Holiday Gift Guide 2016 – 2017: Top 10 Best Android Tablets

NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1

What people ultimately want in a tablet is something with a good display, lots of added power, some good accessories and great software - all without being too expensive. The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1 does all of that and then some. With an 8.0-inch Full HD display, it's nice and portable, and with stock Android and quick updates as well as lots of support from NVIDIA, it ticks the software box as well. Perhaps more so than anything else on this list however, the SHIELD Tablet K1 ticks the performance box as well. With lots of speed and graphical grunt, this is an Android tablet that will handle whatever it is you throw at it.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

As Android powerhouses go, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is one of the absolute best out there. With a Quad HD 10.1-inch display and a powerful CPU from Intel, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is versatile in ways that other Android tablets wish they were. It has a projector for one, and a great stand that makes the whole experience more malleable depending on what the user wants to do. Add in JBL sound as well as a quality fit and finish, and we have an Android tablet that does pretty much what most laptops wish they could. All of which makes the hefty price tag seem not so unrealistic after all.

Amazon Fire

There's not much you can get for $50 these days, but this is an Android tablet for exactly that and while it doesn't come with Google apps, the Amazon Appstore now feature the vast majority of your favorite apps and games. The display on this $50 model isn't great at 1024 x 600, and while performance is okay, it's pretty clear that this is a tablet that's designed to be cheap, more than it is designed to be good. Regardless, this punches well above its weight at this price and the Amazon Fire is not only an inexpensive gift, but also a quality one, too.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Available in both 8.0-inch and 9.7-inch options, Samsung have created the almost-perfect iPad killer. Both models come with a Quad HD Super AMOLED display that's great for browsing the web, just as it is for watching movies and catching up on TV, too. With a great hardware design and speedy internals paired with 4GB of RAM, Samsung have two tablets that offer some of the best performance in the Android world. On top of all that, Samsung has added in some interesting and thoughtful software additions that make Android feel a little more useful on a larger display. Regardless of which size you choose, Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2 are in a class of their own and some of the best on this list.

Amazon Fire HD 8

If the idea of a simple, easy-to-use Amazon tablet sounds good, but the cheap $50 option doesn't, Amazon has you covered. The Fire HD 8 features a larger 8.0-inch display, with a much nicer 1280 x 800 display as well as a better build all-round and much better performance. These models still come with all the same sort of features as well, and they do so without creeping over the $100 mark, either. Another affordable and pleasant option for the casual user, the Fire HD 8 is a step up from the Amazon Fire and well worth considering.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

If you're in the market for a sort of Android tablet that can also replace a laptop, Sony has the perfect - if not expensive - option for you. The Xperia Z4 Tablet is just 6.4mm thick, all the while being waterproof for use in the tub and offering a great keyboard attachment that also has a trackpad included. The 10.1-inch Quad HD display is gorgeous, and with the Snapdragon 810 and 4GB of RAM onboard, it's also one of the faster Android tablets on the market right now, too. A great all-rounded for some light laptop work as well as some of the best gaming and movie watching you can do on an Android tablet, the Xperia Z4 Tablet is one of Sony's finest.

ASUS ZenPad S8

Another affordable option, but this time one that runs Google Android and comes with all of the same features a high-end smartphone would, ASUS offer users a great experience with this ZenPad S8. With an 8.0-inch 20148 x 1536 IPS display, it has one of the sharper screens you'll see on something at this price point and the powerful Intel CPU makes browsing the web as well as playing games a real breeze. The display is sharp, ASUS have some great software additions and it's affordable, what more could we ask for?

Lenovo Yoga Book

The Yoga Book from Lenovo is arguably the most interesting thing to happen to Android Tablets since the original Nexus 7. With a sharp 10.1-inch display, as well as a second display that can be used to write notes, draw masterpieces and then be used as touch keyboard, Lenovo have something original and unique on their hands. It's a little pricey as a result of all this innovation, but with a keyboard, a graphics tablet and all the Android features you'd want in one machine, it's arguably worth the asking price.

Google Nexus 9

The Google Nexus 9 might not be the latest Android tablet from Google and friends, but the HTC-made effort is still an excellent choice and it'll still be updated in a year's time, while it's just been updated with Android 7.0 Nougat before anything else on this list. The Nexus 9 is the perfect size for some, with its 8.9-inch display and 2048 x 1536 resolution that should deliver a crisp and sharp image overall, the Nexus 9 is well worth looking into. With an NVIDIA Tegra K1 as well, it's a speedy little machine, and will offer up the majority of users the sort of performance that they need.

Amazon Fire HDX

The Fire HDX has long been a premium offering from Amazon, and it's no different for this year. With an 8.9-inch display and a super-fast quad-core CPU, the Fire HDX has an excellent 2560 x 1600 display resolution as well. All of this comes together in a product that shouldn't put anyone off, and while it's a little pricey, it does have one of the best displays on the market. For watching quality content on YouTube, Amazon or even reading books and magazines, this has all the right boxes ticked and an excellent display to top it all off.

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About the Author
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Tom Dawson

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.