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Best cheap 10 inch Android tablets available today

Are Android tablets on their sure way to extinction, caught in an inescapable chokehold by rapidly soaring phablets and slowly recovering conventional Windows PCs? Hard to cast a definitive verdict, but even Apple’s mighty iPads seem to be losing steam, as iPhones close the size gap.

ProductBrandNamePrice
LenovoLenovo Tab A10 10.1-Inch 16 GB Tablet (59413342) Midnight BlueBuy on Amazon|$399.88(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)
AsusASUS Transformer Pad TF103C-A1-Bundle 10.1-Inch Tablet with Keyboard Bundle (Black)Buy on Amazon|$254.99(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)
AmazonFire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa, 10.1" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th)Check Price on Amazon
HPHP Slate S10-3500US 10-Inch Tablet with Beats Audio (Silk Grey)Check Price on Amazon
LGLG Electronics E10 LGV700 10.1-Inch TabletBuy on Amazon|$650(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)
LenovoLenovo TAB2 A10 - 10.1" Tablet (ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core, FHD IPS, 2GB SDRAM, 16GB SSD, Android 4.4 KitKat) ZA000001USBuy on Amazon|$89.95(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)
AsusASUS ZenPad 10 Z300C-A1-BK 10.1" 16 GB Tablet (Black)Buy on Amazon|$19999(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.


Woman with tablet

What’s crystal clear is Google-endorsed slates have trouble standing out without an obvious, compelling selling point. The superior productivity of laptops can’t be denied, and convertible models are no longer significantly bulkier than, say, your average 10-inch slate.

Meanwhile, there are 5.5, 6-inch, even 6.4-inch “handhelds” around that can essentially do whatever a 7-inch tab is capable of, plus make and receive voice calls. Game over for Galaxy Tabs, Amazon Fires, G Pads, Asus ZenPads, and so on, and so forth? Not so fast, given some of those still hide an important ace up their sleeve.

Namely, extreme affordability, combined with a footprint phablets don’t come close to… just yet. Yes, dear readers and friends, the best budget 10-inch Android tablets on the market today should stay in the spotlight a while longer, and tempt you with their quality-pricing ratios, generous screen real estate, and in a few cases, remarkable versatility.

Lenovo Tab A10 – $240 (Bluetooth keyboard included)

The first product featured on our list of best inexpensive 10-inch tablets is not necessarily the absolute best, but it’s the costliest, when you factor in the companion keyboard cover accessory. Without it, the first-gen A10 doesn’t look great on paper, sporting mediocre 1,280 x 800 display resolution, and packing humdrum quad-core MediaTek 8121 power.

Lenovo Tab A10

But you have to consider the ensemble’s economical price when judging its specs, and at least appreciate the 8-hour battery life, 16 GB internal storage space, microSD support, dual front-facing stereo speakers, and relatively slim design. On the not so bright side, you’re offered an ancient Android iteration out the box, 4.4 KitKat, and 1 gig of RAM hardly makes this a multitasking champ.

Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1 (keyboard bundle) – $233

Another 4.4-running 2-in-1 machine, the TF103C further ups the endurance ante, to close to 10 hours, and likely improves raw speed as well, thanks to an Intel Atom Bay Trail Z3745 CPU. At 545 grams, keyboard not included, the Transformer Pad is no featherweight, but it’s decently robust, and more importantly, comes with over $270 worth of free content and services.

Asus TF103C

Before you yell crapware, let us mention Asus gives you 500 gigs of complimentary WebStorage cloud depository for two years, in addition to a 16 GB ROM and microSD card slot. Even the six gratis mini-subscriptions to your favorite magazines out of a very generous library sound pretty enticing.

Amazon Fire HD 10 – $230

It has barely gone on sale, and so, it’s untested at the moment, but the closer-to-stock-than-ever Android user interface alone makes it an attractive prospective purchase. It’s also the thinnest Fire family member to date, at 7.7 mm, and yet, it still vows to last a solid 8 hours between charges.

Fire HD 10

Like all Amazon products, the Fire HD 10 is ideal for e-book reading first and foremost, though the on-board Dolby Atmos audio system means listening to music is always an option. And the 1,280 x 800 display isn’t that bad, delivering decent HD video content.

HP Slate S10 – $200

Is the Palo Alto-based computer giant really so delusional that it believes an affordable 10-inch tablet can actually sell in 2015 loaded with decrepit 4.2 Jelly Bean software “treats”, and powered by a dual-core Marvell SoC?

HP Slate S10

Technically, HP isn’t the one charging two Benjamins through Amazon for this Beats Audio-armed bag of mediocrity. It’s a third-party merchant, which had better consider a discount if it wants to clear lingering inventory. Make it $150, and maybe, just maybe, the 9-hour promised autonomy, 5 and 2 MP cameras, and 16 GB ROM will justify the buy.

LG G Pad 10.1 – $199

Forget archaic OS builds, obscure processors, and questionable aesthetic choices. The 10-inch G Pad was released on 4.4 KitKat, then recently upgraded to 5.0 Lollipop, it’s fashionable and slender, and the quad-core chip under the hood is a speedy, respected Snapdragon 400.

LG G Pad 10.1

Even better, the 8,000 mAh cell is massive, the 5 MP rear cam above-average, given the price range, the stereo speakers loud and sharp, and proprietary LG software add-ons like Knock Code, dual window and Q pair 2.0 destined to enrich your user experience.

Lenovo Tab 2 A10 – $179

Lenovo Tab 2 A10

Want the best all-around cheap 10-inch tablet in the world? This is probably it, with a Full HD (1,920 x 1,200) IPS LCD screen in tow, 64-bit quad-core 1.5 GHz MediaTek MT8165 SoC, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM, 10-hour battery, 8 and 5 MP snappers, immersive Dolby audio, 8.9 mm profile, 74 percent screen-to-body ratio, and a planned update to Android 5.0 Lollipop for the near future.

Discounted from its $200 MSRP, the Tab 2 A10 would likely be worth as much as $280, if tablet sales weren’t hurting so badly on a global scale.

Asus ZenPad 10 – $159

Asus ZenPad 10

The least pricey tab on our roster is clearly not the worst pick, since it also features 2 gigs of random-access memory, Lollipop goodies, a quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom CPU, sleek aluminum finish, lightweight 1.1 pound design, 16 GB local data hoarding room, microSD capabilities, and even 100 GB of free Google Drive cloud storage for your first two years of ZenPad ownership.

Any downsides to buying this ultra-low-cost 10 incher? A few: lousy 2 and 0.3 MP cameras, lackluster 800p panel, unremarkable sub-8-hour battery life.

ProductBrandNamePrice
LenovoLenovo Tab A10 10.1-Inch 16 GB Tablet (59413342) Midnight BlueBuy on Amazon|$399.88(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)
AsusASUS Transformer Pad TF103C-A1-Bundle 10.1-Inch Tablet with Keyboard Bundle (Black)Buy on Amazon|$254.99(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)
AmazonFire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa, 10.1" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th)Check Price on Amazon
HPHP Slate S10-3500US 10-Inch Tablet with Beats Audio (Silk Grey)Check Price on Amazon
LGLG Electronics E10 LGV700 10.1-Inch TabletBuy on Amazon|$650(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)
LenovoLenovo TAB2 A10 - 10.1" Tablet (ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core, FHD IPS, 2GB SDRAM, 16GB SSD, Android 4.4 KitKat) ZA000001USBuy on Amazon|$89.95(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)
AsusASUS ZenPad 10 Z300C-A1-BK 10.1" 16 GB Tablet (Black)Buy on Amazon|$19999(Price as of 02/18/2019 21:32 ET)

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Best 4G LTE-capable Android tablets available today stateside

If you’ve been following our website lately, chances are you’ve already purchased a tab… or ten. You’re only human after all, and probably couldn’t resist the temptation of a stellar bargain, the best 7 inch+ gamers around, the 2015 endurance champions or ultra-high-res media streamers.

4G LTE

But there’s one market segment we haven’t tackled in a while. And even back when we did, in October 2014, the budget was restricted, so technically, you never got a list of the top 4G LTE-enabled Android pads. Just the finest low-cost soldiers.

Now, it goes without saying not everyone can afford to cough up $600 or $700 for a high-speed, always connected laptop replacement. Nor does everybody want to pay that much with the large-screen Google “ecosystem” deeply flawed and app support lowly at best.

man-using-tablet

So, instead of narrowing our search to a predefined price range, we’ve decided to bring together the low-enders and high-enders, the budget contenders and no-nonsense flagships. Here they all are, with advanced connectivity options their sole feature in common:

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – starting at $650 for Verizon

Going after Microsoft Surface Pros and Apple iPad Airs with comparable price tags never felt like Sammy’s smartest strategic move. And indeed, the Note Pro is a decidedly nichey product, which could never appeal to the masses.

Galaxy Note Pro

But boy, is it colossal, literally and figuratively, with a 2,560 x 1,600 pix res 12.2-inch screen in tow, S Pen functionality, Snapdragon 800 muscle, 3 GB RAM and 9,500 mAh battery juice. Just think of how sharp the high-def YouTube vids will play on the move.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet – $500 and $650 respectively on and off-contract at Verizon

The name may send an old-fashioned vibe, yet the 10.1-inch Z2 is very much “contemporary”, what with its 1,920 x 1,200 display, S801 chip, Android 5.0 Lollipop software, 3 GB RAM and 8.1 MP rear camera.

Xperia Z2 Tablet

Plus, for a large 10 incher, it’s extremely easy to transport, thanks to a 6.4 mm waist and 439-gram “heft”, not to mention it’s dust and water-resistant, ergo ready for whatever nature throws at it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $500 and up with Verizon

Oh, come on, another Verizon exclusive? Technically, no, but Big Red does cut you the best Tab S deal at the moment, and Amazon always endorses steals. Well, steal might be a bit of a stretch, at five full Benjamins.

Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Let’s call the bang for buck factor… adequate. Enticing. Almost unrefusable if you’re in the market for a super-slim 10 incher with fingerprint recognition, LTE speeds, Snapdragon 800 SoC, 3 GB RAM, 7,900 mAh cell capacity… and only 16 GB internal storage.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 – $529 and up for AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon

Fire HDX 8.9

Finally, something you can activate on your network of choice. As long as it’s not Sprint. Too bad the HDX is a little steep for what it offers – forked Android (an archaic iteration, no less), 2 gigs of RAM, bland design, somewhat awkward albeit ultra-sharp screen, and “sponsored screensavers” to begin with.

Luckily, $15 rids you of pesky ads, and $50 bumps up the storage from 32 to 64 GB. Remember, there’s no microSD card slot.

Google/HTC Nexus 9 – $469 unlocked with 32 GB storage

Nexus 9

Ah, a purist’s wet dream, now at an all-time low tariff. What can be sweeter than that? Perhaps a smidge of extra battery serum or CDMA carrier compatibility, but beggars tablet buyers on a tight budget can’t be choosers.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 – starting at $380 for AT&T; $350 GSM unlocked

How is this any different from the Tab S, you wonder? Well, actually, their specs couldn’t be further apart. The Tab 4 is almost ridiculously low-end, and ultimately, it’s not worth the $350 and up Amazon charges for it. With or without operator agreements.

Galaxy Tab 4 10.1

Yes, it’s compact, fairly handsome (in a non-standout way), and equipped with 1.5 GB RAM, which isn’t that bad. But the 1,280 x 800 panel is pretty crappy, and the same goes for the quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 6,800 mAh ticker and especially 3.15/1.3 MP cams.

LG G Pad 10.1 – $150 with Verizon pacts; $380 sans obligations

LG G Pad 10.1

All in all not much better than the 10.1-inch Tab 4, the G Pad 10.1 is at least cheaper on-contract. And it’s upgradeable to Lollipop, slightly prettier, courtesy of narrower bezels, plus longer-lasting, with an 8,000 mAh pacemaker. And in case you’re one of those weirdos that takes photos with a big-ass slate, there’s a respectable 5 MP autofocus shooter around the back.

LG G Pad 8.3 – $130 on-contract at Verizon; $350 outright

LG G Pad 8.3

Sometimes, it pays to wait. And oftentimes, smaller and cheaper doesn’t equal weaker and lower-end. Case in point, the almost two year-old 8.3 incher under the microscope here, which features 1,920 x 1,200 screen resolution, Snapdragon 600 power and 2 GB memory in addition to LTE capabilities. At $130, that’s a positively dreamy inventory of hardware components.

Oh, and as far as software goes, Android 5.0 is reportedly nigh.

Verizon Ellipsis 8 – $49.99 on-contract, $299.99 off

We’ll give it to you straight, as usual. If you can do better, ignore the Ellipsis. Don’t buy it outright either, it’s a waste of money. The only wise ploy would be to score it at 50 clams, even if that means pledging a two-year allegiance to the Big Red flag.

verizon_ellipsis_8

Not quite a disaster, the inexpensive 8 incher is probably stuck on KitKat for good, and it provides a lousy gig of RAM. Translation – it’s slow as hell, and opening more than a couple of browser tabs while on 4G may freeze the system instantaneously.

LG G Pad 7.0 – $150 GSM unlocked; $100 with AT&T contracts

LG-G-Pad-7.0

It’s petite, it’s good-looking (all things considered), soon-to-run-Lollipop, quad-core, can work as a universal remote for TVs, sound systems, DVD or Blu-ray players, and “optimized” to last up to 10 hours between charges.

Of course, it’s not high-res (1,280 x 800 pixels), a multitasking beast (1 GB RAM), or photography champ (3.15 and 1.3 megapixels). But it’ll do if $100 is all you have lying around.

Best keyboards for Android tablets available today

They say laptops are for productivity, smartphones for voice and message interaction, while a tablet’s primary goal in life should traditionally be to keep you entertained on the move when a handheld feels small. But times are a-changing, and so, it’s no longer unusual to check out 1,080p, Quad HD or even 4K videos on a 5 to 5.5-inch screen, or see aspiring screenwriters type entire chapters of their hip dystopian scripts on portable slates in Starbucks stores.

keyboard Nexus 9

Some would be fast to point out Microsoft kicked off the trend of the convertible tab with its growingly popular Surface line, but ever since we can remember, Androids supported versatility-enhancing keyboard accessories too.

These days, the abundance of options on the market makes finding the best keyboard for Android tablets seem like the perfect topic for a future Tom Cruise movie, but that’s a good thing when you think about it. Choice is always nice, and today we bring you a slew of excellent OS-agnostic tablet keyboards, plus a few specialized models you can pair with the most popular iPad and Surface Pro rivals:

Best universal tablet keyboards

Hype Ultra-Slim – $14.99

Hype Ultra-Slim

The ultra-low price tips off a basic set of features here, and by no means is this the world’s best Android keyboard. But it’s not the worst either, and uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly connect to an endless supply of Google-endorsed, Apple-backed, and Microsoft-manufactured devices. Including smartphones, and the greatest thing about it (besides its extreme affordability) is the ultra-slim 0.75-inch profile.

Arteck Universal backlit wireless Bluetooth 3.0 keyboard – $17.93

It lights up in need in 7 (fairly cheesy) colors, the brightness is adjustable on two levels, and it offers a neat auto sleep feature for reduced power consumption. Speaking of, the battery should last up to six months, so in addition to convenience, Arteck takes care of complete cable freedom.

AmazonBasics Bluetooth keyboard – $32

AmazonBasics keyboard

No, it’s not just compatible with the e-commerce giant’s Fires, and yes, it is a measly 0.7 inches thin. Granted, it doesn’t look special in any way, and lacks the advanced functionality that will make the next few contenders very hard to turn down.

Nonetheless, it’s whisper quiet, sports scissor-switch keys for effortless typing, and its speed is only rivaled by its accuracy.

EC Technology foldable Bluetooth keyboard – $32.99

EC Technology keyboard

If buying a featherweight like the above few sounds tempting, but you’d rather save space in your backpack than bulk, this flexible ergonomic contraption is the way to go. Despite fitting in your pocket when folded, it’s also “superiorly” rigid and robust, with a body made of aircraft-grade aluminum. Oh, and the keys look great, comfortable, and well-spaced.

MoKo aluminum tri-fold wireless Bluetooth keyboard – $33.99

It’s essentially the same thing as EC’s product, it looks identical both open and closed, it’s strong and handsome but actually promises longer 80-hour endurance (compared to 60h), thanks to a built-in 210 mAh rechargeable Li-polymer battery.

iClever portable foldable Bluetooth keyboard – $35

Another elastic devil, this one is praised in the overall positive Amazon user reviews (4.4 out of 5 stars based on 103 opinions) for its instant activation when unfolded, premium metal construction, good keyboard feedback, spacing and low noise.

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard – $53.95

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard

Arguably the best overall universal Android tablet keyboard, as well as the top choice for smartphones, iPads and Surfaces, Microsoft’s bad boy integrates stand and cover functions into the base keyboard. That means you can easily protect your slate from scratches and prop it up hands-free for the best possible typing and video-watching experience.

In terms of what the actual keyboard can do, it’s all fairly straightforward, with the addition of function keys atop the standard QWERTY layout, plus a battery you only have to charge after six months of constant usage.

Best dedicated Android tablet keyboards

Samsung keyboard case for Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $75

Galaxy Tab S keyboard

The 10.5-inch Super AMOLED Tab S isn’t exactly a young buck anymore, and it’s still rather pricey, but especially when paired with a keyboard that fits like a glove, it’s a must-have for folks seeking an all-competent Android device.

Entertainment, gaming, document editing for work, anything you throw at the first-gen GTab S it can handle. The only fault we can find this beautiful accessory is the lack of a touchpad, despite there clearly being room for one. What the hell, Sammy?

Samsung keyboard case for Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2/Note Pro – $80

Samsung keyboard

Are the “professional” variants of last year’s Galaxy Tab and Note better than the Tab S? Hard to say, but they’re definitely larger, and so look even more like conventional laptops when docked. Of course, what we’re looking at here isn’t a very “smart”, very advanced keyboard dock, also lacking a trackpad (and space for it), but conveniently propping your 12-inch monster up and covering it in “standby” mode.

Nexus 9 keyboard folio – $150

Nexus 9 keyboard

This used to be cheaper, but then again, Google and HTC’s stock Android 9 incher used to be hotter. The good news is the actual N9 is less expensive than ever, so you may afford to cough up a Benjamin and a half on a magnetically attachable, wirelessly pairable accessory that radically improves the user interaction.

The keyboard can function for up to 5 months on a single charge, it folds into two angles for business and pleasure purposes, and when closed, the cover is nearly impenetrable. Sounds like the best of… all worlds.

Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1 – $205 bundle

Asus Transformer Pad

Wait, does 200 bucks really buy a tablet and a keyboard? With a touchpad and a laptop-style, full-size layout? If we’re dreaming, don’t wake us up before we get to try on the quad-core Intel Atom-powered machine for size, and see how it handles tasks both attached and detached.

Lenovo Tab A10 with keyboard – $269

Lenovo Tab A10

It was $30 cheaper a couple of weeks ago, when it secured an easy spot on our top seven list of the best inexpensive 10-inch Androids around. But it’s still not prohibitively priced, regardless of its advanced age and decrepit pre-loaded software, since it’s relatively sleek and slim, plus versatile, thanks to a flawed, cramped-looking yet convenient keyboard.

Best small (7-inch) Android tablets available today

Winter is coming, and with it, comes possibly the most fruitful time of the year for both electronics retailers and tech consumers. Yes, you can find compelling promotions on Android gear from January to December nowadays, as competition heats up, manufacturer profits shrink, and upgrade cycles are shortened.

7 inch tablet

But the best deals on smartphones, tablets, wearables and everything in between still allow you to spend the holidays without worrying the bank accounts are empty, or you’ve been left behind by the latest wave of fall releases.

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, they’re all nigh, and while technically the onslaught of discounts isn’t in effect yet, some of the best small Android tablets can be had for historically low prices. Is it likely they’ll drop any further? Hard to imagine, especially as far the first few models on our list of the best 7-inch tablets around are concerned:

Amazon Fire 7 – $49.99

Fire 7

Is this the world’s best 7 inch tablet at the moment? Hardly. But it’s easily the cheapest, and if you buy five units, the sixth comes free. As always, Amazon doesn’t care about profit margins on hardware sales, aiming instead to draw as many people as possible away from Google apps, and hooked on their own software ecosystem.

That said, the Fire OS 5 Android “fork” is much less intrusive than its predecessors, and most important of all, microSD storage expansion is now permitted. Well, it should really be compulsory on slates with just 8 gigs of internal space, even if the 1,024 x 600 pix res screen will make you think twice before trying to consume or hoard video content.

Toshiba Excite Go – $75

Toshiba Excite Go

The main (only?) selling point of this decrepit KitKat-running gadget has been suppressed by Amazon’s newest ultra-low-cost effort, so Toshiba may as well retire the Excite Go. Unless you absolutely need to have Intel inside every device you own.

Lenovo Tab 2 A7 – $80

Lenovo Tab 2 A7

Still no Lollipop update? Afraid not, though it’s planned, and could make its way over-the-air any day now. On the plus side, the 8-hour advertised battery life sounds pretty good, and it’s all thanks to a frugal but respectably zippy quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek SoC.

The 1,024 x 600 display also plays its part in conserving energy, albeit it’s not necessarily a strong suit of the A7.

BLU Touchbook G7 – $88 GSM unlocked

BLU Touchbook G7

SIM-free phone specialist BLU hasn’t produced a lot of tablets so far, and this G7’s marketing is almost nonexistent, despite only a few months having passed since its launch. Then again, anyone would be ashamed to aggressively promote a gizmo featuring 512 MB RAM, 4 GB ROM, a dual-core MediaTek chip, and 3,000 mAh (!!!) battery in late 2015.

That’s not a tablet, it’s a toy, and the best you can hope to get is a decent e-book reading experience. Relatively smooth web browsing, with a couple of tabs open max, too. Oh, and 3G voice call placing and receiving.

Acer Iconia One 7 B1 – $90

Acer Iconia One 7 B1

Released with pre-loaded Jelly Bean, brought up to KitKat recently, and unlikely to ever score a Lollipop makeover, the B1-730HD is at least 720p-capable, not to mention it can accommodate 16 gigs of data locally.

Sure, microSD cards aren’t overly expensive, but if you’re looking to spend less than a Benjamin on a nice Christmas gift for a loved one, it’s best to keep the slot empty. Too bad the screen bezels are, well, horrible. What’s that, a 50 percent display-to-body ratio? Come on, Acer, you can do better than that!

Asus ZenPad Z170C – $94

Asus ZenPad 7

One of the newest best small Android tablets available on Amazon, this obviously runs Lollipop off the bat (version 5.0), rocks much slimmer borders, the same spacious 16 GB ROM, but a non-HD 1,024 x 600 IPS panel.

Compromises were mandatory to attain a premium design, with ergonomic rounded edges, a fashionable leather back pattern, polished metallic frame, and 8.4 mm profile. Somehow, the 7-inch ZenPad also promises 8 hours of endurance on a single charge, at a measly 265 grams weight, which is probably unfeasible in real life.

LG G Pad 7.0 – $105 AT&T GSM unlocked; $80 Wi-Fi only

lg-g-pad-7.0

Can’t decide between the older, pricier, KitKat-stuck but cellular-enabled model, and the newer, cheaper, Lollipop-boasting but Wi-Fi-limited configuration? We reckon the former is the smarter buy overall, with LTE speeds, Snapdragon 400 power, 16 GB internal storage, and a 5 MP rear camera.

The latter isn’t half bad either, in spite of its missing LTE modem, adopting a Snapdragon 410 processor that should help with autonomy.

Amazon Fire HD 7 – $130

Fire HD 7

Justifying the existence of this OG isn’t easy at almost three times the introductory price of the 2015 Fire 7, particularly sans microSD support, and with an older, uglier, clunkier Fire OS 4 UI. Why is the Fire HD 7 on our list of best current small tablets then?

As the moniker suggests, the display sports HD resolution (1,280 x 800 pixels), and furthermore, you get 1.5 GHz quad-core punch, Dolby Audio stereo sound, 8-hour battery, and a slightly more robust build.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 – $143

Galaxy Tab 4 7.0

Honestly, the sole reason this made the cut is the brand name on it, and the hope it’ll be discounted come Black Friday. $100 would likely be a fair price to pay for Android 4.4 software with TouchWiz atop, a 1,280 x 800 TFT screen, thin bezels, 8 GB flash memory, 1 GB RAM, 3 and 1.3 MP cams, microSD capabilities, a quad-core Marvell SoC, and all the connectivity bare necessities.

Asus/Google Nexus 7 2013 – starting at $149

Nexus 7 2013

It says a lot about the market’s evolution, or rather stagnation, that a two-and-a-half-year-old earns a well-deserved top ten spot, not having to resort to extreme price cuts… yet, and running a newer Android iteration than every single one of its rivals.

Yes, Marshmallow goodies are available OTA for this OG beast, which remains a stunner in the display res department, with 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, and a multitasking champ, courtesy of 2 onboard gigs of random-access memory.

This week’s best deals on phones, tabs, wearables and accessories : June 29 – July 5

Rest? We know not the meaning of the word, as every spare second is spent searching high and low for the best mobile deals to bring you week after week and save you hundreds, hopefully thousands of bucks in the long run.

Savings

We’re tireless, always with at least a browser tab open on Amazon, and we like to cater to your every need, be it a spanking new powerhouse smartphone, backup prepaid handheld, affordable 7 to 8-inch tablet, upper tier 10 inch+ laptop replacement, fancy smartwatch, dependable fitness tracker or accessories of all types, with various use cases.

Today, we’ll admit we’re a little low on high-end slate and watch bargains. But the new arrival phone offers, budget-friendly phones and pads, and rich harvest of discounted mobile accessories should more than please you. Here goes:

This week’s best handheld deals

 

HTC One M9 – $50 with Verizon contracts; $100 at Sprint

verizon-htc-one-m9

It’s not very typical of a “mainstream” flagship to get an on-contract price cut roughly three months after its market debut, but let’s not act astounded. We knew this moment was coming, given how little effort HTC put into “upgrading” last year’s One M8, which in turn was a little too similar to the M7.

The million 50-dollar question is should you buy the reduced M9? It’s far more tempting, we’ll give Verizon and Sprint that, but it still doesn’t feel like a wise purchase compared to, say, the $200 and up LG G4. Maybe if carriers give it away for free…?

Lenovo Vibe Shot – starting at $378

Never heard of the camera virtuoso before? Well, it literally just went on sale stateside (via importers), and if you’re into digital photography, it’s a must-buy. Not particularly expensive, it offers 16 MP triple-LED flash imaging muscle, 8 megapixels of selfie prowess, octa-core 64-bit Snapdragon 615 punch, Full HD 5-inch resolution, 3 GB RAM (!!), and 32 GB internal storage (!!!).

Not to mention the stunning, unparalleled design and 4G LTE connectivity, albeit restricted stateside.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – $786 unlocked

Galaxy-S6-Edge

Finally, some breathing room for cash-strapped S6 Edge prospective buyers. Granted, the tariff still sits dangerously close to the prohibitive $800 mark, so perhaps it’d be smarter to keep an eye on the listing and wait for a further trim. At $700 or so, it’d become impossible to refuse the dual-curved metal-and-glass beast.

LG G3 S – $198

Not a powerhouse by any means, an exciting newcomer or even respectable upper mid-range soldier, the diminutive G3 S nonetheless provides plenty of bang for your buck. A 5-inch 720p display, Lollipop software, quad-core S400 chip, 8 MP LED flash cam, 2,540 mAh battery and standout build quality. Be afraid, Motorola, be very afraid!

Huawei SnapTo – $160

Huawei SnapTo

Another direct Moto G rival, the SnapTo saw daylight more recently, but is stuck on decrepit 4.4 KitKat at the moment. It also fails to impress in the photography and autonomy departments, with a 5 MP shooter and 2,200 mAh cell, but it’s cheaper now and touts a sharp HD 5-inch panel.

Inexpensive tablets for everybody

 

Acer Iconia One 7 – $55 certified refurbished with 16 GB storage

You never imagined you’d be able to score the One 7 for even less than $90, did you? Then again, at $55, you have to make a very serious compromise, settling for a pre-owned Jelly Bean 7 incher with only 90 days covered by the manufacturer’s hardware warranty. Tough call.

Dell Venue 8 – $125 in red; $130 black

Dell Venue 8

Want us to make your next pad buying decision easy as pie? Enter the $125 Full HD 8-inch Venue. It’s larger than the Iconia above, much sharper (1,920 x 1,200 pixels), KitKat leads the software show, and you have your zippy Intel Atom inside, backed by 1 GB RAM.

Lenovo Tab A10 keyboard bundle – $249

Lenovo Tab A10

Looking for something slightly more productive than the Venue 8? You can’t go wrong with the versatile Tab A10, which also stands out courtesy of generous screen real estate, stellar battery life and top-notch audio performance.

LG G Pad 8.0 – $169

Back to compact, ultra-affordable tabs, the G Pad 8.0 files Android 5.0 Lollipop under major selling points, alongside decent design, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC and 16 GB memory.

Wearable deals and steals

 

Sony SmartWatch 3 – $175

You know what’s sad… for Sony, and extremely pleasant for us? The SmartWatch 3 is really worth more, what with its GPS tracking abilities, waterproof skeleton, new version of Android Wear and all-around rich sensor support.

Sony SmartWatch 3

But so many early smartwatch adopters let aesthetics cloud their judgment, which is why this somewhat unattractive, bulky timepiece may soon go down to $150. Yay!

Jawbone Up 24 – starting at $65

Technically archaic and discontinued, the non-screen-sporting activity tracker can do the job it knows best as proficiently as when it started selling. It’s not fancy, it’s not pretty and strictly from a visual standpoint, it doesn’t merit $65.

But if you want something simple, uncluttered and skilled in the step-counting, calorie-measuring, sleep-monitoring areas, you better act before the Up 24 vanishes altogether.

Mobile accessories promotions  

 

AmazonBasics Ultra-Portable Mini Bluetooth speaker – $29.99 (25 percent off)

AmazonBasics speaker

Five colors, 3W power, 30-feet Bluetooth range, up to 10 hours autonomy on a single charge, one-year warranty (straight from Amazon), 0.6 pounds weight, 3.3 x 1.7 x 2.6 inches dimensions, 4.4 stars average on 282 customer reviews. Shall we go on? Clearly, this is a very robust low-cost, compact speaker proposal.

Philips BT100B/37 wireless mini compact portable Bluetooth speaker – $21

Talk about a battle that’s too close to call. Even smaller, lighter and cheaper than the AmazonBasics speaker, this Philips item only provides 2-watt output power, lasts around eight hours between charges and sports a built-in microphone for hands-free phone calls.

Yootech Qi wireless charging pad – $13.99 (72 percent off)

It works with all Qi-enabled Androids around, from the Galaxy S6 to the LG G4, Moto 360, Nexus 5 and HTC Droid DNA (!!!), and it’s dirt-cheap. What more do you need to know?

RAVPower 3,000 mAh power bank – $5.99 ($34 savings)

RAVPower 3000

Oh, come on, a universal external charger for 6 bucks? I’ll take a dozen, leave one in every piece of luggage I own, and that way, make sure I’m always prepared to travel, never dependent on power outlets. Of course, the exterior doesn’t recommend the accessory as a manly holiday item, but I’ll find a way to camouflage them.

LG Tone Infinim Bluetooth stereo headset – $84

It’s perhaps expensive for a typical wireless headset, but the Tone Infinim isn’t very “typical” or humdrum, with “premium” Harman Kardon sound, retractable earbuds, robust metallic finish and AptX compatibility.

Flexion Kinetic Series wireless Bluetooth headphones – $49.99

Flexion headphones

It goes without saying these tiny headphones aren’t as potent as LG’s, yet their main selling point lies elsewhere – in resistance to sweat, signal enhancement technology, custom fit design and very easy to master interface, all of which combine to yield the ideal workout smartphone aid.

Best kid-friendly Android tablets available today (June 2015 edition)

There hasn’t been a lot of movement on the children-focused gadget release front this past year, between the time we rounded up the top tablet choices for your little ones and now. But maybe it’s a false sense of quiet we’re picking up, and device manufacturers simply opted to reduce their marketing efforts in the niche.

little-kid-tablet

After all, it’s a very particular industry segment the likes of Samsung, Amazon, Fuhu and Leapfrog are dealing with here, and the target audience probably doesn’t respond to traditional promotional tactics.

Mobile and computer expo showcases, press announcement distribution via conventional channels, TV ads, they’re all decidedly archaic and inefficient when toddlers and teens split their time between school, fun outdoor activities (hopefully), and social media (sadly).

kid using tablet

But reaching out to parents is no doubt the key to the hearts of youngsters, and word-of-mouth, market longevity, as well as frequent discounts often produce the best sales results. Playing our part as always without trying to sell you anything, here are our kid-friendly Android tab recommendations for June 2015, based on Amazon user reviews, age and affordability, ordered from the cheapest to the costliest:

InnoTab 3S Plus – $55 in blue; $68 pink

Less pricey than a set of Harry Potter Blu-ray discs, at least in blue, the 3S Plus is what they call a “learning” tablet. Translation – it’s not a powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination, and gifting it to a kid over the age of ten will end up in a bad time for the both of you.

InnoTab 3S Plus

The main forte here is hands down the “age appropriate downloadable content” ranging from 2 to 9 years, which guarantees your child’s unique educational and playing needs will be fulfilled in the long haul. If the 4.3 incher (yes, it’s that small) lasts, of course.

Now, build quality typically corresponds with a slate’s price range, but the low-cost Innotab looks fairly robust at a first glance, so you could let its “owner” play on it unsupervised from time to time.

Dragon Touch 7 2015 edition – $60

With Zoodles pre-installed, it’s easy to set up parental controls and block unwanted content on this surprisingly advanced 7 incher, despite there being Google Play access. KitKat software, backed by a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, ensures the Dragon Touch can breeze through videos and games, although the 512 MB RAM is certainly skimpy.

Dragon Touch 7

Durable and lightweight at the same time, the silicone case-protected Android is rated an impressive 4.7 out of 5 starts on Amazon, after over 100 customer reviews. That’s essentially the ultimate quality assurance.

LeapFrog LeapPad 3 – $78 and up

Technically, this is built on a proprietary operating system that has nothing to do with Android, so it shouldn’t even be on our list. But we’re willing to make an exception, seeing how popular the tiny 5 incher still is.

LeapPad 3

It’s not pretty, it’s not new, very complex, packed with innovative features or engaging apps and games. But the custom-designed learning library includes everything you could want to give junior the best possible 21st century education. Also, the LeapPad 3 can access the web (under close supervision), and effortlessly takes a beating sans cracking.

LeapPad Ultra – $94

LeapPad Ultra

Better in every way than its little brother, the Ultra of course targets a slightly more mature, pretentious audience. With “fancy” things like a 7-inch 1,024 x 600 pix res touchscreen, 6 hour+ battery life, dual 2 MP cams, 8 GB internal storage and free $80 worth of bundled software. No wonder it’s Amazon’s overall best seller in “kids’ electronic learning & education systems.”

Kurio Xtreme – $140

Any tweener fathers or mothers tuning in? We know 140 bucks is starting to feel somewhat extravagant for a glorified electronic toy, but the Xtreme is actually fairly close to your standard, non-kid-friendly Android slate.

Kurio Xtreme

It’s got KitKat pre-loaded (with certain restrictions, obviously), a punchy dual-core 1.2 GHz Intel Atom processor inside, plus 1 GB RAM, 16 GB storage space, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a couple of powerful speakers, 3,000 mAh battery and 2.1/0.3 MP cameras in tow.

It also offers a bunch of “management”, filtering and control options, and can withstand a few drops, thanks to a “bumpertastic” design.

Fuhu Nabi DreamTab HD8 – $148

As the name suggests, animation studio DreamWorks fiddled with the 8 incher to set it apart from the crowd, providing exclusive free apps, games and video content. But that’s not the only “dreamy” thing about the DreamTab HD, a piece of gear we’re sure many parents would love to rock themselves.

Fuhu Nabi DreamTab

Yes, this one’s an all-family entertainment device, what with its ultra-sharp 1,920 x 1,200 panel, fast and furious quad-core Tegra 4 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 5 MP rear camera and 4,500 mAh battery. If it wasn’t for the obviously children-proof exterior, we could easily mistake it for a mainstream iPad mini rival.

Amazon Fire HD 6 Kids Edition – $149

50 whole bucks costlier than the base Fire HD 6, Amazon’s rookie 6-inch niche entry is not only “unsurpassed in reliability”, courtesy of Gorilla Glass and rubberized cover protection. It’s also fully endorsed for two years of damage and no-charge, no-questions-asked replacement.

Fire HD 6 Kids Edition

Shall we even delve into the unlimited, free access to curated, kid-friendly proprietary content or are you sold already? Yeah, we think $149 is pretty irresistible too, as things stand.

Fire HD 7 Kids Edition – $189 and up

Fire HD 7 Kids Edition

If size is your sole gripe with the HD 6 Kids, the 7 incher offers the same worry-free guarantee, unbreakable chassis and stellar specs… for the product category: 1,280 x 800 screen resolution, quad-core power, 1 GB RAM, up to 8 hours of battery.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids – $240 brand new; $125 certified refurbished

Let’s keep it short. We analyzed the entry-level, bumper case-shielded pad last year, and you can probably imagine the 1,024 x 600 display, humble dual-core 1.2 GHz SoC and 3 MP/1.3 MP snappers don’t get better with age.

Galaxy Tab 3 Kids

That said, the refurb model is pretty tempting if you can grab it before it vanishes, even if it’s just covered by a 90-day standard warranty. Otherwise, Samsung must cook up hefty price cuts and one or two software updates. Jelly Bean is unacceptable this day and age!

Fuhu Nabi Big Tab HD – $550

Wait, $550?!? Exactly how big is the Big Tab again? Well, if you must know, it’s 23.6 inches in diagonal and tips the scales at 13 pounds (!!!). Why in God’s name would a kid, or for that matter grown-up, ever need this kind of lavish screen real estate?

Fuhu Nabi Big Tab

Well, Fuhu actually promotes the colossus as a family-oriented TV substitute which you can move from room to room with relative ease for increased convenience. Plus, mom and dad don’t have to take turns enjoying their young ones’ company, teaching them something through technology and having fun together. It’s a funky concept and execution, clearly, but it may appeal to some (wealthy) parents.

Best sub-$150 Android tablets available today (May 2015 edition)

Although we haven’t gone through an entire “upgrade cycle” since July 2014, when we first rounded up your top ultra-affordable Android tablet options, the seven-name list from ten months ago feels dated enough.

150 dollars

It’s time we revisited and revised it therefore, expanding the “magnificent seven” to a “grandiose ten”, as the market greatly diversified and grew in size bolstered by a free fall of premium, extravagantly priced models, iPads included.

As “traditional” PCs, particularly laptops and mini-laptops, slowly but steadily recover their mainstream charm, the demand for not-very-compact, bulky yet unproductive 10-inch+ slates dwindles. Meanwhile, 7 and 8 inchers need crystal-clear distinguishing features and functions to survive. Namely, extreme affordability and respectable bang for buck.

Android shopping

Without further ado, we give you the world’s best sub-$150 Android tablets widely available stateside today, ordered by their current Amazon price tags:

Fire HD 7 – $139 with special offers and 8 GB storage

One of the newest entries in this competitive niche, the 800p 7-inch Fire isn’t exactly dirt-cheap. Not if you want to “locally” hoard a few movies and a couple of gigs of music, with the 16 GB non-microSD-supporting configuration starting at $159.

Fire HD 7

Another major flaw is Amazon’s awkward Android fork, devoid of all Google services and apps. On the plus side, you get a surprisingly fast quad-core processor clocked at up to 1.5 GHz and decent 8-hour battery.

Acer Iconia One 8 B1-810 – $135

Larger than most of our low-cost contenders, at 8 inches, the Iconia One 8 is hardly a looker, but it’s reasonably slim and light, weighing 12 ounces while measuring 0.33 inches in depth. 16 GB internal storage is really the best you can hope for so close to a Benjamin, and the 5 MP rear-facing camera should produce above-average stills.

Acer Iconia One 8

Of course, KitKat runs the software show, and a Lollipop update is but a distant dream. Also, the quad-core 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3735G doesn’t quite qualify as a powerhouse. Even by mid-range standards.

Asus MeMo Pad 7 ME176CX – $125

Our first returning title challenger from last year lost some of its pizazz lately, sticking to the age-old KitKat guns when so many rookies retaliate with Lollipop bombs. At the end of the day however, the HD 7 incher doesn’t show its advanced age, perhaps needing an additional $25 or so trim to clear up remaining stocks once and for all.

Asus ME176CX

Can you imagine, scoring a 16 GB tab with quad-core Intel Atom inside, 1 GB RAM and 8-hour juice in exchange for a measly Benjamin?

LG G Pad 7.0 – $122 LTE unlocked; $135 international Wi-Fi-only; $100 and up at AT&T

Did anybody say Lollipop? Ah, yes, the smallest G Pad to date delivers Android 5.0 goodies, at least “internationally”, whereas the US AT&T-usable cellular version is so inexpensive, you’ll forget it’s still on 4.4.

LG G Pad 7.0

Other fortes? Well, the 1,280 x 800 pix res panel is sharp albeit it’s beginning to feel like a given, and the quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip should easily outpace previous-generation Atoms.

Dell Venue 8 – $119

Once upon a time up for grabs at $200, the “newest version” of Dell’s entry-level Venue 8 (read sans 3D camera gimmicks) takes the cake with a vibrant 1,920 x 1,200 display. It’s as simple as this – if you’re looking for the cheapest on-the-go Netflix streamer, look no more.

Dell Venue 8

Otherwise, the aging 8 incher is not without its share of weak points: a humble dual-core Intel Atom Z3480 SoC, Android 4.4, humdrum design.

Dell Venue 7 – $119

Dell Venue 7

Why in the world would a sane person pay the same amount of cash on a 7-inch HD Dell Venue as the Full HD 8 incher? It boggles the mind, which is why we’re ready to bet the Venue 7 will soon drop to $100. Maybe less. You just wait and see.

Lenovo Tab 2 A7-30 – $99.99

Aw yeah, now we’re talking. Welcome to the sweet, sweet land of sub-$100 Android gear. No contractual obligations, no strings attached. Just a bunch of compromises and sacrifices. For instance, flash memory here caps off at 8 gigs, so besides the pre-loaded Android 4.4 OS, you almost can’t store a thing sans bringing in a microSD card.

Lenovo A7-30

At least you’re allowed to add external space in the mix, and the “enhanced” Dolby audio system is certainly a nice surprise. So is the impending Lollipop makeover, respectable quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek CPU and 8-hour battery life. Too bad we can’t say the same about the cringe worthy 1,024 x 600 pix res screen.

Amazon Fire HD 6 – $99

Fire HD 6

Closed ecosystem, tiny footprint, no microSD, mono speaker, crappy dual cameras, chunky profile. Why bother then with the world’s only non-voice-call-enabled 6 incher? For one thing, you get a crisp 252 ppi display. Then there’s that 1.5 GHz quad-core processor also found inside the Fire HD 7. Autonomy is fairly impressive too, all things considered, at “8 hours of mixed use.”

Finally, unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content is clearly nothing to sneeze at.

Toshiba Excite Go – $87

Well, hello there, our old, remarkably unpretentious friend! It’s good to see you around a whole year after your formal introduction. Cheaper than ever before, no less. If only you’d make the jump to Lollipop already, and somehow improve your shoddy screen resolution.

Toshiba Excite Go

On the bright side, quad-core Intel Atom power remains a key selling point at a fraction of the price of a Nexus 9 keyboard. Just the keyboard, you understand?

Asus MeMo Pad 7 ME170CX – $80

Don’t ever die on us, sweet KitKat-based, 16 GB storage-packing prince. Yes, you’re decrepit in more ways than one, and deeply flawed, what with your 1,024 x 600 WSVGA panel, dual-core 1.2 GHz Intel chipset, 2 MP rear camera, VGA front shooter and 6-hour or so pacemaker.

Asus ME170CX

But you’re cheaper than a first-gen Moto E, yet can accommodate a good dozen of semi-high-quality movies for when there’s no room for the 15-inch notebook in our travel knapsack. Europe, here we come!

Best low-cost 4G LTE Android tablets available on major US networks

Stacking up on LTE-enabled gear for the cold season and would love to have something left in your bank accounts at the end of the holiday shopping season? Don’t want to make the choice between a spanking new Android tablet and food, as you’re afraid you’ll die of starvation playing Temple Run 2?

LG G Pad 8.3 LTE

Then maybe the wise call would be settling just for a fresh LTE smartphone. But if you listen to our recommendations, it’s virtually impossible to go broke simply from spending, say, $200 on a Moto G 4G.

So if the piggybank isn’t completely empty, we give you the seven best, cheapest LTE-capable Android slates available in the States. We’ll get to the names and ranking in a minute, but before, let’s list our selection criteria to avoid discussions and general complaints:

  • Affordability – since carrier subsidies are minuscule compared to on-contract discounts for smartphones, and solid sub-$200 no-contract tabs are as easy to find as unicorns, we’ve raised the pricing bar a little. Not a lot though, so anything costing north of $350 sans pacts is a no-go.

LTE speeds

  • Wide US availability – network backing from at least one of the “big four” is a must for obvious reasons, and Amazon is as always our online retailer of choice.
  • Quality-price ratio – it’s not enough for a slate to be affordable to make our listicle. It has to offer bang for buck. Likewise, we’re always willing to recommend spending a little extra in exchange of excellence.

And now let’s get to it:

7. Verizon Ellipsis 7 – $0.01 with service agreements, $249.99 without contract

The prospect of accessing Big Red’s high-speed 4G connectivity options on a 7-inch screen for just one penny is probably irresistible for most budget tech consumers. Yet you may want to think this through before doing something you’ll end up regretting.

Ellipsis 7

Yes, we’ve certainly seen worse. But why be so skimpy when, you’ll see, $100 buys a lot more? A whole lot more than this ultra-bezel-y, fugly, low-res, laggy gizmo. Okay, maybe we’re pushing it to prove a point. Yet there’s a reason the Ellipsis finished this in last place. Make that several: Android 4.2, 10 mm profile, 4,000 mAh battery, 3 MP rear camera with no flash or autofocus.

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 – $244.77 outright with Sprint-friendly LTE

Even though we’re dealing with a prettier, lighter, more reliable Samsung than the no-name Ellipsis, we’ll be just as brutally honest and admit the Tab 3 7.0 also made the list thanks squarely to its low, low price.

Galaxy Tab 3 7.0

Technically, lower than the no-contract retail costs of the Ellipsis, though by very, very little. In the hardware department, we’re actually looking at a worse slab, packed with a sluggish dual-core chip and also towing a modest 4,000 mAh juicer. Meanwhile, the 7-inch screen is horrible, at 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution and 170 ppi.

So yeah, it’s an option, but only if you can’t afford something better.

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 – $299.99 with no contracts for Sprint

Something better, like Tab 3 7.0’s 2014 follow-up, erm, spin-off. This thing isn’t drastically improved by no means, but it’s only $50 or so pricier and it at least increases RAM by 50 percent (1.5 gigs now), and ups the screen res ante to 1,280 x 800.

Galaxy-Tab4-7.0

Oh, yeah, and you get quad-core punch now, plus an even slimmer figure, with no impact whatsoever on battery life. Bottom line, we’re still a long way from perfection, but we’re clearly progressing.

4. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX – $279 for AT&T or Verizon with “special offers” and no contractual obligations

We’re no extreme Android purists, so we can certainly appreciate the benefits of a nice, smooth, non-intrusive custom-made UI, but what Amazon does to Android isn’t customization or skinning. It’s altering it from the roots, and we don’t like that one bit.

Which is a terrible shame, I tell you, because from a technical standpoint, the Fire HDX is a whopper. That display may be small, but it’s packed with pixels (1,920 x 1,200 resulting in top-level 323 ppi), then you have a fast and furious quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 generous GB of RAM and a battery supposedly capable of lasting hours and hours of “mixed use”.

Amazon-Kindle-Fire-HDX-7

Yes, the microSD card slot absence is a major flaw, but slap an actual flavor of Android on this baby, offer freedom of choice between Google Play and Amazon Appstore and we’d have no problem in promoting the Fire HDX to the podium. Maybe the top spot.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 – $200 with Verizon pacts, $340 outright

Sad to see the Fire HDX miss bronze by a whisker? You’re about to get sadder. Aside from running a copy of Android KitKat that, you know, looks like Android, and allowing Big Red customers to get a discount in exchange of a 24-month commitment, the Tab 4 8.0 has nothing on Amazon’s OG 7 incher. Nada.

Galaxy Tab 4 8.0

Well, size, yeah, and also expandable storage, but what about the positively lackluster 1,280 x 800 panel? The snail-like 1.2 GHz quad-core SoC? The 1.5 GB RAM? Ugh, how we hate encouraging mediocrity.

2. Google Nexus 7 2013 – $250 and $350 on Verizon, $404 in flavor compatible with other networks

Wait, the legendary second-generation vanilla Android-powered Nexus 7 has had its budget crown dispossessed? Sounds hard to believe, but it’s true. Yes, it’s the end of an era, and in part, you can blame the limited inventory most retailers seem to retain these days.

Clearly, N7 2013’s days are numbered, but at least its legacy will be carried on with pride by a larger, somewhat similar albeit not stock Android-running tablet. Before paying our respects to the new champion though, let’s underline the 7-inch “new” Nexus is a deserving silver medalist.

Nexus 7 2013

Sure, it lost some of its charm, its je ne sais quoi, yet the 1,920 x 1,200 pix res display remains a monster, and so does the quad-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro chip. And remember, Android L will swing by the Nexus line first and foremost.

1. LG G Pad 8.3 – $99.99 with Verizon contracts; $299.99 outright

Would you look at that, the G Pad 8.3 can be had for as little as one measly Benjamin, yet its spec sheet includes top-level stuff like a comfortably large, slim-bezeled, high-resolution 1,920 x 1,200 IPS screen, punchy quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU and 2 GB RAM.

LG G Pad 8.3

Not to forget the beefy 4,600 mAh battery, the incredibly slim (all things considered) 8.3 mm profile, microSD support, 5 MP rear camera and, starting a couple of months back, Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

It’s the near-flawless blend of affordability, raw power, great looks, portability and productivity and, best of all, it works both on Wi-Fi and 4G LTE on America’s biggest service provider. Your tough decision has become a no-brainer all of a sudden, eh?

Best Android tablets and deals for back to school season 2014

Sorry to break it to you, kids, but summer is nearly finished and the start of the new school year is upon us. And sorry to be the bearer of bad news, parents, however like it or not, your monthly spending budget will skyrocket in the coming weeks.

Tablet in school

Tuition fees aside, you have textbooks to take care of, new, hip clothes for your offspring to show off his or hers unique fashion style, plus the ultimate marker of the continuous 21st century education advances: gadgets.

Whether we’re talking smartphones, tablets or laptops (or something in between, like a hybrid), your children need gizmos to handle their homework, keep up with their friends and relax during study breaks.

Kids using tablets

But what to choose to deliver a perfect multi-purpose learning/entertainment experience, and not cost an arm and a leg? A MacBook? An iPad? A Microsoft Surface? Nah, Android is, as always, the answer to all your prayers, with the following magnificent seven providing solutions for every possible desire or need:

The budget champion – Google Nexus 7 2013

Ah, the classic second-generation Asus-made, Google-promoted N7. Always a crowd pleaser, and especially when you work hard for every penny you make. The Nexus 7 2013 is mom and dad’s safest bet in terms of compact, easy to carry slates with plenty of punch to handle both gaming and quick Wikipedia research for, say, chem papers.

Nexus 7 2013

And kids, we know you really, really, really wished for an iPad Air because the football team’s captain and the lead cheerleader each own one, but come to think of it, aren’t the two glorious d-bags? Be unique, be smart, and don’t talk back to your old man when he buys you the N7 2013.

At $218 in a 16 GB Wi-Fi-only variation, it secures a healthy college fund boost. Or, better yet, get a certified refurbished (read like new) 16 GB-er, and only spend $165. In the mood for spoiling your “heir”? The 32 GB model is $262, and LTE versions start at $340.

The ultimate gamer – Nvidia Shield Tablet

Tread carefully here, parents, and make sure you know what you’re getting yourselves into. The Shield Tablet is a highly addictive console-type device, with “extreme” performance, power and portability. By itself, it’s $299, but if you really trust and want to spoil your spawn, the $60 wireless controller and $40 tablet cover are also must-buys.

Shield Tablet

And yes, in theory, the Shield is a multi-purpose 8 incher, being just as fitting for mundane tasks like online research, e-mail or homework dispatch like any standard, non-gaming-focused Android tab. It’s just that, once it gets in your blood, you won’t feel like doing much reading or calculus.

The productivity hero – Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1

Technically, we really could have picked any one of Asus’ countless Transformer Pad family members to nominate in this category. Every last one of them can seamlessly convert from a tab to a mini-laptop and offer optional physical keyboards, opening up a sea of possibilities for classroom, home and on-the-go use.

asus-transformer-pad-tf103c

But the TF103C-A1 is not just productive and versatile, it’s damn cheap too, at $289, with the docking station included. To be clear, less than three Benjamins buy you a KitKat-running, quad-core Intel Atom-packing 10-inch slate which you can turn into a KitKat-running, quad-core-packing 10-inch notebook whenever, wherever.

The kiddie favorite – Fuhu Nabi 2

Guess there’s not a whole lot left to say about the OG Nabi 2 after it topped our kid-friendly Android tab charts, despite recently celebrating its two-year anniversary. Except that it’s now even cheaper than before, at $155.88.

Fuhu-Nabi-2

And your 3, 4, 5, possibly 6 and 7-year-olds will love you to death when you give it to them. Even when you’ll insist on restricting their light gaming time and cranking up their learning-through-gaming.

Best for reading – Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Say what you will about Amazon’s Android fork, or its stubbornness to ban Google Play access, but buy your kid a Kindle Fire HD or HDX and trust me, you’ll get them reading in no time. Amazon’s library is gigantic, and there’s such a multitude and variety of free titles that a normal person would need ten lifetimes to go through them all.

Kindle Fire HD

The amazing display of even the most affordable Fire HD, the $139 8 GB 7 incher, makes the experience that much harder to forget, and the beefy battery makes sure you aren’t interrupted just as the big twist starts unraveling. Oh, yeah, and the HD and HDX are pretty cool for gaming, multimedia or browsing too, particularly the 8.9 inchers that start at $320.

Parents’ choice – Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Look, it’s good to be modest, self-conscious and look out for the best interests of your children first and foremost, but hey, you deserve a little treat once in a while too. Or a big one, if you don’t mind coughing up $650 for the 32 GB Note Pro 12.2.

Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

It’s well deserving, what with its mouth-watering screen real estate, 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution, 3 GB RAM and Snapdragon 800 oomph. Alternatively, if you hate being a big spender, or just can’t afford to spend that much, the Dell Venue 7 is nowadays a pithy $128.

That’s an incredible 100 bucks off the mid-ranger’s list price, which makes it the kind of bargain parents live for. Besides, the Venue 7 is nowhere near as technically humble as the discounted retail value suggests, carrying a whopping on-board 2 gigs of RAM among others.

Teachers’ choice – Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

This wouldn’t be a complete back-to-school guide without a recommendation for educators, who need to stay in touch with the latest technology trends themselves. And what better way to balance work and fun than purchasing a gizmo designed specifically for quick, easy note-taking?

Granted, that’s why the Note Pro 12.2 is around, and the Note 10.1 2014 Edition caters to the same exact needs as well. Only the Note 8.0 does it at the best price, $270, also allowing for the easiest transportation, which is a key factor for a teacher whose satchel is always full and heavy.

There you go, toddlers, tweens, teens, parents and teachers. Seven (mostly affordable) ways to make back-to-school season more easily digestible. Come on now, September 4 doesn’t have to be such a sad, sad day, does it?

Best sub-$150 Android tablets available today (July 2014 edition)

A whole lot can change in the shifty tech décor in the space of nine months. Heck, even one month sometimes makes a world of difference. Take last month. Lenovo rolled out a slew of A-series budget-conscious slates, HP and Toshiba one-upped each other with the dirt-cheap 7 Plus and Excite Go, and Asus refreshed the increasingly successful MeMo Pad family.

Android shopping bag

Just like that, we got half a dozen of brand new contenders at the low-cost, lightweight crown, and in case our little listicle from back October 2013 wasn’t dated enough, all these exciting releases prompted an immediate update.

Since only one of the fresh title candidates fits the old budget though, we’ve decided to supplement it with 50 bucks. After all, you need to keep up with technological progress, and often, that means ponying up a bit of extra dough. Not a lot. Clearly, $150 is no small fortune.

Android money

Besides, our latest top picks for the best affordable Android tablets around still include a $100, $110 and $120 slab, so if $150 is too steep for your monthly spending plan, you’ve got options. Without further ado, here they all are:

7. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

I can just about hear Amazon admirers boiling with rage at Fire HD’s “offensive” number seven ranking, but you should actually take it as a compliment. A most flattering compliment, given the 7 incher’s advanced age. Mind you, four of its six rivals are barely a month old.

Kindle-Fire-HD-7

Meanwhile, the Fire HD is nearly ready to blow out its birthday candles for the second time. So yeah, it’s amazing it made the charts, but not at all surprising looking at some of its specs: 1,280 x 800 pix res IPS LCD screen, 1 GB RAM, 10-hour battery life (in “mixed” use). Too bad about its decrepit TI OMAP chip, microSD absence and clunky OS.

6. HP 7 Plus

Our sole sub-$100 contender offers exactly the kind of humble features we’ve come to expect from sub-$100 tablets. But hey, it’s one lousy Benjamin, so don’t even think of complaining about the laggy quad-core 1 GHz Allwinner CPU, crappy 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution display, painful 2 MP camera or minuscule 2,800 mAh battery.

hp-7-plus

If you really want something to bitch about, I guess the pre-loaded aging copy of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean best fits the description. On the bright side, HP discounted the low-ender to $84.99 for a second there, so similar deals are likely in the cards for the near future.

5. Lenovo IdeaTab A8-50

I could’ve just as well picked one of A8’s little A7 siblings, especially since they have the affordability edge, but ultimately, the richer screen real estate propelled the A8 in our top seven list. Also, the generous 16 GB storage space.

Lenovo A8

The 8-inch panel ain’t bad resolution-wise either, at 1,280 x 800, and the cameras are pretty impressive all things considered: 5 and 2 megapixels. So then why on Earth couldn’t Lenovo set up the A8 with KitKat out the box? Anyone?

4. Acer Iconia A1-830

Exactly as large and cheap as Lenovo’s bad boy, but boasting a crappier 1,024 x 768 display, the A1-830 prevails in the processing power battle, thanks to a dual-core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560 SoC, as well as in the battery life bout (up to 7.5 hours of continuous juice).

Acer-Iconia-A1-830

It’s also overall sleeker and more elegant than the A8-50, which sadly can’t hide the fact it too runs Jelly Bean. “Upgradeable to Android 4.4 KitKat when available”, Acer says. Yo Acer, KK has been available for roughly eight months now.

3. Toshiba Excite Go

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Best Buy sells the Excite Go for $99.99?!? That has to be a mistake. The MSRP is $110, and it’s way too early for discounts. Oh, well, maybe it’s a limited-time deal. In which case you better hurry up and order it.

Toshiba-Excite-Go

Then again, even at $110, this is a must-buy. It’s one of the very few in its class powered by Android 4.4 KitKat, it tips the scales at 354 grams and packs quad-core oomph, courtesy of an Intel Atom Z3735G. Yes, the 7-inch display is cringe worthy, sporting 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution, and yes, there’s only a disappointing VGA front-facing cam and no rear snapper.

But erm, KitKat for 100 clams? I’ll eat my hat if you find an OEM as high-profile as Toshiba that offers something similar.

2. Asus MeMo Pad 7 ME176CX

The newest MeMo Pad is by far the zippiest and most frugal, carrying an outstanding quad-core 64-bit (!) Intel Atom Z3745 “Bay Trail” processor beneath its hood. The chip delivers around eight hours of autonomy, and, with the exception of cameras, everything else about the MeMo Pad 7 is state-of-the-art… for mid-range standards.

Asus MeMo Pad 7

The 7-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS panel is as good as it gets, Android 4.4 KitKat is as smooth as it gets, and 1 GB RAM takes care of the multitasking business. Tech hoarders have 16 GB of internal storage to use, plus up to 64 gigs external, and not only is the tab elegant, it’s also stylish, rocking four distinct chromatic options: white, black, red and yellow.

1. Dell Venue 7

Believe it or not, we’re not done yet. Because as awesome as the ME176CX is, the Venue 7 is actually awesomer. How’s that even possible? Simple: 2 GB RAM. Sure, the Intel Atom Z2560 inside Dell’s 7 incher is considerably less punchy than MeMo Pad’s Bay Trail. And the software isn’t quite up to date: 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Dell Venue 7

Plus, the Venue 7 is somehow just as thin as the MeMo Pad 7, yet 20 or so grams heavier. But at the end of the day, the extra gig of RAM makes all the compromises worth it. For crying out loud, Dell used to charge a whopping $230 for the 7-inch Venue. Needless to say therefore that $144 is an extraordinary bargain.

What say you, bargain hunters? Agree with our list entirely? Only partially? Which parts would you alter? Sound off below. We’re all ears.

Best kid-friendly Android tablets: top picks, best deals and crucial pointers

So your little one is growing up. Fast. And as he or she is starting to pick up on what tickles your fancy, expect to notice major changes in behavior, interests and “hobbies”. What’s that, I’m preaching to the choir? Then let’s skip the introductions and get right down to the meat of it.

Kids with tablets

The playground, education, your offspring’s whole mental and physical development, they’re entirely different ballgames than what you remember from way back when you were a squirt. Hide-and-seek is no longer hip. Card games are boring, dodgeball is for losers, hopscotch is a thing of the past and so is “I spy” or Marco Polo.

Meanwhile, what goes down in kindergartens and schools resembles sci-fi movie storylines rather than similar activities from three, five, ten years ago. You’ve been caught in the middle of a digital revolution and adapting to new trends is not a choice.

Bottom line, you have to buy your bambino his own tablet. Maybe a smartphone and laptop too, but that’s a discussion for another time. Right now, let’s see what your best Android slate choices are and how many of the obligatory boxes they tick.

android.child

Keep in mind some of the options below suit the needs of toddlers first and foremost (yes, you may want to get him an Android gizmo that early), others are specifically designed for kids aged 3 to 5, 6 to 9 or tweens.  

6. Kurio 7S – $89.99 via Amazon; $99.99 from Best Buy, Toys R Us and Walmart

Right off the bat, this thing’s fundamental flaw is obvious. It doesn’t come from a household name in the hardware manufacturing business, or an OEM with a great tradition in building children-focused gear. So it’s normal to be a little wary about its build quality and reliability.

As far as the former is concerned however, we’re delighted to let you know the 7S is sturdy, versatile and good-looking. It comes with its own detachable protective bumper, so in theory, it’s ideal for kids aged three and up. Heck, even adults could pull off using the Kurio from time to time.

Kurio 7S

Needless to say it’s also extremely cheap, though I’m afraid the corners the tab’s creators needed to cut are glaring from a distance. The 7-inch display is horrible (1,024 x 600 pixels resolution), the battery minuscule (4,000 mAh), and there’s no Google Play support whatsoever, so at the end of the day, you can bet the farm your tween son or daughter will get bored with the 7S before you can fully unpack it.

5. Archos ChildPad 2 (80 ChildPad) – $89.99 via Amazon

Albeit strangely hard to come by stateside, the ChildPad 2, aka 80 ChildPad, benefits from Archos’ steadier reputation in the biz. Plus, a larger, higher-res screen: 8 inches, 1,024 x 768 pixels. Even better, it has access to the Play Store, which you can of course tweak, filter, censor or block altogether.

archos-80-childpad

The parental controls are rich, easy to understand and master, the HDMI port can help you hook up the slate to the big screen in seconds, and the on-board 1 GB RAM ensures breezy multitasking. Too bad the processor is a single-core. Also, the 4 gigs of internal storage are laughable.

Aesthetically, the 80 Childpad is colorful, playful and charming, but pretty fragile, so I wouldn’t recommend you letting your three-year-old use it.

4. LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra – $149 via Amazon, Toys R Us and Best Buy

It’s weird. At a first glance, the LeapPad Ultra is nothing special. Quite on the contrary, in light of its shabby 7-inch 1,024 x 600 pix res display, crappy 800 MHz processor and absence of both Google Play support and storage expansion options.

But looking beyond the surface, you’ll find LeapFrog has no rival in build quality (try all you want, you can’t break or scratch the LeapPad Ultra), educational content and autonomy. No, this little guy ain’t a looker. It’s for toddlers, three, four, five-year-olds tops. And the ecosystem is anything but rich. Yet for some parents, the 9-hour battery, total parental control and indestructibility will make it a must-buy.

LeapPad-Ultra

By the way, yes, we realize the LeapPad Ultra isn’t Android-based. It’s not exactly a “smart” device either, and mundane tasks like web browsing are really uncomfortable and clunky. But we have to give credit where credit is due, regardless of little things like operating system egos. Bottom line, there’s a reason this is an award-winning “toy” and Amazon’s best seller in kids’ electronic learning and education systems, and so you die-hard Android fans should be willing to ignore it’s not technically part of your world.

3.  Toys R Us Tabeo e2 – $129.99 through, well, Toys R Us

Legal controversies aside, retail powerhouse Toys R Us did a splendid job in cracking the children tablet market with the first-gen Tabeo, and the second-gen is just as solid. In many ways, it’s very similar to the Archos ChildPad 2, sporting the same 8-inch 1,024 x 768 pix res panel and targeting mostly preteens, with an elegant but fragile exterior.

Tabeo e2

The Tabeo e2 trumps Archos’ contender primarily in raw speed, thanks to a dual-core 1 GHz chip and 1 GB RAM, accommodating a bunch of extra games and videos too, with double the internal storage (8 GB). The Achilles’ heel is the lack of Google Play support, although the Tabeo App Store is refreshingly vast, while the battery is no pushover, but no champion either, rated at roughly 5 hours.

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids – $199 via Amazon and Best Buy

Look, we appreciate Samsung deems this market niche important enough to warrant its own spot under the Galaxy sun. But asking $200 for the Tab 3 Kids Edition when there are alternatives at half the price isn’t very smart.

galaxy_tab_3_kids

Besides, the bundled bumper case seems frail and the children-dedicated “ecosystem” falls a little short in the education department. On the bright side, the 7 incher is slim, thin and cute, performance is unrivaled and not only is Google Play unrestricted, but pre-loaded software perks include $40 worth of free games and apps. This is definitely the closest a kid tab has ever gotten to catering to both the needs of small children and teenagers.

1. Fuhu Nabi 2 – $157 via Amazon, $180 via Nabi Shop and Walmart

A true classic of the kiddie tech décor, the Nabi 2 is today, like two years ago, the all-around best children-oriented tab. Its reputation precedes the 7 incher, and for a good reason, as the quad-core (!!!) slate splendidly blends sturdiness, reliability and functionality into one nearly flawless package.

Fuhu Nabi 2

Running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with full Google Play support since late 2013, the Nabi 2 can reportedly last around eight hours on a single charge and easily access the Amazon Appstore and Nabi App Zone in addition to GPlay.

It’s the perfect gaming device, but also an ideal learning tool, and parents can control anything and everything their kids do on the Nabi 2. Sure, it’s a little pricey given its age, the 7-inch 1,024 x 600 pix res screen is pretty lousy, and the design makes it difficult to market to tweens. But for toddlers and kids aged 3 to 5 (maybe 6 or 7), it… is… the… best.

LG G Pad 7.0 features revealed: KitKat, Snapdragon 400 chip, 1 GB RAM

After timidly trying its hand at tablets for the first time in eons with the compact-but-punchy G Pad 8.3, LG seems to have found its footing in the ever-growing, ever-competitive market, feeling secure enough to turn the G Pad from a one-off affair into a family of devices.

LG-G-Pad-7

Made official teased a couple of days back, the G Pad 7.0, 8.0 and 10.1 are tipped to get actual, detailed introductions at some point this week, during a Monaco tech trade show called MedPI. If you’re like ourselves however, patience is not your number one virtue, so any information obtained early is pure gold.

Luckily, and thanks to benchmarking authority AnTuTu, we now have a fairly thorough scoop on G Pad 7.0’s specifications. I know, the 10-incher’s features would have probably been much juicier, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

The thing is there doesn’t seem to be anything special about this 7-inch G Pad, aka V400. Nothing at all. Sure, LG promised us an “on-the-go entertainment hub that delivers both portability and power”, but I fail to see the power part translated into reality.

I mean, can you really call a Snapdragon 400 machine powerful in 2014? With four cares, true that, but each clocked at a measly 1.2 GHz. The 1 GB of RAM isn’t particularly hot either (last year’s G Pad 8.3 packed twice as much), whereas the dual cameras are a pain to read.

LG G Pad 7.0

3.2 and 1.3 megapixels respectively. My eyes are burning! What else? Oh, yeah, keeping with the spec sheet’s 2012 vibe, the display sports 1,280 x 800 pixels. And you get 8 GB built-in storage, though at this point 16 would have been a genuine miracle.

Finally, Android 4.4.2 KitKat runs the software show, being basically the sole tidbit that signals the G Pad 7.0 has a place in the 2014 Android tablet ecosystem.

Of course, LG can still make the G Pad 7.0 (partially) attractive. The design looked like a hit from the get-go, with a wasp waist, slim bezels and funky paint jobs, and, if the Koreans keep costs in check, the soon-to-launch low-ender may well give fellow budget contenders a run for their money. Not the Nexus 7 2013 though. Or the 2012 version. Or Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 7.

Yeah, sounds like an uphill battle to me too.

Via [AnTuTu China]

Verizon-bound Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, Wi-Fi-only Tab 4 7.0 get FCC clearance

Fearing they’d cause too much confusion rolling out so soon after the swanky Galaxy Tab Pro trio and S Pen-toting Note Pro 12.2, Samsung held off on the formal introductions of the Galaxy Tab 4 triad. But there’s no point in delaying them any further, as they’ll perplex and confuse us no matter when they break cover.

Galaxy Tab 4 10.1

Two fresh FCC certifications help untangle things a little, though Sammy’s soon-to-be-completed 2014 tablet portfolio still looks crowded and mystifyingly convoluted. The lower end spectrum will no doubt include three slates named simply Galaxy Tab 4 (or maybe Tab 4 Lite), one with a 7-inch display, the second with an 8-inch and finally a 10.1 or 10.6 incher.

The larger pad is model numbered SM-T530 in a Wi-Fi only flavor, SM-T531 with 3G connectivity, and SM-T535 when supporting “international” 4G LTE bands. We knew all that already, but apparently there’s also an SM-T537V variant in the pipeline, poised to land exclusively on, you guessed it, Verizon.

Of course, Big Red is yet to confirm the scoop, however the “V” at the end of the alias sets it in stone, as do some tidbits revealed by FCC. According to one of the agency’s internal docs, the 10 incher carries LTE connectivity on bands 4 and 13, which just happen to be routinely used by America’s largest mobile operator.

Galaxy Tab 4 Verizon

Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find a sketch to corroborate the tablet’s exact size, and reports on the matter continue to be conflicting. Twitter leaker @evleaks, whose reputation really precedes him, hinted at 10.1 inches of screen real estate less than 24 hours back, whereas a known and reliable benchmark database pinpointed the diagonal at 10.6 inches a while ago.

Oh, well, half an inch doesn’t make much of a difference anyway. Besides, the rest of the features are out and thoroughly documented: 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution, pre-loaded Android 4.4.2 KitKat, quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip, 1/1.5 GB RAM, 16 GB built-in storage, 3 MP rear-facing camera, 1.2 MP front snapper, 6,800 mAh battery.

Meanwhile, the smallest member of the upcoming entry-level family, dubbed Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 or Tab 4 Lite 7.0, passed FCC’s test with flying colors too in a version equipped merely with Wi-Fi support: SM-T230.

Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 FCC

Also leaked by @evleaks recently, the thing is expected out with optional 3G as well, but no LTE. Apart from size and battery capacity (shrunk to 4,450 mAh), the Tab 4 7.0 is bound to replicate Tab 4 10.1’s specs to the letter.

Remember, a low-end 8 incher is most definitely part of the series too, paying FCC a visit under the SM-T330 moniker not long ago. Oh, and let’s not forget about the SM-T700 and SM-T800, benchmarked and detailed already and tipped to essentially mimic the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and 10.1 while adding Super AMOLED panels in the mix. Did I not warn you confusion was inevitable?

Via [FCC] (1), (2) 

Huawei MediaPad X1 7.0 spotted online with Full HD display and 7.5 mm profile

Huawei may have taken a bigger hit than anyone as a consequence of Lenovo’s bold purchase of Motorola, since the Android landscape looks too cramped and competitive to accommodate two aspiring China-based players.

Huawei

But you can definitely count on the creators of last year’s breathtaking Ascend P6 to pick themselves up, get back on the horse and not give up the fight… just yet. Sure, the Ascend P6 S is weirdly mundane, the Mate 2 downright weird, however odds are we won’t need to wait for the spring to see a solid new addition to the OEM’s lineup.

Surprise, surprise, as Huawei’s first decent 2014 effort is… a tablet. About time they started taking that market seriously, right? I mean, enough with the low-end MediaPad Youth and Vogue crap. The world needs another Android-running iPad mini “killer”.

Enter the MediaPad X1 7.0, aka 7D-501, which you can call a cross between Google’s Nexus 7 2013 and Apple’s iPad mini 2. Not a clone. Not yet. From a distance, yeah, it kind of looks like the latest iOS-powered diminutive pad.

Only there’s just one pic of this MediaPad X1 around, and it’s tiny and low-res. So let’s wait before pointing the finger. Let’s celebrate too, as the 7-incher rocks a 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution screen (that’s 323 ppi, for the record), 2 GB RAM and one of Huawei’s latest homebrewed quad-core chips.

Specifically, the Hisilicon 910 Kirin, based on ARM’s Cortex-A9 architecture and clocked at 1.6 GHz. No idea if it’s zippier than, say, N7’s Snapdragon S4 Pro, but it’s doubled by a snazzy Mali-450 GPU, so it can’t be a pushover.

Huawei MediaPad X1

Such a shame Tenaa (i.e. China’s FCC equivalent) lists the MediaPad X1 as running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is unlikely to drastically change in time for the tab’s commercial rollout. KitKat? A sweet, distant dream.

Oh, but what’s that? The slate measures 7.5 mm in thickness? And weighs in at 239 grams? Impossibru. For crying out loud, the N7 2013, which you can hardly call bulky, is 8.7 mm thick and 290 grams heavy. What kind of sorcery is this?

Well, take a look at that leaked photo. Don’t the bezels strike you as particularly slim? They should, since the X1 is 17 mm shorter and 10 mm narrower than the second-gen N7. All while accommodating the same 7-inch display. It’s getting harder and harder to explain why Huawei was so self-conscious about high-end tablets for so long.

Now let’s hope they’ll tackle a similarly aggressive pricing policy as always. Can you imagine being able to score such a marvelous little thing at, say, $150 – $170? Fingers crossed for a formal February introduction.

Via [Tenaa]