Noteworthy mention: EVGA Tegra note 7
Choosing between the Z Ultra and the Tegra note 7 has been a tough call. The SOCs (ie. Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 respectively) are almost evenly matched. The Sony bests the EVGA at build quality and connectivity, but the EVGA comes back with a bang for the buck and revolutionary features never seen before such as “Direct stylus” that provides control over width of the line and seamless streaming capabilities between PC and even to the TV. Those with a lower budget or those who can sacrifice some aesthetics for feature will not be disappointed.
Standard Tablets (8”<) Value for money:
Winner: Dell Venue 8
Starting at just 170$, and sporting an Intel Atom Z2580 and Android 4.2 and 2GB ram, this tablet is solid value for money when competitors price more than twice the amount. Intel chips may lose at battery life but certainly make up in terms of performance thanks to their “Hyper-threading” technology. This tablet leads the pack in terms of value for money.
Noteworthy mention: AGPTek 10” tablet
Again, just like their 7” counterpart, AGPTech stun with their value for money by pricing some products below 100$. These tablets are just what you’re looking for if all you want is a capable tablet for almost nothing. Do be careful as tablets are easily mistaken for one another. When buying them, read the description and look out for “android 4.2”.
Standard Tablets (8”<) Out of the box experience:
Winner: Asus Transformer Pad TF701T
Asus Transformer Pad TF701T is a hybrid device with a detachable keyboard that makes the experience for former laptop users very straightforward. By combining the best of laptop and tablet worlds as well as the powerful Tegra 4 processor will not make you miss your laptop over the lack of power. It even comes with USB 3.0 for 10x data transfer speeds. The Transformer Pad packs a 7820mAH (Milli ampere hour) battery and the docking keyboard comes with it’s own 4170mAH battery which combine together promising a staggering 17 hours of battery life! The most impressive part of the tablet is the screen. At 2500×1600, this is higher resolution than the ipad!
Standard Tablets (8”<) Latent Potential:
Winner: Samsung Google Nexus 10
The Nexus 10 may be a device of 2012, but the dual A-15 chip has proven to be an extremely capable SOC. Just like the Nexus 7 and 4, Cannonical officially support the Nexus 10 for their touch OS and Google will certainly provide bleeding edge updates for another 2 years. The development communities for Nexus devices are generally thriving communities and this one is no exception.
Standard Tablets (8”<) Build Quality and aesthetics:
Winner: Xperia Z Tablet
The Xperia Z Tablet stuns in visual and feel. Weighing just a pound and 6.9mm thick (0.27 inches), this is thinner than the Apple ipad air and much thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Just like it’s smartphone counterpart, it is rated waterproof and dust proof with seamlessly reflective surfaces. The tablet is edged and of constant thickness. It constantly reminds you of it’s presence in your hand.
Notable mention: Lenovo Yoga 10
We had a little difficulty in choosing between the Z Tablet and the Yoga, The Z wins on account of build quality. Lenovo have gone out of their way to create and innovate something nobody has seen before. The cylindrical stand at the bottom can control the angle of inclination, thereby giving the user additional flexibility of viewing without actually using hands. The cylinder comes in useful during single handed portrait handling as the tablet feels much lighter than it actually is. The appearance may be deceiving, it is not metallic but the plastic is well finished and the overall design stands out.
Standard Tablets (8”<) Allrounder:
Winner: Asus Transformer Pad TF701T
The Asus Transformer Pad TF701T leads the pack for our analysis on the best “Standard Tablet (greater than 8 inch)” category. Sadly, there were not enough devices being powered by the Snapdragon 800 SOC. But with a detachable keyboard, 17 hours of battery time, an impressive SOC, a resolution of 2560 x 1600, USB 3.0, the only thing the device is missing is a few productivity apps you’d normally expect to see on your PC due to Android’s shortcomings. But Asus have made a bold move with their “Transformer line” and continue to refine it, before long, PCs may just be given a real run for their money.
We had a difficult time picking out the best. More often than not, the experience of your device depends more on the app ecosystem. With Google’s app ecosystem’s substantial growth, there is more than you can ever try. This is neither to say OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) have very little to put in and have no further room for innovation nor that you shouldn’t pick a tablet that we haven’t suggested. We understand that people have many preferences and therefore, we have tried to be impartial to value all of them to give you the best in every category. As 2013 nears its end, we look forward to ways new devices manage surprise us further in 2014.