I’d buy this cheap new Samsung Galaxy tablet if I didn’t have an iPad

The Samsung Galaxy A8 should cost a lot less than Apple's iPad, so it'll be a good budget tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
(Image credit: Samsung)

I reckon Apple makes the best tablets around, but I'm also vividly aware that Apple tablets are a lot more expensive than many rivals and that Amazon's Fire tablets are built with price in mind, not performance. So I'm impressed by the specs of the imminent Samsung Galaxy A8, which is shaping up to be a really great budget Android tablet.

Samsung already has a place in our best cheap tablets guide with the Galaxy Tab S5E, but the Galaxy Tab A8 has a much more impressive specification.

The fastest A series tablet yet

The processor here is the fastest in any A-series tablet, a 2GHz octa-core processor that's 10% faster than the one in the A7. There's an impressive 10.5-inch screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio for better home entertainment experiences, and there's built in Dolby Audio that adds a bit of spice to the speakers. Don't expect fully immersive audio from speakers in something smaller than a dinner plate, but it could be good on compatible headphones.

Samsung appears to be pitching this as a home entertainment device, which seems smart: until Google sorts out Android L for large screen devices, the overall app experience on Android tablets isn't the best. But as a media streamer, this Galaxy makes a lot of sense – not least because it comes with access to 200 free live and on-demand channels in the Samsung Plus app. And of course you can install the usual streaming suspects via the Google Play store.

If the Tab A8 is priced like its predecessor, you can expect it to cost around £219 ($229, AU$379). That's not a lot of money for an impressive specification: unless Samsung's got something horribly wrong, expect to see the Galaxy Tab A8 in our best tablets guide very soon, as well as maybe even our best tablets for kids guide.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).