Best Android Tablets [August 2014]

best-tablets-april-2014

While not much has changed at the top of our list this month, one surprising new entry to our best tablets list managed to knock another recurring slate from this month’s rankings. Which was it? Read on to find out.

Previously: JulyJune | May | April

5. Nexus 7

New Nexus 7 atop box

As the fall approaches and with it the official launch of Google’s Android L update, there is a good chance at least one new Nexus Tablet is on its way. The good news for Nexus 7 owners is we can expect Android L support for this already available slate that Google released last year. The Nexus 7 won’t set the world on fire with its increasingly modest hardware outfit, but for its sub-$250 price it’s a hard tablet to beat.

4. LG G Pad

lg g pad family

Like the Nexus 7, the G Pad line from LG strives to provide as much bang for as little buck as possible (starting at $150), resulting in three middle-of-the-road tablets that offer a surprisingly robust feature set. Borrowing the interface and design language of the LG G3 — we consider it the best Android phone on the market — the G Pad makes a great all-around device for fun and play with a form factor (7, 8, and 10-inch models) to suit any taste.

3. NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet

nvidia shield tablet

The SHIELD Tablet arrived last month with the sort of hardcore processing power only a company like NVIDIA could provide. This tablet has impressed with its deft ability to transition between a serious gaming machine and a solid all-around tablet. It’s the perfect blend of NVIDIA’s rich history in gaming and their newer forays into mobile entertainment. The best thing is this one doesn’t break the bank at $299 (though gaming peripherals will run you extra).

2. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

sony-xperia-z2-tablet-6

The stylish and powerful Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet made its debut on Verizon last month, giving even more customers the opportunity to experience one of the best Android tablet experiences out there. The classiness of the device belies its durability and waterproof construction, making the Z2 Tablet a go-anywhere device. And you’ll want to take it everywhere even if only as a fashion accessory.

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S

galaxy-tab-s-software

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S feels like the Android tablet they have always wanted to make: stunning Super AMOLED display, rock-solid hardware, and features that actually add to the device and take advantage of its form factor. Samsung was eyeing the iPad when they designed this slate, and it might be the first on the market that has a reasonable shot at competing head-to-head with Apple’s mainstay.

Honorable Mentions

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro DSC05107

  1. Samsung Galaxy NotePro  This tablet’s high price and large form factor have finally bumped it from the top five, but for those that are looking for an ultra premium slate this is the one.
  2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 — Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 line is aimed at the budget-minded consumer but delivers plenty for the price tag.
  3. Lenovo Yoga HD 10+ — A transforming kickstand provides new ways to interact with this top-notch tablet.
  4. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX — For the Amazon lover, the Kindle Fire HDX provides access to their entire library of digital content and more.
  5. LG G Pad 8.3 — Usurped by LG’s updated G Pad line, the G Pad 8.3 has become an even more affordable option that still manages to hold its own.

Tablets to look forward to

The tablets we have to look forward to subscribe to the sentiment that bigger is always better. Offering more than one user experience with keyboard docks and swappable operating systems, the trend could become the next big thing in mobile computing.

LG Tab Book

lg tab book android

Debuting toward the tail end of July, the new LG Tab Book features an insane hardware setup to power its dual tablet/netbook design. We’re talking an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, Intel HD graphics, and 128GB of internal storage. Announced in Korea, our only concern is whether to not this Android-power Tab Book will see a larger global release.

ASUS Transformer Book V

ASUS Transformer Book V_PR02

Announced a couple months back, we have had plenty of time to salivate over this Android tablet behemoth. With five different modes (phone, tablet, and netbook with both Android and Windows modes), this is truly a device designed for multitasking. The ASUS Transformer Book V is still on track for a launch later this year (we’re guessing plans could be clarified at September’s IFA show).

Rumor Mill

How long must a rumor exist before it is either verified or debunked? It seems like we have been hearing of a rumored Nexus tablet for months, and it remains a hot item alongside increasing buzz pertaining to HTC’s own reemerging interest in the form factor.

HTC tablets

htc-flyer-tablet

It has been a while since HTC has made any serious attempt at producing an Android tablet, but that could be changing soon. Talk of multiple HTC-made slates launching later this year has picked up in recent weeks, but there is still little known about the devices outside of potential model numbers.

Nexus tablet refresh

google nexus devices

Speaking of HTC-made tablets, the company is the name most often attached to a potential Nexus tablet refresh that could include at least the Nexus 8 but potentially more. The tablet has reportedly already entered testing but much about it still remains a mystery.

What say you?

IFA has a history of being a hotbed for new tablet releases, so take a good look at this month’s rankings. Things could be mighty different come the fall. Did we get it right or do you have your own take on the best Android tablet available. Let us know your favorites in the comments below!

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  • toomuchgame441

    Not a single tablet listed that I would consider buying…

    • Lennatron

      And what tablets are you considering…?

  • Keith S

    I want the Transformer V.

  • Lactose_the_Intolerant

    Pretty sure Samsung employs wizards. I purchased a Tab S 10.5 over the weekend – dat screen… OH BABY DAT SCREEN! Absolutely insane. Also: the device is thinner than Sammy’s S5 phone?! Wizards – the whole lot of ‘em.

  • blisterpeanuts

    The general quality, software, and pricing is much better than in the early days of Android. As an iPad user and Android programmer, I consider Android 4.x to be on a par with iOS on tablets.

    The tablets listed above are skinned versions of Android, except for the Nexus 7. That’s OK, as long as you’re not in a hurry to update to the next Android version.

    In October-November, we’ll find out what Google has up its sleeve as far as a replacement for the aging Nexus 5-7-10 product line. Probably a 6 phone and an 8 tablet, faster processors and better camera, for the same price. The Nexus 5 may go on sale in September; watch for a $100 price drop to clear out inventory.

  • Martin Lane

    From a performance perspective the nvidia Shield Tablet is #1, easily outclasses everything else on the list and comes in at a reasonable price, also unlike the Nexus 7 it features an sdcard slot.

    I want to like the Galaxy Tab S but the Exynos SoC is slow in comparison and the storage options are not great, the Xperia Z2 lacks display resolution compared to other 10″ tablets and shouldn’t be #2.

    Also before users say you can’t tell the difference, yes you can quite easily. Don’t sprout BS please.

  • T4rd

    I don’t care for tabs much, but I would have put the Shield at #1. The only thing the Tab S has on it is the display and extra GB of RAM. Shield spanks it in terms of performance and it has those nice front facing speakers. Plus the form factor is a lot more manageable for most people. It will probably be updated a lot faster than any Samsung tab as well.

    • irishrally

      And it’s relatively cheap.

  • Eric Hayes

    I just bought the Note Pro LTE…I wouldn’t even consider any of the other ones with the exception of the Tab S…Anything less than 8 inches is a phone to me. I also own the Note 3…I never really saw the point in an 8 inch tablet. Also, a lack of some kind of MicroSD option is stupid.

  • barondebxl

    I hear the Tab S is a lagfest.

    • Dave Bootista

      Not really. I’m enjoying mine quite a bit. And while it does sputter once in a while (I blame Samsung’s software, as I’d love to find a way to get stock android on this thing.) its’ screen more then makes up for any lag. The screen is simply incredible. Also, the tablet is no slouch when it comes to gaming, either. It’s handled every game I’ve thrown at it with no issues.

  • Michael Katz

    When are they going to announce the new Nexus 7?

  • Champion of the Internets

    My brother bought me an iPad Air for Christmas while I already had a tablet, a Samsung Galaxy tab. I told him to keep his iPad because I already had a tablet, and so he did. But a few weeks later he borrowed me

    his iPad Air while my Galaxy tab was being fixed (the screen switched on and off on its own all the time). Using the iPad Air for 2 weeks, I became in love with it. My brother noticed and so he told me he’d buy me a new one because he wanted to keep the iPad he was gonna give me first because he also had fallen in love with it.

    I put my Galaxy Tab up for sale in February but it’s still not sold (I’m asking 80$ for it). Maybe I will buy the iPad 2 but first I need to sell my Galaxy Tab.

  • Bill Gaydon

    Hisense Sero Pro 7 baby, a buck twenty nine

  • CaMiX

    Shield tablet FTW.

  • Rdfry

    Tab pro 8.4 great tablet for $279.99.

  • talhamid

    I used a Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. Stunning QHD display, light, tasteful, with Snapdragon 800, 2 GB RAM, Samsung’s professional apps – and boy was it slow and laggy. I still love it but that lag is pushing me towards flashing CyanogenMod on it

    • Rdfry

      I don’t know what this lag is. I just never experience it.

  • GoodKnighty1

    Some of the best tablets I’ve touched were in the seven inch screen class, and I was impressed them. Don’t know why they’re focused so much on tablets with larger screens. Bigger insn’t necessarily better. The 7″ Samsung Tab 3 is still pretty hard to beat in any price class.

  • Sphyg

    When will tablets with actual screen space finally hit the market? I’m talking about something the size of a sheet of paper. Is that too much to ask?

  • vawwyakr

    Strange article as it doesn’t really compare them in a pros and cons way, so I have no idea why one is “better” than the other. Personally I really like the Nvidia Shield Tablet, I’m just waiting for the 32 gb version to be released.

  • Blaise_90

    Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition LTE FTW (Say that 10 times fast)