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Best Android tablet - #2: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition)
The Galaxy Note 10.1 is Samsung's is a flagship tablet that commands a flagship price. And it just got better with this latest update
The hardware is all top-notch, with a 10.1-inch screen with a 2560x1600 resolution display, a 2.3GHz quad core processor on the LTE version (the Wi-Fi/3G version has a 1.9GHz quad-core CPU and a secondary 1.3GHz quad-core CPU), a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 10-hour battery pack.
The software is Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" operating system.
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. This can be a hugely useful for BYOD usage.
There are two drawbacks to this device. The first is the price. This is a premium tablet, and has a premium price tag to go with that. But at $50 more than the iPad, it's hard to recommend the new Galaxy Note 10.1, especially when you factor in the second drawback – performance. While the hardware baked into the new Galaxy Note 10.1 is top-notch, the tablet still suffers from a sluggishness that makes it annoying to use. Perhaps this will be fixed by a software update, but for now it plagues what should otherwise be a flagship device.
At a glance:
- 10.1-inch, 2560x1600 display
- 2.3GHz Exynos quad core processor on the LTE version
- Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean"
- 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera
- Choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage
- Battery life of 10 hours
Price: from $549.
Best Android tablet - #1: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
To show how serious Amazon is about the tablet market the company unveiled a new addition to the Kindle Fire HD line-up – the Kindle Fire HDX.
The HDX comes in two different flavors – a 7-inch version and a bigger, beefier 8.9—inch variety. Both are essentially the same hardware apart from the screen and the fact that the 8.9-inch version features a bigger, better screen and a rear-facing camera.
- Fire OS 3.0, a highly modified version of Android
- 2.2GHz quad-core processor
- 7-inch 1920 x 1200 (323 ppi) display | 8.9-inch 560 x 1600 (339 ppi)
- Both feature a front-facing HD camera, while the 8.9-inch version also has an 8MP rear-facing camera too
- +11 hour battery life
- Dolby audio
- Choice of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage
Price: from $229.
Best Windows 8.1 tablet - #1: ASUS Transformer Book T100
The ASUS Transformer Book T100 is a hidden gem when it comes to Windows tablet. This is a 10.1-inch 2-in-1 convertible that switches from being a tablet to a notebook. This tablet beats the Surface 2 offering on almost every metric you care to use.
- Price: You can pick up the T100 for $379 from online retailers such as Amazon, which is a full $70 less than an entry-level Surface 2 tablet.
- OS: The T100 runs the full x86 version of Windows 8.1, not the ARM-powered Windows RT that the Surface 2 runs. If you want a Surface Pro 2 that runs the full version of Windows 8.1 then you're looking at a starting price of $899.
- Microsoft Office: Full version of Microsoft Office (Home and Student 2013) versus the cut-down version for Windows RT.
- Faster CPU: Intel Atom versus Nvidia Tegra 4.
- Better battery life: 11 hours versus 10 hours.
- Lighter: 1.2lbs versus 1.49lbs