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    Best Android tablets 2023: Expert tested and reviewed


    Sep 22, 2023
    Best Android tablets 2023: Expert tested and reviewed
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    Housing power and productivity in a sleek slab, tablets are great for work, creative, and entertainment needs. And with the right accessories, you could even convert your tablet into a 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop.

    While Apple’s iPad continues to be a tablet market leader, it’s not your only option. Based on our hands-on testing and reviews, these Android tablets are not only comprehensive options but house beautiful displays, deliver smooth performance, and are capable of handling various workloads. From our top pick, the OnePlus Pad to Samsung’s newest Ultra, this list covers the best Android tablets you can buy right now.

    The best Android tablet: Our top picks

    While it only debuted this year, the OnePlus Pad’s slim yet premium build, smooth refresh rate, and top-tier display quickly made it a top Android tablet contender. Another feature that sets this tablet apart from its competition is its unique 7:5 aspect ratio, which fits in between an iPad’s 4:3 display and the versatile Microsoft Surface Pro’s 3:2 ratio. Designed to mimic that of an A4 piece of paper, the ratio works nicely for reading an e-book or reading your favourite Pocket-lint article, of course.

    Under the hood, the Pad packs the slightly older, but still capable Dimensity 9000 chip and is powered by either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, with 128GB storage. Together, the RAM and power are enough to support creative and data-heavy work needs alike. Note, however, that the unit lacks a microSD slot, so there’s no option for storage expansion if you’re looking to use the tablet primarily for gaming.

    With a 4K supported rear camera, quality front camera, and powerful speakers, the tablet also works great for Zoom calls and virtual meetings. Plus, clever accessories like the Magnetic Keyboard and Stylo Pencil can create the ultimate creative outlet or 2-in-1 laptop setup. While these add-ons can jack up the price by a few bucks, the Pad itself starts at a pretty reasonable cost.

    Amazon Fire HD 8 image 1

    Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022)

    2. Best Android tablet for value

    A tablet with a bang for your buck

    Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet is tiny but mighty, offering a vast content catalogue and a 13-hour battery, all for a budget price.

    32 or 64GB

    13 hours

    Camera (Rear, Front)
    2MP with 720p HD video recording


    • Functional as a laptop replacement
    • Comprehensive feature suite
    • Friendly UI

    • Average speed
    • No biometric authentication
    • Not great for productivity

    If you’re looking for a tablet to slip into your backpack or tote with little bulk, the Amazon Fire HD makes for a great cabin-to-class or work companion. Continuing its success in making more affordable mid-range tablets, Amazon’s HD 8 is a step up from the HD 7’s performance, and apart from the smaller size, is comparable to that of the HD 10.

    When it comes to design, it considers portability and user-friendliness over all else, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for a value option. The hardware is still sturdy without becoming a techy eyesore, though it doesn’t have that same premium aluminium finish of a Samsung tablet. Ultimately, its design is reminiscent of another staple Amazon device (the Kindle) and is easy to grab and use on the go or while working at a desk.

    While this affordability may come with some compromises, including a lower storage capacity, there is a way to expand your Fire tablet storage by an additional 512GB via a microSD card. So, if you want some extra space for documents, photos, or apps, the Fire Tablet does offer a workaround. The display also isn’t as pin-sharp as competitors with a higher price point, but it still provides a seamless experience comparable to that of a larger smartphone when streaming, browsing, or working.

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra Android interface.

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

    3. Best premium Android tablet

    A swanky Samsung upgrade

    Holding out for Samsung’s newest addition? The Tab S9 Ultra didn’t size up, but it did get more rugged with an IP68 rating.

    156GB / 512GB / 1TB + microSD


    Camera (Rear, Front)
    13MP AF + 8MP UW, 12MP + 12MP UW


    • Functional as a laptop replacement
    • Powered by Qualcomm’s For Galaxy Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor
    • Slim build without compromising bold display

    • App experience isn’t as mature as it is for iPad
    • Unapologetically packs in lots of extra specs

    Samsung already went big with the 14.6-inch screen of the Tab S8 Ultra (more on that tablet later), so with its latest iteration, the company decided to keep the cumbersome form factor and add something that, while not visible, has not been seen for a while in a premium tablet: an IP68 rating. The last time we saw this rating on a tablet was the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet back in 2015.

    This protection is great for peace of mind, especially given that the tablet packs in luxury features, but for a steep price. And with a unique 16:10 aspect ratio, bright screen, and quality speakers, this tablet could make the perfect poolside companion while streaming content, surfing the web, or reading a book. (Who doesn’t love studying by the beach?)

    From our review with this tablet, its rich feature suite, vast canvas, and lightweight form factor will likely also appeal to digital artists or those who want to pack this instead of a full laptop, though you will need a keyboard case to make it useful as it’s not as portable as other models on our list.

    Google Pixel Tablet against a colorful gradient background.

    Source: Pocket-Lint 

    Google Pixel Tablet

    4. Best Android tablet for software

    An Android tablet with seamless software

    The Google Pixel tablet stands out among other Android tablets thanks to its bloat-free software, beautiful display, and the promise of helpful updates.

    128GB or 256GB

    Up to 12 hours

    Camera (Rear, Front)
    8MP f/2.0 rear + 8MP f/2.0 front landscape


    • Bloat-free software
    • 500nits of brightness
    • Google’s Tensor G2 hardware makes for fast experience

    • Hub Mode interface is average
    • Apps are still optimised for iPad

    After a break from tablets, Google premiered its new Pixel Tablet in May 2023, capitalising on large screen brightness and seamless software, though not quite delivering as a smart home hub, despite coming with a Charging Speaker Dock. That said, if you’re ultimately looking for an Android tablet capable of handling your G-suite workflow at a sharp 500nits, Google has “worked hard to optimise many of its apps for larger displays,” according to Chris Hall in his review of the Google Pixel Tablet. “That includes the likes of Google Calendar which looks great, as does Google’s Weather app.”

    The vibrant screen makes for an effective UI when planning out the practicalities of your day, to web browsing for research and entertainment.

    Additionally, Chrome and Microsoft Office also work well with the browser experience, and the tablet supports split-screen for major multitaskers. Speaking of multitasking, a USI 2.0-supported display allows for stylus interaction for digitised note-taking or creative projects.

    The Samsung Tab S8 Ultra Tablet with the attached keyboard on a desk.

    Source: Pocket-Lint 

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

    5. Best mid-range Android tablet

    A tablet with a great screen

    $758 $900 Save $142

    If you’re in the Samsung ecosystem, the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus is a great mid-range Android tablet with a gorgeous 12.4-inch AMOLED display and S pen included stylus.

    128GB / 256GB / 512GB + microSD


    Camera (Rear, Front)
    13MP + 6MP rear, 12MP front


    • Crisp, 12.4-inch screen display
    • AMOLED panel offers a wider colour spectrum
    • Design is particularly slender at 5.5mm

    • Single selfie front camera
    • Pricier than the standard S8 model
    • Larger design isn’t the most portable

    Housing a 12.4-inch AMOLED display rather than the standard S8’s humble 11-inch LCD screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus delivers a great viewing experience from web browsing to streaming, and all the productivity in between. With an included stylus, the tablet serves as a creative powerhouse for aspiring graphic designers or those who still want to handwrite their notes without the hassle of buying multiple notebooks. And offering up to 512GB of storage along with the option for microSD expansion, there’s plenty of room to store your virtual notes, grocery lists, e-textbooks, apps, and more.

    While a single selfie front camera doesn’t make for filter-like quality when you’re on a Zoom call, it’s not super grainy either and gets the job done for attending virtual classes, office hours, or meetings.

    While a bit pricier than the Standard S8, it is cheaper than the newest in Samsung’s lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus, while promising the same size display.

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

    6. Best Android tablet for graphic designers

    A tablet with Ultra crisp graphics

    $998 $1100 Save $102

    Creatives, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra’s 14.6-inch AMOLED display makes for a capable, yet cumbersome, canvas.

    128GB / 256GB / 512GB + microSD


    Camera (Rear, Front)
    13MP + 6MP rear, 12MP + 12MP front


    • Stylus, bright display, and big screen make for a great creator tablet
    • Powerful and smooth performance
    • Quad speaker stereo system makes for clear audio

    • Too comprehensive for everyday entertainment use
    • Pricey
    • 2-in-1 laptop design makes for a bigger form factor

    If you want to size up your Samsung tablet even further, the Tab S8 Ultra has quite the platform at 14.6 inches, which is almost 2-inches more than the largest iPad Pro at 12.9 inches. While the larger display doesn’t quite make holding the Tab S8 Ultra in one hand a possibility, it does create space for an extensive creative and productive workflow.

    In fact, in his review, Cam Bunton said the big screen size “means you can genuinely get work done on this machine, whether that’s boring office-based online work or creativity. Apps like LumaFusion mean you can even edit video on the go, and the big screen combined with the stylus means it’s actually a very good experience.”

    The tablet’s larger size and price tag may not make it the best option for casual use or slipping into your backpack, but if you want to video edit, create digital artwork, or use the tablet as a hybrid laptop, you’ll get your money’s worth.

    Lenovo Tab Extreme

    Lenovo Tab Extreme

    7. Best Android tablet for productivity

    A get-things-done powerhouse

    The Tab Extreme’s large and vibrant display, coupled with its capable keyboard accessory, make this a true hybrid tablet-laptop combo, but it comes at a steep price.

    2GB RAM / 256GB storage


    Camera (Rear, Front)
    13MP autofocus or 5MP fixed-focus / 13MP ultra-wide


    • Excellent 14.5 inch 3K OLED display
    • Powerful performance able to handle heavy workflow
    • Premium build

    • Too feature-heavy for sole entertainment use
    • Pricey
    • Not as portable as mini tablet options

    It’s clear Lenovo put a lot of thought into designing a tablet that prioritised power and productivity with the Tab Extreme. Allowing for split screen functionality, equipped with plenty of ports, and a capable keyboard case, this tablet accomplishes what tablets have long set out to do and truly transforms into a 2-in-1 laptop.

    Its 14.5-inch display is only just shy of Samsung’s Tab S9 Ultra’s 14.6-inch display and offers beautiful and crisp OLED graphics as well as a 120Hz refresh rate for a seamless UI. While the tablet still suffers from Android’s software shortcomings, its hardware is able to handle running several apps at once without a refresh lag while still displaying bright graphics.

    Note that with all its capabilities, the true two-in-one machine packs punch but also a bit of extra weight; it definitely requires a two-hand hold. While heftier, it is slimmer than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, so it’s still practical when it comes to portability.

    Editor’s note: At the time of writing this, the tablet is unfortunately out of stock, but Lenovo’s website says it will be available soon, so keep a lookout.

    Microsoft Surface Pro 9 in laptop mode with attached blue keyboard on a countertop.

    Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (Wi-Fi)

    8. Best Android 2-in-1 tablet

    The ultimate combo

    A detachable 2-in-1, the 9th-generation Microsoft Surface Pro is a sturdily built machine that delivers long-lasting battery, power, and versatility.



    Camera (Rear, Front)
    10MP 4K/1080p full HD


    • Luxury design
    • Powerful
    • Beautiful display
    • Decent battery life

    • Trackpad response is average
    • Bulkier than competitor options
    • Add-ons are helpful, but pricey

    Equipped with 12th gen Intel Core hardware, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is a two-in-one tablet that can handle your class workload in tablet or laptop mode. Plus, the 3:2 aspect ratio on its vibrant 13-inch display makes for compatible split-screen viewing at a decent size and relatively easy readability. As just a tablet, the extra hardware might be a little chunky, but if you’re looking for flexibility, the detachable keyboard and powerful performance make the Pro 9 what we consider “a jack of all trades”.

    The Intel model offers 32GB of RAM, which is a great sweet spot for students toting a vast document library or gamers who could always use the help of extra storage for entertainment.

    Best Android tablets: The bottom line

    While Android’s software hasn’t quite caught up with iPad’s performance, these tablets show that improvements are underway. Android tablets leverage different strengths to make their mark in the tablet market and your hand or workspace.

    That said, as you decide which Android tablet you should make your productivity or creative companion, don’t count out the OnePlus Pad just because it’s the new slab on the block. Especially if you’re looking for a tablet that fits into the “luxury” category along with the likes of Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9, the OnePlus Pad delivers a great display for browsing, productivity, and entertainment – especially with the unique 7:5 aspect ratio. At $480 for the base unit and some quality bundle deals for add-ons like the keyboard case, the tablet also promises decent value for a premium form factor and performance.

    OnePlus Pad

    OnePlus/ Pocket-lint 

    OnePlus Pad

    Editor’s Choice

    Premium performance and display

    The OnePlus Pad is a great mid-range Android tablet with a large, bright, and smooth display perfect for web browsing, creative workflow, or streaming content.

    However, other options, like the Amazon Fire HD 8 may serve better if you’re looking for a no-frills, entertainment-focused tablet when travelling or on the go. And of course, Samsung’s newest addition – the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is a premium option with a bold display without compromising a slim form factor – perfect to pack away in your bag.

    How did I choose these Android tablets?

    Based on Pocket-lint’s exclusive testing, I only considered tablets that received at least a four-star rating in our expert’s full-length reviews. Aside from only selecting tablets that we’d personally recommend, I also looked at many use cases. Especially with students returning to school, tablets are used for different workflow and entertainment levels (with positively corresponding price tags) so I picked a variety of tablet functionality for every budget.

    What should you consider when selecting a tablet?

    Use case: Are you using your tablet exclusively to stream and consume content? Or are you using a tablet as your right-hand productivity tool along with basic entertainment functions? If it’s the former, I’d consider value, whereas, with the latter, I’d focus on a premium feature suite, power, storage capabilities, and add-ons to maximise efficiency.

    Power: Especially if you want your tablet to run multiple functions, like split screen view, or handle tasks like video editing, you’ll want to make sure it has enough storage and battery to do so.

    Form factor: Nobody wants to lug around a bulky piece of tech, no matter how useful it may be. Our list includes tablets that are lightweight and functional to carry on the go.

    Display: From unique aspect ratios to bright displays, it’s important your tablet supports your web browsing and work preferences clearly and boldly.

    What is the best Android tablet for kids?

    The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids is a durable entry-level tablet that lends itself to plenty of parental controls without compromising a capable 8-inch display and a solid 13 hours of battery. With dual speakers, either 32GB or 64GB of storage, and access to Amazon’s app suite (including Prime), it’s well-equipped to keep your kids entertained.

    Which Android tablet has the largest screen size?

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and S9 Ultra both house the largest screen size of any other Android tablet, both on this list and on the market at 14.6 inches.

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