Are there Android tablets worth buying instead of an iPad?
Apple announced a bunch of new stuff today at its spring event, including several new iPad models. As Android fans, we’re more than a little jealous — our ecosystem of choice just doesn’t have a go-to option the way Apple’s does. But that’s not to say we’re without options altogether. We actually think iPads are great, but if you want a bigger portable screen without having to learn a new OS’s quirks, here are some of the best picks on our side of the wall.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
The Galaxy Tab S7+ is quite probably the best Android tablet you can buy. It’s got a great, high-resolution, 120Hz AMOLED display, solid performance thanks to its Snapdragon 865+ chip and six (or eight) gigabytes of RAM, and it comes with a stylus that magnetically snaps onto the back to charge. You can even get an official magnetic keyboard case for it (although, if we’re being frank, it’s not nearly as nice as the ones Apple makes).
So what’s the catch? Aside from Android’s ever-present tablet apps problem, the S7+ is expensive, starting at $750 for the base model. Still, that’s less than a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Check out our full review for more info.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
If your use is more casual, consider the less-fancy non-plus Galaxy Tab S7. Its screen is only 11 inches, down from the S7+’s 12.4, and it’s LCD instead of OLED. But it’s got the same CPU and RAM, so performance is comparable with its bigger brother. In exchange the sacrifices to display quality and real estate (although, having used both, I actually prefer the more compact screen), you’re saving a considerable chunk of change: the base model S7 is currently going for $550.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
If your use is even more casual, Samsung’s Tab A7 is a pretty mean little media machine. Its specs aren’t impressive — a Snapdragon 662 and three gigs of RAM — but it absolutely gets the job done if all you’re trying to use it for is reading and the occasional game. It’s also got a nice, 1200p LCD display and surprisingly robust speakers. Its body is made of aluminum, too, which is impressive for a tablet you can scoop up for $230. Check our full review for more.
Fire Tablet HD 8
Last year’s Fire Tablet HD 8 is cheap at just 90 bucks. To be clear, it doesn’t directly compete with any tablet Apple sells — but our review called it the “good, cheap Android tablet Google won’t build. If you’re weighing your options for something small that you’ll only use for super basic tasks like reading Twitter, you can save a considerable amount of dough by going low-end. It’s got a cheap MediaTek chip and just two gigs of RAM, but its 800p resolution is fine enough at eight inches.