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
Asus Transformer Pad TF103 14563
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 15736
EVGA Tegra Note 7 16372
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 16655
Sony Xperia Z2 18971

The keyboard-toting Transformer Pad TF103 is capable of both work and play. Josh Miller/CNET

Asus Transformer Pad TF103

Need a tablet for business and pleasure? Asus' latest Transformer Pad is a sweet deal for those interested in a keyboard-packing tablet-hybrid with playful perks. The TF103 rocks a more affordable price tag and plastic design, but its gaming performance is as speedy and smooth as its predecessors.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
Asus Transformer Pad TF103 1.86 GHz quad-core Intel Atom Bay Trail Z3745 Intel HD Graphics 1GB Android 4.4.2

Read the full review for the Asus Transformer Pad TF103 here.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro (8.4-inch)
A capacity for gaming with unfortunate capacitive buttons. Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4

Samsung has a plethora of tablets available, and the Pro line of Galaxy slates offer top-of-the-line specs and smooth performance to help them live up to their name. The 8.4-inch model is one of the speediest midsize tablets and dons a super-HD screen that looks great while gaming. Users beware: the capacitive buttons on the bottom bezel can get in the way, especially when holding it in landscape mode.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 2.3GHz quad-core Krait 400 Adreno 330 GPU 2GB Android 4.4

Read the full review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 here.

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.

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

Read the full review of the EVGA Tegra Note 7.

The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is small but mighty. Josh Miller/CNET

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Amazon is one of the hottest tablet manufacturers around, and the latest line of Kindle Fires packs a performance punch, not to mention great value. The 7-incher is smallest model available, but don't underestimate its prowess. It's one of the fastest slates available for gaming, however, Amazon's limited app store may hinder your selection of games.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 2.3GHz quad-core Krait 400 Adreno 330 2GB Android 4.4

Read the full review on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX here.

Waterproof and great for gaming. CNET

Sony Xperia Z2

This 10-inch tablet from Sony is a sleeper in the slate category; it sports one of the slimmest designs, boasts a waterproof build, and offers some of the fastest gaming benchmarks. Graphic-intensive games beautifully pop off of the supersharp 10-inch screen, and any gamer who moonlights as a bathtub aficionado will appreciate the extra durability built into the body.

Device CPU GPU RAM OS tested
Sony Xperia Z2 2.3GHz quad-core Krait 400 Adreno 330 3GB Android 4.4.2

Read the full review on the Sony Xperia Z tablet here.

If gaming isn't your only priority, check out our list of the best Android tablets in general. And if you're not tied to Android, we've rounded up our picks for the best tablets overall, regardless of platform.


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