The year is drawing to a close, and what a year it’s been for Android tablets. Off to a slow start, it looked as if 2015 was going to be a year that ended up relying on last year’s great tablet offerings. Samsung finally followed-up with new Galaxy Tab S tablets, and more recently the bizarre Galaxy View. Dell and Sony offered their own take on an Android tablet come laptop, and Google is finally back with the Pixel C, a high-end Android tablet of their own creation. This is the most our Top 10 list has changed over the course of the year, and there are some great new additions.
10. Lenovo Tab 2 A10
This 10.1-inch option from Lenovo is anything but exciting. It’s a simple, Full HD Android tablet that has a few niceties, besides the scant price tag, of course. The main draw here is undoubtedly the fact that this is cheap, but it’s a decent performer as well, and the display here is more than just pixels, featuring good colors and brightness that punch well above its weight. A great tablet for those just want a larger screen and little else, this is great for something around the living room or around the home. Easy to use and light on your bank account, the Tab 2 A10 is worth looking into from Lenovo.
09. Amazon Fire, Fire HD
The Amazon Fire line of tablets have been around for some time now, and while there’s none of the Google we’ve come to expect from other Android devices, these are undeniably great value. Easy to use, with many of the same apps and games as the Play Store, these are great for just sitting back and reading, playing games or whatever else. They now come in 6, 7 and 10-inch versions with some costing as little as $99.99. That cheapest version isn’t all that bad, either and will make a great first tablet for pretty much anyone.
08. Dell Venue 8 7000
Dell has made a name for themselves in making at least some good-looking laptops over the years, and 2015 saw them turn to Android tablets in the same vane. The Venue 8 is one excellent example of that. With a brilliant 2560 x 1600 display, powerful Intel processor and a design that finally offers something a little different, the Venue 8 ticks a lot of the right boxes. It has a party trick up its sleeve as well, with the ability to use it’s two rear-facing cameras to approximate measurements with some accuracy. Can an iPad Mini do that? The only real downside of this is the sizeable price tag.
07. Samsung Galaxy View
Large tablets seem to have become a thing in the past couple of years, with 13-inch displays becoming easier to find from Lenovo and even Samsung in past years. 2015 saw Samsung go all-in with the Galaxy View and its massive 18.4-inch display. The best way to think of this is a portable Smart TV, after all that’s what Samsung wants you to do with it, and with all the best media apps on it, it’s easier to do just that. Sadly though, Samsung put just a Full HD display on here, less than their 9.7-inch options, and there’s no rear-facing camera and a standard front-facing at 2.1-megapixels. Still, if a massive tablet is something that you’re looking for, then you’ll like what Samsung have here.
06. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 3 Pro
Last year, Lenovo built on their original Yoga Tablets running Android with a Pro model and a 13.3-inch display. This year, the Pro lives on as a more manageable and portable 10.1-inch model with a refined design. It gets the same awesome stand feature as the others do, but it also gains a projector, which works together with said stand to create an impromptu theater or presentation whenever or wherever you want. With good software features and solid performance to boot, these won’t let you down.
05. NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1
The NVIDIA SHIELD line has had an interesting journey, from being available as an all-in-one gaming handheld, to a TV box and now back to an incredibly powerful Android tablet. Their latest version represents the SHIELD Tablet that was already on shelves, but it features the Tegra K1 at its heart, the same awesome chip used inside of the SHIELD TV. Offering up a great 8.0-inch Full HD display, stock Android and the ability to play PC games anywhere using GeForce NOW, there’s o much on offer here for gamers.
04. Google Nexus 9
The Nexus 9 has always been an interesting piece of hardware, and now that the Pixel C is available it’s become even more interesting. Nice and thin, with a bright 8.9-inch display, the Nexus 9 is a solid all-rounder, with some good gaming performance and great speakers. However, it’s not all that exciting when you come to think of it, but as always, it’s what you dow with the platform of a Nexus device that makes it yours, and with stock Android, there’s a lot you can do with it. Available cheaper than most from a lot of places now, the Nexus 9 its still a great middle-ground between size and portability.
03. Google Pixel C
Ever since the Pixel C was announced earlier this year, it’s been referred to as an excellent advert for magnets as well as some of the best Android tablet hardware around. Now that it’s available for order from the Google Store, we can see exactly how expensive it is, which is to say it’s not cheap. Still, with an excellent display that will look like a piece of A-size paper to a lot of people, an included keyboard and an excellent fit and finish this could be the best hardware out there. It’s a shame then, that there’s nothing added to the Marshmallow software on here and that it does much the same as any other tablet on this list for arguably much more.
02. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
The Xperia Z4 Tablet is an excellent offering from Sony, it’s super-thin, water-resistant and has a great 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 display. There’s a modern Snapdragon 810 under-the-hood here with 3GB of RAM, a microSD card slot and a removable keyboard dock. We reviewed this earlier in the year, and found it to be one of the best tablets Sony have ever made. With great software additions to make Android more useful with a keyboard and mouse, Sony have made a compelling laptop replacement with the Xperia Z4 Tablet.
01. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 – 9.7-inch
The Galaxy Tab S2 is one of the best all-round Android tablets that are available. With excellent internals, some great software additions and a brilliant Super AMOLED display, this is a joy to use all-day long and then some. Great for movies as well as browsing the web, the new 4:3 aspect ratio makes this more useful in portrait mode and with similar software to the new Galaxy S6 line of devices, there’s a lot to love here.