Best Android tablets to consider before committing to iPad Pro 2021

Bharat Bhushan - Apr 18, 2021, 5:08am CDT
Best Android tablets to consider before committing to iPad Pro 2021

Tablets have been trying to overpower laptops since their very inception and Apple iPads have been at the helm of this desirous change. Leading from the front, iPad Pro has been the go-to device for most of us seeking work and play balance with portability. Now as foldable phones venture into the realm of tablets – with their extending form factor – this niche is somewhat diluting. Yet, if you’re into a large slate silhouette, which offers the comfort of a laptop and finesse in creative flow (with the stylus) there are some intriguing Android-based options on the market.

Good news for Apple fanboys, and general tablet seekers, however, is that a 12.9-inch iPad Pro is on the horizon. This is likely to be the first Apple device to support a brighter, energy-efficient Mini-LED display and come with 5G connectivity. If Apple can push out the upcoming iPad Pro with M1 chip in its guts and stack up a better performing battery (both on the cards according to rumors), it is going to be an undeniable champ.

That said, Windows-based Microsoft Surface Pro 7 has already proven itself as a worthy contender for business and corporate users. It certainly is one of the best iPad Pro 2021 alternatives with large real estate for typing and drawing. But again, as the iPad Pro, it’s beyond the Android ecosystem. To leverage Android’s biggest strength – flexibility – and help you widen your options; here are the best Android tablets, how they are different, and why they’re worth their weight against the iPad Pro in 2021.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

Announced in the middle of last year, the Galaxy Tab S7+ is the best tablet for a non-budgeted Android tablet enthusiast. Providing tablet level portability with PC performance, the Samsung tablet features a larger 12.4-inch narrow bezel Super AMOLED display with quad-speaker setup for Dolby surround sound experience.

What We Like

– 4-inch AMOLED display offering 120Hz refresh rate
– S Pen included
– Decent performance
– Great battery backup

What We Don’t Like

– Still runs Android 10
– Expensive

Attach the tablet to an optional keyboard with trackpad and instantly get the laptop-style comfort for typing and when you want to take notes and sketch a creative, just pull out the S Pen bundled with the slate. The tablet supports fast-charging to offer hours of entertainment on a few minutes of charge; while it offers a huge 14-hour backup. The 5G enabled Galaxy Tab 7 Plus is powered by the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor (paired with 6/8GB RAM and up to 512GB storage), which makes the tablet perform fast, without any lag in almost all real world conditions. Price starts at $850.

Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon tablets have been ahead in their race of budget slates for a few years now. While the company’s Fire HD 8 is a more economical – sub $100 – option that offers an acceptable experience for its price; it’s the Amazon Fire HD 10, which is more premium yet within the budget. Delivered with a 10.1-inch full HD (1920×1200) display the tablet comes with fairly low internal storage (32 and 64GB options) it does support a microSD card to stretch the storage up to 512GB.

What We Like

– Inexpensive
– Designed for binge-watching, especially Amazon Prime
– External storage
– Alexa support

What We Don’t Like

– Slow performance
– No stylus

The tablet runs Fire OS, based on Android, and is powered by a 2GHz octa-core processor. The slate does have rear and front-facing HD cameras, but they are not very promising if you are going to have this as a daily driver. What can really come in handy is the Alexa support to get things done hands-free, and the 3.5mm headphone jack, because the integrated speaker is not as powerful as you’d expect. With fast charging support and up to 12 hours of battery life, the Amazon device is best if you want a tablet for reading, browsing and watching videos. The price starts at $150.

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro

Termed as one of the finest tablets to consume media (it has a larger screen than the Fire tablet above), the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is an affordable competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus and thus the iPad Pro 2021 owing to its 2K resolution OLED display, support for Lenovo Precision Pen, a quad-speaker system that would appeal to the cine/audiophiles; all in sub $500 price tag.

What We Like

– Large, bright 11.5-inch display
– 4 x JBL speakers onboard
– Long battery life
– Value for money

What We Don’t Like

– Low screen refresh rate
– No 3.5mm headphone jack
– Limited storage

The trendy tablet has a body constructed from aluminum which provides it a sturdy look and lightweight profile. The Lenovo Pen comes in handy for drawing on the go, taking notes in a meeting, and the tablet can slip into a keyboard case with a kickstand for ease of typing. The tablet is powered by Snapdragon 730G and is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB onboard storage. To add weight to its form factor, the Tab P11 Pro has dual front cameras and it supports 20W fast charging while offering up to 15 hours of playback on a full charge. Price $490.

Huawei MatePad Pro

With the aesthetics pretty similar to the iPad Pro, Huawei’s tablet from 2020 has been loosely referred to as the Android iPad Pro clone. With a screen size measuring 10.8-inch diagonally, the MatePad Pro is not the biggest in the lot but it impresses with high brightness, 2560 x 1600 resolution display that touts a 90-percent screen to body ratio. Provided with a magnetically attached Huawei M Pencil, the tablet allows smooth sketching and writing, and if you’d rather write, Huawei has a magnetic keyboard that supports the device at two angles.

What We Like

– Stylish design and nice wide display
– Wireless charging
– Competitive price

What We Don’t Like

– Lack of Google services
– Available in limited countries only

Like with the Huawei phones – the MatePad Pro is powered by Kirin 990 processor. It is paired with 6 or 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage. MatePad Pro features 5G and it offers up to 12 hours of battery backup. Compatible with fast charger, like the Lenovo tablet above, it goes a stride further with 27W wireless charging and even supports reverse charging. The price starts at $600.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 5G

Samsung is the hungriest manufacturer in the Android ecosystem that wants the biggest share of the tablet pie. No wonder, we have another model from the Koreans on this list. The little sibling of the Tab S7 Plus, this is compatible with the S Pen as well and it comes with integrated 5G, which may have won the tablet some fanfare ahead of the Apple iPad Pro 2021 – most likely to be the premier iPad with 5G.

What We Like

– 120Hz display
– Great performer
– Quad-speaker setup with Dolby Atmos
– Up to 13 hours of battery life

What We Don’t Like

– Slightly expensive
– Supports 45W fast charging but adaptor not provided in the box

Touting an interesting 11-inch TFT panel with a 120Hz refresh ratio, the Galaxy Tab S7 display has a 2560 x 1600 resolution. Just like its elder brother it is powered by Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC and comes with either 6GB or 8GB RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage, which is expandable to 1TB. Galaxy Tab S7 supports fast charging, has quad AKG speakers and is priced starting at $650.


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