10 best Android tablets in the world
4th Oct 2013 | 16:14
Lots of movers and shakers in our top 10
Best Android tablets: 10-6
Our list of the best Android tablets in the world - regularly updated
If you're looking for a tablet and don't fancy an iPad, then Android is currently the way to go. (Don't know what an Android tablet is? Check out: what is an Android tablet?)
There are other options out there with Windows 8 tablets such as the Surface 2, Ativ Tab and VivoTab Smart continuing to creep out - but Android Jelly Bean is currently the main rival to the iOS 7 toting iPad 4 and iPad mini.
Are you wondering what the iPad rival to the new Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD is like?
- Check our iPad mini review to find out!
Some Android tablets have 10-inch screens, others seven, and some land somewhere in between. There are big differences in battery life, processing power and onboard RAM.
10. Archos 80 Titanium
The overall styling of the Archos 80 Titanium is quite some achievement, and its bountiful connectivity is excellent. It performs all of the core tasks of a tablet efficiently and the build quality is as good as anything on the market.
And the price? Well, £150 is so low that we're not convinced the Archos 80 Titanium shouldn't be bought in multiples.
A poor battery and even worse camera hampers its attractiveness to anyone wanting a tablet on the move, while the occasional freeze-ups will also annoy.
In many areas the Archos 80 Titanium out-performs its heftily priced rival to the extent that anyone thinking of purchasing a small tablet should seriously consider whether spending more than this is really necessary.
And that is quite some achievement; bravo to Archos and its great-looking, awesome value 8-inch Titanium tablet.
9. Nook HD+
he Nook HD+ is now seriously worthy of your consideration as a budget full-sized tablet.
At just £179 for the 16GB version this 9-inch slate matches the price of its closest competitor, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9, while offering the same performance, a slightly superior display, expandable storage and - crucially - access to the Google Play Store.
What brings the Nook HD+ down is the fact it isn't a particularly pretty tablet to look at. Its bulging bezel makes it look like a much sleeker tablet has been slipped into a cheap case.
The Nook HD+ has carved out a niche for itself as an ultra-affordable full-sized tablet. Its custom UI is clunky, its own media store is a bit of a write-off, and it won't win any awards for its looks. But for HD multimedia kicks on a budget, there aren't many better-value alternatives out there.
8. Amazon Kindle Fire HD
What's better than a modern tablet with a quad core processor? One that costs just £129 (without ads).
Coming in at 16GB and 32GB flavours, the Kindle Fire HD brings the simplicity of the e-book range to the tablet arena, with dedicated space to access your movies, games, apps and music too.
It's a little simplistic for some, but for others it's the perfect mix of curated content and easy to use interface - and despite the price, it's got a decent build quality too.
A new, lower price makes the Amazon Kindle Fire HD an even more attractive proposition and if you want a small tablet which doesn't have the confusing stock Android overlay look no further.
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Movie playback on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is decent, with the large 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 screen doing feature films justice and the front facing speakers delivering sound directly at you instead of behind the tablet.
Even though the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 only comes as a 16GB option, the inclusion of a microSD card slot on top of the tablet will keep the majority happy.
As far as middle of the road Android tablets go, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 hits the nail on the head.
It's doesn't stray too far from the norm, failing to offer anything truly exciting or different, but also ensuring it doesn't fall flat on its face. However, we're loving the recent price drop, meaning we're happy to boost the score on a tablet that brings rich power on top of the latest version of Android for under £240.
6. Asus FonePad
It may be almost identical to the old Nexus 7 when in comes to looks, but the FonePad has a few trump cards including a great price, microSD slot and 3G connectivity which not only allows you to get online but also send/receive phone calls and text messages.
The Jelly Bean interface isn't quite as slick (it's dual-core, not quad-core) and while the call function is cool, it's also a little impractical on a device this size. That said pair it up with a Bluetooth headset and you might as well turf your smartphone out.
The Asus FonePad is an accomplished Android tablet and offers amazing value-for-money. If you're not planning on spending a fortune, but still want a tablet with a wide choice of apps and features then you could do a lot worse than picking up this one in particular.
Number 5: Asus Transformer Pad Infinity
5. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity
If it wasn't for the higher price, the Infinity would be a real contender for the top spot. It's got everything you could want in a tablet - and a keyboard dock as standard too.
With the latest version of Android on the way, a simple interface and more ports than you can poke with a stick, the Infinity is the tablet that can handle anything you can throw at it.
Add in the Super IPS panel with a tremendous resolution, and you can see why this is a tablet to rate very highly - especially if you're fond of typing on the go but crave the simplicity of a slate too. New firmware updates in some territories have brought features like Wi-Fi Direct to the Infinity, and Android 4.2 will be landing soon too.
Everything we'd look for in a high-end tablet is present and accounted for with the Transformer Pad Infinity.
While power is always welcomed, it was the improved screen that really caught our attention. Given that we use our tablet mostly for browsing the web and watching video, we couldn't help but marvel at the resolution, either.
If you're looking for a top Android tablet (and have the cash to splash), then the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity should be at the top of your list.
Number 4: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 arrived on the scene with the iPad mini firmly set in its sights and while it gave a strong showing the Android tablet, complete with S Pen, didn't manage to hit the same heights as its Apple-made rival.
That's not to say the Galaxy Note 8.0 isn't a good tablet as it's a light, highly portable device and there's no denying that its display is far better than that of the iPad Mini.
It's solidly built, with expandable memory - the S-Pen has clearly been enhanced to make this a major selling point, plus we love the IR blaster and its media capabilities.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 is a good device. There are better out there for the money, and with an arguably better design as well.
However, for those that like the S Pen as a tool, it's a great offering, albeit not really worth the extra cash for most.
Number 3: Google Nexus 10
3. Google Nexus 10
The 10.1 display is one of the biggest talking points on the Google Nexus 10. At 300 pixels per inch it's the highest resolution tablet display on the planet - take that, Apple and your Retina displays.
It's a great performer too. Other than taking a while to process panoramic photos we never felt like it was struggling to keep up. It's fast and smooth whatever you throw at it.
Sure it may not be as stunning to look at, or as well built as an iPad 4, and the lack of expandable memory will irk some, but overall the Nexus 10 gives you a quality, big-screen Android experience which is not to be sniffed at.
On top of that, the tablet has already been updated to Android 4.3 - the latest version of the operating system - showing this is the tablet to buy if you want a larger screen that Google won't give up on.
The Google Nexus 10 is easily one of the best Android tablets on the market and while it's not quite as fantastic value for money as the new Nexus 7, it certainly gives Apple's high-priced iPad 4 a run for its money. For the price you're paying, you won't be disappointed.
Number 2: Sony Xperia Tablet Z
2. Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Sleek, powerful, iconic - these are all words used to describe the impressive tablet from Sony.
Until recently the Xperia Tablet Z had been sitting pretty at the top of the tablet tree, but thanks to a certain Google-branded 7-inch slate it has been bumped - but don't let that put you off.
The brand has been plugging away in the mobile space for a few years, but now the combination of the Sony Xperia Z and Tablet Z show that the Japanese brand is bringing us devices that the public can finally really lust after.
And that's one of the things we liked about the Tablet Z: it's light, really light, yet looks premium too. Sony has surpassed expectation with this and delivered a tablet that wouldn't look out of place in a business class lounge or at the centre of a home entertainment network.
It's waterproof too - sure, you might not use that feature a whole lot, but it gives it an air of ruggedness that puts your mind at ease when manhandling something that costs so much.
With a super slim chassis, impressive screen and whole glut of Sony extras on board, the Xperia Tablet Z is one of the finest pieces of kit we've seen in 2013. Its quality abounds the moment you take it out your bag, and the speedy internals and impressive weight are enough for us to recommend it wholeheartedly.
Number 1: Google Nexus 7 (2013)
1. Google Nexus 7 (2013)
There's a new king in the Android tablet world and while it's name may be to same as a previous pole sitter, the new Nexus 7 (2013 edition) improves on its predecessor in multiple ways while still keeping an incredibly attractive price tag.
The screen is to die for and the form factor, while taking some getting used to, is ideal for media consumption. It's light, it's bright, it's fun and it's thin.
The battery life is really impressive, and the sheer diversity on offer, be it through the uprated CPU, screen, or GPU, mean that we struggled to put it down at times.
We're also slightly annoyed that Google hasn't given us an LTE model at launch, since we know one exists, but it's a minor issue.
We really like the new Nexus 7. We really, really like the Nexus 7. Google has taken what made the original such a belter, corrected almost every niggle with it, bumped the price up ever so slightly, yet also made the Nexus 7 feel so much more premium.
If you're looking for a 7-inch tablet, we'll put it like this: there is no better alternative on the market, right now.
- Google Nexus 7 review (2013)