On my hunt for the ultimate portable workstation, I couldn’t find a good side-by-side comparison of the best 8″ tablet options on the market. So here it is. Below you’ll find a table comparing all primary specifications of the top 6, 8-inch tablet options (I reviewed dozens in total but cut out the non-contenders). Hopefully, my obsessive researching and organization will help you!
Why an 8″ tablet?
My daily driver 15″ laptop is too cumbersome to comfortably carry around and use on a lap. I went on a hunt to find an 8-inch tablet which could be used for random internet browsing as well as some work. Not too long ago, the thought of doing work on a tablet would have been laughable. These days, however, with so many applications being web-based, so long as a device has a browser you can accomplish quite a bit. As an online marketer and investor not all of my daily tasks can be handled by the best 8 inch tablets out there, but probably about 80% of my work can and that’s good enough.
Tablet Judging Criteria
Everyone needs something a little different so my requirements may not fit yours. Here are the main points I was focused on:
- Processing Power – I wanted a processor which could handle a decent amount of workload
- RAM – Since chrome (my go-to browser) is pretty ram intensive, I wanted to have at least 4gb of ram. This is difficult to find in an 8 inch tablet format since most go for 2gb
- Memory/Storage– the internal storage isn’t actually that important to me so long as it can be expanded with a memory card, which all of the devices below could, except for the iPad Mini
- Dimensions – Ideally I was looking for something which would fit in my back pocket since I wanted to be able to take it on the go without holding it in my hand or requiring a bag. All of my jeans are Levi’s 514’s and a tablet with a width of less than 130mm would fit. This is the reason I was set on an 8″ screen.
- Battery Life – This was a huge one for me. If it was going to be a regularly used device then I wanted to ensure I could take it on the go and work all day without needing to carry a charger
- Operating System – This device had to be able to run chrome well and accomplish many of my daily tasks. As an online marketer, I’ve essentially signed my life over to Google and am fully embedded in their infrastructure. My company uses email managed by google apps for business, files are kept in google drive, personal notes are kept in Keep and all my calendars are in Calendar since I run an android phone. Because of this, Android made the most sense, but I’ve included the ipad mini below as well since it’s pretty dominant in the 8″ tablet space
8 Inch Tablet Comparison
Here’s a table I compiled of the top 6 8 inch tablet options which fit my basic requirements above. The 4gb of ram significantly cut down on the number of viable options. All 6 competitors are strong contenders and worth consideration depending on your situation.
Please note that prices listed are in Canadian dollars since that’s where I’m located (1 CAD at the time of writing is about 1.33 USD). Prices for the chinese brands are the best ones I could find on Aliexpress. The ipad and Samsung prices come from BestBuy at the time of writing.
6 columns was a little wide for mobile viewers so I’ve cut it down into two tables with 3 columns for your mobile viewing pleasure:
|Model||Mi Pad 4||Mediapad M5||Hi9|
|OS||Android 8.0||Android 8.0||Android 7.0|
|Processor||Snapdragon 660 Octa Core||Kirin 960||MTK 8173 Quad core Up to 1.9GHz|
|Model||X1||Galaxy Tab S2||Ipad Mini 4|
|OS||Android 7.1||Android 6.0||IOS 9|
|Processor||Helio X20 deca core CPU||Octa core 1.8GHz, 1.4GHz||A8 Processor|
The Best Tablet for My Needs
In the end, I went with the Xiaomi Mi Pad 4. The 6000 mAh battery was a huge draw. That’ll help it last all day without charging, particularly when I plan to be outside in the sun and have the brightness cranked. I like that it also offered expandable storage, unlike the iPad Mini.
The dimensions of it were quite good, not quite as thin and light as the Mediapad M5 or Samsung, but I’m not sure if you’d even notice fractions of a mm. One reason I really like the Mi Pad 4 was it’s 16:11 screen ratio. It’s a great layout for browsing web content.
Finally, the price seemed relatively low when compared to the other offerings and no matter how much money I have, I’m always going to be a value buyer. When you look up online reviews of this tablet, you’ll see that people love it and there are very few complaints. It actually surprised me how few complaints this model received since these inexpensive Chinese brand tech-goods are notorious for being glitchy and having quality control issues.
Hopefully, this has helped you find the best tablet for your needs. If I’ve missed any which should be added, or if it helped, please let me know in the comments below.