Top 10 Best Android Tablets Buyers Guide: January 2014 Edition



10. Toshiba Excite Pro



Toshiba's newest 10-inch tablet came out towards the end of 2013 and while it has an impressive spec sheet there's little to the Excite Pro beyond that. With an impressive display resolution and a powerful quad-core Tegra 4 inside, it's a powerful Android 4.3 tablet. However, that's where the good points about stop, really. This is the same ageing design that Toshiba has been using for a long time, and bulky bezels framing the display, it's hardly the best-looking tablet out there. If it were priced a little more sensibly it'd be a lot easier to recommend, but unfortunately it's still quite expensive.

  • 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

Buy the Toshiba Excite Pro on Amazon.

09. Sony Xperia Tablet Z



The tablet that takes design cues from Sony'z Xperia Z line of devices is a good-looking tablet that has some unique features. It's water-resistant, which makes it the perfect tablet for reading in the bath or watching those cat videos. With a Snapdragon S4 Pro, it's got the same processor inside of the Nexus 7, but the display resolution of 1920 x 1200 is beginning to look a little long in the tooth when it comes to tablets and it's not exactly cheap. For those that really need a stylish tablet and are fans of Sony's design and software, then this is a good choice, it's just a shame that Sony charge so much for it.

  • 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 Xperia Tablet Z on Amazon.

08. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX



Both of Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX tablets – the 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions – come with terrific specs and excellent displays. With a Snapdragon 800 and 2GB of RAM, these tablets certainly aren't just glorified color-ereaders. Instead, they're fully fledged Android tablets, that just so happen to be running a forked version of Android. If you're not all that invested into Google's Play Store and services, you might not miss them so much on the Kindle Fire. Amazon's version of Android is perfectly serviceable, but those in dire need of Google's services need not apply. We reviewed the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and loved the hardware, but missed Google a little too much.

  • 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

Of course, Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch are available…from Amazon.

07. Lenovo Yoga 8 and 10



We reviewed both of Lenovo's Android-powered spins on the Yoga and we really liked what we had. With quality builds, the Yogas make for solid Android tablets with absolutely fantastic battery life. The aluminum build and the innovative stand/bulge used for holding the device comes with compromises however. With a MediaTek CPU, these guys aren't cut out for the same sort of performance as the Nexus 7 or the Galaxy Note 10.1. As well as that, you won't find the best displays here, either. Clearly, Lenovo had to cut some corners when it comes to components in order to keep their pricing down, and for the most part they've done just that. The Yoga tablets aren't what you'd call "excellent" tablets, but then again they're designed for a specific type of consumer. The Yogas are for those that have all but replaced their laptops and use their tablets for everything, for those users, these are excellent choices.

  • 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 8 or Lenovo Yoga 10 on Amazon.

06. Google Nexus 10



Ah yes, the tablet that started off all of this 2560 x 1600 nonsense that we've come to expect from 10-inch tablets. The Nexus 10 is a great tablet, but it's certainly getting a little long in the tooth. It's dual-core Exynos processor is starting to lag a little behind the Snapdragon 600s and such that have been entering newer tablets over the year. Of course, we need to remember that the Nexus 10 was launched at the end of 2012, and it still runs the latest version of Android and there's no reason not to go out and buy one. However, with a successor long overdue, don't be surprised if Google release a new version not long after you've picked one of these up.

  • 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

The Nexus 10 is still available from the Play Store.

05. ASUS Transformer TF701T



ASUS were the first company to really make people want an Android tablet with the Eee Pad Transformer and while they were absent for some time, last year they came back to the market in a big way. With that 2560 resolution we're all look for and a powerful Tegra 4 CPU, there's not much to complain about when it comes to their latest entry. It's a pricey machine if you want the keyboard dock as well – which is sort of the whole point – but, for a lot of people it's well worth it. The TF701T is all about what's on the inside and what it allows you to do and as such, it's hardly the nicest-looking device on the shelf. Straddling the middleground between tablet and laptop, ASUS have stuck to their EEE Pad Transformer formula and that still works just fine.

  • 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 ASUS Transformer TF701T from Amazon.

04. LG G Pad 8.3



LG's return to the tablet market saw them go down the small tablet route, but taking a different path than the likes of Google and Samsung. The G Pad comes in at 8.3-inches and with a quality build that puts other similar tablets to shame, LG have gotten a lot right. The Snapdragon 600 and 2GB of RAM deliver a speedy Android experience. With a Google Play Edition now available, the G Pad 8.3 is almost a Nexus device. The choice is yours and either one of them is a good one, as we found out in our review of the G Pad.

  • 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

03. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0


Samsung's Galaxy Note line has been pretty successful for a long time now, and the Galaxy Note 8.0 is a decent device for those looking for a compromise device. It's a decent compromise between portability and screen size and it features the same S Pen technology that has made the Galaxy Note so popular. It's a shame that the display resolution is just okay at 1280 x 800, but the S Pen is a great add-on and makes a whole lot of sense on a tablet this size. While Samsung's TouchWiz is not for everyone, there are apps available that can truly help this replace that notebook in your bag.

  • 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 from Amazon.

02. Google Nexus 7


There's something to be said of the Nexus 7, what it's done for Android tablets is pretty incredible. For a long time, the Android tablet was second fiddle to the iPad, but the Nexus 7 carved its own path and gave Apple something to worry about. The 2013 version of the Nexus 7 is a marked improvement over the genuinely "cheap" Nexus 7 that Google first launched. With much better internals and one of the best tablets display on the market, the new Nexus 7 is incredible. It's a shame that the 7-inch form-factor doesn't really give developers reason to create better tablet apps, but when the display looks this good, it's hard to complain at all.

  • 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

01. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition



10-inch tablets aren't for everyone and neither is Samsung's TouchWiz, but the Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition is one of the best tablets out there right now. The S Pen is back and better than ever, with improved features throughout the software build, it's also more useful. The 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 display is perfect for creating things with the S Pen and it's powerful enough to deliver a quality experience no matter what it is you're doing. Samsung might have lost interest in their Galaxy Tab range, but with tablets as good as this, it's hard not to see why. The only hit with this? The price. Other than that, you're looking at one of the better 10-inchers available on the market

  • 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.

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Former Editor-in-Chief

For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.

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