The best small Android tablet to replace a Nexus 7?
October 9, 2018 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Sadly, Google did not announce the replacement for my beloved-but-dying Nexus 7 that I was hoping for today. What is the best replacement?

I want something small, 7/8"-ish, with minimal bloat and a recent version of Android. Something that's actually going to receive OS/security updates would be a big bonus. I'm not interested in iPad or Kindle Fire devices.

Also, is now even a good time to buy, or is New Tablet Season on its way?
posted by alby to Technology (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I replaced my Nexus 7 with a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8". It's been almost a year and I'm happy with it. Android 7.1 Nougat. I use it mostly for reading ebooks, magazines, and comics; listening to music & audiobooks. Also some emailing/messaging, light web browsing, and gaming (words with friends, two dots, that sort of thing).
posted by carrioncomfort at 11:29 AM on October 9, 2018

I have a Galaxy Tab E 9.6" that works great for me. Looooong battery life, works as a USB host (important for me) and is really responsive.
posted by Dr. Twist at 11:34 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I got an ASUS ZenPad 8" tablet this Spring for my kid that I really like. The battery life is great, it has bluetooth, it gets security updates, it has a good camera on it, and minimal extra bloatware.
posted by jillithd at 12:26 PM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I looked pretty hard at what to replace my nexus 7 with and didn't really fancy anything. In the end I settled on just getting a cheap 7" kindle fire (~£50 rather than the £200 I think the nexus cost). I got past the slightly annoying amazon approach fairly quickly and functionally it beats its ageing antecedent.
posted by biffa at 2:14 PM on October 9, 2018

I know you said no Fire Tablet, but if it's the interface you don't like, you can basically get rid of it and install the Google Play store, too. I wouldn't mention it except that they're so, so much cheaper than any other option... and they're pretty decent tablets. I got the Fire 8 HD for $30 on like Cyber Monday or something (they're $65 refurbished right now) and changed the interface to look basically like stock android. Here's a guide if you reconsider:

Howtogeek Guide

If not, I'd probably go with the Asus ZenPad 8... Amazon has it for $126.
posted by Huck500 at 2:50 PM on October 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I initially replaced my Nexus 7 with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. Loved that thing. Eventually, it started going buggy, crashing any game I tried to play for more than 3 turns and restarting my book reader. I would have just bought another one, but they don't make that model anymore. I eventually settled on a Huawei Mediapad M5. Not stock Android, but actually pretty inoffensive/unobtrusive. MicroSD support. And less than half the cost of the flagship tablets.

tl;dr: Huawei Mediapad M5

NB that Huawei has been in the news because of allegations of spying by the Chinese government. Don't know if that matters to you/if the Chinese government is deeply concerned with your activities.
posted by yggdrasil at 8:22 AM on October 10, 2018

My wife bought a Tab A several years ago, but a 10", added a tablet keyboard cover, and pretty much uses it like a low-end laptop all the time, checking email, playing games, watching videos (she goes to the real laptop for Photoshop, hardcore writing, etc) -- hasn't had any trouble with it, and it has to be at least 3 years old, so I highly recommend it.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:26 AM on October 10, 2018

I would suggest not getting a tablet and instead replacing your Nexus 7 and whatever phone you use with a Galaxy Note, either a Note FE, Note 8, or Note 9, depending on your budget.

Smaller than your 7, sure, but much more convenient and considerably more powerful.

My Note is basically what I use now instead of... anything else. For me it replaced an iPad, a laptop, Kindle, and a phone.

On it's own, it's an amazing device, capable of doing most anything you desire from an tablet. Add a bluetooth keyboard and you've pretty much got a full laptop. Here's mine paired with a Text Blade, a bathtub, and a martini.
posted by dobbs at 10:01 AM on October 11, 2018

Response by poster: I ended up getting a Huawei Mediapad M5 8.4. I had a look at the tablets everyone suggested, but they were all a bit too big. I don't like the non-stock-Android-ness and the bloatware on the Huawei but with Nova Launcher replacing Huawei's launcher it's really not that noticeable. The screen is great and—not that I actually ever use them—the speakers are fantastic.
posted by alby at 3:15 AM on November 10, 2018

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