Best Android tablets for 2013
Posted on 18 Apr 2013 at 16:10
In the market for a tablet but don't want an Apple iPad? The Android market is well-stocked with impressive alternatives
The market for Android tablets is growing, and manufacturers have released a diverse range of devices to meet the increasing demand. We've rounded up the best out there currently, from affordable 7in devices to luxurious Full HD tablets with keyboard docks.
Amazon Kindle HD 8.9in
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9in immediately stands out from the crowd thanks to its unusual size. It's also notable for its exceptional screen, packing in a super-sharp 1,920 x 1200 resolution that's perfect for books and movies alike.
Like its 7in sibling, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9in runs Amazon's own customised version of Android, so if you're looking for a generic tablet for accessing Google services, this device may not be for you. But if you're chiefly interested in reading books and streaming videos, it's a great integrated solution, and Amazon's own Appstore provides a decent selection of games and productivity tools.
The 16GB version costs £229 – if you don't mind seeing adverts on the lock-screen. The ad-free edition is £239, with the 32GB model costing an extra £30. If you're taken by the Kindle Fire HD's distinctive size and its superb display, it's good value.
Read our full Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9in review
The Nexus 10 is an Apple iPad challenger from Google, and there’s a lot to like about this Samsung-made device – not least the fact that it undercuts the iPad by £80.
The Nexus 10’s screen beats Apple’s panel for pixel density, and image quality is high. The Samsung processor is among the most powerful we’ve seen inside an Android tablet, and battery life is impressive too.
Android 4.2 brings multiple user accounts, gesture typing and expanded notifications to the party, all packed inside an attractive exterior: the rubbery plastic finish feels comfortable; it’s slimmer than the iPad; and it weighs less than Apple’s tablet too.
The Nexus 10 excels in almost every area – only a dearth of tablet-specific Android apps keeps the iPad on top. Nevertheless, this is the best Android tablet on the market.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in
The Kindle brand is about more than just ebook readers – now it adorns products such as the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in.
It’s the perfect tablet if you’re a heavy user of Amazon’s content stores, and it’s great for reading too: text is sharp, and the screen has superb contrast. All the expected Kindle features are present, and pages are turned by swiping the screen rather than pressing buttons.
Those used to conventional Android devices might find the Kindle Fire confusing at first: content and apps are browsed using Amazon’s proprietary carousel interface, and there’s no chance to use Google Play – software is downloaded through Amazon’s own app store.
The Kindle Fire, like the Nexus 7, offers great value: a 16GB version costs £159, and a 32GB model is £199. If you regularly consume content from Amazon, it’s a worthwhile purchase.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700 is one of the most innovative Android tablets we’ve seen. It combines a Full HD screen, Nvidia’s powerful Tegra 3 processor and a keyboard dock into a tempting and versatile package.
The 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel is pin-sharp and delivers punchy, detailed images, and the grunt provided by Nvidia’s hardware keeps apps and games moving smoothly.
The keyboard base has a second battery that delivered a boost to the tablet's battery life, and the keyboard itself is reasonable – a little cramped, but fine for casual typing.
The Infinity oozes class; if luxury and versatility are more important than saving money, this is the tablet to buy.
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By amangill on 12 Jun 2013
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