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Best Android tablets to buy in 2014

Discover what are the best Android tablets to buy in 2013 and read our in-depth tablet reviews, as rated by our team of expert reviewers. Not sure if an Android tablet is right for you? We've got something for everyone here, from 7in budget bargains to the latest flagship models from all the major brands. Our always up-to-date list will help you make the right choice.

Expert Reviews Budget Buy

ADVENT Vega Tegra Note 7


Incredible performance and battery life for the price. The Vega Tegra Note 7 is an absolute bargain
Advent Vega Tegra Note
Our Expert Opinion It's not as slim and sleek as the Nexus 7, but the Advent Vega Tegra Note 7 costs £60 less and yet matches Google's own device in many respects and even beats it in some.

The screen only has a 1,280x800 resolution but its bright and colourful with a peak brightness score that beats many more expensive devices. it's not quite as crisp as some admittedly but you won't be disappointed by this display.

You certainly won't be disappointed by the super-fast Nvidia Tegra 4 five-core chipset inside either. It's among the fastest we've seen, tearing through our benchmarks both for apps and games. It's power efficient too, with the low-power fifth processing core being used alone when you're not making any great demands of the hardware, the result being a brilliant 11 and-a-half hour battery life.

The tablet comes with plenty of extras too, there's a stylus tucked away should you need more precision than your finger can provide. There's also a micro SD card slot to expand the 16GB of storage plus a Micro HDMI port for hooking it up to a TV - neither of which you'll find on the Nexus 7.

If you're looking for a budget tablet that can do it all then look no further. The Advent Vega Tegra Note 7 is simply brilliant and a deserved Budget Buy award winner.

Read our full Advent Vega Tegra Note review

SPECS
CPU 1.8GHz Nvidia Tegra 4
RAM 1GB
STORAGE 16GB
GRAPHICS Nvidia Tegra
DISPLAY 7in widescreen LCD (1,280x800)
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 4.3
DIMENSIONS 120x190x9.4mm, 320g
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE 21812495
DETAILS www.advent.co.uk

BUY IT FROM £140 from www.pcworld.co.uk

Expert Reviews Best Buy

LG G Pad 8.3


Good performance and a great custom skin makes this the best 8in Android tablet
LG G Pad 8.3
Our Expert Opinion The Nexus 7, below, is still king of the small Android tablets. However a 7in screen really is quite small and with phones getting larger and larger, it may not seem like a big step up from your handset. In that case consider the LG G Pad 8.3 instead. Its 8.3in display many not sound much bigger but it's actually 40% larger by area. It has the same 1,920x1,080 resolution, so looks very sharp, plus it's a great-looking display with vivid but accurate colours.

The tablet is just 8.3mm thick and feels very well made. It has a micro SD card slot so, unlike with the Nexus, you can expand the 16GB of storage with up to 64GB more. The chipset is a fast Snapdragon 600 quad-core running at 1.7Ghz, which had no problems running Android and the latest 3D games.

The battery lasts for around eight and-a-half hours, which is a bit longer than the Nexus. It's a great tablet if you're looking for something with a slightly larger screen than the Nexus 7 and it's available for similar money if you shop around.

Read our full LG G Pad 8.3 review

SPECS
CPU 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600
RAM 2GB
STORAGE 16GB + microSD
GRAPHICS Qualcomm Adreno 320
DISPLAY 8.3in widescreen IPS touchscreen (1,920x1,200)
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 4.2.2
DIMENSIONS 217x127x8.3mm, 338g
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE LGV500.AGBRBK
DETAILS www.lg.co.uk

BUY IT FROM £192 from www.amazon.co.uk

Expert Reviews Best Buy

GOOGLE Nexus 7 (2013)


A refined and powerful evolution, the new Nexus 7 is the best compact Android tablet out there
Google Nexus 7 (2013)
Our Expert Opinion The latest version of the Nexus 7 has gone a little upmarket with a £40 price hike from last year. Despite this, it's still great value for money as the specification has jumped up as well.

The new Nexus 7 is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor and though it's still plastic, it's much classier looking too. The screen is just as high-quality but now has a 1,920x1,200 resolution, and with so many pixels packed into a 7in diagonal you simply can't see individual ones any more. There's stereo speakers around the back too, which are superior to the current iPad Mini's.

Inside is a super-fast Snapdragon 800 chipset, which tears through benchmarks, games and Android itself. IT now comes with Android 4.4 too, the only tablet to have the latest version of Google's operating system, its slicker and faster than ever, plus it still has multiple user support, so family or friends can share the device but have their own apps, email, browser favourites etc.

There's no HDMI output, Google prefers to use wireless screen mirroring via Miracast, or micro SD card reader; but with a great screen, fast chipset and the latest version of Android, this is the small tablet to buy right now.

Read our full Google Nexus 7 (2013) review

SPECS
CPU 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
RAM 2GB
STORAGE 16GB or 32GB
GRAPHICS Qualcomm Adreno 320
DISPLAY 7in widescreen LCD (1,920x1,200)
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 4.4
DIMENSIONS 200x114x9mm, 290g
DETAILS www.google.co.uk

BUY IT FROM £199 from https://play.google.com

Expert Reviews Budget Buy

Asus MemoPad HD 7


The new budget Android champion, if the Nexus 7 is too expensive for your tastes
Asus MemoPad HD 7
Our Expert Opinion Asus is the company behind manufacturing the excellent Google Nexus 7 tablet. With the lastest iteration of that device now costing £199 though, that left a space for a budget Android tablet that Asus has filled with the MemoPad HD 7.

The display is an LCD IPS panel with a respectable 1,280x800 resolution, it's not quite as sharp as Full HD screens but on a display this size it isn't a massive drawback. It has impressive brightness, colour accuracy and contrast. The tablet itself feels well-built and is available in a range of lurid colours. There's 16GB of storage, but you can add more thanks to a microSD card slot – something that the Nexus 7 lacks.

The 1.2GHz quad-core chipset isn't a top end example, it's fine for running Android, browsing and other day-to-day tasks but it does struggle in the latest 3D games. Battery life is good though, with almost 11 hours in our constant video playback test. If you're looking for a cheaper Android tablet then this a good buy.

Read our full Asus MemoPad HD 7 review

SPECS
CPU 1.2GHz MTK 8125
RAM 1GB
STORAGE 16GB plus micro SD
GRAPHICS PowerVR SGX 544
DISPLAY 7in widescreen LCD (1,280x800)
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 4.2
DIMENSIONS 197x121x11mm, 302g
DETAILS www.asus.com

BUY IT FROM £130 from www.currys.co.uk

Expert Reviews Best Buy

Google Nexus 10


The best display on any tablet, ever
Google Nexus 10
Our Expert Opinion While the Nexus 7, above, aimed at the lower-end of the tablet market - attempting to undercut its rivals; the Google Nexus 10 is a flagship device that takes on the Apple iPad head-to-head.

The 10in display has a massive 2,560x1,600 screen resolution. That's even higher than the iPad's much-respected Retina Display. This makes everything incredibly sharp, with super-crisp text. Images look incredible, and it's impossible to see the pixels unless you push your face right up to the screen. Even if you do, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass and so is scratch resistant.

Build quality is good, but it doesn't quite have that extra something. The soft-touch plastic underside makes it easy to keep hold of, but it's not quite up to the iPad's aluminium body in terms of class.

Android doesn't have quite teh same range of tablet-specific apps as iOS. However it does have a number of advantages of its own. First, you can simply drag and drop video files to and from a PC or laptop, without any faffing with iTunes. Second, Android 4.2 support multiple user accounts, so you can share the device and have your own apps, email, browser favourites etc.

Made by Samsung, the Google Nexus 10 is the first tablet to provide a genuine alternative to the Apple iPad. And best of all it does that for £80 less than its rival - just £319 for the 16GB, Wi-Fi model.

Read our full Google Nexus 10 review

SPECS
CPU 1.7 GHz Samsung Exynos 5
RAM 2GB
INTERNAL STORAGE 16GB
GRAPHICS Mali-T604
DISPLAY 10in 2,560x1,600 IPS
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 4.2
DIMENSIONS 178x264x8.9mm, 603g
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE Nexus 10

BUY IT FROM £319 for the 16GB model from the Google Play Store

Expert Reviews five stars

Asus FonePad


3G-equipped, Intel-powered sibling of the Nexus 7
Asus FonePad
Our Expert Opinion Asus is keen to experiment with its mobile device range and its latest success is the rather odd Fonepad - not to be confused with the smartphone-and-dock PadFone. The Fonepad looks a lot like the (Asus-made) Google Nexus 7 at first glance, and it shares that device's excellent 7in display and low pricing.

The Fonepad is a different beast though, with built-in 3G allowing for ease-of-use on the go. It even has phone components, so you can make calls on it (though we'd suggest a Bluetooth headset to avoid looking rather silly) and send and receive texts. Inside it uses a fast Intel chipset, so there's no worry about performance either.

It's a great all-round tablet and should be your first choice if you're looking for a small, 3G-capable device to carry day-to-day.

Read our full Asus FonePad review

SPECS
CPU 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420
RAM 1GB
INTERNAL STORAGE 16GB
DISPLAY 7in 1,280x800 LCD
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 4.1
DIMENSIONS 196x120x10mm, 340g
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE FonePad

BUY IT FROM £179 for the 16GB model from the Carphone Warehouse

Expert Reviews four stars

Amazon Kindle Fire HD


Amazon's content library makes this hard to beat for film fans
Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Our Expert Opinion The first Android tablet from Amazon, the Kindle Fire wasn't available in the UK. By the time the updated Fire was launched, this HD version was also available, making the cheaper tablet practically redundant.

Like the Nexus 7, above, this is another 7in budget tablet. That said it comes a close second to the Nexus 7 in terms of design and build quality. The screen is good, but it's a little chunkier than the Nexus 7. On the plus side it has better speakers for watching movies on.

This may be an Android device, but you wouldn't know it based on the interface. Amazon has heavily modified the usual Android UI, replacing it with a series of task-specific screens for various content types - books, video, music etc.

It's OK if you've never used Android but annoying if you're fmailiar with at operating system as this is so different. It also uses Amazon's own app store, so you may not be able to find all the apps you want. On the plus side, there is support for sstraming video from the LoveFilm service.

With the Kindle app being available on Android, there's little reason to buy this device to read your books on a tablet. LoveFilm subscribers may want to snap one up though.

Read our full Amazon Kindle Fire HD review

SPECS
CPU 1.2GHz TI OMAP4460
RAM 1GB
INTERNAL STORAGE 16GB
GRAPHICS PowerVR SGX540
DISPLAY 7in 1,280x800 IPS
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 4.0 (customised)
DIMENSIONS 137x10x193mm, 394g
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE Kindle Fire HD

BUY IT FROM £159 directly from Amazon

Expert Reviews four stars

Sony Xperia Tablet S


A truly family-friendly tablet
Sony Xperia Tablet S
Our Expert Opinion The Xperia Tablet S was delayed due to problems with its waterproofing, but that's all fixed now and that very feature earns it a space here.

Having a waterproof tablet is very useful around the home, as you can use it fuss-free in the kitchen while cooking - without having to worry about it getting wet or mucky - just rinse it off! It also means you can give it to your kids without too much concern, and because of this Sony has also included limited user accounts for them, so you can lockout the Play store, email and even the browser if desired, leaving them only able to access the apps you choose. It's a very different feature to Android 4.2's multiple user accounts, which have no such controls.

Otherwise the tablet is slim and very stylish, without being bland-looking. The screen only has a 1,280x800 reolsution, so it's not as pin-sharp as the iPad's or Nexus 10's, but it's still bright and colourful.

The Tablet S isn't for everyone, but if the waterproofing and limited user accounts appeal to you then you won't be disappointed.

Read our full Sony Xperia Tablet S review

SPECS
CPU 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3
RAM 1GB
STORAGE 16GB
GRAPHICS Nvidia Tegra 3
DISPLAY 9.4in IPS (1,280x800)
OPERATING SYSTEM Android 4.0.3
DIMENSIONS 174x240x9mm, 570g
PART CODE SGPT121GB

BUY IT FROM £317 from www.amazon.co.uk

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For more details about purchasing this feature and/or images for editorial usage, please contact Jasmine Samra on pictures@dennis.co.uk

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