Best Android tablets (February 2013 edition)

Best Android tablets (February 2013 edition)

Summary: Don't want an iPad or iPad mini? No problem! Here are my top 5 Android tablets for February 2013.


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  • Introduction

    Tablets are everywhere, and while Apple's iPad commands the most media attention, there's no shortage of excellent Android alternatives to choose from.

    Here are my top 5 Android tablets for February 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.

  • Nexus 10

    This is the Nexus 7's bigger brother, and it sports a 10-inch screen with a 2560x1600 resolution display, a dual core ARM Cortex A15 processor, and a quad core Mali T604 graphics processor.

    The Samsung-made tablet also comes with a choice of 16GB or 32GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, and a power pack capable of delivering 11-hours of usage.

    The Nexus is designed by Google, and so it offers the best, purest Android experience possible.

    Overall, a powerful, very well made tablet, and if you have space in your life for a 10-inch tablet, you should take a look at this one.

    At a glance:

    • 10-inch, 2560x1600 display
    • Dual core ARM Cortex A15 processor
    • Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean"
    • 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera
    • Choice of 16GB and 32GB.
    • Battery life of 11 hours

    Price: from $399.

    Link/image source: Google.

Topics: Tablets, Android, Mobility, BYOD and the Consumerization of IT

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  • The Transformer Prime is now running Jelly Bean

    just an FYI.
  • Think some of these "facts" need checking

    5 hours battery for the tab 2 is a bit of a lie. I have one and the battery easily does 8 to 10 hard use, even the review here and your sister site agrees............

    A very well price tablet now and performs well with JB update on it.
  • Nothing new, really.

    This article could have been written six months ago, sadly.

    I do think that the imminent release of the Tegra 4 will bring a slew of new and exciting tabs. If it's as fast as Nvidia claims, I may well upgrade my Transformer TF300 to whatever Tegra 4 tablet replaces the TF700. I'm sold on the tablet/notebook hybrid form factor and the TF300 has been great. But I sure wouldn't complain about a tablet that opens apps and renders web pages faster.
    • Yes.

      Webpage render speed is pretty much the only complaint I have towards the Nexus 7. I would certainly pay for a device that could improve upon this significantly. As it stands the Nexus 7 mark 2 may not achieve this, I am not sure how the Qualcom chip they have planned compares to the current T3.

      As you say, the line-up here would have been the same 6 months ago, in light of the more recent devices the Galaxy tab 10 doesn't even really deserve a mention, Samsung really need to update their tabs. There's been a lot of interesting hardware released from the usual suspects too, the T4 being one of them and the 1080p 7" screen being but two of many. The next generation of tabs should look very promising.
      5th element
      • Seriously?

        Dolphin HD could fix that as well and it much more stable than it used to be.

        Personally, I have no complaints about nexus rendering speed.
        • Yes,

          It's not slow it's just not as fast as my desktop when loading multiple tabs and then switching between them. When working on single pages it's fine.
          5th element
          • Nexus 7 default browser Chrome Mobile?

            If you are using Chrome Mobile then you really should make sure it is updated often. Chrome mobile is currently going through a rapid growth period. It is starting to use more of the core Chrome desktop browser engine, but is still not the same. Features like Webrtc are not ready for Chrome Mobile, but are getting very close.
    • Re: This article could have been written six months ago, sadly.

      There was no Nexus 10 back then.
  • Umm

    The Nexus 7 is bettter than the Nexus 10 simply because the stability of the ASUS is far above that of the Samsung!
    • Asus made

      The Nexus 7 is even better in some ways than their other tablets, such as the Transformers. Google seemed to keep Asus from doing weird things such as requiring a 15volt charger available only from Asus. (The Transformer won't take a charge, even from a 2.1 Amp USB charger ala iPad 3 unless turned off, and then it is really slow. Even then if in the keyboard/dock only their charger will work... brutal if you travel)
      Nevil Read
      • Dual Batteries

        The reason the transformer prime has such a high voltage charger is because it has two batteries, one in the dock and another within the tablet, so unless they made a charger for the dock and another for the tablet you wouldn't be able to charge it in the dock.
        Tom Zeimet
  • Some of the facts

    do need checking. Under the Galaxy Tab 10.1

    "The hardware is all top-notch"

    This is a blatant lie, out of the other 10" tabs in this little round up, it falls behind, most significantly because of the low res screen.


    "Now that Apple has released the iPad mini, this seems to have rekindled interest in smaller tablets."

    I took the liberty of correcting your spelling mistake, but the only reason Apple released the mini was because of the success and popularity of the 7" tablets from Amazon and Google, not the other way around.
    5th element
    • Re: Some of the Facts

      Did I miss something? I didn't see the Galaxy Tab mentioned. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is not the same as the Galaxy Tab. (I might have assumed a typo but figured, if spelling matters, so too must model names)

      Can you source your info on Apple's reasoning behind the iPad Mini? Although I've read speculation that the iPad mini was Apple's way of bringing out a tablet at a lower price point I have never seen anything official. I've never even heard speculation that Apple entered the market because they thought the 7" size of Kindle and Nexus were a part of their success.
      Nevil Read
      • Re: Some of the Facts

        @Nevil Read I'm surprised you haven't heard of the speculation as it's pretty much all over the web concerning the decision of Apple to release the Mini following the success of the smaller form tablets. Whilst only speculation, it stems from Steve Jobs comments concerning the 7 inch tablets upon their release:

        "7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad. ….7-Inch tablets are dead on arrival."

        He went further to state that Apple would never make a smaller iPad.

        Based on this original comment and Apple later releasing a smaller iPad the speculation is of course that they realised that 7 inch tablets do have a place in the market for people who want do not want to carry a larger tablet around and Apple were missing out.
  • Android Tablet Problem

    Fragmentation...Too many versions with not enough support! Once they begin to really support the OS with timely updates to fix bugs and make improvements I might buy an Android tablet but until then I will stay with my iPad.
    • Wow so...

      He notes that the top two tablets are the Nexus Tablets, which get upgrades straight from Google and you come out with this BS?
      • Proprietary Rubbish

        Who wants a platform that is completely locked out of the box, sorry but the ipad has had it in my mind, and in the mind of every other power user.
        Tom Zeimet
    • the only relevant fragments

      in this conversation thread, are the disjointed thoughts you put to paper which do not form a coherent whole.
  • What's really different?

    I don't get it? Besides what flavor of Android they are running. Is it mostly just about what size of tablet you want? I have tried a Nexus 7 and one of the first iPad's. I actually did not like either one as neither one did Flash and after a few months with each I ended up selling them. But its the tablet form I have problems with, not the OS that runs them. Because I am not interested in Apple's ecosystem anymore I would certainly choose a Android tablet and most likely one that is 10" or better as a PC replacement or a Nexus 7 for something to travel with.
    • Flash...

      Actually all Android tablets support flash. Not out of the box, but all it takes is installing the flash app, which you can download from numerous sources. It won't work with Chrome (which wasn't developed by the Android team, the Chrome team developed it), but it does work with the Android AOSP browser, Firefox & a dozen others.

      The nexus 7 is great for many aspects, I miss mine, which the missus now has. It would fit in the back pocket of my jeans & was about the size of a paperback book, perfect for travel.

      The Nexus 10 is AWESOME for reading & watching video content, Amazon Prime, Hulu +, Vudu & Netflix are great on it & throw Paranoid Android into the mix & it is just amazingly customizable & comes complete with speedy updates & bug fixes from both Android & PA, plus all the cherry picks from other gits like CM & AOKP.

      The Note 10.1 however is my favorite device. Both the Nexus 10 & Note 10.1 are Samsung devices. The Note 10.1 is limited in pixel count due to the Wacom digitizer support. If not for that fact, it probably would have been a 1080p device at a minimum. Now that Sammy has a stake in Wacom, I expect to see the resolution go up without have to fork over what you would for a good HD graphic tablet. The Note 10.1 is my overall favorite tablet & I have tried the all, many even that aren't retailed in the USA, like the PadFone2 which should be on that list ahead of the Tab 2, if not the Transformer. The Note 10.1 just is more stable than the Nexus 10, it also has front facing speakers, which is really great & it has so many features that are truly functional, like multi-window & cascaded multi-view apps. The Adobe PS Touch software is not quite a easy to se as Gimp or desktop PS, but for a tablet it is going in the right direction. The Note 10.1 is fast, light & the Wacom digitizer puts it in a different class than all of the other tablets.
      George Leon