While IFA will surely bring some new tablets from the likes of Sony and Samsung, that’s still a little while away and even when they’re announced we’ll have to wait a little bit before they hit shelves, digital or otherwise. Meanwhile, here’s a list of the best tablets you can go out and buy right now, including a newcomer that’s great for gaming.
10. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
The Kindle Fire HDX duo of tablets keeps on offering users excellent hardware with an increasingly enticing ecosystem to get access to, yet they’re still not quite there yet. For the money, these are some of the better options out there, but really the Kindle Fire tablets are only good at consuming content. That’s fine if that’s what you want to do, but you are pretty walled in relying solely on Amazon’s offerings while every other tablet on this list will let you have your cake and eat it too. While other Android tablets let you have the Kindle app and the Amazon Appstore, the Kindle Fire line of tablets are one way streets, limiting you to Amazon’s offerings.
09. Google Nexus 10
The Nexus 10 was one of the best tablets that Google and Samsung have ever produced, and yet Google never saw fit to create another one, sadly. If you can get your hands on the Nexus 10 and its 2560 x 1600 display, you won’t be disappointed, but it is getting a little old now and it remains to be seen if the Nexus 10 is to get an update to Android L when it launches this Fall. Still, it’s a great tablet even if it can be a little sluggish at times, but if you are to get one now, don’t expect it to stay up-to-date for much longer.
08. LG G Pad 8.3
The G Pad 8.3 is sadly starting to show its age, but it’s still an excellent tablet and one I’ve been personally using for the last 6 or 7 months. It’s a nice compromise tablet; it’s portable enough to carry around with ease but it’s got a large enough and high enough resolution display to be great for watching movies and such. It would be nice if the Snapdragon 600 inside of the G Pad had a little more oomph but it’s a well-made tablet with a great Full HD display. It’s also available on Verizon, too so you can always be online with this guy.
07. Sony Xperia Tablet Z2
We recently reviewed the Xperia Tablet Z2 and we really liked it. However, it’s only available in the US through Verizon as a carrier choice and it could really do with a higher-resolution display. Sure, a 1080p display at 10.1-inches isn’t to be sniffed at, but the device would be much better with a sharper display. Still, the Snapdragon 801 and 3GB of RAM will really help keep Sony’s latest offering fresh moving forward. With a great display, waterproofing and a super-thin design, the Xperia Tablet Z2 is a good option.
The Xperia Tablet Z2 is available from Amazon.
06. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro
The Galaxy Note Pro is one of those devices that you’ll either love or hate. It’s got everything going for it, an excellent CPU, lots of memory and storage, but it’s a 12.2-inch device and while the resolution of 2560 x 1600 is nice, it’s a big device. That size is what either makes the Galaxy Note Pro or breaks it, if you’re looking for something bigger for films and having more than one app open at the same time, then this is the one for you. If you’re looking for something more standard, then you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Whilst pricey, the Galaxy Note Pro is available from Amazon.
05. Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 is a great tablet for those looking for something a little bigger than their smartphone without breaking the bank. As an added bonus, you can use a Nexus 7 to get a sneak peek at Android L and it’ll be sure to get the update later on in the year. With a Full HD 7-inch display, that looks really quite nice, the Nexus 7 is a great small tablet. However, don’t expect too much from the aging Snapdragon S4 Pro running the show, but it’s still packed with 2GB of RAM and it now has a camera around the back. A good value tablet that will stay up-to-date the Nexus 7 is good for those who don’t want that much from a tablet.
04. NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet
NVIDIA’s first tablet offering really wasn’t up to much, it had all the processing power you could want, but the display was sorely lacking. Add that to the fact that people like HP, PNY and others were to distribute it under their own names and it soon got lost in amongst the other tablets of the day. The SHIELD Tablet on the other hand, does what NVIDIA does best. It’s chock full of power with the Tegra K1 and plays games from your PC’s Steam library and you can use a wireless SHIELD controller with it as well. Mercifully, NVIDIA have kept Android as Google intended it and well, what we’re left with is a great gamer’s tablet with great hardware and solid Android updates.
The NVIDIA SHIELD tablet can be found on Amazon.
03. Galaxy Tab S 8.4
Samsung has launched so many tablets this year that it’s hard to keep up. All we need to know about their latest batch however is that while they’re built out of uninspiring plasticky builds, they offer the best experiences around. Take the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 with its Super AMOLED display at a retina-besting 2560 x 1600 it’s one of the best-looking portable displays you’ll find. It’s perhaps loaded with a boat load of features real people will never use, but split window and other Samsung staples work wonders on tablets like these. Want a compromise tablet with an excellent for movie watching? Get this.
Available from Amazon the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is also pricey.
02. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
A fantastic all-rounder tablet that also has the S-Pen which can be used for some excellent gaming and some really good note taking on the move. It’s not the best-looking tablet in the world and looks just like every other Samsung device ever, but it’s still one of the best to get with an excellent CPU and a stunning LCD display.
You can buy the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition from Amazon.
01. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
If the display inside a tablet is the most important thing to you, then look no further. The Super AMOLED display inside this guy is great with a 2560 x 1600 resolution and the color reproduction is great. Perfect for watching films, browsing through photos or just browsing the web, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 has one of the best displays ever used on a tablet.
The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is available from Amazon.