First, there was video gaming, and everybody knew how that worked. You sat in front of a television screen with a controller and played either discs or cartridges that were placed into a specialist gaming console. That works essentially the same way now as it always did, although you’re now as likely to download a game as you are to buy it in a store.
After that came mobile gaming. That all started with ‘snake’ years ago, which some people still feel the greatest mobile game of all time despite everything that’s come since. We can sympathize with that, but mobile gaming is now one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, with mobile-specific versions of almost every major gaming franchise you can think of being created by developers to cash in on the emerging market.
Just as important as all that, though, there’s tablet gaming. Tablet gaming is a lot like mobile gaming; only It’s a lot easier to do because the screen is bigger, and it tends to be easier to attach a pad or a keyboard to help you play. Tablet gaming, like mobile gaming, is a growth industry. It’s commonly believed that iPads have the edge over Android tablets when it comes to gaming, but that isn’t necessarily the case. It all depends on the specific Android tablet you have in your hands.
Quality of gaming on an Android tablet comes down to two things; the processor, and the graphics processing unit (GPU). If you’re going to play demanding games, you need a tablet with a good GPU. You can rely on the processor alone if you’re playing Candy Crush (yes, people still play Candy Crush, and some people literally play it for days), or if you’re playing casino games on online casinos or their sister sites. Online casino games are designed to be user-friendly and easy to play. They don’t place a high demand on your hardware, because the developers want everybody to be able to log in and play easily. The latest all-action tablet games don’t take quite such a sympathetic approach!
We’ve cast our eyes across the market, and we believe we’ve identified the three best Android tablets still out there right now in 2019.
The Lenovo TAB 2 A10
You probably weren’t expecting to see a Lenovo tablet on this list, and yet here we are! This Lenovo model isn’t the most powerful of the options we’re going to look at, but it does offer unbeatable value for money. The going rate for one of these tablets is around $149, and you’re getting a lot for your money. For a start, the screen is completely HD, which isn’t a guarantee for all of the tablets at this end of the price range. The viewing angles are solid, too, and a 10.1 inch LCD screen capable of a 1200 x 1920 display is the star of the show.
We’ll include a disclaimer here; we’re rating the tablets purely as gaming machines. The TAB 2 A10 is here for that reason and that reason only. If you want to do other things with your tablet – take pictures, for example, you’re likely to be disappointed with your purchase. Also, the MediaTek MT8732 chipset that it comes with isn’t the fastest we’ve ever encountered. That’s not the same as saying it’s slow, but if you’re used to a top-of-the-range tablet, you’ll probably notice the difference. What it lacks in speed, though, it makes up in sound quality. There’s a soundbar on the back which contains Dolby technology, and it genuinely sounds better than tablets which come at three times the price or more. The battery life is pretty solid, too. We’re not sure we’d make this our ‘main’ tablet, but as a side purchase just for gaming, it might be unbeatable.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S
This device provides the best picture resolution out there on the market. That might sound like a bold claim, but we’re sticking to it. The super-lightweight Samsung Galaxy Tab S can display over four million pixels on screen at the same time, with a 2560 x 1600 display, and a contrast ratio of 100000:1. If you’re not technically minded, let us put it to you another way; it’s outstanding. This Samsung model is already recognized as a market leader for watching movies and displaying high-resolution pictures. For the same reason, it’s among the very best for gaming.
Inside the tablet, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, backed up by 3GB of memory and an Adreno 330 GPU. While more recent versions of all that hardware may now be available, they still combine to provide fearsome performance. You shouldn’t find that any current-era game you load drags, lags, or freezes. That means you’re much less likely to throw it against the wall while playing PUBG or Fortnite! At $500 it’s more than three times the price of the Lenovo TAB 2 A10, but if you lined them up side by side, you’d immediately see why. The only downside is the battery. All that display capability drains even a 7,900mAh battery, and so you’ll likely need to keep it plugged in for long gaming sessions.
The ASUS ZenPad S8
If you’re looking for an iPad level of performance from an Android tablet, then you’ll want an ASUS ZenPad S8. While it’s true that Google (and therefore Android) has more-or-less given up on the idea of trying to compete with Apple in the world of tablets, the ZenPad S8 is a reminder of how it could all have been so different if there had been more hardware like this released. It’s sleek, it’s thin, it’s quick, and it’s a powerful unit when it comes to running games.
The specific version of Android running on the ZenPad S8 is Lollipop 5.0, which works fine for the 1.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. What keeps the ZenPad ticking is the ASUS VisualMaster Suite which comes with it – it’s a smart bit of software which helps you optimize both the performance and the display for gaming purposes. It won’t put any strain on your hands due to its lightweight nature, but part of the reason it’s so light is that the battery is a bit feeble. At only 4,000 mAh, it will run out quickly during an extended gaming session. Plug it in if you want to get the best out of it.
None of the three tablets is particularly new – new Android tablets may soon be a thing of the past anyway – but they can still compete when it comes to games, and of course, they allow for access to those games which exist on Android but not elsewhere. If you’re still looking to play Android games on tablet format, we hope this article has been of some use. Thanks for stopping by!