Which are the best 8-inch tablets? There is a lot to choose from and it can be hard to get a good and up-to-date overview. I’ve been reviewing tablets for over 10 years and 8-inch ones are my favorites. They’re very versatile and easy to carry with you. Read on to get to know the best 8-inch tablets available right now.
I’m reviewing almost every tablet that is released. Below, you’ll find different choices in different price classes. We’re starting with the best ones that are quite pricey. But further down, you’ll find lots of budget options too.
Alright, here are the best 8-inch tablets available right now.
Best 8-Inch Tablets: A Quick Overview
Let’s take a quick look at the best choices you have.
- Best 8-inch tablet: Apple iPad Mini (on Amazon*). The Apple iPad Mini is the best 8-inch tablet you can buy right now. Because of its Apple A12 Bionic processor, it’s faster than all competitors. At the same time, we get a great 7.9-inch screen that supports an active stylus, a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, and a premium-feeling metal body. It’s running up to date iPadOS 14.
- Best 8-inch Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 (on Amazon*). Even though it’s aimed at business customers, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 is the best 8-inch Android tablet at the moment. Its highlights are a robust design and an included S Pen. It has a pretty Full HD screen and with its Exynos 9810 processor, it’s faster than all other 8-inch Android tablets.
- Interesting 8-inch US tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 is a fantastic mid-range 8-inch Android tablet if you’re living in the United States. Samsung is not selling it elsewhere and that’s why it’s the only one on this list I wasn’t able to review. Many seem to be happy with it due to its nice 8.4-inch screen and decent performance.
- Great mid-range choice: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-P200/205 (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-P200/P205 is one of my favorite tablets out there but it’s another one Samsung is not selling worldwide. You can mostly get it in a couple of Asian countries only. It features a pretty 8-inch screen, the S Pen is included and works great, and the LTE version can double as a phone.
- Good inexpensive 8-inch tablet: Lenovo Tab M8 HD (on Amazon*). The Lenovo Tab M8 HD is one of the best inexpensive devices I reviewed this year. Sure, its performance is not amazing, but we get a good 8-inch HD screen and a premium-feeling metal body. I also like that it’s running almost pure Android. You can get a stronger Full HD version too.
- Interesting alternative: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 SM-T290 is a good lower-end Android tablet that’s similar to the Lenovo Tab M8 HD. It features an 8-inch HD screen, will probably be updated longer, but it does not feel as high-end. I think it’s a good choice if you’re looking for something inexpensive.
- Cheapest 8-inch tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8 & HD 8 Plus (on Amazon*). The Amazon Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus are the cheapest 8-inch tablets that I can comfortably recommend. Due to their plastic bodies, they feel quite cheap and I don’t like that the screen is not laminated. But the performance and speakers are surprisingly good for their price. You’ll have to install the Google Play Store on your own.
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 the best 8-inch tablet on the market. It has a fully laminated 7.9-inch screen with a “Retina” resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. With 500 nits, it is very bright and looks pretty overall. Unlike most competitors, it has an aspect ratio of 4:3. If you want, you can get it with the first-generation Apple Pencil. That is an active stylus that works great with this tablet.
Inside runs an Apple A12 Bionic processor together with 3GB of RAM. When buying it, you can choose between 64GB and 256GB of internal storage. There are cellular versions as well. Due to this A12 chipset, the iPad Mini is faster than most Android tablets in general, no matter the size. It’s capable of playing demanding titles like PUBG Mobile with high graphics settings.
While its full metal body is very premium-feeling, Apple continues to use the same design they introduced with the first iPad Mini years ago. That means we get pretty thick black screen bezels, and we have to live with the old Lightning connector. For iPhone users, that Lightning port can be an upside, of course.
Other features include great stereo speakers and a Touch ID fingerprint scanner that’s built into the home button. The iPad Mini is running the same iPadOS software as all iPads are. So, you do get access to the huge library of apps that are optimized for tablets.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3: Best 8-Inch Android 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.
Now, the Galaxy Tab Active3 is a bit special because together with its protective case, that 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.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 2020 SM-T307: Great Mid-Range Android Tablet
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 2020 SM-T307 is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for an 8-inch mid-range tablet. With that being said, it’s available in the United States only. So, if you’re living in another country, like I am, you won’t be able to get it. And that’s why I didn’t review it myself. However, on YouTube and in blogs you can find lots of reviews of US users and they seem to be very happy with it.
As its name says, the tablet has an 8.4-inch LCD screen with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. Unlike the first couple of choices on this list, it does not support an active pen. So, it’s not a great choice if you want to write down handwritten notes. But besides that, it seems to be a good tablet.
Inside runs an Exynos 7904 processor which is a lower-end to mid-range chipset that has access to 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Don’t expect to play Fortnite with this tablet, but less demanding games should run fine. Samsung is selling a WiFi plus LTE version for several US carriers. There’s no Wifi-only version.
The tablet has a USB C 2.0 port, a microSD card slot, and a standard headphone jack. Out of the box, it’s running Android 9, but usually, Samsung is pretty good with updates.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-P200/205: A Great Mid-Range Tablet With S Pen
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-P200 / SM-P205 is another fantastic mid-range tablet that’s not available worldwide. This time, you can mostly get it in a couple of Asian countries while it’s not available in the United States or Europe. I loved reviewing it and if you’re looking for something like this, I think it’s a great choice.
With the Galaxy Tab A 8.0, Samsung is giving us an 8-inch Full HD screen that supports an active stylus. In fact, the S Pen is included at no additional costs and works great. On the software side, the pen is well supported with the Air Commands and the Samsung Notes app is good as well.
Now, this is a mid-range tablet with an Exynos 7885 chipset, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. It means that you won’t be able to play Fortnite, but just like with the US version, you can play simpler games just fine. There’s a Wifi-only and an LTE version and with the latter one, you can make phone calls. So, if you want to, you could use this tablet as your phone.
Out of the box, the Tab A is running Android 9, it has a USC C port, as well as a headphone jack and a microSD card slot. We’re getting a plastic body here, but considering its inexpensive price, it feels well made.
Lenovo Tab M8 HD: Good Inexpensive 8-Inch Tablet
I think the Lenovo Tab M8 HD is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a cheap 8-inch tablet that’s great for reading the web or answering some E-Mails while you’re on your commute or so. It has a pretty 8-inch LCD screen that is fully laminated, and the HD resolution is high enough for this size. But you can’t use it with an active pen.
Now, the performance is not good enough for high-end gaming. You’ll have to stick to simpler games. It’s running almost vanilla Android 9 without any heavy customizations. One highlight of this tablet is its surprisingly premium-feeling metal body. On a negative note, the speakers and the webcam are pretty bad, and it’s being charged using the older micro USB standard.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, Lenovo is also selling a Full HD version of this tablet that has a bit faster processor. Nothing for demanding games, but simpler runes will run a bit smoother.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-T290: A Cheap Samsung Alternative
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 SM-T290 is much slower than the other 8-inch Samsung tablets on this list. In many aspects, it’s similar to the Lenovo Tab M8 HD, and both cost about the same. Yes, that means we’re getting an HD resolution and it does not support the S Pen. That’s important to know, especially to European readers who can’t get the other mid-range Samsung devices on this list.
Inside the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 sits a Qualcomm Snapdragon 429 processor which is okay for light gaming. But don’t expect to play Fortnite at all and not PUBG Mobile with the highest settings either. I noticed that Asphalt 9 stutters heavily. You’ll have to stick to simple ones, that’s for sure.
The tablet has a metal backplate, but the frame is made of plastic. It does not feel as high-end as most other ones on this list. Instead of a USB C port, it has the older micro USB port but it does have a microSD card slot and a headphone jack.
One highlight of the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is that Samsung tends to update their tablets longer than other Android brands. So, it’s more likely to get Android 10 than the Lenovo Tab M8 HD, for instance.
Amazon Fire HD 8 & Fire HD 8 Plus: Cheapest 8-Inch Tablets
The Amazon Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 8 Plus are the cheapest 8-inch tablets that I can comfortably recommend. Most aspects of the two are almost the same. The most important feature that differentiates the Plus from the standard one is Wireless Charging support. You can get it with a Wireless Charging dock which is a great feature in combination with Alexa. Together with this dock, you can use the Fire HD 8 Plus as a smart speaker in addition to being a normal tablet.
Besides that, both are mostly the same. We’re getting an 8-inch screen with a standard HD resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and it does not support an active pen. A huge downside is that unlike the other ones on this list, the display is not laminated. That means you can see a small air gap between the touchscreen and the IPS layer.
Considering its price which starts at under 100 US Dollars, the performance is surprisingly good and on a similar level as the mid-range competitors, I mentioned above. So, nothing for demanding games, again, but simpler ones run great. I also like that the speakers are pretty good and that we get a USB C port.
Both tablets are made of plastic and feel super cheap. With that being said, according to Amazon, they’re quite robust. So it might be a great choice for children.
Even though these are Android tablets, they’re running Amazon’s version of Android and not Google’s. That means that out of the box, the Google Play Store, Google’s services, and apps like Chrome, YouTube, and Gmail are missing. Instead, you’ve got fast and easy access to Amazon’s stuff. But if you want, you can install the Google Play Store without too much hassle yourself.
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.
I’m sure that Apple will release a new version of the iPad Mini in 2021. And Samsung is likely to release new Android tablets with an 8-inch screen as well. But I don’t expect Amazon to work on a new Fire HD 8 until the beginning of 2022 – but I can’t look into the future, of course.
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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