Here's part three, and the last in our Android Tablet Summer Buyer's Guide Series. Are you in the market to get a new Android tablet this Summer, but are confused about which one to get? With so many options, it can be a daunting task to pick the best tablet for your needs. Luckily, your friendly neighborhood Forum Founders came up with a brilliant idea! We decided to write-up a handy-dandy Android Tablet Buyer's Guide to help you out a bit. What we have done is cull our three favorite tabs from three different categories (in no particular order), and hopefully that will help you decide from the best of the bunch. The three categories we will include are the following: High-End/Enthusiast-Level Tablets, Mid-Range Tablets, & Budget-Friendly Tablets. This list is obviously not exhaustive, so if none of these tabs pique your interest, don't forget to peruse the rest of the forums to find an alternative that might suit your needs.
This is the last one in the three part series, and is the Budget-Friendly Category. Enjoy!
Budget-Friendly Tablets: (If you want/need a tablet that is the very affordable, but still packs great value in a 7-inch size, then this category is for you.)
The top three tabs in this category were easy to decide. In fact, I am sure that you will not be surprised by one or more of the tablets in this category. Really, at this price point, there really is no competition in the Android tablet game. These three tabs simply crush the rest in terms of value and features for a small price. As of this time, we prefer the ubiquitous Amazon Kindle Fire, the new game-changer, the Google Nexus 7, and the impressive Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.
These tablets each have their positives and negatives, but each is a leader in this category. If we had to pick a favorite from the three, the Nexus 7 just barely edges out the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The main draw of the Nexus 7 is that it comes with Jelly Bean, but it also has a better display, and more powerful internal hardware. We do wish it had some of the other added features of the Samsung product, like the microSD expansion and the rear cam, but these are not necessarily deal-breakers. Even when the G-Tab 2 7.0 eventually gets Jelly Bean, it will still be a tough call, but more than likely it will take something pretty significant to unseat the Nexus 7.
The reason why the Kindle Fire is still on this list is because it is still a great bargain for what it does. Even though the Android experience is diluted by the changes that Amazon made to the UI, it is still a good experience for the average user, and helps solidify the usefulness of tablets in the market. It may not be attractive to power-users, but the average consumer will enjoy it, especially if they are regular Amazon customers. If you are a Kindle owner and/or a frequent user of Amazon's vast ecosystem of content, then that might make the Kindle Fire weigh more heavily in your eyes.
Despite these traits, if you had to nail us down, we would recommend the Nexus 7 over the Kindle Fire in a heart-beat. This is especially true at the same price-point, but we wanted to be thorough and offer alternatives. It's possible that, for some reason, users might not want the Nexus 7.
Here's a breakdown of each of the winners:
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 - $248 at Amazon
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS
- 7-inch Multitouch Screen (1024 x 600)
- 8GB Internal Memory
- A microSD expansion up to 32GB
- Wireless N Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) & Bluetooth 3.0
- 1GHz Dual-Core Processor
- 1GB RAM
Google Nexus 7 - $199 for the 8GB Model at Google Play Store or $249.99 for the 16GB Model at Google Play Store
- 7-Inch 1280 X 800 HD Display
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-Core CPU with 12-Core GPU
- 1GB RAM
- Android 4.1/Jelly Bean
- Front Facing Camera for Video Conferencing
- WiFi, Bluetooth & NFC
- 4325mAh battery - 9 Hours of Video playback on battery and up to 300 hours of standby
- 8GB or 16GB versions
Amazon Kindle Fire - $199 at Amazon
- 7-inch IPS TFT Display 1024 x 600 pixels,
- 8GB storage
- 512 MB RAM
- Android OS, v2.3 (customized)
- TI OMAP 4430 CPU Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9
- GPU PowerVR SGX540
- Standard battery, Li-Ion 4400 mAh
- Amazon Ecosystem Content Access
That's it for our Android Tablet Summer Buyer's Guide Series. Thanks for tuning in to hear our ideas on the subject. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts on our choices. In many ways it's even more important to hear from you guys than from us. Share your opinion to help all of our other members make informed decisions.
Here's a link to Part One: The High-End Enthusiast Edition: Android Tablet Summer Buyer's Guide Series, Part One: High-End/Enthusiast Edition
Here's a link to Part Two: The Mid-Range Edition: Android Tablet Summer Buyer's Guide Series, Part Two: Mid-Range Edition