It’s that time of the year again. Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, the smell of cinnamon and spice fill the air, football is on the TV and you’re trying to figure out what to get your brother for the holidays. Fear not, Android and Me reader, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you’re trying to appease your audiophile cousin, help your clumsy mom, surprise your friend or give yourself something extra special this year, we’ve got your back. We’ve sifted through the junk to give you some recommendations for what we think are the best Android and mobile tech-related products you can buy this holiday season.
Each day this week we’ll be publishing a post covering a different category. Today, we’re taking a look at tablets.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Want to be the best uncle/brother/aunt/sister/mom/dad/grandparent ever? There are a ton of great options in Android tablets, but there are a few similar tablets we like the best.
At the little bit bigger and little more expensive end of the spectrum, we like the Nexus 9. It’s the best Android has to offer right now. It’s got an incredibly dense display, front-facing speakers, premium design and the latest version of Android. What’s not to love? As far as we’re concerned, the Nexus 9 has little to no competition at this end of the market right now. We might catch some flak for saying that, but that’s how we see it. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a nice device for $100 more, but we’d still pick the Nexus 9.
For a little less money and a little less screen than the Nexus 9, check out the Nvidia Shield tablet. It’s a killer device with a high-end feel. It’s made for gaming, so you knows it’s fast. It uses an Nvidia Tegra K1, the earlier 32-bit version of the 64-bit chip that’s in the Nexus 9, but it’s still plenty fast. The Shield tablet really shines when paired with an Nvidia GPU on your home computer, which lets you can stream PC games right to your tablet. Unfortunately, the controller that works best with the Shield tablet costs extra. Even without the streaming feature, though, it’s a solid buy. Oh, and it was just updated to Android 5.0, Lollipop.
If it’s a totally inexpensive tablet you’re after, we’re really bummed Google got rid of the Nexus 7. The ASUS Memo Pad 7 is OK, the Kindle Fire HDX is decent for those embedded in Amazon’s ecosystem and the Galaxy Tab 4 and Note 8 are alright, but there doesn’t seem to be an immediate replacement for the Nexus 7. There have been a ton of deals lately on the Nexus 7 for around $130. That’s a very good price on a year-old tablet that is still one of our top picks. If the age scares you, even though it is still plenty fast and will be supported with updates, check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.