The 5 best Android tablets will make your iPad friends envious

best Android tablets
Not everyone wants an iPad. Although Apple’s share of the market continues to increase, Android tablets still possess plenty of allure given the open-source nature of their operating system and seamless integration with the Google ecosystem. Not all Android tablets are created equal, though, so it’s best to narrow down exactly what you’re looking for in a tablet before dropping several hundred bucks. Do you want raw power or an enormous display? Would you rather opt for marathon battery life or find a great keyboard? Below are our picks for the best Android tablets for every situation imaginable; grab your favorite, set up that device, download a few hot apps, and you’re ready to rock.

If you’re flexible when it comes to choosing a mobile OS, check out our roundup of the best tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 ($500+)

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Tab S3 is worth getting excited about if you like to watch movies and play games on your tablet. It sports a 9.7-inch AMOLED display that is HDR-ready and is one of the best displays of any tablet on the market. It offers 2,048 × 1,536-pixel resolution, allowing for a crisp, sharp picture that’s ideal for reading, gaming, or watching TV and movies. It’s also equipped with quad speakers tuned by AKG Acoustics, which make for a killer listening experience. It has 32GB of internal storage — which may not seem like much if you store movies and other media — but it does have MicroSD card support, meaning you can increase storage by as much as 256GB. As far as performance goes, it has a Snapdragon 820 processor, which, paired with 4GB of RAM, offers very good performance. It also runs Android 7.0 Nougat with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, and comes with an S-Pen that’s comfortable to hold and adds plenty of additional features for sketching, annotations, or writing notes.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review

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Amazon Fire HD 8 ($60)

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is the most affordable tablet on our list. The display has a resolution of 1,280 × 800 pixels. It isn’t very sharp, but it certainly gets the job done, and it is bright enough to be  usable outdoors. The Fire HD 8 also features dual-band Wi-Fi, so you can connect to both 2.5GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands for fast download speeds. The tablet has a MediaTek MT8163V SOC, with a quad-core processor, and 1.5GB of RAM. It’s no speed demon, but it does offer adequate performance considering the price point. It also supports MicroSD cards, and it should last up to 12 hours on a single charge. It has bottom-firing stereo speakers, too, which are fairly loud. This tablet runs Amazon’s Fire OS — an operating system based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop — and any future software and security updates will come from Amazon. This tablet isn’t a traditional Android tablet as there is no Google Play Store — you have to download apps directly from Amazon’s App Store.

Read our full Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) review

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Huawei MediaPad M3 ($300)

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Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

The MediaPad M3 from Huawei has a large, 8.4-inch screen with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels. It feels like a premium tablet, with unibody construction and slim bezels, and it’s easy to hold with one hand. The standout feature with the MediaPad M3 is the stereo speakers, which were co-engineered with Harmon Kardon. Powered by a dedicated digital sound processor, the speaker system can handle 24-bit, 192kHz audio files. The Kirin 950 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM, is also powerful enough to handle serious gaming. It comes with Android 6.0, too, which is upgradable to Android 7.0 Nougat. Keep in mind, however, that the M3 runs Huawei’s UI on top.

Read our full Huawei MediaPad M3 hands-on

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Pixel C ($600)

Google Pixel C
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The Pixel C is a 2-in-1 with some serious power under the hood. The display and the keyboard join together through the use of magnets, and the device packs a speedy Nvidia Tegra X1 processor. This allows it to handle demanding apps, games, and multitasking without a hitch. This is one of the fastest Android tablets on the market. The 10.2-inch display has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,800 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 308 pixels per inch. You can also watch 1440p content natively, and games will look amazing. The Pixel C comes with 64GB of internal storage, but it doesn’t support MicroSD cards. The best part of the Pixel C is that, unlike other Android tablets and smartphones, you will receive the latest Android updates quickly. The more Android matures, the more you’ll be able to get out of the Pixel C.

Read our full Google Pixel C review

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Asus ZenPad 3S 10 ($270+)

The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a bit larger than some of the other tablets on our roundup, coming in at 9.7-inches. That display has a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, and is surrounded by a 5.3-millimeter bezel. As far as processing power goes, this tablet has a 64-bit MediaTek processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It does support MicroSD cards, so you can increase storage by up to 128GB. One of the main points Asus wants to emphasize with the ZenPad 3S is the great audio experience it provides. The tablet comes with five-magnet stereo speakers and a built-in NXP amplifier, which protects it from damage when using it at high volumes for long periods of time. The tablet also has a Hi-Res Audio component that supports 24-bit, 192Khz audio. This means that if you’re using headphones, the sound you’ll hear will mimic 7.1 surround sound. As a bonus, the Zenpad 10 also works with the Asus Z Stylus.

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Update: Revised to include the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Amazon Fire HD 8, Huawei MediaPad M3, Pixel C, and the Asus ZenPad 3S 10.