Best Android Tablets [April 2014]

best-tablets-april-2014

Need the best Android tablet to go with your best Android phone? We’re here to help. While not much has changed in the tablet world since last month, a new contender has entered our top 5 on the heels of news that Samsung has yet another line of slates waiting in the wings. We’ll see how those stack up next month, but for now, here are the best Android tablets for the month of April.

5 — LG G Pad 8.3

lg-g-pad-8.3-2The LG G Pad 8.3 lands in the Goldilocks zone where good tablet and good price intersect. Selling for just a hair over $300 (and seeing a Verizon edition launched last month), the slate features an HD display, Snapdragon 600 quad-core processing, and dual cameras for snapping photos or getting your video chat on. It’s 8-inch size hits a sweet spot for many tablet users that provides maximum portability and productivity. An available Google Play edition adds to the appeal of the G Pad, marrying the solid hardware build with stock Android, insuring quick platform updates. For all of this, though, the G Pad 8.3 is barely hanging on to a spot in our top 5 as newer tablets are introduced.

4 — Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Like the LG G Pad 8.3, the Kindle Fire HDX from Amazon makes the most out of its smaller form factor, giving users a bang-up tablet in a portable size — the Kindle Fire HDX is available in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch variants. Unlike the LG G Pad 8.3, don’t expect anything close to a Google Play Edition. Amazon utilizes a “forked” version of Android far different from the KitKat build of other devices. This also means content is locked into Amazon’s ecosystem of apps, games, and other media. The Kindle Fire HDX makes up for this with a powerful hardware compliment that includes an HD display and quad-core processor. Oh, and it starts at only $229.

3 — Nexus 7 2013

New Nexus 7 hand wm

The year is now 2014, so it makes sense that the 2013 edition of Google’s popular Nexus 7 line of tablets is starting to slip down our list. When it comes to the pure Android experience, however, nothing comes close to besting the N7’s combination of solid hardware and affordable pricing. While it features the older Snapdragon S4 chipset, it still boasts quad-core processing. It’s HD display still looks mighty appealing, as well, as does its $230 price tag. Google should be unveiling an updated edition of their Nexus 7 in the coming months, however, so interested buyers may want to wait it out a bit longer if possible.

2 — Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

sony-xperia-z2-tablet-1

Making its debut in our top 5, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is a real contender for the top spot. Not only is it super slim with sleek design and powerful hardware, but you can literally dunk it under water without fear of destroying your precious Android hardware. We don’t recommend doing so, however, as there are better things to do with the slate and its 10.1-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 processor, and 8.1MP camera. Did we mention that it measures only 6.4mm thick? The Xperia Z2 Tablet is currently available in several regions around the globe and should be landing in the US this month.

1 — Samsung Galaxy NotePro

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro DSC05107

Having the best doesn’t come cheap, and the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro is a testament to this fact. The 12.2-inch tablet is the biggest on our list and features a 2560 x 1600 display, 3GB RAM, an 8MP camera, and a beefy battery. It gets a hand up (or finger?) with the inclusion of the S Pen, a dedicated stylus tailored to the many multitasking enhancements introduced as part of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. It’s size won’t be for everyone, nor will that price, which happens to start around $700.

Honorable Mentions

Sure, those our the best (in our humble opinion), but they aren’t the only tablets out there. We almost called this section “Other Tablets by Samsung” but they aren’t the only manufacturer churning out solid slates. Here are five more tablets to mull over.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition — Even with the release of Samsung’s Pro line of tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 remains a viable option, bringing a comparable feature set to the Note Pro in a smaller size and at a lower price. Looking for something even smaller? Try the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro — Available as 8.4, 10.1, and 12.2-inch variants, the Galaxy Tab Pro line gives all the performance of the Note series sans the dedicated S Pen. Pricing starts around $350.
  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD — No substitute to the Kindle Fire HDX, the Kindle Fire HD is still worth consideration if only for its $140 price tag. An adequate 7-inch tablet.
  • Nexus 10 by Samsung — More love for the Nexus line. The Nexus 10 is in desperate need of an update and we could see one soon, but for now it remains your only option if you want pure Google in a 10-inch form factor.
  • NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 — Another low-priced option at $200. The Tegra Note 7 lacks the glitzy display resolution of other tablets on our list but makes up for it with the latest in NVIDIA Tegra processing.

Tablets to look forward to

Not ready to make a tablet purchase but getting in your research? You would be wise to pay attention to a couple more slates on the horizon. Samsung makes another appearance as well as a nifty new design by Lenovo.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

Galaxy Tab4 10.1 (SM-T530) Black_1

Just announced, the next generation of Galaxy Tabs will arrive in Q2 of this year in 7, 8, and 10.1-inch varieties. Picking up where the Galaxy Tab 3 left off, the new slates will target the middle ground between price and performance with 720p HD display (as opposed to 1080p), 1.2GHz quad-core processing, and a 3MP camera, components shared across the various sizes. The tablets will be thinner and lighter than ever while rocking plenty of internal storage thanks to expandable MicroSD memory. Specific pricing has not been announced.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+

lenovo-yoga-tablet-10-1

This Android slate forom Lenovo has some promise. While it isn’t on the bleeding edge in terms of specs (it will carry a Snapdragon 400 processing suite) it does carry a nice 1080p display and 8MP front-facing camera. The standout feature, however, is the kickstand incorporated into its design. Much like Lenovo’s notebook line of the same name, this baby can yoga its way into several positions for maximum usability. The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ is presumably still on track for a launch later this month.

What say you?

Planning on buying a tablet in the near future and not swayed by our rankings? Did we get it right or did we get it wrong? Maybe we missed the Android slate you think everyone needs to know about. Sound off in the comments below and give us your two cents!

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  • solidpig

    I haven’t been hearing great things about the Galaxy NotePro from reviews, other than it packs the latest and greatest hardware. Not sure that it should be at the top of the list.

    • CerealFTW

      Hardware buttons are a deal breaker for me

      • TimTheK

        Agreed. No ugly buttons mucking up the clean face of my tablet. I love my Nexus 7 (2013) and if money was flowing freely I would pick up an LG Gpad Google play edition too. I wish the Nexus was a hair wider….and I think 8″ is perfect for a tablet.

    • torichance10k

      Three other new models launch this month with an impressive price and features, including the Pipo T9 8.9″ tablet priced at $274 and is the first tablet with a true Octa Core processor (8-Core) with performance comparable to the Snapdragon 800 CPU and also features a 3G HSPA+ SIM card slot with both Internet and Voice Calling capability like a standard Android Smartphone; plus offers an HD screen, Bluetooth, GPS and premium speakers–

      Also new this week is the Ramos i10 Pro ($399) – the first Windows-Android Hybrid tablet on the market with access to both Windows 8.1 and Android OS on the same device – features include a high performance Intel BayTrail CPU, a 10-inch HD display, 8000 mAh battery, Bluetooth and GPS.

      Also launching this week is a 12-inch Android Tablet comparable in size to the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – the Ramos i12c features an Intel Z2580 processor, an HD display, 10,000 mAh battery and multi-window viewing – priced at $299.

      One of the first resources the new Ramos I-Series and Pipo T-series tablets are available through is – iProTablet com

      • djson1

        Nice plug, but the brands you mentioned, nobody has heard about (Pipo? Ramos?)…so, most people will stay away rather than risk their hard earned cash. It’s obvious you work for the company as all your blog comments are promoting these no-name brands. Why don’t you guys just pay for regular advertising as well?

        • dustinmorrisab

          Actually Ramos and Pipo are two of the most popular brands in the Pacific Rim – nice to see these made available in the U.S –
          I think if Intel is willing to partner with these companies on a new product line, quality is good.

      • Richard Lloyd

        Just apply the “CyanogenMod test” like I do. Can you run CyanogenMod 11 on them (bonus points if it’s an “officially supported” CM platform too)? If not, don’t buy it. I can guarantee that the Android on these tablets will be an awful/bloated out-of-date experience – only CM11 could save them :-)

        • thomasschraderca

          I’ve had a Ramos i9 tablet for a few months which has an Intel Z2580 (same as what’s used in most Dell tablets) and the performance is good and I have the same Apps loaded on the Ramos tablet as my Nexus 2013 and performance is relatively the same – don’t knock on a product you haven’t even used.

  • Scott Niemczyk

    I love my lg gpad. I got a great deal on Craigslist which makes it even better for me. I think this is the perfect size tablet

  • irwincur

    How can the Nexus 7 2013 even be considered. Maybe on specs alone, but just look at the reported issues. Mine reboots every few hours, just stop, black screen, reboot. No rhyme or reason. Touch is already going like in my 2012. The thing I hate the most typing, just auto correct alone causes a stutter and lockups. Then it randomly deletes words after I type them.

    I thought my 2012 was just a lemon because no one else I knew had any ‘issues’. In hindsight they were just unwilling to admit that they also bought a total pos. I gave the Nexus line another chance based on articles like this. Never again.

  • KOLIO

    Is this list based on sales figures? A poll perhaps? Or just one persons subjective opinions?

  • crix098

    Would really love a 4:3 aspect ratio tablet in the 10+ size range. Basically a full 8.5×11 screen would be nice with >300ppi. Would pay a grand for that.

  • Lloyd Arkell

    I’ve just upgraded form the Nexus 7 2013 to the LG G Pad 8.3 but I am really hating the sound on the LG, anyone else?

  • goldenblls

    Sorry but the Xperia wins hands down. It’s lighter, slimmer and more portable, which is everything a tab should be first and foremost. The NotePro is just too big and heavy and feels like a PC monitor.

  • Forget_you

    the galaxy note pro is 1? Who came up with this list?

    • Arnold Hider

      A man with common sense

  • uniquename72

    I want an Asus Transformer form factor with updated guts. Where IS Asus?

  • Arnold Hider

    I would definitely put the tab pro in the top 5. I agree note pro 12.2 is the best by far

  • Richard Lloyd

    I would have put the LG G Pad 8.3 above the Nexus 7 2013, simply because they are the same price and specs, but the LG has an SD card slot and a 1.3″ bigger display (and official CyanogenMod 11 support, so KitKat can run on it – I put CM on all my Android devices, including my Nexuses, because it’s simply better than any stock ROM out there). Google made a mistake sticking to 7″ with their 2013 Nexus 7, IMHO – that should be enough to rule it out of the top 5.

    Nexus 10 does need an update, but not another 10″ display please. Probably wants to be 11″ or 12″ at the same weight as the Nexus 10 if possible, but not stupidly priced like Samsung’s latest 12.2″ effort (which I’d have bought if it was about 400 pounds = $650 in the UK – RRP in the UK is 649 pounds = $1050, which is *stupid* money to spend on an Android tablet).

  • Michael

    According to the Specification Sheet I downloaded from the Lenovo site the Yoga 10 HD+ has a resolution of 1920 x 1200.