Tablets have become a luxurious necessity. There is nothing that a tablet does that a high end smartphone or a laptop is not capable of doing, other than doing all of it in a form factor that is somewhere in between them. Unless you fly for 20 days a month on transatlantic flights or just are too lazy to carry a full sized laptop or spend all your nights watching movies on a 10 inch display than a sweet HD TV, there is very little a tablet can do to justify its hefty price tag.
This mentality exactly has seen the popularity of 7 to 8 inch tablets soar past those of proper 10 inch ones. Most of these tablets can double up as a phone and as a result in a price sensitive market like India have become a sweet compromise spot between a smartphone and a full blown tablet. This form factor is also ideal if you are into reading e-books or content online and does multimedia pretty well too. So, if you are in the market, looking for a tablet with 7/8 inch form factor, what are your choices? Here are our 5 top picks.
iPads are still the way to go when it comes to tablets simply because of a more immersive and broad ecosystem. The only downside of owning an iPad is the fact that unlike some of the other Android tablets they do not make cellular phone calls. You can still use your iPad to make calls via Skype or Google Hangouts. The iPad Mini with Retina display brings everything that is good in the iPad Air to a smaller form factor. The device has the Apple made A7 chipset at the heart of it and features a 7.9 inch Retina Display. Just like any iPad, it runs iOS 7 currently and would be upgraded to iOS 8 when the public release goes live. It is the best of Apple in the sub 10 inch form factor when it comes to tablets, and you can really not go wrong with it. Be it for media consumption, reading text or just playing games, the iPad Mini with Retina display is an excellent choice.
The one generation old iPad Mini does not feature the Retina display that comes with the more recent Apple devices. It is powered by a dual core, one generation older, A6 chip and is available in wide range of configurations, with physical dimensions including the screen size pretty much exactly like the iPad Mini Retina. If display is no big a concern for you and you can give up that extra about 30% of performance enhancements, then the iPad Mini is still a great choice. Virtually every application that the iPad Mini Retina runs, the Mini can run just fine. The iPad Mini is without a doubt the most economic tablet from the labs of Apple and if you are looking at the gateway to enter that world of tablets running on iOS, the iPad Mini is still a fine choice.
The Nexus 7 is without a doubt, the best Android tablet out there. It runs pure and unadulterated Android right out of the box and has performances that can easily give a tough fight to the iPad Mini. The only downside to the Nexus 7 is the fact that Google’s ecosystem is not as far developed or extensive or immersive as that of iOS. There is little to debate that it is improving at all times and details like number of apps specifically designed for the tablets are gradually growing up. The Nexus 7 comes with a True HD 7 inch display with a Quad Core SoC and is a performance beast. In terms of the physical build too, despite being largely plastic, the tablet has held up the test of time well and we had little complains from it. Both, the Wifi and 3G variant of the tablet is available in the market. Add in the fact that the Nexus 7 would be one of the first devices to get the all new Android L and it becomes a real attractive proposition.
If you want a tablet that stands out and delivers an excellent performance with a form factor unlike any other, the Lenovo Yoga 8 is what you should be lusting for. Priced at just above the Rs 20,000 mark, the tablet performs most of the tasks you throw at it well. With a unique tilt design that makes it a good choice for both reading and watching multimedia content, the Yoga 8 is an unmistakably Lenovo designed product. It feels solid in the hand and does not let you down in terms of performance. The screen is not the sharpest or the brightest, but the 1280×800 resolution display is adequate unless you are used to a True HD panel. The battery life of the tablet is one of its strong points, while an older Android 4.2 version and 1 GB of RAM is what we would call the major weakness here.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
The Samsung Tab S is the very first tablet to use a Super AMOLED screen, which we have seen on several Samsung smartphones like the Note III and Galaxy S5. The display is known for its deep colors and contrast ratios. The Galaxy Tab S runs the latest KitKat 4.4 Android version with Samsung’s Touchwiz on top of it and brings several features of the Galaxy S5 like the fingerprint scanner and a dotted back panel to the board. The tablet claims to put the display of the iPad Mini Retina to shame, how true that is, depends on your taste, whether you like deep saturated colors or more natural colors like on the iPad. The tablet is powered by an the Octacore Exynos 5420 SoC. There is 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage on board. The tablet is currently available with Reliance in an interesting bundled offer with 9 GB of 3G data.
Which of the above listed tablet is your preferred choice? Let us know in the section below or find us on our Social Media profiles.