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

lg g pad 8.3 nexus 7 2013 aa 4

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.

Which tablet do you think is the best?

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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

Comments

  • gorillamonk

    Got a list with 4G tablets?

    • http://www.AndroidAuthority.com/ Darcy Alexander LaCouvee

      We’ll get one done shortly.

  • Balraj

    I like the G PAD & NEXUS 7
    comfortable to hold…nice for gaming n watching movies n at around 300 dollars
    It’s an awesome buy :-)

  • Bullydogger

    are there any new rumors about the Samsung 12″ tablet they were supposed to announce?

  • MasterMuffin

    Nexus 7 that looks like Xperia Z tablet and has Snapdragon 800 (and maybe even 3Gb of RAM) from Note 10.1. That’s what I’d get :)

  • raj

    Sony Tablet Z

    • Seth Forbus

      I LOVE my xperia Z. I figure I’d love the Tablet Z as well. Too bad I don’t really buy tablets.

  • Jesse schroder

    I hope there is a new Nexus 10 coming with a better chip. Now I prefer the Note 10.1 because of the specs. I normally don’t like Touchwiz but Now there are very cool features with the S-pen and I like splitscreen multitasking.

    • John-Phillip Saayman

      I agree. The Nexus 10 was my favorite but now this new Note 10.1 is just cutting edge. The stylus commands are just so cool. But hoping for a new nexus 10 as well.

  • Spruce Cycle

    Blogs are so beholden to Adsense. How can the N7 with its myriad of hardware and software along with the Lg, which hasn’t even been released yet, be considered in a list of the best tabs of the year?

    $$$ that’s why!

    • Jaime

      Yeah, where is the note 8.0!

  • Andrew Melder

    I must admit my vote was biased cause I own a Xperia Tablet Z. I owned the orginal Nexus 7 but I ended up finding the screen too small so I moved to a iPad mini (blasphemy I know). Eventually couldn’t resist the Sony tablet.

    • Jacob

      Agreed. 7″ tablets are perfect for movie playback but too small for web browsing. I recently bought a Asus Memo HD7. I have 100% vision but I end up zooming to read standard web content (10pt).

  • MrMLK

    I like the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) a lot, but I can’t believe you skipped the Asus Transformer Infinity (or whatever the new one is called). Its going to be pretty sweet too.

  • Oldtimer

    The Nexus 7 has ues that neither Google nor Asus have admitted to and resolved. The GPS and Multi-touch have mostly been fixed. I say mostly as some still have the touch issue. This is likely HW and SW related as some still have the touch issue.

    One Huge issue still to be acknowledged by Google are the random restart and reboots that are plaguing buyers. Not acknowledged by Google and no resolution in site. They seem on depending on consumers to return them in their return for refund, exchange for another or warranty return for repair. The Nexus 7 is the tablet that should be the best but is plagued with QC issues.

  • Rainmaker

    For me… I WANT THE LG G PAD 8.3.

    I recently bought the new Nexus 7 but found the screen too small and also had some concerns regarding the screen movement so returned it and picked up the Barnes and Noble Nook HD+ and am completely happy with this size; however, I would certainly consider the LG G PAD with LTE as an even better choice for all my needs. I must say… For $150.00…it’s difficult to find a better deal than the Nook HD+.

  • matt_helm

    No microSD, no buy. ;-)

    • Patient

      No USB + no HDMI + no SD = no buy!

  • Jaime

    Where is the note 8.0? Amazing tablet with an excellent size.

  • RaptorOO7

    I chose the GN10.1 2014 Edition since the Nexus 7 is just too small for my needs and I really like the big HD screen and S-Pen functions plus 32GB storage AND microSD. Why won’t Google support microSD if for nothing else content storage.

  • Assa7in King
  • Jaime

    Where is the note 8.0? Amazing tablet with an excellent size! S-pen features and multiwindow make it even better.

  • tzkiki32

    I recently bought an Acer iconia b1 and it works fine

  • Q.

    Galaxy Note 10.1 – it has actual features to take advantage of the large screen & hardware.

  • Southall87

    The nexus 7 is a good bit of kit and for the price cant be beaten,but it isn’t the best android tablet. The same thing is true for the nexus 10, it has the best screen but that is also its downfall!
    The Sony tablet z is really the best current android tablet. It is very slim and light weight, looks fantastic and is everything a tablet should be, the water and dust resistance is the icing on the cake. The only negative side to it is the price, but if you want the best you have to pay for it!.
    I will never understand how you can rate unreleased hardware? It may be the best on pre-release specs but until its out in the wild it should not be included.

  • kurosaki

    are you drunk buddy ? Samsung Galaxy Tab 2014 edition is BETTER than all of them

    • Seth Forbus

      Xperia Tablet Z has that beat. sorry bud.

  • Charles Chambers

    If the Nexus 7 was one inch bigger, it would be perfect.

  • Sero Pro Fan

    Out of the 5 talked in this article the nexus 7 is hard to beat, but the LG gpad does intrigue me. I recently purchased a Hisence zero pro. I LOVE this tablet. For bang for the buck it is hard to beat.

  • Ken Lee

    LG G pad 8.3 seems to be the best one so far with the awesome metal design and HW spec.

  • Big J

    LG G Pad looks great!!

  • kev

    I dig the LG Pad

  • Lyn

    LG G Pad 8.3 is the best!

  • mrjayviper

    I would’ve put my money on TF701 minus dock if it was on the list

    • pragmatic

      IMHO, the problem with the Transformer tablets minus docks is that you lose USB and SD connectivity. Deal breakers for me :-(

      • mrjayviper

        there’s still the microSD and how useful is a usb port on a transformer tab without dock? o.O no need for a mouse on such a setup.

        I use my TF700 as a tablet so I don’t really care for the keyboard. if I need to type, I’ll use my desktop or macbook.

  • minmax

    LG G Pad is my favorite! Love it.

  • Gamul

    This is a good list. But when a new tablet like the ASUS TF701 recently announced is not on it, or at least compared ot these models, it makes it hard to take seriously. I really want to see a review that compares all these newer models – not just the authors predetermined favorites.

  • abazigal

    Am I the only one who finds a 16:9 or 16:10 screen ratio restrictive, and actually prefers the ipad’s more versatile 4:3 ratio?

    • Guest

      I’m sure you’re not the only one.
      Me? I prefer the widescreen format.

    • Gamul

      Your post betrays your bias – “more versatile”. I disagree – I find the 16:9/16/10 ratio better. I find it better for movies, better for web browsing, better for editing documents, better for email. Just better. I have an iPad as well. The main thing I find better on iPad than Android is the email app. I wish i had the iPad/iPhone email email app on android.

  • Silver Surfer

    Clearly LG G Pad…unique display and reasonable price

  • what the ffff

    A TABLET from the future is on the top. HAVE you people ever tried it before you claim the shit is good enough?

    WTF.

  • Jason

    LG G pad looks great!!!

  • Brosjo

    I love LG G Pad 8.3. It’s good for me, it’s good for, it’s good for human.

  • Younghoon Jo

    I love Rosa. I am Eric

  • Brosjo

    Hello, I love the feeling of G Pad 8.5 in my finger. It’s very nice, soft and fast. I wish you can get the good feeling of G Pad 8.5. Have a nice day!

  • kbs

    the total package for me is the xperia z tab next one is the lg g tab

  • Ojman

    LG G Pad! My favorite..

  • brendan soliwoda

    Where’s the 2013 asus infinity pad?

  • hannohackmann

    LG G Pad has a great display and is well thought through.

  • Max

    +++++ The LG G Pad 8.3 is the best in my opinion, and here’s why: The screen is absolutely amazing (1920×1200) and that combined with the other specifications makes this pad the best in the class. The Pad weighs less then a newspaper!!! This makes it very easy to use and your arms won’t be tired after a while of using it which is a problem with other pads. +++++ 5/5 from me!

  • RĂ©gis

    Seen the G2 screen and the specs seen at IFA, i’d say the GPad definitely ! :)

  • susanne

    fits perfectly in your pocket , your hand and still an amazing screen / specs. Just perfect!

    • Susanne

      It fits perfectly in your pocket , your hand and still an amazing screen / specs. Just perfect!
      and I meant LG G-pad ofcourse :-)

  • Uno

    Nice LG!!!!!

  • kayne

    looks nice!!! i will get it!

  • kayne

    lg g pad!

  • Eat Q

    G pad is quite stunning.

  • Junseok

    Very good G PAD !!!!

  • Thomas Madsen

    Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z!!! Ooh my wallet hurts just thinking about it!

  • Brooke Parc

    G pad looks great

  • Patrik

    Where are chinese brands such as Onda, Pipo, Cube…..? They beat most of the worldwide brands like Samsung, Apple etc on all fronts.

  • unknown

    Where is the latest ASUS Transformer with Nvidia Tegra 4?

  • caroline

    Love love love my galaxy 10.1!its a lot like my s4 only huge! My favorite thing about it is the s pen! Awsome!!!! Great clarity! Great job samsung!