My ongoing quest for a decent 8″ tablet …

I like 8" tablets. For me, they’re the most versatile size — large enough to enjoy videos, e-books, and games, but small enough to comfortably hold in one hand for extended periods of time. (And, since my eyes are starting to suffer from old-fogey-itis, text is more comfortable to read on the larger screen.) Like many, I was a big fan of the Nexus 7, but as we all know, good 7-8" tablets are hard to find these days.

I currently have a Lenovo Tab 4 8", which is ok, with a bright screen and front-firing stereo speakers, but the underlying specs are just too underpowered for satisfying use (Snapdragon 425, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, 720p), and it’s stuck on Oreo. I upgraded to a Lenovo Tab M8 FHD, which on paper is a lot nicer (3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage, 1080p, updated to Android 10), but the Mediatek Helio P22T’s performance is intermittently sluggish or choppy (the older Tab 4 is consistently smoother), giving a frustrating user experience.

I thought about the new 8" Galaxy Tab A7 lite, but that also has the Helio P22T, so I would guess that performance wouldn’t be much better. Huawei is known for making decent tablets, but the lack of Google services is a dealbreaker for me. I’m absolutely not interested in Kindles, since I want Google’s Android experience, not Amazon’s (and those devices are all pretty underpowered as well).

So I just ordered a used TCL Tab 8 on eBay for $99, hoping this will be a good solution. Snapdragon 665 (so I would hope for performance that’s about the same as my Pixel 3a XL), 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage, 1900×1200 screen (TFT, but at least it’s IPS), Android 10 (supposedly will get Android 11, but I’m not holding my breath): I saw some video reviews, which looked pretty good — interface seemed pretty quick and smooth, and games like Asphalt 9 (which I play a lot) seemed to run without a hitch.

I’ll update this when I get it and have had a chance to run it through its paces!

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