Best Android tablets (June 2013 edition)

Best Android tablets (June 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 7 Android tablets for June 2013. And if you're looking for budget Android tablets, there are two here you might be interested in.

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  • Google Nexus 7

    My favorite tablet — and one that is rapidy replacing my full-size iPad as my go-to tablet.

    The Google Nexus 7 was the first Nexus-branded tablet to be released by Google. The hardware, manufactured by Asus, consists of a 7-inch display with a 1280x800 resolution screen, an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a choice of 16GB or 32GB of storage, and a – somewhat limited – 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera.

    The main downside of the Nexus is 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 4.2 "Jelly Bean" operating system, and features an improved, very efficient software keyboard. Being a Google tablet, you're also guaranteed software updates, rather than having to rely on the goodwill of the hardware maker.

    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.

    The more I use this tablet, the more I like it. It's big enough to do real work, and yet small enough to carry around in a jacket pocket.

    At a glance:

    • 7-inch, 1280x800 display
    • Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor
    • Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean"
    • 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera
    • Choice of 16GB or 32GB
    • Battery life of 10 hours

     

    Price: from $199.

    Link/image source: Google.

  • Google Nexus 10

    The #2 spot goes to the Nexus 7's bigger brother — the Nexus 10. 

    The Nexus 10 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 – which is far superior to the 1.2 megapixel camera that the Nexus 7 has – 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 – and it also means that you will get operating system updates direct from Google, rather than have to wait for the hardware makers to the update.

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

    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.

  • Ainol Novo 7 Venus

    The second cheap and cheerful tablet from Ainol. This one is the 7-inch Novo 7 Venus, and is certainly worth a look.

    Again, not a big-name brand, but a look at the spec will tell you that this is quite a well put togther tablet, especially when you take a look at the price.

    At a glance:

    • 7-inch 1280x800 IPS display
    • ATM7029 quad-core CPU with GC1000+ GPU
    • Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" compatible with 4.2
    • 2 megapixel rear camera, and a 0.3 megapixel front camera
    • 16GB storage
    • Battery life of 5 to 9 hours

    Price: from $129.

    Link/image source: Aniol.

     

Topics: Mobility, Android, Tablets

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  • Idea

    It seems to me, that all tablets are still being compared with iPad. Every other week there is a new iPad killer, and then you don't hear about that one anymore. Why not getting the real thing, instead of some cheap knock off droid junk ?
    dcdavy
    • Duh

      Because the cheap Android device does exactly what I need.
      SlimSam
    • Same old same old

      They always keep saying the Apple ecosystem. I don't see a problem with the Apple one. It's either Apple's or Android's.
      marcandsebe
    • Its just that

      There are so many iPad killers out becuase they iPad is such a pile of trash. iPad cant store any documents, has no format support, no HDMI out (without a bunch of trash adapters), no Expandable storage, klunky user interface, and lack of good free apps. I dont know why anyone would want one of those piles of trash.
      Jimster480
      • Don't you mean, "There are so many iPad killers out there because..."

        "None of them have been able to kill the iPad"?

        I'm not going to fault any of these devices, but quite honestly so far NOT ONE of them has been able to drag the iPad down from its dominant position and even all grouped together still falls short of breaking the iPad's lead. A fair part of this is that quite honestly they can't beat the iPad's price and still offer as much capability overall. Sure, some are cheaper, but those tend to fall short in other areas. Size for size, their prices are almost identical (with very few exceptions) and those that come closest to beating their comparable iPad model in capability tend to also carry a higher price. In other words, it's almost impossible to "2fer" the Android tablets and beat the iPad the way they BOGOed the iPhone's lead.

        Some of the tablets mentioned above seem to be quite competitive in many ways, but in turn lack something that reduces interest in the product. Those that offer an SD card slot most often only carry 8GB on board. Those with equivalent display resolution fall far short in battery life. While I'm a strong fan of giving the user choice in products, that user will also choose what best meets personal needs. No one tablet or OS is perfect for all people.
        Vulpinemac
        • note 10.1...

          While it may not have the disllay, it still gives out very good video. Runs a Quad Core, 2GB of RAM, 32 GB on board storage, and can expand with a 64 GB MicroSD. IR blaster, java support, multiple video, audio and file format support. The S pen is an amazing addition and was suprised on, not only how accurate, but useful it is. The battery life equally amazing. Can get a full days use out of a single charge. Can stream to and from the device (actually pulled movies to play through my PS3). This and much more. Outside of the lower resolution, the Galaxy Note 10.1 puts the iPads to shame.
          Cory Ducey
        • The reason they can't kill the iPad

          is because they don't have Apple's PR.
          They don't get their backlit logos displayed in just about every Hollywood productions when you see a laptop.
          They don't do ads targeted at morons who thinks automatic syncing of photos is a unique feature to Apple.
          They don't do ads telling people they can play chopsticks on their mini tablets.
          They don't do ads telling people about features from 2 years ago.
          Apple's PR campaign is basically : welcome to yesterday, SUCKERS!
          warboat
          • can't kill the ipad

            You are correct. Besides, no matter how good it is or isn't, the ipad is still way overpriced, just like most other apple products. and next month, their "big" announcement will be just another piece of catching up with the rest of the world.
            davidl0821
        • Agree, but im not an apple lover

          Apple respects their name and produce only quality product and quality solution, that's simply define the APPle. Lot of iPad Killer appears but more of them are poor. even you, you cant afford to have those killers, even its cheap due to quality issues. admit it.
          Michael Stark
      • No Expandable storage

        Google Nexus 10 has no sd card slot. So there is no expandable storage in it either. The iPad is NOT alone in this.
        Jillxz
        • None of the Nexus devices have an sd card slot. Here's why:

          "Google Nexus is a line of mobile devices using the Android operating system produced by Google in conjunction with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partner. Devices in the Nexus series[1] do not have manufacturer or wireless carrier modifications to Android (such as custom graphical user interfaces), and have an unlockable bootloader[2] to allow further development and end-user modification.[3] Nexus devices are the first Android devices to receive updates to the operating system.[4][5][6] The Galaxy Nexus is one of the few smartphones recommended by the Android Open Source Project for Android software development.[7] As of November 2012, the latest devices in the series are the Nexus 4 phone by Google and LG, and the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablet computers by Google with Asus and Samsung respectively."
          laequis
          • Nexus Products

            Are definitely not for me.
            Jillxz
    • "Real Thing" is a very relative term!

      @dcdavy: You ask "Why not get the 'real thing', instead of some cheap knock off Droid junk?"

      First, to many, and apparently quite a large number, inexpensive counts. While people are not looking for utter junk that fails to get the job done, people are looking for something that works well, but doesn't cost a lot.

      Personally, I got fortunate. I was hoping to get a Nexus 7 or find some place where I could check one out. Last Christmas, someone I work for part time asked me if I could make use of a Nexus 7. I said not only could I use one, I was looking for one, but at the time I was in between jobs so I could not afford one at that moment. He GAVE me one!

      Cost or no cost, the Nexus 7 does everything I need it to do and the price is right. Why would I want to pay more for something I do not need, and other than curiosity, really don't want?

      There is a market for iPhones and iPads. Clearly many people will pay a premium for well integrated systems that do everything in a consistent way; nothing wrong with that.

      The flip side is Android. Some people detest doing things only one certain way and want to do it several ways, maybe just their own way. Android has caught on in a big way for such people, but also for those looking for a bargain.

      I wouldn't get rid of iPads, but for me, I definitely wouldn't get rid of Androids; they are now my favorite.
      brian.masinick
    • Other New Tablets In June

      Two other new Android tablets also launched this month which also offer some impressive features and are worth a look -- the Novo 8 Discovery ($169) compares to the 8-inch mini iPad -- with fast Quad core performance, and an 8" size, which is almost as compact as a 7" tablet but in comparison offers 65% more screen space to play with. The Novo 8 Discovery offers a 5000 mAh battery for long life, MicrosSD, Dual Cameras, HDMI, and is also one of the first tablets that works with Miracast HD Wireless (like Apple Airplay device) to stream movies wirelessly from your tablet to a TV, in full HD 1080p, and is also great for 3D gaming on your big screen using the tablet as a motion control device -- an essentially turns your Television into an Android HDTV

      Also to available this month is the new Pipo M6 ($279) - a full-size 9.7" tablet with a Retina screen and a Quad Core processor, and compares to the Nexus 10 and iPad but is priced considerably less -- the Pipo M6 features Android 4.2 and the latest Rockchip Quad Core processor, along with a 2048X1536 IPS screen; Bluetooth 4.0, WIFI, HDMI, Dual Cameras, a 7000 mAh battery, Premium Dual Front Speakers, and Google Play... it offers a thin 9.6mm profile and weighs in at 1.10 lbs... the Pipo M6 also features Miracast HD Wireless.

      One of the first on sites both of these new models are available through is T ab l e t S p r i n t -- which also offers the new CloudNetGo Miracast HD Wirless adapter ($47) that became available last week... priced about half of other Miracast Wireless adapters available, which until now have averaged about $100.
      ken harms
      • TabletSprint

        Is also offering a new tablet with 3G / 4G LTE that comes out in a few weeks
        ken harms
    • Predictable

      The lack of depth of your response is a dead give away. Overly sensitive, tribal and lacking critical thinking skills, attributes that are plentiful amongst many Apple users, sadly.
      Mr Hawtin
    • i-anything

      when I look at the comparison charts and the review articles and I'm amazed to find the piece of crap i-anything is more popular than Androids that have faster processors, better resolution, longer battery life, lighter, cheaper, larger screens, ports of all kinds, expandable memory, waterproof, better warranties, AND open source programming !!! ... so why the hell does the ipad rank higher in popularity than all these MUCH better machines? answer, marketing, because people are suckers.
      Darius Vons
      • Why does iPad Rank Higher ?

        Because it is made better and will last longer and I don't mean a battery . But the iPad will hold up longer . I am not an Apple fan. But they do have Android beat in the tablet department.
        Jillxz
    • comment about ipad

      The real thing? What exactly is the real thing? Apple stock is a third of what it was 2 years ago. The real thing is bleeding money with no end in sight. Why? because apple is boring. No one has the vision to fix it. Apple is just another half baked pc company. Samsung has been outselling apple on phones, tablet and nearly everything else they make. Apple can't even catch up to samsung. The "big" announcement next month will be yet another attempt to catch up to the rest of the world. When you see those commercials on TV comparing the ipad mini to an android and how much the android outperforms the ipad... believe it.
      davidl0821
      • Apple stock...

        ...is trading around $500 today. Two years ago it was around $400. Last year it peaked in the high 600s -- hardly "a third of what it was"!
        Liberalgunoter