Best Android tablets (August 2013 edition)

Best Android tablets (August 2013 edition)

Summary: Don't want to get locked into Apple's ecosystem by buying an iPad or iPad mini? No problem! Here are my top Android tablets for August 2013. And if you're looking for budget Android tablets, there are two here you might be interested in.

SHARE:

 |  Image 1 of 8

  • UPDATE: The "Best Android tablets (September edition)" is now available.

    Introduction

    Tablets are everywhere, and while Apple's iPad – along with its little brother, the iPad mini – commands the most media attention, there's no shortage of excellent Android alternatives to choose from.

    Here are my top seven Android tablets for August 2013.

    All of the tablets features here are very capable, powerful workhorses, and are ideal not only for home users, but also for enterprise users or those looking for a BYOD tablet. Any one of these will give you an excellent Android experience, and, when combined with the right apps, will allow you to get a lot of work done when you're away from your desk.

  • The new Google Nexus 7

    My favorite Android tablet just got better!

    The new Google Nexus 7 is the much-anticipated follow-on to the highly-successful original Nexus 7.

    The hardware, once again manufactured by Asus, consists of a 7-inch display with a resolution bumped up to 1920x1200 HD display and a pixel density of 323 pixels per inch, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, an Adreno 320 GPU, a choice of 16GB or 32GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera, and a – somewhat limited – 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera.

    The main downside of the Nexus 7 continues to be that it does not feature a card slot to allow you to expand the storage.

    The hardware runs the very latest – and highly capable – Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean" operating system, and features an improved, very efficient software keyboard.

    Also, being a Google-branded tablet, you're also guaranteed software updates, rather than having to rely on the goodwill of the hardware maker to make them available.

    The tablet also features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and optional cellular, and all this is powered by a battery that can give 10 hours of usage under normal conditions.

    A powerful tablet in a small, easy-to-carry form factor.

    About the only thing I don't like about the Nexus 7 is the 16:9 screen aspect ratio, which makes the device feel awfully top-heavy in portrait mode.

    At a glance:

    • 7-inch, 1920x1200 HD display and a pixel density of 323 pixels per inch
    • 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor
    • Adreno 320 GPU
    • Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean"
    • 5.0 megapixel rear camera
    • 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera
    • Stereo, surround speakers
    • Choice of 16GB or 32GB
    • Battery life of 9 hours

    Price: from $199.

    Link/image source: Google.

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8

Topics: Android, Google, Hardware, Samsung, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

53 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I don't need a tablet right now, but

    Nexus 7 is tempting....
    statuskwo5
    • New Line of Android Tablets

      Pipo Electronics has launched a new series of Android tablets that stand out from the crowd of China based consumer electronics companies… the new series includes the Pipo M7 Pro ($255) that for roughly the same price as the new Nexus 7, features a much larger 8.9 inch display with 1900×1200 screen resolution, a Quad core processor, along with built-in GPS navigation — and is packed with features that compare to the new Nexus, and features premium speakers, WiFi with both 2.4 and 5.0 GHz frequencies for greater connection, as well as the option of using standard Android O/S or a Windows style User Interface that makes the Android experience much more intuitive and easier to use. The Pipo M9 model offers a 10-inch version for $289 and 3G HSPA+ is available with either model for $30 more. One of the first sites to carry the new Pipo line of tablets is TabletSprint –
      jon bateman
      • Forget about ...

        Pipo. Who the heck wants to pay $200+ for a cheap Chinese immitation. Have some self respect!
        ryork272
        • Pipo

          I bought one of the new Pipo models last month, the Pipo M6 and the production quality and features are as good as my Nexus 10, offers solid performance and cost $100 less. Totally happy.
          Teresa Waters
        • Cheap does not equal bad quality.

          I'm on my fifth China-bought tablet and I've been pleased with all of them. Even though the prices are cheaper, please compare the features and specs. A lot of Chinese manufacturers put out high-quality tablets.
          pezastic
          • brand

            which particular brands have you had success with? i am avoiding the ipad expense.
            qwest20102010
  • The market is saturated and...

    the gee whiz factor is dying off. Tablets just aren't impressing the masses anymore.
    NoAxToGrind
    • Saturated . .

      I would agree. Their sales will probably plummet like netbooks did, except that for that to occur something would have to siphon off tablet sales, the way tablets siphoned off netbook sales.
      GSKK
    • Where are you?

      Are you on this planet? Tablets sales are continuing to grow at an amazing rate. We are not talking 2-3% or 20-30% it is more like 200-300% increase in year of years sales. The stats from well all sources seem to complete contradict the idea of tablet growth slowing any time in the near future. I would be amazed if you can find a single sales chart that show Tablets sales slowing anywhere.
      alex_darkness
      • Get a grip..

        Alex - NoAxToGrind didn't say tablet sales were slowing. He said "the gee whiz factor is dying off". The are all looking alike. Get it?
        ryork272
    • Agree

      I totally agree with you. The upgrades are virtually all the same - new quad core chip, slightly better screen... otherwise virtually identical to prior models. The same with Smartphones. The technology is getting boring. Nothing new... nothing exciting. It's kind of like the PC business except at least now we have interesting hybrids like the Lenovo Yoga.
      ryork272
      • Re: The technology is getting boring

        How old are you? You must have one foot in the grave already, mentally if not physically. I've been in this business over 30 years, and I still see exciting new things happening.
        ldo17
  • Some people are OK with the Walled Garden :-)

    Adrian,

    I agree with your thoughts and frustrations about the Walled Garden with Apple. It is awfully nice to be able to take my Linux Box apart and put in upgraded parts. And yet … we spend lots more money on our cars, and we don't even think we would put a new Ford engine in an older Toyota -- at least without an enormous effort -- Perhaps there is a huge divide between people who like to take things apart, versus those who merely want to use the computer / phone to do useful work.
    wsturges3
    • I don't care whether the garden is walled or not

      I just care that the product works and carries on working.
      Laraine Anne Barker
  • Tablets

    Tablets like PC's need to be upgradeable, so this continuing merry go round of products will stop. Smartphones should also be included to break the cycle there in.
    dcowsky@...
    • Upgradable? LOL

      With the speed at which technology is moving, you are going to be either left with an out of date motherboard that you sank a bunch of money into or an old case with new innards including a new power supply.

      You are not saving money by doing the "upgrade" treadmill. You are better off getting a good machine and sticking with it for a few years and then replacing it when it no longer suits your needs. You are buying into the false economy of saving components like a case or power supply.
      aristotle_z
  • The best Android tablet is...

    ...one whose contract period is nearly over. Then you can ditch it and get a Lumia 92x or, if you're really into photography, a Lumia 1020.
    Sir Name
    • Oops, my bad

      I thought the article was about phones. Sorry. A similar thing to my original comment could be said about Android tablets and Surface Pros though.
      Sir Name
      • No, I'm done feeding the MS beast.

        I don't care how nice or not any of their products are. They were too dominant for too long. And now particularly seeing the xbox and their lack of concern for milking the customer through fees and ads is becomming rediculous. Even the xbox 360 they are now showing random commercials in the tiles (how could they resist) and I'm still paying for Live. That's the last MS product we bought or will buy. My PC gaming son has his copy of windows 7 and that will last for a *long* time as far as I'm concerned.
        drwong
      • Read the Article

        Yeah, next time don't just read the title and post.
        Cun Con