Mobile World Congress has come and gone, and while we have some exciting tablets launching soon, the Xperia Z4 Tablet isn’t available just yet, so it won’t make an appearance in this list. After all, we only feature devices that you can go out and purchase right away. This leaves us with a list that’s pretty familiar, but as another month rolls by, those tablets that were showing their age before are only looking that much older.
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’re great for casual users and excellent gifts for those that have never used a tabelt before. An easy transition from owners of Kindles, the Fire HD line of tablets are easy to use. You can read our review of the Fire HD here.
09. Amazon Fire HDX 8.9
Amazon has become exceedingly good at providing users with digital content. They might have started out with just books, but they now offer magazines, TV shows, movies, apps and games. If you’re basically looking after a larger entertainment device, then you can’t go wrong with a Fire HDX. It’s a powerful machine with a Snapdragon 801 and an excellent 8.9-inch 2560 x 1600 display and it’s great for watching movies and TV on the move.
08. 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 5.1 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, and the new Android 5.1 update is said to be even snappier. Our review can be found here.
07. 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.
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 Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition
The Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition has been around for some time now, and it’s beginning to show some signs of age. It’s not as spry as it once was and there are tablets out there that simply outclass it in many ways. Which is a shame, as the S-Pen is a handy feature here and the display is great. However, up against the Super AMOLED display in the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, this isn’t as nice to look at. Hopefully, Samsung releases a new version of this great tablet sooner, rather than later.
04. 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.
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. If you want a tablet that does everything fairly well, then this is a decent candidate. The display is really bright, and while not vivid it’s accurate and more than good enough. That 64-bit Tegra K1 ensures excellent performance in games and should ensure smooth performance on all future Android updates like Android 5.1. 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.