Gone are the days when you had to stay chained to your desk to work, watch television, play games or enjoy movies. Nowadays, you can take the action with you wherever you go if you have a tablet. While purchasing the latest tablet may be tempting, it can put a huge dent in your wallet. Fortunately, you don’t have to invest in a new device to get one worth owning. With an increasing number of older, refurbished devices on the market, you have more options than ever before.
While there are many refurbished devices available for purchase, not every older tablet is a smart investment. How do you know the difference between a good tablet and a bad one? That’s where we come in. In this article, we compare Google Nexus tablets in an effort to discover which is the best.
Next Tablet FAQs
Before we get to our rankings of the best nexus tablets, we want to be sure you have a bit of background information. Below are some answers to some of the most common questions about these devices.
1. What Is a Tablet?
A tablet is a personal electronic device. Tablets usually have a large touchscreen that enables the user to toggle through different applications. Often, tablets have Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity. They also have internal storage. Most feature speakers, a camera and other modern options.
2. What Is a Nexus Tablet?
Google Nexus is a line of personal electronic devices. The line currently only includes two smartphones. In the past, however, consumers could purchase new Nexus tablets. The company stopped making Nexus tablets in 2016, though. Nowadays, the only option for purchasing a Nexus tablet is to shop for a refurbished one.
3. What Do Nexus Tablets Do?
Like most other tablets, Nexus tablets perform a variety of functions. Internet browsing, article reading, gameplaying, movie streaming and other similar tasks are common.
4. Where Can You Buy a Nexus Tablet?
Since Nexus tablets are no longer being made, you probably can’t purchase a new one. Instead, you must look for a refurbished device. These are usually available from both electronics stores and online sellers. Often, customers shop for Nexus tablets on Amazon or eBay. Remember, though, refurbished devices usually don’t come with warranties. As such, be sure you buy your Nexus tablet from a reputable source.
5. How Much Do Nexus Tablets Cost?
Nexus tablets are usually available for purchase from a variety of independent sellers. As you may suspect, the cost of these tablets varies widely. While most tablets sell for under hundred dollars, some cost several hundred dollars. We discuss pricing of Nexus tablets in greater detail below.
How We Reviewed Nexus Tablets
Purchasing a personal electronic device can seem daunting. Often, you don’t know whether you like a device until you use it for a while. Still, with a bit of information, you can make a confident purchase. To give you honest, reliable information, we looked deeply into Nexus tablets. We didn’t only read through published marketing materials and device specifications, though. On the contrary, we carefully considered the opinions of both professional reviewers and actual tablet users.
For a place on our rankings, a Nexus tablet must standout in the following areas:
Since there are no new Nexus tablets on the market today, we had to be careful. It would have been unfair to compare old-model tablets to new ones. As such, we don’t compare Nexus tablets to other tablets. Instead, we rank the best Nexus tablets ever made.
To help you make a smart purchase, we also assign a rating to each tablet. Our ratings are on a five-point scale. We also assume that each tablet is in good condition. Remember, however, that not all refurbished tablets are in the same state of repair. Before making your purchase, check on the condition of the actual device you intend to buy.
Price Range of Nexus Tablets
We promised to take an in-depth look at the overall price of Nexus tablets. Again, since there are no new Nexus tablets on the market today, we have to consider the price of refurbished devices. Generally, you can purchase a refurbished Nexus tablet for around a hundred dollars. Some sellers, though, list Nexus tablets for as much as four hundred dollars. If you pay more, you should expect your refurbished Nexus tablet to have the following characteristics:
You may want to buy a Nexus tablet because of its performance. Or, you may opt for one of these refurbished devices because of its price tag. Either way, you can likely find a decent device for an affordable price by working with the right seller.
While we would like to provide you with a cost estimate for each device on our list, doing so is not feasible. Since the cost of refurbished tablets varies considerably, we don’t want to lead you astray. As such, before deciding on which tablet is right for you, check online for real-time pricing.
The Top 4 Nexus Tablets: Rankings, Ratings and Reviews
The Winner: Nexus 9
The best Nexus tablet in our opinion is also the newest. Released in late 2014, the Nexus 9 is a good tablet. A partnership between Google and HTC, the Nexus 9 revolutionized the tablet market in its day. The tablet features an HD display and a strong, durable build. While the 8.9-inch display is small by today’s standards, it was large in 2014.
With a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, the Nexus 9 is optimal for watching movies or playing games. This tablet comes with either 16GB or 32GB of RAM, providing a fast interface. The Nexus 9 comes with 5.0 Lollipop software, which is upgradeable to 7.1.1 Nougat software.
We like the Nexus 9 for its size. The compact dimensions of the tablet make it a good option for on-the-go use. Meanwhile, the tablet’s screen size is large enough for an engaging viewing experience. Moreover, holding the Nexus 9 is comfortable and intuitive. This tablet features rounded corners and a stylish overall design. The device also runs most apps smoothly.
The Runner-Up: Nexus 10
The Nexus 10 tablet comes from Samsung Electronics. Released in November 2012, Nexus 10 set the stage for later Samsung devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. If you are looking for a device with a deep brand history, this one will likely appeal to you.
With a 10.1-inch Super PLS screen, the Nexus 10 makes for excellent viewing. A screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels ensures video quality is crisp and clear. The device was introduced to compete with the 2012 iPad. While users were just becoming familiar with tablets that year, the Nexus 10 provided a welcome alternative for those who weren’t fond of Apple’s operating system.
The build quality of the Nexus 10 is good, although the device does seem a bit clunky. Still, the screen covers most of the front of the tablet. Further, the lightweight design of this device makes transportation a breeze.
The Nexus 10 has 16GB or 32GB of storage. That’s impressive for an older tablet. It comes with 4.2 Jelly Bean software, but you can update that to 5.1 Lollipop. As you may suspect, however, the dated software on the Nexus 10 makes running some apps impossible.
When compared to other Nexus tablets, the Nexus 10 is a fine addition to our list. When compared to later tablets, however, it falls short in many areas. Most importantly, it cannot run the latest Android software. It also doesn’t benefit from many of the advances in tablet glass that have become common on today’s devices. If you are committed to purchasing a Nexus tablet, though, this device deserves consideration.
2013 Nexus 7
- 7-inch tablet screen, 1200x1920 (323 ppi), LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
- Powerful 3950 mAh battery, 10 hours, 15Wh Li-polymer Battery
- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 8064 Quad-Core, 1.5 GHz
Both the 2012 and 2013 versions of the Nexus 7 were made by Asus. The company managed to deliver a compelling device in a small package. The 2013 Nexus 7 earns the third spot on our list. Combining intuitive design and a stylish cover, the Nexus 7 looks great even today.
The Nexus 7 comes with 4.3 Jelly Bean software. You can upgrade the operating system to 6.0 Marshmallow, however. This device features a 7.02-inch backlit LED screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. At the time of the device’s release, viewing quality was exceptional. By today’s standards, it is just so-so.
Unfortunately, the Nexus 7’s operating system fails to support some apps. Still, you can run hundreds of basic applications on this device. You can also use the Nexus 7 for a long time, as its 3950mAh battery boasts an effective life of around seven hours.
If you prefer to hold your tablet in your hands, the Nexus 7 will likely impress you. The outside case of this tablet is smooth and lightweight. Even though the device isn’t hefty, it feels strong and durable. Moreover, the Nexus 7 has user-friendly buttons that are excellent for small hands. As such, the Nexus 7 may be an affordable option for young users.
While we rank the Nexus 7 third on our list, it is a good tablet. Due to its dated software, we simply can’t rank it any higher.
2012 Nexus 7
- World's first 7 quad-core tablet delivers an advanced multimedia experience with up to 9.5* hours of battery life.
- The world first Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet
- This factory refurbished product is tested & certified by Apple to be 100% working and shows no signs of use. Includes...
The 2012 version of the Nexus 7 earns the final spot on our survey of the best Nexus tablets. This tablet was discontinued in stages, finally dying out when the 2013 Nexus 7 reached its peak.
While old, the 2012 Nexus 7 has some features we like quite a bit. Available with 8GB, 16GB or 32GB of storage, the 2012 Nexus 7 is one of the most versatile tablets we reviewed. It also has a small 7-inch screen that makes both packing and transportation simple. Moreover, the tablet’s 1280 x 800 screen resolution is sufficient for watching most movies or playing a few games.
The 2012 Nexus 7’s design impresses us. With a greppable outer casing, this Nexus 7 fits easily inside your hand. It also has an enviable battery, which is capable of powering hours of tablet use. Unfortunately, the 4.1 Jelly Bean software is a relic. You can, though, upgrade the software to 5.1 Lollipop, which is a bit better. It is not, however, sufficient to run many modern apps.
Because of the age and specifications of the 2012 Nexus 7, refurbished devices are often affordable. In fact, you may find one for around $50. That’s a steal as far as tablets go. You shouldn’t expect to impress anyone with this tablet, though, as it has a decidedly dinosaur quality to it.
2048 x 1536
16GB or 32GB
4.2 Jelly Bean
2560 x 1600
16GB or 32GB
4.2 Jelly Bean
1280 x 800
8GB, 16GB or 32GB
The Verdict: The Nexus 9 Is the Best Nexus Tablet
All Nexus tablets have been discontinued. Therefore, you can’t buy a new Nexus tablet today. There is a market, however, for refurbished devices. If you are okay with owning an older tablet that doesn’t compete with modern devices, a Nexus tablet may be a good investment.
The best Nexus tablet in our opinion is the Nexus 9. The large, high-resolution screen makes watching movies or playing games a dynamic experience. Additionally, the adequate battery allows for hours of use. As with all Nexus tablets, though, the Nexus 9 does not shine like a tablet made today, and its outdated software doesn’t support many modern apps. Even worse, there is no support available for the Nexus 9 or any other Nexus tablet.
Deciding if a Nexus tablet is right for you depends on your tablet goals. If you are looking for a basic tablet, Nexus devices usually get the job done. Since you must purchase a refurbished Nexus tablet, be sure you buy from a seller you trust.