already familiar with their software this should be an easy tablet to pick-up and use. Specs here aren't great but, the price tag isn't too steep either. This is a decent compromise from Samsung but, we can't help but wish they pushed things that little bit further.
- 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: HSPAï¼‹21
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- 111.1 x 188.0 x 9.9mm at 302g(Wi-Fi), 306g (3G)
- 4,000 mAh Battery
08. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
While the Note 10.1 from Samsung offered the S-Pen on a larger scale, it's beginning to show its age a little bit at this stage. That's not to say the Note 10.1 is dead in the water or anything, we're sure that Samsung will update this guy for some time to come. With mediocre specs for a 10-incher, the only thing the Note 10.1 had going for it was the S-Pen, which is now available in the much better Galaxy Note 8.0. Regardless, we're sure that Samsung has something even better in store for the Note line when it comes to tablets. Compared to other 10-inch tablets, the Note 10.1 has quickly become something for Samsung fans and those that desperately crave true-pen input. If you can pick one up at discount, then sure go for it but, as it stands there is now better out there.
- 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
07. HiSense 7 Sero Pro
The 7 Sero Pro from HiSense might look like a strange choice for a list like this but, in actuality it's a great tablet at a great price. It's running a decent version of Android, with little to no change to the overall look and feel. HiSense have also managed to throw in a Tegra 3, which might be showing its age but, is still great for games and general performance. Overall, there's not too much that can be said about the 7 Sero Pro - which is a good thing. It's a solid offering that might not be built brilliantly, certainly offers good bang for the buck and won't let you down.
- 7-inch 1280 x 800 Display
- 1.3 Ghz Quad-Core Tegra 3 CPU
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of Storage with microSD support
- 5MP rear-facing camera with 2MP front-facing camera
- 4,000 mAh Battery
- Android 4.2
06. Toshiba Excite Pro
It's nice to not only see another tablet from Toshiba in this list but also a tablet that's packing Nvidia's Tegra 4 at long last. The Excite Pro also has an excellent screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 which should make movies and images look super-crisp. For all of its positives however, we're disappointed to see that Toshiba haven't tried as hard as they could have. The overall design reminds us of Toshiba's tablets from years ago and the asking price for this model is definitely a little steep. Overall, though this is a powerful tablet from Toshiba, it's just a shame it's a little pricey and that update support is almost always going to be up in the air. There's certainly worse out there, that's for sure. Take a look at the full specs below.
- 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
05. Sony Xperia Tablet Z
The Tablet Z is easily the best tablet that Sony has offered. After a hiccup with the Xperia Tablet S, they went back and created a device that's reminiscent of everything that makes the Xperia Z smartphone so great. With a sleek design and a decent Full HD display, the Tablet Z is a good-looking tablet that even has a trick or two up its sleeve. Just like its smartphone brother, the Tablet Z is water-resistant and dust-resistant, too. Which makes this a "life proof" tablet in our eyes. If features like that are important to, and you're a bit of a clutz, then the Tablet Z is a decent choice.
- 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
- 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. Galaxy Note 8.0
The Galaxy Note line has a pretty hardcore following, they swear by their massive handsets, and for good reason. With the Note 8.0, Samsung is trying to sell the Note brand to pretty much everyone, and compete with the iPad Mini all in the same breath. It's not that Samsung is incapable of doing such a thing but, the Note 8.0 does fall short. For one thing, using the same design language seems not only a little lazy, but could be a little confusing to customers. Especially when you have the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 and the Note 8.0 all on the shelf, looking like triplets. If anything, the Note 8.0 is a device from Samsung that makes the most out of their Note line and their Galaxy Tab line, which we can't be mad at Samsung for. If you're in the mood for a decent tablet that has some powerful specs, then this is a good option, it's just a shame it's a little pricey.
- 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
03. Nexus 7 (2012)
This is where I am sure I start to lose control of the comment section. Yes, there are two more Nexus tablets that round out this list. Am I or are we, Android Headlines fanboys? No. So, hear me out - while the Nexus 7 from last year is no longer available to buy from the Play Store (at least not in the US) that doesn't mean that the device won't be available at retailers for a little while to come. Not just that but, they'll more than likely be discounted and even if you were to pick one up today, you're still getting one of the best tablets out there. Yes, the Tegra 3 is showing its age but, the Nexus 7 is one of the only tablet that has Android 4.3 on this list and we're sure it'll be taken care of for some time to come as well.
- 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
02. Nexus 10
The 10-inch Nexus from Samsung is a fantastic device. Even if the Toshiba Excite Pro's Tegra 4 does outpace it, the pricing here cannot be beaten for a device of this caliber. It's a stunning display on offer here and the front-facing speakers will help content really shine and with Netflix now streaming in Full HD on Android, that display has one more thing going for it. Updates are a given when it comes to Nexus devices and if you're looking for something to last something like two years, and stay current, then a Nexus is the only way to go. Plain and simple. It's just a real shame that there isn't more Android apps to take advantage of such screen real-estate.
- 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
01. Nexus 7 (2013)
This is hardly a surprise is it? Let's just sum it up like this: Google have announced a 7-inch tablet with a Full HD display, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, a rear-facing camera as well as one round the front, that's thinner and lighter than last year's Nexus 7. It costs $229. Yeah, it's no wonder that this is at the top of our list. It's not just the pricing here that's great, either. The whole device is a stunner, and when you factor in the improved hardware with the improvements introduced in Android 4.3, games are going to look stunning and you can stream 1080p Netflix to the tablet that fits in your jacket pocket. With a ppi of 323, this thing bests the iPad retina display and the Nexus 10, making this the best device out there for reading magazines and books with. Oh, did I mention there's a LTE model that supports AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon? In one model.
- 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