Top Android tablets (November 2013 edition)

Top Android tablets (November 2013 edition)

Summary: Want a tablet but don't want to buy a svelte iPad Air or the petite iPad mini? Not a problem! Here are my top Android tablets for November 2013. And for those of you with limited carry space, there's a phablet for you to lust over.

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  • 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 4.3 "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 of internal storage
    • Stereo, surround speakers
    • Battery life of 9 hours

    Price: from $199.

    (Source: Google)

  • Amazon Kindle Fire HD

    Amazon, a company that rose to fame by making it easier and cheaper to get your hands on the books you wanted, has been aggressively getting into both the hardware and digital content markets over the past few years. And the recently updated Kindle Fire HD is testament to how serious Amazon is about disrupting the tablet market.

    • Fire OS 3.0, a highly modified version of Android
    • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
    • 7-inch 1280x800 HD display featuring a pixel density of 216 pixels-per-inch
    • Dolby audio
    • Dual-band Wi-Fi
    • 10 hour battery life
    • Choice of 8GB and 16GB internal storage of internal storage

    Price: from $139.

    (Source: Amazon)

  • 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.

    (Source: Samsung)

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Topics: Mobility, Amazon, Android, Tablets

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22 comments
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  • Android tablets

    I'll pass. My surface 2 just rocks. I couldn't care less about Google's spyware devices.
    gbouchard99@...
    • surface 2

      Surface 2 ain't bad. But u do know MS does spy on u with NSA help right? ;-)
      ThinkFairer8
      • Ms

        They might have in the past. I know that someone here in Canada was arrested for having child pornography pictures on it's SkyDrive. Microsoft reported him to they authorities. The main difference is that it is not Microsoft's business model to do so. For Google, selling information about you is. That's what they do systematically.
        gbouchard99@...
      • Who really gives a $hit?

        I couldn't care less who spies on my drivel so long as it stays within their walls. I have nothing of any interest to anyone but a thief wanting my dosh. And I do trust them that far!
        johnmckay
    • gps

      I'd love and prefer the surface.. .if it had a built in gps. Since it doesn't. Its worthless to me.

      ps: they all spy on you.
      rwwff
    • Well... well... spyware devices !?!

      Do you really believe, deep in your heart, that Google is the only ones who spy on people ?
      Give it another go and let the world know about it !
      Google got into trouble red-handed, yes... but aren't there nobody else that you can think about spying ? None at all ?
      Let me give you a hint... does W... as in Windows... and M... as in Microsoft... ring a bell ?
      Right, you just didn't knew that they spy... did you ?
      iTrucker
    • LOL!

      Microsoft Surface? Oh, you mean the device whose half the storage is taken up by the itself ? And doesn't include GPS(on non-cellular model)? And has a 208 ppi screen? And of course lacks Apps....wow best tab in the world!

      #Nexus10_user
      ubuntu_freak
    • LOL!

      Microsoft Surface? Oh, you mean the device whose half the storage is taken up by the OS itself ? And doesn't include GPS(on non-cellular model)? And has a 208 ppi screen? And of course lacks Apps....wow best tab in the world!

      #Nexus10_user
      ubuntu_freak
  • Mismatch

    Description on slide 4 doesn't match the device.
    greywolf7
  • Slide 5 - At a glance

    Galaxy Note 10.1 has 2.3 GHZ Snapdragon 800 quad core processor on the LTE version.
    1.9/1.3 GHZ big/little Exynos (dual) quad core processor on Wifi version.
    greywolf7
  • If anything slide 9 is not a tablet...

    the Samsung mega is a phablet-(phone/tablet) as its "between" 5 and 7 inches. A tablet is anything from "7" inches and over...
    ITGuy000
    • Names/Definitions

      So...I therefore claim a wrist-worn watch/phone/tablet to be called a "Phwablet".

      But, in order to make the distinction, a pocket-watch style watch/phone/tablet would have to be called something like "Phwocketlet" or "Tablephocketatch"

      Sorry, but I disagree with you. Any defs arbitrarily based on screen-size are doomed to inaccuracy and failure. For example, per your definition a 17" screen full-featured notebook with phone and clock functions still would be called a 'tablet' because "a tablet is anything from "7" inches and over".
      TexasJack
    • Semantics

      I would agree. The author also takes other liberties, including in his list Kindle devices as Android.

      Perhaps a different title for the article would have been appropriate.
      louishelps
  • Nexus 7 is $229

    Article says $199
    spatters71
  • Why no cell phone capability

    10" tablet is perfect for people who don't get to sit in their office all day and cell phone service in the tablet along with a blue tooth headset keeps all your information in one place and saves on two data connection charges.
    TiffanyinTexas
  • Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T has Android Jelly Bean now.

    My Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T has had Andrioid Jelly Bean for many months. It has improved performance significantly!
    rkd7777
  • Android Device Prices with KickBacks

    YOU absolutely have to wonder when Samsung, Google and others are going to drop their retail prices to kickback prices the vendors get for consumers. A $500 device (retail) can be had by a consumer from a vendor who offers it on a 2 yr contract for $99. Why can't that be the retail price. Who is making the money and who is getting screwed over ?

    The Consumers are getting screwed over because the devices are mass produced and price per device to manufacture is almost dirt cheap.
    Labrynth
  • No Xperia Z Ultra?

    If you're going to include big phablets (over 6" display) in this list, the new Sony is the one to have, not the Galaxy Mega. Radically thin (though a tad heavier than the Samsung), 1080p display, faster processor. faster wireless (802.11ac LAN, HSPA+ 42, 150Mbps LTE). Top of the line all the way. Only two drawbacks I can name: no flash/LED light, and not yet being offered by any US carriers.
    anonymous
  • Kindle Fire HDX looks good...

    I was debating between a iPad Air and a new Nexus 7, I might have to add the HDX to the selection process. My current Nexus 7 is only about a year old and I'm still happy with it, maybe it's too soon to replace. I might sit it out until the next round of new product releases.
    FrankInKy
    • So long as you know it has no rear camera...

      I only mention it as it came as a surprise to me... I expected ALL tablets to have both. I have a mini and a transformer1.. now looking for an all round Android with camera and SD slot, and latest 'kitkat'. Trickier than I thought!!!!
      johnmckay