What is the best Android tablet right now? New devices are being released every month and it’s hard to even know what is out there. That’s what I am for. I’m visiting almost every trade show to check out new announcements. Once an Android tablet is available, I review it thoroughly. I’ve been doing this since 2008 and I used almost every tablet that has been released since then. In this guide, I’m giving you an overview of the best Android tablets you can buy right now in 2023.
At the beginning of this guide, I’m giving you a quick overview in case you quickly want to find what you’re looking for without reading my in-depth explanations. Further down, you can read more detailed information about the tablets and I also included links to my full reviews.
You might notice that some Android tablets are not on this list. While I usually did review them, I just can’t justify putting them on this list because they’re not good enough for some reason. But if you’re looking for a specific tablet, you can check out all my tablet reviews here.
Best Android Tablets: An Overview
Here is a quick overview of the best Android tablets that I can recommend right now.
- Best overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series (on Amazon*). The three tablets of the Galaxy Tab S8 series are the best Android tablets you can buy right now. We get amazing performance, very pretty 11-inch, 12.4-inch, and 14.6-inch displays, the fantastic S Pen, and almost every premium feature you can think of. On top, Samsung is promising updates for years to come.
- Best Galaxy Tab S8+ alternative: Lenovo Tab P12 Pro (on Amazon*). The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is an interesting alternative to the Galaxy Tab S8+ in case you want to save some money. Here we get a nice 12.6-inch screen too, a premium built quality, as well as lots of premium features, and a very interesting keyboard cover that can be used while detached from the tablet.
- Great 11-inch OLED tablet: Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 (on Amazon*). The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 is the only current 11-inch tablet with a fantastic OLED screen making it a great alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. While it’s a bit weaker, it’s also cheaper offering a good performance, a long battery life, a nice keyboard cover and an optional pen.
- Cheaper Galaxy Tab S8 alternative: Xiaomi Pad 5 (on Amazon*). The Xiaomi Pad 5 is a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy Tab S8. It’s weaker regarding almost everything but it’s also a lot cheaper and continues to have lots of premium features. Among them are good performance, a nice screen, as well as an optional stylus.
- Best mid-range tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE has the same size as the Galaxy Tab S8+ but it’s a lot cheaper. While some premium features are missing, the S Pen continues to be included, the software will be up-to-date for a long time as well, and you can use it with the same keyboard covers as the S7+. The overall value is excellent.
- Great 10-inch mid-ranger: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 Edition is a smaller 10.4-inch version of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. If you can live without some features, you get a fantastic value here as well. The pen is included, the performance is good enough for most, and the software is up-to-date.
- Cheap 12-inch tablet: Honor Pad 8 (on Amazon*). The Honor Pad 8 is a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive tablet with a large screen and good speakers. While it has a fullHD resolution only, we’re getting a large 12-inch display which is unique in its price class. However, most other aspects like graphics performance and battery life are okay only.
- Great entry-level tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 (on Amazon*). If you can live with the basics only, you don’t need the S Pen and don’t want a great gaming performance anyways, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 can be your choice. It’s an affordable entry-level tablet that’s certainly good enough for surfing the web, watching Netflix and YouTube, and playing simpler games.
- Cheapest 10-inch recommendation: Amazon Fire HD 10 (on Amazon*). Even cheaper than the Galaxy Tab A8 is usually the Amazon Fire HD 10. It’s the cheapest 10-inch tablet that I can recommend. One big highlight is its long battery life and it’s well suited for surfing the web and watching Netflix or Prime Video. However, the Google Play Store is missing out of the box.
- Good 8-inch Android tablet: realme Pad mini (on Amazon*). The realme Pad mini is an affordable 8-inch Android tablet in case you’re looking for something small and handy. You can get it with LTE and phone capabilities too. It’s great for reading eBooks and websites but also to play a couple of less demanding games. Sadly, there’s no high-end 8-inch Android tablet that’s widely available at the moment.
- Cheapest recommendation: Amazon Fire 7 2022 (on Amazon*). The Amazon Fire 7 2022 Edition is the cheapest Android tablet that I can kind of recommend. It’s an interesting choice if you’re looking for something very affordable and a cheap price is the most important feature for you. Yes, it’s usable, of course, but you’ve got to live without tons of features. But it’s certainly fine for kids and babies to watch videos with or to listen to music.
Best Android Tablets: In-Depth Look
Okay, let’s check out the best options in more detail! Don’t forget to also read the full reviews linked under each tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Series: The Fastest Android Tablets
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, Galaxy Tab S8+, and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are the best Android tablets you can buy right now based on my reviews. Their main differentiator is their screen size. With 11-inches the Galaxy Tab S8 is the smallest and has a standard LCD. It’s followed by the 12.4-inch Galaxy Tab S8+ with a Super AMOLED screen and the 14.6-inch Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has the same display technology.
Sure, their screens are a little bit different, but overall they all look fantastic. They support 120Hz each so that animations look very smooth. Due to high resolutions, they’re very sharp and also quite bright with 500 nits. The Super AMOLED devices are the only ones that support HDR content in Netflix and other services.
I always love that Samsung is including the S Pen stylus so that you don’t have to buy it extra. The pen supports over 4000 levels of pressure sensitivity and is charged inductively by the tablets. You need the battery for a few features only, for instance, to use them as a remote in Microsoft PowerPoint. You can write with an empty battery just fine.
Pre-installed are the fantastic Samsung Notes app and the Air Commands for the S Pen. There are tons of features for the pen and most of them work great. Thanks to their 120Hz screens, it looks like the writing looks super smooth. Overall, the writing and drawing experience is fantastic.
Inside all of them sits a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that has access to 8GB up to 16GB of RAM. You can get them with up to 512GB of storage and optional 5G. Thanks to these specs, all of them are much faster than the other tablets on this list and are capable of playing demanding games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile with the highest graphics settings.
The operating system is Android 12 and as is common for Samsung, the interface is customized quite heavily. While there are some useless features, most are quite useful and that certainly goes for the Samsung DeX desktop mode. With that one, you can use the tablets like a Desktop PC. That’s very cool in case you want to get some work done and especially when using a keyboard cover. Samsung is selling two different kinds for all of them.
I think Samsung did a fantastic job here, thanks to their metal bodies they feel very high-end, we get four great speakers and a fingerprint scanner. With the AMOLED versions, that reader sits below the screen.
Which one should you get? I would decide based on the screen size alone. Is an 11-inch, 12.4-inch, or 14.6-inch display better suited for you?
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro: The Best Galaxy Tab S8+ Alternative
The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro resembles the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ a lot. While some aspects are a bit weaker, it’s usually a bit cheaper, so it can be a good alternative.
Just like with Samsung, we’re getting a very pretty AMOLED display that is a little bit larger at 12.6 inches. It has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and can display HDR content just fine. Active pens are supported and the Lenovo Precision Pen 3 is included which is quite rare for Lenovo. That stylus is fine but I like the S Pen more.
Its built quality is very high-end so the Tab P12 Pro looks and feels like a pricy tablet. Well, it is expensive as well, so no wonder. The four speakers on its sides sound great, we get a fingerprint scanner, and thanks to Project Unity you can use the tablet as an external display for a Windows PC. Its battery life is very long.
Thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage, it’s very powerful. You can get a version with 5G too. As I said, the performance is excellent and just a bit below the Galaxy Tab S8+. It clearly belongs to the upper class, though, and is capable of playing Fornite with epic graphics and 60 FPS.
A very unique feature is its keyboard cover that you can get as an option with the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro. Yes, at first sight, it just looks like the Samsung one, but here we get Bluetooth support and a small built-in battery. This allows you to use the keyboard while it’s attached but also while it’s detached from the tablet. That’s very cool. For instance, you can place the tablet on a table and use the keyboard on your lap.
One big disadvantage of most Lenovo tablets is future updates. The P12 Pro was released running Android 11 and even though it’s promised to get updates until 2024, Samsung usually releases new software longer.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2: 11-Inch OLED Tablet
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 is a great alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 if you want to save some money and want an 11-inch OLED screen. All other current OLED tablets have a 12-inch display. Compared to LCDs, OLEDs offer much deeper blacks and more saturated colors. The Lenovo supports HDR 10+ movies, is 600 nits bright and supports 120Hz.
Inside the tablet runs a MediaTek Kompanio 1300T octa-core processor with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and a 128GB or 256GB internal storage. It’s a great tablet for gaming even with more demanding titles. However, compared to the Galaxy Tab S8 some games don’t look as good. With that being said, it got an amazing result of 10.5 hours in my standard battery test.
You can get the Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 with an active stylus called the Lenovo Precision Pen 3. It’s a great pen but in a direct comparison, I prefer the Apple Pencil or S Pen. A big reason for that is their better software. Another optional accessory is a keyboard cover which is a very good one.
The only big downside is its plastic body while most competitors are made of metal. And it’s lacking some features like a fingerprint scanner.
Xiaomi Pad 5: Cheaper Galaxy Tab S8 Alternative
Even though the Xiaomi Pad 5 is a bit weaker in most points than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, it gets very close anyways. Here the biggest highlight is its price because, despite its flagship aspirations, it often costs just half of the S8. That’s probably one reason why it’ll get much shorter updates, is not as powerful, a fingerprint scanner is missing, and the pen costs extra.
At first sight, the Xiaomi Pad 5 resembles the S8 from Samsung a lot. But instead of a full metal body, we get a metal frame only and the back is plastic. It has four good speakers, a USB C port, as well as a magnetic area for the pen.
In my review, I couldn’t tell a difference between the displays of the Xiaomi Pad 5, Galaxy Tab S7, and S8. They could be the same 11-inch LCDs. No matter if that’s true, all of them have a very high resolution with 2560 x 1600 pixels and support 120Hz so that animations look smooth.
The Xiaomi Smart Pen has to be bought separately, is made of plastic, and has two buttons on its side. I love that you can use the same pen with the Xiaomi Book S 12.4 Windows tablet. While the pen is good, it’s not as fantastic as the S Pen. On the software side, it’s also lacking many features compared with Samsung but you can install apps from the Google Play Store, of course.
Due to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 SoC, it’s not as powerful as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 or Lenovo Tab P12 Pro but it kind of gets close. There’s also a Pro version with a Snapdragon 870. You can choose between 6GB and 8GB of RAM and get up to 256GB of internal storage. The Pro is the only one with optional 5G.
Even though that chipset doesn’t belong to the highest flagship class, you can play almost every game with the highest settings. Just like with the S8, Fortnite is among them but here it runs better when dropping the 3D resolution a bit. All other apps and games run fantastically.
Out of the box, it’s running Android 11 and in some regions, Xiaomi started to release updates to Android 12. I’m guessing that this will be one of its biggest weaknesses because I’m pretty sure it won’t be updated as long as the S8 will be.
By the way, if you want to get a lot of real work done, you can buy an official keyboard cover. It’s a decent one but not as good as the Samsung Book Cover Keyboard or the Apple Magic Keyboard.
Read: My Xiaomi Pad 5 Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE: The Best Mid-Range Tablet
I think the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is the best mid-range tablet on the market today. It’s a much weaker version of the Galaxy Tab S8+ and has the same size as its 12.4-inch display. While most premium features like a fingerprint scanner or especially good speakers are missing, it usually costs about half. So, you can save a lot of money but are still getting a large tablet.
Instead of an AMOLED panel, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE has a standard 12.4-inch LCD screen and supports standard 60Hz instead of the 120Hz of the S8+. The resolution continues to be as high at 2560 x 1600 Pixels, it’s very bright and looks great overall. You can use almost the same S Pen and that stylus is included. The software features are almost the same too.
Even though it’s a lot cheaper, we still get a metal body and in fact, the dimensions are the same. That means that you can use the same keyboard covers and other accessories that also work with the S8+. Very good.
Inside the WiFi version runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor and the 5G version features a Snapdragon 750G chipset. Both are mid-range SoCs with the WiFi version being a bit faster. You can get 4GB of 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.
Especially in benchmarks, it’s quite a bit slower than flagship tablets. But for standard tasks and normal apps, the performance is great. Most games run just fine as well, but with more demanding ones, you often have to reduce the graphics settings to about medium. PUBG Mobile does not work with Ultra HD graphics, for instance, but runs great with HD settings.
Android 11 is pre-installed and just like with their pricier tablets, Samsung is pretty good with updates here as well. The software is almost the same as on the S8+ not just regarding the S Pen. Here too we get the Samsung DeX desktop mode and the fantastic Samsung Notes app.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022: A Good 10-Inch Mid-Ranger
The 2022 edition of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite offers a very good value if you’re looking for a more affordable 10-inch mid-range tablet. That also means it’s a cheaper alternative to the Galaxy Tab S8 but much smaller than the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. Besides its screen size, it resembles the S7 FE a lot. The S6 Lite from 2020 is almost the same as the 2022 edition. But because of longer software updates, I just recommend the 2022 edition as a new buy.
We get a 10.4-inch LCD with a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels which certainly is high enough for its size. It’s a standard 60Hz panel which is bright enough, colors and contrast look fine, and it looks better than entry-level tablets.
Just like with the other tablets of the Galaxy Tab S series, the S Pen is included and works the same. That’s why the S6 Lite is very well suited for handwritten notes and drawings if you want to save some money. The Samsung Notes App and the Air Commands are the same as on the S8 and S7 FE.
The internal hardware is a lot weaker than the S8 and also weaker than the Xiaomi Pad 5. Inside runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. LTE is an option too.
As I said, the performance is a lot weaker. Common apps run fine on the S6 Lite and you can even install Fortnite but play it with the lowest graphic settings only. Intensive multitasking is possible with simpler apps, but when using more demanding ones, you will see some stutters.
Out of the box, it’s running Android 12 and I’m sure Samsung will release updates for a couple of years to come. Pre-installed are the Samsung DeX desktop mode and all other features that we get with the S7 FE.
Yes, we do get a metal body here and it does feel well made. It has two speakers only and a fingerprint scanner is missing. It’s a USB C 2.0 port instead of a 3.1 one, so you cannot connect external monitors. I also think it’s a bit sad that Samsung is not offering a great keyboard cover.
Honor Pad 8: Cheap 12-Inch Tablet
The Honor Pad 8 is a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap tablet with a large display and good speakers for watching movies using Netflix and Prime Video or YouTube. While it’s lacking pretty much all premium features, it has a large 12-inch IPS display and pretty good speakers. That makes it a good and affordable entertainment device.
The 12-inch display has a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels which is just over full HD. I think that’s quite low on 12 inches and when looking carefully, you can see some pixelation. Texts and icons don’t look super sharp. However, a full HD resolution is certainly fine for watching movies.
Inside runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 octa-core processor with 6GB of RAM and a 128GB internal storage. Thanks to the large RAM, multitasking works well and the tablet feels surprisingly snappy. However, it’s not ideal for gaming. You’ve got to play most demanding games with low graphics settings.
Even though the Honor Pad 8 is missing features like a fingerprint scanner, it does have a full metal body making it look and feel more expensive than it is. Sadly, the battery life turned out to be quite short in my review.
Read: My Honor Pad 8 review
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8: A Good Entry-Level Tablet
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is a good entry-level tablet if you want to save some money and can live without all the premium features. A fingerprint scanner and the S Pen are missing, there’s no Samsung DeX, and overall it’s a bit weaker than the S6 Lite. For many and especially if you don’t have high expectations, it’s fine.
Even though the Galaxy Tab A8 has a metal body too, it does not feel as high-end as the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. Its four speakers make you think it should have a fantastic sound, but in reality, it’s weaker than the S6 Lite with its two speakers. But we do get a USB-C port as well.
The 10.5-inch LCD screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels and as usual, I think that’s sharp enough. Overall, it’s a usable screen, but especially compared to higher-end pricier tablets, it looks much worse. As I said, there’s no S Pen, and that kind of stylus is not supported.
With its Unisoc Tiger T618 processor, the performance is good enough. You can get versions with 3GB and 4GB of RAM or 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. LTE is an option too. If possible, I would get the 128GB version because apps cannot be easily written to a microSD card here. But it does have a microSD card slot.
The performance is fine for most apps but when doing intensive multitasking, you will see some stutters. It’s also to be expected that you cannot play games like PUBG Mobile with the highest graphics. But HD graphic is possible.
I like the software on Samsung devices. Even though Samsung DeX is missing and the S Pen is not supported, we do get the fantastic Samsung Notes app. Pre-installed is Android 11 and I’m pretty sure that it’ll get a couple of updates.
Amazon Fire HD 10 and HD 10 Plus: Crazy Cheap
The Amazon Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus are the cheapest 10-inch Android tablets that I can recommend. While we get plastic bodies here that feels very cheap, the hardware is surprisingly good for its price. But remember that with Amazon devices, you’ve got to install the Google Play Store yourself. Out of the box, you can use the Amazon App Store alone.
Between the Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus the differences are minor. The Fire HD 10 Plus has 4GB of RAM instead of 3GB and supports wireless charging. You can get it with a wireless charging dock.
According to Amazon, both tablets are twice as robust as the Apple iPad 8. They just look cheap but seem to be well built. With 9.2mm, they’re quite thick but we get a microSD card slot and a USB C 2.0 port.
Both Fire HD 10 versions have the same 10.1-inch FullHD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. They resemble the screen of the Galaxy Tab A8. As with that one, no active pen is supported. But they’re fine to watch Netflix and Prime Video and the speakers are decent too.
Considering its price, the graphics performance of the MediaTek MT8183 chipset is pretty good so you can play PUBG Mobile with HD graphics. Most games run but often not with high settings. Fortnite is not supported. Sadly, there’s no LTE option but you can choose between 3GB and 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of storage.
The Fire HD 10 is an Android tablet but it’s not running Google Android. Instead, it’s running Amazon’s Android. That has one big advantage because Amazon is releasing updates for quite a long time. A big disadvantage is, however, that the Google Play Store is missing. You can install it yourself and there are tons of tutorials for that. But if you’re not into technology, you probably don’t want to deal with that.
On a positive note, Amazon’s services are deeply integrated and that also goes for the Alexa voice assistant. You can use the tablet like you can an Echo Smart Display.
A big highlight of the Fire HD 10 is its battery life of 9 hours when looping an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness.
realme Pad mini: A Good 8-Inch Android Tablet
The realme Pad mini is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for an affordable 8-inch Android tablet. Recently, there haven’t been any premium Android tablets with an 8-inch screen that are widely available. So if you’re looking for a high-end device, I suggest you get the iPad Mini. But if you want to save some money, the realme Pad mini is a good choice.
Despite its cheap pricing, we get a premium-feeling metal body which makes you think it’s pricier than it is. There’s no fingerprint scanner but we do get a microSD card slot, a USB C 2.0 port, and a standard headphone jack. The speakers are usable for YouTube and Netflix but not amazing.
Its biggest highlight is the 8.7-inch display. It has a resolution of 1340 x 800 pixels which is not great but okay at this screen size. All other aspects are pretty good and I enjoyed reading eBooks with it. But it’s a bit too dark for direct sunlight.
We don’t get a top-of-the-line performance here, of course. PUBG Mobile and other games run but not with the highest graphics setting. It’s certainly not a great gaming tablet but a usable one. A bit of multitasking is possible too. Inside sits a Unisoc T616 octa-core processor that can access 3GB or 4GB of RAM and you can get 32GB or 64GB of storage.
The company is offering an LTE version and with that one, you can make phone calls and insert two different SIM cards.
Even though almost pure Android 11 is pre-installed out of the box, I don’t think that the realme Pad mini will get many software updates. At a press event, I asked them and didn’t get a clear answer. Which I guess means no or very few updates. The battery life is very long, however.
Amazon Fire 7: Crazy Cheap
At the bottom of this list sits the 2022 edition of the Amazon Fire 7. It costs way below 100 dollars and is the weakest tablet on this list. I can recommend it if you want to spend as little money as possible and are looking for an especially cheap device. The Fire 7 is usable, sure, and that’s certainly the case for young kids and babies. But it plays in the lowest league regarding almost everything.
The plastic body does look and feel very cheap. However, according to Amazon, it’s twice as robust as the Apple iPad Mini. At 9,67mm it’s quite thick, we get a microSD card slot and a USB C port. A fingerprint reader and other premium features are missing and the single speaker is quite silent.
I like the size of its 7-inch screen but the resolution is very low at 1024 x 600 pixels. Actually, I think most aspects of the display are okay. But it’s a bit disappointing that the screen is not laminated. That means there’s a small visible air gap between the IPS panel and touchscreen. Amazon is saving everywhere and I guess that’s why such a cheap price is possible.
The performance is not great either. On a positive note, the performance is better than its predecessor thank to the MediaTek MT8168A chipset and it’s also better than the Fire HD 8. But it’s a lot weaker than the Fire HD 10 and Galaxy Tab A8. The realme Pad mini is more powerful as well. We get 2GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of storage but there’s no LTE version.
Just like with the Fire HD 10, the Fire 7 is an Android tablet but all Google apps and the Google Play Store are missing. You can install them yourself but I think to do that, you need a bit of experience with Android. But it is Android. You can even install APKs from the internet and install other app stores.
Read: My Amazon Fire 7 Review
What About Huawei Tablets?
Like Samsung, Lenovo, and Amazon, Huawei is releasing new Android tablets every year. And in the past, I loved many of them and many were listed quite high on this list. But because of the trade war between the United States and China, the Google Play Store and all of Google’s Services are missing on new Huawei devices now. And you can’t install them as easily yourself as you can on Amazon’s devices.
Because of that, I can’t recommend any Huawei tablet for most people right now. If you’re getting an Android tablet, you usually want the Google Play Store, Google Chrome, YouTube, and Gmail. And you can’t even watch Netflix with HD resolution for a similar reason. That doesn’t stop me from reviewing them, of course.
If you’re looking for a mid-range tablet with active pen support, you can check out the Huawei MatePad 10.4. You can get it with an active stylus called the M Pencil. Basically, this tablet is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.
A cheap 8-inch tablet is the Huawei MatePad T8. It has an HD resolution, the performance is fine for simple tasks, but the 16GB internal storage is a bit too low. This is very similar to the Lenovo Tab M8 HD but without the Google Play Store.
The Huawei MatePad T10s is a direct competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 and Amazon Fire HD 10. I like the metal body and the speakers are surprisingly good for their price. The 10.1-inch screen is fine too. But again, it’s missing the Google Play Store and you can’t install it as easily as you can on the Fire HD 10. So, for most, I don’t see why you would want to get it.
Questions & Answers
Here I’m answering a couple of questions that I get asked frequently.
An Android tablet is a tablet running Android. They’re just bigger smartphones with a little bit of different software because the internal hardware is usually the same. That goes for the basic operating system as well. If you own an Android smartphone, you can mostly use the same apps on an Android tablet. As I said, the basic operating system is the same, but the screens are bigger.
Compared to a phone, tablets offer a couple of advantages. The screen is bigger, sure. But often we also get better speakers, the battery might last longer, and for many, you can get great accessories like active pens and keyboard covers. You can make phone calls with any LTE 4G tablets. So, if you like, you could even replace your phone with an 8-inch tablet.
Often I get asked how much you should spend on an Android tablet. How much performance do you need and when are you just wasting your money?
First: I can recommend all devices on this list. That’s why I’ve listed them above. But as you can imagine, the pricier tablets usually are more powerful than the cheaper ones. Usually, they also have better screens and more features like fingerprint scanners and four speakers.
But even with the cheapest ones, you can surf the web and watch videos on YouTube or Netflix just fine. Especially simpler games run on almost all tablets without any major issues. But yes, if you’re into gaming and want a good graphics performance, you’ll have to spend a bit more.
Unlike with Windows, Android tablets don’t get updated by the software maker Google directly but by the manufacture. No brand is perfect regarding this. In the past, Samsung has been the best because their devices usually get at least two big software updates. Starting with the Galaxy Tab S7, Samsung even promises to update them for three years.
Other brands like Lenovo and Huawei haven’t been as good in the past. And while Amazon does update theirs regularly, it has almost nothing to do with Google’s updates anymore.
If there’s a software update available for your tablet, you usually get a notification that you can download and install the newest version. But you can check that manually yourself too by going into the settings to “About tablet” and “Software updates”.
The short answer is: Yes. Microsoft Office is preinstalled on many tablets but you can also download it for free in the Google Play Store. Once you do that, you can use the mobile versions from apps like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, OneDrive, and so on. These apps are optimized for touchscreens.
With that being said, you don’t get all the features from the desktop versions. And you might need to be a subscriber of Microsoft 365 if your tablet is bigger than 10.1 inches.
Well, that depends on what you need from a laptop, of course. I would not want to use it to heavily edit videos or photos every day. But if you need a notebook for standard office work only, then yes, many Android tablets can replace your laptop. Among these are the high-end ones from Samsung, for instance, because they support the Samsung DeX desktop mode and you can buy official keyboard covers.
Yes. You can attach almost any mouse to an Android tablet. That works by using a Bluetooth connection or with a micro USB or USB C adapter.
That depends on what you’re looking for. A major advantage of Android tablets is the wide variety of different devices that you can get. The operating system is more open too. For instance, you can install apps that are not listed in the Google Play Store easily. That’s not possible on an iPad.
In the media, you can often read that Android tablets are dead. But that’s just a dramatic headline. In reality, all big brands including Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei, and Amazon are releasing several Android tablets each year. So, no, Android tablets are not dead.
How I Review Android Tablets
I reviewed all devices on this list myself. I test almost every tablet that gets released unless I’m not able to buy it because it’s released in other countries only. My reviews are linked above to all the devices on this list. If you want to find more, just check out the category “Reviews” on this website. There you’ll find others that haven’t made it to this list.
For my reviews, I’m always running a couple of basic, standard tests so that I get comparable results. Among those are a couple of benchmarks like AnTuTu, Geekbench, 3D Mark, and others that test the performance of the processor and graphics chip. If supported, I also always play the same couple of games like Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Call Of Duty, Asphalt 9, and others, so that I get a feel about the real performance.
To kind of get comparable battery life results, I always do the same battery test on all devices. I’m looping an HD video on YouTube at maximum brightness until the tablet shuts itself off. That’s a pretty realistic scenario that’s easy to run on every device. Sometimes I also do a battery test with videos running locally in case I want to compare it to an older tablet.
More important than benchmark results are my personal impression, though. A tablet can sound amazing on paper but if the software is not optimized, it can seem slow anyway. That’s why I use every tablet as my daily tablet for a while. I watch Netflix and YouTube, play a couple of games, use apps like Skype and I even get some work done in Microsoft Office and Adobe Lightroom.
Read my reviews to find out everything I do in more detail.
- This article was originally published on June 21st 2018.
- On May 10th 2018 I added the Huawei MediaPad M5 10.
- The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10, and T5 10 were added on September 26th. They replace the ASUS ZenPad 3S, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, and Lenovo Tab4 10 Plus.
- I removed the old Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 and added the Lenovo Tab P10 on November 26th.
- On May 10th 2019, I removed the Huawei MediaPad T5 10, Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2017, and Lenovo Tab4 8. I replaced them with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019, Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with S Pen, and Chuwi Hi9 Pro.
- Added the Galaxy Tab S5e on June 7th and removed the Lenovo Tab P10.
- The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 replaced the Galaxy Tab S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-T290 replaced the Chuwi Hi9 Pro on October 7th 2019.
- I added the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab and removed the Huawei MediaPad M5 10 on Januar 21st 2020. And I replaced the old Fire HD 10 with the new one.
- On November 25th 2020, I added the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, S6 Lite and A7 and removed a couple of older ones. I also added a couple of words about current Huawei tablets.
- I completely updated this whole list on September 2nd.
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