Fun for the whole family
Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen)
$105 at Best Buy
$90 at B&H Photo
- Very affordable
- Access to Google Play
- Google Kids Space included
- Comes with free Amazon Music Unlimited trial
- Lower-res screen
- Cameras leave something to be desired
- Low power device using Android Go
You’ll save huge with the Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen), particularly if you can find it on sale. It runs Android Go, which means it doesn’t offer as much processing power as the Tab A7 Lite. But it has some compelling features that make it a good choice as a tablet you can take anywhere for basic tasks, and you can confidently hand off to your kids.
Take it with you anywhere
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
$129 at Amazon
- Compact and lightweight
- Expandable storage up to 1TB
- Extra-durable and sturdy metal frame
- Comes with free YouTube Premium trial
- Samsung Kids included
- Only 2MP front camera
- Slightly more expensive
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is perfect for those looking for something compact, travel-friendly, and affordable. It’s also durable enough, so you won’t be nervous handing it off to the kids. Thanks to the sturdy frame, you can confidently pop it into your backpack, briefcase, or luggage to travel with you. What’s more, it works within the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem.
Tablets typically cost hundreds of dollars, making it a tough decision to consider buying one that’s tough enough for young kids can use and reliable for those very basic tasks. But there are some affordable entry-level tablets worth considering, depending on how you want to use them. For example, when looking at the Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen) vs. Samsung Galaxy A7 Lite, both sell for a similar price and offer similar feature sets that make them family-friendly options. But let’s take a closer look.
|Screen Size||7 inches||8.7 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1,024×600||1,340×800 WXGA+ TFT|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm, microUSB||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi Direct, USB 2.0, 3.5mm, Smart Switch|
|Speaker||Dolby Atmos||Dolby Atmos quad speaker system|
|Camera||Rear 2MP AF, Front 2MP||Rear 8MP AF, Front 2MP|
|Processor||Quad-core MediaTek MT9166||Octa-core processor|
|Colors||Iron Grey||Grey, Silver|
|Operating System||Android Go Edition||Android|
|Internal Memory||32GB (expandable via microSD card)||32GB, 64GB (expandable up to 1TB via microSD card)|
|Memory||2GB RAM||3GB RAM|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 Hours||All-Day|
|Dimensions||6.94 x 4.05 x 0.33 inches||8.37 x 4.91 x 0.31 inches|
|Weight||236.9 g||367 g|
At first glance, it appears that while the two tablets are similar in some ways, the Galaxy Tab A7 offers a superior set of specs when compared to the Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen) overall. But with the Tab M7 offered at a lower price — much lower if you find it on sale — it might be worth it for those on a tight budget. With that said, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is essentially a lighter version of the feature-rich Galaxy Tab A7, making it a solid option. So let’s take a look.
Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen) vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite: How do they look?
The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite comes in gray and silver finishes, while the Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen) is available in a single color: iron gray. The A7 Lite’s screen is a sizable 8.7 inches, while the Tab M7’s is a smaller but more compact 7 inches. This makes the M7 fall more into the middle-ground “phablet” category, as it isn’t that much bigger than a large-screened smartphone. However, this means it might be more comfortable for tiny hands to use and will fit nicely in a small purse. With that said, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite’s screen is also higher resolution at 1,340×800 versus the Tab M7’s 1,024×600, which means you’ll get a better viewing experience with the former, including both a larger and better-quality screen. Both also boast a sturdy metal frame.
Because of the smaller screen, the Tab M7 is lighter and, of course, more compact than the Tab A7 Lite, so you might be more inclined to grab it if you’re looking for a tablet to use on the go, keeping it in your purse, briefcase, or backpack at all times. That said, with the Tab A7 Lite being just about 100+ grams heavier and a few inches wider and longer, it’s also actually slightly thinner than the M7. Bottom line: Both tablets are easily pocketable and perfect for use at home or on the go.
Samsung touts the A7 Lite as offering an “all-day” battery, which is likely comparable to the Tab M7’s rated 10 hours. In both cases, you’ll be able to easily use the tablet through a work or school day or for several hours each day or night before needing to recharge. However, the A7 Lite uses USB-C for recharging, which means you can get the battery back up to full percentage much more quickly than you could with the Tab M7’s microUSB charging port. They do both offer fast charging, but chances are the Tab A7 Lite will charge much more quickly.
A significant advantage with the A7 Lite is if you own other compatible Samsung devices, like Galaxy phones, you can easily share photos, reminders, notes, and calendar events using Quick Share.
Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen) vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite: Powerful browsing experiences
However, when it comes to processing power and speed, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is worlds ahead of the Tab M7 with an octa-core processor versus the Tab M7’s quad-core MediaTek processor. The M7 also offers just 2GB RAM versus the Tab A7’s 3GB RAM, which means it can’t quite handle as much information, data-intensive apps, and multitasking.
It’s for this reason that the Tab M7 runs on Android Go Edition, a pared-down version of Android designed for low-end devices with 512GB to 2GB RAM. Effectively, Android Go is a lighter version of the Android operating system with optimized versions of certain apps, like Facebook, Messenger, and Maps, made with basic features to use less data, storage, and memory. Plus, it runs better on a lower-end device. If you’re using the M7 as a family tablet and not planning to use it for any intensive tasks, this might be all that you need anyway. But for a more feature-rich experience, the Tab A7 Lite has the full version of Android 11. Both offer access to the Google Play store, but with the M7, you’ll see which apps were optimized for use on the tablet. The M7 also includes Google Play Protect to help keep the device clean and your data safe, which is a plus.
When it comes to storage, you have two options with the Tab A7 Lite: 32GB or 64GB, expandable up to 1TB with an optional microSD card. The Tab M7, meanwhile, only comes in a 32GB version. It also has a microSD card slot, but you can only add another up to 128GB. That said, with both, you can access cloud services to store files remotely if desired.
Both tablets include Dolby Atmos surround sound technology for an immersive audio experience. The A7 Lite comes with a two-month trial to YouTube Premium, while the Tab M7 comes with a three-month trial to Amazon Music Unlimited. You can listen through the built-in speakers or wired headphones via the 3.5mm stereo back (both also have Bluetooth 5.0).
An advantage with the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, again for families that own other Galaxy devices, is that you can leverage One UI technology to start something on one device, like a movie, then resume it seamlessly on the tablet or vice versa. The Tab M7, however, has some compelling features if you plan to hand it over to your kids, notably access to the Google Kids Space, which contains more than 10,000 curated and age-appropriate apps and games, hundreds of free eBooks, and YouTube kids videos. However, keep in mind that the Tab A7 offers Samsung’s version of a kid-friendly interface and area called Samsung Kids.
The built-in cameras are where the two tablets differ considerably. Samsung’s tablet has a decent 8MP autofocus rear camera that can capture 1,920×1,080 HD content along with a 2MP front camera for selfies, video calls, and more. The Lenovo tablet’s cameras are just 2MP front and back, with the former being fixed focus and the latter autofocus. So, while you’ll get a similar experience when using either for video calling, when it comes to snapping photos, the ones you take with the A7 Lite will probably look much more crisp and detailed.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite vs. Galaxy A7: Which should you buy?
Considering how close these two tablets are in price, you’re better off opting for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite over the Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen) since it offers upgraded features like a larger, higher-resolution screen, a full version of Android supported by a faster processor, more memory, and a better rear camera. Another perk is if you own additional Samsung Galaxy devices, you can enjoy a seamless experience among them, thanks to the One UI.
That said, if you plan to use this tablet for the kids exclusively, the Tab M7 (3rd Gen) is still a decent option that provides access to Google Kids Space so they can safely surf content that is appropriate for them, and it’s ultra-portable for use on the go.
Still, looking at the specs overall, when choosing between the Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen) vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, you’ll get more bang for your buck with the latter. Of course, if you want a tablet to use for work, you might also want to consider spending a few extra bucks for the Galaxy Tab A7 or hold out for the upcoming Galaxy Tab A8. But as a family-friendly tablet, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite fits the bill and won’t break the bank.
Good for the kids
Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen)
Simplicity on a budget
$105 at Best Buy
$90 at B&H Photo
For a low-end, entry-level Android tablet that you can easily hand over to the kids, the Lenovo Tab M7 (3rd Gen) fits the bill with compelling features like Google Kids Space, the inclusion of an Amazon Music Unlimited trial, and a pared-down version of Android. It’s a decent option on a budget.
Amped up specs
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
Specs to impress
$129 at Amazon
From $160 at Best Buy
$129 at Walmart
You’ll get better overall specs with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, along with One UI that lets you seamlessly transition content from this tablet to other compatible Galaxy devices. With a larger, higher-res screen, better rear camera, and faster processor, the Tab A7 Lite might cost a bit more, but it’s worth the extra few bucks.