The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is an 8-inch tablet that costs $399. In a world where the 7-inch Nexus 7 exists for $200 and even the 7.9-inch iPad Mini starts at $330 or lower, $399 is a tough sell. If you’re looking for a simple small tablet, the Nexus 7 is still your best bet and the iPad Mini provides Apple’s still unbeatable app ecosystem in a smaller, lighter, and cheaper package than the Note 8.
The Note 8 is arguably Samsung’s best tablet yet, but depending on your experience with the company’s offerings, the weight of such an acknowledgement will vary dramatically. If you’re a stylus devotee that liked what you saw in the Note 10.1, you’ll be happy to know that thanks to some software upgrades, the Note 8 integrates the stylus, or S Pen, in a smaller package with fewer seams and a more impressive screen. Still, if you’re not an artist and have no interest in coming near a stylus anytime soon, go for one of the many cheaper options.
At $300, this would be an easy recommendation; however, the $400 price means you’ll have to decide for yourself if the inclusion of the stylus and its integration into the OS is worth it to you.
The good: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is comfortable to hold and has the best-looking small tablet screen yet. Writing with the S Pen feels natural and is preferred over typing on a tablet screen. Storage can be expanded via microSD, and the Watch On feature has potential as a universal remote/video content hub.
The bad: The $399 price is a lot for a small tablet, no matter its features. It’s not as thin or as light as the iPad Mini, and some people won’t appreciate the highly saturated look of the OS. Also, its face buttons sometimes get in the way and there are occasional performance hangs.
The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a stunning tablet with a truly useful stylus, but it’s not worth $400 unless you’re an artist or prefer pen input