Best Android tablets (October 2013 edition)

Best Android tablets (October 2013 edition)

Summary: Don't want to get locked into Apple's ecosystem by buying an iPad or the petite iPad mini? No problem! Here are my top Android tablets for October 2013. For those of you with limited carry space, there's a phablet for you to lust over.

TOPICS: Mobility, Android

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  • (Source: Google)

    Google Nexus 10

    The #2 spot goes to the Nexus 7's bigger brother — the Nexus 10. However, be aware that we are currently waiting for Google to announce a replacement for this device. This could happen any time soon.

    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 of internal storage
    • Battery life of 11 hours

    Price: from $399.


  • (Source: Samsung)

    One to watch – Samsung Galaxy Mega

    Here's another handset to keep an eye on over the coming weeks – Samsung Galaxy Mega.

    Do you think that other smartphones are small and puny? Do you have large hands? Large pockets? Carry around with you a large bag?

    Answered "yes' to one or more of these questions? The Galaxy Mega may be for you!

    It's clear that Samsung is carpet-bombing the marker with handsets in a variety of sizes, and this 6.3-inch phablet (cross between a phone and a tablet) is at the high end for what's possible – and plausible – for a smartphone in terms of screen size.

    The mega is certainly not for everyone, but if you want a smartphone that you can use as a tablet, then this might be worth a look.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.2.2)
    • 1.7GHz dual-core processor
    • 6.3-inch 1.280 x 720 display
    • 8MP rear camera
    • 1.9MP front camera
    • 16GB internal storage of internal storage
    • 3.200 mAh user-replaceable battery
    • MicroSD card slot
    • NFC

    Price: from $150 with two-year contract.

  • (Source: Samsung) 

    Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch

    The Android market is dominated by Samsung, and it's no surprise that it has come out with a new 8-inc tablet – the Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch.

    At $299, the Tab 3 8-inch is a bit pricey, but it's a good competitor to the iPad Mini for those who don't want to get caught up in the iOS/App Store lock-in web.

    The best thing about the Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch is that it is essentially a Galaxy Note 2 (minus the stylus, which I don't care much for anyhow) for $100 less.

    At a glance:

    • 8-inch, 1280x800 display
    • 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 dual-core processor
    • Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean"
    • 5 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.2 megapixel front camera
    • USB 3.0
    • 16GB storage of internal storage
    • Battery life of about 11 hours

    Price: from $299.

Topics: Mobility, Android

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  • They all fail..

    All fails. No GPS.

    Best avoid. You will be completely lost without it.
    • stupid

      samsung galaxy tab has gps so does the nexus 7. I think most of the others do also.
    • use your phone

      A tablet in the car is generally a novelty - you try it when its new then you stop. Like using it as a camera.
      • give it a hard mount

        Add a hard mount w/power and things change. Its the holding and/or the laying it down in an odd and less than useful orientation that make it novelty followed by irritating. Not suitable for all vehicle cabin configurations, but where it works, its spiffy.

        GPS & Bluetooth 4 are absolute requirements for anything with the label "best" in Oct 2013. There's just no good excuse to leave that functionality out.
    • Albionstreet fails.

      The Nexus 10 also has GPS.
  • All Old News!

    It would be much more interesting if you researched the myriad available non-name tablets that are so ubiquitous in Asia. Maybe you can find a gem or two at much lower cost.
  • Gallery? No Watch

    When will ZDNet quit using this backward mode. The Article subject matter is interesting to me, but I will no long use Gallery. I know a lot of Readers agree.
    Put them inline; much better.
    • 100% agree with you

      Their gallery software is terrible. Seems like a thing of the 90s
  • Jelly Bean is impressive....

    As an iPad Mini user which has been transformed by iOS7. I decided today and splurge on a 8" Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 just so I can make first hand comparisons. I am open minded when it comes to tablets even though I sway towards Apple from the iPhone to the MacBook Pro. with the iPad Mini in between.

    So I splurged. My previous experience had been with a Galaxy 10.1 and although impressive was too much of a handful which is the same reason why I got rid of the iPad 3 opting for the iPad Mini instead.

    I have always had a big hang up with the all plastic Samsung smartphones and tablets . In this respect the 8" Galaxy Tab 3 is no different. However once I looked past the build quality appreciated the outstanding screen and I set myself to discovering Jelly Bean.

    I now appreciate what all the fuss is about. Jelly bean is not better than iOS7 but its certainly on par.

    • Agreed!

      After owning an iPad 2 from its inception and finding little to get excited about in iOS 7, I sprung for TWO Galaxy Tab 3’s,... one for me and one for my wife. Always a learning curve, but Jelly Bean on them impresses me. See two apps running at the same time...never happen with Apple. Why not? ”We don't copy anyone. We are the masters of the universe! Don't give us customer feedbak. We tell you what you can and cannot have!"
      Personally, I am tired of it. Bye, Apple. I'm saving my money for something else I want to do with my life!
      Richard Lighthill
  • You will be assimilated.

    We are the Droid. You will be assimilated. Your financial and informational distinctiveness will be added to our own. Your devices will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.
  • Do side-by-side comparsion

    Its better to do side-by-side comparison to check out the best tablet.

    Here is the link for comparison :
    Compare Android Tablets 2013
    • Link
      • Thanks for top!

        Great site - thanks for the information
  • Incorrect Information - once again

    Regarding the information provided about the "Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T",
    Not only does the link to the ASUS site not work but the claim that this is "The slimmest and lightest 1920x1200 resolution Full HD Android tablet on the market ..."is incorrect.

    According to the specs at the ASUS US site, the ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T weighs 598 grams against the figures from the SONY US site of 595 grams for the Sony Xperia Z. Only a minute difference but the dimensions are more of a contrast:

    263 x 180.8 x 8.5 mm

    266 x 172 x 6.9 mm

    In addition, the Xperia Z has Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 Cortex-A9 Quad Core 1.5 GHz processor and is also waterproof.
  • Do you know how to do maths???

    Quoting from the Kindle Fire HDX specs:

    •7-inch 1920 x 1200 (323 ppi) display | 8.9-inch 560 x 1600 (339 ppi)

    So, the 8.9 inch is larger and has a lower resolution, but a higher pixel density?

    Please try to actually proofread instead of just Ctrl-V...