We try to regularly monitor smartphone prices and publish a selection of the most interesting models in different price ranges. There has been no material with tablets for a long time: they are bought and replaced much less frequently, after all, it is not a device of prime necessity. It was all the more interesting to get acquainted with the current range and prices. The preferences and scenarios of use are different for everyone, so the selection turned out motley, for every taste.
Compact tablets are not common in the conventional medium price segment. As smartphones with ever-increasing display diagonal eat away at a portion of the market, manufacturers have focused on larger models. Although Lenovo found a Tab 4 8 Plus with an 8-inch screen (1920x1200 pixels), protected by Gorilla Glass 4, and frontal stereo speakers. The octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor is responsible for the performance. There's 4GB of RAM, and in addition to 64GB of flash storage, there's a microSD card slot.
Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus is enclosed in a case with a glass back panel and aluminum side edges (the top and bottom frame is plastic). On the right end is the power button, combined with a fingerprint scanner. The glossy surface looks nice until you take the tablet in your hands. A case would definitely not hurt, and if you plan to order from China, choose for the modification with the index TB-8704X.
The rear 8-megapixel camera takes pretty good photos during the day. The front module is 5-megapixel. A 4850 mAh battery will last for 6-8 hours of active use; under light loads, the tablet will last more than 10 hours. Charging takes around two and a half hours, using the USB Type-C port. Wi-Fi 5GHz is supported. "Out of the box" Android 7 Nougat is installed, and after connecting to the Internet, you can download an update to Android 8 Oreo. Multiuser mode allows family members to immediately open to their profile by simply scanning their fingerprint.
In the basic configuration Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus is equipped with a Wi-Fi module and costs 7,800 hryvnia. Meanwhile, the version with 3G/4G modem and support for two SIM cards (or nanoSIM + microSD in a hybrid slot) has fallen in price to UAH 8,000. Take it while there is an opportunity.
3 reasons not to buy:
1 reason not to buy:
not bad performance
quality stereo speakers
good battery life
slippery and dirty case
Tablet with stylus: Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10
Huawei also does not abandon fans of tablets, but 8-inch version MediaPad M5 Lite has not yet reached us. But there is a model with a 10.1-inch screen (1920x1200 dots) and an active stylus in the kit. Inside there is a proprietary eight-core Kirin 659 processor, which performs well in applications, but is not very suitable for heavy games. PUBG Mobile, for example, runs comfortably only on minimum graphics settings. RAM 3 GB, built-in 32 GB plus microSD slot. It also supports work in mobile networks, and the nano-SIM card can be used not only for the Internet - calls and sending/receiving SMS are also supported.
The main feature of Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is an audio system with four Harman Kardon speakers, two of them on the upper and one on the lower side. The tablet sounds very good. The resolution of both cameras is 8 megapixels. The main module does not shine in quality, but will do for taking pictures of text. The selfie camera shoots a little more interesting, it supports software bokeh effect and even face recognition to unlock the device. Not liking this method, there's a fingerprint scanner button below the screen. The EMUI 8.0 shell powered by Android 8.0 Oreo features an eye protection mode and automatic screen wakeup when lifted from the table.
The rear panel of the MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is metal, except for the plastic insert at the top edge. The 7,500mAh battery provides more than 10 hours of video viewing at medium brightness. It supports fast charging via the USB Type-C port, which is on the bottom left. Because of this, when the cable is connected, it is inconvenient to hold the tablet with the left hand. The same situation is with the mini-jack - it would be better to move both jacks upwards. The M-Pen lite pen is battery powered and capable of detecting up to 2048 clicks. If you are going to carry it around with you, you will have to think about the protection of the pen tip. The manufacturer does not provide the cap, and the stylus is not hidden inside the case. The tablet costs up to 9000 hryvnias.
3 reasons to buy:
2 reasons not to buy:
processor not for heavy games
inconvenient location of connectors
A-brand tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5
The Korean giant has already released a new generation of tablets A-series, but now the model 2018 Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 looks more justifiable purchase. It features a 10.5-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and 1920x1200 pixel resolution. The type of matrix is not specified. Judging by the maximum viewing angles and accurate color reproduction, we are dealing with IPS- or PLS-panel. Samsung has chosen portrait orientation as the main one. Four speakers with Dolby Atmos effects are placed on the top and bottom edges. In horizontal mode, the stereo effect is well felt, while at the same time, the speakers can partially overlap with your hands.
The heart of the tablet is the octa-core Snapdragon 450 chipset. In fact, it's a slightly stripped-down version of the Snapdragon 625 with lower processor cores and the same gaming performance. There's 3GB of RAM, the basic minimum to run Samsung's proprietary shell seamlessly (here, the new Galaxy Tab A 10.1 with 2GB of RAM is inferior to its predecessor). There's 32GB of built-in memory, and they haven't forgotten about the microSD slot, while the LTE-version with call support has room for a nano-SIM card in the tray.
The main camera at 8 megapixels with f/1.9 aperture and flash does not reach the quality of modern budget smartphones, 5-megapixel "frontal" also does not reach the stars. The Galaxy Tab A 10.5 runs Android 8.1 with Samsung Experience 9.5. There's a kids mode and a blue light filter feature for comfortable reading in the dark. Fingerprint scanner is not brought in, and fashionable nowadays unlocking by face does not work perfectly, because it uses the usual front camera without additional sensors. According to preliminary information, Samsung plans to release an update to Android 9 Pie by the end of the summer.
Thanks to the soft-touch plastic back cover, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 doesn't slip out of your hands. On the left end you can see the contact pad for working with accessories, although the company did not develop this topic. Only a proprietary charging dock is available, and that has all but disappeared from sale. According to the manufacturer, the battery with a capacity of 7300 mAh provides up to 15 hours of video playback. This is how it turns out in practice. It claims fast charging (up to 100% in 3.5 hours), USB Type-C port.
If Chinese brands don't inspire you with confidence, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is not a bad alternative. Wi-Fi version sells out now for 9000 hryvnias, the model with 3G/4G-modem will cost one thousand hryvnias more.
3 reasons to buy:
2 reasons not to buy:
no fingerprint scanner
Windows tablet with keyboard: Lenovo IdeaPad D330
Tablets on Microsoft operating system are often purchased as a device to work on the go. Lenovo IdeaPad D330-10IGM in addition has a pluggable keyboard, which turns it into a compact laptop. For 10,000 hryvnia you can buy only the basic configuration on a dual-core Intel Celeron N4000 processor. Although it is still faster than the old quad-core "Atoms", which are still found in budget models. The 10.1-inch display resolution is 1200x800 pixels - yes, the graining of the picture is a little noticeable, but all interface elements will be normal size. You won't have to use Windows 10 scaling (it makes some apps look blurry). RAM is 4 GB. With eMMC storage of 64 GB is not much to stretch, relieves a slot for microSD cards up to 128 GB. Practice shows that the tablet will not swear at cards of a larger capacity. Rear 5-megapixel camera is selected on the residual principle, and if there is a smartphone at hand, it is better not even to run. The 2-megapixel front module is good for video calls.
Lenovo IdeaPad D330 supports two variants of power supply: through a proprietary round connector or universal USB Type-C. For our region the manufacturer has chosen the second option. By the way, the usual chargers from phones with the same connector will not work, you need more powerful options (from 30 W) with Power Delivery technology. On the other side of the plastic case, there is a mini-jack, while two full-size USB ports are available when connecting a keyboard. There is no keyboard backlight, you'll have to get used to the non-standard layout at first - Lenovo did away with separate function/multimedia keys, supplementing the row of numbers with an Escape key on the left and a Delete key on the right. This freed up space for a larger touchpad.
Battery capacity is 39Wh. Battery life is highly dependent on the load. In typing mode, the Lenovo IdeaPad D330 lives up to 13 hours, with more serious loads it will last 7-8 hours. In gaming, the battery drains even faster, but it's clearly not a gaming solution. Under the screen on the front there are two speakers with good sound. The device can be operated with a stylus that you have to buy separately.
4 reasons to buy:
3 reasons not to buy:
can be used as a laptop
virtually no heat
good battery life
non-standard keyboard layout
low display resolution
stylus is not included
a little more expensive: Apple iPad 2018
The basic Apple tablet managed to get a little cheaper at official retail, but even taking the most basic Wi-Fi version with 32 GB of memory, the budget is still p the 2018 iPad gets a 9.7-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels and an air layer. Compared to its predecessor, there is support for Apple Pencil. It works exactly as on the older models. There is no delay in input, although because of the gap between the screen and the glass the process is not so reminiscent of drawing on paper. The set does not include a stylus (of course, at a price of 4000 hryvnias). The performance of the Apple A10 Fusion processor is enough for all the programs and games, and the "only" 2 GB of RAM do not create problems in everyday use. In autumn the tablet will receive an update to iPadOS with a dark mode, the ability to display the "Today" page on the home screen and multitasking improvements.
The main 8-megapixel camera with optics shoots well during the day. The front module on 1.2 megapixels looks like greetings from the past, however, for calls in Skype such resolution is quite enough. The model is compatible with accessories for iPad 2017, because the size of the metal case has not changed. Under the screen is the same mechanical Home button with Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Two speakers are firmly established on the bottom end. The surround sound effect would be more pronounced, if they were on different sides. Battery life is typically found on Apple tablets, with a 32.4Wh battery that lasts up to 10 hours of browsing and watching video. It's a great result, with the only downside being a slow charger that takes over four hours to charge.
4 reasons not to buy:
4 reasons not to buy:
this is an Apple tablet
support for Apple Pencil
fit iPad 2017 accessories
this is an Apple tablet
speakers with almost no stereo effect
Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 and Mi Pad 4 Plus are in the top, but the manufacturer decided to restrict to the Chinese market and does not supply tablets to other countries. Not everyone will dare to order a device from China without an official warranty, with firmware of dubious origin and reduced modem functionality. If this does not stop you, ordering links on AliExpress can be found here.
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