Not to be outdone, Samsung revamped its entire tablet line-up in 2023, with not only a new Galaxy Tab S9 family but also a new Fan Edition duo that replaces both the S7 FE and S6 Lite models, and a new pair for the Tab A entry-level range.
We took the opportunity to list the best options available to help you make the most of your money. And we will start with a comparison table.
Best Android tablets compared
Buying advice: What to look for when buying a tablet
The Android tablet market covers a huge landscape of products, ranging from bargain bin models at around $50/€50 on deals days up to more than a thousand bucks with all the bells and whistles you can imagine.
- Performance: We listed below only models that offer a reasonable level of performance, that is why we didn’t list models under $100/€100. Even though they are very popular, you shouldn’t expect much from them when it comes to daily performance or longevity. Additionally, storage space on very cheap tablets is limited, restricting their use even after installing a microSD card.
- Accessories: Tablets are usually very versatile when it comes to usage, some are more geared towards multimedia consumption, while others are positioned as productivity machines. From kick-stand covers to pens and keyboards, try to visualize the intended use for the device and check if all necessary accessories are available. That will save you the hassle of getting a generic option which can ruin the tablet’s portability.
- Display and audio: Since most people use tablets for online browsing and watching streaming content, having a good screen and speakers are critical. All models on the table above are Full HD-compliant, but some offer higher refresh rates that can make games and page scrolling smoother than on 60 Hz models. On the audio side, all tablets above offer at least stereo sound using dual or quad speakers but none have front-firing speakers for better sound immersion. If you care about sound quality, consider getting a good headphone.
Best Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy S9 Ultra
Replacing the Tab S8 Ultra as our overall pick comes its successor, the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. My colleague Antoine Engels was straight to the point by calling it “The best Android tablet” in his review. Admitedly, its probably bigger than most people need (or want), but Samsung also offers smaller 12.4” and 11” options.
The Tab S9 family are powered by the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chips found in the fastest Android smartphones launched in 2023, and uses OLED displays in its entire range, with unmatched contrast levels paired with 120 Hz refresh rates for smooth animations while browsing the web, social media and supported games.
Samsung offers a wide range of accessories for its S9 tablets, including cases, covers, keyboards, and chargers, which are not included in the box. And if you don’t need flagship-level performance, there is always the Fan Edition models, with a slower processor, with a similar build quality and design as the premium models.
The best Android tablet for multimedia: Pixel Tablet
Google’s new assault on the tablet market is slightly different from its past contenders. The Pixel Tablet is bundled with a charging dock—which can be purchased separately and basically transforms the tablet into a smart display with a Google Nest-like speaker.
The multimedia features of the Pixel Tablet don’t stop there, as the device also features Chromecast support, not only to beam its contents to a bigger screen but also as a target to share a streaming session from your smartphone. On nextpit’s test, the speaker dock offered excellent sound quality and a reliable docking experience by using magnets for alignment.
In the specs department, the Pixel Tablet features the same Tensor G2 processor found in the Pixel 7 phones, fast RAM and storage standards, average 8 megapixels sensors for both cameras—a bit disappointing considering the brand—and promised software support of 5 years of security updates, which is only rivaled by the Samsung Tab S8 models that cost considerably more than the Pixel Tablet’s $499/€679 MSRP.
Our full review will be published shortly but in the meantime, you can read Camila Rinaldi’s first impressions with this new season of Android tablets here. Spoiler alert: The hardware is solid but is betrayed by the still lackluster tablet experience on Android.
The best high-end Android tablet alternative: OnePlus Pad
If you are not looking for a productivity tablet or a hybrid smart display but still want high performance, you might want to consider the OnePlus Pad. The brand’s first device for the tablet market managed to bring a couple of firsts to the tablet segment, including the fast Dimensity 9000 processor from MediaTek and a very fast refresh rate of 144 Hz for smooth animations on the 11.6” display.
The OnePlus Pad also sports a rather unusual screen ratio of 7:5 for the LCD panel, which reaches a maximum brightness of 500 nits. OnePlus equipped the tablet with a relatively big (for the size) battery with 9510 mAh, all in a thin build.
The Pad’s speed can also be seen in the charging department, compatible with the 67 W SuperVooc power adapter that promises a “full charge in just over 60 minutes”. We are still waiting to test the device in the coming weeks, so keep checking NextPit for a review.
An unusual selection for this list, the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet runs Android but under a heavily customized FireOS skin. Most Android apps are not available on the Amazon App Store, but you can easily bypass that limitation by sideloading the Google Play Store on the Fire tablet.
Amazon’s MSRP for its biggest tablet is $139.99/€164.99, but frequent discounts take the price under $100/€100 if you can wait. The trade-offs for the low price can be seen in the weak memory options, low-resolution cameras, and a display that is just ok for the price.
Performance on the Fire HD 10 is fine, approaching Android smartphones twice as expensive, with four performance cores and four efficiency cores. You can go even cheaper on the Amazon Fire line, but the other models offer much lower performance, despite the impulse buy pricing.
Additionally, Amazon offers its 10-inch tablet in editions targeting children: one for kids aged between 3 and 7, and a “Pro” version for those from 6 to 12. We have tested the latter and you can read our full review here, they are the same model, but feature a protecting case and don’t have a subsidised option with lock screen ads.
Best entry-level alternative: Redmi Pad SE
If you prefer a traditional Android tablet and don’t want to use the workarounds to install Google apps on the Fire tablet, the Redmi Pad SE is an interesting option in the budget category. If not for the Redmi logo in the back, it could pass as a more premium Xiaomi device, with its aluminum build and the slim bezels around the 11-inch screen.
The Redmi Pad SE’s performance won’t threaten the top 3 picks on this list, but is sufficient for web browsing, social media usage, and even some light games. And surprisingly, Xiaomi offers an update policy for its entry-level tablet, with an upgrade to Android 14, and three years of security updates.
The Redmi Pad SE is not sold by Xiaomi in the US, but you can find it through third-party sellers or via importers.
There are a bunch of other options in the Android tablet space, including alternatives from Oppo, Nokia, Lenovo, TCL, and much more. You are welcome to suggest more tablets for this list, and hopefully, we will be able to test them.
Do you think it is worth spending more than $400 on an Android tablet, or that is a space exclusive to iPad models? How often do tablets get upgraded in your household? Share your opinions in the comments below!
This article was updated in December 2023 with new picks. Comments prior to the update were kept and may appear out of context.