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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  • (Image: Samsung)

    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" (Android 4.4 "KitKat" coming soon)
    • 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.

  • (Image: Sony)

    Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

    The Xperia Z2 Tablet is essentially features the Z2 smartphone expanded to tablet proportions.

    The Xperia Z2 Tablet is slated to go on sale in the UK and wider Europe in March, and has been approved for AT&T in the U.S.

    Not only is the tablet waterproof and dustproof, but this one is also thinner and lighter than Apple's iPad Air.

    • KitKat (Android 4.4)
    • 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 processor with an Adreno 330 GPU
    • 10.1-inch 1,920 by 1,200-pixel display
    • 8.1MP rear camera
    • 2.2 MP front camera
    • 16GB and 32GB internal storage
  • (Image: 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-inch 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 an upgraded Galaxy S II.

    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, 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.
    rgeiken@...
  • 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.
    michael@...