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Best pure Android tablets

If you prefer a pure OS experience, here are the best tablets running the raw, clean power of stock Android.

The advantages of a tablet running pure Android are simple; no manufacturer bloatware or custom interfaces, and more control over what you can do with your slate. Android customization options are so great, manufacturers often offer a unique overlay on their Android devices (like Samsung's TouchWiz), but those can constrain your options as well.

If you know which apps, widgets and themes you'd like -- or if you'd like freedom to choose -- a pure Android OS gives you a fresh slate (pun intended) to start with. The Google Play store is still catching up to Apple's robust App Store in terms of available and tablet-optimized apps, but second place isn't that bad, especially if you're uninterested in a restrictive operating system.

We've gathered the best tablets running vanilla Android and, though not all offer the latest version, they offer the stock option that puts most of the control in your hands (literally).


Google's Pixel line of devices is designed in-house.

Josh Miller/CNET

Google Pixel C

Google's latest tablet wants to be more than just that. The Pixel C transforms into a tablet-laptop hybrid with the addition of its detachable magnetic keyboard. It's impressively designed and rivals the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for best keyboard accessory. Read the full review of the Google Pixel C.

The most high-end Dell tablet to-date doesn't disappoint. Josh P. Miller/CNET

Dell Venue 8 7000

The Venue 8 7000 is a sleek and solid piece of hardware with the cool addition of a depth-sensing camera. It ships with a few preloaded apps for using the high-tech camera, but otherwise leaves the OS as its creators intended. Read the full review of the Dell Venue 8 7000.

The Nexus 9 doesn't fall too far from the tree. CNET

Google Nexus 9

The 9-inch Google Nexus features a simple but solid construction and top-of-the-line specs that result in impressively fast performance. It's more of a traditional tablet that the Pixel C (above), best for Web browsing, gaming and streaming video. Read the full review of the Google Nexus 9.