7-8" tablet recommendations?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by robgendreau, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'm in the market for a smaller tablet, in the 7-8" range. I've already got an iPhone and iPad; I need something smaller than the iPad and that runs Android or Windows. I had started leaning toward Windows since I could run some programs I already own on it, but it seems some may choke on the smaller processor or memory.

    It also must have USB host capability, for reading SD cards with photos especially. A microSD slot would be nice for copying photos onto another card.

    I don't really care about a super good screen; all things being equal, performance outdoors would trump color or sharpness.

    I only want a wifi, and it needs to have internal GPS.

    Use is for in the boonies photo storage and sorting, navigation and some other stuff.

    I've looked at the Asus MeMO Pads, 7" and 8". And the Dell Venue. And a couple of others, but at least at 7" the Asus looks most popular. The 8" versions seem to have better speakers and cameras, and are only $25US more expensive.

    Anyone have any recommendations? As I said, the Windows tablets (full, not RT) seemed like a good deal (Toshiba has a 7" for $100 with Office, for cripes sake; cheaper than buying Paralllels...). But I just think Android will actually have more applications I'd use, although using Lightroom on it would be very nice. But I'd lose some other camera and nav apps.

  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    The Samsung Tab S 8.4 would be my recommendation.
  3. robgendreau thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Took a look. Nicer screens in the newest models, but too pricey for me. Don't need the nicer screen, and I need more storage. The Samsung is kinda like my iPad, just smaller. Thanks though.
  4. bmxracer macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2014
    I am not sure if it has the built in gps but, have you looked at the Asus Vivotab Note 8? The $100 Toshiba looks pretty good too. The Vivotab note 8 has a full version of office, compared to just one year with the Toshiba.
  5. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Note 8.0 is still a great tablet to have. Screen might not be great but a cheaper option to the s tab line.
  6. viskon macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2012
    HP just announced $99 Windows tablets. If you can wait till November, might be a good option.
  7. robgendreau thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    As I noted, I've looked at the Windows tablets, which are an amazing deal, especially considering you sometimes get Office for a year.

    But in reviewing stuff I use, especially navigation apps and photo apps, it appears that there are more critical Android apps for me than Windows programs, except for Lightroom. It's rather interesting to have a situation where you can compare desktop vs tablet programs directly; Windows has a lot, but in many areas Android (and even more so iOS) just has far, far more, and at a lower price.
  8. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    I would recommend against Windows tablets at this point in time for a variety of reasons. Unless you know you absolutely need to use some Windows apps in a mobile setting, then I'd recommend an Android tablet.

    The only exception being the Dell Venue 8 Pro. I've read great things about it, and the short times that I've played with one in stores seems consistent with the glowing praise it receives.

    Unfortunately, Windows tablet manufacturers are racing-to-the-bottom price-wise and as a result are skimping out on specs... 1GB RAM, storage as low as 16GB, no free Office anymore (only a free year subscription to Office 365).

    The only promising Windows tablet on the horizon is the Toshiba Encore 2 Write. This 8" tablet has an active digitizer. But there is no price and no release date.

    I've been shopping around for a quality 8" tablet. A few times I nearly purchased a DV8P but held back. Best Buy has the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 on sale for $249 this week. This caught my eye. It receives glowing reviews (when it was selling for $399) and seems like it hits all of your points.

    I'll be dropping by Best Buy today to take a look in person.
  9. robgendreau thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Whoa. I had sorta written off the 8.4 at $399. Maybe worth a second look. Samsung has so many tablets I can't keep 'em straight. And I continue to wonder why manufacturers would quote prices so high vs street prices; in this case it seems counterproductive as I wouldn't have even given a second look at MSRP.
  10. Gotoma macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2012
  11. ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    I would pay $400 again for my Tab Pro 8.4, at $249, I'd almost buy a second one..

    I love this thing.
  12. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    Since you actually have one of these beasties, can you share with us how you use it? How's the performance? How useful is Hancom Office? Are there any pleasant surprises? (ie. a purpose or feature you didn't originally think of)
  13. robgendreau thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I decided to pull the trigger on the Samsung Tab Pro 8.4. Even though it's more it's more in the class of the iPad Mini, and I can now choose between using it as my only tablet or keeping my iPad. At this price ($250 (and BTW, they give you $25 back as a credit in the Google Play Store, and 50GB of storage at Dropbox for two years, and a couple of other perks)) it's still cheaper even than non-retina older refurbed Minis.

    My first impressions are very favorable. I do hate Android bloatware, and I don't like some interface aspects (the magazine Flipboardish thing doesn't grab me). But love the keyboards (great that FINALLY came to iOS), separate windows, multitasking, and integration with some Google stuff. Hardware is excellent; I'd say the screen is as good if not better than my iPad. Speakers seem better as well. It's pretty snappy but I haven't really pushed it with say photo processing. I am already liking the form of a mini tab better than my full sized iPad. And being able to connect stuff is SO nice.

    I'll try to post a follow-up once I've used it for a while.

    And Thank You sracer SO MUCH for the tip. Best price by far. This tablet got great reviews, and I'm sure the next version with the AMOLED screen will be great, but what a value at $250.
  14. Nick A macrumors regular

    May 10, 2009
    I know you already bought it, but the Nvidia Shield is probably the best Android tablet out right now. Runs near-stock Android and has an insane GPU. And it's only $300.
  15. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    hehe, happy to help, but in helping you, I think I'm convincing myself to get one. I already have too many tablets but I've never owned a quality Android tablet before... typically they've been cheap ones like the 7" Panasonic from BigLots, or heavily locked down readers like the Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD. I paid $60 for a refurbed Nook HD and installed CM11 on it... THAT's a pretty nifty combo but it's still not quite a quality Android tablet... especially when the Play Store still prevents me from installing some apps.

    $25 Play Store credit may seal-the-deal as I have a few iOS apps that I rely on that I'd need to purchase on Android.
  16. robgendreau thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I looked at the Shield, but I was already stretching the budget. From accounts the Tab Pro still has the better screen, and I forgot to mention it has 8011.ac; I think the Shield only has n. And btw, both have GPS in wifi versions, which the Minis don't.

    The Shield has more on-board memory IIRC, and may do better with gaming due to strong graphics, which you'd expect from them. And the price may come down. And if I were comparing it to the Tab S 8.4, the lower price of the Shield ($100) would definitely make me favor it.
  17. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    This is an easy one I think. For a 7" device get the Nexus 7, for an 8" device nothing beats the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact for outdoor use as its waterproof and very slim and powerful, and it has an SD card slot. Not out till next month though although you can pre-order it now. I'll be getting the White one just after Christmas as my present :D

    Oh and if you have a Playstation 4 then you can remote play your games to the Dperia tablet, and use your PS4 gamepad :)

    Ah I see you got a Galaxy tab anyway.
  18. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Damn, wish I'd seen this thread earlier. I'm about to sell my LG G Pad 8.3 GPE, would've checked your boxes (good display, very nice build materials, expandable storage and best feature--stock Android) and would've been cheaper than the Tab S. Sorry I didn't catch you sooner.
  19. sracer, Oct 1, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014

    sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    I played with one at Best Buy, broke down, and bought one too. :eek:

    Where did you find the $25 Google Play Store credit?
    edit: received it in an email from Samsung after registering the device... nice!

    This is a pretty sweet device. I have a Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Student Edition so I'm familiar with the bloat. (interestingly, I rooted the Tab 2 7.0, and removed the bloatware and it dramatically improved performance of that)

    Anyways, the 8.4 Pro is incredibly thin and light. I love the faux-leather backing. Looks nice and grips to my hand. I'm busy setting things up but spent enough time to order the Fintie Slim Shell Case in Brown

    Can't wait to really dig into this baby.
  20. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    Asus Fonepad 7 if you can get it.

    Might as well get the phone capability in there.
  21. robgendreau thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    You can get an Otterbox Defender case for the Tab Pro 8.4 at Amazon for $8.

    But you have to like papaya, or white/peonie... I'm secure enough in my masculinity to give it a shot, and it will probably make it theftproof. ;)

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