Looking for a tablet and thinking about an Android device? Well, there are other options out there with Windows 10 tablets such as the Surface Pro 4 - but tablets running the new Marshmallow OS remainthe main rival to the iOS 9-toting iPad Pro, iPad Pro 9.7 and iPad mini 4.
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We'll tell you now: the best tablet out there is the Google Pixel C, coming with the right blend of power, performance and design chops. While it's not an official Nexus device (the name given by Google to the flagship tablets and phones it creates) it's essentially the same thing, which means it'll get the best Android updates soonest.
But what else is there to consider? Well, some Android tablets have 10-inch screens, others seven, some land somewhere in between and a handful even push the boundaries past 10 inches. There are big differences in battery life, processing power, RAM and price.
The key thing to note when you're buying an Android tablet is to really know what you want it for. While it's perfectly possible to pair a Bluetooth keyboard to get your typing game going - and the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet even comes with one in the box as a dock - Android tablets are far more suited to the entertainment sector than as a workhorse.
So if you're thinking of saving money with your business by jumping to an Android tablet, you can do what you need - there are loads of FTP and word processing apps out there, with Google Docs a great free resource - most don't have the clout of the iPad Pro, Surface Pro 4 or Samsung Galaxy TabPro S.
But now that's out of the way, you can get on with the lovely business of choosing your next Android tablet - and there are loads of great ones to choose from. We've gathered together the best the Android tablet market has to offer, so read on to see which Google-powered slates you should be considering.
1. Google Pixel C
The best Android tablet around
Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android 6.0.1 | Screen size: 10.2-inch |Resolution: 2560 x 1800 | CPU: Tegra X1 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
Google's done it – it's made the best Android tablet around. The Pixel C has it all: a fantastic display, heaps of power and a premium design.
Okay, it's not quite got it all - it's a little on the heavy side and the pricey (yet rather clever) keyboard dock isn't fully utilised by the Android interface, which is made very much for touch and not physical keys and productivity.
Those points aside, the Pixel C goes toe-to-toe with the iPad Air 2 and even the iPad Pro 9.7 with its clean stock Android interface, sultry metal body and super screen.
If you're looking for the best of Google in a tablet, the Pixel C gives you just that.
Read the full review: Google Pixel C
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Samsung's latest flagship Android slate is super
Weight: 256g/389g | Dimensions: 198.6 x 134.8 x 5.6mm/237.3 x 169 x 5.6mm | OS: Android 6.0.1 |Screen size: 8.0-inch/9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage:32GB/64GB | Battery: 4000mAh/5870mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP
There are plenty of reasons to invest in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 - especially if you're after one of the best Android tablets on the market.
It's reading and web surfing-friendly, while the new 4:3 screen and general size and shape is better suited for most things. Videos work better on its predecessor thanks to its elongated aspect ratio - but they don't exactly look bad here.
You can pick the Tab S2 up in 8-inch and 9.7-inch variants, to challenge Apple's iPad and iPad mini ranges, with the smaller option being more portable and cheaper.
Almost impossibly thin, pumped full of power and with a slicker version of Samsung's TouchWiz interface on board the Galaxy Tab S2 gives the iPad Pro 9.7 and Pixel C a real run for their money.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
3. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
A stunning, waterproof tablet with a great screen
Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 254 x 167 x 6.1mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 10.1-inch |Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Octa-core 2.0GHz | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 5.1MP
Sony's Xperia Z4 Tablet is one of the best Android tablets on the market right now, ensuring the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and iPad Air 2 get a real work out.
We'd like to see a 64GB option, but 32GB plus the inclusion of a microSD slot will suit most people, and while the cameras don't cover themselves in glory they're more of a vanity feature on a tablet.
The Xperia Z4 Tablet is a great slate, and it's one of the genuine alternatives to the iPad. Android is still not the perfect ecosystem for tablets, but with a 2K display on the front and such a nice-looking design Sony has made something rather lovely.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
4. Google Nexus 9
Google's Nexus tablet is big in size and price
Weight: 425g | Dimensions: 228.2 x 153.7 x 8mm | OS: Android 6.0.1 | Screen size: 8.9-inches |Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 2.3 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32GB |Battery:6700mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.6MP
It's been a while since we last had a large Nexus slate and even longer since HTC went anywhere near a tablet, yet here we are with the HTC made Nexus 9.
It was worth the wait too, thanks to a powerful 64-bit processor, BoomSound speakers, a long lasting battery and the promise of speedy Android updates.
It's found itself a fairly unique size point too at 8.9 inches. Too big to be considered a small or even medium sized tablet, but some way smaller than the 10.1-inch Android slates that there are so many of. Whether that's a good or bad thing is subjective but it certainly helps it stand out. Google has stopped selling the slate to make room for the Pixel C, but it can still be found if you shop around.
Read the full review: Google Nexus 9
5. Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Solid specs in a compact frame
Weight: 270g | Dimensions: 213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4mm | OS: Android 6.0 | Screen size: 8-inch |Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: Quad-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 2.2MP
When it comes to watching video or playing games, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact excels with a decent slug of power and its eye-pleasing display.
Add in the thin, light, waterproof body and you have a great tablet for long trips and boring work commutes which can be happily slid into a bag without taking up too much space or weighing you down.
The components inside the Z3 Tablet Compact are getting on a bit now, and it doesn't have the slickness of the 8-inch iPad mini 4 or Galaxy Tab S2 - but it's certainly still worth considering.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
6. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
Taking 'Netflix and chill' to the next level
Weight: 665g | Dimensions: 246.9 x 179.1 x 4.6mm | OS: Android 5.1.1 | Screen size: 10.1-inch |Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Intel Atom quad-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery:10,200mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is packed full of media-focused features and sports a unique, distinctive design.
There's a built in stand to take the heft off your hands, while the integrated projector means you can enjoy big screen entertainment away from your TV, though the screen is sharp enough that you won't always feel the need to use a projector anyway.
All that tech does make it less portable than most tablets on this list and the UI could be better, but it's a fairly unique option.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab S
If you're after a tablet with a great screen... this is it
Weight: 467g | Dimensions: 247.3 x 177.3 x 6.6mm | OS: Android 5.0.2 | Screen size: 10.5-inches |Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Quad-core 2.3GHz | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16/32GB |Battery:7900mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP
The exterior design of the Tab S is nothing to write home about but it's thin and it's light and that counts for a lot when it comes to tablets. It helps the frame get out of the way of the screen, which is the real winner here.
Available in 8.4- and 10.5-inch variants, the Tab S range packs in a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a microSD slot, 8MP rear camera, 2.1MP front snapper and Android Lollipop.
Both tablets have fingerprint scanners for added security, but the plastic body may put a few off with Apple's slates sporting a more attractive design.
There's a new Tab series on the block, in the form of the Galaxy Tab S2, but the original S duo are still a great buy - especially now they're a little bit cheaper.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S
8. Amazon Fire HD 6
Small enough to be a smartphone, it packs a punch
Weight: 290g | Dimensions: 169mm x 103mm x 10.7mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1280x800 | CPU: Quad-core | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 8/16GB | Battery: value | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA
The Fire HD 6 is one of the most enticing tablets to come from Amazon, mixing efficient integration with the Prime services and a compact footprint that makes it easy to drop in your bag.
It's no tablet king, but it does what it sets out to well, and considering its price tag the Amazon Fire HD 6 is difficult to knock.
The cameras are worth avoiding, and the built in speakers aren't great, but as long as you can get over Amazon's slightly restrictive Fire OS and the lack of Google's services then the HD 6 is a perfect pocket slate.
Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 6
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