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It’s been a strange year for Android tablets. There’s been some updates to Android making the software side of things better but, a lot is the same on that front and nothing has changed too much. Hardware, however, is where we’ve seen a lot of change over the past 12 months. With 2011 being the year of the dual-core packing tablet, 2012 has been the year of quad-core in the form of the Tegra 3. We’ve even seen Google themselves get in on the tablet game – not once, but twice. So, while it hasn’t been a revolutionary year for Android on tablets, but the hardware certainly stepped up and with Google bringing a 2560 x 1600 resolution panel to the market, Android tablets certainly grew up this year.

10. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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Towards the beginning of the year Samsung made some waves when they introduced the successor to the first Android tablet. It was to be a mid-range tablet with everything you’d need day-to-day at an affordable price and – at the time – it was up-to-date with Android 4.0. It’s since been update to Jelly Bean (4.1) and there are a lot of accessories out there to augment your experience. This is one of the only 7” tablets to come packing an OK rear-facing camera as well so if you really have to have one then the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is perhaps your best option.

  • Dual-core 1Ghz TI OMAP 4430
  • 1GB RAM with 8, 16 or 32GB of Storage
  • 7” 1024×600 LCD Display (an okay 170 ppi)
  • VGA front-facing camera and a 3.2MP rear-facing camera
  • Dual-band WiFi b/g/n, GPS, WiFi Direct and DLNA
  • 4000 maH battery


9. Acer Iconia Tab A700

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I know what you’re thinking: Acer, on a list for the whole year?! Well, Acer have made OK Android tablets for some time now and with the A700 they did step up their game a little bit. It’s got the same Tegra 3 that will become familiar throughout this whole list and has a stunning resolution of 1900 x 1200 – that’s not Nexus 10 territory, certainly but, it is great for Full HD movies and everything looks a lot crisper than it would at 1280 x 800. Unfortunately though, this features the same questionable build quality from Acer and it’s a pretty thick and heavy tablet. If you’re only going to be watching a lot of films or TV on this then it’s a really good option – especially considering the Nexus 10 is still out of stock.

  • Quad-core 1.3Ghz Tegra 3
  • 1GB RAM with 16, 32 or 64GB of Storage with room for microSD card
  • 10.1” 1900×1200 IPS Display (giving you 224 ppi)
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera with 5MP rear-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n with GPS
  • 9800 maH battery


8. ASUS Transformer Pad TF300

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There’s one Tablet that you’re not going to find on this list, and that’s the Transformer Prime. While it might have been a stunning tablet, it was far too expensive and was riddled with GPS problems and WiFi issues. The TF300 however, is the same tablet brought down to be a little more affordable. That’s not to say that the TF300 isn’t as good, Tegra 3 is still here and the display is still an IPS panel. You can also get the TF300 in different colors – making people think you have a cool red laptop when really, you’re still just rocking Android.

  • Quad-core 1.2Ghz Tegra 3
  • 1GB RAM with 16 or 32GB of Storage with a microSD card slot
  • 10.1” 1280×800 LCD (149 ppi)
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera with 8MP rear-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n, GPS
  • 22 Watt Hour Battery overall


7. Sony Xperia Tablet S

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When Sony announced their latest Tablet there were high hopes for the machine as it seemed that Sony were ready to bring a stunning product to market. However, things took a turn for the worse and sales were halted due to a manufacturing problem – the tablet went back on sale late last month and it should be available at the usual places. The main feature of the Xperia Tablet S is the 9.4” display, making it a nice compromise between a 10” tablet and something smaller. However, there’s little added to Sony’s tablet that isn’t available elsewhere and it’s also pretty pricey as well.

  • Quad-core Tegra 3
  • 1GB of RAM with 16, 32 or 64GB Storage with room for a microSD
  • 9.4” IPS at 1280×800 – giving you 161 ppi
  • A 1 MP front-facing camera with a rear-facing 8MP camera
  • WiFi b/g/n and GPS
  • 6000 maH battery


6. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

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This offering from Samsung was a little disappointing, it was released with little fanfare and didn’t even pack in a Tegra 3 CPU but just a dual-core processor and a 1280 x 800 display. So, why is it in this list? Well, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is now available on all four major carriers now and you can even get 4G LTE on Verizon and Sprint, which is certainly better than worrying about free WiFI. Availability is what makes this the perfect “everyday” tablet and something that you can take all over the place and still get access to the internet. It’s just a shame that the specs really aren’t that good.

  • Dual-core 1Ghz TI OMAP 4430
  • 1GB RAM with 16 or 32GB of Storage with room for a microSD card
  • 10.1” 1280×800 LCD Display (again at 149 ppi)
  • VGA front-facing camera and 3.2MP rear-facing camera
  • WiFi b/g/n, GPS and WiFi Direct
  • 7000 maH battery

 


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