Technically, the Shield is as much a tablet as a Sony PlayStation Vita, but Nvidia's new gaming system deserves a place on this list thanks to its inclusion of a touch screen, Android 4.2, and a Tegra 4 processor running at maximum speed. However, it's the well-engineered console-like controls that elevate it beyond all other tablet competitors when it comes to gaming.
There are three reasons the iPad Mini with Retina Display is so high on this list. One, the A7 chip is as powerful as any current mobile processor. Two, the Retina Mini's small size makes it easier to hold during multiple sessions of Real Racing 3. And three, dat App Store. It's hard to argue with great software, and with access to the most and best games of any tablet, there's really nothing more to discuss. If only it had built-in physical controls.
The iPad Air is one of the fastest gaming tablets in the market. While it doesn't completely eclipse its competition, it doesn't really have to. The Apple App Store still houses the highest quality -- and quantity -- of gaming apps anywhere. If there's a tablet game you're itching to play, it's likely you'll find the best version here.
There are three reasons the EVGA Tegra Note 7 is on this and none of the reasons have anything to do with its stylus. While the sylus is well-integrated, the Galaxy Note 8 still makes for a better -- if more expensive -- sylus tablet.
No, reason one why the Tegra Note 7 makes this list is the inclusion of pure Android, which gives it access to the multitude of games on the Google Play store. Reason two is the fast 1.8GHz Tegra 4 processor inside. And the third and final reason the Tegra Note 7 makes this list, is that at $199, it's the cheapest product here.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 system-on-chip is the reason Amazon's latest tablet made it on the list. Sure, the screen is sharp as a well-filed bayonet and navigation performance is as zippy as it gets, but it's the power of the Snapdragon 800 and its ability to deliver frame rates as high as we've ever seen on Android that really seals the deal.
The 8.9-inch Fire HDX is here for the same reasons as the 7-incher, however with a larger even sharper screen, the Fire HDX 8.9 is an even more impressive tablet gaming specimen. However, it is more expensive.
While the Nexus 7 lacks the latest and greatest GPU hardware, it makes up for it in software support. The Nexus 7 is one of very few tablets that supports OpenGL 3.0, which essentially supercharges the GPU performance of the tablet's Snapdragon S4 Pro to elevated levels. Couple that with a color-accurate and impressively bright screen, and it's easy to see how the Google flagship tablet earned its place here.
The Xperia Tablet Z was the first Android tablet to best the Google Nexus 10 in raw graphical performance, according to scores derived from the 3DMark benchmark. Since then, however, a number of newer, much cheaper tablets have hit the market with better gaming performance. It's not the type of tablet you'd buy to play games on, but it's still a good tablet that continues to hold its own in graphical performance.