The fastest Android gaming tablets

Which Android tablets provide the smoothest gaming experience? CNET Labs delves deep to find out.

If you're looking for an Android tablet that can deliver impressive graphics, we've got you covered. We gathered every high-performance Android tablet we could find in the CNET Labs and put them to the test. Below are our top five.

We've listed each tablet with as much pertinent-to-gaming-performance information as we could think of and have listed them here in order, from weakest to strongest based on benchmark scores derived from 3DMark.


3DMark runs a canned demo of a simulated sci-fi game called Ice Storm. The 3DMark scores are determined by three tests: two focus on GPU speed, and another on CPU performance. The tests were run on each tablet a few times, and the chart below represents the highest score for each tablet, with higher scores indicating faster performance.

Check here for more on the intricacies of 3DMark's scoring system.

Tablet 3DMark Unlimited
Google Nexus 10 8,553
Google Nexus 7 10,579
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition 13,677
Asus Transformer Pad TF701T 14,172
EVGA Tegra Note 7 16,372

The Nexus 10 is a solid gaming tablet with a beautiful screen. Josh Miller/CNET

Google Nexus 10
The Google Nexus 10 is one of the fastest Android tablets we've ever tested, and the Samsung Exynos 5250 with its Cortex A-15 system-on-Chip with a quad-core Mali-T604 GPU, will still run your 3D games reasonably well. Overall, the tablet is great for all uses, but for gaming it's one of the best Android tablets out there. Read the full review of the Google Nexus 10.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
Google Nexus 10 1.7GHz dual-core Samsung
Exynos 5 Dual (5250)
Mali-T604
(quad-core)
2GB Android 4.4

The new Nexus 7 is a champ a running Android games, but not the champ. Josh Miller/CNET

Google Nexus 7 (2013)
At $229, the Nexus 7 offers the best Android gaming performance bang for your buck. Not only does it deliver high frame rates in games, but its 1,920x1,200 resolution screen provides one of the highest pixel densities of any tablet thus far. That means all games -- 2D and 3D -- look stellar on it. Read the full review of the Google Nexus 7.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
Google Nexus 7 1.5GHz Qualcomm
Snapdragon S4 Pro
Adreno 320 (single-core) 2GB Android 4.4

The Note 10.1 is one of the more versatile -- and expensive -- Android tablets available. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
The Note 10.1 is one of the best non-keyboard productivity tablets on the market. This is of course due to its inclusion and excellent implementation of the S-pen stylus. And yet, thanks to the 1.9GHz Exynos 5 Octa it's one of the fastest Android gaming tablets around, with a fantastically sharp and brilliantly bright screen. Read the full review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
2014 Edition
1.9GHz Exynos
5 Octa
Mali-T628 3GB Android 4.3

The 1.9GHz Tegra 4 inside the TF701T is no to be toyed with. Josh Miller/CNET

Asus Transformer Pad TF701T
Asus finally moves back up the chart thanks to its newest flagship tablet. The TF701T houses the fastest version of the Nvidia Tegra 4 yet; however, thanks to a 2,560x1,600 resolution it misses out on the top spot. Read the full review of the Asus Transformer Pad TF701T.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
Asus Transformer Pad TF701T 1.9GHz quad-core
Nvidia Tegra 4
GeForce 72-core 2GB Android 4.3

Whether rendering random pictures of leaves or the latest and greatest 3D Android game, the Tegra Note 7 is a performance champ. Not that it takes much to draw 2D leaves on a screen. James Martin/CNET

EVGA Tegra Note 7
Straight away, it's important to point out that the Tegra Note 7 has the lowest screen resolution of any tablet listed here. The 1,280x800 display won't win any awards for clarity, but thanks to its lower pixel count, the GPU doesn't have to work overtime to render complex images. The $199 tablet is the current champ because it sacrifices clarity for frame rate. To some, that's a more than fair trade-off. Read the full review of the EVGA Tegra Note 7.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
EVGA Tegra Note 7 1.8GHz quad-core
Nvidia Tegra 4
GeForce 72-core 1GB Android 4.3

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

CNET's giving away a 3D printer

Enter for a chance to win* the Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer and all the supplies you need to get started.