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The best Android tablets to spend your money on (November 2021)
There are plenty of smartphones out there with massive displays. So many, in fact, that they have an entire phablet category. However, there are still advantages to grabbing a genuine tablet for your large screen needs. We’ve tracked down just a few of the best Android tablets to show you what we mean.
Locking down your perfect tablet is easier said than done. Especially considering the list has been getting smaller every year. However, we believe there’s still a healthy market for a good Android tablet. Let’s jump right in and find out what Samsung, Amazon, and more have in store for you.
BLACK FRIDAY 2021
Buying the best tablet for your needs
We can’t promise that it’s easy to choose the perfect tablet in just a few minutes. Picking your operating system is a great place to start, though, and it means we don’t have to worry about iPads later on.
Your operating system is only the start — size and build are just as important.
Since you’ve already landed on Android, it’s time to move to the finer points of your tablet. That means locking down how much real estate you want. For example, the Amazon Fire HD 8 has an 8-inch screen, while Samsung’s premium Galaxy Tab S7 Plus sports a massive 12.4-inch display.
You’ll also have to narrow down your storage choices. For example, if you want to scroll through social media or catch up on Netflix, you may not need as much storage. On the other hand, those of you hoping to download movies, games, and more will want extra space and possibly an expansion slot.
One final thing to look for is build quality. Many of Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs come with aluminum bodies, which can usually handle wear and tear. Yet, the cheaper tablets on the market opt for plastic builds to save weight and cost.
See also: The best cheap Android tablets
The best Android tablets
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: This is our top Android tablet, with a premium build and plentiful storage space.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: Here is a more affordable option if you want Samsung’s power without the price.
- Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus: This tablet offers a large display and Amazon apps at a comfortable cost.
- Amazon Fire HD 8: This pad packs Fire OS into the smallest and cheapest tablet on the list.
- Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD: It doubles as a smart display thanks to the included charging stand.
The best overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus
Samsung’s premium tablet holds down our top slot, and it’s not hard to see why. It checks off all of the boxes you could ask for, and our own Eric Zeman hailed the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus (and its Tab S7 sibling) as the only Android tablet to spend your money on.
Samsung packed premium hardware everywhere it could behind the 12.4-inch display. The tablet is ready for action with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, and as much as 512GB of storage. If that’s still not enough, you can tap into the microSD slot for even more storage. There’s even a huge 10,090mAh battery to keep the lights on for hours on end.
Samsung's premium tablet leaves no box unchecked.
The inside of the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus isn’t the only way it earns points — the outside is pretty good too. You get an aluminum build, a crisp Super AMOLED display, and an S Pen for good measure. As a result, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is by far the best Android tablet on the market, even if it has a high price tag to match.
- Excellent hardware inside and out
- Top-notch performance
- Premium Super AMOLED display
- Cameras aren’t great
- Accessories will cost you extra
Check out our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus review to learn more.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: Samsung’s power without the price
Samsung doesn’t just stop at the premium tablets, as is evident with the Galaxy Tab A7. It skips a few of the top-end bells and whistles in favor of a more affordable price. Don’t worry though, this Android tablet still packs more than enough power.
The Galaxy Tab A7 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 chipset with 3GB of RAM to back it up. You can also choose between 32GB or 64GB of storage without jacking the price too high. Samsung’s sacrifices keep the cost significantly lower, but you still get a hefty 7,040mAh battery.
You get another one of Samsung’s brilliant displays with a sharp resolution and great color reproduction. It’s not a top tablet for gaming with its limited RAM and storage, but the Galaxy Tab A7 should work as an everyday option.
- Solid construction
- Excellent display
- Long-lasting battery
- Not the lightest tablet
- No kids mode
Check out our Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 review to learn more.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus: Plenty of screen at a great price
If you prefer Amazon’s Alexa as your smart assistant of choice, these next two tablets may fit your needs perfectly. You won’t find any of Google’s apps at home on Fire OS, but you’ll find all the Amazon services you can ask for. Better yet, these are some of the most affordable tablets on the market.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus is brand-new for 2021, and it kicks off at a very low price with ad support. You’ll get the same 10.1-inch display you know and love from previous generations, but Amazon has added an extra gig of RAM and wireless charging to the mix. However, those of you who simply can’t stand ads will have to shell out an extra $15 to get rid of them.
Perhaps the Alexa integration is the best reason to choose one of Amazon’s tablets as your next display. If you have an Echo speaker or smart display, the tablet should integrate just about seamlessly. You can even use it to control your smart lights, thermostat, or coffee maker.
- Incredible price
- New wireless charging
- Great Alexa integration
- Plastic construction
- Lack of Google apps
Amazon Fire HD 8: Fire OS on the go for under $100
The Galaxy Tab A7 came with some sacrifices compared to the Tab S7 Plus, and the Fire HD 8 does the same. As the name suggests, you get less screen to enjoy, but you’ll also get just half of the RAM too.
You can still choose from ad-supported or ad-free versions, which means that this Android tablet can set you back as little as $89.99. It offers just 32GB of base storage, but you can spring for 64GB as well. As another Fire OS tablet, you won’t find Google apps, but there are plenty of ways to make do without.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 isn’t a premium tablet, but it’s not trying to be. Instead, Amazon is all about getting Alexa into your hands for the least amount of money it can.
- Starts at under $100
- Fits in any bag or backpack
- USB-C charging and 12-hour battery
- 2GB of RAM isn’t enough
- Ad-support isn’t great
Check out our Amazon Fire 8 HD (2020) review to learn more.
Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD: The best of a tablet and a smart display
The last of our best Android tablets shows just how flexible the operating system can be. The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD does everything you can ask for from a tablet, but it’s just as good as a smart display. Forget choosing between a tablet and a Nest Hub, Lenovo has your answer.
Go about your day with all of your apps, games, and movies, and then recharge the Smart Tab M10 HD on its dock at home. Once you connect the two, it automatically adjusts to make your home life easier. It’s just the right size at 10.1-inches, so feel free to make it your cooking assistant.
Lenovo went light on the internals — just look at the MediaTek Helio P22T processor and up to 4GB of RAM with 64GB — but they can still hold their own. Even your kids can give it a try with the Google Kids Space feature. It’s designed with curiosity in mind and trims content down to kid-friendly levels.
- Google Kids Space
- Smart display dock is great
- Just the right size
- Weak speakers
- Mediocre battery life off the dock
- Not for gaming
Check out our Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD (2nd Gen) review to learn more.
iOS vs. Android: Which OS is right for you?
The Android vs. iOS debate is a long and complicated one. To further make matters tricky, there’s a big difference when you’re talking Android vs. iOS and Android vs. iPadOS. While Android and iPhone OS have a lot in common, the reality is that Android tends not to be the best optimized for tablets. Many apps don’t quite translate well to the big screen. The experience works, but many would argue the iPad makes for a better tablet experience than Android.
Of course, if you’re used to the Android ecosystem, you might not care. There might be more iPad-optimized apps, but there are enough big hitters on Android that many are okay with small concessions.
For more on the iOS vs. Android debate, check here.
Picking the best tablet apps and accessories
Now that you have a feel for the best Android tablets, you might want to check out some accessories to complete the setup. Here are our current favorite apps as well:
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does a tablet cost?
A: The average price of a tablet varies depending on features and functionality. You can find tablets as cheap as $20 and as much as $1000, but the key is understanding what’s not worth it. Generally, those no-name brand tablets for sub-$100 prices aren’t worth buying! So instead, if you want to save money and get a basic tablet, we recommend the Amazon Fire 8 or Fire 10.
Q: What’s the best kids tablet?
A: We have a list that goes further into the answer, but generally, an Amazon Fire (or specifically the Fire Kids tablet) is a great starting point. If your kids prefer iPad, we recommend the iPad Mini.
Q: What is the difference between an iPad and a tablet?
A: Technically, nothing. An iPad is one type of tablet. Officially most people just call iPads by that brand name, while Android and Windows tablets get lumped into the more generic “tablets” label.