I’m right here to let you know that low-cost tablets are good. I’m not right here to let you know that they’re the way forward for computing or will substitute your laptop computer for getting work completed. However I’ll let you know they’re nice leisure gadgets.
One of the simplest ways to expertise an affordable pill is to simply set up the apps you utilize for leisure and leisure: Kindle, Hulu, Prime Video, HBO Max, Pocket, no matter your vice of alternative is. Don’t set up or arrange issues like Twitter, Slack, The New York Occasions app, electronic mail, or something that’s going to remove from leisure time and suck you into work or the dreaded doomscroll. This can be a pill you purchase to observe video and browse issues, to not attempt to substitute your laptop computer.
I’ve been testing Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A7 for the previous few months and located that it is a superb instance of an affordable pill. At $229.99 (and sometimes accessible for much less), it’s far more inexpensive than an entry-level iPad, nevertheless it works simply as effectively for watching video and studying books and articles. I’m not one to go round recommending Android tablets — an iPad is objectively higher in nearly each situation — however the Tab A7 is surprisingly competent and priced proper for its tertiary system standing.
The bar for a pill that’s destined to be only a private leisure system is definitely fairly low. It wants an enticing display screen with sufficient decision so that you gained’t see particular person pixels at a cushty distance, audio system that aren’t muffled or crackly sounding, and battery life that may allow you to get by way of just a few films between expenses because you doubtless gained’t be plugging this factor in after each time you utilize it. It must also be skinny and comparatively mild so you may maintain it for lengthy durations with out getting drained.
The Tab A7 exceeds all of these metrics. The ten.4-inch 1080p display screen is vibrant and colourful, the battery simply goes for 10 hours or extra of video, and the quad-speaker system sounds large. It’s surprisingly skinny, with a steel chassis that feels stiffer and nicer than the plastic-clad Amazon Fireplace tablets. There’s simply sufficient bezel across the display screen so I can comfortably deal with it with out worrying about errant touches, and it’s mild sufficient so I may even maintain it in a single hand for studying. It even has a 3.5mm headphone jack for whenever you don’t need to disturb anybody else whereas watching the seventh episode of The Boys in a row.
The place the Tab A7 comes brief gained’t be a shock, however none of its faults cease it from being leisure system. Its low-midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor and 3GB of RAM make it removed from the quickest or snappiest system round — however that doesn’t matter whenever you’re utilizing the video or e book app of your alternative. Its cameras suck, however alternatively, should you do use it for a Zoom name, it’s means much less awkward than an iPad, because of the proper placement of the entrance digicam.
Android doesn’t have almost the breadth or depth of apps because the iPad, nevertheless it has the entire main streaming video companies (save for Apple TV Plus) and the entire book-reading apps you can need. There’s solely 32GB of storage within the base mannequin, nevertheless it helps microSD card enlargement, so it’s straightforward so as to add extra. Lastly, Tab A7 lacks any form of fingerprint scanner or biometrics login, however since I simply use it at residence and don’t have any delicate or work information on it, I’m snug disabling the safe display screen lock to make it simpler to get to binge-watching.
Samsung isn’t pushing any productiveness options right here: it doesn’t include a stylus, there’s no keyboard case accessible for it, and it doesn’t have Samsung’s DeX desktop software program mode. It doesn’t even have Samsung’s dumber-than-average Bixby voice assistant. (The Google Assistant is accessible and works identical to on another system.) As a substitute of spending time and assets growing options most individuals gained’t use, Samsung targeted on what issues right here: placing the very best audio system and maybe the very best show you will get in a pill at this value level.
And actually, that’s all you can need from a pill like this. It must look good, it must sound good, and it must have the apps with the content material you need. The Tab A7 checks all of these packing containers and no extra.
It’s the very best anti-doomscrolling gadget you will get this 12 months.
Images by Dan Seifert / The Verge