Which is the best 8 inch tablet? Since there is such a large selection, it can be hard to get an overview. I’ve been reviewing tablets for over ten years now, and I particularly enjoy using 8 inch tablets. In this guide, I’ve listed the best small mini tablets that you can buy right now.
At the beginning of this list you get a quick overview of my recommendations. At the top are the better models, which are usually more expensive. And further down are the cheaper models, which are also good, but not top class. Further down in the article you can find out more details about the respective devices.
I reviewed all of these tablets myself and you can find links to each of the reviews linked further down 😊
Why 8-Inch Tablets?
8 inch tablets are exciting if you’re looking for a small and light device that is easy to carry around but bigger than your phone. Many models of this size fit surprisingly well in the inside pocket of many jackets, just like a smartphones. They often also fit in the back pocket of jeans and other pants, but then stick out a bit. If you always have a briefcase or handbag with you anyway, they fit great in there too.
Since they are so light, you can hold them in one hand for longer periods of time, unlike 11-inch tablets. This makes them a good substitute for books and e-book readers, but also for notepads – provided that the tablet supports an active pen.
8-inch tablets are especially interesting if you’re looking for a small device to take on the go that’s good for reading books, watching movies, playing games, and writing down notes. Since they are so small, they are less suitable as a laptop replacement and due to the smaller display, they are also not perfect entertainment tablets.
The Best 8-Inch Mini Tablets: An Overview
- Best overall: Apple iPad Mini (on Amazon*). The Apple iPad Mini is the undisputed winner among all 8-inch tablets. It offers a nice 8.3-inch display, a very high-quality design with many premium features and up-to-date software. Thanks to Apple’s A15 processor, it is significantly more powerful than all other tablets on this list and it supports the Apple Pencil 2. It’s also unrivaled – there is no direct competitor with Android in the US or Europe.
- Rugged 8-inch tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 (on Amazon*). Although the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 is aimed at business customers, it’s the best 8-inch Android tablet on the market outside of China. It’s not suitable for everyone, because it’s very sturdily built and looks clunky – besides, it is already a few years old. However, it’s got a nice 8-inch display, comes with the S Pen, the performance is good and it supports Samsung DeX. Thus, it can be a phone, a tablet and a computer in one device.
- 9-inch Android tablet with great value: Lenovo Tab M9 (on Amazon*). The Lenovo Tab M9 is a bit bigger than the other devices on this list at exactly 9 inches. It’s more of a lower mid-range tablet and therefore significantly cheaper, but also significantly weaker than the iPad Mini. Still, it offers a solid display, solid performance, and an overall good price/performance ratio.
- Solid 8-inch entry-level tablet: realme Pad mini (on Amazon*). The realme Pad mini is a bit cheaper than the Lenovo Tab M9 and a bit weaker. However, for the price, it’s offers a solid 8.7-inch display, the build quality is quite high, and the performance is sufficient for common tasks and most games. It’s a nifty 8-inch tablet if you don’t need a top-of-the-line model.
- Good and Cheap: Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (on Amazon*). The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is a good choice if you’re looking for a very affordable 8-inch tablet that’s still good. It offers solid performance and a surprisingly long battery life. Unfortunately, however, it lacks the Google Play Store out of the box. I can’t recommend the simple Fire HD 8 without the “Plus”.
Best 8-Inch Tablets: In-Depth Look
Here you’ll find more in-depth information about each tablet. If you want to know even more, don’t forget to check out my detailed reviews linked below each of them.
Apple iPad Mini: The Best 8-Inch Tablet
The Apple iPad Mini is clearly the best 8-inch tablet that you can buy. It offers the best screen, is much more powerful than its competition, and has up-to-date software. But it’s also the priciest device on this list. Right now, no direct competitor is running Android that’s easily available in the US or Europe. That’s good for Apple but I wish there would be more competition.
Its highlight is the 8.3-inch display, of course, which means it’s small enough to comfortably hold in one hand. This is a pretty Liquid Retina Display with great color reproduction, a good contrast, and a brightness of 500 nits. Thanks to its resolution of 2266 x 1488 pixels, it’s very sharp.
During my review, I did encounter one downside, though. I noticed a kind of rolling shutter effect when scrolling while holding it in portrait orientation. When scrolling in the browser, for instance, it looks as if one part of the screen is refreshing faster than the other. That’s visible in some situations only, so it’s not too bad. And like I said, there’s no better alternative anyways.
The iPad Mini features a high-end metal body with good speakers and a USB C port. A Touch ID fingerprint scanner is built into the home button and on one of the longer sides, you can charge the Apple Pencil 2 inductively. So, yes, that stylus is supported and works exactly as it does on the iPad Pro and iPad Air.
To make it so fast, Apple is shipping the iPad Mini with its own Apple A15 chipset that is supported by 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 256GB storage. You can get it with 5G as well. Due to that A15 processor, it’s much faster than all other tablets on this list. You can play the latest games with the highest graphics settings and graphic apps like Adobe Photoshop run as well.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3: A Robust S Pen Tablet
There are not many 8-inch premium tablets running Android right now and that’s why the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 is so high on this list. While it’s aimed at enterprise users, in many countries, everybody can buy it in most electronic shops. So, if you don’t mind the robust design, check it out, because it’s the highest-end up-to-date 8-inch Android tablet you can get at the moment. At least outside of China.
Now, the Galaxy Tab Active3 is a bit special because together with its protective case, which is included, it’s protected against dust and water. Another highlight is that you can navigate the touchscreen while wearing gloves. In addition to that, it ships with the S Pen which means you can also use it for handwritten notes and drawings. The 8-inch IPS screen is bright and has a standard Full HD resolution.
Inside the robust body sits an Exynos 9810 processor that has access to 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. You can get a version with integrated LTE and GPS is supported as well. With that processor, the tablet is fast enough for demanding games but it’s not as powerful as the iPad Mini.
Thanks to its USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port, you can connect lots of accessories to the Active3 including external monitors. And since it’s running Android 10 and supports the Samsung DeX desktop mode, you can use it similar to a desktop PC once you connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. So, it can be a very versatile tablet. Or you just use it for reading and notes while on your daily commute.
Lenovo Tab M9: Great Value
The Lenovo Tab M9 is better than most 8-inch Android tablets on the market – just the Galaxy Tab Active3 is an exception. It is a real pity that there are no other high-quality Android tablets of this size at the moment. But that’s the way it’s.
We get a display that is minimally larger than typical 8-inch tablets with 9 inches. The resolution of 1340 x 800 pixels is as high as on the realme Pad mini and Nokia T10, but significantly lower than the iPad Mini. The sharpness is therefore only sufficient. However, it’s relatively bright with 400 nits.
It’s not a high-quality gaming tablet with the MediaTek Helio G80 octa-core processor, but most games can be played with low graphics settings. This even includes Apex Legend, which runs quite well. Other features include 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. A version with LTE is also available.
Read: My Lenovo Tab M9 Review
realme Pad mini: The Best Affordable 8 Incher
The realme Pad mini is much cheaper than the iPad Mini and much weaker as well. If you want to save a lot of money and don’t need a flagship device anyways, this can be a great choice for you. I enjoyed using it a lot but keep in mind that it’s a lower-end mid-range tablet.
We get an 8.7-inch screen that looks nice, is fully laminated, and has wide viewing angles. The resolution is quite low at 1340 x 800 pixels, however, and I wish it would support an active stylus but it does not.
The realme Pad mini features a premium-looking metal body which makes it feel pricier than it is. Special features like a fingerprint scanner or especially good speakers are missing. We get a USB C port, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and the LTE version has two SIM card slots.
Below that screen sits a Unisoc T616 octa-core processor with 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. Games like Fortnite cannot be played with the highest graphics settings, of course. But the performance is fine for most common apps and most games run as well. Sometimes you just have to set their graphics to their lowest.
Out of the box, it’s running Android 11 and sadly it’s unlikely that it’ll ever get a big update.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus: Just good enough?
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus plays in the lowest league in many aspects. However, it’s exciting and actually usable if you want to spend as little money as possible. However, you will have to make some sacrifices – first and foremost, the Google Play Store is missing out of the box, so you have to install it yourself. If you dare to do that, the HD 8 Plus is a real bargain, especially on days like Black Friday.
Amazon offers us an 8-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Although it’s not particularly bright, I think the pixel density is sufficient for the price range. However, it is quite a shame that the display is not fully laminated. Thus, an air gap is visible between the touchscreen and IPS panel.
Inside, there is a MediaTek MT8169A hexa-core processor that is supported by 3GB of RAM. The internal storage is 32GB or 64GB and there is a MicroSD card slot. So far, Amazon does not offer a version with LTE.
It not only performs relatively poorly in benchmarks, but also in my gaming test. I could not install some games at all. Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, run well and the latter can even be played with HD graphics.
It is nice that the battery life is 9.75 hours. Thus, the Fire HD 8 Plus lasts longer than all other tablets listed here.
The Plus does run Android out of the box, but it’s Amazon’s version of Android and not the Google variant. This means that many Amazon apps and services are preinstalled out of the box, and all Google services are missing. However, the latter can easily be installed afterwards.
By the way: I cannot recommend the simple Amazon Fire HD 8 at the moment, especially because the working memory is too small for today’s times in my eyes.
Where Are Huawei Tablets?
You might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned any Huawei tablets on this list so far. That’s not a mistake but on purpose. Because of the trade war between the United States and China, current Huawei tablets are being shipped without the Google Play Store and Google Services. And unlike with Amazon’s tablets, you can’t install them easily.
I think that if you’re getting an Android tablet, you expect to have access to Google’s stuff and that it behaves just as your phone does. So, even though I loved Huawei devices in the past, I can’t recommend them at the moment.
That doesn’t mean that they’re a bad choice for everyone. If you can find a great deal, live in China, or want to stay away from Google, they might be interesting for you. So, if you want, feel free to check out their current 8-inch tablets like the Huawei MediaPad M6 8 and the Huawei MatePad T8.
How I Review Tablets
My reviews mostly consist of two parts. First, I run lots of synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench 4, Geekbench 5, 3D Mark, GFXBench, and so on, to get a quick impression of the performance. Then I always run the same battery test on all of the devices I review. For that, I’m looping an HD video on YouTube at maximum brightness. I also check if you can watch Netflix and Amazon Prime with HD resolution since many are not capable of doing that.
After I’m done with benchmarks and a couple of other standard tests, I use it as my daily tablet. That means I surf the web, watch lots of YouTube, and play games. I try to always play the same games so that I can compare them. Among these are Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, Call Of Duty, Asphalt 9, and others.
If possible, I also try to render a video in Adobe Premiere Rush which higher-end devices are capable of only. Almost always I also try to get some serious work done. That means I attach a keyboard and mouse and work with Microsoft Word, Excel, and so on. All current tablets are capable of that, but some are better suited than others, of course.
Questions And Answers
Here are the answers to some questions we get quite often.
I know, sometimes it’s hard to imagine which tablet size is best for you. Especially if you didn’t have one before. So, are 8-inch screens big enough? That depends on what you want to use it for. 8-inch screens are perfect if you’re looking for a portable tablet that offers a bit more real estate than a phone does. Personally, I love to use them for surfing the web, reading books, and to chat with friends. The size is great if you like to type with your thumbs.
For watching movies and other videos with apps like Netflix or YouTube, generally, 10-inch tablets are better suited. However, if you need something super portable that easily fits in your jacket pockets or purse, 8-inch devices offer a good compromise of size and portability.
Even though many tablets are advertised as being 8 inches in size, the exact size varies a lot due to different aspect ratios and slight variations. Most 8-inch tablets like the Amazon Fire HD 8, for instance, got a diagonal of 8-inches and are 4.2 inches wide and 6.8 inches high. That translates to a diagonal of 20.3 centimeters and a width and height of 17.2 and 10.8 centimeters.
The 7.9-inch iPad Mini, on the other hand, is 6.3 inches and 16 centimeters high, as well as 4.7 inches and 12 centimeters wide.
In 2020, Samsung released two 8-inch tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 2020 is an LTE tablet that is available in the United States only. It’s a mid-range device. Almost worldwide, the Korean company released the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3. While that’s aimed at business customers originally, in many countries, everybody can just buy it. It’s a higher-end and very robust one that also features the S Pen. In 2021 we also got the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite which is a cheaper tablet.
I’m sure that Apple will release a new version of the iPad Mini in 2023. And Samsung is likely to release new Android tablets with an 8-inch screen as well. I also expect Amazon to release a new 8-inch tablet in the end of 2022 or beginning of 2023.
While there have been some very interesting 8-inch Windows tablets in the past, there is none I can recommend right now. The only ones still in production have to be imported from China directly and do not feature up-to-date hardware. However, if you can live with bigger screens, you can check out my Windows tablet recommendations here.
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