Using your tablet's camera in public may garner some judgmental side-eyes or stifled laughter from lookers-on, but some slates actually offer a few cool features to make the public embarrassment worth risking.
To be sure, their photo quality is usually less than inspiring, with even some of the best tablets housing cameras that result in grainy details, washed-out colors, and fuzzy focus. The slates on this list have native camera setting features that make the most out of the mediocre photo quality and add a fun element to busting out your tablet to snap a shot. For a few examples, check out the slideshow below.
The 10-inch Sony Xperia Z2 offers augmented-reality camera modes that let you overlay colorful, cartoonish imagery of dinosaurs, elves, butterflies, and more on top of whatever scenery you have your camera pointed at. The camera modes are free, available through the Google Play store, and can be used to take video too.
You can take 360-degree photos with a variety of gadgets, but tablets don't often give you the option. The Google Nexus 7's and 10's photosphere feature allows you to do just that, and in a typical Google move, they're best shareable on Google+. The photos are easy to take, though it takes a few tries to get the hang of and execute well. The Nexus tablets are due for an update, but we're hoping photosphere will find its way into the next generation of Google slates.
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The LG G Pads are affordable, yet unremarkable budget tablets, that pack a few party tricks up their sleeves. The slates look cool, with sleek minimal designs, and they can also help make you look cool by using the voice activated camera shutter. You can easily take a photo by saying "LG," "cheese," "kimchee," or "whiskey." The feature performs well about 85 percent of the time, but when it does work, it provides smiles 100 percent of the time.
If you're anything like me, you find animated GIFs strangely mesmerizing, yet ultimately enjoyable. The Asus Memo Pad 8 and Transformer Pad TF103C ship with an animated GIF creator mode to easily do it yourself. It's as simple as hitting the record button, and, though quality isn't great -- most come out grainy with washed-out colors -- it's still fun to make your own without having to download a third-party app.
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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is one the best tablets available, with a pixel-packed screen, lightweight design, and super-fast internals. It rocks an 8-megapixel camera on the back -- high for a tablet -- but what impressed us most is Samsung's option to download more scene modes to the native camera app. Downloading third-party apps that give you more control over what you capture can soon be outdated if native camera apps make those options easily available and downloadable. The selection of scene modes to add to your Samsung Galaxy Tab S is admittedly very small, but it's not something you'll find on any other slate.