Android tablets have been attempting to outperform laptops since their inception, and Apple iPads have been at the forefront of this desirable change. For most of us looking for a work-and-play balance with portability, the iPad Pro has become the go-to unit.
With their extending form factor, foldable phones are now venturing into the realm of laptops, diluting this niche. However, there are some interesting Android-based choices on the market if you prefer a big slate silhouette that offers the comfort of a laptop and finesse in artistic flow (with the stylus).
However, there is good news for Apple fans and tablet buyers in general: a 12.9-inch iPad Pro is on the way. This would most likely be the first Apple smartphone with a brighter, more energy-efficient Mini-LED display and 5G connectivity.
If Apple will release the forthcoming iPad Pro with the M1 chip and a stronger battery (both of which are rumored to be on the way), it would be an undeniable champion.
Nonetheless, the Windows-based Microsoft Surface Pro 7 has already proven to be a viable option for business and corporate users. It’s undoubtedly one of the best iPad Pro 2021 alternatives, with plenty of space for typing and drawing. But, like the iPad Pro, it’s not part of the Android ecosystem.
Here are the best Android tablets, how they vary, and why they’re worth their weight against the iPad Pro in 2021, to help you take advantage of Android’s greatest strength – versatility.
Amazon Fire HD 10
For a few years, Amazon tablets have been on top of the budget tablet competition. Although the Amazon Fire HD 8 is a more affordable – under $100 – option that provides an acceptable experience for the price, the Amazon Fire HD 10 is a more expensive option that is still within budget.
The tablet comes with a 10.1-inch full HD (1920×1200) display and limited internal storage (32 and 64GB), but it does accept a microSD card for storage expansion up to 512GB.
- Designed for binge-watching, especially Amazon Prime
- External storage
- Alexa support
- Slow performance
- No stylus
The tablet is powered by a 2GHz octa-core processor and runs Fire OS, which is based on Android. The slate does have HD cameras on the back and front, but they aren’t very good if you plan on using it as a regular driver. The Alexa support for getting stuff done hands-free, as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack, come in handy because the integrated speaker isn’t as effective as you’d expect.
Huawei MatePad Pro
Huawei’s tablet from 2020 has been dubbed the Android iPad Pro clone because of its similar looks to the iPad Pro. The MatePad Pro has a 10.8-inch diagonal screen, which isn’t the largest in the lineup, but it impresses with a high-brightness, 2560 x 1600 resolution monitor with a 90-percent screen-to-body ratio.
The tablet comes with a magnetically attached Huawei M Pencil for smooth sketching and drawing, and Huawei also has a magnetic keyboard that supports the computer at two angles if you prefer to write.
- Stylish design and nice wide display
- Wireless charging
- Competitive price
- Lack of Google services
- Available in limited countries only
The MatePad Pro, like Huawei mobile, is powered by a Kirin 990 processor. It has 6 or 8GB of RAM, as well as up to 512GB of internal storage. The MatePad Pro supports 5G and has a battery life of up to 12 hours. It’s compatible with quick charging, much like the Lenovo tablet above, but it goes one step further with 27W wireless charging and reverse charging. The cost begins at $600.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is an affordable rival 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, and a quad-speaker setup that would cater to cine/audiophiles; all in a sub $500 price tag.
- Large, bright 11.5-inch display
- 4 x JBL speakers onboard
- Long battery life
- Value for money
- Low screen refresh rate
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- Limited storage
The stylish tablet’s body is made of aluminum, giving it a rugged appearance and a slim profile. The Lenovo Pen is useful for sketching on the go or taking notes in meetings, and the tablet can be slipped into a keyboard case with a kickstand for typing convenience.
The tablet is equipped with a Snapdragon 730G processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. The Tab P11 Pro has dual front cameras to add weight to its form factor, and it supports 20W fast charging while providing up to 15 hours of playback on a full charge. The cost is $490.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 5G
Samsung is the Android ecosystem’s greediest producer, vying for the lion’s share of the tablet market. It’s no surprise that we have another Korean model on this list. The smaller brother of the Tab S7 Plus, this tablet is also compatible with the S Pen and has incorporated 5G, which may have helped the tablet gain traction ahead of the Apple iPad Pro 2021, which is expected to be the premier iPad with 5G.
- 120Hz display
- Great performer
- Quad-speaker setup with Dolby Atmos
- Up to 13 hours of battery life
- Slightly expensive
- Supports 45W fast charging but adaptor not provided in the box
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus
The Galaxy Tab S7+, which was released in the middle of last year, is the perfect tablet for a non-budgeted Android tablet enthusiast. The Samsung tablet combines tablet portability with PC performance, with a wider 12.4-inch narrow bezel Super AMOLED display and quad-speaker configuration for Dolby surround sound.
- 4-inch AMOLED display offering 120Hz refresh rate
- S Pen included
- Decent performance
- Great battery backup
- Still runs Android 10
When you attach the tablet to an optional keyboard with trackpad, you’ll have laptop-style typing comfort right away, and you can use the S Pen included with the slate to take notes and draw ideas.
The tablet has fast-charging capabilities, allowing it to provide hours of entertainment on a single charge, and it has a massive 14-hour battery backup. The Snapdragon 865 Plus processor (paired with 6/8GB RAM and up to 512GB storage) powers the 5G-enabled Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, allowing it to work quickly and without lag in nearly all real-world scenarios. The starting price is $850.