Tablets:

Best Android tablets of 2014

Updated

Unlike Apple's closed system of hardware and software, the open-source nature of Google's Android OS makes it inviting for many hardware manufacturers to try their hand at making an Android-based device. That said, it's a system that has been slow to bear fruit when it comes to viable competitors to the Apple iPad, but that seems to be slowly changing. The following five tablets represent the highest-quality Android-based tablets currently available.

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Google Nexus 7

The new Google Nexus 7's smooth performance, frankly stunning screen and low price should launch it to the top of the list for those looking for a new seven-inch tablet.

Price: $299.00 - $299.00 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding

A premium Android tablet for movie buffs.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-inch)

Samsung's best tablet to date and our top Android entertainment tablet.

4 stars Excellent

LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition

Android purists will find Google's mid-sized LG G Pad 8.3 more compelling, but it's pricier than the model that's overlaid with LG's skin.

4 stars Excellent

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro (8.4-inch)

The premium specs and high-end feel of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 make it well worth the high price.

4 stars Excellent

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition doesn't come cheap, but that money will buy you a great, high-definition display, rafts of power and a handy stylus for writing notes or doodling cartoons.

Price: $697.66 - $697.66 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best 4G LTE capable slate

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

While the battery is a concern, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is still a good-looking slate that's loaded with more than enough power for anything you're likely to throw at it. It's a good choice if you're looking for a more affordable iPad alternative with 4G LTE -- particularly if you've ever lost a gadget through water damage.

3.5 stars Very good