As the run-up to the Holiday Season gets underway, it’s surprising that no other tablet manufacturers have announced new hardware to capture holiday buyers. Aside from the intriguing Pixel C (which isn’t listed here because it’s not on sale yet) there’s been little activity in the Android Tablet world, which leaves early bird Holiday shoppers with the best of the last year as well as some great options from the year before even. So let’s take a look at the ten best as we start to wind down the year slowly.
10. Amazon Fire, Fire HD
The Fire line of tablets have been around for years now, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon from taking a big part of the Android market and this year they’re back bigger than ever. There’s a version that starts at just $50, yes a 7-inch tablet that costs just $50. The Fire HD jumps up to $100 for a 7-inch HD display, but there are larger options that feature better performance and displays depending on how much you want to spend. What’s on the inside is okay as well, but these are really great for consuming content and just having a larger display around when you want one, besides they’re so cheap now that you could practically buy more than one comfortably.
09. Lenovo Tab 2 A10
If you know you want a larger screen and really don’t care about performance or the overall quality of said display, then Lenovo have a great option available to the buying public. The Lenovo Tab 2 A10 is both affordable and well-featured for such a price. It’s a 10.1-inch affair running an older version of Android, but it’s all about value here, and for less than $200 this is perhaps one of the best budget offerings out there in terms of bang for buck.
08. Dell Venue 8 7000
You really wouldn’t think that Dell would be one of the ones to offer up a good-looking and compelling Android tablet, but they’ve done it twice this year. Here, the smaller 8.0-inch version is one of the better smaller Android tablets you can buy and features a fast Intel processor and some other nifty tricks. It’s packed with Intel’s RealSense camera technology and it has a quirky design in the way that they’ve added in that gorgeous Quad HD display.
07. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro 13-inch
If you want a proper tablet that makes genuinely good use of such a large display, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is the one for you. With a massive 13.0-inch display, the ability to project an HD image onto a wall and a 2.1 speaker system from JBL, this offering from Lenovo is a media powerhouse. It’s a little on the bulky side and is hardly all that portable, but it’s great if you just want more of everything.
06. NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet
The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet is one of the best Android tablets from last year, and it’s especially appealing to those of the gaming persuasion. The display is nice, and thanks to the overall footprint, this 8.0-inch tablet is easily taken with you wherever you go, and the optional controller from NVIDIA makes it simple to create a portable console experience no matter where you go. It’s also competitively priced as well.
05. Dell Venue 10 7000
Just like the Venue 8 7000 series, the larger version is good-looking and well-built hardware. The addition here however, besides the larger display, is a great keyboard that feature backlighting and a trackpad. While Google’s Pixel C might do the keyboard thing with magnets, this is a more traditional offering and will probably be better priced, too. With Intel power on the insider and a cool design, this is a great all-round option.
04. Galaxy Tab S2 – 8.0-inch
We recently reviewed Samsung’s follow-up to the original Galaxy Tab S, and while this is a more conservative attempt from Samsung, it’s still one of the best out there. With that Super AMOLED display offering excellent colors and brightness, the Galaxy Tab S2 is a great compromise device at this size, and it’s got all of the Samsung features that a lot of people will be looking for as well.
03. Google Nexus 9
The Pixel C might be looming over the horizon, but right now the Nexus 9 is the Nexus tablet to buy. It’s now available really cheaply, it just got its update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and it’s still got a good-looking display and overall great performance and build, too. With the latest version of Android, a nice 4:3 aspect 8.9-inch display and great overall performance, the Nexus 9 is definitely a solid offering for those that want stock Android in a larger form factor.
02. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
While Sony still struggle to break in to the North American smartphone market, their performance with Android tablets has been stellar up-to-now and the Xperia Z4 Tablet is another great option from Sony. The keyboard dock here is one of the best available and with thoughtful software tweaks from Sony, it makes Android come alive that little bit more. While it’s thin and light, the display is still brilliant for watching movies and dealing with photos, plus this is waterproof as well, so use it when travelling, reading in the bath or whatever, the Xperia Z4 Tablet just keeps on going.
01. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 – 9.7-inch
The larger of the two new Galaxy Tab S devices from Samsung presents users an excellent all-round choice and some great-quality hardware. With all the features of a high-end smartphone, this is a great piece of hardware to have at home, watching movies on the go or to take with you. The Super AMOLED display is easily the best-looking in this list and the features that Samsung pack into this make it all the more worthwhile.