Best Android Tablets (December 2013)

December 1, 2013
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sony xperia tablet z aa front

We live in an age where mobile devices are king. While some folks are perfectly content with rocking only one mobile device (such as an Android smartphone), the tablet market continues to explode as various form factors and sizes emerge ranging from 7-inches all the way to around 10.1-inches.

The true magic of a tablet is that it’s larger screen makes it more useful for gaming, videos and entertainment than a phone, but it’s portable design makes it more convenient than a full-blown desktop or laptop PC.

Of course, as the tablet market has grown, so too have the number of choices. With that in mind, we’ve gathered up just a few of what we consider to be the best tablets currently available. Without further ado, let’s jump in and take a look:

ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)

The new Nexus 7 remains the best value in its class.

If you’re looking for an excellent tablet experience in an extremely portable and affordable package, you’ll be hard pressed to find something that does a better job than the ASUS Nexus 7 (2013).

As a pure Nexus device, you get Android as Google intended it — without all the bloat. With Google providing the pure Android experience, you’re also entitled to (reasonably) timely updates to the latest versions of Android.

See Also > Best cheap Android tablets

Software aside, the Nexus 7 (2013) also has a fantastic overall design and exceptional build quality. There’s also plenty of power under the hood with a S4 Pro CPU with 2GB of RAM.

Overall, the ASUS Nexus 7 (2013) is an excellent value for both Android purists, and those simply looking for an affordable tablet that will provide an epic Android experience.

Nexus 7 (2013) Specs

  • Profile: 7.62mm (0.3-inch); 2mm thinner, reduced bezel by 3mm on each side
  • Weight: 318g (11.2oz)
  • 7-inch LCD IPS display with 1920 x 1200 resolution (323ppi)
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • Adreno 320 graphics
  • 2GB of DDR3LM memory
  • 16/32GB storage
  • 5-megapixel camera
  • 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • dual-stereo speakers
  • virtual surround sound technology
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • MicroUSB port with SlimPort
  • 9 hours video playback, 10 hours web and reading
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (upgradeable to KitKat)

For more info on the new Nexus 7 (2013), including our review, click here!

Buy Now from Amazon ($229)


Samsung Nexus 10

xperia tablet z vs nexus 10 aa 10 google now

Samsung’s Nexus 10 is similar to the Nexus 7 (2013) in that it’s running the latest version of stock Android (currently Android 4.4 KitKat). Hardware and quality wise, you’re going to be able to get a lot of use out this high performer.

It’s easy to handle the 10-inch tablet, though like most 10-inch tablets, it does get tiring after a while. It has a rubberized back to make for an easy grip, and it’s not likely to break if you accidentally drop it. Overall, it definitely feels like a premium device worthy of a best Android tablet list, unlike a few other options out there.

With a 2560×1600 10-inch display, the Nexus 10 offers excellent image quality with a level of detail and sharpness rarely seen on all but the best displays.

Samsung Nexus 10 Specs

  • Size: 263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 603g
  • 10.055-inch touchscreen WQXGA display with 2560 x 1600 resolution, and Corning Gorilla Glass 2 (300ppi)
  • 1.7GHz Dual-core Exynos chip with Mali T604 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB internal memory
  • 5-megapixel camera, 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (MIMO+HT40)
  • Bluetooth, NFC, GPS
  • Micro USB, Micro HDMI
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Magnetic Pogo pin charger
  • 9000mAh Litium polymer battery
  • Sensors: microphone, accelerometer, compass, ambient light, gyroscope, barometer
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean  (upgradeable to KitKat)

As our second best Android tablet on the list, the Nexus 10 is one of our favorites here at Android Authority.

For more info on Samsung’s Nexus 10, including our review, click here! Remember to watch for price drops on this one, as it’s likely to be replaced by a newer version in the coming months ahead (November, 2013 onwards)

Buy Now from Amazon ($371)


Sony Xperia Tablet Z

sony xperia tablet z aa viewing angles

If premium aesthetics are your thing, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z could be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s hard to deny the beauty of this beast, and even the UI is rather simplistic and reminiscent of Android 4.0 ICS (though the tablet itself is rocking Android 4.3 Jelly Bean).

With its angular edges and strong construction it’s quite comforting to know that this is one of the few water/dust resistant tablets out there. Despite being a 10 inch tablet, it is incredibly light, and thinner than any tablet on this list. As such, it feels great in the hand.

With the price starting at $399 on the Xperia Tablet Z, you would certainly hope you were getting the best Android tablet out there. Let me reassure you — the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a very premium tablet. Sony has worked hard to provide a good experience here, and it shows.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z Specs

  • 172 x 266 x 6.9 mm
  • 495 grams
  • 10.1-inch TFT display capable of 1,920 x 1,200 resolution (224ppi)
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 8.1-megapixel rear camera
  • 2.2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • IPX57 water resistant and IP5X dust proof
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (upgradeable to 4.3)

For more on the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, including our review, click here.

Buy Now from Amazon ($399)


LG G Pad 8.3

LG Pad hands on IFA 2013 AA

There’s a lot to like about the 8.3-inch LG G Pad, including its fast Snapdragon 600 CPU and its beautiful 1920×1080 resolution IPS display. What’s particularly nice about the G Pad is that, much like the Nexus 7 (2013), it is able to be held by one hand.

Specs

  • 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3mm
  • 338 grams
  • 8.3-inch TFT display capable of 1,920 x 1,200 resolution (272.79 PPI)
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 5MP rear camera
  • 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 4600 mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (or KitKat for the GPe model)

What makes the LG G Pad even more exciting is that you have the option of ditching LG’s custom software by purchasing the recently announced G Pad Google Play Edition, which provides a near-Nexus experience directly from the Play Store.

For more on the LG G Pad 8.3, including our reviews for the standard and GPe edition, click here.

Buy standard G Pad from Best Buy ($350)
Get the G Pad GPe from Play Store ($350)


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)

We originally saw the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 back in 2012, but during the IFA 2013 trade show in Berlin, Germany, Samsung unveiled a successor, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is the definition of the best Android tablet, especially in terms of functionality. The Note 10.1 2014 Edition is packing a lot of new software features, including a lot of the features found in the newly announced Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, such as Air Command.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet is one beast of a device, and it certainly belongs on anyone’s best Android tablet list.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Specs

  • Size: 243.1 x 171.4 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 535g
  • 10.1-inch WQXGA Super clear LCD (2560 x 1600 resolution)
  • 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor (LTE version) / 1.9GHz octa-core Exynos 5 Octa processor (3G/Wi-Fi version)
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of storage
  • microSD support up to 64GB
  • 8-megapixel camera with BSI sensor, and LED flash
  • 2-megapixel camera with BSI sensor
  • Wi-Fi ac/a/b/g/n (2.4GHz & 5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB 2.0
  • GPS, GLONASS
  • S Pen
  • 8220mAh battery
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz on top and Samsung features

For more on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, including our full review,click here.

Buy Now from Amazon ($549)


Final Thoughts

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In this list, we have the ASUS Nexus 7 (2013), Samsung Nexus 10, Sony Xperia Tablet Z, LG G Pad 8.3, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. These are just five of the best Android tablets in the market, and probably the most well known devices, too.

There are plenty of premium tablets out there, with manufacturers looking at bringing more to the market in just a few months, too. Regardless, if you decide to jump the gun on one of these, you’ll get a good few years of usage out of it before needing to upgrade.

Every year we see new tablets and smartphones launch, always having better specs than the previous version. Truth be told, you really aren’t going to need to worry about that yearly upgrade with these tablets. Each device in our best Android tablet list will get you through your daily tasks for weeks, months, and years to come.

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Let us know which tablet is your favourite and why in the comments below.

Now Read: Best Apps for Android Tablets

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