Kotaku Gift Guide: Gaming Tablets

It was only this year that I, personally, picked up a tablet and one of my main reasons for doing so was gaming. Messing around with games on smartphones is one thing, but a bigger screen and a higher resolution really does make for a better handheld gaming experience. But the tablet market is swamped, which is best for gaming? Well, it's difficult to say...

Money To Burn

iPad

When you buy into Apple and the iPad, you're really buying into the most up-to-date, easily accessible app eco-system on the market. The iPad is expensive, but if you're buying a tablet purely for gaming, it may be your best — purely as a result of the fact almost all mobile games are designed for iOS first and Android second. A good example: I'm playing Rayman Jungle Run on my Nexus 7 — an Android tablet — and I'm still waiting on the updated levels that iPad users have been playing with for weeks now.

You pay more for an iPad, and no doubt it's overpriced, but you get the experience. And you get access to the space where the most exciting things are happening in mobile gaming. From $529 (16GB)

A Man Of Moderate Tastes

iPad Mini

It may seem slack to have two Apple products in this line-up, but the fact is, if you're looking for a gaming tablet — in my humble opinion — you're best going with either an iPad or a Nexus, you choose the size and the storage.

The iPad Mini has copped a fair bit of flack and deservedly so. The processor isn't all it could be and the lack of a Retina display is problematic. That said, it's still a gorgeous looking tablet and, despite the lower resolution, the screen still pops. It still looks fantastic.

If you want a smaller tablet and you don't want to make the leap across to Android, this is a good choice. From $369 (16GB)

The Cheaper Option

Nexus 7

Personally, this is the tablet I own, and the reason I went for the Nexus 7 is simple — the price point is accessible, it's super powerful and it's running the most up-to-date Android OS available in Jelly Bean. In fact, if you're looking for an all round tablet that serves more than just gaming needs, look no further.

That said, the Google Play marketplace isn't quite as extensive as iOS. Sure, there are more apps, and probably more clones! But if you're looking for the most up-to-date cutting edge games, the iPad may be the better option.

Still, in my humble opinion — taking into account price, power, and all other aspects — the Nexus 7 is my favourite tablet on the market. If you think the Nexus 7 is a little too small, why not go up to the Nexus 10? From $258 (16GB)

Got some better options? Drop them in the comments below!


Comments

    Other advantage of the Nexus 7 is that Humble Bundle has quite often done Android bundles, so you can build a pretty good collection quite cheaply.

      So far they only had like 2 humble bundle for android =/

      Last edited 11/12/12 3:22 pm

        Actually, they've done four, just this year. I doubt they'll be stopping any time soon :)

    It was only this year that I, personally, picked up a tablet and one of my main reasons for doing so was gaming. Messing around with games on smartphones is one thing, but a bigger screen and a higher resolution really does make for a better handheld gaming experience. But the tablet market is swamped, which is best for gaming? Well, it’s difficult to say…

    it may be your best best

    A good example: I’m playing Rayman Jungle Run on my Nexus 7

    Can someone tell me how this poor english gets published?

      Does/do is a common mistake, "best best" is obviously a typo which I didn't even notice at first because I knew what was meant, and I don't see an error in the last one. Honestly, why so picky?

        The problem is incorrect use of the colon. The colon should only be used after a complete sentence to introduce a quote or a list.

          grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/colon.htm

          While colons are most commonly used to introduce a quote or list they aren't the only uses for it. Look below the box in that above link for some examples.

          *Remember: Many of the prominent families of this New England state were slaveholders prior to 1850.
          *Let us not forget this point: Appositive phrases have an entirely different function than participial phrases and must not be regarded as dangling modifiers.

          This link explains a bit more clearly: style.radionational.net.au/how-use-colon-and-semicolon

          "Use a colon where what follows elaborates on what precedes it:
          * You'll never believe my luck: I'm going to Mexico."

          The statement "I'm playing Rayman Jungle Run on my Nexus 7" elaborates on "A good example" which preceded it.

          Last edited 11/12/12 4:58 pm

            This whole diatribe is going to force something out of MY colon in a moment...

      I'm struggling to see the problem with "A good example: I’m playing Rayman Jungle Run on my Nexus 7", especially given you didn't quote the whole sentence. Unless you want him to say "This is a good example:", which is totally un-necessary given the context of the previous sentence.

      It's obvious from your comments in other threads that you either don't like Mark or just like to pick on typos. If it's the former, then you don't need to visit this site. If it's the latter, you should probably look in the mirror:

      Can someone tell me how this poor english gets published?

      Last edited 11/12/12 3:54 pm

      Regarding does vs. do, I read "a bigger screen and a higher resolution" as a single, combined superfeature required for the mentioned better handheld gaming experience.

      If a bigger screen alone, or a higher resolution alone would make for a better experience, then "do" would be proper. If you need both for such an experiential enhancement, saying "do" would allow for some ambiguity. I'll admit, even as something of a grammar Nazi, I find this all a little fuzzy. Still, if it were raised (as, indeed, it was!) I'd probably word it the way Mark did. The difference is so minor as to slip by most, and the way it was done here is more explicit for those who'd pick up the difference.

      Lastly, a note: "English" in the sense in which you used it is one of the varieties of proper nouns that should be capitalised. Please be sure to review your comments for such errors before posting.

      Returning from the Place of Perpetually Pointless and Piteous Pedantry: Mark, thank you for the article. I've been pondering a tablet for gaming for some time, but I don't know anyone who has anything other than iPads, and so could never query if an Android tablet was worth it. I might have to ponder a purchase after Christmas...

      Here's an idea.

      Read the article for it's content. If you don't think it's professional enough and aren't happy with the standard, start your own.

    Android Humble Bundles + acceptable Google Play game selection + active emulation community (SNES, N64, PSX etc) + open bluetooth controller support put the Nexus 7 over the line for me. That said, I generally dislike touchscreen gaming.

    I expect that the industry will slowly move away from IOS first, Android second. Android is more popular worldwide, and latest numbers are that it is now outselling IOS in Australia (mostly thanks to the S3), so I expect as the market adjusts so will developers.
    That said if I were hunting a "Gaming Tablet" I'd wait for the Windows 8 tablets (the full Windows 8 ones not just RT), this would be a money to burn option, but if windows 8 does a good job of mouse emulation via touchscreen... well, windows gaming on a tablet... hell yes...

      Android isn't just outselling iOS, it's trouncing it. It's now got a > 50% market share in smartphones while iOS has slipped to < 30%. And the gap is getting wider.

      iOS still dominates the tablet market, but with the nexus 7 and nexus 10 released this year that gap is also very quickly shrinking.

        provided they can churn it fast enough. google(LG/Samsung) needs to spawn more overlords. or pylons.

          Android is outselling iOS on phones even without taking the Nexus 4 into account.

          But yeah I suspect that gap could be even wider had the launch of the 4 and 10 not been ballsed up so badly. The Nexus 7 also experienced similar demand but they kept on top of that somehow.

    GBA, NES, SNES, N64, PSX, PSP (soon to be better), ScummVM and Mame. It's hard to say why you wouldn't enjoy an Android device.

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