New tablets are somewhat hard to come by these days but if you're in the market for a pint-sized slate then here are the best small tablets around you can buy.
What's the best small tablet you can buy in the UK?
The tablet market has slowed down significantly over the last few years, so much so that the likes of Sony and LG don't even make them anymore.
Google's hugely popular Nexus 7 seems like a lifetime ago and Tesco sadly ended the amazing Hudl range. That said, although many are a distant memory, there are a handful of small tablets still around that you can buy brand new.
You can still rely on firms like Apple and Amazon for this kind of device. We're talking tablets with a screen size under 9in, as a typical full-size tablet starts at around 9.7in.
They're typically cheaper than larger models and this also makes them more portable. Small tablets are great for travelling, so you can take TV shows and books with you, without adding much weight to your luggage.
With the tablets below there is something for everyone, with a range of different sizes, prices and features on offer. Why not take a look at the best overall tablets and the best cheap tablets for more options.
Best small tablet 2020
1. Amazon Fire HD 8 (10th gen)
The new 2020 version of the Fire HD 8 has bigger, better screen than the Fire 7 and it's also around 30 percent faster. There's also more RAM, more storage and you can expand storage by up to 1TB.
Another difference is that you get stereo speakers, and a USB-C port for charging. You get Alexa, too, and she's hands-free even if the tablet is asleep.
This 10th-gen model comes in a Plus model for £20 / $20 extra than the standard model which has wireless charging and can be used with an optional dock which, in addition to charging, enables Show Mode (and, with Alexa on-board, you can use it for video calls, music videos and watching Amazon Prime videos, just like an Echo Show.
As with all three Amazon tablets, there's a Kids Edition of the Fire HD 8. It comes with a bumper case, year's subscription to Fire for Kids / FreeTime Unlimited and a two-year warranty.
Read our full Amazon Fire HD 8 (10th gen) review
2. Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
As was our verdict on the MediaPad M3: the M5 is an above-average tablet which is a good alternative to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab range and the iPad mini. The iPad mini is is less of a great deal these days. It costs a lot because you can only get it with 128GB of storage.
If your budget is more like £300/US$300, it's a struggle to recommend the MediaPad M5 when the 2018 iPad 9.7 has a headphone socket, support for the Apple Pencil and - well - it's an iPad running iOS.
Read our full Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4 review
3. Amazon Fire HD 8 (8th gen)
If you don't need Google apps on your tablet then this is the best cheap tablet going. It's worth the extra spend over the Fire 7 for the larger, better screen, unless you're buying it for your kids in which case the cheaper Fire 7 will do just fine.
And now you can use Alexa hands free, or pair the Fire HD 8 with the clever Show Mode dock to get an affordable smart display for home use. If you want to watch video on Prime and Netflix and not much else then this tablet is a no-brainer.
Read our full Amazon Fire HD 8 (8th gen) review
4. Apple iPad mini (2019)
The iPad mini proves that this form factor is still desirable and useful even in an age of larger smartphones. With the A12 processor at an affordable base price, Apple’s smallest tablet is a tiny powerhouse of a computer.
Yes, the design is seven years old but with the addition of Apple Pencil support and with decent battery life, Apple has breathed new life back into the iPad mini. Not everyone wants or needs to spend £1,000 on an iPad Pro.
Read our full Apple iPad mini (2019) review
5. Amazon Fire 7 (2019)
The latest Fire 7 has double the storage of its predecessor, a slightly better front camera and comes in three new colours. There's no noticeable improvement in performance, but it's still the best tablet you can buy for £50 / $50.
Read our full Amazon Fire 7 (2019) review
6. Xiaomi Mi Pad 4
If we're talking hardware alone then Xiaomi's Mi Pad 4 is arguably one of the best Android tablets you can find for the money, especially in this compact form factor.
This 8in tablet has a full-HD display with some decent hardware onboard, including the Snapdragon 660 processor, up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage. Xiaomi has also added microSD support, and there's an LTE version of this tablet.
Design changes result in a more manageable device for use in one hand, and improved audio with the speakers now sitting on the tablet's bottom edge.
We're surprised to see GPS missed out of the spec, and the Mi Pad 4 also neglects NFC, and while it's mostly an improvement over the previous generation the screen size and resolution and battery capacity has been reduced.
If this were a 'Global' version of the Mi Pad 4 we'd be sold, but as it is running Chinese MIUI it stands to offer a potentially confusing experience for novice users. Navigation and menus will be unfamiliar, and if you want to use Google services you'll first need to install Google Play from the Mi App Store.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 review