Which Android Tablet Should You Get?

The best Android tablets deliver on battery life, performance, and price

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tablets Photo: Consumer Reports

If you’re in the market for a tablet, there are plenty of reasons to consider an Android tablet instead of just clicking Buy on Apple’s latest iPad.

“Since Android is an open-source platform, developers have a lot of flexibility,” says Antonette Asedillo, who oversees tablet and computer testing for Consumer Reports. And that means more choice for consumers—in price, features, and design.

Scan our ratings (available to CR members) and you’ll find solid options from Lenovo, Samsung, and Walmart’s in-house brand Onn, including one model priced as low as $90. By comparison, the lowest-priced Apple iPad sells for $330.

More on Tablets

If you like that low price, you may also want to consider an Amazon Fire tablet, which uses a highly customized version of the Android operating system known as Fire OS and Amazon’s somewhat limited app store. On the plus side, Amazon models provide access to lots of kid-friendly content and feature a robust selection of parental controls.

All the tablets in our ratings are graded on almost 240 data points, covering everything from the device’s predicted reliability to its performance to the quality of the display. As we do with every product we test, from mesh routers to mattresses, we bought the models below at retail stores to ensure that manufacturers don’t try to influence our testing.

Best All-Around Android Tablet

If you’re looking for the best all-around performance in an Android tablet, look no further than the 11-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. It earns high scores for performance, display quality, and versatility, among other categories.

Samsung makes several different Android tablets, but what sets this model apart is the impressive battery life (13 hours of web browsing, according to our testing) and the bright, high-resolution display. And if you somehow find the 128 gigabytes of built-in storage limiting, you can always add more with a microSD card. So long as you’re okay with a tablet of this size, the Galaxy Tab S7 should be near the top of your wish list.

Easiest to Carry

Given that it weighs less than 1 pound, you’ll hardly notice the Samsung Tab Active 3 once it’s stowed inside a backpack, briefcase, or purse. Add to that a battery that lasts almost 10 hours for web browsing, according to our tests, and you’re good to go, just about anywhere.

Our testers give this 8-inch model high scores across various categories, admiring its performance, convenience, well-sized onscreen keyboard, and robust parental controls. The high-res display gets very bright, making it easy to use outdoors even in direct sunlight, and you can expand the storage beyond the relatively tight 64 gigabytes with a microSD card.

Best Budget Pick

For roughly $70, you can nab the 8-inch Onn Tablet Pro 8. Much like an Amazon Fire tablet (and some Onn TVs), it provides good value for the price. It also gets you full access to the app selection in the Google Play store. 

This model scores well across most categories, including performance and versatility. Where does it rate less highly? The display, which is a little too dim to use outdoors in the sunshine, and the built-in camera, which our testers say produces photos with unnatural colors and limited detail. The webcam, however, performed well enough for the occasional Zoom call.

So if you’re looking for an Android tablet to do simple things like watching Netflix video, browsing the web, and reading an e-book, this model gets you there for under $100.

Best Battery Life

If you need a tablet to power through the workday—and then some—alongside you, this 11.5-inch Lenovo model should be at the top of your list.

It clocks in at almost 17 hours in our video-playback tests and almost 12 hours in our web-browsing tests. That’s more than enough time to catch up on the news and get through your inbox at the local Starbucks before unwinding with some Netflix in bed without having to reach for the charger.

The P11 Pro also scored well for performance and display quality, making this a solid choice if the last thing you want to worry about is the battery of your tablet dying right in the middle of a "Loki" episode.

Headshot image of Electronics editor Nicholas Deleon

Nicholas De Leon

I've been covering consumer electronics for more than 10 years for publications like TechCrunch, The Daily (R.I.P.), and Motherboard. When I'm not researching or writing about laptops or headphones I can likely be found obsessively consuming news about FC Barcelona, replaying old Super Nintendo games for the hundredth time, or chasing my pet corgi Winston to put his harness on so we can go for a walk. Follow me on Twitter (@nicholasadeleon).