A beefier Snapdragon chip and Android 13 make this Samsung's 'Goldilocks' tablet
Your eyes will thank you after your next 8-hour marathon
As a kid, I remember going through ads in PC Magazine and seeing all those top-of-the-line laptops displayed. I would read down the list of specs: a 266MHz Pentium II processor, 32MB of RAM, a cutting-edge TFT active matrix display — and yes, I know I’m dating myself here. And I knew that the sticker shock at the end of the listing would hit me harder than a Shohei Ohtani fastball. Sure enough, I’d see figures as high as $5,500, and I would keep dreaming.
This is the dream come true for serial note takers and document readers, but it costs a pretty penny
Onyx has made a name for itself with its high-end E Ink readers and tablets, offering the full Android and Google experience on E Ink screens. Most recently, the company released the Onyx Boox Tab Ultra, a 10-inch note-taking powerhouse. However, tablets are growing bigger and bigger these days, and that 10-inch screen still doesn’t give you the full letter-sized paper experience. That’s where Onyx’s new tablet comes in, the Boox Tab X.
A welcome addition to the Android tablet market, despite a few questionable choices
After a decade of lukewarm releases and outright bombs, I'm not sure anyone could've seen the coming Android tablet renaissance (tablet-aissance?). For years, consumers have had the choice between a dozen different Samsung variants, cheap-for-good-reason Amazon Fire Tablets, or… an iPad. Occasionally, you could find yourself a ChromeOS-powered slate, though even then, you were usually looking at hybrids or 2-in-1s, not full-blown tablets.
Speakers, and page-turn buttons, and running Android, oh my!
With so many e-readers on the market, choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging. You'll often find a device that checks a few boxes but not all. The Boox Leaf2 from Onyx, on the other hand, will tick plenty of those boxes thanks to its pleasant reading experience, range of features, and excellent software. It boasts a high-quality E Ink Carta 1200 display that mimics the look of real paper, making it ideal for long reading sessions without causing eye strain or discomfort.
The Onyx Boox Tab Ultra aims to be a great e-reader that doubles as a tablet or PC, but it comes at a high price
The Onyx Boox Tab Ultra aims to combine Android capabilities with an E Ink tablet, so when it was announced last October, I was pumped for it. Its paper-like screen, stylus for doodling and taking notes, media playback capabilities, and support for millions of Android apps are enough to entice anyone interested in using an excellent e-reader.
It won't turn many heads, but the M10 Plus is a great media tablet at a reasonable price
Not long ago, if someone asked for a 10-inch tablet recommendation under $200, I would have told them, without hesitation, to get an Amazon Fire 10 HD. It had the best mix of value, performance, and display quality in the category. Sure, they'd have to install the Play Store manually, but similarly-priced Android competitors couldn't compete on functionality alone.
Samsung's low-cost tablet is built for entertainment, not work
With Samsung offering some of the most expensive devices on the market, a good deal goes a long way. As far as the best Android tablets are concerned, the Tab A series has provided affordability without sacrificing too much, so those on a budget can enjoy the tablet experience. The most recent slate, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, is exactly that. It offers a solid tablet experience for an affordable $230 price point, matching the same cost as its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, while beating out the entry-level iPad by $100.
The first Kobo e-reader made entirely from recycled and ocean-bound materials is lightweight, portable, and has a crisp display
When you think of the top e-readers on the market, Kobo often comes up as a company known for selling e-readers and e-books through Rakuten. Released in 2018, the Kobo Clara HD is one of its most popular compact e-readers. The Kobo Clara 2E, the successor to this lightweight e-reader, was introduced in September 2022. While the follow-up offers plenty of similarities, many people will appreciate a few welcome changes.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite gives the Amazon Fire 8 a run for its money as the budget king for streaming content
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite reminds me of my childhood dog. He was a cute and cuddly little guy, but if you pet him the wrong way, he would bite you. However, if you knew how to approach him, he was your best friend, but you had to know his limitations.
Samsung's smallest flagship tablet is fine, but it doesn't live up to the premium experience of the larger models
For the last few years, Samsung has offered its flagship lineup of tablets in two unique sizes: a basic 11-inch model and one with a more premium 12-inch screen. Then in early 2022, Samsung surprised us with a third edition — the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, an absolute behemoth with a nearly 15-inch display capable of replacing your laptop without breaking a sweat. Combined with the Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8+, it seemed like Samsung was building a good-better-best lineup for its latest slates.
After two years, the latest version of Amazon's affordable tablet has finally arrived, but the improvements are minimal
Amazon's smaller Fire tablets are known for being extremely portable and easy to navigate, but cheaper and slower than competing tablets. Just type "why are Fire tablets" into Google, and you'll see that the auto-complete options aren't pretty. This isn't to say that these tablets aren't good. They're great for certain uses, which is why the Amazon Fire HD 10 is one of the best Android tablets. However, the Fire tablet line doesn't live up to its full potential.
We finally get a Kindle DX successor, but taking notes and drawing feels tacked on
In 2012, Amazon finally discontinued the Kindle DX, the first and last large-screen Kindle. Ten years later, a handful of competitively large e-reading devices exist and are excellent at taking notes, and are clearly eating Amazon's lunch.
The new Kindle for 2022 brings some big upgrades, including USB-C
Amazon is back again with the latest base Kindle, and it's called the All-new Kindle (taking a page out of Nintendo's misguided book.) This 11th-generation model is finally bringing plenty of long-requested features at a $99 price point. The most significant addition is the new 300ppi high-res screen, alleviating the blurry text the base Kindle was known for.
The Bigme inkNote Color delivers a high-end experience, though a few rough edges and high price keep it from greatness
Bigme may not be the most well-known name in the e-reader market, but the company offers many e-readers that range in size and screen capabilities. Its latest device is making waves through a successful Kickstarter campaign, eyeing to take the top spot as one of the best e-readers. Bigme is marketing its inkNote Color as the first color e-reader designed for taking notes that includes two, count them two, cameras.
This e-reader bucks trends... but it'll cost you
Onyx is something of an outlier in the E Ink game, making strides in the US with devices like the Nova Air C, thanks to its color screen. The latest Air replaces the Nova3 Color, offering a slimmer form factor for $420. It's expensive as far as e-readers are concerned, but the feature set is indeed unique since the device runs Android, bringing all the perks expected of the OS, making for a tablet-like experience, but with a color E Ink screen.
Too big and expensive, but this is the undisputed king of Android productivity
Traditionally, carrying a tablet is less of an inconvenience than carrying a laptop. That is not the case with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, which earns the "ultra" title every bit as much as the S22 Ultra does. If you want the biggest, most powerful Android tablet on the market, this is it. Clocking in at 14.6 inches, the massive OLED panel looks amazing, but it's not a practical piece of technology. There are still too few tablet-optimized Android apps, and the $1,100 price tag puts it up there with the most expensive iPad Pro. Even as an Android fan, you won't get your money's worth. Apple's high-end tablets are a better value, as is the cheaper Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+.
Your smartphone probably beats this budget tablet's sluggish performance, but not its price
If you're looking for an Android tablet that can do it all for under $100, you should prepare for disappointment—especially if you're eyeballing Amazon's Fire 7 (2022 edition). We're not going to dunk on this tablet, because there are certainly some people out there who might want a cheap, lightweight device for reading books and watching YouTube, Netflix, or whatever other streaming service you love. To that, this $60 tablet (with ads; $75 without) isn't the worst buy. But if you already have a decently sized smartphone, even a hand-me-down from the past few years, you're better off sticking with that and saving up for a higher-performing tablet (or a Paperwhite, if you're a voracious reader).
This is the sweet spot in Android tablets, but it'll cost you
It's been hard to get excited about Android tablets since... well, ever. I will admit to being a little excited about the original Nexus 7, but things went downhill quickly after that. I don't know if you should get excited about the Galaxy Tab S8+, but maybe you can finally look forward to being excited about Android tablets in the near future. The hardware is excellent, with possibly the prettiest OLED panel I've ever laid eyes on, and the best version of Samsung's S Pen yet.
Powerful but flawed
Android tablets are always playing catch up to the iPad, which consistently outperforms on everything from productivity to entertainment. From Google scrapping the Pixel Slate, to Samsung’s various attempts at swaying us with amazing OLEDs, there simply hasn’t been a really solid tablet for those who want to dive a bit deeper into the Android experience.
A superb value — if you can live with limited storage space
The spectacle of flashy new hardware can be a lot of fun, but there's something respectably honest about new versions of products that are blatantly iterative — not everything can be reinvented from the ground up every couple of years, as much as tech companies would like to pretend otherwise. The 2022 iPad Air is such an iterative update: Apple took 2020's model, jammed newer parts in it, and shoved it out the door at the same $600 MSRP. The result is a crazy-powerful tablet at what seems like an uncharacteristically fair price, but whether it's right for you is going to come down to the details.