Optimized for productivity. Boasts vivid 12-inch Super AMOLED display with sharp pixel ratio. Fast octa-core processor. Four Dolby Atmos-capable speakers output cinematic sound. Battery life tops 14 hours. Comes with Samsung S Pen stylus. Available in 4 stylish colors.
The Tab S7 Plus is a bit big and heavy for a tablet.
An especially affordable tablet that offers a large collection of entertainment apps. Features Alexa voice controls and stereo speakers. Boasts up to 12 hours of battery life. Available in 32GB and 64GB, and 4 colors.
Optimized for leisure rather than productivity. Bulky compared to the Amazon Fire HD 8.
Offers office-like productivity optimization. Features a bright 11-inch OLED TFT screen. Four speakers with Dolby Atmos improve streaming video and audio. Up to 15 hours of battery life. Comes with Samsung S Pen.
Doesn't come with a headphone jack.
Offers up to 33 hours of mixed usage time with each charge. Captures high-resolution images with 5MP and 8MP cameras. Equipped with an efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor.
Might not be ideal for those in need for more advanced technical use.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Google’s Android mobile operating system is the most popular mobile OS on the planet. Every day, millions of Android users interact with the apps and functionalities that are essential to their daily lives. Android isn’t just for smartphones, though. It can now be found on mobile tablets from a wide variety of manufacturers. With an Android tablet, users can do everything they do on their smartphones but with a much larger screen and a more powerful set of internal components. If you’ve ever wondered what your Android phone would be like in a larger size with some augmented features, now’s the time to look into an Android tablet.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are hundreds of different Android tablets available in the ecosystem, ranging from models that are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform and are as fast as laptops to models that barely respond to touch input. That’s where we come in.
Read on for our best advice on Android tablets – how to pick out the perfect one, what to look for, and which features are essential – and then check out our top picks.
Before you get lost in a sea of technical specifications and jargon about Android tablets, consider these three questions:
Consider your primary use cases – these should have the biggest influence on your decision. If you plan on using a tablet for watching movies in bed or casual web browsing from the couch, almost any Android tablet will do. If you want to use a tablet to take notes, you’ll need one with a bigger screen and good stylus support. Picture your ideal scenarios, and then think about the tablets that best fit them in terms of size and power. Once you have a general idea of how big and powerful you need a tablet to be, you can focus on models that meet your criteria.
All tablets are portable in theory, but in reality, they can weigh anywhere between 2 and 5 pounds. That may not sound like much, but your shoulders will be able to tell the difference after a day of carrying your tablet around. If you plan on taking your tablet lots of places with you, consider getting a lighter model or one with a screen on the small side. If you’re mostly going to keep your tablet in one place, portability matters a lot less, so that might be a good reason to go with a larger tablet.
Ports for standard 3.5mm headphones are an endangered species, and it’s only a matter of time before they disappear altogether. If you’ve got a collection of hi-fi headphones, or you just prefer the simplicity of traditional headphones , make sure the tablet you buy has a headphone jack. If you buy a tablet without a headphone jack by mistake, that’s OK. You can always get an adapter for using the tablet’s native ports, or you can buy a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones.
There are a lot of different features to compare across the tablet market, but before you start comparing CPUs or RAM, consider the three features that will have the biggest impact on your overall experience.
Brand: Every manufacturer has its own approach to Android tablets, ranging from the quality of the build materials down to the look and feel of Android. Many brands have a strong reputation for making great Android tablets, such as Samsung, LG, Amazon Fire, or ASUS. Others, like HP or Acer, are known for shipping flimsy, buggy hardware. Stick with a name brand you know, and avoid getting an Android tablet that’s frustrating and underpowered.
Screen size: The screen size defines the tablet, so this is one of the first key decisions to make. If you want a portable Android tablet that can fit in a purse or a satchel, stick with models in the 7- to 8-inch range. If you want one that’s about the size of a sheet of paper, look for a mid-size option in the 9- to 10-inch range. If you need an Android tablet with a large screen, you’ll find many of them come on 2-in-1 laptops.
LTE support: Most Android tablets are WiFi-only, but some premium models contain an LTE radio, so you can pair them with a subscription to your wireless provider and get LTE internet on your tablet anywhere you go. If your tablet is mostly going to be used in areas where there’s WiFi, you don’t need to get an LTE-enabled model, but if you’re often out and about without WiFi and still want it to be able to get online, you should get one. Monthly subscription rates for LTE-enabled tablets vary based on your wireless provider.
If you are considering switching from an Apple iPad to an Android tablet, you should expect a bit of a learning curve. However, most Android owners find that the devices are straightforward to operate.
Inexpensive: If you’re looking for a basic or entry-level Android tablet, you’ll need to spend between $100 and $250. Tablets in this price range are usually on the smaller side and typically ship with an older version of Android. If you’re looking for the best budget tablet for casual web browsing or for streaming movies and TV shows, you can find a good bargain in this range. If you’re looking for a tablet that’s fast and can keep up with your schoolwork or business, the price tag will be higher.
Mid-range: Tablets in the $250 to $500 range represent the best value. They’re fast enough to support anything you want to throw at them, they run current versions of Android, and they come in sizes up to 10 inches. If you need a tablet that’s fast enough to easily handle basic tasks and will perform well doing intensive work, this is the price range to keep in mind.
Expensive: If you want the fastest Android tablet available, or you want a mid-range model with some high-end upgrades, plan on spending anywhere between $500 and $1,200. Tablets in this price range truly spare no expense: they have huge screens, a ton of storage space, and best-in-class processors. And best of all, these tablets hold their resale value better than cheaper models. If you know you’ll want an upgrade in the next year or two, it might make sense to spend more on a smart tab now.
Whether you are a fan of the iPad Pro or the iPad Mini, there is an Android tablet available that’s comparable in screen size, performance, and features to your favorite iOS device.
The Huawei MediaPad is great on paper: it’s affordable, comes with impressive specs, and it’s as thin and light as a Microsoft Surface Pro. Unfortunately, it’s also riddled with performance issues. Because it uses one radio for both Bluetooth and WiFi, the performance of both suffers. Similarly, it can slow to a crawl when connected to an older 2.4GHz WiFi network. On the other hand, the ASUS ZenPad 10 is a strong contender if you can deal with a few minor flaws. It’s inexpensive, has a huge HD screen, and comes with a year of 100GB free storage from Google Drive. If you just need a basic tablet that will last a few years, this is a great option. We also like the entry-level Samsung Galaxy Tab a7 that’s affordable yet offers nice features, including the responsive Exynos processor and a fast-charging USB-C port. Although it had Android 10 when it was introduced to the market in 2020, it’s been updated with Android 11 so you can expect improved performance.
Another budget-friendly model with reliable performance is Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Plus, which is powered by the Fire OS and the speedy quad-core processor. We like that it’s been updated to accommodate wireless charging. While it’s lacking some of the features of our top picks, it’s a good choice for students or beginners who don’t have a lot to spend.
A. It’s not required, but it’s a good idea if you want to keep your tablet’s screen free of scratches or cracks. If you’re not going to get a protective case for your tablet, it’s probably a good idea to get a screen protector, but if you are planning on getting a case, get one with a cover for the screen so you can skip getting a separate screen protector.
A. WiFi standards have evolved over the years to deliver faster wireless internet speeds and the increased broadcast range on wireless routers. WiFi first hit the mainstream using the 802.11b standard, then evolved to 802.11g, then 802.11n, and eventually on to the current standard, 802.11ac. (Each standard is always backward-compatible with prior standards.) For the fastest WiFi available, buy an Android tablet with 802.11ac WiFi, and avoid buying one that uses an older, slower version of WiFi.
A. Sort of. With the right app, you can use your Android tablet as an additional screen for a laptop or desktop computer, but you can’t use a tablet as a primary monitor for another computer. To learn more, search the Google Play Store for second-screen Android apps.
If you need to work with a monitor, another option is to purchase a high-end tablet like the Samsung Tab S7 that’s compatible with the Samsung deX system. You can add gadgets like a mouse, monitor, and keyboard to tablets in this family for an experience that’s similar to using a desktop computer.