My solution was a bit deeper than most of the normally suggested fixes... I have a newer router (Netgear R7000) running newer firmware (DD_WRT) which allows detailed control of the radios on the antennas. So as it turns out (per Wi-Fi Spec) that the newer N channel antenna doesn't support the older WPA authentication... and I had previously configured mixed mode WPA/WPA2. Setting the router to WPA2 only resolved my random authentication error issue. Which also proves a bug in the android software running in my tablet was attempting to use the older WPA encryption on the newer N channel antenna. I have no idea if the factory standard firmware for the R7000 (or your router for that matter) comply with this corner case in the Wi-Fi specification, but I suspect not. If you have a newer router that supports N channel then you might give a try using just WPA2.