Best 8-inch tablets – Android, iOS, rugged and value
Tablets had a slow start in the beginning, yet now have found their public and are embedded in the core of main tech gadgets. Coming in various sizes, these devices share immense advantages for all kinds of users. The best 8-inch tablets are marketed for a more portable and long-lasting endurance.
And, even though smartphones now come far larger than ever before, tablets still hold the advantage in longer battery life and screen specs than the majority of their counterparts. Thus, below you will find the best 8-inch tablets currently available.
Products at a Glance
How we chose the best 8-inch tablets
Once we understand the main purpose of a device, specifically how the public uses it, what they expect out of it, and what the different brands market around it, we design a list of contenders and discard them according to their raw specifications. The top-rated 8-inch tablets will make their entry on this list according to their features in tandem with their specific use case. These features include:
- Battery life
- Screen resolution
- Nit levels
Searching for something different? If you’re looking for a tablet perfect for school or college, read our Best tablets for college and university guide here. On a budget? Then check out our Best Android Tablet Under $200 piece. If you’re after something a bit larger than these ones, check out our guide to the best large tablets.
Best 8-inch tablets – Android, iOS, rugged and value
- Incredible design
- 10-hour battery life
- Great Camera performance
- Comfortable and easy to carry
- USB-C port fast charging
- Compatible with the Apple Pencil
- 60 Hz screen
- No headphone jack
The 8-inch market was crumbling until Apple decided to level up with an all-new design. It soon understood that the public was tired of carrying big laptops for varied travel needs. So, Apple eventually released an iteration of the best 8-inch tablet, one that could stand above them all.
The Apple iPad Mini has an amazing 2266×1488 screen resolution on a famous Apple 8.3 Liquid Retina screen that features True Tone and P3 wide color, plus up to 500 nits of brightness.
The iPad Mini (6th Gen) has the A15 Bionic chip with 65-bit architecture, and a 6-core CPU, which is the latest mobile chip from Apple that’s also built into the iPhone 13. You can get storage capacities of up to 256GB and 4 GBs of RAM, along with a 10-hour duration battery. All of that is built within a 100% certified recycled aluminum alloy of barely 1.3lbs of weight.
The iPad Mini uses a USB type-C charging port which is compatible with Apple’s fast chargers meaning you can power up your device in no time.
- Aluminum body
- Bright and strong display
- Metal frame, premium feel
- Limited storage
- Not very good camera
- No accessories (like keyboards)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 is a pretty powerful tablet in a small case. With a premium feel, the device offers the best bang for the buck than most other Android tablets on the market. The Tab A 8.4 features the Exybos 7904 processor, up to 3GB RAM, and up to 32GB of flash storage. If you are an Android fan that is in the market for a small tablet, this is certainly the one to choose.
Alongside its immense power, the Tab A 8.4 also comes with a 1920 x 1200 screen resolution that is bright enough for use even in daylight. The Tab A 8.4 display has a maximum brightness of 315 nits, which is great for the price point.
- Rugged & water resistant
- Stylus included
- Removable battery
- Limited availability
- Low resolution and storage
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 is among the best 8-inch tablets on the market due in large part to its incredible durability. This tablet can take a beating and still last a lifetime, making it a prime option for heavy travelers and outdoorsy folks.
While it may be good for a specific subset of users, it’s got a wide appeal given the 1920 x 1200 resolution it sports in tandem with Android 10 OS compatibility. It also comes equipped with up to 128GB of storage, a replaceable 5050mAh battery, a must give its rugged nature, and an Octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 processor.
As with most in this price bracket, the cameras are quite stellar and the included S-pen proves to be a welcome addition to the product. Despite the rugged design, the Tab Active3 weighs all but a mere .94lbs making it even more ideal for those constantly on-the-go.
- Amazing price
- Aluminum design
- Strong battery life
- Week audio
- Slow performance
If you don’t want to spend too much on a tablet or are looking for a second one to carry around with you, this should be a no-brainer. It uses the same MediaTek processor as the Samsung Tab A7 Lite, but with 2 GB RAM and 32 GB of storage. It’s a comfortable and solid backup in case you want something at a great price.
The Lenovo Tab offers a 1280 x 800 resolution screen with full HD streaming quality. And a 5100 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery that can last up to 14 hours, which allows for nearly half a day of watching Netflix or recipes to cook over the weekend.
- Super affordable
- Great for entertainment
- Wireless charging
- Limited applications
- You need Amazon Prime
It’s not quite as advanced as some of the other offerings on the list, but we’ve added the Amazon Fire HD 8 as one of the best 8-inch tablets due to the great value for money it provides. Coming in at around $115 / £100, this is a class budget option if you are strapped for cash but still want a great portable tablet.
Running off Fire OS, this tablet really stands out in providing accessible, high-quality entertainment. It excels at streaming, especially when using Amazon Prime, which is pretty much a must if you are buying this laptop. However, the app store is pretty limited, which is a big downside if you want to use it for more than a few basic functions.
Features and considerations
The 8-inch tablet size is a device used mainly for its portability. You can easily keep these kinds of tablets in your bag and they won’t take up much space. Equally portable, they are comfortable and easy to grab and the high-resolution screen is the main feature to look out for. Some of the best 8-inch tablets can even be used across the world as gaming tablets, behind 10-inch models.
To complete this thorough list we took a peek at the most important advantages the 8-inch tablet can have against larger competitors. Features like battery life, screen resolution, weight, and nit leveling were the main specs rated for this list.
Is an 8-inch tablet big enough?
This is really dependent on how you plan to use it. 8-inch tablets are great for portability or for those with smaller hands such as kids. They are also great options if you just want a tablet for reading and for doing basic tasks such as browsing the web.
For those looking for a tablet as a design tool or laptop replacement, we definitely recommend sizing up. You’ll be sure to notice the difference of having a larger screen – making multi-tasking, or drawing much more enjoyable.
How do I know that the iPad Mini is right for me?
We’ve provided tablets with Android and Windows OS on-board too. The thing is, every tablet does the same basic functions in its own way, just pick a style that suits you, and off you go. Head over to your local electronics retailer or Apple Store to get hands-on with some tablets yourself.
Overall, Apple is the only brand that has fully understood the big opportunity this market offers, building strong processors, quality operating system and amazing screens for small tablets. Apple is setting the stage for its competitors, showing just how alternative companies should follow in this sector with its Apple iPad Mini 6.
We feel that this is (probably) the most varied guide for the best 8-inch screen tablets available on the internet right now. From the top of the range iPad to a tablet that can withstand any situation you put it in (more or less), there really is something for everyone. Which one best suits your needs? If it’s the latter, you really need to consider creating a YouTube channel.