The best-performing Android tablets today

Led by slates carrying Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor, Android tablets are highly competitive against Apple's iPad.

Unlike laptops and PCs, tablets are not heavily defined by their performance benchmarks. The benchmark tests available for tablets are not all cross-platform, and such tests don't always offer especially meaningful results beyond an index number that you can compare across assorted tablets. Still, benchmarks remain one of the best objective measures of a tablet's performance. We put the latest tablets through the benchmarking ringer--as well as through PCWorld's own tests of battery life and recharge--to see how they compare to Apple's third-generation iPad and iPad 2.

Overall, as you'll see from the charts below, we discovered that Nvidia Tegra 3-based Android tablets are among some of the best performers out there. (Of the tablets we assessed in this group, only Apple's iPads and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 lack some version of the Tegra 3.) But we also saw some notable variations in performance--variations whose root causes could lie in different processor speeds, different types of system memory, and different versions of the Android operating system.

Interestingly, among this selection of tablets, Google's budget-priced Nexus 7 was highly competitive. The Nexus 7 is the first tablet to use Nvidia's cost-cutting Kai reference platform, and it's the first tablet to ship using Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. It posted largely impressive results despite carrying a price-performance-optimized version of the Tegra 3, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor dubbed the T30L (the CPU runs at 1.3GHz in single-core operation). Those are the same frequencies as on the new Acer Iconia Tab A700, but Nvidia can't comment on whether everything about the Tegra 3 inside the Nexus 7 is the same as on the A700. The benchmark results below might reflect subtle system-on-chip fine-tuning differences, since the Acer slightly outperformed the Nexus 7 on several tests.

Apple's third-generation iPad continued to lead the tablet field significantly on our GLBenchmark 2.1.4 graphics tests. In that evaluation, it was nearly twice as fast as its rivals on the Egypt Offscreen test, and nearly three times as fast on the Pro Offscreen test.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Melissa J. Perenson

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?