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 available today. It offers a very pretty 8.3-inch display, a premium-feeling design with lots of premium features, and up-to-date software. Due to its Apple A15 processor, it’s much more powerful than all other tablets on this list and it supports the Apple Pencil 2. Since it’s so fast, it has no competitor running Android outside of China.
- 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 on this list.
- Best cheap 8-inch tablet: realme Pad mini (on Amazon*). The realme Pad mini is much cheaper than the iPad Mini and it’s weaker in every regard. However, for its price, it offers a solid 8.7-inch display, the built quality is high-end, and the performance is good enough for most tasks and games. It’s a pretty 8-inch tablet if you don’t need a top-of-the-line device.
- Affordable 8-inch Samsung tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite resembles the realme Pad mini a lot but it’s a bit weaker. Built quality and display are similar but the performance is not as good. If you’re a Samsung fan or want to save some money, it’s a solid alternative.
- 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 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.
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.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite: An Affordable Samsung Tablet
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite looks very similar to the realme Pad mini but it’s a bit older and often a bit cheaper. As far as I can tell, their 8.7-inch screens are the same and here, too, we get a metal body. It’s one of the few Samsung tablets that don’t support the S Pen.
As I said, the 8.7-inch display seems to be the same one as the realme Pad mini. So, this screen is a good one too, even though the resolution continues to be a bit low at 1340 x 800 pixels. Because of its small size, it’s great for surfing the web and reading eBooks.
Features like a fingerprint scanner are missing, but we do get a USB C 2.0 port, a headphone jack, as well as a microSD card slot. The performance of its MediaTek Helio P22T processor is weaker than the realme. We also get 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and optional LTE.
The operating system is Android 11 and Samsung is pretty good with updates. I also think it’s cool that apps like Samsung Notes are pre-installed. Sadly, it’s lacking the Samsung DeX desktop mode but I guess the performance would be too weak for that.
Amazon Fire HD 8 & HD 8 Plus: The Cheapest Good 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. 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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