On the whole, tablets are a bit of a dying form factor, but they still have a place for many customers, and make great gifts for kids as well. There is, of course, the iPad, which is a great product. However, if you’re looking for something less expensive, or just something with Android, here are some of the best options you can buy.
The best gifts for Android users
Google Pixel C
Both on paper and in practice, one of the best Android tablets on the market is the Pixel C by Google. With a premium all aluminum build, a 10.2-inch Quad HD display, and Android Nougat, the Pixel C is a fantastic tablet on its own. It gets even better when you consider it’s one of the few tablets on the market with full support for Android Nougat’s multi-window mode, and USB-C charging. Furthermore, the Pixel C’s official keyboard is nothing short of fantastic, offering a unique magnetic attachment and plenty of key travel. It can even be charged by the Pixel C, so you’ll never run out of battery.
The Pixel C on its own runs $499 for the 32GB model, or an extra $100 for the 64GB variant. The Pixel C is available directly through the Google Store.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Outside of Google, the best tablet you can get is the Galaxy Tab S2 from Samsung. Packing a premium metal build, an AMOLED display at either 8-inches or 9.7-inches, and a powerful octa-core chipset, the Galaxy Tab S2 is nothing short of a fantastic tablet. It also offers 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and Android Marshmallow with a strong likelihood of Nougat on the way.
Pricing for the Galaxy Tab S2 starts at $399 for the 8-inch model (currently as low as $249 at Best Buy with free shipping) or $499 for the larger 9.7-inch model. Various retailers offer the device.
- Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch) on Amazon
- Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7-inch) on Amazon
- Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch) at Best Buy
- Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7-inch) at Best Buy
- Galaxy Tab S2 (8-inch) on B&HPhoto
- Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7-inch) on B&HPhoto
Lenovo Yoga Book
If you’re looking for something a little unique, and perfect for productivity, the Lenovo Yoga Book is an excellent option. It offers a 10.1-inch display, Android Marshmallow with special multi-tasking features in the software, fast charging, and the unique “halo keyboard” which is built in. The added drawing features are also great for artists. It’s not a perfect tablet, but it gets the job done well and it makes for a fantastic gift. You can read our full review here.
Amazon Fire Tablet
If you need something cheap and reliable, the Amazon Fire Tablet is a fantastic choice. It packs a 7-inch display, 8GB or 16GB of storage with a microSD slot, and Amazon’s suite of services. This definitely isn’t the best tablet out there, but it handles casual games, reading, videos, and more without breaking a sweat. It’s an excellent choice for children, and at $50 (currently as low at $40 on Amazon), you’ll never need to worry about it breaking since you can easily replace it.
Barnes & Noble NOOK 7″
At $50, the Fire Tablet isn’t the only choice. Barnes and Noble’s NOOK 7″ tablet is another fantastic option. It packs similar specs, albeit slightly less powerful when it comes to multi-tasking and games, but it trades that for better hardware and software compared to Amazon’s option. The NOOK 7″ brings a near-stock Android experience with Google Play and hardly any bloatware. It’s a fantastic device for $50 which we can’t recommend enough.
NVIDIA SHIELD K1
If you’re on the hunt for a mid-sized tablet with a core focus on gaming, there’s no better option than NVIDIA’s SHIELD K1 tablet. It offers the powerful NVIDIA K1 processor, 2GB of RAM, Android Marshmallow, an 8-inch 1080p display, and front facing speakers. It also has the unique ability to stream some PC titles from the cloud. Best of all, it costs just $199.