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The 26 best Android tablets of 2014: What's the best Android tablet in the UK?

The 26 best Android tablets available to buy in 2014

Android tablets have come a long way in a short space of time. When they first started to appear on the market they were in a very sorry state, but now the Android tablet market has got its act together and the result has been surprising and very impressive. Here's were we bring to you the 26 best Android tablets available to buy in the UK in 2014. See also: What's the best tablet in the UK?

With the exception of a few, the Android tablet market offers users an inexpensive way of owning and using a tablet PC. The open source Google Android operating System has led to a very healthy battleground, with manufacturers seemingly racing to the lowest price possible. The result of this influx of low cost tablets has led to traditional hardware manufacturers such as Samsung, Acer, Asus struggling to match the success they've experienced in the smartphone market. Take a look at 2013's best cheap tablets UK too.

The reason for this is because non-traditional technology hardware manufacturers such as Tesco, Amazon and even Google to a lesser extent, have started offering Android tablets at cost price - Google even makes a loss on selling its Nexus tablets - in order to lock customers into a tablet with built-in software that makes it easy for users to buy content from the brand's own online stores. Also see: Best SIM-only deals: Best SIM-only and Data SIM deals for smartphone and tablet users

The result is customers getting Android tablets with remarkable specs and build quality for budget prices, something that in our eyes is a fantastic thing for the user.

Android tablets are just like another other tablets with regards to what to look out for in terms of specs, you simply want to get as much as you can for your money. The key things to look out for are storage space (GBs); screen resolution; RAM; what sort of processor the tablet is using, plus how many cores it has; and also how light and thin is the device. If you see a tablet you like, you should check all of these specs against some other tablets in the same price range to make sure you're getting a good deal.

26 best Android Tablets available to buy in the UK in 2014:

27. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0

Even though the Tab 4 8.0 is cheaper than the Tab S and Tab Pro tablets, it’s expensive compared to its rivals. Add to this some outdated specifications and it's no bargain.

26. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Samsung has done well to pack a fast, fun, and useful package into such a slimline case. The screen is good, but could be of a higher resolution, and the back cover is a little slippy for our liking. Overall, though, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in has much to offer and is a great budget choice.

25. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is a good-value tablet for those who are happy to be locked into Amazon's system. For a lot of people, that won't matter at all as it's certainly not a bad system, particularly if you want to use it mainly as an e-reader. The hardware is hard to fault – excepting the hard-to-find buttons – and the screen is great for the money. The app store is lacking compared to Google Play, but undemanding users will find almost everything they need.

24. Asus Fonepad 7 LTE

It's tricky to give the Asus Fonepad 7 LTE a solid verdict, because it's a device we think will appeal to only a few. For anyone looking for a 7in tablet that can make phone calls, the Asus Fonepad 7 LTE is certainly worth a look, though we're not completely sure why you'd want to make phone calls on a 7in tablet.

If you're just looking for a 7in tablet, you'll find better elsewhere. We really liked Asus's £120 Memo Pad 7, and we also love the Nexus 7. Pair the Memo Pad 7 with the £135 Motorola Moto G (which we gave a Recommended award and named 'the best budget smartphone ever) and you're looking at £255 for a brilliant 7in tablet and a brilliant smartphone.

23. Asus Padfone 2

The Asus Padfone 2 is an interesting and unique offering. For £599 you get both a phone and a tablet in one although this has its limitations. Good hardware and excellent battery life are the standout features while build quality is a bit of a let-down. We really like the Padfone 2 but if you're looking to a smartphone and a tablet on the cheap then we suggest Google's Nexus devices.

22. Acer Iconia A1

The budget Android tablet market is a brilliant arms race. The Acer Iconia A1 is right in the mix as one of the best tablets in terms of value for money. If you're looking for something to surf the web, use social networks and watch videos on the A1 merits consideration. The fact that it has a microSD card slot makes it a really attractive tablet for £149.

21. Archos 80 Titanium

The Archos 80 Titanium proves that you can get a decent tablet without breaking the bank. Its screen isn't high resolution, but it's a good IPS panel which matches the iPad mini for half as much. Performance is also good, as is build quality; only the cameras let the side down. If you're on a tight budget or want a tablet for your kids, this is a great choice.

20. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

The Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is a seriously impressive tablet that blows away the vast majority of Android tablets and leaves them eating its dust in terms of power. If you've got £600 to blow and want a tablet that's bigger than 10-inches then this powerhouse won't disappoint in terms of performance and looks, and to be frank it's your only option as it's the only device out there like this.

19. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

A year ago we liked the Tab 10.1, and for the second generation the hardware specs remain broadly the same, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has a much better operating system. All for £100 cheaper than it was. We love the bright screen, and adding SD support and 1080p video capture are both improvements. The problem is the competition: the Nexus 7 in particular has changed the game for Android tablets, and is a little more than half the price of the Tab (albeit with a smaller screen, half the storage and no front-facing camera). Meanwhile the iPad remains a cut above for £100 more than the Tab 2 10.1. If you absolutely require a 10in Android tablet, you could do a lot worse than the Tab - especially at this price. But also consider the Asus Transformer series of devices, and the Toshiba AT300 which at only £30 more than the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 offers a quad-core processor.

18. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is one of Samsung's better tablets but it's hampered by its extravagant price tag. Unless you really want the S Pen stylus there are better and cheaper 8in-screen tablet alternatives on the market.

17. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700

The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 takes over from its predecessor as the top Android tablet available. You get high performance mixed with high style, and you don't have to make a lot of sacrifices to get both. Other tablets - including the Prime, which is expected to drop in price once this model gets into the market - may provide better value, but no other Android tablet will give you the full package that the Infinity does.

16. Kobo Arc 10HD

The Kobo Arc 10HD is a sexy tablet that offers a lot for its price tag. Kobo's bloatware is unobtrusive and the fact it gives you full access to the Google Play store is a massive plus. The only real downside to the Kobo Arc 10HD is the weight of the thing, which makes using this device as a eReader while on the move a bit of a no go.

15. Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013)

Since we initially reviewed the Fire HD, Amazon released an update which adds a new feature: FreeTime. this turns the Kindle into a great tablet for kids, allowing you to create separate user profiles and limit screen time. Usefully, you can set different limits for reading and everything else, so kids can't sit there playing games all day long.

If you can live with the limited amount of storage in the 8GB model, the £119 price makes this a great choice over virtually all other dedicated children's tablets.

14. Barnes & Noble Nook HD

We can hardly find fault with the hardware, and at this price it's hard to find fault with anything. Since the Nook was set free from the confines of the Barnes & Noble content store it has been an amazing deal. An easy-to-use and well-built tablet at a great price.

13. Asus Memo Pad 7 (ME176CX)

For just £120, we're really impressed with the Asus Memo Pad 7. In addition to a good-looking design and sturdy build, it also boasts hardware that rivals tablets with much higher price tags. A higher-resolution screen and front-facing speakers would add even more appeal, but if you're looking for a budget tablet and have been considering the Tesco Hudl, Kindle Fire HD or even the Nexus 7, it's worth investigating the Asus Memo Pad 7, too.

12. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

Touchwiz and fake stitching aside the Note 10.1 is a very good tablet with the added S-Pen feature for those who want it.

11. Tesco Hudl

The Tesco Hudl is a budget tablet with a nice design and good build quality. Key specifications are better than the price tag suggests such as the processor and good quality 7 in screen. A microSD card slot and Micro-HDMI port are two reasons to opt for the Hudl over Google and Amazon alternatives.

10. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 is one of the cheaper 10in tablets around and it has an excellent design. Hardware and task performance are both lacking somewhat but battery life is a strong point. A great Android tablet for those less bothered about top-end specs.

9. Advent Vega Tegra Note 7

For the price, the Advent Vega offers an awful lot and is better than the Tesco Hudl in almost every way. Google’s new Nexus 7 is better overall, mainly because of its excellent screen and battery life, but it costs £70 more and has no microSD card slot for adding storage. If you’re after a budget Android tablet, the Tegra Note 7 is a great choice.

8. LG G Pad 8.3

The G Pad 8.3 is undoubtedly LG's best tablet to date and at £199 it's a bit of a steal. A nice selection of hardware and software make this a great choice for a small tablet. However, occasionally laggy performance means the Nexus 7 might be a better choice.

7. Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Sony has made a very desirable tablet in the Xperia Tablet Z. We particularly like its striking svelte design and features that you don't get with rivals such as NFC, its waterproof casing and infrared. However, its slightly lacking performance means the Nexus 10 will save you some money or the iPad 4 will give you a smooth experience for the same price.

6. Google Nexus 10

The Nexus 10 is easily the best 10in Android tablet we've seen to date. It has a fantastic screen, decent cameras and software features all for a more than reasonable price. Those looking for an alternative to the full-sized iPad needn't look any further.

5. Tesco Hudl 2

The cameras are still not great, but in almost every area the Tesco Hudl 2 has been improved and it's still a bargain at £129 or even less with ClubCard Boost. The software is good but takes up valuable storage space and non-Tesco customers won't get the most out of it. A great screen, decent processor and microSD card slot make this an excellent tablet.

4. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

The Xperia Z2 is a great looking and well built Android tablet. It is staggeringly thin and light for a 10in device, has a great screen, expandable storage and good performance. We like the OS and the camera. Indeed, our only issues with the Xperia Z2 Tablet is occasionally laggy web browsing, and the fact that the screen is poor under natural light. But priced in line with the iPad Air this is right at the top of the shop.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is one of the firm's best ever tablets with a thin and light design, although there is still too much plastic. Hardware is decent, namely that impressive display and great battery life making this a consumption machine. It's got pretty much everything you could want on a tablet, and it is priced competitively against its key rivals earning it a recommended award.

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is one of the best Android tablets we've ever reviewed. In terms of hardware it's the best you can buy right now and has a superbly thin and light design. There's very little to dislike here aside from some elements of the TouchWiz software and the higher price compared to Android rivals (the iPad mini 2 is the obvious alternative if you're not set on Android). If you would rather save money and aren't so bothered about top-notch spec and additional features like the fingerprint scanner and IR blaster, check out the Nexus 7 and LG G Pad 8.3.

1. Nexus 7 (2013)

The 2013 Google Nexus 7 is more expensive than the original and sees only a small change in the design, while its exceptional screen and added rear camera help justify this price hike. It's still lacking a microSD card slot but for many people with be the best 7in tablet around.

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