Posted on

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right 8-Incher

Introduction

To 8 or not to 8:

8 inches is the perfect size for many things and a tab may arguably be one of them. Before the advent of the I-Pad mini, tablet sizes were clearly defined between the 7 inchers and the 10 inchers. With the exception of Samsung’s almost accidental foray into making an 8.9inch tab, tablet sizes seemed almost cast in stone. If wasn’t 7 inches or 10 inches, it really it didn’t exist. However, Apple in it’s consistent tradition of first’s released the I-Pad mini and as usual everybody else goes, ‘Hey look what Apple did’ and shamelessly dub the form factor, hence the birth of this size of tablets.

Really, what’s the big deal about an 8-Incher?

Apple’s choice can be attributed to the fact that all I-Pads have an aspect ratio of 4:3, as opposed to the standard 16:9, found in most 7 inch tablets. This is perfectly suited for reading as the aspect ratio is the same as a sheet of paper (8.5x11inches) thus allowing for optimum viewing of documents and books.

The 8 inch tab is an obviously scaled down device with the same design ideology that went into making the larger IPad, thus reading regular documents, pdf’s etc is very pleasurable as the text doesn’t have to be rearranged or inappropriately re-flowed.
The 8-inch form factor is optimized for reading over video, as traditional 7 inchers are designed with a video mind set i.e. 16:9, thus are more optimized for watching movies which are filmed with the same aspect ratio.

So if reading is your thing, the iPad mini, its descendants and their relatives are the way to go.

Other 8 Inchers

Apple isn’t the only one that designs 8-inch tabs, as a matter of fact quite a number of android device makers including the big names have 8-inch tabs for the reasons stated above.

Thus the essence of this article is to help locate the most valuable 8-inch deals out there.

What to look out for when buying any device

Everyone can buy a phone, we can all walk into a store, go online, go to computer village to buy a phone, that’s not a big deal. The real task however is to be able to locate a device that presents the highest value (Long term and short term) within our budget.

My father in his wisdom says ‘marrying a wife isn’t a big deal, giving her money for soup every day is where the problem is’. Buying a phone is not as important as what happens 6 months down the line. Phones depending on the individual have a life span of anything between 6 months and 2 years and cost a substantial sum, thus phone buying decisions must be pragmatic and informed.

In my humble opinion, the 2 biggest considerations when buying a phone are:

  • Support: warranty and repairs
  • Spares: Availability and Cost

 

Our Contestants

Ipad Mini, Lenovo Yoga 8, LG G-Pad 8, Tecno Phantom Pad 2, Huawei Media Pad 8, Archos,

 

Brand Quality Price (5) Customer  Support(5) Processor (4) Ram (4) Battery Life (3) Camera and Picture Quality Resolution – by ppi Software OS/GUI Tweaks Aesthetics & Ergonomics (3) Total Score
iPad Mini 2 5 0.1 2.5 4 3 4.5 4 5 5 4 128.5
iPad Mini 3 5 0.1 2.5 4 3 4.5 4 5 5 4 128.5
iPad Mini 5 1.2 2.5 3 2.5 4.5 3.5 3.5 5 4 122
Lenovo Yoga 8 3.5 1.6 3.5 3 3 5 2.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 117.5
LG G-Pad 8.0 4 1.4 3 3 3 3.5 3 3.5 4 3 113
Tecno Phantom Pad2 3 2.1 3.5 3 3 3.5 3 3.5 2.5 3.5 112.5
Huawei Mediapad M1 3.5 1.6 3 3 3 4 3 3.5 2.5 3.5 111.5
Lenovo A6500 3.5 2.2 3.5 3 3 3 2.5 3.5 2.5 2.5 109.5
Archos 80B Xenon 2.5 2.45 2.5 3 3 3 1 3.5 3.5 3 99.75
                       
   

 

Verdict
 
I-Pad Mini: The scores say it all. The iPad minis take the day coming in at 1st, 2nd and 3rd on our chart. This only goes to buttress the fact that price isn’t the sole determinant of value, in spite of scoring close to zero on price, the iPad minis still manage to steer a clear lead of between 5 and 11 points of the closest competition.Yoga 8: The Lenovo Yoga 8 leads the android devices, its Great Battery life has even the iPad minis biting the dust, its score line is also bolstered by fantastic customer support from ‘Ensure’. Upgradeability and functional design and ergonomics also help bolster it as the highest ranking android 8 incher. 

G-Pad 8.0: While the quality of the LG G-Pad 8.0 speaks for it, it’s pricing and mediocre design weigh down its overall value offering.

 

Tecno Phantom Pad 2: With just 0.5 points shy of the G-Pad, Tecno’s Carl Care  support, etches up their rating, as they score higher than most on price. Shamelessly mimicking the iPad mini also helped their points on design, but poor OS upgradeability, inconsistent product quality push it behind the LG G-Pad. But it’s a cool tab nonetheless

 

Huawei Media Pad M1:  cool with famtastic design and superb battery life, it falls short on OS Upgradeability(too much uncertainty shrouds whether or not it’s upgradeable). Its also slightly pricey.

 

Lenovo A6500 A decent moderate tab with uninspiring design(Except you like huge bezels), mediocre camera and poor options for OS upgradeability.

 

Archos 80B Xenon: European Manufacturer and new entrant into the Nigerian android game leaves feeling there’s more to be desired. This tab tries to push the value line by turning the price knob alone, but lack lustre specs push it to the bottom of the table. It’s support rating is also hurt as a fresher and it receives our bench mark score of 2.5. We hope this improves as the brand grows in the country.

 

 

Conclusion

iPad minis definitely are the way to go, but My pick among the android devices is the Lenovo Yoga 8(if you can find it, because at the time of this writing it’s scarce). But if you can’t afford that, you’re better off buying the Tecno Phantom Pad 2.