Welcome to our guide to the best 7-inch tablets based on professional reviews, sales, build quality, and consumer feedback.
Thanks to their attractive size and one handed operation the size of the 7-inch tablet market has grown year in and year out and now accounts for a higher percentage of sales than both 8-inch and 10-inch tablets. The following guide will aid you in finding the best 7-inch tablet with regularly updated content designed to guide you on your quest to find a worthy purchase, whereas our series of cheap tablet guides deals with their more budget counterparts. For under $300 you can find some powerful tablets that can handle more advanced apps and functionality relative to their budget counterparts.
Finally coming to the best of the best premium tablets, here we will see some of the top engineering at play from leaders in the field such as Apple, Samsung and ASUS, with the 7-inch size being highly targeted due to it’s smaller weight and easier handling for a comfortable one hand grip. One of the first major commercial successes in the 7-inch category was the Google Nexus 7, bringing an aggressive feature set at a highly competitive price, with the Apple iPad mini following suit soon after. Since then numerous stellar options have cropped up all aching to take the prize as king of the mini tablet. Another area you might want to explore is the smartphone market – seeing the popularity of many 6-7 inch smartphones gaining market share begs the question whether getting a standalone 7-inch tablet is worth it compared to alternative 8-inch and 10-inch tablet options. Our best unlocked smartphones guide over at our partner site SmartphoneNinja can assist you if you feel this might be the case.
Tablet Buying Guide
If you are new to the world of tablets then our tablet buying guide will help you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the tablet world before you make any hasty decisions on which tablet is the best fit for you.
Best 7-Inch Tablets – Top Pick
The 2017 edition of the Fire 7 still pushes for top spot in the low-end tablet market. Minor changes have been implemented to improve the user experience of this already incredibly cheap tablet. While the resolution of 1024 x 600 is pretty low, the 7-inch screen has been improved in terms of clarity and contrast thanks to what Amazon says is an improved IPS panel. Alexa, Amazon’s AI, has also been integrated and remains a super useful and helpful assistant. Those with fairly modest expectations were rather impressed with the performance of the Fire 7. Packing a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, it handles most applications reasonably well, but you can definitely expect some slowdowns with certain resource heavy applications, especially since it only has 1GB of RAM. The camera quality is one of the biggest let downs for users, with the rear camera only being 2MP, and the front a VGA camera. Fire OS is reasonably easy to navigate, but the lack of the Chrome browser and the Google Play Store could turn away potential buyers. To make full use of the all the Amazon services offered by this Amazon orientated tablet, you will need to get an Amazon Prime membership. The battery life is said to be around 7 hours in the Amazon product description, but this is surely for light users, as those who use the tablet heavily suggest that they only get around 4 hours. On top of this, the 5V 1a charger charges incredibly slowly, taking around 6 hours to fully charge according to the folks over at Trusted Review. Amazon’s Fire 7 is marketed towards those on a lower budget, delivering a decent performance for the incredibly low price. The battery life and slow charging can be frustrating, however, and the fact that it is heavily Amazon services orientated.
- Exceptional value
- Sturdy build quality
- Decent performance
- 600p screen resolution
- Camera quality
- Amazon Silk
- Slow charging
- 1GB RAM
- Internal Storage: 16GB
- Removable Storage: microSD slot
- Cameras: Front 0.3MP, Rear 2MP
- 7 inches, 1024 x 600 pixels pixels (IPS)
- Fire OS 5
- 0.65 lbs
The Amazon Fire 7 suffers from a few drawbacks, such as a rather low resolution screen and the slow charging, but it puts up a decent performance for a tablet in this price range, remaining a popular budget tablet.
Best 7-Inch Tablets – Runners-Up
The Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite 7 might be at the bottom of Samsung’s tablet hierarchy in terms of specs, but it is the cheapest Samsung tablet in the market, and that alone should give you a reason to at least hear it out. Even when playing the budget game, Samsung knows it has a reputation to withhold. This is why the Tab E, despite being cheap doesn’t quite feel like it. Be that as it may, the screen doesn’t come close to resembling what other higher-end Samsung tablets like the Galaxy Tab A or Tab 4. With a middling resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels, colors are less accurate and viewing angles are poor. Complementing the display is one speaker on the back with medium loudness and acceptable quality. It has been a good two years since Android 4.4 KitKat was released, yet the Tab E Lite still comes with it out of the box. However, there is always a plus side with using software that has been around for a while, and that is new devices come better optimized. The OS therefore runs smoothly, and with a fair number of preinstalled apps and unique features, Android experience is generally pleasant. The camera app has some extra features too, including a timer, a variety of modes, filters and panorama capabilities, although all this is rather insignificant given the dismal 2MP rear camera. Performance-wise, the Tab E Lite 7 is equipped with a quad-core 1.3GHz CPU and 1GB RAM; enough to keep things running but hardly enough for gaming. And talking of things that aren’t enough, you only get 8GB of internal storage space which is expandable to a low maximum of 32GB with microSD cards. On the flip side, the battery life is sufficient and will comfortably get you through the day.
- Solid build quality
- Pleasant Android OS experience
- Remarkable battery life
- Poor screen quality
- Old Android version
- Modest performance
- Insufficient internal storage
- 1GB RAM
- Internal Storage: 8GB
- Removable Storage: microSD card
- Cameras: Rear 2MP
- 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixels (IPS)
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- 0.68 lbs
For some, the Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite 7 might not come off as a good bargain; but if you have long admired and appreciated Samsung devices and the quality they come with, this one will not let you down.
(as of 27-05-2018 02:38 UTC) Details
The iPad Mini 4 tries and succeeds to uphold Apple’s line of “Mini” tablets, which had long cowered in the shadows of their larger siblings. Unlike the Mini 3, the Mini 4 now comes with a newer CPU, more RAM and a laminated display. Other than an overall thinner body, however, not much has changed regarding the design. That said, the familiar compact feel warms our heart, as it is more manageable in one hand than the iPad Air 2 or the iPad Pro. Few can match the quality offered by the iPad Mini 4’s display. With an exemplary 2,058 x 1,536-pixel resolution packed in a 7.9-inch screen, videos and pictures are overwhelmingly sharp, and colors are vivid and accurate. Up and running, the Mini 4 is a solid performer. Thanks to inspiring hardware; which includes the Apple A8 CPU and 2GB of RAM, as well as impressive iOS optimization, apps open without lag and navigating the UI is snappy. No game is too demanding for the Mini 4, and even demanding apps like Lightroom and iMovie are handled with ease. Internal storage options range from 16GB to 128GB, and for the best value, we recommend the 64GB model. Regardless of the version you buy, you get a perfectly adequate 8-megapixel iSight camera on the rear and a rather modest 1.2MP sensor on the front, which is just about acceptable for FaceTime and Skype chats. Despite a power-hungry QXGA display, the Mini 4 manages an admirable 10 hours of HD Netflix streaming on a single charge.
- Compact size
- Sturdy all-metal design
- Fast processor
- Useful multi-tasking
- Pricier than Android alternatives
- Bigger iPads offer more features
- 2GB RAM
- Internal Storage: 64GB
- Removable Storage: None
- Cameras: Front 1.2MP, Rear 8MP
- 7.9 inch, 2048 x 1536 pixels (IPS)
- iOS 9
- 0.65 lbs
Featuring a high-resolution screen, slim design and a faster A8 processor, the Mini 4 offers a superior mini tablet experience for those who don’t mind spending a little extra.
The 2016 Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T280 is a solid budget tablet that is able to push a decent performance when it comes to doing the basics such as photo viewing or just for basic navigation around the device. However, it will struggle a tad when you throw more resource intensive tasks at it. It has a quad-core, 1.3 GHz Spreadtrum SC8830 processor, which is entry level, along with a mere 1.5 GHz of RAM. The 7-inch screen has a resolution of 1280×800 and one user reported that it has very little glare, and is well suitable as an e-reader. It runs Android 5.1 and comes with only 8GB of storage. The microSD slot allows you to expand the memory further, so in the case that you find yourself in short supply (which you almost certainly will due to Android Lollipop taking up a fair amount of space), you can always expand the storage space. Some users thought that the screen was not as sensitive as they would have liked, suggesting that the response is rather average. It has both a rear and front camera, with the rear being 5MP and the front a 2MP. Both cameras record videos in 720p at 30fps. It takes around 4 hours to achieve full charge, while maintaining a battery life of around 11 hours, which is impressive.
- Good performance for basic tasks
- Well priced
- Impressive battery life
- Compact and lightweight
- microSD slot
- Non-slip finish
- Average screen response
- 8GB internal storage
- Low performance
- 1.5GB DDR3 RAM
- Internal Storage: 8GB
- Removable Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB
- Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 5MP
- 7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixels pixels (IPS)
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- 1.1 lbs
The 2016 Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T280 7-inch tablet is suited to basic tasks as the 1.3 GHz Spreadtrum SC8830 processor and 1.5GB of RAM are fairly limiting. The lightweight and compact is a big plus, along with its impressive 11 hour battery life.
The Apple iPad Mini is one of the most recognizable tablets on the market thanks to Apple’s legacy as the original modern tablet pioneer and their rock solid craftsmanship combined with Apple’s custom tailored iOS operating system. This version of the iPad mini is the original 2012 version with basic specs compared to it’s higher priced big brothers. That said, it is still an extremely reliable tablet and a viable option for Apple fans and new tablet users alike. On the downside it’s screen resolution is not quite on par with more modern options, and it’s processing power is also limited relative to more modern Android tablets.
The Nexus 7 2013 offers excellent design, powerful hardware and the latest Android KitKat 4.4 OS at a reasonable price. It is a huge improvement over the original Nexus 7 which is still going strong in the budget tablet segment. The notable updates include its 1,920 x 1,200 res screen with a 323 ppi pixel density, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with an Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. This powerful configuration outperforms the pricier Nexus 10, and competes with rivals like the Kindle Fire HDX and the iPad Mini. Like its predecessor, its body is completely plastic, but with the soft-touch black finish, thinner bezel and slimmer body, it looks high quality and will even fit into your pocket. However, the next iteration of the Nexus tablet, the HTC Nexus 9, is expected to be announced soon with features like premium design, front-facing speakers and a bigger, higher resolution 8.9-inch screen. That said, the starting price of the Nexus 9 will be much higher than the Nexus 7, and if you’re on a tight budget the Nexus 7 is still our go to options as the top 7-inch Android tablet on the market.
- Fast performance
- High resolution display
- Slim form factor
- Long battery life
- Lack of expandable storage
- Relatively weak camera
- Snapdragon Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz
- 2GB DDR2 SDRAM RAM
- Internal Storage: 32GB
- Removable Storage: None
- Cameras: Front 1.2MP, Rear 5MP
- 7 inch, 1920 X 1080 pixels (IPS)
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
- 0.64 lbs
The 2013 Nexus 7 is still perfectly sized for ebook reading and travelling, and even today it’s powerful enough to be crowned as the top 7-inch Android tablet.
For brand conscious users who favor Samsung products, the Tab 4 is the latest small-screen tablet released by this tablet leader. While Samsung chose not to use premium metal in the body, its plastic body has a high quality feel that’s smooth and at the same time lowers the devices’ weight. As for hardware, it packs enough features in-line with its pricing, and performance is smooth thanks to its Quad-Core processor and 1GB of RAM. On the software side, it comes with the latest KitKat OS and Samsung can be trusted to release more updates in the near future. The TouchWiz UI may also prove useful to people who want something more than a no-frills Android interface. However, the 7-inch tablet segment is packed with a ton of rivals like the ASUS MemoPad 7, which offers similar performance for a low price and the Nexus 7 2013 which offers the best price/performance ratio for only slightly more.
- Lightweight design
- Sharp display
- Long battery life
- Latest Android OS
- Mediocre camera
- Lags sometimes
- Marvell PXA1088 1.2GHz [View Benchmarks]
- 1.5GB RAM
- Internal Storage: 8GB
- Removable Storage: micro SD card, 32 GB
- Cameras: Front 1.3MP, Rear 3.5MP
- 7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixels pixels (TN)
- Android 4.4 KitKat
- 0.61 lbs
The Galaxy Tab 4 has an intuitive software interface and a slim design like the higher-end Samsung tablets, but if you don’t need those things there are similarly equipped alternatives with a lower price tag.
These are the main contenders in the 7 inch tablet market today. If you are a fan of Apple, you’ll probably want to go for the latest and greatest iPad to get your tablet fix. If you’re a fan of Android and Google’s services then the Nexus 7 presents the most cutting edge tablet available and has received nearly universal acclaim. For those with media in mind Amazon has the simplest and easiest to use content delivery system available that will see you entertained for hundreds of hours. If you’d like something larger then checkout our guides to the best 8 inch tablets and the best 10 inch tablets for more great tablet choices. For those on a serious budget our guides to tablets under $200 and tablets under $100 may also help you save time on your search.