On the whole, tablets are a bit of a dying form factor, but they still have a place for many customers, and make great gifts for kids as well. There is, of course, the iPad, which is a great product. However, if you’re looking for something less expensive, or just something with Android, here are some of the best options you can buy.
Google Pixel C
Both on paper and in practice, one of the best Android tablets on the market is the Pixel C by Google. With a premium all aluminum build, a 10.2-inch Quad HD display, and Android Nougat, the Pixel C is a fantastic tablet on its own. It gets even better when you consider it’s one of the few tablets on the market with full support for Android Nougat’s multi-window mode, and USB-C charging. Furthermore, the Pixel C’s official keyboard is nothing short of fantastic, offering a unique magnetic attachment and plenty of key travel. It can even be charged by the Pixel C, so you’ll never run out of battery.
The Pixel C on its own runs $499 for the 32GB model, or an extra $100 for the 64GB variant. The Pixel C is available directly through the Google Store.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Outside of Google, the best tablet you can get is the Galaxy Tab S2 from Samsung. Packing a premium metal build, an AMOLED display at either 8-inches or 9.7-inches, and a powerful octa-core chipset, the Galaxy Tab S2 is nothing short of a fantastic tablet. It also offers 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and Android Marshmallow with a strong likelihood of Nougat on the way.
Pricing for the Galaxy Tab S2 starts at $399 for the 8-inch model (currently as low as $249 at Best Buy with free shipping) or $499 for the larger 9.7-inch model. Various retailers offer the device.
- Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch) on Amazon
- Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7-inch) on Amazon
- Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch) at Best Buy
- Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7-inch) at Best Buy
- Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch) on B&HPhoto
- Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7-inch) on B&HPhoto
Lenovo Yoga Book
If you’re looking for something a little unique, and perfect for productivity, the Lenovo Yoga Book is an excellent option. It offers a 10.1-inch display, Android Marshmallow with special multi-tasking features in the software, fast charging, and the unique “halo keyboard” which is built in. The added drawing features are also great for artists. It’s not a perfect tablet, but it gets the job done well and it makes for a fantastic gift. You can read our full review here.
Amazon Fire Tablet
If you need something cheap and reliable, the Amazon Fire Tablet is a fantastic choice. It packs a 7-inch display, 8GB or 16GB of storage with a microSD slot, and Amazon’s suite of services. This definitely isn’t the best tablet out there, but it handles casual games, reading, videos, and more without breaking a sweat. It’s an excellent choice for children, and at $50 (currently as low at $40 on Amazon), you’ll never need to worry about it breaking since you can easily replace it.
Barnes & Noble NOOK 7″
At $50, the Fire Tablet isn’t the only choice. Barnes and Noble’s NOOK 7″ tablet is another fantastic option. It packs similar specs, albeit slightly less powerful when it comes to multi-tasking and games, but it trades that for better hardware and software compared to Amazon’s option. The NOOK 7″ brings a near-stock Android experience with Google Play and hardly any bloatware. It’s a fantastic device for $50 which we can’t recommend enough.
NVIDIA SHIELD K1
If you’re on the hunt for a mid-sized tablet with a core focus on gaming, there’s no better option than NVIDIA’s SHIELD K1 tablet. It offers the powerful NVIDIA K1 processor, 2GB of RAM, Android Marshmallow, an 8-inch 1080p display, and front facing speakers. It also has the unique ability to stream some PC titles from the cloud. Best of all, it costs just $199.
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