If you consider yourself a mobile gamer, I bet the thought of owning an Android tablet has crossed your mind. Playing games on your phone can be fun, but some titles just scream for a larger display. The first wave of Android tablets were too expensive and didn’t live up to expectations, but the latest generation of devices is starting to make people think they might need a companion device for their smartphone.
There are countless Android phones to choose from, but the selection of Android tablets is more limited. You can still enjoy a great gaming experience on tablets at every price point, but the number of quality products is limited to a few OEMs. Check out our top picks for every budget.
High-end: ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700
The Good: 10.1-inch 1920 × 1200 Full HD display with Super IPS+, Quad-core Tegra 3 processor @1.6 GHz with 12-core GeForce GPU, 32 or 64 GB of built-in memory, SonicMaster audio technology, microSD expansion slot, and micro HDMI port.
The Not-so-good: Cost of tablet and keyboard dock can get pricey.
Final words: The Transformer Pad Infinity is the best Android tablet on the market period. It has the highest resolution display, fastest processor, longest battery life (with dock), and largest internal storage. We are likely to see some new tablets around Q4 2012, so keep that in mind before you purchase.
Full Review: Read Sean’s review.
Mid-range: ASUS Transformer Pad TF300
The Good: 10.1 inch 1280 x 800 LED backlight IPS display, Quad-core Tegra 3 processor @1.2 GHz with 12-core GeForce GPU, SonicMaster audio technology, microSD expansion slot, and micro HDMI port.
The Not-so-good: Display is not as high resolution as Infinity Pad and the Tegra 3 chip is clocked slower. No 3G/4G connectivity.
Full Review: Read Dustin’s review
Last Amazon Price: $374 for 32 GB model, $299 for 16 GB model
Final words: Offers a similar 10-inch gaming experience to the Infinity Pad at a lower price. You give up the high-resolution display, but you can still output video to a big screen TV through HDMI.
Budget: Google ASUS Nexus 7
The Good: Only tablet shipping with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 12-core GeForce GPU, 7” 1280×800 HD display,
The Not-so-good: No expandable storage, no HDMI video port.
Final words: The Nexus 7 offers a comparable gaming experience to the best tablets with a smaller display and price tag. Some might even prefer the 7-inch display over a larger one because it is easier to reach all the on screen buttons. The limited storage and single USB port can be limiting, but cloud storage and wireless controllers can make up for it.
Full Review: Coming soon (p.s. We love it!)
Wrapping Things Up
ASUS and NVIDIA clearly own the gaming tablet market right now. From top to bottom, they deliver a premium experience that can’t be matched. ASUS delivers the best value for design and hardare, while NVIDIA juices the mobile games ecosystem with their TegraZone program.
Let us know if you spot any tablets that might be a better pick at any of the price poins. We plan to regularly update this guide as we search out the best deals for Android devices.