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The best Android tablets in 2021

best android tablets
(Image credit: Future)

We've scoured the internet to pick for you the best Android tablets available right now for creatives and designers. Having a tablet can be a huge asset for any creative; these slender but powerful devices make it easy to work on the go.

Why pick an Android tablet over an iPad, you ask? A big one is the broader selection on offer – while the range of iPads available is obviously tightly controlled by Apple, Android tablets are made by a whole host of different manufacturers. So this means that there is a much wider range of products, for a broader range of budgets. Though the flipside of this is that you have to be a little careful and do your research before clicking 'buy', as you really can't guarantee a product will be any good. Happily, that's where we come in.

Android tablets are not just good tablets – they're some of the best drawing tablets around. With high-resolution touchscreen displays and powerful processors, the best Android tablets from the likes of Samsung make for brilliant tools for artists of all different persuasions; and indeed, unlike Apple, many Android tablets come bundled with a stylus, so there's no hidden extra cost there.

When crafting our guide, we've picked Android tablets from a broad range of manufacturers, but also haven't hesitated to recommend multiple models from the same manufacturer if those happen to be the best. So you can expect to see plenty of Samsung in this guide, but then there are also products from Lenovo, Google and even Amazon.

By the way - if your Android tablet doesn't come with a stylus to your liking (or at all), have a look at what we think is the best stylus for Android devices.

Android is the most widely used operating system in the world, and the best Android tablets have a huge range of apps and programs for artists to get to grips with. In fact, we've listed the best Android apps for creatives – both paid for and free – that can be downloaded onto the best Android tablets.

So, while Apple's iPads will always have a lot of things to recommend them to creatives, the best Android tablets offer better value, more choice and more freedom as well. This makes them well worth consideration as far as we're concerned, so read on for our picks of the best Android tablets for creatives right now!

Best Android tablets; Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+cb badge

(Image credit: Samsung)

01. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

The best Android tablet you can get right now

Weight: 575g | Dimensions: 285 x 185 x 5.7 mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 12.4-inch | Resolution: 1752 x 2800 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP

Beautiful OELD display
Top-flight performance
Expensive
Might be more than you need

Ultimately, the question "what is the best Android tablet" has a pretty simple answer. It's the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus. There are other tablets that offer different features, as we'll see, and certainly some that are available for a cheaper price, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is the best around right now.

It's the Android equivalent of the iPad Pro, pairing a gorgeous high-resolution OLED display with processing power to rival a desktop computer. The 120Hz refresh rate of the screen makes it a pleasure to use for hours on end, which you can do with impunity thanks to the generous 10,000mAH battery. It's incredibly slim but feels premium thanks to the all-metal build, and when combined with the bundled S-Pen stylus, it makes for a fantastic artist's tool. If you've got the budget, this is the buy. It's as simple as that.

Note: If this tablet is a little out of your budget, consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, a slightly slimmed-down but still premium Android tablet.

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02. Lenovo Smart Tab M8

The best Android tablet if you're on a very tight budget

Weight: 305g | Dimensions: 199.1 x 121.8 x 8.15mm | OS: Android Pie (Android 9) | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | CPU: MediaTek A22 quad-core, 2.0GHz | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 12-18 hours | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 2MP (fixed focus)

Very good battery life
Extremely cheap
Mediocre camera(s)
Slow performance (2GB RAM)

Looking for a cheap tablet can be fraught with peril: it's all too easy to end up with a dud machine that doesn't do even the basics. The Lenovo Smart Tab M8 is a good choice for those who want a cheap Android tablet without compromising too much – although its 2GB of RAM do mean its not the fastest performer in the world, it'll run basic entertainment and productivity apps without too much trouble. Plus, the battery life is excellent, more than enough for a full day's use without needing a top-up. Don't expect miracles, but do expect a decent tablet for a very affordable price. 

Best Android tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Litecb badge

(Image credit: Samsung)

03. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

A slimmed-down tablet that still offers impressive features

Weight: 465g | Dimensions: 243.8 x 154.9 x 7.6mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 10.4-inch | Resolution: 2000 x 1200 pixels | CPU: Samsung Exynos 9610 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: around 11 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Great battery life
S Pen stylus included in box
Average performance
Cameras are nothing special

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, as the name implies, is aimed at those who want something slim and portable. With a price tag more akin to cheap tablets than a Samsung flagship, it does an impressive job of providing a premium tablet experience anyway. Drawing on it with the included S-Pen stylus feels very intuitive and enjoyable, and while the processing power isn't quite enough to run high-end games, it does a the job where most productivity and leisure apps are concerned. The long-lasting battery is a nice inclusion as well, making the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite a great choice if you don't want to have to be meticulous about charging your tablet every single day. 

best android tablet

Image: Google

04. Google Pixel Slate

The best Android tablet for drawing

Weight: 731g | Dimensions: 291 x 202 x 7mm | OS: Chrome OS | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 3000 x 2000 | CPU: Intel Celeron, m3, i5 or i7 | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 64/128GB/256GB | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 8MP

Stunning display
Lovely design
Expensive
Stylus not included

The Google Pixel Slate isn't technically an Android tablet in the traditional sense, as it runs Google's other operating system, Chrome OS, it can run any Android app downloaded from the Google Play Store. With Chrome OS often feeling like a desktop version of Android, access to all the apps, we'd argue that the Google Pixel Slate is an Android tablet for all intents and purposes, and that's why it's eligible for our best Android tablet for drawing. So, why have we picked it? Put simply, the large 12.3-inch screen makes it an ideal tablet for drawing, giving you a huge amount of surface to draw on. Not only that, but the 3,000 x 2,000 resolution is one of the highest you can find on a tablet. This will ensure your drawings look the absolute best they can. The only downside (apart from the price) is that a stylus isn't included.

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05. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

A fantastic cheap Android tablet for beginners

Weight: 499g | Dimensions: 248 x 157 x 7mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 10.4-inch | Resolution: 2000 x 1200 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm SM6115 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: around 12 hours | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Terrific value
Excellent display
Middling performance
Stylus not included

Samsung's A line of tablets may be cheap, but they're also surprisingly capable. Rather than hyping up features nobody wants like the unloved voice assistant Bixby, Samsung has focused on giving the Galaxy Tab A7 the features people do want. Namely, a good display, quality speakers and a generally pleasing user experience. While it isn't suited to intense use, with only 3GB of RAM, the Galaxy Tab A7 is more than enough for light entertainment or everyday productivity. It's another tablet with impressively solid battery life, as well, which is very welcome indeed. 

Best Android tablets: Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet (2020)

Image: Amazon (Image credit: Amazon)

06. Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

The best Android tablet for gaming

Weight: 350g | Dimensions: 201.9 x 137.4 x 9.7mm | OS: Fire OS 7 | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | CPU: MediaTek MT8168 Processor, Quad-core, 2 GHz | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: up to 12 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP

Really good value
Wireless charging
Rubbish cameras
Restrictive Amazon ecosystem

Amazon isn't just the world's biggest online shop, it also does a great line of Android tablets, and the Amazon HD 8 Plus is our pick for the best Android tablet for gaming. The Fire HD 8 Plus is a 2020 refresh of a slightly older tablet, boasting slightly more RAM than the vanilla HD 8, as well as wireless charging. While you are a little restricted by using Amazon's homebrew version of Android, Fire OS, you still have a quality platform for gaming here, and a tremendous-value tablet with lots of nifty features. 

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Image: Amazon

07. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

The best Android tablet for kids

Weight: 506g | Dimensions: 159.3 x 262 x 9.8 mm | Screen size: 10-inch | Resolution: 1600 x 600 | CPU: 1.3Ghz quad-core | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP

Can take a few knocks
Handy parental features
Expensive for a kid's tablet
Cameras are still rubbish

If you're looking for the best Android tablet for kids, then the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is the one to go for. It's small enough to be carried around by little ones, and it has a rugged body that can survive being knocked about and dropped. The screen is a 10-inch version and really rather lovely, with high resolution and punchy colours for all the little one's favourite apps. It's easy to set controls and usage limits thanks to the nifty parental modes, and it also comes bundled with a year's subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited, which provides loads of books, apps, games, moves and other fun stuff. 

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