Top Android tablets (May 2014 edition)

Top Android tablets (May 2014 edition)

Summary: Want a tablet but don't want to buy a svelte iPad Air or the petite iPad mini because you want to stay away from the Apple walled garden? Not a problem! Here are my top Android tablets for May 2014.

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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 Android tablets for May 2014.

    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.

  • (Image: Google)

    The Google Nexus 7

    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 4.4 "KitKat" 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, optional cellular, 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 4.4 "KitKat"
    • 5.0 megapixel rear camera
    • 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera
    • Choice of 16GB or 32GB of internal storage
    • Stereo, surround speakers
    • Battery life of 9 hours

    Price: from $199.

  • (Image: Nvidia)

    EVGA Tegra Note 7

    The Tegra Note 7 is Nvidia's entry into the fearsome tablet market, and what an entry it is.

    While Nvidia itself doesn't make the hardware – it only provides the reference design – its long-term hardware partner EVGA has done an excellent job of putting together a quality tablet at a very competitive price. And EVGA is just the first of many OEMs who will be bringing their own version of the Tegra Note to market over the coming months.

    • Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean"
    • 1.8GHz Tegra 4 processor complete with a 72-core Nvidia GeForce GPU
    • 7-inch 1280x800 IPS display
    • 5MP rear camera
    • VGA front camera
    • 16GB internal storage
    • MicroSD card slot
    • 4100mAh battery offering 10 hours of HD video playback

    Price: $199.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Hardware

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12 comments
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  • Hmmmm.....

    Samsung released their Galaxy 4 series tablets yesterday. A but early, perhaps for inclusion, but it does make the inclusion of the Galaxy Tab 3 seem inopportune.
    dsf3g
    • Additional New Models Available In May

      The site iProTablet -- features six new models to launch in May, including the iFive mini4 ($199) which is the first 8-inch Android tablet on the market with a retina-quality, 2048x1536 display and powered by the new RK3288 processor with performance comparable to Snapdragon 800.

      Also new is the Pipo T9 ($277) with an 8.9" full HD display and features comparable to the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" tablet; plus offers a 3G HSPA+ SIM card slot with Internet and that also makes voice calls like a regular Android phone.

      The Ramos i10 Pro ($399) also launched this week and is the first Hybrid tablet that let's you use both Windows 8.1 and Android and easily switch between the two operating systems... and features a 10-inch full HD 1920X1200 display, an Intel Bay Trail 64-bit processor, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and an 8000 mAh battery.
      tessstevens10k
  • Windows tablets

    Windows tablets make up for their lack in apps in work productivity. I had Acer iconic a500 for 2 years and I sold it and bought a windows tablet. I miss the amount of diverse android apps, but the tablet feels more useful especially for working.
    Pollo Pazzo
    • Windows + Linux

      Plus maybe Android . That would be my Holy Grail. I want to avoid the Google and MS walled gardens, too .
      arocee
    • Bluestacks...

      Just install Bluestacks on the Windows tablet... There is a fair range of the Android apps that will then be available for use, so you get the best of both worlds - a superior tablet platform in Windows 8 combined with availability of Android apps (unless you went WinRT in which case no bluestacks for you).

      As an aside - good luck trying to use an Android tablet for BYOD... Any company remotely concerned about data security won't let that thing anywhere near their networks or corporate apps.
      aesonaus
    • Work?

      There is a device for work. It is called a laptop or desktop. Well, in most cases the tablet is less a workhorse, though there are some tasks well handled by the little guys.
      mytake4this
  • Please.. just stop

    "Want a tablet but don't want to buy a svelte iPad Air or the petite iPad mini"

    How to turn what could have been an informative article into 'I've got nothing better to do than write this crappy article'...
    TheWerewolf
    • Yes, please just stop...troll

      There really wasn't any call for the disparaging comment. The "svelte" comment was what set you off? Seriously? In the immortal words of William Shatner, "Get a life!" It is true that the iPad Air is pretty slim and graceful, and no one can be honest AND argue that Apple's prices are really competitive... I would tell you to bite me, but your posting name indicates THAT would be a bad idea.
      m-r
  • seems the resolution on the kindle HDX 8.9 is off

    560 x 1600 sb. 2560 x 1600
    greywolf7
  • Recomendations without RAM quantity.

    Why don't these lists show what the ram memory is on each device, and also if it is easy to hook up to an HDMI monitor? There are probably other things that should be elaborated on too, but these seem to be the essentials for me and probably a lot of other potential buyers. Besides the quad processor, I would like to see 3 to 3.5 gig of ram plus a micro hdmi output. That tends to make any Tablet a better value especially for a home user. In the future, more and more Androids may be considered as a true home computer for many technically challenged users. My Tablets are less that 10% as troublesome as my W7 computers. I use both, but I have the ability to overcome most of the W7 problems. Most user might not. Android Tablets just keep churning along and doing their job.
    rgeiken9
  • Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes....you need to learn how to speak English...i.e. "The Xperia Z2 Tablet is essentially features the Z2 smartphone expanded to tablet proportions." This error is atrocious!

    And if you're saying this is a transcription error then you need to read your own blog for errors before/after it is done by an Asian wannabe copywriter!
    electric800
  • other tablets

    I bought an Ainol Nuvi 3G tablet last year,It cost me just £84 delivered and is a cracking 7 inch tablet with 3G connectivity.Not mainstream or well advertised but it does a great job.During the time Ive had it Ive bought and then sold a Blackberry playbook,Sony Experia tablet,an HP windows tablet,all having been less good than expected although the Sony was not far off what I wanted.
    Ive kept the Nuvi in preference to the others.Sums it up for me.
    michaelaaaaaa4