Best Place To Buy Android Tablets

Date:

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus

Best tablet to buy: Tablet Buying Guide 2013

Get a tablet and a Google Assistant display

Sure, you could go pick up a Nest Hub if you want Google Assistant ready, but that has to be plugged in at all times. So instead, the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus includes a dock that allows the tablet to turn into a Google Assistant-powered smart display when docked. This makes it possible to use the Tab M10 Plus as a digital photo frame, listen to music, or manage your smart home. Then, when it’s time to hit the road or just go to another room, you can take the tablet with you.

The speakers won’t disappoint you, as there are two Dolby Atmos-tuned speakers on either side, immersing you in whatever content you are enjoying. Those who tend to travel will enjoy the 128GB of built-in storage to go along with the microSD card slot, which can house much of your video library. When it’s time to keep the little ones occupied, just turn on Google Kid Space and let the children have fun without accessing apps that they shouldn’t be using.

However, the Smart Tab M10 Plus is designed more for media consumption or as a Google Assistant display and not for those who need to be productive. Despite the pogo pins at the bottom of the tablet for docking, there are no keyboards that can be attached for easier setup or integration. We also would have liked to see a bigger battery since the Tab M10 Plus is limited to nine hours of battery life when it’s not docked.

The Best Tablets You Can Buy Today

Reasons to avoid

The new 9th Gen iPad looks just like the 8th Gen update, and that’s OK. The A13 Bionic chip gives the 2021 iPad that necessary bump in performance to keep it speeding along, as iPadOS 15 brings more machine learning tricks like LiveText. The iPad’s screen is still bright and colorful, and just what it needs at this price point. Also, Apple’s sticking with its first-gen Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio for its supported Apple-made accessories, which many may find easier to use than third-party Bluetooth options.

The Pencil will come in handy for Scribble-based annotation, and the keyboard will help take advantage of the improved keyboard shortcut support. Sound is still good, as is battery life, the only thing we don’t like about the iPad is that the iPad mini and iPad Air are making it look even older than its design is. Added support for Apple’s finer accessories would be great, but it still has a headphone jack , which is a win for the wired headphones crowd.

Read our full iPad 2021 review.

What Tablet Can Replace A Laptop

If you’re hoping to get serious work done on a tablet then an iPad Pro, such as the iPad Pro 12.9 , would be a good option. This has a big screen, lots of power, and supports a keyboard accessory. For an Android alternative, consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which has similar selling points.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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How To Buy A Tablet

From bargain basement Android tablets to complex Windows 2-in-1 hybrids, buying a tablet is more confusing than ever. We’re here to help.

Xiomara Blanco

Associate Editor / Reviews – Tablets and monitors

Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She’s a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don’t expect her to review printers anytime soon.

There’s a lot more to tablets than just the iPad. If you’re looking to replace a PC with something simpler and more portable, or just want a grab-and-go device for email and movies, we’ve got answers to all your tablet questions.

But if you just want a fast and easy answer, these are a few of our current top choices.

So Which Windows Tablet Should I Buy

Best Samsung Tablets at Walmart in 2019

We’ve waded through the current tablet offerings, and tested and compared dozens of tablet PCs to discover what works and what doesn’t. Below are our top picks for Windows tablets. If you’re not married to Windows, read our report on the best tablets overall, as well as our roundup of the best Android-based models.

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Looking For A Tablet Primarily For Consuming Media Here’s What To Look For In An Android Tablet Along With Our Top Choices

PROSFast processor for the pricePlenty of RAMActs as an Alexa smart display

CONS

PROS

No promise for OS updates after Android 12

Best For Reading Large-Format Documents

PROSBuilt-in reading and note-taking apps work wellGood battery life

Taking notes in third-party apps isn’t greatApp compatibility can be hit or missNot waterproof

PROSHandles basic tasks with easeGood battery lifeExcellent audio for the price

CONSCameras perform poorly in low light

Best For Best Affordable Amazon Tablet

PROSMore affordable than most tabletsBetter specs and battery life than predecessorHands-free Alexa support

Base models include ads on the lock screen

Best For Video Playback and Zoom

PROS

PROSRuns almost all Android appsSlim and relatively light

PROSDex mode enables a multi-window UI

CONSFewer pro-level creative apps than iPadOSAndroid apps don’t often play well with tabletsSome authentication bugs

You might think that Apple’s iPad has won the tablet wars, but think again. High-end iPads and Windows tablets dominate the top of the field with impressive tools for productivity, but Google’s Android operating system is very popular at lower price points. The least expensive new iPad costs $329. The range of Android tablets is much broader, with an option for every budget. Android tablets also sometimes show up with interesting and unusual features, such as E Ink screens.

Fire Hd 8 Plus Tablet

Amazon’s best, but smaller

If you want to get started with the Amazon ecosystem, the Fire HD 8 Plus is a great way to do so. You’ll get a solid Full HD display with either 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage and up to 12 hours of battery life.

However, the Fire HD 8 has an extra trick up its sleeve with hands-free Alexa. This turns your tablet into another Echo Dot, and you can even get a stand to use it as a smart display. Amazon also introduced a wireless charging dock for the HD 8 Plus, making it possible to turn this into an Amazon Echo Show-like device, but one that you can grab and take with you. There’s even wireless charging available now, along with Amazon finally making the from MicroUSB to USB-C.

Unfortunately, the Fire HD 8 Plus isn’t as great as other options on the market, as you will need to purchase the dock separately if you want to turn your tablet into a smart display. The 2MP front and rear-facing cameras are also not great to use and won’t cut it in 2020. Finally, you will have to deal with Amazon’s version of Android and won’t have access to the Google Play Store.

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Best Android Tablets: Which Should You Buy

Reasons to avoid

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is the best tablet Samsung has ever made, and a serious rival to the iPad Pro range.

In fact, its screen arguably has those slates beat, as its a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED one with a 2800 x 1752 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The iPad Pro range can match much of that, but those slates have LCD screens, which arent quite as good – we were seriously impressed with this screen.

You also of course get a whole lot of power from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Pluss Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, enough that we found it the smoothest Android tablet experience we’ve come across. Plus, it has a premium metal build thats incredibly slim at 5.7mm thick.

Theres also a 5G model for speedy mobile data, and Samsungs S Pen stylus comes bundled with the slate. Chuck in a keyboard and this is a serious productivity machine. But even without that this is a top-end slate and great for media.

Reasons to avoid

Samsung has long been ruling the high-end Android tablet world, but it now faces an unlikely challenger in the form of the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro. Lenovo isnt well-known for Android tablets, but with the Tab P11 Pro its delivered a real rival to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus.

This slate has an 11.5-inch 1600 x 2560 OLED screen, so its big, sharp, and packs punchy OLED tech. It also supports HDR10, so its a joy to view content on, with the only slight let-down being its conventional 60Hz refresh rate.

Reasons to avoid

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 104

The Best Android Tablets of 2013

Perfect for everyone

It’s no surprise that Samsung offers the best cheap Android tablet, as the company provides options for every corner of the Android market. Even with newer tablets like the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+, the Galaxy Tab A7 is no slouch and includes many features you will want.

Starting with the design, this is a slim aluminum slab with glass on the front, which makes for quite a gorgeous form factor. With the Galaxy Tab A7, Samsung decided to include S Pen support. Unfortunately, that will need to be purchased separately. However, the thin and light design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 makes it great to hold for more extended periods and will make it easier to get some work done. Speaking of getting work done, the Galaxy Tab A7 works seamlessly across other Galaxy devices like the Samsung Galaxy S21 to keep all of your efforts connected.

Regardless of what kind of device you are looking for, battery life is always a part of decision-making. You won’t be disappointed with this one as you’ll get excellent battery life out of the 7,040mAh battery that charges up quickly with the included USB-C fast-charger. So you’ll have plenty of time to sit back and take advantage of the quad speakers with Dolby Atmos support for those times you just want to chill out with a movie.

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Are You An Android Smartphone User Or An Iphone User

While theres certainly no rule against owning devices from different manufacturers, there are definitely advantages to buying a tablet thats built on the same platform as your phone. The biggest benefit is familiarity. If youre already familiar with Android or iOS as operating systems, youll feel right at home the first time you power up your tablet if you buy one with the same OS. In addition, some tablets and phones from the same brand offer extended functionality when used together. For example, if youre an iPhone owner, you can set up an iPad so you can answer phone calls from it.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jordan Oloman is a tech writer whose work has appeared in several prominent tech and gaming publications. Beyond the devices in this article, he has tested a wide variety of tablets and other products for Lifewire.

Sandra Stafford is a writer and educator who lends her expertise to a number of reviews on Lifewire, including various iPad models and other gadgets for people and their pets.

Ajay Kumar is a Lifewire Tech Editor who has worked for a decade in tech journalism and digital publishing, covering the industry and reviewing everything from tablets to games and hardware.

Anton Galang has 12+ years of experience in writing and editing, focusing on consumer tech and education. He believes in enjoying tablets for work and playfor kids of all ages.

Jonno Hill is a lifelong tech enthusiast who has written for top tech and culture websites, now testing and reviewing a variety of tablets, laptops, and other electronic essentials.

Erika Rawes has been writing for Lifewire since 2019. She’s previously been published in Digital Trends and US Today. As a tech generalist, she’s tested a wide range of products.

Jason Schneider has been writing for Lifewire since 2019 and has a decades’ worth of experience reviewing consumer technology products.

Jeremy Laukkonen is an experienced reviewer and product tester who’s been writing for Lifewire since 2019. He’s tested a profusion of products, including many tablets, laptops, and smartphones.

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Best Android Tablet For Students

Fire HD 10 Tablet Productivity Bundle

Amazon’s largest tablet is one of the best values in this space. It’s great for casual use, and it can handle some light work too.

  • Heavy
  • Only 60Hz

The best Android tablet for most people tends to come from Samsung or Amazon, but don’t sleep on Lenovo, making a series of tablets and smart displays for premium and budget shoppers. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 falls at the higher end, offering an alternative to the Galaxy Tab S7+ if you want a tablet the size of a laptop display â and the power to match.

With a Snapdragon 870 chipset and 8GB of RAM, the Yoga Tab 13 will respond to your Google Assistant commands or navigate through menus with no lag to speak of. Its built-in kickstand helps it naturally stand up on a desk without buying an expensive accessory case. Thanks to the stand and its micro-HDMI port, it works naturally as a monitor for your computer or other devices without taking up much room on your desk. Or, if you do prefer to hold it, the Yoga Tab 13 has soft Alcantara fabric on its back that makes it especially comfortable to prop in your arms.

Best Cheap Android Tablet

Where to Buy Android Tablets

The 10.1-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A was released in 2019, but dont let its advanced age scare you off. This is still one of the highest-rated Android tablets in our ratings, beating plenty of newer models. Where it really stands out is in value. The Galaxy Tab A earned a CR Best Buy designation from our testers, which means it combines great performance with an attractive price.

In addition to the large, bright, accurate display, it features 32 gigabytes of built-in storage and a battery that lasted around 11 hours in our tests. Unlike the Amazon Fire, this tablet uses the Google Play app store, so you shouldnt have trouble finding Gmail, Google Photos, and other favorites.

It also features robust parental controls, so you can control the content and services your child has access to.

Samsung also makes a very similar 8-inch tablet called the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 for a lower price if you dont mind the smaller screen.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

The best Android tablet

Reasons to avoid

This is the Android tablet that fans have long deserved. In the history of iPad alternatives, the Galaxy Tab A7 stands out with its lower $229 price, $100 less than the iPad. On top of that, it’s got thinner bezels than the 10.2-inch iPad and crazy 13+ hour battery life so you can enjoy more of what you’re watching and reading for a lot longer time. And even at this price, you get facial recognition to unlock the device.

It’s also got USB-C charging, so you can use the same cable you charge modern phones and laptops with. And while we wish it were a tad brighter or faster, it’s got the real, unadulterated Android experience with the Google Play app store and Google apps so you’re not confined to web-only Gmail and YouTube.

Reasons to avoid

Samsung’s been fighting for room in the tablet wars, against Amazon’s ultra-affordable Fire slates and Apple’s pricier iPads, and the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is its first undoubtable hit in a while. First off, it offers a lot of battery life more than 12 hours on a single charge. Then, it gets the other tablet necessities right, with an elegant streamlined design, bright display and good sound. Those all add up to a solid tablet that I could binge-watch YouTube channels and the best Netflix shows on for hours and hours.

Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid

Best For Reading In Color

Pros

  • Broad app support for reading books and comics
  • In-store support

Pros

  • Sunny display with vivid colors
  • Windows Hello webcam with 1080p video support
  • Integrated kickstand
  • SD card reader for easy storage expansion
  • Long battery life
  • Optional extras pump up price quickly
  • Disappointing computing performance, even with Core i3 upgrade

Some tablets are pro-level laptop replacements, while others do humbler duty. Inexpensive tablets make great video players for kids, ebook readers, and alarm clocks, and can even work as digital signage. You don’t need to spend $300 or more to get a simple slate that fulfills those functions. We have several options available under $100.

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