Fast Tablet 8"
February 25, 2016 8:20 PM   Subscribe

What is a good tablet to buy right now?

Looking to buy a fast tablet that has the following-

Fast with latest specs-(I have lost touch with the latest specs. My current one is Nexus which was released in 2012 (Nexus 9). For some reason it is slow as hell now so my reason to buy a new one is to upgrade to the latest one around. I want it to watch movies when needed and play games)
8" or 9" but not more
SD card is a must
16G is good for me.
No dell or HP. I used to like the Samsung Tab. If I can get a good Apple that size and prize that would be wonderful but seems like Apples are expensive.
Good wi-fi connection is important. I don't care much about cellular/data.
Max I can pay or want to pay is $125.

Lenovo released some new ones but they are termed as basic and I don't want basic. :)
posted by stepup to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You're definitely not going to get the latest specs at $125. If you got your current tablet in 2012 it's the first-generation Nexus 7, which has a bad reputation online for feeling very slow after a year or two. (There are a lot of folk explanations for it, from slow storage to Android updates, and I don't know which if any is accurate.)

The NVIDIA Shield, which is the current winner of The Wirecutter's Android tablet roundup, is $200, has 16 GB and an microSD slot, and is fast enough that you should be satisfied for a few years. (I'm not sure you can find an Android tablet that's significantly faster at any price, though I'm sure that will change soon if it hasn't already.)

That's probably the one I would get if I were looking for an Android tablet—at $125 you're not going to be able to escape one compromise or another, whether it's a slow CPU, a screen that just looks a little cheap, or a body that feels like you might snap it in half by mistake one of these days.
posted by Polycarp at 9:41 PM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you.
I am reading the comments there and seems like this tablet has tons of issues including recalls because of battery/fire issues.
posted by stepup at 10:21 PM on February 25, 2016

I have had an NVIDIA Shield tablet since August 2014 (right after they came out), and I'd heartily recommend it. Mine was one of the recalled ones, though I never had any issues with it. I took advantage of the recall replacement "just in case", and that has also worked perfectly.
posted by EKStickland at 11:15 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

You're not going to get everything you want for $125, even refurbished. If you'll scratch the microSD card requirement, a refurbished 32GB Nexus 7 (2013 edition) would be a good step forward. It's not fast by today's standards but it'll play casual games fine and is fairly nice for movies.
posted by Candleman at 6:35 AM on February 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure how bleeding-edge its specs are, but my wife comparison shopped and she got a Galaxy Tab A (a 10", but they come in 8" flavors) which she is very happy with as far as speed and memory goes. The 8" runs about $199 after a cursory search, which is over your budget, but closer than an iPad or other cutting-edge hardware.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:24 AM on February 26, 2016

While the older version of the NVIDIA Shield did have issues, the latest is fine. I got it for Christmas and I love it. Plus, for $200, you can't go wrong.

Though one thing to consider -- It does not come with a charger, cover, or stylus. Those are extra. NVIDIA's main goal for this tablet is cost reduction. Don't let that dissuade you though. It's a beast.

Edit: Also, on the topic of the 2013 Nexus 7 -- is your friend for buying used.
posted by DonSlice at 11:05 AM on February 26, 2016

I didn't see it mentioned here, but if you decide to go with the NVIDIA Shield, look for the NVIDIA Shield K1, and don't wind up with the old Shield Tablet, or the Shield gaming device (meant to be connected to a TV).
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:14 PM on February 26, 2016

If you're able to push your budget up to $200 or so you could probably find a first-gen iPad air around there. (I've been using mine for years and it's still fantastic)

Actually, I think Apple's got some new shiny thing TBA in March, which would probably heat up/cheapen the used market.
posted by rhooke at 5:22 AM on February 27, 2016

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