You know you want an 8-inch tablet, but which model is best? We round up five great options from Samsung, Dell, ASUS, NVIDIA, and Lenovo. 8-inch tablets are great for those who want a smaller, more portable tablet…and the smaller screen size also means they are generally much cheaper than a bigger tablet. Whether you’re shopping for a portable tablet for business, or just a little tab that you can watch Netflix on while lounging in bed, the following five options are all solid bets.
1. Dell Venue 8 7000
Go hands-on with this new tablet in the video above from the Verge.
The new Dell Venue 8 7000 is a very thin tablet that is ideal for both business and personal use. The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern notes that this tablet is one of the thinnest on the market, at a mere 6mm.
One of the coolest features here is the Intel RealSense camera technology, which, among other things, lets you take a photo of an object and measure it without a tape measure. This is a great feature for those who want to use the tablet for certain types of work, such as interior designers, investigators, or anyone who needs to take the measure of a space both accurately and quickly.
- Connect to a monitor wirelessly using the inexpensive Dell Cast HDMI dongle
- Tested to last over nine hours on a single charge
- Multiple camera (using Intel’s RealSense camera technology)
- Super-thin design
- Screen glare is bad in direct sunlight
- Lighting, distance and angle can impact photo measurement accuracy
- Some find the photos could be more sharp
- Tablet design means you will often take photos with your fingers in them by accident
- Somewhat expensive for a small tab
2. NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet
Check out Tested’s in-depth review of the Nvidia Shield Tablet in the player above.
Best known as a tablet for gamers, the Nvidia Shield is such a good all-around tablet that CNET featured it on their list of best tablets of 2014, specifically citing it as the best “pure gaming” tab on the market. This versatile tablet is awesome for gamers, but it’s also great for anyone who wants a powerful, small tablet for personal use.
The tablet is 4K ready, and you can also take advantage of tons of gaming perks. These perks include the NVIDIA GRID gaming service, with more than 20 blockbuster PC games available for free. You can also stream games from your GeForce GTX-powered PC and play them on the SHIELD tablet with NVIDIA GameStream. If you’re looking for a tablet that is great for killing time, this is a fun tablet that’s worth a somewhat premium price.
- 2.2 GHz Tegra K1 processor
- Compatible with NVIDIA SHIELD Controller
- Weighs under a pound
- Ideal for mobile gaming or watching videos
- Ready for Android 5.0 Lollipop with OTA Update
- 16GB of storage may not be enough to store all your favorite games (microSD expansion is possible, however)
- Some tablets have a better rear camera
- Some users may prefer a bigger screen
- Controller not included
- Some find the tablet to be “blocky” looking
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (8-Inch Version)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 gets unboxed and review in the video above.
Samsung’s tablets are generally pretty solid, and the Galaxy Tab 4 is a great option for anyone who needs a smaller tab. As a nice bonus, this eight incher comes with about $300 worth of freebies. These “Galaxy Perks” include three months of SiriusXM Internet Radio, some free audio books, a $10 Google Play credit, and 50 GB of Dropbox space. This is a tablet that works well for gamers, business, or personal use.
Price: $249 (over $20 off MSRP)
- 64GB of memory available through a microSD slot
- Quality build
- Solid battery life
- Kids Mode is great for families who share a tablet
- Rear camera not as many megapixels as with other brands
- Multi-Window feature limited to two apps at once
- Does not come with S Pen
- Some users have reported issues with the charging cable
- Some users find I/O port selection limited
4. Lenovo IdeaTab A8-50
Learn more about the Lenovo IdeaTab A8 & A10 tablets in the video above.
Lenovo is well known for their business laptops, and the IdeaTab is a great tablet that will also appeal to business types. While the processor isn’t extremely zippy (a 1.3 GHz job), the tablet is lightweight and offers up to eight hours of battery life. If you want a tablet that works well for both business and leisure, you’ll likely find the front-facing speakers with Dolby Audio are more than equal to the task of playing your favorite music and movies.
- Smart Sidebar optimizes display settings
- Front-facing speakers with Dolby Audio
- Built in satellite GPS that works offline
- Limited processor speed
- Limited RAM
- Limited color options
- Lenovo’s new DOit apps may not appeal to all
- Some users have reported issues with the GPS
5. Asus VivoTab Note 8
Check out the video above to see how the VivoTab Note 8 stacks up against the ThinkPad 8 and the Dell Venue 8 Pro. Whether you’re shopping for personal or business use, this is a basic tablet that ticks all the boxes.
PC Mag gave this an Editor’s Choice seal. If you need a tablet under $300, this is a solid bet. It even comes with a carrying case, which is a nice perk for first-time tablet buyers. This tablet is ideal for people who primarily use their tablet for note-taking or media playback. Whether this is your first tab or your fifth, this is a solid option to consider.
Price: $276.98 (16 percent off)
- Integrated Wacom active stylus
- Pre-installed full license MS Office Home & Student included
- 10MP rear camera
- Expand storage by up to 64GB with the micro SDXC card slot
- Average battery life is just six hours
- Limited ports
- No LTE/4G option
- Keyboard and mouse can be linked, but this tablet is made more for standalone use
- Limited color options
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