The best office apps for Android tablets

With the right set of apps, your Android tablet can become an indispensable part of your mobile work arsenal. Here are the tools you need

Tablets are rapidly transitioning from novelty toys to business tools. While Apple's iPad may be today's workplace standard, with its maturing array of office and IT applications, Android-based slates are on the rise, boasting their own growing ecosystem of mobile work utilities.

Whether you want to transform your own Android tablet into a workhorse or support other business tablet users, the apps you choose can make or break the tablet experience. This is true particularly when it comes to productivity apps, where a significant portion of tablet-based business work resides.

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I tested five popular office suites to find the best possible productivity setup for Android tablet users. I looked at DataViz's Documents to Go, which costs $15 for the full premium version (needed for most features); Google's free Google Docs service, which is now part of the Google Drive application; Mobile Systems' $15 OfficeSuite Pro; Quickoffice's $20 Quickoffice Pro HD; and ThinkFree Mobile's $9 ThinkFree Mobile for Tablet. (Note: Prices are accurate as of this writing and may change over time.)

To assess the quality of each contender, I analyzed its handling of word processing, spreadsheet editing, and presentation management. I took into account the app's interface as it applies to the tablet form and the breadth and quality of features it offers. I also tested several stand-alone apps to find the best Android tablet tool for PDF manipulation, as most of the office suites don't natively provide that function.

Read on for the full breakdown and my recommendations for assembling the best overall office package for Android tablets.

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