Help Me Laptop: Which 10-Inch Android Tablet Is the Best?

The wide world of tablets can feel especially small if you want a larger screen and prefer Android. Forum member ruthieroo81 wrote in to us, asking for buying advice for an upcoming trip:

"I've been looking for a new tablet for a while, but as I now have a trip to Australia planned, I've started to look into it a bit more. I'll be going away to Australia on my own for three weeks. I'm looking for a device mainly for browsing, watching films, social media, etc. I have a portable hard drive (1TB WD Passport), so can store photos and additional media on that, and a RAVPower FileHub, which I would like to use alongside my new tablet."

Additionally, ruthieroo81 mentioned that they prefer a 10-inch Android or Windows tablet, that their price cap is £600 (around $786), and that they would like LTE if possible. Because of that specific note mentioning pounds sterling, I'm going to list other tablets' pricing in pounds, not dollars.

Task at hand, I cracked my knuckles and flipped through our Best Tablets page, finding a lot of options that didn't quite hit the mark. The Surface Go is £509, but the tablet's battery life is low (around 6 hours on the Laptop Mag battery test), and that same slate jumps above our user's price cap, to £619, with LTE.

MORE: Kids Tablets to Buy (or Avoid)

I saw Amazon's £149 Fire HD 10, which looks like a good option — with a decent screen and over 9 hours of life on a single charge — but it has major issues. The biggest problem results from how Amazon locks down its Fire tablets, which requires you to root the device and jump through some hoops in order to use those accessories of yours. Also, while ruthieroo81's list of important apps — "Deezer, Netflix, Outlook, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter" — are all there, Amazon's app store doesn't stock any Google apps. Plus, there's no LTE option.

The first slate I'd actually recommend is Lenovo's Tab 4 10 Plus. At 0.3 inches thick, it's thinner than the Fire HD 10 (0.4 inches). Also, its screen ratings (109 percent of the sRGB spectrum, 400 nits of brightness) are solid, and its 4,097 score on the Geekbench performance test thwomps the 2,916 from the Fire HD 10. Oh, and it's got excellent battery life, lasting 13 hours and 6 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test.

The biggest issue with the tablet is its limited availability, though I've found it with LTE for ruthieroo81 on Amazon for £179.

Buy LTE Tab 4 Plus on Amazon UK

Buy Wi-Fi Tab 4 Plus on Amazon UK

For a little more, you can get … a little more. The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite is a 10-inch slate that packs its own stylus (in case you're interested in one) and a 427-nit screen that's a bit brighter than the Tab 4 10 Plus' display. While this tablet is a decent option overall, its 3,845 Geekbench score is a hair below the Tab 4 10 Plus' mark of 4,097.

MORE: Best Tablets - Top Tablets on the Market - Laptop Mag

Just like the Tab 4 10 Plus, supply of the M5 Lite is limited. At the time of publishing, the LTE version, which goes for £301.61, has only five units left in stock on Amazon, though the £259, Wi-Fi-only model is in strong supply.

Buy LTE MediaPad M5 Lite on Amazon UK

Buy Wi-Fi Only MediaPad M5 Lite on Amazon UK

If you want the latest and greatest, though, consider the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e, which is so new that we haven't even tested it yet. But if this slate matches its predecessor, the 10-inch Tab S4, it will certainly be worth its £429 price (and that's with LTE). The S4's screen hit a high 219% on the sRGB test and produced a mighty bright 463 nits. Oh, and it offered even more speed than the Tab 4 10 Plus, with a Geekbench score of 6,592.

Buy LTE Galaxy Tab S5e on Amazon UK

Again, though, this is all based on past performance, which is not an optimal way to evaluate a new device. We look forward to testing it soon to get back to you. I'd have recommended the Galaxy Tab S4, which supports an optional keyboard accessory, but it's got limited availability, as the S5e's replaced it in Samsung's lineup.

There's just one catch: remember when the iPhone dropped calls when you held it wrong? The internet is currently getting peppered with reports of the Galaxy tab S5e having its own Antennagate, with Wi-Fi signals dropping based on how users' hands grip it.

Before you go buying any of these, ruthieroo81, note that you'll need an adapter — such as this one from Anker — to connect the Tab 4 10, MediaPad M5 Lite or the Tab S5e to your drive.

Buy Anker USB C OTG Cable on Amazon UK

Credit: Laptop Mag