Best Android tablets (September 2013 edition)

Best Android tablets (September 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 September 2013. For those of you with limited carry space, there's a phablet for you to lust over.

TOPICS: Android, Tablets

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  • 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 16:10 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
    • Choice of 16GB or 32GB
    • Stereo, surround speakers
    • Battery life of 9 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.

Topics: Android, Tablets

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  • G N 7 = disaster

    With all the problems this device has its a disaster by any measure. If MS had released a device with these problems it would have been front page headlines. This deserves no spot on a top devices list.
    • And exactly how is it a "disaster"?

      Pray tell, exactly why do you consider it a 'disaster'? Or are you using the term to mean that Nexus has been a disaster for the long-term viability of the iPad?
      • Plagued with problems problems and more problems

        Just the ones they acknowledged would be sufficient ... If they were the only ones ... This device may be headed for a recall.
      • Another article

        But the kid glove treatment just shows the tip of the iceberg.
    • seriously?

      It is not a disaster, and the issues were addressed within a few weeks of launch with an update. If you were doing anything more than trolling the waters you would have seen that.

      Personally, I own one that hadn't seen any of these issues.
      • also

        The likelihood of a few isolated hardware failures is not unique to the Nexus 7 devices.

        You realize just about everybody I know with an iPhone 5 has a power button that's stopped working?

        Surface RT was so sluggish in modestly intensive games and I don't believe that was even addressed until the tablet was several months old.
    • GN 7 (2013) Works fine over here.

      Since the update, I've had zero issues. Been playing Asphalt 8 and Crazy Taxi work no problems at all. GPS works well to. Tested this weekend on a one hour trip. Never turned off one on maps.
    • G N 7 = disaster

      It seems google is great at building software but they haven't had a single success at building an electronic device. Their philosophy on phones, tablets, laptops is build is cheap sell it cheap because what really matter is the OS the device is running because that's was sells ads.

      But as the laptop market has show us, design is king. People want to be sitting in a coffee shop sporting an attractive laptop or tablet, the king of stuff that apple an samsung make.
    • LOL

      LOL, are you kidding me? Microsoft DID release a product with a far greater failure rate than the new Nexus 7. And it wound up being the company's most successful consumer product. Perhaps you recall the extreme reliability problems that surrounded the Xbox 360 when it was first released, and the "Red Ring of Death" that afflicted a shockingly high percentage of owners (variously estimated at well above 20%)
    • Great Post

      up to I saw the check four $9210, I didn't believe friend woz like realey erning money part time from their computer.. there sisters neighbour started doing this for under six months and as of now took care of the mortgage on their cottage and bought themselves a audi. why not look here,,,
  • Google Devices

    Google devices and a lot of their products , are usually rather crappy. They rush to get things out before they fix the problems. Google is rather tacky.
    • Ummm....

      ROFL.... **take a breath** LMAO!

      Ah, thanks for that bit of troll humor... I needed a good laugh today. :)
      Technical John
  • What's #9?

    The captions for #5 and #9 are the same. #5 really looks like a Samsung product, #9 does not.
    • Galaxy Mega

      #5 is the Galaxy Mega (which isn't a tablet so why is it here?) but no idea what #9 is. Author ran out of crap to write so just through in some random POS for #9 and just copied the text from #5?
  • Oh Noooo!

    I refuse to click-thru.
  • Number 9

    Pray tell, what is number 9? It doesn't look like a very useful phone with no microphone or speaker holes on the face.
  • Adrian, you are still ignoring OTG for the Nexus 7.

    No the Nexus & doesn't have a dedicated memory card slot, but for the price of an OTG adapter cable - literally a couple US dollars - a card reader and an app - Nexus Media Importer (US$3.99) - you can read AND write to FAT & FAT32 cards (read only for NTFS at this time) WITHOUT rooting your Nexus 7.
    Jim Johnson
  • These slide show articles that require loading completely new web pages

    These slide show articles that require loading completely new web pages drive me nuts. Esp. on a tablet, where I do most of my reading, I don't have the time to waste on complete page reloads. You lose me as a reader when you do this. I'm sure some marketing study says you get more click throughs or better attention or more ad revenue, but I like galleries like this to having to pull a different book off the book case every time I get to a new chapter.
    • Dead Right

      You are absolutely correct!
      • They generate more AD view revenue that way - to hell with viewers

        Your time is theirs to do with as they choose. Your just an insignificant pawn.