Best Android-powered tablets (December 2012 edition)

Best Android-powered tablets (December 2012 edition)

Summary: While there's no doubt that the king of the tablets is Apple's iPad, that doesn't mean that there's no demand for Android-powered hardware. There are some very good reasons why an Android tablet might be perfect for you.

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  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

    The Galaxy Note 10.1 is Samsung's is a flagship tablet that commands a flagship price.

    The hardware is all top-notch, with a 10.1-inch screen with a 1280x800 resolution display, a 1.4GHz Exynos quad core processor, a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 100hour battery pack.

    The software is Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" but there's an upgrade path to Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean".

    For times when a finger just isn't precise enough, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with a nifty stylus called the S Pen specifically designed to work with a number of applications.

    Price: from $499.

    Link/image source: Samsung.

  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch

    This is Amazon's flagship Android tablet.

    The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with a 1920x1200 resolution, 1080p (HD) display with in-plane switching, Advanced True Wide (ATW) polarizing filter, and 10-point multi-touch support.

    Storage options are 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB (64GB only available on the 4G LTE version), but remember that there's no micro-SD card slot, so the model that you buy, you're stuck with for the life of the product.

    The Kindle Fire HD is also powered by some serious silicon. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD is powered by the latest generation dual-core 1.5GHz OMAP4 4470 processor with an on-board Imagination SGX544 graphics engine that's capable of over 12 billion floating point operations per second -- or 50 percent more than Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor.

    Also packed inside is a dual antenna design for better reception, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi and MIMO (Multiple In/Multiple Out) that offers higher bandwidth and longer range.

    Price: from $299.

    Link/image source: Amazon.

  • Asus Transformer TF300

    A power tablet that transforms into a notebook. It features a 10.1-inch screen with a 1280x800 desolution in-plane switching display and a 1.2GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. There's also an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, and 16GB of storage that can be augmented by the addition of a microSD card.

    The tablet is powered by Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".

    If you want a tablet that transforms into a notebook, then this is the tablet for you. Through the use of the optional keyboard dock (an additional $149), not only can you add a keyboard and touchpad, but you also get 5 hours of extra battery life.

    Price: from $350.

    Link/image source: Asus.

Topics: Android, Amazon, Google, Hardware, Samsung, Tablets

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51 comments
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  • I hate slide shows!

    I hate the waste of time it takes to go through these slide shows. Some have the option to see everything, but this one does not. (Probably so more ads can be sold.)

    So I'm not looking.
    mwells@...
    • I agree, not true anymore.

      Apple was the the King, but that's fading quickly this year. Android tablets are about to pass Apple sales. Yes, Apple is top selling tablet as far as one manufacturer goes, but Android is now King of laptops. The Apple Mini by the way has had really lacklustre sales, so in the smaller format market, Google Nexus is King.
      Laurentian Enterprises
      • Not sur I understand you? How is Android king of laptops for instance?

        I think that is still MS and by a wide margin in terms of both profit and volume. As for volume and or Market Share it is next to meaning little if at all. PROFIT per sale and after sales profit is what matters and in those terms Apple is KING. As for after sale revenue very few android OEM's see penny one while Apple rakes it in. So yeah let android have the market share crown big whoop.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • Honestly

      No one cares if you read it or not.
      Addison Szaksz
  • Sorry

    "While there's no doubt that the king of the tablets is Apple's iPad"

    Your opinion, and not shared by everyone.
    roteague
    • Blue blooded competition

      Not that I personally care, being that I don't yet own a tablet, but if iPads outsell tablets by any other manufacturer or platform, then that's not a matter of "opinion," it's a statement of fact. (I personally, however, am sure that Android tablets will very soon outsell and dominate Apple. But for now, that's just not yet the case.)
      mjgriff1
      • King of the...

        Toyota Camry outsells Bugatti Veyron by millions to one. Dare you to call the Camry "King of the road"
        warboat
        • Well...

          Yes. But this is not spam.
          notme403@...
        • Yes

          Even though I hate Camrys (sp?), yes. Your analogy is lost.
          mscalculus@...
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 inch?

    Is there any Samsung Galaxy Note 7 inch coming out any time? Willing to buy. (I already have nexux 7)
    limanemin@...
  • Cheap units and words

    "Not that Apple has released the iPad mini, this seems to have rekindled interest in smaller tablets. For those who are looking for a highly-portable tablet on a budget, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is worth a look."

    Do you mean NOW not NOT? That is why we cannot rely on spell checkers! We have to actually read what is written.
    ----------
    Someone should review the ACCEPTABLE low cost ones that are at or below $100, for us cheapskates. Not everyone needs a fantastic $400 machine. Of course most of us don't need one to begin with, but that is another subject. What about the no-name or Polaroid, or KOBO, or.... others that can be found at Big Lots and other off market stores for instance. It may be like buying a Yugo instead of a Caddilac, but not everyone needs/wants or can afford a Caddilac.
    What about rebuilt ones, in lieu of new ones? I don't see anyone discussing rebuilt anything. I suppose it depends on who rebuilt it and how they stand behind it.
    My daughter had bought a Polaroid machine once, but couldn't get it to work right so she took it back and go ther money refunded. That may be what any of the low priced ones are like, but no one reviews the bottom rungs of the ladder like they do the "best" at the top rungs. I will never spend top rung money on any electronics, so appease some of us who may be able to afford one, but are unwilling to spend the money on an item that still, for most of us, is a glorified e-reader/toy relegated to once a month usage. I have other items to spend my money on.
    dhays
    • Rftech

      My first tablet is a Rftech tablet, 7" with dual cameras (not great but useable pictures), GPS (works great), decent battery life. It has an average but decent display as well. It has been running very well and I still use it on the road because it's very portable. Price? Just a tad over $100, I think it was $119 (and free shipping on DinoDirect). I would recommend it anytime for the casual user who just wants it to check e-mail on the road, browse the internet and a pretty good GPS.
      Laurentian Enterprises
    • Playbook

      A good solid low-cost option is the Blackberry playbook. The OS is robust and the interface is one of the best around. It doesn't have the near the selection of apps that Apple or Android have but most of the bases are covered by what's there.

      I have a Playbook and use it a lot. I'd probably rather have a Nexus 7 but for what I use it for the Playbook is more than capable. It's really built solid. I've thought about replacing it with a Nexus 7 but there isn't anything there I really need to be honest.
      alawishis
      • yep

        i remember reading reviews a while back and the playbook specs/reviews looked pretty solid. Usually devices/os's targetting corporate use seem to be more solid.
        captainhurt@...
      • Re: Playbook

        Dead-end platform, though. If you're going to take a chance on a vendor that might go bust tomorrow, it's safer to stick to Android.
        ldo17
  • Excellent battery life

    Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

    The Galaxy Note 10.1 is Samsung's is a flagship tablet that commands a flagship price.

    The hardware is all top-notch, with a 10.1-inch screen with a 1280x800 resolution display, a 1.4GHz Exynos quad core processor, a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 100hour battery pack.

    WOW! Where do you get the battery pack from?
    REBERY
  • No GPS ??

    No GPS...really?
    Bill_SixPack
  • uhh

    "While there's no doubt that the king of the tablets is Apple's iPad" Ipad is far frim king lol. It can't do anything that real tablets can do. Out of all, it's the least media friendly, least enterprise friendly, least family friendly, and most expensive. Every other tablet runs circles around ipad that you have lost all credibility with that one sentence. Learn your market author, Cuz you don't know sh** about tablets if you think ipad is king lol
    kikax
    • Sales volume alone proves the authors point. Then their is profit margins

      per sale for Apple. Application numbers also could make the authors point especially counting the total Apps made specifically for the iPad in volume as well as quality. Last the claims you made about what one can do with an iPad are well false.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • android is king

        errr ok 1 the apple ipad is not flash compatible so you cant even use flash apple just shaft you in the ;.-= take your money then tell you what you can and cant do ..i can go onto websites and watch movies that arnt even out in cinemas on my nexus 10 i can it can do everything the apple can do and i absolutly garentee you it can do more than the apple the apple doesnt have nfc the apples have hardly any apps android has thousands and there free i can do so much on my tab its un true i use it constantly there is an app for everything so anything apple has i garentee the nexus and any android tab even a cheap 70pound on has a duel core 1.6ghz processor mali 400 gpu ddr 3 memory expandeble memory upto and over 64 gb i can move apps to my sd card to save space i have file managment apps to go right into the core of the tab and change what i like ..apple dont let you do anything with your tabb the android is taken over and at this moment in time has surpased apples sale SO ANDROID IS KING NOT APPLE all the latest developers love the android system they know and i know and most people know androids the future apple is in searious trouble and they know it i think the only person who doesnt know it is you ..no doubt your just a sheep who doesnt know much about tech an is just your typical apple fanboy and gets all defensive over threads like this because you try and justerfy spending a ridiculous amount of money on a over priced tab that cant do half of what android tabs can i expect you have no knowledge of how the android os works i have apple macs for web design and have the iphone 4gs i also have windows pcs an laptops i have the sony xperia z phone and the asus nexus 10 tab so i know about all os and truthfully the android i so user friendly and so much better for tablets and phones so apple defo no apples more design androids more for techy people and can also do everything the apple can do and more far far more i suggest you get a cheap android tablet and learn how to use it asap before you get left behind catch dude
        trixsta00