Best Android tablets round-up [Updated]

The biggest difference between an Android tablet and an iPad is the operating system, Android and iOS. iPads may be good as one-fits-all solution, but this may not suit everyone. Android tablets offer so much choice, from screen size, specifications, to different manufacturers and apps – it really depends on what is right for you.

For more information on how we test tablets, or how to buy the best tablet, check our buying guide for our expert advice.

Google Nexus 10 – best for a high resolution display


Google’s Nexus 10 features better than HD screen resolution

If you have room in your life for a 10-inch tablet, make sure you check out the Nexus 10. This tablet boasts a better than HD resolution screen, which is superior to the iPad Retina display, videos and photos look absolutely stunning on this screen.

Stylishly slim with great build quality, the Nexus 10 has an impressive dual-core processor, the Nexus 10 offers 16 or 32GB of storage, and lacks the expandability of memory card slot. Just like the Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 also has the Android 4.2 ‘Jelly Bean’ operating system.

Google Nexus 7 – best for the latest Android version


The Nexus 7 features the latest version of the Android OS

Currently running Android 4.2 ‘Jelly Bean’ operating system, the smaller brother of the Nexus 10 has the advantage of being a Google-branded product. This means, just like the Nexus 10, this tablet is one of the first to receive any future software updates.

Jelly Bean brings some new and improved features to the table – such as an improved keyboard with Gesture Typing, updated voice search (a beefier version in comparison to Apple’s Siri) and offline voice dictation (perfect for vocally composing emails and texts).

The Nexus 7 has great build quality, a crisp 7-inch 1280 x 800 pixel resolution display, and a quad-core processor. There are no expendable memory card slots; the Nexus 7 has a choice of 16 or 32GB storage space, which should be enough. The Nexus 7 is also available in a 3G + wi-fi, and a wi-fi only model.

If you can hold off purchasing now, Google is set to launch a newer version of the Nexus 7 in July 2013, with a more powerful processor and higher resolution screen.

Read our review of the Nexus 7 to find out how this tablet stacks up.

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T – best for a tablet/hybrid


The Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T docks into the keyboard

Tablets may be great for consuming content but when you actually want create content, tablets fall a little flat. The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T differs from other tablets in that the screen slots into a keyboard dock, turning into a laptop.

The TF700T packs in a bright 10-inch 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution display, a quad-core processor and offers 32 or 64GB of storage space. In addition to adding a physical keyboard, the dock also has an expandable memory card slot, and adds a few extra hours to the tablet battery life with an integrated battery.

Read our Google Android Jelly Bean guide for more information on the latest Android software.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – best Android tablet for drawing


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 includes a stylus

The Galaxy Note 10.1 sets itself apart from other tablets with an included stylus – Samsung expects that users will want to be more productive and creative with this tablet. It lets you hand-write notes, sketch pictures or just doodle directly on the screen.

Borrowing nearly all its looks from the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, this tablet has a 10-inch 1280 x 800 pixel resolution screen, and a quad-core processor. In terms of processing power, this means that Note 10.1 is fast enough to handle all tasks with aplomb. The Note 10.1 is available in 16, 32 and 64GB storage capacities.

If you’re looking to draw or even jot down notes when on the move, this tablet is worth considering. However, it doesn’t support the latest Android 4.2 software.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review to see how it fares against the competition.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch – best alternative to the Nexus 7


The Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch is the best alternative to the Nexus 7

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch model builds upon the successful design of the first 7-inch Galaxy Tab with some improved features.

The Galaxy Tab 2 has a meagre 1024 x 600 pixel resolution screen, considerably less than the Nexus 7. This tablet also has a dual core processor and is available in 8, 16 and 32GB storage space. However, if you’ve run out of storage space, you can take advantage of the built-in memory card slot, and shift some of your content onto a portable memory card.

Samsung has aggressively priced this tablet at approximately £149 and as such, has cut some corners on screen quality. If you’re looking for more solid 7-inch laptop, definitely take a look at the Nexus 7.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 -7-inch review to see how it performed in our lab tests.

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14 replies

  1. Unfortunately I don’t have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but really want to buy one!! The problem is, Which? hasn’t reviewed the versions I’m interested in?! Will you be testing any more Galaxy tablets please Which? !?! I need access to 3G and enough memory for completing my studies, assignments etc, on my 3 year medical degree course, involving half my course time on hospital placements…hence a tablet being the best option…So, I need to decide whether to invest in the added 3G function?! And I need to know the pro’s and con’s for this, eg. Do you have to enter in to a contract for this added function? Or is it pay-as-you-go, like a 3G dongle can be? Or can I just use a 3G dongle with the galaxy tablet instead? And therefore not need to pay an extra £100 for the Galaxy tablet with 3G built in?! I also need to make a desicion on what memory spec to invest in! Do I pay an extra £100 for the 32GB Galaxy tablet? Or can I get the 16GB one and attach a USB memory stick when needed?! Please Help!! As I don’t want to pay an extra £200 for an over speced Galaxy tablet if I can help it!! Thank you!

    1. I think I can help. For 3G data on tablets there’s quite a lot of options, both pay-as-you-go and pay monthly. However, pay monthly deals are mostly rolling contracts, meaning you can cancel at a week’s notice.

      You can’t use USB dongles as they’re designed for use with PCs.

      On the size issue, it’s a difficult one to judge – it depends on how you want to use it. 16GB is enough for all your apps, plus ‘some’ music and video but probably not all.

    1. Well they did review the Nexus 7 and the 32Gb one is £190 if you buy it from Carphone Warehouse. If you want really cheap there are tablets for less than £100 but just look at their basic spec’ (single core processor, 8Gb of RAM, 800 pixel wide screen) and know that they won’t be very good.

      When you consider what you get with the Nexus it’s stupendous value for money. Quad core, 32Gb and 1280 pixel width. It’s a no brainer.

  2. Hazel, please go back and look at the title of this article – it doesn’t claim to be comprehensive. It’s a round-up of the best ones – nothing more, nothing less. I’d guess that the reason none of the cheaper ones get a look-in /here/ is because they simply don’t compare to these more expensive ones.

    In fact, if you follow the link at the end of the article (Tablet reviews – over 30 tablets tested and compared) – you’ll find a bunch of cheaper models.

    And, as suspected, the four models that were rated “avoid at all costs!” are cheaper models. With two priced at £99 and two at £249 their reviews rated them from 31% to 38%.

    1. Best doesn’t simply equate to ‘most expensive’. For value-for-money there are chinese branded (and lets face it they are all made in China so lets not be snobby about Chinese brand names) tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich which support all key apps (Skype video calling, Flash, i-Player etc etc) for about £120.

    2. I agree with Peter. If you look on Amazon, you can see some 7″ tablets for <£100 that are getting very good reviews from people who have bought them.

  3. For those with a history of Using ThinkPads the Lenovo Android-based ThinkPad Tablet is a good choice, not cheap, but up to the Lenovo standard of general design and quality.

  4. Just to expand on Alan’s point of 20 April, if you want to see reviews of cheap tablets then Amazon is a good first stop – but be aware that not all reviewers are equally tech-savvy (probably a good thing, great to get the “novice’s perspective”); nor do they all have the same priorities about what is important. Just reading their reviews is an interesting way to get a feel for what is out there, and – if you are a first-timer – what might matter to you.

  5. Many Deaf and Sign Language users want to know which other tablets can serve us like Apple Face time. So we are not sue of all of those Tablets if they do not mention as available for Sign Language Users

  6. John; I wouldn’t bank on Which being more tech savvy than any other review, and that’s from nearly 25 years membership of Which. When it comes to PC laptops pads etc. they are no better than any of the other reviews that abound on the internet…… apart from their devout following of Apple products. I have never known them to be wrong but they are not always right.

  7. May I suggest:
    Asus Fonepad – best for connectivity
    Includes Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, 16Gb, WiFi, BT, 3G, microSD for £179 – and cheaper than anything in this list.
    You can get 3 mobile data sims 3Gb/3mth for under £10.50 on Amazon. Top-up, and you can make phone calls on it!

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