Holiday Guide 2013 – Best Tablets of Late 2013


In the past few years, tablets have evolved from unnecessary luxury items into essential digital appliances. No longer are they merely oversized smartphones. Rather, they have become an entirely new type of computing, thanks to fantastic apps that make use of their greater screen real estate.

Android Tablets

2013 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of the Android tablet. This past year marked the first time in which Android-based tablets outsold Apple’s iPad. And now as the Android tablet app ecosystem is steadily growing, the platform has become a truly viable tablet OS.

71vsIgVGu9L._SL1500_Google Nexus 7 (2013)

$229 (16 GB) or $269 (32 GB). Also available starting at $160 on Swappa.

The Nexus 7 (2013) is the second iteration of the flagship tablet designed and developed by Google, in conjunction with Asus. With improvements across the board, the Nexus 7 (2013) features a 7-inch, 1200 x 1920 display, a quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 or 32 GB of internal storage.

XDA Breakdown:

  • Root? Yes.
  • Recovery? Yes.
  • Unlockable? fastboot oem unlock. Need I say more?
  • Widespread Aftermarket Developer Support? Yes!
  • Multiboot? Yes!


gpadLG G Pad 8.3

$349 Google Play edition. Standard model also available starting at $250 on Swappa.

The LG G Pad 8.3 is the company’s second foray into the Android tablet market. The LG G Pad 8.3 sports an 8.3″ display running at 1920×1200, and a pixel density of 273 ppi. The device is powered by a quad-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm 600 processor and 2 GB of RAM. Other features include a 5MP camera and 4600mAh battery.

While the G Pad 8.3 isn’t terribly exciting on its own, it has an added trick up its sleeve: the recently launched Google Play edition. And thanks to the hardware similarities, there’s already a ported GPe ROM for the standard device!

XDA Breakdown:



Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

$549 (16 GB), $599 (32 GB). Also available starting at $480 on Swappa.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) is Samsung’s second full-size Note tablet. The device picks up where the original left off by delivering a better screen, a better processor, and a better chassis. The device features Samsung’s fantastic Wacom-based S Pen technology. When combined with Samsung’s multi-window support, the Note 10.1 (2014) is truly a tablet that can do more.

XDA Breakdown:

  • Root? Yes.
  • Recovery? Yes.
  • Widespread Aftermarket Developer Support? Not yet, but you’ll probably want a stock-based ROM in order to retain S Pen functionality anyway.
  • Multiboot? No.

Windows Tablets

It’s not just about Android, though. Windows 8.1 tablets finally took off in late 2013, thanks to Intel’s Haswell and Bay Trail processors. The former enables true ultrabook-class performance in a slim slate, while the latter allows for still decent performance on a tighter budget. While the Modern UI still suffers from a dearth of apps, this is becoming less of a problem with each passing day. And for those who want a productivity tablet capable of doing fundamentally more than what is possible with a mobile OS, Windows 8.1 tablets are the only real choice.

51q9mYGBBJLMicrosoft Surface Pro 2

$899 direct. Also available starting at $800 on Swappa.

Is it a computer? Is it a tablet? Both? Neither? The Surface Pro 2 is truly a device that can do it all. It packs a speedy Haswell processor, comes with a vibrant display, and it features a Wacom active stylus. It also supports quite a few useful accessories that allow the device to function as both a tablet and laptop replacement. The Surface Pro 2 is significantly pricier than mobile OS tablets, but it can also do a whole lot more. If you’re looking for a tablet that can replace your laptop—and perhaps even your desktop—look no further.

To learn more about the Surface Pro 2, be sure to check out our full review!


81DwiuWcmuL._SL1500_Dell Venue 8 Pro

$249 (32 GB), $344 (64 GB)

The Surface Pro 2 is a fantastic device, but not everyone wants to spend $900+ on a tablet. Furthermore, some prefer a smaller and lighter form factor. For these people, the Bay Trail-powered Dell Venue 8 Pro is a fantastic fit. Like the Surface Pro 2, the Venue 8 Pro runs full Windows 8.1. It features 2 GB of RAM, comes in either 16 or 32 GB flavors, and gets superb battery life. It features a micro SD card slot for expandable storage and Synaptics active digitizer technology ($35 stylus not included), which is now usable thanks to the latest touch panel firmware revision.

Keep your eyes peeled on the XDA Portal for our full review in the coming weeks!

51gxapUJEiLAsus Transformer Book T100

$382 Amazon.

Similar to the Dell Venue 8 Pro, the Asus T100 is also based on Intel’s Bay Trail, albeit a marginally faster variant. The T100 lacks the active digitizer support found on the Surface Pro 2 and Dell Venue 8 Pro, but it makes up for these faults with its low price and bundled laptop dock. The build quality is not stellar, falling short of what we’re used to with Asus’s Android tablets. However, those able to look past the device’s faults can have a device that can do it all, on the cheap.


Now that we’ve spelled out some of the basics, we’d like to hear from you what device is your pick for this Holiday season! Please vote and leave your comments below to tell us what you think is the best device for late 2013!




  • Jayfeather787

    Nexus 7 2013!!!!

  • Kofi Williams

    Why no ipad mini? I guess they don’t need the promotion?

  • Chris Thurber

    Well the title does say the best android tablets of 2013… Why would they put an iOS device in the best android tablets? Also Windows tablets… no one wants an iPad mini anyways. Too overpriced compared to these fantastic tablets here

  • Ty

    I have the 2013 Nexus 7 now but the Google Play Edition G pad is making me want to blow some money.

  • Kofi Williams

    Uhm read the title again or maybe the article. If you want just a quick glance will do. The Ipad on app productivity alone should be on the list. Idc about Android tablets because all the Android phones do the exact same thing and those second two windows tablets are a force.

  • Chris Thurber

    Yes it says Android tablets and Windows tablets. If I wasn’t clear I meant the subheadings… sorry bad wording.

  • Kofi Williams

    The title is misleading then since the Ipad mini or air is a quality tablet. I’m an android fan but the current ipads are the best “tablets” (not hybrids)

  • Chris Thurber

    Oh I see what you mean. Yes the title is misleading for people coming into this community. But they probably assumed that if they wrote about the iPad’s all Hell would rain down in the comments haha. This is a android dev community of course.

  • Steve

    Sony Xperia Tablet Z ftw

  • Assassin77

    Sony’s Xperia Z Tab is the Best in 2013

  • Ty

    The way the broke it down it would be kind of pointless to add an Apple tablets category because there aren’t different manufactures making iPads. It would just be iPad Air and iPad Mini lol

  • Although it came out in late 2012, the Nexus 10 is still the best tablet in 2013.

  • Chris Thurber

    And for some reason the iPad 2 is still being sold…

  • Ty

    I’m just saying there is competition with Android devices. There are a lot more tablets to look at if you are wanting to buy an Android tab or a Windows tab. With the iPad its a pretty easy decision.

  • That Guy

    The ITC actually banned Apple from selling the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 due to patent violations. However, Obama vetoed the ban and allowed Apple to continue selling these in the US.

    Apple is aggressively doing its best to unload its inventory before the ITC responds to Obama’s actions, and is doing that by partnering up with Walmart and Best Buy.

  • f1ffear4a23


  • saqib nazm

    I don’t find Xperia Z Tab in the list. It’s the best

  • Halim

    Xperia Tablet Z is the best of 2013, I used most of these tablets

  • NZebra

    yeah that’s why the nexus 7 2013 has more Pixels per inch , better processor (the nexus 10 although it’s a dualcore it’s still cool, but not better than the nexus 7 one) glass cool too.. man nexus 10 is a good tablet but not better than the nexus 7

  • Nzebra

    well bravia engine or xreality, and 10 inch all in just a qualcomm s4 pro? i mean it’s not enough to be the BEST tablet.

  • SemahjLam

    the surfcae is better to me

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  • AndroidUser00110001

    Thanks for linking my ported G Pad ROM to v500 but it is not working fully (yet) 🙁

  • saqib nazm

    Ohk sir, whatever I say may not be correct, but atleast it deserves to be in the list of nominations

  • Alex

    Nexus 7! Surface Pro would be the best for $500..600? but not 800+.

  • aaa

    category for wifi only tablet??

  • Sami_sxs

    Sony Xperia Z Tab Best 2013

  • IPAD AIR !!!

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  • Theworld2020

    Notionink Adam II is one of the Best Tablet in 2013

  • X3remes

    Whut?!! No Sony Xperia Tablet Z? The only water proof tablet in a super slim package, and it isn’t here? What’re you guys puffing on??? It is the best in the world! And the recent 4.3 update has only made it into a beast yet again! Shame on you XDA.

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  • Gibbs

    im waiting for new nexus 7, or 8 ! i never had tablet dont know how it feels ! i have n4 currently ! i was thinking of buying T100 and keep my n4 till nexus 5 (2015)

    or do nothing and keep my n4 xD

  • Gibbs

    SoC + price is bad but else, its good tablet and my cousin Loves it !

  • Gibbs

    i wish google makes nexus 10 again ! no good 10 inch tablets right know ! ,

    note is expensive and samsung, tf701 has no roms and ect ! others arent powerful

  • Gibbs

    I want nexus 10 2014 version !!!!