If you’re looking for the best Android tablets in the world right now, this updated list is the perfect starting point. We’ve put a load of top Android slates through their paces to see which should become your new sidekick.
Apple’s iPad is a great piece of kit, but it’s not for everyone. Those who aren’t trapped in the iOS ecosystem may want to look elsewhere. Android might once have lacked impressive tablet support, but all that has changed now.
In the world of top Android tablets, choice is king. There are just so many out there. Some have beefy processors, gorgeous displays and a thin profile, while others simply look to offer great value for money.
Samsung, just like in the smartphone game, is prolific when it comes to releasing slates. It has got a device in almost every size, from 7-inches to 12. Sony also produces some impressive devices, boasting lovely looks and you can even take them in the shower. Always a plus, we say.
We’ve put all these tablets through their paces to see which is the best Android slate you can buy this year.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S
The best Android tablet it also Samsung's thinnest and lightest to date and packs the same fingerprint scanner as the Samsung Galaxy S5. It's available in two screen sizes - 10.5 and 8.4 inches, both of which boast Super AMOLED tech and a top of the line resolution of 2560 x 1600. The display is absolutely gorgeous, easily the best of any in our round-up.
You can choose between 16 and 32GB of on-board storage and there's also scope to top up via microSD. Software features include Papergarden, Samsung's magazine service and Sidesync 3.0 mean that you'll be able to take calls and transfer files from your smartphone to your Tab S in a similar way to Apple's OS X Yosemite.
There's an 8-megapixel camera on the back, with an equally standard 2.1-megapixel snapper on the front while everything is powered by the Exynos 5 Octa processor (1.9Ghz) and 3GB RAM.
from £319 | Samsung Galaxy Tab S review
Sony Xperia Tablet Z2
If you like your tablets thin and light, then the Sony Xperia Z2 might well be right up your street. At 6.4mm thin Sony claims this is the thinnest waterproof slate you can buy. Even though it is so thin, it still packs some serious punch under the aluminium and glass chassis, like 3GB RAM, a powerful Snapdragon 801 2.3GHz quad-core processor and a 6,000 mAH battery.
There’s a new 10.1-inch Full HD Live Colour LED display which drastically improves colour performance over previous Xperia devices and you can even connect up a Playstation 3 DualShock 3 controller for some serious portable gaming.
Media remains the focus throughout as Sony has also included dedicated Surround Sound technology for the speakers whilst built-in digital noise-cancelling means that when paired with Sony's own noise-cancelling headset you won't hear anything except what's playing on the tablet.
In camera terms, there’s an 8.1MP Exmor RS sensor along with HDR, Superior Auto Mode and a 2.2MP front-facing camera.
Google's latest tablet is the showcase for the new Android 5.0 Lollipop update, which boasts a design overhaul to Android with a new Material Design look, improved multi-user accounts and a whole host of other additions. The tablet itself, size wise, sits between the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2, with an 8.9-inch display, and it's a big jump from last year's compact Nexus 7.
Under the hood is the speedy Tegra K1 64-bit chip, 2GB RAM and a choice of 16 or 32GB of internal storage. There's no MicroSD card though, so these low storage options are a little disappointing. Made by HTC, the slate features the brand's BoomSound speakers, so noise is loud and sounds better than its rivals, which is great for a media centric device.
£319 | Nexus 9 review
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2
Perfect for business folk, the largest of Samsung's tab line-up boasts a laptop encroaching 12.2-inch display with a resolution of 2560x1600 and the nitfty ability to use four apps at the same time. An interface re-jig, named Magazine UX pulls in a load of content in a design that doesn't look that much different from the tiles in Windows 8. As it's part of the Note series, you'll have access to the S-Pen for drawing, making notes and the like. Under the faux-leather hood is a Snapdragon 800 processor, a whopping 3GB RAM, Android 4.4 Kit Kat, while an 8-meg cam takes care of the snaps.
Nexus 7 (2013)
No longer sold by Google, but you can still grab this bargain slate from other places. With a gorgeous display, enough power to get the job done and access to a completely clean version of Android 5.0 Lollipop this is still one of our favourite mini slates on the market.
You'll get a decent battery life too and it can be juiced up via a wireless charger, always a nice touch. The second generation Nexus 7 improved on the original in almost every way possible, shame there probably won't be a follow-up.
£160 | Nexus 7 review
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10+HD
Even though it has only been out for a few months, Lenovo is already updating the innovative Yoga 10-inch tablet, ditching that old low-res screen and putting a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution version in its place. That’s not the only improvement though, oh no. Internally this slate boasts a Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB RAM and an 8-meg camera. Best of all though is the quoted 18-hour battery life.
£199 | Lenovo
LG G Pad 8.3
LG has quickly turned its fortunes around, producing stellar tablets and smartphones in the past few years. We’re big fans of G Pad 8.3, both for its perfect media watching size and slick aluminium design.
There’s a Snapdragon 600 chip under the hood, a vibrant display and some nifty software additions that make it a great pairing with one of LG’s phones.
£199 | LG
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4
Gunning straight for Apple's iPad Mini 3, Samsung's smallest Tab Pro slate boasts a fantastic display with a 1600 x 2560 resolution and enough power to multitask with ease.
The design is a little on the 'cheap feeling' side, especially with the faux-leather look but it does feel great in the hand and the 8.3-inch screen is great for browsing and media viewing.
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1
Not content with just unleashing one version of its new TabPRO, the latest slate from Samsung comes in three flavours - an iPad Mini and LG G-Pad baiting 8.3 incher, a more traditional 10.1 and an extra large 12.2-inch version. Even with these different sizes, each boast a 2560x1600 resolution, Android 4.4 and a snappy Snapdragon 800 processor, while the larger 12.2 device packs 3GB of RAM (the others still have the reasonable 2GB). A new and rather nice looking Magazine UX displays all your content in an easy to read manner, while there's an 8-meg snapper on the rear to take care of photos. It looks like Samsung has finally stepped up its game when it comes to tablets.
£399 | Samsung
Tesco Hudl 2
We were surprised as any when Tesco announced the original Hudl. We were even more surprised when it turned out to be actually really good. The follow-up is again a really good tablet, at an affordable price.
The display has been bumped to 8.3-inches, with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, and the processor is also snappier, coming in a 1.8GHz quad-core paired with 2GB RAM.
We’re not sure when Lollipop will land on this slate, so you’ll have to make do with 4.4 KitKat for now. Still, this is one of best bargain tablets on the market. You can also get it in a load of colours, which is always a bonus.
£129 | Tesco