Samsung might have been one of the real pioneers in the smaller tablet space, but its products haven’t really been able to gain much market share, and it has been up to slates like the Amazon Kindle Fire, Google Nexus 7 and Apple iPad Mini to prove that this segment really is viable. Now Samsung has tried yet again to bring an intriguing new combatant to the cut-size tablet battlefield in the form of the Galaxy Note 8.0. Let’s see how it stacks up against the likely king of budget Android tablets, the Asus-manufactured Nexus 7.
While Samsung’s previous tablets did seem quite uninspired, both in terms of design and functionality, the Galaxy Note 8.0 does something that the South Korean manufacturer has done in the past, with a bit of a specification bump. While its Galaxy Note 10.1 takes the innards of the Galaxy S3 and places it in a full-size tablet chassis and adds in stylus support, the Galaxy Note 8.0 uses the internal components of the Galaxy Note 2 and stuffs it into an 8-inch body. The Galaxy Note 8.0 packs in an 8-inch 1280 x 800 pixel screen and pairs it with a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos 4 system-on-a-chip and 2GB of RAM.
Meanwhile, the Nexus 7 packs in the same resolution in 7 inches, giving it superior pixel density. Under the hood, its Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC might pale in absolute terms against the Galaxy Note 8.0’s Exynos, but it’s still a respectable performer. Unfortunately, its RAM is also limited to 1GB. The Asus-made slate also has an inferior camera set-up, with only a 1.2-megapixel front snapper, compared to the Samsung’s 5-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front cameras.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 also has a functional advantage in storage space. While both devices are dead even with 16GB and 32GB options, only the Samsung tablet has a provision for a microSD card. This device’s S Pen stylus is also rather unique among current tablets that are not part of the Galaxy Note line.
Despite this, the Nexus 7 has a superior fit and finish. While the Galaxy Note 8.0 might not be liable to fall apart at any time, it still appears to suffer from Samsung’s shiny plastic curse that makes its devices seem far cheaper and lower-cost than they actually are, notwithstanding their typically attractive designs. In contrast, the Nexus 7’s rubberized back makes it seem as if the tablet costs more than it actually does, while helping it feel more comfortable to handle overall.