February is always a strange month when it comes to Android tablets, the big names have yet to announce their tablets for the rest of 2015 and there’s little movement from anybody else. With Mobile World Congress just around the corner, we’re likely to see a whole lot of new tablets hit the market soon, but just when those tablets will be available is anybody’s guess. For the meantime though, there’s a good helping of excellent tablets that you’re able to buy right now and here are 10 of the best out there.
10. Amazon Fire HD 6 and 7
Amazon’s Fire tablets might not feature the same set of Google Services that we come to expect from an Android tablet, but they’re great for content consumption as well as handing over to the little ones without fear of destroying your own tablet. Coming in at either 6-inch or 7-inches this time around, these aren’t much to look at, but they’ll make excellent first-time tablets and great options for the kids. With a two-year worry-free guarantee that ensures a replacement Fire no matter what your little ones manage to get up to, these are great options for the whole family.
09. Amazon Fire HDX 8.9
If you’re looking for something more powerful, but are perfectly happy with Amazon’s ecosystem then the Fire HDX 8.9 is a good way to go. With one of the best displays available in a tablet thanks to a stunning 2560 x 1600 resolution in 8.9-inches. It’s a great tablet with some of the finest horsepower available thanks to that Snapdragon 801 and 2GB of RAM. Still, if you’re too invested in Google services, then this isn’t immediately the one for you. Having said that, Amazon’s offerings now have all the digital content you’d need as well as many of the best Android apps available from big name developers.
08. Yoga Tablet 2 Pro
Not too long ago, Lenovo introduced follow-ups to their original Yoga tablets and out of those was the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, which features a 13-inch Quad HD display and a subwoofer thanks to a JBL sound system. We recently reviewed the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro and we really liked what we saw. The Pico Projector isn’t exactly great, but it does the job and it’s a feature many of its competitors simply don’t offer. The same can be said of the subwoofer and excellent sound quality all round. Its size however, remains a challenge for a lot of users as a 13-inch display is far from what you’d call super-portable. The stand that made the Android Yoga tablets popular in the first place is back again and this time around there’s a hook, further extending the uses for this big beast of a tablet. Innovative hardware like this is what will drive tablet sales forward in a market that feels close to stagnating.
07. Google Nexus 7 (2013)
While the Nexus 9 has been out for some time now, there’s no reason why the Nexus 7 isn’t a decent option any more. After all, that 1920 x 1200 7-inch display still looks great and it’s been updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop. An excellent little tablet that’s perfect for those on the move looking for a tablet to keep themselves entertained, the Nexus 7 is cheap, more than capable for everyday use and still runs the absolute latest version of Android. That Snapdragon S4 Pro is not quite as spry as it used to be, but Lollipop has made things a little sweeter for Nexus 7 users.
06. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet
The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, despite its long, long name, is a tablet that builds on the excellence found in the Xperia Z2 and the Xperia Z3 line of smartphones. It is however, a little pricey, especially for a tablet that uses a 1080p display in the face of Quad HD panels. Still, it’s powered by a Snapdragon 801 and like the Xperia Z3, it’s one of the best out there for listening to music and overall performance. If only it were a little more affordable, Sony would have a real winner on their hands. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in then you can purchase one directly from Sony.
05. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
Perhaps the best compromise between small and large in a tablet, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 has the right boxes ticked, with big, golden ticks. The display is an excellent 2560 x 1600, but the 8.4-inch panel really comes to life thanks to the Super AMOLED technology Samsung uses in their high-end smartphones. Great for reading magazines, watching movies and generally anything that involves a lot of color and images, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is the take-everywhere tablet that has the specs and display of something a little larger. For more on the Galaxy Tab S 8.4, check out our review.
04. NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet
Versatility is the aim of the game with the SHIELD Tablet from NVIDIA, and with its recent update to Android 5.0 Lollipop, it joins an elusive club of tablets running the latest version of Google’s OS. Not only does this guy feature stock, clean Android software, a great piece of silicon in the Tegra K1 and a controller for gaming, but it also has NVIDIA Grid which changes things quite a bit. If you’re a casual gamer, looking for a decent tablet all-round, then this is a decent bet, and it won’t break the bank, either.
03. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition
This is one of the tablets we’re hoping Samsung releases a new version of during Mobile World Congress. There’s a ‘Pro’ version of the device, which is arguably nowhere near as versatile thanks to it being just a little too big for those on the move, and this tablet has been on sale since the end of 2013. No matter, this 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 tablet has oodles of features that make this a tablet that does pretty much everything. The S-Pen is excellent here and there’s a lot of versatility. We just wish that the rest of Samsung’s tablets could stay around as long as this one.
02. Google Nexus 9
You know what the Nexus 9 isn’t? Exciting. That’s not a bad thing though, at least not in my eyes, a tablet doesn’t have to be exciting for it to be good. Instead what the Nexus 9 is is solid, dependable and one of the few available that offers a 4:3 display, which is hi-res at 2048 x 1536 and very bright. This 4:3 ratio helps the Nexus 9 to stand out and for those spend most of their time browsing the web, this is a great tablet to consider.Tthere were some hiccups at the beginning that HTC has hopefully ironed out by now and Lollipop still has some bugs on the run, but for an all-round tablet that’s great for apps, browsing the web and gaming, this Tegra K1-powered 64-bit machine ticks a lot of the right boxes. With stereo BoomSound speakers firing sound out from the front of the tablet, this also has some of the best sound reproduction available for a tablet. Our review can be found here.
01. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Samsung’s Super AMOLED display tech is even more impressive on a display at this sort of size, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is the tablet to take with you on long trips to watch your favorite TV or movies on and it’s also a great all-rounder as well. It offers the same sort of size as an iPad, has an arguably superior display and the widescreen format is great for movies, YouTube and playing games. It’s got it where it counts on the inside, too and this is easily one of the best tablets Samsung has ever rolled off its production line, for now, at least. While it doesn’t feature Lollipop or a blazing-fast graphics chip, what it does have is an impressive laundry list of features great for tablet users and one of the best displays available anywhere.