Large-screen smartphones could’ve left 7-inch tablets irrelevant, but they continue to be a popular choice among users looking for something compact for some light casual use. Most tablets having a 7-inch display are quite inexpensive and are more than ideal for some rough use by your kids. As a personal entertainment device, a 7-inch tablet could be your pal while you are on a go and you wouldn’t even feel any load.
There aren’t many choices when it comes to tablets with 7-inch displays but the ones that do fall under the category are excellent options in their respective price segments. Here are the best 7-inch tablets that you must look at in 2020 along with some alternatives if these devices don’t fit your bill.
Apple iPad Mini 2019
One might argue that the iPad Mini comes with a 7.9-inch screen which is closer to the 8-inch mark than it is to 7 inches, but it is such a superior offering that we chose to include it anyway. It is a high-end device coming with a price tag of 399 USD or 449 euros. The 2019 edition of the tablet packs one of the best high-res LCD displays on a tablet and has two great cameras on the front and rear.
It uses the A12 Bionic chipset that is a top-tier processor also powering the iPhone XS lineup. While Apple is on a spree of getting rid of the headphone jack, the iPad Mini was spared at least for this year. Having said that, it is disappointing to see Apple use the now several-generations-old design. As a result, the iPad Mini retains the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and comes with decent battery life.
Amazon Fire 7 2019
Especially for the western markets, Amazon Fire tablets make more sense in the budget segment, considering the more suitable software experience. The American company recently updated its cheapest Fire 7 tablet for 2019 to give it a minor boost in some of its aspects while still maintaining the inexpensive 49.99 USD price tag. It is positioned as a media consumption device and the company preloads a bunch of entertainment apps both from Amazon and other services.
We’re currently in the process of reviewing this cheap tablet and our final review should be up soon. Based on our preliminary experience, the Amazon Fire 7 2019 is an excellent device that is great for watching some TV shows or reading a Kindle book that you haven’t opened since the day it was purchased. Moreover, if you want a tablet for your kids, this inexpensive slate should be perfect.
As is the case with other budget tablets, you must be aware that the Fire 7 isn’t meant for use as a gaming device or for productivity, owing to its limited 1GB RAM. Its 7-inch display isn’t HD and has a resolution of 1024 x 600. There are two 2MP cameras, each on its front and back.
Lenovo Tab M7
One of the newer tablets in Lenovo’s stable, the Tab M7 is designed for people who have some very specific needs and don’t want to spend a lot either. The slate has an excellent build, thanks to the use of metal, and it also comes running a clean version of Android 9 Pie Go Edition. But you cannot expect much from it considering the performance isn’t among its strongest points. Though it can get away with some basic tasks like web browsing, emailing, etc.
The speakers and cameras failed to impress us in any way whatsoever, so you shouldn’t get the tablet if your use case includes significant use of those two components. We found its battery life and display to be pretty good, which rounds out its package that is overall a hit and miss. The Tab M7 still manages to get an upper hand over its most prominent competitor—the Fire 7—just because of its full Android experience complete with the Google Play Store, which the Amazon tablet lacks.
Read: Our Lenovo Tab M7 Review
Lenovo Tab E7
Lenovo’s entry-level Tab E7 is probably the cheapest tablet you can get at just around 60 USD. Unlike most Chinese tablets, this budget slate comes with vanilla Android 8.1 Oreo Go experience that will be preferred by many. It is a cheap tablet that is just fine for being handed to kids without the fear of it breaking easily. Plus, your casual web browsing and catching up with YouTube videos would be an easy task for the tablet.
However, you must know its limitations beforehand to ensure you aren’t left disappointed after you’ve already made the purchase. The display of this tablet isn’t the best in business, and it isn’t even an IPS panel. The Tab E7 has one of the smallest batteries in any tablet and its battery life was in line with that. Its cameras aren’t something you should count on for capturing your memories.
But, at the end of the day, it comes down to its price and the value it offers for every single penny you’d spend on it. In our review of the device, its performance proved to be quite good and it should fulfill your reasonable needs.
Read: Our Lenovo Tab E7 Review
Some More Options
As you must have noticed, there aren’t that many tablets having a 7-inch display panel slapped onto their front. You will either find such devices in the budget segment or right at the premium price point, leaving almost nothing in the middle. Both the Lenovo Tab E7 and the Amazon Fire 7 2019 are positioned in the cheapest category while the iPad Mini 2019 is a costly offering.
For something in between, you can have a look at our list of best 8-inch tablets that are available in a wider variety for you to choose from. The Apple iPad Mini 2019 stays on top of that list as well while you have a plethora of options with Android OS like Huawei MediaPad M5 8 (review) and the latest Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 with S Pen (review). On the budget side, too, you can pick the Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (review) that improves upon several aspects.
Frequently Asked Questions & Our Answers
While we see mainstream tablets come out with screen sizes as big as 13 inches, the market for 7-inch slates has shrunk quite a bit. The compact size isn’t as popular as it once was, which naturally spurs a lot of questions in the minds of our readers. We will try to answer some of the common queries we get. You can always comment below if you think we missed something you wanted us to address.
Is a 7-inch tablet big enough?
The answer to this question depends on what you want to do with your tablet. The screen size of 7 inches may seem tiny to some, but to those who want something compact to carry along, such a small tablet could be exactly right. Watching content on a small screen may not give you the best experience, though. These tablets are better suited for getting some basic productivity things done, like keeping up with your emails or browsing the web. Other than that, the size is fantastic for kids, who can easily hold the tablet in their tiny hands, while bigger tablets won’t be as handy. In general, the size is a subjective matter and may widely vary depending on your individual choices.
Is the 1024 x 600 resolution suitable for 7-inch tablets?
There is a clear line between phones and tablets. Among other things, tablets are supposed to be held at a much farther distance than your smartphone, which changes how we compare screen resolutions. While 1024 x 600 sounds paltry by 2020 standards, a 7-inch tablet could easily get away with it, since the relatively low pixel density would be less discernible. What this simply means is that you need not worry about the sub-720p resolution unless you plan to do something that requires seeing smaller details. If you plan on reading for extended periods, then you should consider getting a higher-res screen or maybe look for apps that at least let to zoom in and increase the text size.
Can 7-inch tablets replace a phone?
Actually, many tablets already can make calls, and 7-inch tablets make for the best option for such 2-in-1 use because holding a bigger tablet up to your ear would look absurd. Several 4G-enabled tablets with this screen size come with an earpiece for that exact purpose. But you must note that tablets usually have a very different general form factor from smartphones, which are considerably more compact. Just make sure to use a tablet’s earpiece for calling only when you’ve got no other option. Keep your phone handy, and if it isn’t, use a pair of headphones when calling from the slate.
Are there any 7-inch Windows tablets?
Frankly, no. There were a few 7-inch tablets in the market a while back, but they’re really old now and don’t deserve a mention here. Apart from those, there are absolutely no Windows tablets with 7-inch screen size. And even if they existed, they wouldn’t make much sense. Even though Windows 10 has a dedicated tablet mode, it is better suited for bigger screens, preferably 10 inches and above. Moreover, Windows is a much more resource-intensive operating system, which the mediocre hardware packed inside the compact body of a 7-inch tab cannot handle. At this size, Android is your best and the only bet.
Smartphones With (Almost) 7-Inch Screens
I remember the times when we considered 5-inch phones large. The size dynamics quickly changed, and now, we comfortably use handsets with close to 7-inch of screen estate and, funnily enough, call 6-inch phones compact. This change has almost wiped out 7-inch tablets from the market, which they once dominated and were considered the default size option. And that growth in the screen sizes of modern smartphones doesn’t seem to come to a halt anytime soon.
Phones like the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Note10+ have big and beautiful AMOLED screens. Both surely are expensive phones with their prices going well over $1000, but they simultaneously negate the need for a separate tablet, especially the one with a small 7-inch screen. If you own a phone with a display size of over 6.5 inches, getting a 7-inch tablet wouldn’t make any sense — your phone would anyway be much more powerful. You can alternatively go for a bigger 8- or 10-inch tablet, which may be a better value.
How we review tablets?
Tablet reviews are a big part of MyNextTablet’s regular reportage, and we take it upon ourselves that only the most accurate information and unbiased opinion go out. We use all slates as our daily drivers to thoroughly test them out as an end-user would through their day. This involves using our review units both in-home and work scenarios — including web surfing, watching YouTube videos, gaming, and working — to give you a detailed idea of what you can expect if you went ahead with the purchase.
Our regular readers would know that we have devised a standard battery test that we use to benchmark all tablets we review. Plus, if we’re getting LTE support on any of them, we make sure to give it an outdoor run to gauge how well it performs. Besides this, our detailed reviews will also tell you how a particular model does in various benchmarks if you’re into those kinds of comparisons, and if it is capable of playing HD content on Netflix or not.
Each tablet is unique in its own way like a 7-inch device will be valued more for its portability than its ability to handle demanding apps or replace your work machine. While we have our general review guidelines in place, we don’t refrain ourselves from molding them or adding new points to be inclusive of more device types and innovative form factors. It becomes necessary when reviewing a $1000 tablet on one day and a $50 one on the other.
Why you can trust us
I’d like to reiterate here that we strive to only publish impartial views in our reviews, and for that, we take steps to adhere to our self-imposed ethics and principles. For one, we don’t do paid reviews, which means no manufacturer can get us to favor their products over others. On top of that, we buy most of our review units to further negate any chance of brands influencing our work. We are an independent publication with no affiliation to big corporates, avoiding any effect on our review process.
If you look at the site’s review section, you’ll find posts on devices from all verticals, covering all popular brands, and even many tablets that are hard to procure, such as those from China. As stated in the previous section, we follow the same standards for all tablets, setting the same baseline. This gives every machine a level playing field and ensures that we don’t start favoring any one of them.
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