Android hasn’t always been known for tablets. That changed when Google jumped in with its Nexus line back in 2012. These days though, it doesn’t have to be a Nexus Android tablet to be worth your money. What’s even better is that Android is finally getting split-screen multitasking with Android N, which will make it much more productive in tablet form.
So here they are—our ranking of the 10 best Android tablets you can buy right now.
1 of 10
10. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact ($369): The Z3 Compact is almost a year and a half old at this point, but it still is a great Android tablet. I've never loved Sony's Android skin, but on the hardware and design front, it's one of the very best. This one's a bit more expensive than other small tablets, but the Z3 Compact has the great industrial design and quality materials that many others lack. Look down below for other tablets with a better bang-for-your-buck.—Luke Larsen
2 of 10
9. Amazon Fire HD 8 ($149): So you're looking for an ultra-cheap tablet? Normally, I'd say keep saving your money and spring for something bigger, but this year, a tablet from the new line of Amazon Fire HD devices is actually not a bad option. The 6-inch Fire HD is a bit too close in size to your smartphone to be useful, but the 8-inch size really inexpensive ways of getting a tablet experience at an affordable price. These are still primarily just content consumption devices though due to the pretty limited Amazon software, so don't expect to get much work done here.—LL
3 of 10
8. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Sony surprised everyone when it didn't show off a new tablet in the Xperia Z line this year at Mobile World Congress. So while the future of its premium tablet line is up in the air at this point, the 10-inch Xperia Z4 Tablet is still a great, iPad Air 2 competitor. It's even lighter than the iPad Air 2 and is every bit as refined in its design and display. What's more, it's one of the only tablets on the list that is waterproof, which makes it a great companion in the kitchen.—LL
4 of 10
7. Nexus 9 - $399: The Nexus 9 was also released in late 2014, but is still the latest tablet in the Nexus line. It's still a good way to get a stock Android tablet that is sleekly-designed and performs well. More importantly, you can now get the device for $399, or even cheaper if you can find it discounted online somewhere. The updates to Nexus tablets are a bit slower than Apple's or Samsung's, so we're not expecting to see an update to the Nexus 9 this year.
We are, however, probably going to see a new Nexus 7 later this year. So if you're willing to spring for a smaller (and probably cheaper) tablet, you may want to consider waiting for a new Nexus 7.—LL
5 of 10
6. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro ($499): As a slate, the Yoga brings a more complete feature-set to consumers, including some of the best speakers on a tablet and an integrated pico projector. I appreciated the built-in kickstand, and as a reader of digital magazines and e-books, I loved the controversial barrel spine design for its ergonomic comfort.
Even if you don't intend on using the projector heavily, the integrated kickstand makes it easy to prop up the screen to any angle without the need for a case. The tablet's long battery life makes it a good companion for travel, as well. In the Yoga Tab 3 Pro, Lenovo has put forth its vision of Android in a tablet with features that are unmatched by any competitor.—Chuong Nguyen
6 of 10
5. Pixel-C ($499): When we found out that Google was getting serious about designing and manufacturing its own tablet, there was plenty of reason to be excited. From the exterior, there's everything to like about the Pixel-C: the intuitive magnetic hinge, the beautiful aluminum chassis, and the great display. As an Android tablet alone, the Pixel-C is a great higher-end option.
However, the product suffers from a lot of performance issues, especially involving the keyboard, which lags and stutters like crazy. Furthermore, stock Android just does not do much at all with keyboards in the realm of productivity. All that to say, the Pixel-C is beautiful device, just don't plan on actually using the keyboard attachment all that much.—Eric Walters
7 of 10
4. Dell Venue 10 8000 ($399): It seems like pretty much ever very tech company is taking a shot at a 2-in-1 hybrid tablet these days. Until the Pixel-C drops though, the go-to hybrid in the Android space is the Dell Venue 10 7000.
With a pricetag of just $399 for the base model, the Dell Venue 10 7000 is a pretty amazing value. On its own it looks a little lopsided, but the 10-inch tablet has a unique magnetic hinge that seamlessly fits into the optional keyboard. It'll cost you an extra $130, but the keyboard is spacious and responsive—definitely worth the cash.—LL
8 of 10
4. Galaxy Tab S2 ($339-$499):: The first great Samsung tablet was the Tab S, which showed that Samsung was finally serious about making an iPad competitor. The Tab S2 takes everything that was good about that tablet and ups the ante even further with its full metal body and cheaper starting price, the Tab S2 9.7 is a good way to go in a year when it's been over a year and half since we've gotten an iPad Air update.
It comes in both 9.7-inch ($399) and 8.0-inch ($349) form factors, so you'll probably be able to find one that fits what you're looking for. I'll probably never be a fan of Samsung's proprietary Android skin, but if that doesn't bother you too much, the Tab S2 is a pretty good option.—LL
9 of 10
2. Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 ($199): Tablets under $200 don't have a great reputation, but there have certainly been exceptions over the years. Last year's big exception was the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1, which comes at a mind-blowing $199 and is still an absolute steal.
Not only does this tablet have the unique selling point of being a gaming tablet that stream directly from your PC using GeForce Now, it's also a high-quality Android tablet in its own right. This 8.0-inch tablet is our go-to budget tablet, especially if you just happen to be a gamer.—LL
10 of 10
1. Dell Venue 8 7000 ($299): Dell isn't usually the first company you think of when you think of tablets, but it is doing a great job of changing that. The Dell Venue 8 7000 is a fantastic Android tablet with a really unique bezel-less design, full aluminum body, impressive performance, and a super high-res display.
The jaw-dropping design is sometimes more for looks than practicality, but that doesn't stop this affordable ($299) slab from also being the best Android tablet out there. This thing also takes really great photos, which is often an afterthought for tablets.—LL