Android tablets have come a long way from the early days of limited apps and questionable usability. These days there are no shortage of great devices to meet just about everyone’s needs, whether just you’re looking for something basic or a laptop replacement.
Here are some of the best options currently available for those looking for an iPad alternative.
Samsung’s tablets have long been one of the safest go-tos for Android users, and the company’s current lineup is no exception. One standout in particular for those willing to pay a bit of a premium is the Galaxy Tab S3, which boasts a 9.7-inch, HDR-supporting AMOLED screen, and comes bundled with Samsung’s well-regarded S Pen stylus for some added versatility.
As CNET notes, however, the tablet’s other key accessory—sleek keyboard coverd—does unfortunately add further to the Galaxy Tab’s already high-end price tag.
If you’re looking for the best combination of price and performance, Asus’ ZenPad 3S 10 is a tough one to beat. It’s The Wirecutter’s pick for best overall Android tablet, which notes some shortcomings compared to the likes of the Galaxy Tab S3 but far fewer that you might expect given the price difference.
That includes an ample 64GB of storage (with a microSD card slot for expansion), a high-resolution 2048×1536 screen, and a fingerprint sensor for added security.
When it comes to budget-minded tablets, there’s no getting around Amazon’s line of Fire devices. While there is an even cheaper model (the Fire 7 at just $50), most recommend the $80 Fire HD 8 as the better entry point. You get a bigger, higher-resolution screen, better battery life, twice the storage, and faster performance.
The catch, of course, is that it comes with ads for that price (which you can pay to disable), and it is not-so-subtly designed to keep you locked in Amazon’s ecosystem.
As good a bargain as the Fire HD 8 is, its smaller screen size means it might not be the best option if you’re regularly using your tablet to watch movies or TV shows. At $150, the Fire HD 10 is still decidedly affordable as far as tablets go, and it comes with a full HD 10.1-inch display along with other upgrades compared to its smaller counterparts. That price creeps up if you want to double the storage or disable Amazon’s “special offers,” however, at which point something like the more capable ZenPad could start to look a lot better.
Few tablets can match cut-rate prices of Amazon’s own devices without cutting some corners, but Lenovo’s Tab 4 8-inch is a solid choice if you’re looking for still-affordable tablet that’ll give you the full-fledged Android experience. LaptopMag was especially impressed with the Tab 4’s solid performance and great display given the price, though the device’s front-facing camera may leave you disappointed if you’re making a lot of video calls.
Google may no longer be selling an Android tablet of its own after discontinuing the Pixel C, but the company’s Pixelbook Chromebook is another option worth considering for anyone on the fence between a laptop and tablet.
While pricey compared to even a high-end Android tablet (or iPad Pro for that matter), the Pixelbook will let you run both Chrome and Android apps, and use it in either laptop or tablet modes thanks to its versatile design. It is definitely more laptop than tablet, however, which extends to a variety of configuration options that can push the price well above the $1,000 base option.