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.
5. Nexus 7
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
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.
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).
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
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.
- 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.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 — Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 line is aimed at the budget-minded consumer but delivers plenty for the price tag.
- Lenovo Yoga HD 10+ — A transforming kickstand provides new ways to interact with this top-notch tablet.
- Amazon Kindle Fire HDX — For the Amazon lover, the Kindle Fire HDX provides access to their entire library of digital content and more.
- 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
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
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).
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.
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
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!