In the past couple of years, Android tablets have become much more than just iPad alternatives, and many people now opt for them over Apple's pricey slates. When deciding which Android tablet to buy, there are a lot of things to consider, so we're here to guide you with our list of the best Android tablets of 2018 so far.
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- Best tablet overall: the versatile Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
- Best tablet for productivity: the hybrid Lenovo Yoga Book
- Best compact tablet: the multimedia Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4
- Best tablet for gaming: Nvidia Shield and Nvidia Shield K1
- Best tablet for kids: the kid-proof Amazon Fire Kids Edition
Samsung introduced its new tablet back in February, and it has been on the market since April. It is a remarkable tool for productivity and multimedia enjoyment, and while it can't replace a computer, it does allow you to work and play comfortably.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
|System||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|Display||9.7 inches, AMOLED, 1536 x 2048, ~ 264 ppi|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|Internal storage||32 GB + microSD|
|Camera||5 MP (rear) - 13 MP (front)|
|Connectivity||LTE 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2|
237.3 x 169 x 6 mm
|Weight||429 g (Wi-Fi) to 434 g (LTE)|
Why is this tablet so well adapted for productivity? The first reason is obviously because you get an S-Pen with the tablet, allowing you to draw or write directly on the screen. The second reason is the possibility of coupling this device with a keyboard, but here we have a slight roadblock: this keyboard costs the tidy sum of $129.
Of course, the tablet is also suitable for multimedia, which for many is the main activity for tablet usage. So, you can easily watch movies and listen to music for hours. However, It should be noted that, overall, Android applications on tablets are unfortunately not as refined as what can be found on the iPad.
Aside from these aspects, we find a rather powerful device thanks to a processor from last year, the Snapdragon 820, accompanied by 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory. The screen diagonal is 9.7 inches, the definition is 1536 x 2048, which is rather high, but the whole is powered by a battery of 6,000 mAh, thus providing decent battery life.
In short, it is unlikely that you will be disappointed if you get a Tab S3 because it is one of the best tablets on the market.
Launched at IFA 2016, the Lenovo Yoga Book combines innovation, design and performance in a single tablet. It is a hybrid between a laptop and a tablet, and thus the perfect tool to combine efficiency and productivity.
Lenovo Yoga Book
|System||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Display||10.1 inches, LCD, 1920 x 1200 pixels, ~ 224 ppi|
|Processor||Intel Atom x5-Z8550|
|Internal storage||64 GB + microSD|
|Camera||8 MP (rear) - 2 MP (front)|
|Connectivity||LTE 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2|
256.6 x 170.8 x 9.6 mm
The Yoga Book can be used as a classic 10 inch tablet as well as as a laptop. The tablet has a flat keyboard integrated on a tactile surface, which is beautifully backlit. The surface on which the keyboard is located can also be used as a notebook using a stylus.
In terms of productivity, I think it's the tablet running on Android that best represents the platform. In addition to Google services such as Google Drive and Photos, Lenovo pre-installed several Microsoft applications on the Yoga Book. There are desktop applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer had to make some concessions, especially in terms of battery life.
The Huawei MediaPad M3 has a beautiful design and great build quality. With an 8.4-inch screen, it benefits from an excellent handling. The latest tablet from Huawei is a great alternative, in the world of Android tablets, to the iPad Mini. The device is certainly one of the best in this list in terms of performance, but it also attracts many users who want a compact tablet suitable for multimedia (video, games, web browsing)
Huawei MediaPad M3
|System||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Display||8.1 inches, IPS LCD, 2560 x 1600 pixels, 359 ppi|
|Processor||Hisilicon Kirin 950|
|Internal storage||32 or 64 GB + microSD|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE 4G (optional)|
|Dimensions||215.5 x 124.2 x 7.3 mm|
One of the highlights of the MediaPad M3 is the audio quality. Through a partnership with Harman / Kardon, Huawei has put in two 1 x 13 mm stereo speakers powered by a Smart PA chip.
Additionally, with the implementation of SWS 3.0 (Super Wide 7 Sound) technology, the tablet is able to automatically identify whether the user is listening to music or watching a video and produce sound tailored to the experience. During our tests, we were able to prove that it really works.
The Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 is for true gamers who want to play with amazing graphics on the go. Users can also connect the Shield Tablet to a TV and use it as a game console.
Nvidia Shield K1
|System||Android 5.0 Lollipop|
|Display||8.0 inches, IPS LCD, 1920 x 1200, 283 ppi|
|Processor||Nvidia Tegra K1|
|Internal storage||16 GB + microSD|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Dimensions||221 x 126 x 9.2 mm|
The first Shield tablet was replaced by its successor as the best gaming tablet. If you already have the first Shield-Tablet, there's no need to replace it with the Nvidia Shield K1, since it is equipped with the same hardware - only the stylus pen is no longer there. So far no Android game has brought the Nvidia Shield K1, or its predecessor, to its performance limit. So, it is not only suitable for the latest Android games, but the K1 will probably cope well with upcoming Android titles, too.
The Shield Tablet K1 can also morph into a game console for the living room. Simply connect the appropriate controller (available separately) and connect the console to the TV. Nvidia also offers its own game store, but you have access to the Google Play Store via the Shield Tablet as well. In addition, you can stream games via Wi-Fi from your PC via the Tablet to your TV.
The Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet is designed for parents who want to make sure their children only have access to appropriate content for their age. Amazon brings peace of mind to the worried parent with the software of this tablet.
Amazon Fire Kids Edition
|System||Android Lollipop / Fire OS 5|
|Display||7 inches, IPS LCD, 1024 x 600 pixels, 171 ppi|
|Processor||Quad-Core 1.3 GHz|
|RAM||1 GB of RAM|
|Internal storage||8 or 16 GB + microSD|
|Dimensions||219 x 138 x 25.5 mm|
The Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet is a sensible purchase for parents with children aged 4 to 12 years. Thanks to the two-year all-round care-free guarantee, parents do not have to panic when their child takes the tablet and accidentally throws it to the ground.
With FreeTime Unlimited, parents also get a growing and well-maintained range of child-friendly content. This is free for 12 months, after which Amazon charges a monthly fee, but this is an optional subscription. It comes in pink, green and blue.
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S3||Lenovo Yoga Book||Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4||Nvidia Shield K1||Amazon Fire Kids Edition|
|Dimensions||237.3 x 169 x 6 mm||256.6 x 170.8 x 9.6 mm||215.5 x 124.2 x 7.3 mm||221 x 126 x 9.2 mm||219 x 138 x 25.5 mm|
|Weight||429 g||690 g||318 g||356 g||405 g|
|Display||9.7", AMOLED, 1536 x 2048||10.1", LCD, 1920 x 1200 pixels||8.1", IPS LCD, 2560 x 1600 pixels||8.0", IPS LCD, 1920 x 1200||7", IPS LCD, 1024 x 600 pixels|
|Battery||6,000 mAh||8,500 mAh||5,100 mAh||5,200 mAh||2,980 mAh|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820||Intel Atom, 2.4GHz||Hisilicon Kirin 950||Nvidia Tegra K1||Quad-Core 1.3 GHz|
|RAM||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||2 GB||1 GB|
What do you think is the best Android tablet? Let us know in the comments below.