Android Tablets have come a long way from the earlier days, and are now packing specs that not only make the iPad weep in shame, but also make your notebook feel nervous, too. At CES 2012, we were privileged to witness tablets with full 1900×1200 resolution 1080p eye popping displays, quad (actually 5 core) CPU’s, incredibly thin form factors, and much more. We’ve assembled what we think is the best Android tablet. Also, this post will be updated as more and more tablets start coming to market in 2012. Read on to find out what the best Android tablets of 2012 are!
See Also: Cheap Android tablets
The Asus Transformer Infinity Pad is the cause of both joy and sadness for many, for it represents the best of breed in many ways. While certain design compromises had to be made to achieve its incredibly thin 8.3mm profile, such as the lack of a full USB port and a full sized SD card reader, the sheer beauty, responsiveness, and overall appeal of the device itself are more than enough to make up for it. Packing the ridiculously powerful quad core (5 cores, actually) Tegra 3 SoC, it features an astonishing 1920×1200 resolution 10.1 inch display.
With its matte metallic finished back, it is both thinner than the iPad 2 and has more than double the resolution. Of course, the iPad 3 / HD has changed all of this, but it’s likely that Apple will have a very difficult time producing them, as the LCD they have chosen is notoriously hard to manufacturer. Further to this, it is also compatible with ASUS’ latest keyboard dock, which extends its battery life to nearly 20 hours. On the keyboard dock, you will find a full sized USB port, as well as a full sized SD card reader, which work to truly extend the utility of said device.
Among all the devices we encountered at CES, this was one of our absolute favorites because it’s quite simply shockingly beautiful, lightweight in the hand, borne out of high quality materials, and features an eye popping 1080p+ 10.1 inch display. Plus, with the keyboard dock you aren’t relegated to being a passive consumer of media, but rather can actually get some pretty serious work done on the device itself.
You can find more about the ASUS Transformer Prime 700T here.
The Lenovo K2010 / K2, as it is likely to be known, demonstrated several things to us. Firstly, Lenovo makes quality products. Their line of ThinkPad laptops are known the world over by business mavens and students alike, and for good reason. Their laptops are among the industry’s best, and are built with durability, power use, and quality in mind. In the time that I was able to spend with Lenovo’s Tegra 3 speed demon, it really demonstrated that it has what it takes to be a leader among the crowded forum that are Android tablets.
With industry leading specs and utility, this is the world’s first Android tablet with 2GB of RAM, and it has the Tegra 3 Quad (5 core) SoC clocked at a ridiculous 1.7Ghz. Not to worry though, this is the absolute max that the CPU’s are capable of running at. Tegra 3 employs extremely aggressive power gating to ensure that as much power is saved as possible. With its fifth companion core, normal, common tasks like reading web pages, or an RSS reader, or email will consume barely any power at all. In fact, it’s significantly better on power consumption than its contemporary and predecessor, Tegra 2.
But down to business. This is a tablet that is packing a 1920×1200 10.1 inch display in an 11mm thin profile, and features a full USB port as well as a full sized SD card reader on the tablet itself. From our probing we were able to gather that the SD card reader will support SD, SDHC and even SDXC cards, resulting in potentially unlimited storage as 128GB and 256GB SDXC cards come to market with lower prices in the near future. Additionally, you will be able to purchase a keyboard dock, much like what the original Transformer, Transformer Prime, and Transformer Prime 700T have. It’s actually quite a good keyboard, and aside from having a bit of flex, will boost the units total battery life into the 20 hour range. Very impressive. If you are concerned about having as much flexibility, power and utility out of your tablet as possible, then this may be the one to get.
Be sure to check out our Youtube channel to see the latest Android devices from CES, and if you want to know more about the Lenovo K2010, then check this out!
The ASUS MeMo 370t caught me a little off guard when they announced it at NVIDIA’s press conference. NVIDIA’s CEO was rightly excited when he and an ASUS rep announced that they had figured out a way to produce a premium quality product at such a low price point. With its 8MP camera, extremely bright display, and lightning fast performance in a convenient 7 inch profile, the ASUS MeMo 370t is sure to be a smash hit, permitting they can produce enough of them, quickly enough. I think ASUS learned the hard way with the launch of the original Transformer, wherein the demand vastly exceeded the supply. It’s important to strike the iron while it’s hot, as they say, and the price point, performance and feature set of this device are the magical cocktail for millions of happy consumers (and shareholders).
For anyone that’s ever owned a tablet, the seven inch form factor is appealing because of its profile. Never cumbersome, never too much in one hand, it is likely a form factor that is here to stay. With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board, the performance of the device was superior to that of any of the Ice Cream Sandwich tablet I had the privilege of experiencing at CES. Perhaps its due to the fact that the display is only of the 1200×800 variety, or because ASUS and NVIDIA are working closer than ever before, but really, it doesn’t matter. Check out the video below to see what i’m talking about!
You can find more about the ASUS MeMo 370t here.
As you will probably know by now, this is the only device on our list that doesn’t have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board. It’s also the only device that isn’t packing a Tegra 3 quad core processor either. Does that mean it’s not one of the best tablets of the year? Absolutely not. As the first and only tablet on the market with a Super AMOLED Plus display, it’s packing the same technology we all know and love. With its super svelte 7.89mm thin profile and 7.7 inch 1280×800 AMOLED display, it sits marvelously in the hand and is one of the lightest tablets I’ve ever held.
It’s no secret that i’m a sucker for Super AMOLED displays, and personally I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Ice Cream Sandwich will come for sure, too, and with Verizon’s lightning quick 4G LTE network connectivity built right in, it’s going to be blazing fast. Furthermore, the device itself is able to play video for up to 10 hours non-stop, making it the perfect companion for long flights, unless you’re one of those people that likes “getting to know others” on the plane. But in all seriousness, the display alone is reason enough to put it on the list of the best Android tablets of 2012, and the hardware is more than powerful enough to run all but the most demanding of tasks, but even then, it can still hold its own among some of the other heavyweights on this list. What say you? Also, there will be a WiFi variant coming to market shortly as well, for those of you that are averse to two year contracts.
With more and more people craving cheap alternatives to the iPads and Transformer Primes of the world, we decided to dig deep and find the best low cost alternative available. Chinese manufacturers produce low cost Android 4.0 slates by the dozen, so it was a difficult race to the finish. But we have a winner, the Window N90 Android 4.0 tablet.
The most distinguishing feature of this device is its form factor, looking and feeling very much like a high-end tablet. The 9.7″ slate falls in the ultra-thin category with its 9.6mm thickness, and at only 630g, it is lighter than the iPad2. The N90 is no slouch in the specification department either, boasting a 1280×768 resolution 10 point multi-touch capacitive touchscreen further featuring IPS technology. It also boasts a huge 8000 mAH battery, ensuring long lasting usability.
This is certainly a very impressive tablet in the low cost category, priced at a paltry $250 for the 8GB and a reasonable $280 for the upgraded 16GB version.
You can view the unboxing and hands-on video of the Window N90 Tablet here:
If you want to know more about the Window N90 tablet, you can read our review here.
Click on this to make it bigger
To download this infographic in high-resolution, click here.
So, I did this for you. I did this for the tech lovers of the world. I did this to make sure you aren’t suckered into buying last years hardware, today. With so much ridiculously fast Android tablet tech right around the corner, savvy consumers like you would be wise to hold off on any major purchases for a few months. Additionally, all of the major tablet manufacturers are bidding on the next set of innovations out of Toshiba, LG and Samsung, which include significantly faster RAM, 2560×1600 resolution 10 inch displays, and better batteries. It’s no secret that NVIDIA is also actively working on Tegra 4, as they have been for several months.
This time next year will finally a herald devices a whole new generation of devices that are capable of such tremendous tasks, that really, it will be up to the developers to produce apps capable of utilizing such fantastical amounts of processing capability.
Are there any tablets that you feel deserve to be on this list? With Google open sourcing Android 4.0 for several months now, dozens upon dozens of companies are aggressively coming to market with $100+ Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablets, that might not be half bad, as Google’s Android development team was able to clean up millions of lines of code, to create the most fluid, most robust, and most secure version of Android yet – a version of Android for all devices! So stay tuned as we bring you the best of Android, every day!
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I HAVE A PANADIGITAL AND IT HAS NOT MADE A BIT OD SENSE TO ME SINCE BUYING IT. I CAN NOT UP LOAD MUSIC NOR CAN I PLUGIN MY NEW KEYBOARD CASE. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ON THE INSTRUCTION PART TO ASSIST PEOPLE LIKE MYSLEF. (DUMMIES)
Authority on what? You’ve “rated” products that aren’t even near releasing and declare them winners? Good one, gotta love highschoolers who fancy themselves experts.
Who are you to say he’s not an authority. Maybe you just don’t know Jack. No go be a good Apphole and move along.
Jack, this is what I do. I study Android all day long. I attend all the tech tradeshows around the world including CES, MWC, COMPUTEX and more and devote myself fully to making the best content possible. I and others that are part of Android Authority get to spend lots of hands on time with the latest devices, both at tradeshows, and when we do more thorough reviews. Products are always released at these major events, and over time, it gets easier to see which ones are going to be winners, and which ones aren’t.
As for not being near releasing the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is out, and it’s probably the best 7 inch tablet on the market – hands down. ASUS fixed all of the original issues with the Transformer Prime, and their Infinity Pad is a fantastic device. It’s identical except fora few minor design changes, ICS out of the box, and a much higher resolution display. Lenovo’s K2010 tablet is a great quality tablet designed with tons of ports and more utility in mind than ASUS” offering, but is less easy on the eyes.
If you can show me some of your writing and what you think of the latest in all things mobile technology, then point me towards it, I’d be happy to take a look. But don’t go and blindly criticize without something to back it up.
Ohhh….snap! Nicely done Darcy. Thank you for an excellent and appreciated analysis.
jack just got pawned.
Gotta love grade schooler’s that take cowardly pot shots from their mommy’s basement.
Nice article Darcy, thank you.
It’s all good. It comes with the territory. Just trying to do our best here to help people, and to show them all the exciting, amazing new Android based technology that is coming out. Thanks for visiting man.
there are a lot of those kids here. specially in the Philippines there are number of computer shops where kids can rent it. When you see them type those messages while playing. Kid feels like his a 6 footer with an arm that is the size of my leg.
Ha, yep. You’ve got that right.
I spent a lot of time in the PI, loved it. Great people, some of the nicest in the world.
When you wrote 12 Core Tegra GPU I thought that was a mistake!
The Memo seriously packs some punch for the price.
You made a BIG mistake. The Transformer Prime screen resolution is only 1280 x 800 and NOT 1920 x 1200. Please admit the mistake.
I’m pretty sure Darcy was referring to the new version of the Transformer Prime which ASUS announced at CES which is indeed 1920 x 1200. But the current one that is available for everyone to buy is 1280 x 800.
Asus MeMo 370T will be mine
But not as like as mac products.
Updated Top 3 Best Android Tablets of 2012
can anyone pls. tell me tht which one is better Asus 171 or Asus 370t in terms of functions touch and processor
What about MACs differentiation here?
How does the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700 Specs compare to these?
Love your reviews of the tablets but these tablets are way beyond my budget :( except for the ASUS MeMo 370T but then I am more interested in a 10″ screen. Do you have any recommendations for those China made Android tablets?
There’s lots happening in the sub $300~ space for Android tablets. Probably the best I have seen so far for the 10 inch form factor are these two:
The windows n90 fast tab is quite good, and speedy, and has decent battery life, with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.
And the Ramos W16, also an excellent tablet for the price.
And here’s a look at the overall picture:
You can count on the technology only getting better and cheaper from here on in. Thanks for visiting Android Authority!
Asus is also releasing a 300 series witch is around $400 and is a very nice tablet!
suweeeet write up! Awesome article!
Thanks very much for the kind words. We’ve got lots of tablet reviews coming up! 2012 is the year of the good cheap tablet too, so stay tuned!
Is 1gb of ram small for a tablet?
1GB is pretty much standard for all tablets these days, those running Android and iOS, that is. We will start to see more and more tablets released with 2GB of RAM towards the middle/end of the year.
1GB is enough for now, but for power users of the future, it’s wise to hold our for the 2GB ones, like the Lenovo one above.
Can you comment on the GPS issues of the ASUS Transformer Prime is having TF201′s? Saw they are giving the UK refunds, have you heard anything for the US? I know it’s near impossible to find a 64GB online or in stores in the US – are they fixing them and not releasing more until they fix it?
Best tablet out today? And what about the reported problems with (a large number of these units) with Wifi and the GPS can’t maintain signal lock? Why are Asus Transformer Prime TF201 owners in England being told they can return their units to retailers for 100% refund because of these issues (because England has stricter Consumer Protection Laws than the U.S.).
Thanks for the share.
Overall an excellent report on the best of Android breed up to Q1 2012. These two points I noticed would make it better, I believe.
1) No mention of GSM or 3G voice capabilities, if any, in the models picked. E.g. The inclusion of GSM voice boosts the Samsung 7.7″ Super AMOLED tablet’s appeal.
2) I couldn’t find any mention of the Asus MeMo 370t tablet’s weight in its review section. Stating “Unknown” in the infographic tablet doesn’t exactly boot any authoritativeness in this roundup. C’mon, even if it takes a call to Asus HQ in Taiwan, I’m sure you guys are up to it.
As mentioned above, these two points don’t dent my take on this report as excellent. Keep it up!
Thank you very much for your valid suggestions. They are very helpful.
Perhaps I should bring a scale with me everywhere I go. The truth is, manufacturers often change the internals and designs of devices before they go to market. In the case of the MeMo370T – people are crazy for this device, and for good reason! It was announced at the NVIDIA press conference, and was promised to go to market at an awesome price point!
But, sadly, both NVIDIA and ASUS have been dead silent on it since then, hence the Google Nexus tablet rumors. We’re digging deep. Have something for you on this soon!
Thank you again for your suggestions, I will do my very best to implement them to make Android Authority more comprehensive!
Hi Darcy, I am planning to buy an android tablet. I already have iPad 2. Which of these three you best suggest I buy? I am personally considering the samsung galaxy tab, because of its gsm capabilities. any thoughts?
I would absolutely go for the Galaxy Tab 7.7 It’s a bit on the smaller side, but it has absolutely exceptional battery life, and the display is superb.
If you don’t mind having a more compact, more portable tab, then it’s the best there is. Also – you should know – that Toshiba has a very similar tablet going to market with the same display, but with a much more powerful processor inside – but, alas – no GSM capability from what I understand.
Darcy, do you have any general information on the starting price point for these new tabs? I really like the specs of the new Lenovo as well as the Asus Infinity and wouldn’t mind waiting for them, but would really need to know if they are priced out of my range first. Thanks!
Thanks for the kind words above! As for price point, the Lenovo is a bit on the steep side. From what Lenovo has told me, it’s a bit of a premium product, and will go on sale (initially) for $600-699. It comes with mobile data out of the box, and is the world’s first tablet to hit the market with 2GB of RAM. and they overclocked the processor to make it blazing fast. Oh yeah, and it’s got an HD 1920×1200 display. Felt great in the hands, really great quality though.
Honestly, the best bang for buck tablet out there right now is the ASUS Infinity Pad 300. The display isn’t outstanding, but the performance and overall build quality for the price is fantastic. ($379). Hope that helps!
No mention of LePan II which is a very good economical pad. It’s a exactly like the Samsung 9.7″ pad (probably made by Samsung) at half the price.
I like it..
Good review, but no Asus Padfone?
More details on the Padfone coming soon! We’ll have a video and thorough review on it soon! A remarkable device, especially if you want to seamlessly share data between devices, and get a ton of battery life! A bit pricey, but hey – so is buying a tablet and a smartphone.
It’s really awesome.
I love watching the ebb and flow of technology.
We are in the Ice Cream Sandwich Age of Android now.
Love it :-)
I’ll be the first to admit that Google’s original tablet OS, Android 3.0+ Honeycomb, was and remains a half baked piece of trash.
That being said, Android 4.0 ICS is light years ahead of it, and thankfully, most of the tablets coming out this year have it out of the box. Even the cheap ones! But yes, I agree sir, we “are in the Ice Cream Sandwich Age of Android now”.
Between Asus and Samsung in terms of tablet, I’d go for ASUS. :)
im with ya buddy!!
Hi Darcy, I am planning to buy an android tablet. Which of these two you best suggest I buy? I am personally considering Asus Transformer Infinity Pad 700T and Lenovo K2 / K2010 .thx for help .
If you care about having a cleaner design, and a slimmer profile, i’d go for the ASUS. As for utility and access to tons of ports, i’d go for the Lenovo. Ultimately, it’s best to sit back, and think about how you plan on using it. Is it a passive media companion, for the couch and in bed? Or are you a bit of a road warrior, and need an all in one? Both are safe bets, some of the best tablets I’ve seen to date. We’re going hands on as soon as they are out!
Hi im just now going into high and for graduation my mom wants to get me a motorola tablet but i want an ipad. Which ones better ipad 2 or a motorola tablets
Anyone with personal exp. with the Toshiba Excite 10?
More tablets start coming to market in upcoming year.
I am a graduate school student in the market for my first tablet but I feel very overwhelmed with the options, o/s and models on the market.
I primarily would view pdf/powerpoints, school related websurf, listen/record audio of lectures, view, type, & edit word/text files – preferably with USB keyboard since I am uncertain about touchpad typing & USB option for jump drives or data transfer between systems. I currently don’t care so much about screen resolution, cameras, 3G/4G, watching HD movies or using it as a book reader, which seems to be what most of the tablet reviews talk about.
It would be great to get something sturdy in case I drop it and I don’t mind paying for quality. I am leaning toward tablet over another netbook do to my current WIN7 netbook’s poor performance.
That being said do you think anything the market fits my bill or should I wait for one of the tablets that are about to come out like the ASUS transformer Infinity? Fujitusu Q550 caught my eye as it seems rugged, security from theft, and it is running Win 7 (for compatibility w/my current file library) but then do I have to worry about viruses & trojans?
I dont mind buying an older model (Xoom, etc) as well or waiting a little longer for new releases. I have limited experience but apple is not my first choice. Thanks in advance.
I’m interested in the Window N90. But i’ve been looking, and i see that theres another one just released called the n90 dual core 2, the one reviewed was the first one right?
Thanks a lot first, Darcy! This is great, I wasn’t even aware of Asus making decent tablets!
I need a tablet especially for drawing sketches with a stylus. I really don’t need much more than that, but that it should be doing good (precise). I know the iPad can do it, but I want something cheaper. Do you have any suggestions?
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Makes perfect sense. Even the Tegra 3, AT300, is bound to set the bars pretty high for Android Tablets in 2012. Lets see what the future brings and how competition is like
I like the transformer prime 700T
Love this article. Would love a follow up article comparing some of the high end Chinese tablets – the Cube, Window N101 2, and the new AMPE A10 with Quad Core processor. Perhaps an Ainol model. So many powerful options from China out there…
Thanks Darcy for a great write up. I’m in the market for a 7” tablet,Which would you prefer a samsung Galaxy tab 7.7 a Google Nexus 7?