There are only two 8-inch premium tablets available on the entire global market today, namely the Apple iPad Mini and the Lenovo Legion Tab Y700 2023. Both are high-end devices, but both have different unique features, so it’s easier to decide between the two. Which one is better for whom? That’s exactly what you’ll learn in this comparison between the iPad Mini and Legion Tab Y700.
We’ll start with prices. The cheapest version of the iPad Mini costs 500 Dollars or 650 Euros and the Lenovo Legion Tab Y700 2023 costs around 300 Dollar – but only if you are in China and buy it there. The tablet is not available internationally, so it has to be imported. You usually end up paying between 400 and 450 Dollars or Euros from import stores including shipping. Usually, it’s between 50 and 300 Dollars cheaper than the iPad Mini, depending on where you’re from.
The Apple iPad Mini 6 is the best 8-inch tablet on the market today. It offers a premium design, is more powerful than every Android tablet, supports the Apple Pencil 2, and ships with up-to-date software. We get premium features like great speakers and a fingerprint scanner. Sadly, the otherwise excellent 8.3-inch screen has a jelly effect which is a bit of a bummer.
- Premium design
- Very powerful
- Good speakers
- Fingerprint scanner
- Apple Pencil 2 support
- Up-to-date software
- Display has jelly effect
- No phone capabilities
Display & Speakers
The iPad Mini has an 8.3-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2266 x 1488 pixels, while the Legion Tab has an 8.8-inch IPS display with 2560 x 1600 pixels. So, Lenovo’s is slightly larger and has more pixels, but both look equally sharp in a direct comparison.
Both are 500 nits bright on paper. But in real life, the Lenovo actually looks brighter and colors are more vibrant. Both are fully laminated and have very wide viewing angles.
The iPad Mini has a 60Hz display and here you can see a kind of jelly or rolling shutter effect when you hold vertically and scroll at a certain speed. Many 60Hz displays have this problem. With the Lenovo, however, we get up to 144Hz – so animations and some games look particularly smooth and such a problem as the iPad Mini’s disappears.
Due to the 144 Hz and because it’s brighter, Lenovo clearly has the better display.
However, the speakers are not quite as clear. Both are pretty good for 8-inchers and the Legion Tab is louder and has a much stronger bass. However, the sound of the iPad Mini is a bit clearer and more pleasant, but it is quieter.
Ultimately, you can watch Netflix with HD resolution on both and both are good entertainment tablets. But as mentioned, the display is better on the Lenovo.
Hardware & Performance
Let’s move on to the hardware and performance. While the iPad Mini has an Apple A15 processor, we get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset in the Y700. Apple gives us 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 256GB of storage, and Lenovo gives us 12GB or 16GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of internal storage. Only the iPad Mini is also offered with 5G.
I have the 64GB version of the iPad Mini, which I have often regretted because I love 8 inch tablets and use the iPad Mini often and the storage is constantly full. But the 256GB version costs 150 Dollars more. It’s great that Lenovo gives us 256GB as standard – so, comparing the storage options, the Lenovo is even cheaper.
However, the Legion Tab is weaker in my benchmark comparison. In both the Geekbench 5 benchmark and the 3D Mark Wild Life test, the Y700 is faster than any other 8-inch tablet and even more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. But the iPad Mini 6 always scores a good bit better.
And in fact, that’s reflected in my gaming test as well. I played Genshin Impact on both tablets and I could set almost all graphics settings to “very high” or “high” equally on both. One difference is in the visual effects, which go to “very high” on the iPad Mini, but only to “high” on the Lenovo.
Light and other effects look a bit better on the iPad Mini. And the graphics are also a bit more detailed and clearer. Yes, this is a comparison on a high level, but Apple is more powerful in the benchmarks and in real games.
Design & Build Quality
Apple is also better in terms of design and build quality. While both are made of aluminum and feel well built, the iPad Mini’s transition from body to display is much better done.
At the same time, it’s a bit thinner at 6.3mm and also a bit lighter at 293g than the Y700 at 7.6mm and 348g.
Another important difference is the Touch ID fingerprint reader that Apple has integrated into the power button. Lenovo lacks one – and both do not have a headphone jack. Only the Y700 has a microSD card slot, so the already large storage can easily be expanded.
While the iPad Mini has one USB C 3.1 Gen 1 port, the Lenovo has two USB C 3.1 Gen 2 ports. Both tablets can also be connected to external monitors. And yes, the Legion Tab Y700 has two USB C ports, which is really convenient and a unique feature.
However, Apple is once again ahead in terms of cameras. Here we get a very wide-angle 12-megapixel front-facing camera and a 12-megapixel main camera with LED flash. Shots from both cameras are quite good and especially the dynamic range is much better than the 8-megapixel front camera of the Legion Tab and also sharper than the 13-megapixel main camera of the Lenovo.
Additionally, the Y700 has a 2-megapixel macro camera, which is missing on the Apple.
Apple Pencil 2 vs. Lenovo Tab Pen Plus
You can buy the Lenovo Tab Pen Plus for the Legion Tab; it’s also internationally available and costs 60 Dollars. The iPad Mini, on the other hand, works with the Apple Pencil 2, which costs 129 Dollars. Again, a big price difference. In return, the Pencil 2 is charged via induction on the tablet, which is much more elegant than the USB C port of the Lenovo pen.
I think that both are equally suitable for handwritten notes. I wrote in Apple Notes on the iPad Mini and Noteshelf on the Lenovo and there is almost no difference. When you get right down to it, the Apple Pencil responds a bit faster, but it’s only visible when you’re drawing quickly.
However, there is a big difference in the software. The range of apps that are optimized for pens is simply much larger for iPadOS than for Android. Apple has also implemented many other features for the Pencil, such as the Scribble feature, which is much better than on Lenovo.
However, the Y700 also has some cool features, such as the ability to create a quick note, annotate screenshots, and use the Pencil as a remote in the camera app or PowerPoint. Especially the latter is pretty cool.
Still – Lenovo’s pen isn’t bad, but are you specifically looking for an 8-inch tablet with a pen, is the pen particularly important, then I definitely think the Apple Pencil 2 is better and the biggest reason for that is better software.
Android 13 vs. iPadOS
Let’s get to their software The iPad Mini runs iPadOS 17 and the Legion Tab Y700 2023 runs Android 13 with Lenovo’s ZUI out of the box. By the way, my iPad Mini is still running iPadOS 16 because I don’t have enough free storage and don’t want to delete games until after this comparison. But there’s not much difference between iPadOS 16 and 17.
I don’t think I have to say much about iPadOS, because it’s exactly the same software as on all other iPads. But there is one difference compared to the iPad Pro, because the Stage Manager is not supported here. So, multitasking doesn’t work quite as extensively. But apart from that, it’s normal iPadOS, really great software, and with a huge range of apps and games optimized for tablets, of course. And also really professional apps.
As mentioned, the Legion Tab Y700 runs Android, but since it comes from China, the Google Play Store and all Google apps are missing out of the box. Furthermore, English is the only European language that can be selected. That’s right, so the tablet can’t be set to German and Spanish or even to other Asian languages except for Chinese. However, the keyboard can bet set to almost all languages.
You can install the Google Play Store very easily yourself, just like with an Amazon Fire tablet. And then you can drop most of the Chinese apps and install Chrome, YouTube, Gmail and so on as normal – from then on, it behaves just like any other Android tablet.
I think you know the differences between Android and iPadOS and I don’t want to go too deep here. In this case, however, there is an important difference in multitasking because the iPad Mini does not support Stage Manager. On the Lenovo, there is PC Mode, which allows you to easily open apps in floating windows, which is especially handy when you connect a mouse, keyboard, and external monitor. If you want to use several apps simultaneously and side by side, the Y700 definitely offers more options.
It is fairly certain that we will get much longer software updates from Apple than from Lenovo, that’s also important to factor in.
In my battery test, the iPad Mini got a runtime of 6 hours and the Lenovo got 6.5 hours. Sounds like the Legion Tab lasts just a tiny bit longer, but it does significantly better because the display is brighter and I ran the test at 144Hz. For my battery test, I always run an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness in an endless loop.
iPad Mini vs. Lenovo Legion Tab Y700 2023: My Conclusion
So, which tablet is better, the Apple iPad Mini or the Lenovo Legion Tab Y700 2023? The iPad Mini is clearly more powerful, games can be played with better graphics, the build quality is better, we get a fingerprint reader, and there is a 5G option. Additionally, the cameras are better, the Apple Pencil 2 is slightly better, the selection of optimized apps is larger, and it’ll get longer updates. You can also buy it in almost all countries including local warranties and support.
The Lenovo Legion Tab Y700 2023, on the other hand, has a brighter and better 144Hz display, significantly larger storage options, a MicroSD card slot, two USB C ports, better multitasking, and stronger bass. At the same time, it can be between significantly cheaper – and pens included, even cheaper. The big drawback is that it’s not directly available in most countries, and I don’t expect that to change.
And so I’ve shown you the strengths and weaknesses of both tablets and you can decide which is more important to you. The iPad Mini has better performance, but the Lenovo has a better display. A mix of both devices would be cool. But there are no better or even other 8 inch premium tablets, these two are the only ones you can choose between at the moment.
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