Editor’s Note: This list will be updated on a monthly basis or when necessary. Each time there’s a change, we will note where that happened.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 is the latest and greatest in the Galaxy Tab S family, and it’s a perfect match for anyone that wants the experience of their Galaxy S8 with a bigger, more productivity-focused screen. It offers everything that you know and love from Samsung (although without Bixby or those new on-screen keys) and has the best hardware that you’re going to find in the Android tablet space.
The Galaxy Tab S3 features a 9.7-inch (2048×1536) Super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 paired with 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. It uses a USB-C port for fast charging its 6,000mAh battery and sports a phenomenal set of AKG tuned speakers. It’s currently on Android 7.0 Nougat and has an option S-Pen for extra features.
The Galaxy Tab S3 is expensive at $599, but it’s also the closest thing you’re going to find to an iPad on the Android side of the things. It cuts no corners for its fantastic experience and is definitely aimed at someone who wants the best of the best.
Huawei MediaPad M3
Huawei’s MediaPad M3 strikes a fantastic balance between design and pricing, offering a finely crafted piece of hardware that’s not ridiculously expensive. It uses Huawei’s own powerful Kirin processor in a smaller form factor, so you can get top notch performance without needing to invest in a larger screen or dropping tons of cash.
The MediaPad M3 sports a Kirin 950 CPU with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 5,100mAh battery, and an 8-megapixel rear camera with an 8-megapixel front camera. It uses the older micro USB charging port and still runs on Android 6.0, but does feature Huawei’s EMUI overlay. The home button houses a fingerprint scanner, and the downward firing speakers are also tuned in collaboration with AKG.
It’s not the absolute best of the best, but the MediaPad M3 is also only $299. That undercuts many other tablets in its weight class, and offers high-end performance with a mid-range price tag.
Buy it now: Amazon
Amazon Fire HD 8
Amazon’s Fire tablets are arguably the most popular Android tablets, even though they technically exist in their own split off ecosystem. They’re reasonably powerful, priced incredibly well, and come with plenty of offers and promotions directly through Amazon. For a Google die-hard, that’s not the most appealing thing in the world, but if you’re a heavy Amazon shopper these Fire tablets are a no-brainer.
The Fire HD 8 offers the best deal in Amazon’s Fire tablet line, utilizing a quad-core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz, 1.5GB of RAM, and either 16 or 32GB options. It uses Dolby Audio, too, if you’re looking for something that’s media-focused.
At just $79.99 for the 16GB model, it’s hard to argue that the Fire HD 8 isn’t the best bang for your buck, especially if you’re okay with Amazon’s ecosystem of movies, music, and apps. It’s got a solid web browser so you’re not totally locked out of things like YouTube and Gmail, and you get Amazon cloud services for backup purposes. It may not be the best productivity device, but you’ll have a hard time finding a better Netflix machine.
Buy it now: Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Deja vu, right? Nope, that’s the Galaxy Tab S2, not the Galaxy Tab S3. It’s not the latest and greatest anymore, but it’s still a fantastic tablet on its own. It even made our list of the best tablets last year.
The Galaxy Tab S2 has been succeeded by the Galaxy Tab S3, but there’s honestly not a huge amount of difference between the two, especially if you don’t mind slightly older software and don’t need the S-Pen. You’ll get a powerful Exynos 5433 with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 2048 x 1536 screen in either 8-inch or 9.7-inch configurations. There are also LTE-enabled options, if that’s your thing.
But best of all, the Tab S2 can be had for as little as $349. That’s almost half the price of the newer Galaxy Tab S3, and you’re certainly getting more than 50% of its performance. Can’t beat the value there, especially if you prefer the 8-inch size, which isn’t even an option with the newer device.
Samsung Chromebook Pro
No, I know. That’s technically not an Android tablet. It’s the Samsung Chromebook Pro. However, it is a powerful laptop with a folding touchscreen that can run Android apps and a traditional web browser. It may not be a traditional tablet, but it is the most powerful productivity-focused device on this list, and it can probably replace your current laptop, too.
The Chromebook Pro uses an Intel Core M3 processor with Intel HD Graphics 515 for top notch performance with excellent battery life. You get 4GB of RAM with 32GB of storage, two USB-C ports, and a built-in stylus, plus a very high resolution 2400 x 1600 12.3-inch display. Best of all, though, is its ability to run Android apps, which is Google’s latest pet project on their laptop line.
At $549, the Chromebook Pro is definitely on the more expensive side, but it’s a bit cheaper than the Tab S3 and runs a desktop OS with Android app capabilities. It’s a very functional hybrid device that can function as both your media machine and a powerhouse to knock out office and school work.
Those are our picks for the best Android tablets around. What’s your pick for number one? Let us know in the comments section.