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The best Android tablet of 2021

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When shopping for the best Android tablet, it can quickly become overwhelming when you start comparing prices, performance, and pixels across a range of brands, sizes and systems. If you want to get the best Android tablet for you, it’s a good idea to consider what you want to use the tablet for.

Are you looking to use an Android tablet to replace your laptop for work or creative projects? Then you’ll need a high-performance Android tablet with plenty of processing power that will likely come with a higher price.

Do you want an Android tablet for scrolling through social media, browsing the web and to stream content as a slightly larger alternative to your smartphone? Mid-range tablets with strong battery life, a good 10-inch screen and won’t cost a fortune are ideal.

Or are you after an additional tablet to have around the house, to give to your kids or to have on-hand for entertainment emergencies? If you’re only after the basics, then there are plenty of budget Android tablets to choose from.

The best Android tablet vs the iPad

When many people think of tablets, they think of the iPad, which launched soon after the first iPhone and has remained the most popular brand for tablets to this day. But while the iPad is great, it does have some limitations.

Through the App Store, iPad users have access to millions of apps. And whenever a new version of the iPad is launched, there is a plethora of accessories made available, from cases and keyboards to speakers and controllers.

The downside of iPads is that they can’t be easily customised and you can’t expand the memory by adding a microSD. This can force you to upgrade to a more costly model. And of course, top-end devices like the iPad will almost always cost more than even the best Android tablet.

Best budget tablet

The best budget tablet is one that will tick all the boxes for what you need from a device without going in for any bells and whistles that you’re not looking for. Cheap tablets are great if you need something to keep your kids entertained in the car, or if you need another device that can be used around the home to stream content or run smart home apps.

Best cheap tablet under £250 - Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

One of the best cheap tablets that sits just below the £200 mark is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1, which cost £195. With a somewhat iPad aesthetic, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1’s build quality is what sets it apart from the cheaper budget tablets on this list. It has an aluminium back with almost Full HD LCD screen.

While it doesn’t possess a tonne of processing power, it’s got plenty if you’re looking to use it for streaming, reading, browsing and some games, with full access to Android apps.

Best 8-inch tablet - Android alternatives

If you’re looking for budget tablets, then you might want to consider alternatives to Android tablets. A cheap tablet with few to no frills that you should definitely consider is the Amazon Fire HD 8 or the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is a slight upgrade of the previous model with a little more RAM (3GB) and wireless charging. It has a 1280 x 800 LCD screen that doesn’t have a huge amount of clarity or definition, which can be a problem if you’re looking to use the tablet to play video games or stream high-quality video content. But it’s fine for everyday use.

The Amazon Fire range is known for study build, making these devices highly durable and an ideal tablet option for slippery hands. If you want to have a backup tablet in the car in case of emergencies, or a simple tablet that sits on your desk but doesn’t offer a huge amount of distractions, the Amazon Fire range is ideal.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is £109.99, while the Fire HD 8 is just £89.99. You could even get the Kids Edition for £130 with included parental controls, a drop-proof case and an accident guarantee.

What’s the best Samsung tablet?

With a number of top quality devices all vying for the title of Best Samsung tablet, each of the Galaxy Tabs tablets has its own list of pros and cons.

Best Samsung tablet for performance - Galaxy Tab S7

As one of the newest Samsung tablets, the Galaxy Tab 7 is the device to beat when it comes to Android tablets. It’s a top-end device with a large 11-inch LCD screen with 2560x1600 resolution and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. It’s perfect for endless hours of scrolling, streaming video content and gaming.

The Tab S7 runs on a Snapdragon 865+ processor with 8GB of RAM, meaning you’ll have plenty of power to handle all manner of memory-heavy tasks.

The Galaxy Tab S7 also comes with an S Pen included, which attaches magnetically to the back when not in use. With a tiny 9ms latency, the S Pen is fluid and responsive and makes drawing and writing on the tablet as satisfying as if you were using paper.

You can up your Samsung specs with the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which offers a larger, 12.4-inch Super AMOLED one with a 2800 x 1752 resolution and the same impressive 120Hz refresh rate. To put that into perspective, the latest iPad Pro features a 12.9-inch display with 2732 x 2048-pixel resolution, but retails for about £200 more.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 costs £619, and the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus costs from £694 to £749.69.

What’s the best 10-inch tablet?

We’ve established that bigger isn’t always better. And while the stunning 12.4-inch AMOLED screen of the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is impressive, you may not always want to carry around a tablet of that size. When you’re travelling, or even if you carry a tablet around for work, you may prefer an Android tablet that is more compact but still powerful.

Best 10-inch tablet for Android users - Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is a great option for an entry-level Android tablet that doesn’t make sacrifices when it comes to usability. Unlike smaller, more budget-conscious tablets, the Galaxy Tab A7 isn’t over-stuffed with native apps or content, offering a quality build and some features that are typically reserved for pricier tablets.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is a good Android alternative to the entry-level iPad (2020), with thin bezels, facial recognition and a seriously impressive battery life - averaging out at around 13 hours on a full charge.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with the option to add a microSD slot on some models. The 10.4-inch screen has a 2000 x 1200-pixel resolution, which is probably the biggest weakness of this particular Android tablet.

Weighing 1.1 pounds (498g), the 10-inch tablet is great for travel or for everyday use.

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