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The best Android tablets 2015

These are the best Android tablets you can buy right now. We've got them side-by-side for a quick and easy comparison.
You're on the hunt for the best Android tablet out there, and we're going to help you out. Whether you're looking for something slim and compact, or a big-screen beauty bordering on laptop replacement, we're rounding up the best of the best.
The diversity of the Android ecosystem means there is likely something to suit everyone. Large tablets, small tablets, those that don't cost so much, those that are the bleeding edge. Whatever it is you're looking for this little list is what we consider to be the cream of the crop.

1. HTC NEXUS 9

Nexus 9

PROS

  • Can be had for a great price
  • Latest software updates first
  • 4:3 aspect ratio is much better for portrait use

CONS

  • Soft back gets messed up easily
  • Some construction issues, inc. light bleed
Google partnered with HTC to deliver the Nexus 9 tablet as a spearhead for the Android Lollipop release. As it stands, the Nexus 9's blazing 64-bit 2.3 GHz processor and direct affiliation with Google provide it with a healthy degree of future-proofing, despite the fact it's over a year old. The Nexus 9 shuns the 16:9 form factor favored by so many Android tablets and instead goes for a more portrait friendly 4:3 with a 2048 x 1536 resolution display. So it's much nicer to hold in either orientation.
The back of the Nexus 9 has a soft touch coating available in a few different colors, but what's great about it right now is that you can find it for some bargain prices. Deals are frequent and since it's a Nexus you're getting the latest software, usually before everyone else. If you want to get some work done with the Nexus 9, there's an optional keyboard cover for it, too.
For Android enthusiasts, the Nexus 9 is an easy pick. But if you just want a big tablet, running Android and don't want to spend the earth, check it out.

2. NVIDIA SHIELD TABLET K1

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1

PROS

  • Powerful internals
  • Near stock software
  • Great for gamers

CONS

  • No charger included
  • Gaming experience requires extra spend to get the best out of it
The Shield Tablet is a gaming powerhouse featuring NVIDIA's cutting edge 2.2 GHz Tegra K1 processor. Forward-facing stereo speakers offer quality sound, and the now optional stylus opens up helpful functionality for day-to-day usage. But the Shield Tablet's software is what really sets it apart. Built right into the notification tray, for example, is the ability to stream what's on your screen to Twitch. Remote access software combined with the optional hardware gamepad allow you to play games that are running on your PC.
Alternatively, the Geforce Now cloud gaming service lets you do the same with games and computers hosted by NVIDIA. The Shield Tablet K1 recently received a mild refresh over the original, changing the exterior styling a little but more importantly reducing the price by $100. You no longer get a charger or the stylus included in the box, but the savings do give you enough extra cash to pick up the cover and controller. Which you really want if you're going to use the Shield to its fullest.
Even for those that aren't hardcore gamers, the NVIDIA Shield Tablet is a powerful tablet and offers excellent value for th price. In 2016 it will also get updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

3. SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S2

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 brings together some of the best components available. As usual, Samsung delivers a high-quality display, and manages to do it in a particularly slim package. To top it all off, it's got the processing power to handle just about anything you could throw at it.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is available in two sizes, 8 inches and 9.7 inches, each only 5.6 mm thin. The display resolution comes in at 2048 x 1536, which is more than enough for enjoying HD movies or 3D games. Inside you'll find a 1.9 GHz processor and 3GB of RAM. An 8 megapixel camera sits on the back, and the home button doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The Galaxy Tab S2 ticks all of the boxes on hardware and while Samsung's software still divides opinion, it's packed with useful features.

4. GOOGLE PIXEL C

Pixel C

PROS

  • Beautiful display
  • Excellent build quality
  • Updated software and patches

CONS

  • It's a bit large and heavy
  • Software isn't optimized for keyboards
  • Apps aren't optimized for keyboards
There's a lot to like about the Pixel C. It's got a gorgeous, high-resolution, 10-inch display. It's got great built quality with anodized aluminum. And it's got a couple keyboard options that are really good until they aren't, either because of connection issues or the fact that the aluminum keyboard cover can scratch the hell out of the display.
Then there's the fact that the Android operating system isn't anymore prepared for hardware keyboards than it was before the Pixel C was released. That, and too many applications either don't work at all in the horizontal landscape orientation, or they work poorly.
There's a lot of potential in the Pixel C. But not so much to get excited for just yet.

5. DELL VENUE 10 7000

Dell Venue 10 7000

PROS

  • Superb keyboard turns the tablet into an Android laptop
  • Gorgeous display
  • Premium design and build quality

CONS

  • Quite expensive
  • Keyboard isn't included
  • Unusual form factor won't be for everyone
The Venue 10 7000 continues Dell's successful dive into the world of Android tablets. The company is using some of its PC design tools and putting them onto Android tablets, and that's a good thing for everyone. The Venue 10 7000 earns high marks in particular for its great keyboard accessory. Typing is a pure joy on it, as it is on many Dell laptops. The Venue 10 7000 has a sturdy construction and an excellent 10.5-inch 2560 x 1600 display.
The Intel 2.3 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM can handle most things you'll throw at it in the course of a day. Variants with 16GB and 32GB of storage are available, and though you can pick up the tablet on its own, we really suggest grabbing the keyboard dock while you're at it. It's what sets it apart from the crowd.

6. SONY XPERIA Z4 TABLET

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

PROS

  • Incredibly thin and light
  • Waterproof
  • Great looking display

CONS

  • Quite expensive
  • Fair amount of pre-loaded bloat
  • Quite plain looking
The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet continues the company's design trend of squeezing high-end components into an absurdly slim form factor. The Xperia Z4 Tablet is so slim and light for something of this size you'd be forgiven for thinking it was just an empty shell.
The 10.1-inch display has a 2560 x 1600 resolution, and is powered by a 2 GHz octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM. The rear camera has an 8 megapixel sensor, while the front wide-angle unit is 5.1 megapixels. Sony pre-loads some useful apps, including now the Microsoft Office suite, and some not so useful, but most is removable. Sony's take on Android has improved over the years and is nowadays a pleasurable thing to use.
An added bonus for gamers is the PS4 remote play capabilities built into new Xperia devices along with Sony's own software solution to allow livestreaming to both Twitch and YouTube.
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