Best 8" Android tablet?

Dec 17, 2016
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Hi all,

I'm looking for an 8" (I'm open to 7") Android tablet after my NVIDA Shield tablet had issues and my Nexus 7 before that did.

I've narrowed it down to Huawei Mediapad M5 8 or a Lenovo TAB 4 8 Plus, which both have pretty good reviews on Which?, TechRadar etc.

The potential issue with the Huawei is cost and with the Lenovo is the lack of update to a newer version of Android. The Samsung Tab A8 is a newer version of Android but looks very underpowered compared to the Huawei.

Ideally I'd like to use a stylus for note taking with either as well. It looks neither support what I'd think of as 'note taking' stylus' and instead it's just the 'universal' ones - is that right? I wouldn't be able to use a pen to take notes on either?

Are these the better 8" tablets on the market or are there better ones you'd recommend out there? I considered an iPad Mini but it seems so much more expensive and all my apps are on Android. However, it would allow stylus note taking. Is it worth considering the iPad Mini 4 (2nd hand price is lower than 1st hand Huawei)?

It seems like the market on 8" tablets is disappearing and it's really about 10" or larger tablets now. I'm wondering whether a 10" tablet is a better bet for balance between size and capability - I'm just not sure how practical it is when travelling/commuting etc.

Thanks in advance.
 

B. Diddy

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Be very careful with the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus. Certain models had a bug after one of the last updates that caused problems with 5 GHz wi-fi, where the wi-fi connection would simply drop, requiring the user to turn off wi-fi and turn it back on again. As far as I can tell, it was never patched: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo...and/WiFi-issue-with-Tab-4-8-Plus/td-p/3986227. I got one a few months ago from Woot.com and discovered this issue, so fortunately they accepted the return. I actually have the non-Plus Lenovo Tab 4 8, which does not have this issue (and which was updated to Oreo, whereas the Plus wasn't). The non-Plus tablet is actually a pretty decent device, with a bright 720P screen, loud front-firing stereo speakers (with Dolby Atmos), and an SD slot -- but the CPU is definitely not powerful.

If you want to be a little wacky, consider the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, which I just got from the Acer Recertified store for $180 (factory recertified, of course): https://acerrecertified.com/acer-ch...-a53-4gb-ram-32gb-flash-chrome-os-d651n-k9wt/. It's not a powerhouse, but it gets the job done. Nice screen, stylus included (and you can get a few powerful Android apps designed for stylus use for free as part of the Chromebook Offers), runs Android apps. Browsing on a Chromebook is always faster than browsing on Chrome for Android. Navigating the UI is a bit wonky, but a lot of the problems that were described in the initial reviews have been ironed out in subsequent updates. It's supposed to get Chrome OS updates until 8/2023.
 
Dec 17, 2016
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Thanks for the reply - I'm looking at some 10" tablets but I'm just a little concerned I'll find them a bit too heavy for casual reading etc, but on the other hand I can't believe the limited options for an 8" tablet that takes proper stylus use!

Thanks for the heads up about the Lenovo Tab 4 Plus. If it wasn't for the stylus thing I think I'd just spend the cash and go with the Mediapad M5 8. However, looking at the Samsung Tab A8 it looks difficult to buy an S-Pen for in any case. There's a Samsung store in town (I'm in the UK but thanks for the links) so I might pop in and see if they can do me a deal as it's £100 cheaper than a Huawei and if I can get an S-Pen with it, it'll do most of what I want to do - as much as I like the idea of the highest powered device available truth be told I'm sure a quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM will do pretty much all I every use it for anyway!

Thanks again!
 

B. Diddy

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Mar 9, 2012
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The thing about the Tab A line is that there are only certain variants that are compatible with the S Pen, so make sure you're looking at the right one. Good luck!
 

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