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

 |  Image 5 of 9

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • 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
    • 16GB storage
    • Battery life of about 11 hours

    Price: from $299.

    Link/image 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
    • 3.200 mAh user-replaceable battery
    • MicroSD card slot
    • NFC

    Price: from $150 with two-year contract.

    Link/image source: Samsung. 

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

    The Galaxy Note 10.1 is Samsung's is a flagship tablet that commands a flagship price.

    The hardware is all top-notch, with a 10.1-inch screen with a 1280x800 resolution display, a 1.4GHz Exynos quad core processor, a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 10-hour battery pack.

    The software is Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" but there's an upgrade path to Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean".

    For times when a finger just isn't precise enough, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with a nifty stylus called the S Pen specifically designed to work with a number of applications. This really comes to its own when doing fiddly things like working in a spreadsheet, or knocking out a doodle.

    The stylus makes the Galaxy Note 10.1 a great machine for taking notes, planning, and sketching out ideas.

    At a glance:

    • 10.1-inch, 1280x800 display
    • 1.4GHz Exynos quad core processor
    • Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich"
    • 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera
    • Choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB
    • Battery life of 10 hours

    Price: from $499.

    Link/image source: Samsung.

Topics: Android, Tablets

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

Related Stories


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • 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.