Best Android Tablets [March 2014]

Last week we talked about what the best Android phone to buy this month was and highlighted the top announcements from Mobile World Congress 2014, and now it’s time to go over the best Android tablets your hard-earned money can buy in 2014. The year is already off to a hot start with the latest announcements out of MWC2014, so we should be seeing some exciting movement on this list before too long. With that said, let’s get to the action!

5 – LG G Pad 8.3

lg-g-pad-8.3-3

 

We had to make room for a new tablet on the list this month, so the LG G Pad 8.3 sees itself sliding back to 5th place. That’s still a pretty good mark, though, as the G Pad 8.3 is a pretty good tablet. Dated internals such as the Snapdragon 600 processor do hurt its case at the point, but if you can forgive that and realize that this thing is slim, sleek and powerful in all the other right areas (and often goes on sale for less than $300) you’ll know why we’re still excited by it.

4 – Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

Not helping the Note 10.1 2014’s case is the fact that Samsung has some other, newer kids on the block. Regardless, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is still worth a long, hard look at retail. It features a 1.9GHz Exynos 5420 processor with 3GB of RAM, 16-32GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a 2megapixel front camera, an 8,220mAh battery, and a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 display. We’re still waiting on key upgrades to Samsung’s UI that will fix some nagging bugs we’ve experienced, though perhaps that’s in order for the KitKat upgrade Samsung has in the works.

3 – Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

The HDX line of Kindle Fire tablets is the latest in Amazon’s series. This changes the game up quite a bit by Amazon’s standards, a company whose modest first step into the tablet arena has since been bested with better offerings each year to follow. The HDX comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch flavors, giving users a decent balance between screen real estate and portability.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX includes 2560 x 1600 resolution, storage options of 16-64GB, 4G LTE, a quad-core 2.2GHz processor (likely a Snapdragon 800), and more. As we all know by now, though, it isn’t the specs Amazon is hoping will win your hearts.

It’s the deep integration with their various services, including Prime Instant Video, MP3, Cloud Storage, Kindle e-Books, the Amazon Appstore, and a whole lot more. Content is king in Amazon’s world, and it’s something they have been very good at for quite some time. This is definitely one of the better buys, especially for a starting price point of $229.

2 – Nexus 7 2013

New Nexus 7 hand wm

This 7-inch ASUS-made wonder slides back to number 2, but it’s hard ignoring that nice 7-inch 1920 x 1200 display (323 ppi), quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16-32GB of internal storage, 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, dual-band WiFi N, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and more. That you can get it for just $230 is a big reason why it’s near the top of our list, and its guaranteed

1 — Samsung Galaxy NotePro

NotePRO_1

Samsung completely outdid themselves on this one. And you might also say they outpriced themselves, as well. $750 is the cheapest you can have a Samsung Galaxy NotePro, but it’s probably worth it if you can scrape up the cash. That’ll get you a minimum of 32GB of internal storage, a 12.2-inch 2560 x 1600 display, 3GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, 9,500mAh battery and more.

The device definitely isn’t for everyone. Its unwieldy display size and lofty price tag might scare away potential buyers. But if you’re in need of some serious horsepower that runs Android and can get any job done, this is it. It’s on sale right now at Amazon.

Honorable Mentions

Samsung Galaxy TabPro (8.2, 10.1 and 12.2)

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro Series

These devices are like “more affordable” versions of the TabPro, except without the S Pen. But they’re still quite pricey and have specs that anyone can be proud of. Each have 2560 x 1600 resolution, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and more, though the 10.1 has Samsung’s 1.9GHz quad-core processor while the 8.4 has Qualcomm’s 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800. No matter which way you slice it, though, these tablets pack some serious heat.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

It’s not quite as powerful as the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 or 8.9, but the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD still holds its own where it counts. Amazon couldn’t care less about the profit from device sales here, though, which is why it’s so cheap at a starting price of just $140. As with the HDX, it’s all about apps and services for Amazon. Specs include 1280 x 800 resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8-16GB of internal storage, 10 hours of battery life and more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung’s Note series has become the go-to for performance and features in the tablet space, so the more weildy of the bunch — the Note 8.0 — deserves a bit of recognition in the top 5. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0’s HD resolution and quad-core chipset are quite nice, and that all-important S-Pen functionality pushes this as one of the better “small” tablets to consider at the point of sale.

ASUS Transformer Pad TF701T

This is the latest product from ASUS that will allow you to transform your tablet into a netbook. The Transformer Pad TF701 is a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 device with NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 processor on board. This powerhouse also includes a 5 megapixel rear camera, a 1.2 megapixel front camera, HDMI-out and more. And when you dock the tablet inside the dock, you’ll get a combined 17 hours of battery life (which is much more than any of today’s Netbooks can claim).

Samsung Nexus 10

It fell out of the top 5, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth talking about. We’re honestly amazed at how long this tablet has been able to live, though the sleek stock Android build and future-proofed internals (Cortex-A15 processor, 2560 x 1600 display and 2GB of RAM don’t hurt) has kept it in the limelight for quite some time. It’ll probably remain a good buy until Google eventually decides to replace it.

Tablets to look forward to

sony-xperia-z2-tablet-1

Here are just a few tablets to look forward to in the weeks and months to come. None of them are available for purchase yet, and some aren’t even official, but it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect and should hopefully make the purchase decision easier once they’re here later this year.

  • Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet — Wow. One of the first Sony tablets we can say we’re legitimately excited for. [Hands-On]
  • Lenovo Yoga 10+ — Built-in kickstand and sleek design are cool, but modest internals have us reeling a bit. [Hands-on]
  • Huawei MediaPad M1 and X1 — This duo isn’t turning many heads, but Huawei should have them priced to sell quite decently. [Hands-on 1|2]
  • ASUS Transformer Book Duet TD300 — A dual-boot Windows / Android hybrid that can switch between the two in under five seconds at the touch of a button. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, its launch might actually be in jeopardy, with ASUS reportedly pressured to cancel the project by Google. Sad Face.
  • Motorola DROID tablets — We’re not sure what the status of these are now that Motorola is owned by Lenovo, but we’ll assume (and pray) Motorola’s plans to launch a tablet are still alive.

And that’s only what we know of for the first half of 2014. This tablet train isn’t slowing down with news that Android has surpassed iOS tablets for the first time ever, and we’re excited to be on-board for the ride.

What say you?

You wouldn’t be alone in saying 2013 was a bit of a disappointment when it comes to tablets, with many manufacturers looking to appeal to budget consumers. But 2014 is looking to change all of that, and it’s the level of innovation discussed in all the devices above that could propel Android tablets to the same elite high ground that the phones have reached. Feel any differently? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

PS: don’t forget that you can talk all about these tablets, and more, over at AndroidForums.com. Be sure to make an account and join the millions of folks currently driving some very healthy discussion over there.

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  • shooter50

    LG G Pad is the King of lag.
    Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is a close second in the lag department.
    Tab Pro 8.4 is lag free, beautiful display and fast processor. How can is not be rated higher than these other 2?

    • A_Noid

      Put CM11 on the LG G Pad, and it flies. No more lag.

      • Sean Royce

        The point is, one shouldn’t have to mess around with their device to make it usable enough so that it doesn’t lag.

  • http://twitter.com/Vanakatherock Vanakatherock

    I’m definitely considering the Z2 to replace my Nexus 10.

  • DYNK

    i really have a hard time understanding this too…the Tab Pro 8inch is literally lag free…i dont understand why the higher specs are laggy…Samsung Tab R&D needs to pull their finger out

  • Treknologist

    I’m glad to see the TF701T at least mentioned here. I recently got it to replace my Transformer Prime and I couldn’t be happier. I much prefer that Asus keeps the OS close to stock and this tablet really addresses pretty much all the issues they’ve had with their tablets in the past.

    • Tojen1981

      I picked up the asus memo pad 10 fhd from at&t and really like it as well.

  • CodyTaylor

    Kind of obvious, but couldn’t be happier with my Nexus 7 2013. Got it at launch and definitely worth every penny. Though I’ll admit to liking my surface rt when I need to get work done. Can’t beat full versions of office

  • Kyle Cordiano

    Tegra Note 7 needs to be on here. $199 for stock 4.4.2 with the Tegra 4 processor. Great device.

  • jaylanPHNX

    I’ve had a Tab Pro 8.4 for a few days now (my first tablet) and I love it. Prefect size, classy look, and killer hardware. It’s already rooted and an early version of CM is in the works. Can’t wait to put an AOSP ROM on this puppy.

  • Tojen1981

    Samsung has 3 or 4 separate lines of tablets now.

    Note, Tab pro, Note pro, and the upcoming Tab4 line-up.

    I’m all for choice but its getting be tough for even me to keep everything separate, nevermind the average consumer who isnt into this stuff.

  • Pkmmte

    Still waiting for a new Nexus 10…

    • CerealFTW

      Me too:'( Google, y u no announce

  • Sourabh Sekhar

    I just want the Nexus 10 2014 :(

    • Larry Garfield

      I was hoping such a thing would exist for Christmas. If it didn’t suck, I’d be getting one. Still waiting. :-( (I’m not convinced I’d get enough use out of a 7″ tablet. Hell I’m not sure I’d get enough use out of a 10″ tablet, but…)

    • Sharky

      I reckon they’re making a big update to tablet-Android to launch alongside it. Current Android is better suited to smaller tablet and phones, the 9″+ devices will be far better when they bring some of the multi-window experiences of Samsung or Windows tablets.

      • Sourabh Sekhar

        The new nexus 10 might be the worlds first 64 bit tablet which can shoot and edit 4k video in RAW format.

  • abhi345

    Android tablets are not being frequently unless it is a nexus. Lg, sony,samsung, lenovo are all guilty.

  • supremekizzle

    I have 4 & 5.

  • Bombela_Inc©

    I own a Nexus 7 2013 and I love it!

  • J Cav the Great

    i keep my 2012 N7 for media consumption. If I do drop bucks on tablet..it will be the Sony Z2…also on the smartphone side, I will be getting the Xperia Z2…I was holding out on the New HTC One..but considering they both got chins as big as Natalie Nunn( Google her y’all will see) I may as well cop the Sonys….

    • reeceaston

      A few new Android tablets worth noting to launch at the Consumer Electronics Show and MWC 2014 and become available in March –

      – Tegra Note 7 Android tablet – 4G edition ($299) – offers world’s fastest processor for a 7-inch device and offers innovative photo-taking technology and stylus features and works at fast 4G speeds on GSM carriers worldwide, including AT&T, T-Mobile and Straight talk and Rogers Canada.

      – Ramos i12 ($339) – features a 12-inch 1920X1200 HD screen display and powered by an Intel Z2580 2.0 GHz processor; with specs that include Bluetooth 4.0, MicroSD Memory and 10,000 mAh battery–compares to the new Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 but more competitively priced.

      – Ramos i10 Pro ($399) – one of the first Hybrid tablets with an Android and Windows 8.1 “Dual Boot” system with a high resolution, 10-inch 1920×1200 HD display and powered by an Intel Baytrail Z3770D processor – 2.0 GHz – 2GB/64GB Storage and 10,000 mAh battery.

      – Pipo M7 Pro – 32GB edition ($229) compares to the LG-G Pad and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ but priced considerably less and features a Quad Core processor – 2GB/1.6Ghz, a Samsung brand 8.9″ 1920×1200 HD screen, Bluetooth and GPS.

      TabletMaxx — is one of the first sources to carry many of these new models from Tegra, Ramos and Pipo brands.

  • Martin Lane

    Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition should be #2 on that list, it’s a fantastic tablet much like the #1 but a bit smaller which some people will probably prefer.

    The Tegra Note 7 deserved a mention, it’s amazing value for the performance you get, but really could have used a 1080p display.

    • Anfronie

      I agree the note 2014 has met and exceeded expectations

  • TheJunkie

    I still have a viewsonic gtablet. It was probably one of the worst tablet ever produced, but 3 years later, it still satisfies 100% of my tablet needs.
    Unless the battery on this sucker dies, it really doesn’t matter how good or how fast those new tablets are. I already have HTC one and nexus 5 serving their roles as a phone and a mobile device.

  • Phaz0n

    Regarding the Samsung Galaxy NotePro and it being on sale: .99 cents off is hardly a steal.

  • ChicagoBob

    Waiting to see if NVidia will deliver the K1 and if Intel will ever bring Bay Trail.

  • gadgety

    I’ve got a Note 8.0 4G. It’s great, very versatile, and the S-pen is really addictive. Leaves the screen clean, too. Everyone in the family wants to use the Note, for surfing, watching movies, or YT, or drawing, or as a recipe book in the kitchen. APTX audio for high rez (well, CD quality) over blutooth makes it my go to music player at the moment. Great drawing software is available in the market place, such as Infinite Painter, and Autodesk’s Sketchbook for the Note. Two things to improve – better camera with flash, and less bezel, like the Huawei X1, making it pocketable. The Note 8.0 Pro, which I assume will be coming, will be even better of course, but they may prize it too high.

  • fourthletter

    Nvidia Tegra Note 7 – best cheap tablet on the market right now.

  • Alvin Brinson

    I like the Nexus 7 2013, however it does have some flaws. Many users have intermittent touch screen issues, as do I. They seem to be aggravated by pressure on sides of the device, such as when in a car mount, the touch screen won’t respond over the entire area. At other times it appears to be a software problem, fixing itself if you simply turn the screen off and back on.

    Additionally, the design is really flimsy. My device has warped from being in my pocket. I bought it because it FIT in my pocket, but now I have to be careful to not put it there. Plus, the plastic around the bezel has chipped itself in two places (without being hit). This appears to be due to pressure on the inside of the bezel where the clips hold it in place next to the screen. Probably due to it being warped.

  • Tomen8r

    I own four of top five. Tommy Tablet needs help… :-* and the big SAMSUNG