Asus ZenPads are decent low-cost options. You could also look at the Fire Tablet line since you mostly care about this product's ability to run one or two trivial bits of software. These guys are all going to fall in the $120 or less category.
There's an 8" Zenpad that's very similar the Lenovo Tab3 8" from a HW perspective, but it's a little more expensive at $129.99. Of course I don't think I can get a Tab3 8" for $109.99 after tax and shipping either (since pretty much only Lenovo sells it so far).
FWIW, I went with the Asus Zenpad Z380M. It seems more capable as a tablet than the Tab3 8" for actual tablet use should I want to use it for that. It has full lamination of the display. I couldn't find any information on what the Tab3 8" has. It also has a uSDXC reader, more sensors (ambient light, compass, hall), 802.11a, and an extra 1GB of RAM for and extra $20.
The RAM is meaningful even if nothing else is. Less re-opening your browser and having to wait for tabs to completely reload because Android decided to kill your last Firefox/Chrome process.
I don't have any long time experience with Atom-based Android devices. I'm curious to hear what the battery life is compared to the Nexus 7.
Well, UPS dropped off the Z380M this morning. It seems pretty nice for $129. I'm not so sure about the bundled / included ASUS customizations to Marshmallow though. I put Nova Prime on it pretty quickly after messing around with it a bit.
I was originally not getting the point of chromebooks, but now that they are getting android apps I'm completely turned around. I was looking for a decent big android tablet and not really liking what I found, but this low priced asus flip really fits the bill for me.
The best part is the chrome browser is so much better than any android device I have ever used, fast and can open a lot of tabs with the regular layout. Giving chromebooks android really brightens the future of both platforms IMO.
I tried a couple apps so far and things are going pretty well. Surprisingly well actually.
-Fenix: app not supported. I went through all the hoops required to sideload apps on chromebooks and found out why it isn't supported. Has some bugs and crashing for some reason, not sure why.
-Aquamail pro: just works great. Exactly like it does on a tablet. Exported my four email accounts config to dropbox and imported it on the flip no problem.
-Fruux sync app: works fine and once synced other apps can see contacts and calendar items just like other android devices.
-Google calendar: After adding several google accounts and Fruux sync it sees all my calendars.
-ES file explorer pro: I expected to hit problems here but seems to work. Bonus; the downloads folder in chromebook is the same download folder on the android side of things.
-Mx player pro: seems to work great. bonus; after downloading the AIO codec pack in the chrome browser I noticed in ES file that it was already in the android downloads folder where it belonged. So I launched a movie with some special sound tracks and it picked up the codec and worked.
-Moon+ reader pro: This book reader gets a little upset when windows resize but it isn't too bad, pretty much works as intended.
As I look at the play store seems nova launcher is allowed, I don't even know how that would work?
Anyone used this Lenovo and is able to compare to other tablets (particular tablets with the same/similar SoC as the HP), in particular to general responsive and light gaming. (They have all the Lego titles).
I was also considering the Asus Zenpad (or memo pad) range, but don't appear to be easily available (actually in stock anyway in Australia).
Other options are also considered as well. (recommended under AU$250).
FYI. Was going to get the nvidia sheild K1 as a replacement, but it appears as of last month nvidia have discontinued them...
PS. In Australia it's very hard to get anything other than Samsung or Lenovo when looking at big-brand tablets, so am really restricted to these two brands.
There have been rumors since the beginning of the year that there would be a new tablet with an nVidia X1 CPU this year. I'm definitely annoyed if they're going to give up on the market, because the mix of specs and pricing on that device make it fairly unique among otherwise unremarkable devices.
I've been steering people toward the Asus Zenpad 8. I'm actually not a huge fan of the 4:3 tablet and I think they're a bit slow, but they're good choice for modest hardware. The other easily obtainable-at-retail options are Samsung's ironically more expensive Tab A and an Acer tablet that is likewise unimpressive. I've not gotten to see a current generation Lenovo tablet.
I do think getting 2GB+ RAM is probably more important overall than clock speed. That's a tough call, since both ideas factor in to system performance, but since these tablets tend to last several years and memory footprints for apps keep going up, it seems more important to concentrate on RAM than worry about one being sluggish.
As a follow up to me earlier questions, we ended up getting two Lenovo Tab3 8's for the kids to replace their current HP Slate 7's. (I'm now using one of the HP's as my personal tablet).
Trying to obtain an Asus Zenpad locally was next to impossible... Contacted Asus for a list of authorised resellers, and contacted a few of those. None are currently supplying the Zenpad, or were even willing to get two in to sell. (This includes two very large retail chains as well who sell a number of Asus laptop). I'm unsure of what that implies about the Zenpad or the local distributors for Asus. I also asked Asus about warranty support if purchasing online from Amazon US. Basically, the warranty on products purchased overseas is the responsibility of the seller, so I would have to ship the tablet back to Amazon US for warranty repair/replacement. (The international warranty service doesn't seem to apply on the tablets).
So my wife and I decided on the Lenovo's after playing with one shortly in store...
Compared to the HP Slate 7, the Tab3 8 has a far better display, better touch responsiveness and better audio from the built-in speakers. However, it is a little slower in some things (eg, when doing multiple things, like updates from the Play Store), but overall it feels very similar in performance when the kids are doing the things they normally use them for. Some of their games that they play also feel smoother on the Lenovo than the HP.
The build quality seems better on the Lenovo than the HP as well. So overall pretty happy with the Tab3 8.
And just a follow up to my comments about the Shield Tablet: The cheapest ones on Amazon are now $350 with some knobs wanting up to $700 for one.
There was a post on Slashdot this weekend that Huewei is planning to build a "Nexus 7 replacement" but ALSO that Google is dropping the Nexus branding, full stop. Which really sucks if you're trying to get a clean Android experience.
All of which is to say that it seems like the market is tightening. There are fewer devices than there used to be and most of them have no differentiating qualities. Tough break if you wanted something decent, I guess.
Based on what I've seen recently (at least in the Oz market) that is certainly the case... No longer do you have 2-3 models from 6-7 companies available, it's now pretty much only 1-2 models from 2-3 companies being sold in store... In our case, it's either Samsung, Lenovo or rebranded very-cheap almost throw away OEM stuff.
I thought Google was just dropping the "Nexus" brand in favour of the "Pixel" branding for all new devices? IIRC, The "Pixel" branded devices will be all high-end devices only as well.
Yeah, but compare that to the Nexus 7, which was the game changer precisely because it was a quality, affordable product. If I'm going to blow $500 on a high end tablet, it's going to at least come from a company that hasn't been allergic to external storage for the last four years.
Amazon has the Shield K1 back in stock at $200, but only for Prime members. I wonder if they got the end of someone's supply or if there's a new product on the way.
I'm having a really hard time finding a good-fit 8 - 10" tablet suited for what probably amounts to a dedicated Minecraft device. I want to see something with 2GB RAM, full Play Store access (sorry, Fire HD) and a better-than-1280x800 screen. Seeing the Shield as a $200 device makes me think that this should only be $120 worth of hardware, but the $120 tablets actually available right now, like the Lenovo Tab 3, mostly have 1GB RAM and 1280xsomething screens. I guess we should be so lucky, because five years ago that would've been a $500 tablet just because of the screen size, but I really don't want to compromise. Maybe I need to go look at weirdo Chinese brands on Alibaba or something.
This is for a kid who specifically wants a tablet.
I feel like it's really short-sighted to buy a new device that only has 1GB RAM, particularly if you are someone who plays games since it sucks pretty deeply to find that the OS auto-closed your game so you'd have enough RAM to open all of your Chrome tabs because you needed to look at one page really quickly.
It looks like my Google Nexus 7 (2013) died today. It locked up while I was using it. After forcing it to power off (pressing and holding the power button) and turning it back on it's hung on only display a white Google logo in the center of the screen with nothing else. Forcing it off and back on only yields the same result. That's normally just a brief splash screen. Recover mode yields the same white Google logo in the middle of the screen and forcing the bootloader to restart does nothing.
So, what's the spiritual successor to the Nexus 7 (2013) since Google never made one? I'm looking for something with a 7" 16:9 screen that's at least FHD resolution.
Well, after doing some research the refreshed Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0" (SM-T713N) has caught my eye. It is a 4:3 screen, but if I did the math correctly the effective screen size when playing 16:9 video is still larger than the 7" 16:10 screen on the Nexus 7. The OLED screen is a big plus IMHO. However, in comparison to the Nexus 7 (2013) it lacks NFC (I don't use much), doesn't have wireless charging (use this all the time), and doesn't have a notification LED (not sure if I will miss it). However it's significantly more powerful, has a microSD card slot, and has a Nougat upgrade out for it. And, if I want an OLED screen it's pretty much my only small'ish tablet choice.
My wife has the 9.7" S2, it does have a very nice display. The only negative I find is the lack of fast charging capability but I don't think anything of that era had that. The 8" definiely wont fit in a pocket like the 2013 Nexus can, just too wide with 4:3.
I got the Tab S2 8.0 this morning. The screen is very nice (of course). I dumped the Samsung launcher and put NovaPrime on it. When I get home I will let it run all the updates. I didn't want to run up my hotspot usage on my cell while it downloaded over 1GB in updates.
I also got a 128gB Samsung EVO Plus U3 microSDXC for it. This is a new model, not the older slower U1 card. A1 SD Bench (running on the tablet) reported 39.34MB/sec write and 46.92MB/sec read for it. The internal flash was 92.67MB/sec write and 255.64MB/sec read. This was with the Accurate mode. The EVO Plus microSDXC card was faster in my work laptop where it did this in the internal SD reader.
Pretty respectable for a non-premium microSDXC card IMHO.