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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The fastest Android gaming tablets

Which Android tablets provide the smoothest gaming experience? CNET Labs delves deep to find out.
The development of new chips that deliver zippier performance, smoother gaming, faster Web surfing, and longer-lasting battery life will soon make their way into new Android tablets. While chips themselves and the high-end tablets that will house them, have yet to be released, we have it on good authority that they'll deliver on their promise.
Gaming is an increasingly popular way tablet owners are spending time with their devices and chip makers are paying attention. While the gaming experience on Android tablets has improved by leaps and bounds in just the last year, it's bound to only get faster, smoother, and prettier (and hopefully even more fun).
As of yet however, the new chips don't have confirmed release dates, but if you're looking for an Android tablet that can deliver impressive graphics now, we've got you covered. We gathered every high-performance tablet we could find in the CNET Labs and put them to the test. What lies below are our top seven.
We've listed each tablet with as much pertinent-to-gaming-performance information as we could think of and have listed them here in order, from weakest to strongest based on benchmark scores derived from 3DMark.

3DMark runs a canned demo of a simulated sci-fi game called Ice Storm. The 3DMark scores are determined by three tests: two focusing on GPU speed and another on CPU performance. The tests were run on each tablet a few times and the chart below represents the highest score for each tablet, with higher scores indicating faster performance.
Check here for more on the intricacies of 3DMark's scoring system.
Tablet3DMark (Normal, 720p)3DMark (Extreme, 1080p)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.127672088
Samsung Galaxy Note 833002519
Google Nexus 735451889
Kobo Arc36651897
Sony Xperia Tablet S40842249
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF70042982397
Google Nexus 1080555432


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sports a great looking screen and UI.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1's overall sensible design and great performance make it one of the best Samsung tablets to date. The scores represent overall gaming performance, and is heavily GPU-biased, so despite the Note 10.1's faster CPU, its underwhelming GPU performance lands it last on the list. Read the full review for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.
DeviceCPUGPURAMOS tested
Samsung Galaxy
Note 10.1
1.4GHz quad-core
Exynos 4 Quad (4412)
Mali T400MP4
(quad-core)
2GBAndroid 4.1.2


The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 features Watch On, Samsung's new universal remote/video hub app.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
As one of the smaller members of the Samsung Galaxy, the Note 8 has one of the best-looking screens on a small tablets. It shares a few similarities with the Note 10.1, including the S Pen and unimpressive GPU performance matched with a well performing CPU, but the Note 10.1's smaller counterpart edges out its competition with faster gaming scores. Read the full review for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
DeviceCPUGPURAMOS tested
Samsung Galaxy Note 81.6GHz quad-core
Exynos Dual (4410)
Mali T400MP4
(quad-core)
2GBAndroid 4.1.2

The Google Nexus 7 has great battery life and a sharp screen to boot.
The Google Nexus 7 made by Asus.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
Google Nexus 7
The Google Nexus 7 is still the best 7-inch tablet with its combination of comfortable design, good overall performance, at a low price. Games run smoothly, but never impressively so.Read the full review for the Nexus 7.
DeviceCPUGPURAMOS tested
Google Nexus 71.2GHz quad-core
Nvidia Tegra 3
ULP GeFOrce
(12-core)
1GBAndroid 4.2.2


The Kobo Arc houses a powerful GPU.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
Kobo Arc
The Kobo Arc may be an unexpected contender, but its powerful GPU earns it a spot on this list. The PowerVR SGX544 delivers high framerates in games, but from a design and features standpoint, there are better 7-inch tablet choices on the market. Read the full review for the Kobo Arc.
DeviceCPUGPURAMOS tested
Kobo Arc1.5GHz Texas Instruments
OMAP 4470
PowerVR SGX544
(single-core)
1GBAndroid 4.1.1


Like most Sony products, the Xperia Tablet S has a proprietary charger.
Sony Xperia Tablet S
The Sony Xperia Tablet S's Tegra 3 chip delivers gaming performance near the top of the heap, but a few show-stopping software and hardware bugs prevent it from being a truly great tablet.Read the full review for the Sony Xperia Tablet S.
DeviceCPUGPURAMOS tested
Sony Xperia Tablet S1.3GHz NVidia
Tegra 3
ULP GeForce (12-core)1GBAndroid 4.1.1


The TF700 is on a few of CNET's top Android tablet lists.
(Credit: Josh Miller)
Asus Transformer Infinity Pad TF700
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is one of our favorite Android tablets thanks to its sharp screen, thin and light design, and impressive gaming performance. Tegra 3 is beginning to show its age when dealing with the high 1,920x1,200 resolution, but it's still fast enough place at number two on our list. Read the full review for the Asus Transformer Infinity Pad TF700.
DeviceCPUGPURAMOS tested
Asus Transformer
Pad Infinity TF700
1.6
GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3
ULP GeFOrce
(12-core)
1GBAndroid 4.1.1


The Nexus 10 is a solid gaming tablet with a beautiful screen.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
Google Nexus 10
The Google Nexus 10 tablet takes home the gold with its superior gaming performance. It's the fastest Android tablet we've ever tested and it's the first to house Samsung's Exynos 5250; a Cortex A-15 System-on-Chip with a Mali T-604 GPU. Overall, the tablet is great for all uses, but for gaming, its the best Android tablet out there. Read the full review for the Google Nexus 10.
DeviceCPUGPURAMOS tested
Google Nexus 101.7GHz Dual-core Samsung
Exynos 5 Dual (5250)
Mali-T604
(quad-core)
2GBAndroid 4.2.2

Source: Cnet

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