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What's the best Android tablet? Google Nexus vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

Al Sacco | Sept. 19, 2013
If you're in the market for an Android tablet and have your eye on both of these terrific tablets, how do you choose which one is for you? Here's a quick breakdown designed to help make your decision.

(Find additional availability details for each Tab 3 model on Samsung's website.)

To sum up those numbers, the $200 Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 tablet with 8GB of storage is the cheapest option of the bunch, not counting the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 Wi-Fi/LTE version, which also costs $200 but requires a wireless service commitment. For $30 more, you can get the 16GB Nexus 7, which has double the storage of the Galaxy Tab 7.0.

If you seek a larger tablet, the least you'll pay is $379.99 for the 16GB, Wi-Fi only Tab 3 10.1.

Nexus vs. Galaxy Tab 3: Comparing Tech Specs
I'm not going to stack up all of these various devices and break them down spec by spec. But I will offer up some notable hardware differences:

One notable difference between the Nexus family and the Galaxy Tab 3 devices is thickness - or, in this case, thinness. Both the Tab 3 8.0 and Tab 3 10.1 are just slightly slimmer than the Nexus devices.

The Tab 3 devices also have a "physical" home button built into their displays, while the Nexus tablets have solid screens with no buttons; the only physical buttons on the Nexus tablets are volume up/down keys and power buttons on their sides.

The Nexus 7's 1920 x1200 HD display (323 PPI) is "the sharpest 7" tablet screen ever," according to Google. And it really does look good. In comparison, the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 has a 1024 x 600 display and both the Tab 3 8.0 and Tab 3 10.1 have display resolutions of 1280 x 800 (WXGA). You can see a notable difference in display quality in the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 when watching HD movies, playing games with vivid colors or when reading larger text on crisp white background.

The Nexus 7 has a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, compared to the Tab 3 10.1's 1.6Ghz dual-core processor; the Tab 3 8.0's 1.5GHz dual-core processor; and the Tab 3 7.0's 1.2Ghz dual-core processor. The Nexus 7 also has 2GB of RAM, while both the Tab 3 7.0 and 10.1 have 1GB of RAM, and the Tab 3 8.0 has 1.5GB of RAM. The Nexus 7's powerful processor and additional RAM make it well suited for gaming.

As for built-in storage, the Nexus 7 is available in two configurations: 16GB and 32GB. The Tab 3 7.0 Wi-Fi comes with 8GB of storage; the Tab 3 7.0 LTE/Wi-Fi version has 16GB; and both the Tab 3 8.0 and 10.1 Wi-Fi models come with 16GB of storage. However all Galaxy Tab 3 devices also have microSD memory card slots that support cards up to 64GB.


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