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CNET Top 5: Best Android gaming tablets

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CNET Top 5: Best Android gaming tablets

4:00 /

Gamer or not, if you're an Android fan looking for tablet that runs rings around the iPad Mini and costs $100 less, this is your tablet.

Gaming on the iPad is pretty great, but if you really want to see where the envelope is being pushed for mobile games, look no further than Android. With so many manufacturers trying to distinguish themselves in the crowded Android tablet market, gaming performance is one way these guys can rise above the noise. IÃ?m Donald Bell, and in this Top 5, IÃ?m counting down the best Android tablets for gaming, ranked by our own CNET Labs using the 3DMark performance benchmark. Starting off at #5: the Sony Xperia Tablet S. This is a proper all- around tablet. You get a bigger 9.4-inch screen, plenty of extra features, and that that signature Sony fit and finish. Now, the tablet is almost a year old at this point, but the good news is that the original $400 price is starting to soften all the way down to $299. For a high-end Android 4.0 tablet with a 3DMark score topping just over 4,000, thatÃ?s arguably the best deal on this list. But if you want better performance, youÃ?ll have to cough up a little extra. At #4: the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700. Priced just under $500, this is a beloved Android tablet that does a convincing job of switching into a sort of Android laptop. NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset, beautiful screen resolution, and that keyboard dock accessory bumps up the battery life quite a bit -- which youÃ?ll need if you really plan on living the dream of playing Assassin's Creed from your beachside cabana. A score of 4,298 means thereÃ?s plenty of polygon pushing power here, but if youÃ?re going to spend the money, you may want to wait until you hear the rest of this list. Coming in at #3 with a 3DMark score of 8,050: The Google Nexus 10. This is more like it. 2GB of RAM, Android 4.2, and a reasonable price of $400. This is the first tablet to use Samsung's 1.7GHz dual-core Exynos 5250 CPU along with a Mali T-604 graphics processor. All of that translates into buttery smooth frame rates and serious gaming performance. The downside here is that for whatever reason, this tablet charges super slow. It canÃ?t even pull down enough juice to charge while youÃ?re playing games -- so if you run out of battery, youÃ?ll just have to take a breather for a few hours while the tablet recharges. Boo. Still not fast enough for you? Well then, sliding in at #2 with a 3DMark score of 10,200: the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. Insanely thin, incredibly fast, and itÃ?s even waterproof in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. So if you fit that sweaty-handed gamer stereotype, or perhaps you play best while wearing one of those top-heavy beer helmets, then a waterproof tablet should come in handy. Which brings us to the #1 Android tablet for gaming, ranked by our CNET Editors Eric Franklin and Xiomara Blanco. Fresh out of the factory: the 2013 Google Nexus 7. With a 3DMark score of 11,601 and a starting price of $229, the best gaming tablet in the world is also one of the most affordable. It packs a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with 2 gigs of RAM and a beautiful screen that measures twice as bright as the original Nexus 7. Gamer or not, if youÃ?re an Android fan looking for tablet that runs rings around the iPad Mini and costs $100 less, this is your tablet. So there you have it, five tablets that will do justice to every pixel of zombie brain you can splatter. For more details on the benchmarks, head over to the full post over on CNETÃ?s Android Atlas blog. And for more Top 5Ã?s from me, Top5.CNET.com. IÃ?m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.
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