While that makes this the cheapest 7 inch tablet Samsung has offered to date, it still feels kind of overpriced. That’s because you can pick up a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with a better display and cameras for just $20 more.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite looks a lot like its slightly more expensive cousin on paper. Both tablets have 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel displays, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage.
But the Lite model has a TN display panel with poor viewing angles while the original Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 has a higher-quality PLS display with wide viewing angles. If you’ve ever held a phone tablet in your hands only to watch the screen start to look like a photo negative when you tilt the display a bit, you’ll know how important viewing angles can be on handheld devices.
The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 also has a 3MP rear camera and 1.3MP front-facing camera while the Lite model only has a 2MP rear camera and no front camera for video chats (or selfies). And it has a mono speaker rather than the stereo speakers you get with the more slightly expensive model.
The Lite model does have a few things going for it. Samsung ships the new model with Android 4.2 rather than Android 4.1, and it’s a tad thinner, at 0.38 inches rather than 0.39 inches. I doubt you’d be able to tell the difference, especially since the Lite model is actually a bit heavier at 0.7 pounds rather than 0.67 pounds.
All told, if you can afford to spend $180 rather than $160, I’d recommend skipping the Lite model. And if you can afford to spend a little more (and don’t need a microSD card slot), you’ll probably get an even better deal with a $229 Google Nexus 7.