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Old 02-01-2019, 01:20 PM   #1
maximus83
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Leading ereader candidates in a 7" to 8" android tablet?

What are some of the best Android LCD tablets in the 7" to 8" range that would make for a solid ereader, including sufficient resolution let's say 220 dpi or higher?

Currently, when not using my Samsung phone, I use my Google Nexus 7 from 2013. The Nexus is still pretty darned good, specs here. For Android readers, this is still a pretty ideal tablet, with 1920x1080, 323 ppi resolution, 2GB RAM, and 32GB onboard storage, plus wireless Qi charging. Even though it's coming up on 6 years old, if it weren't for the fact that this thing is showing its age and starting to have some issues, I'd happily keep using it.

Looking over the Android LCD tablet landscape today, it actually doesn't look too great from an ereader perspective in the 7" to 8" range. There's the new Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8" (model number beginning T387). At around $220 and change for the 32GB version, it seems like a good deal until you realize the resolution is low (1280x800, = 188 dpi). Samsung claims they'll be coming out with a more expensive, higher resolution 8" model this summer, and they probably will given their history with these models.

Are there other, higher resolution Android tablets in the 7" to 8" range that are worth looking at?
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:58 AM   #2
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Never noticed screen resolution being an issue on LCD. I occasionally read with my 7 inch Samsung. If you read a lot do your eyes a favour and get into e ink before you burn your eyes out of your skull! I know they can be difficult to find if you live in a back water like I do but its worth the trouble.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:13 PM   #3
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Thanks, good to hear that on screen resolution. What's the res on your Samsung?

On your other comment, I see that often here on MR, that e-ink is easier on the eyes. Do we know for sure that this is the case, or is this a matter of people's preferences? I currently don't have a strong view on this as I haven't used e-ink devices long enough to decide. I like them simply because of the appearance of real paper, but I like LCD just as well and read on both. In my work I've used LCD screens all day for many years and not had eye problems beyond age-related prescription changes.

Here's a study that was published a while back, which concluded that "reading on the two display types is very similar in terms of both subjective and objective measures." There are of course studies that support everything, pro and con, until a solid position is staked out on an issue over time. As below, two contrasting results. But I'm wondering if the "use e-ink to save your eyes" thing is solid at this point, or if it's more a matter of people's individual preference.

Argues that there's no difference:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22762257

ETA: Argues that e-ink produces less eye strain
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0083676

Last edited by maximus83; 02-05-2019 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:26 PM   #4
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Thanks, good to hear that on screen resolution. What's the res on your Samsung?

On your other comment, I see that often here on MR, that e-ink is easier on the eyes. Do we know for sure?
There have been several long threads on Mobileread debating this. Many people are able read on a phone or tablet for long periods of time with no apparent problems. For me, attempting this caused eyestrain so I stick with e-ink. You should use whichever works for you!

I don't currently own a tablet so can't give you advice on a choice.
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:50 PM   #5
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You could check some of the Chinese brand tablets, eg from Chuwi or Teclast or Xiaomi. For reviews, https://techtablets.com/ is a good source, although he recently reviews a lot of notebooks as well.

For your size requirements, the Xioami MiPad 4 might be an option. I think Chuwi also recently had a smaller device out, but currently I can only remember the larger 10 inch ones.
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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You could check some of the Chinese brand tablets, eg from Chuwi or Teclast or Xiaomi. For reviews, https://techtablets.com/ is a good source, although he recently reviews a lot of notebooks as well.

For your size requirements, the Xioami MiPad 4 might be an option. I think Chuwi also recently had a smaller device out, but currently I can only remember the larger 10 inch ones.
Yep good tip. I see the Huawei MediaPad M5 8" has pretty good specs, I don't know much about how good their Android shell is.

Also, Samsung is reported to be coming out with a higher res 8" tablet sometime in 2019. These rumors are always hard to pin down, but Samsung has a historical precedent of producing a high res 8" tablet every few years or so, roughly their equivalent of an Ipad Mini. The last high res 8" I'm aware of in their lineup was the Galaxy S2 8" model, which had fantastic specs, high res screen, and an SD card to boot. But they haven't updated that in years and the latest OS you can get on it--to my knowledge unless you hack a custom firmware upgrade--is Android 7.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:05 PM   #7
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My daughter uses the 2017 version (T380) of the 8 inch Tab A which has the same screen resolution as the T387 you mention. I have used it a bit and have never noticed any issue with the screen resolution. I have not found any resolution problem with any reputable LCD tablet - e ink (and printed paper), because of its poor contrast and high illuminance requirements, dependence on reflectivity and its "pixel" structure is going to be much more dependent on pitch than the likes of LCD and OLED.

I gave up on my use of e ink readers some time back once smaller tablets became commonly available (and I used LCD PDAs prior to e ink readers); most recently I have been using a 10.1 inch and now a 10.5 inch Tab A which have a pixel pitches of around 212 - 220 (so a little higher than the T830/T837) - one would have to be real fanatical pixel peeper disengaged from the reality of use to claim their resolution is deficient for reading.

The higher priced AMOLED Samsungs are very nice but I could not justify the price against the nicer display for a device predominantly used for reading.

Last edited by AnotherCat; 02-06-2019 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Corrected ppi, somehow na 5 had sneaked in instead of a 2
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:36 AM   #8
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from some old personal research - the nvidia shield K1 or the samsungs have high ppi
u need to ckeck currrent prices and availability
table does not format well, here sorry
model size ppi screen
shield K1 8 283 1920 x 1200
samsung galaxy tab s2 8 8.0 320 2048 x 1536
samsung galaxy tab s 8.4 8.4 359 2560 x 1600
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:36 PM   #9
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About a year ago I picked up a used Asus Zenpad S 8.0, which has a very crisp 2048 x 1536 screen. I don't use it for reading books, just general web browsing, checking my mail, playing a few games, etc. I think the processor is a little slow compared to newer devices, but I don't really have any complaints about it.

I recently bought a Pocketbook Inkpad 3 e-reader and the Zenpad is definitely a LOT heavier even though the two devices are a similar size.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:17 PM   #10
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I finally ordered the Huawei M5 8.4", it has amazing specs, gets good reviews, has been upgraded to Android 9, and sells for below $300. Seems like a good deal and will let me do everything I want to do with a small Android tablet shy of using my laptop. And finding this tablet, now I can stay "all Android" for my small devices and will not need to delve into the Apple ecosystem and add the complexity of dealing with another devices, OS, and set of apps.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:36 PM   #11
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I finally ordered the Huawei M5 8.4", it has amazing specs, gets good reviews, has been upgraded to Android 9, and sells for below $300. Seems like a good deal and will let me do everything I want to do with a small Android tablet shy of using my laptop. And finding this tablet, now I can stay "all Android" for my small devices and will not need to delve into the Apple ecosystem and add the complexity of dealing with another devices, OS, and set of apps.
Looks like an interesting product. I created a wiki page for this product so that others can look it over. Huawei M5 8.4"

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Old 02-13-2019, 04:52 PM   #12
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Looks like an interesting product. I created a wiki page for this product so that others can look it over. Huawei M5 8.4"

Dale
I was really interested in this as a replacement for my LG G Pad X, but it has 2 negatives for me as an ereader:
1. the physical navigation button (I got rid of my Galaxy Note 10 tablet because of that – I kept hitting it and going to the home screen while I was reading). It may be the size of the 10 that made this happen, I’ll be interested in how you folks find this.

2. and the Android version – as I understand it, any version above 6 makes an additional copy of any ebook that is read in a particular reader – I use Calibre Companion, so this means CC has a copy and depending on the reader I use, Moon+ Reader keeps a copy and Bookari keeps a copy. If I’m wrong about this, please let me know.

Looking forward to actual user reviews.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:34 AM   #13
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Regarding 2, that's the first time I hear of this. I don't think my phone does that (Android 8.1, on a custom ROM), neither my tablets on similar ROMs (although I don't normally read on them recently). Of course, I don't read many normal ebook formats, mostly pdf or txt (I think I started an epub recently), but I'd be very surprised.

I guess what you might have in mind is that on newer android versions access to the sd card can be a bit tricky (and if it comes to saving stuff I have occasionally come across issues because I think for that the default is indeed that the app can only save into its own folder)
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:24 AM   #14
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Thanks, franzli,

If so, I'll reconsider a newer Android.


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Regarding 2, that's the first time I hear of this. I don't think my phone does that (Android 8.1, on a custom ROM), neither my tablets on similar ROMs (although I don't normally read on them recently). Of course, I don't read many normal ebook formats, mostly pdf or txt (I think I started an epub recently), but I'd be very surprised.

I guess what you might have in mind is that on newer android versions access to the sd card can be a bit tricky (and if it comes to saving stuff I have occasionally come across issues because I think for that the default is indeed that the app can only save into its own folder)
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:56 PM   #15
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2. and the Android version – as I understand it, any version above 6 makes an additional copy of any ebook that is read in a particular reader – I use Calibre Companion, so this means CC has a copy and depending on the reader I use, Moon+ Reader keeps a copy and Bookari keeps a copy. If I’m wrong about this, please let me know.
Additional info ... I have a Samsung Galaxy S7Edge running Android 8.0.0 (no custom ROM no rooting). As far as I can tell there are currently no additional copies of epubs being made when I ask CC to open a book in Bookari.
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