Best Android tablets of 2018: which should you buy?

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Getting the best Android tablet can be tricky, as the best pick for you could be the highest spec device or just an affordable, bigger-screen sidekick to your smartphone. Fortunately, there are plenty of top-rated tablets to fit your needs.

We’ve kept track of all the latest and greatest Android tablets, whether they be high-performance tablets from Samsung or budget champs from Amazon. Our recommendations are based on a combination of features, build and design quality, specs and performance per dollar, and overall value.

As more tablets come out, we’ll keep this list updated, including as these tablets (and new picks) update from Android Oreo to Android Pie

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Android tablets at their best

Weight: 482g | Dimensions: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm | OS: Android 8 Oreo | Screen size: 10.5 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 7,300 mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP

PC desktop-like Dex interface
Sharp HDR display
Expensive for what it delivers
Can't replace a laptop

Samsung knows what it takes to make a good Android tablet, and it has upped the Galaxy Tab S3 with the newer model. It still boasts an HDR-ready Super AMOLED display, but its gotten a sharper display.

Inside, the new tablet is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chipset with 4GB of RAM for superior performance, and it runs Android Oreo out of the box. If you want a great tablet for multimedia, the AKG-tuned quad speakers will help. And, for productivity, the keyboard support, S Pen, desktop-like Dex interface should prove handy.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Galaxy Tab S3

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

The world's first HDR-ready tablet

Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android 7 Nougat | Screen size: 9.7 inches | Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 6,000 mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Samsung's best design yet
HDR-ready 2K screen
Keyboard a costly extra
Can't replace a laptop

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 still has a lot to like, especially thanks to its HDR-ready display, four powerful speakers and the S Pen that's included inside the box. The keyboard folio is a worthwhile extra.

If you’re into watching TV shows and movies on a tablet, its HDR screen will look great, especially for HDR content from Netflix and Amazon. While the Snapdragon 820 inside isn’t as strong as newer chipsets, it should be up to light productivity, especially since it’s paired with 4GB of RAM and a sizable battery.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

3. Asus ZenPad 3S 10

Android's iPad killer

Weight: 430g | Dimensions: 240 x 164 x 5.5mm | OS: Android 6 Marshmallow | Screen size: 9.7 inches | Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536 | CPU: Mediatek MT8176 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Brilliant 2K display
Quick chipset
Some build quality issues
So-so battery life

The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 might look like an iPad in design, but given its roots in Android, it's obviously a much different beast.

For your money, it's a hard ask to find another Android tablet that puts classy design at the forefront like the ZenPad 3S 10. Paired with its gorgeous 2K display and strong audio performance, it makes quite the impression from a multimedia perspective.

Our review points out that there are a few low points in the presentation, like the average battery life, but issues aside, the amount of features and performance level you get here is well worth the low asking price.

Read the full review: Asus ZenPad 3S 10

Google Pixel C

4. Google Pixel C

Google's own tablet is excellent

Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android 7 Nougat | Screen size: 10.2 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,800 | CPU: Nvidia Tegra X1, quad-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP

Fantastic screen
Premium design
Accessories are costly
Somewhat heavy

Google's first foray into crafting its very own tablets couldn't have gone much better. While it was once the best Android tablet out there, the Pixel C is still recommended for a few reasons.

Its design borrows from the gorgeous Chromebook Pixel, then builds upon it with versatility to allow easy switching between a standalone tablet or a laptop. Android power-users will also appreciate that it runs stock OS.

The Pixel C certainly isn't cheap, but the best things in mobile computing rarely are. Even if this pick starts to seem dated, its sharp 2,560 x 1,800 resolution display should continue to look great for media playback.

Read the full review: Google Pixel C

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

This ultra-light Android tablet is now an even better deal

Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 237 x 169 x 5.6mm | OS: Android 6 Marshmallow (Nougat incoming) | Screen size: 9.7 inches | Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536 | CPU: Exynos 7 5433, octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 5,870mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP

Thinner, lighter design
4:3 display
Small specs upgrade
Bloatware

Samsung fired straight at the iPad's greatest weakness when it launched the Galaxy Tab S2: storage capacity. The older model from the popular smartphone and tablet maker offers 32GB of internal storage as the standard out of the box, with support for up to 128GB via the microSD slot.

It also stands out amongst the greater tablet competition with a stellar 2,048 x 1,536 Super AMOLED display and Samsung's own zippy Exynos 7 5433 octa-core chipset, which consists of a 1.9GHz quad-core processor working in tandem with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor.

Though the Tab S3 and S4 have since surpassed this tablet, the S2 still comes recommended given that it now easy to find a great Tab S2 deal.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

6. Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0

A beautiful, compact tablet from the phone maker

Dimensions: 215 x 124 x 7.3mm | OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.4 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 5,100mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 8MP

Sharp screen
Slim, light, fancy aluminum shell
Gaming performance is hit-or-miss
Rear camera isn't that great, if tablet photography is your thing

One of the best things about the Huawei MediaPad M3 is its build quality. The slim, light aluminum frame looks and feels good in the hand. 

The screen and speakers are great, too. These attributes alone make the MediaPad M3 a competent entertainment tablet. And despite a few instances of lousy gaming performance, the Kirin 950 does an admirable job of keeping things smooth. 

You can find a cheaper tablet further down on the list, but you'll be giving up on the compact, premium design of the MediaPad M3.

Read the full review: Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

7. Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus

Attractive price, big screen and fairly premium build

Weight: 506g | Dimensions: 247 x 170 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 7.1 Nougat | Screen size: 10.1 inches | Resolution: 1,280 x 800 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 7,000mAh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 2MP

Solid display quality
Affordable
Weak speakers
Picky fingerprint sensor

The Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus is one of the few new tablets that doesn’t just scrape together minimal specs in an attempt to attract buyers who find the iPad a bit too expensive. 

It’s only slightly less expensive than Apple’s entry-level new iPad, and that has more storage too. Factor this in and they’re similarly-priced.

As with most Android tablets, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus's design doesn’t quite match an iPad’s. However, if you’re resolutely an Android lover, this is one of the few good mid-price options you have.

Highlights include a screen that's great for comic books and movies, GPS and expandable memory. It’s also half the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, although the older 8-inch Galaxy Tab S2 is still around and may be more compelling if you don’t mind an 8-inch screen rather than a 10-inch one.

Read the full review: Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus

8. Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018)

The best you can get at this price

Weight: 363g | Dimensions: 214mm x 128mm x 9.7mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | CPU: Quad-core 1.3GHz | RAM: 1.5GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP

Good battery life
Decent value
Wish it were Full HD
A little slow in places

The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018) replaces last year’s model while changing very little. Fortunately, that means its strongest point has remained intact: price.

Amazon’s tablets offer incredible value. In this case, you get a portable tablet for well under $100, and it packs a quad-core processor, 16GB or 32GB of storage, and an 8-inch display with a 1,280 x 800 resolution.

The cameras and speakers are nothing special, but you can plug into the 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy media that way. This is primarily a good pick for people who want an affordable media device.

9. Amazon Fire HD 10 (2018)

An affordable Full HD tablet

Weight: 500g | Dimensions: 262mm x 159mm x 9.8mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 | CPU: Quad-core 1.8GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA

Low price
Full HD display
Fire OS limitations
Budget design

The Fire HD 10 (2018) has shifted its focus from the previous generation. It may have gotten slightly heavier and thicker, and its cameras may be a lower resolution, but it’s still a better tablet in a few key ways.

The new model offers 32GB or 64GB of internal storage with microSD expandability for flexibility beyond that. Its battery life is also slightly improved while also doubling system memory and increasing the CPU clock speed.

The star of the show is the new display, which comes at a much improved 1,920 x 1,200. You’ll be able to enjoy your movies and TV shows in Full HD now.

10. Amazon Fire 7 (2017)

Almost unbelievably cheap

Weight: 295g | Dimensions: 115mm x 192mm x 9.6mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 7-inch | Resolution: 1024 x 600 | CPU: Quad-core 1.3GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 8/16GB | Battery: Up to 7 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA

Crazily cheap price
Decent media performance
Screen is dull and low res
Lacking Google Play app store

Tablets don’t get any cheaper than this – well, functional ones don’t anyway. The incredibly low price and sturdy design make the Amazon Fire a great choice to give to a kid – in fact, Amazon’s even built a (pricier) version specifically for children.

But even for a grown audience the Amazon Fire far exceeds expectations, with a fairly bright 7.0-inch screen, acceptable speakers, solid battery life and even reasonable performance, with a snappy interface and the ability to run most games.

Fire OS won’t suit everyone and this isn’t a tablet that impresses once you take the price out of the equation, but for what the Amazon Fire costs it would almost be rude not to consider it.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire 7 (2017)