Mobile gaming is kind of a big deal. Most games available for tablets aren’t as long as the best titles for handheld consoles, but some are just as deep in both story and mechanics. As for selection, well, there’s just no way Nintendo or Sony can compete with the iOS and Android app stores.
Even some hardcore gamers are now turning to tablets as an alternative to handheld consoles. Which begs the question – if you care about gaming, what tablet is the best? Is there a major difference between the competitors, or are they all about the same?
The Three Best Choices
Now that I’ve provided an overview, let’s get down to the specifics – the three best gaming tablets on the market today.
Apple iPad 3 aka The New iPad
The iOS environment is a great boon to the tablet gamer. Game usually come out for iOS first, and Android later. Games also tend to run better on the iPad because the developers only have to code for a few devices with extremely similar hardware.
With that said, don’t discount the hardware. The display on the iPad 3 is amazing. It’s crisp, offers excellent color reproduction and features deep black levels. This is enhanced by the A5X, which features the most powerful GPU on any tablet sold today.
Sony Tablet S
Like some other Sony devices, the Tablet S is Playstation Certified. This means it will be able to run Playstation Mobile games, giving gamers another source of high-quality titles. You’ll be able to play games like WipEout and DYAD, among many others. You can even play them by pairing the tablet with a wireless PS3 controller.
The tablet also features a “TruBlack” display. It provides excellent black levels, which results in good image quality.
The main downside is the use of the older Tegra 2 SoC. This hampers performance in theory, though the tablet should be able to handle modern Android titles.
Google Nexus 7
It’s hard to beat the value presented by the Nexus 7. For $200 you can have a tablet with the same Tegra 3 SoC found in other larger, more expensive tablets. It provides the same performance at a much lower price.
Another benefit is the display. Color reproduction and black levels are not the best, but it does offer a 216 pixels per inch, which not far off what Apple offers with its Retina display.
Some gamers may be turned off by the size. A 7” tablet is quite a bit smaller than a 10” one. This can also be a boon, however, because the tablet is lighter and easier to handle. That makes the tablet easier to use for long periods of time.
Here’s the summary checklist for buying a gaming tablet.
- Check the performance of the SoC.
- Consider display quality.
- Research game selection and peripheral compatibility.
- Look at size and weight (lighter, thinner tablets are often more comfortable).
If you remember these four points before you make your purchase you should be happy with the product. Don’t worry much about interface customizations, camera quality or even audio quality (you can always wear earplugs, and probably will if you game outside your home).
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