The best tablet to display your Home Assistant dashboard

If you want a truly smart home you need to have a wall-mounted tablet to control and observe everything without having to boot your computer or pull out your phone, right? That is certainly what many in the Home Assistant community think. After all, Lovelace does allow us to create some very good-looking Home Assistant dashboards.

But, wall-mounted tablets aren’t just there to look good. Depending on what model you get, they can give you a bunch of added functionality, which you can further use in Home Assistant. A normal tablet will have a bunch of sensors and most likely a camera or two. Why not use them?

A wall-mounted tablet should be inconspicuous. It isn’t the tablet you should be noticed when entering the home but what the tablet displays and what it allows you to do. Below you will find a few of the Home Assistant community’s favourite tablets for a wall-mounted Home Assistant dashboard.

Amazon Fire HD 10

At a glance

Amazon Fire HD 10

Size: 10.1″

Resolution: 1920 x 1200

RAM: 2 GB

CPU: 1.8 GHz, quad-core

Amazon’s Fire HD 10 tablet is cheap and has a good-looking Full-HD display (1920 x 1200). At 10.1″ it is pretty much the perfect size for the Home Assistant dashboard, and it doesn’t have any branding on the screen’s bezels, making it clean looking. At this size, you’ll still be able to clearly see all of your card’s details and switches won’t be too small to press.

Reviewers have praised this tablet’s performance, battery life, screen, and practical design. The major downsides seem to be related to the Fire HD 10’s software. As a wall-mounted tablet, you will most likely not be seeing much of the OS itself, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

When using an Amazon Fire tablet I’d recommend side loading or installing the app WallPanel. This not only allows you to display your Home Assistant dashboard in full-screen but gives Home Assistant full access to your Fire HD’s sensors! That way you can use the tablet itself as a security camera, it can speak notifications, and it can turn off the screen when no motion is detected. Alternatively, you can follow these instructions and install the Google Play Store on your Amazon Fire tablet. That will give you access to the Home Assistant app.

An Amazon Fire HD 10 running Home Assistant mounted on a wall
Wall mounts from MakesByMike are popular in the Home Assistant community

There are two options when it comes to wall mounting your Fire HD 10 tabled. You can either 3D print a compatible case or purchase one of the many available prebuilt models. There are a number of models to be found freely available from Thingiverse and other 3D model sharing sites. Prebuilt options from independent sellers are available from sites such as Etsy. One such option is the popular Fire HD 10 wall mount from MakesByMike.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

At a glance

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

Size: 8″

Resolution: 1280 x 800

RAM: 3 GB

CPU: 2.0 GHz, quad-core

If you don’t want to wall-mount your tablet for controlling and monitoring Home Assistant but prefer to keep its portability, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus might be a decent alternative to its larger sibling.

As the Fire HD 8 Plus supports wireless charging and comes with a nice looking charging dock, you can place just about anywhere you like. The advantage of doing things this way is that you can easily carry your tablet around with you.

As with the Fire HD 10, the Fire HD 8 Plus tablet has a crisp screen and needs a little work before it can be used as a fully functional Home Assistant dashboard. Also, just like the Fire HD10, it doesn’t have any branding on the symmetrical screen bezel.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus boasts a higher clocked CPU and 50% more RAM than the Fire HD 10. However, with a pixel-density of 189 ppi its screen significantly less sharp than the one found in the Fire HD 10, which has 224 ppi.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus in a wireless charging dock
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus comes with a wireless charging dock

As with all Amazon Fire tablets, the main criticism to be found is related to its operating system. Or, to be more specific, to the app store included as part of the OS. Compared to the Google Play Store, the FireOS Appstore is limited. However, if you are planning to only use it for your Home Assistant needs, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A (10.10″ and 8.0″)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A series of tablets are quite cheap but have more than enough power to display the Home Assistant dashboard. As we’ve come to expect from Samsung, these tablets have more than decent screens and narrow bezels (without any branding).

At a glance

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1″

Size: 10.1″

Resolution: 1920 x 1200

RAM: 2/3 GB

CPU: 2 x 1.8 GHz + 6 x 1.6 GHz, octa-core

At a glance

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8″

Size: 8″

Resolution: 1280 x 800

RAM: 2 GB

CPU: 2 GHz, quad-core

The benefit of using a Samsung tablet over the Amazon Fire tablets is that these come with fully-fledged Android and have access to the Google Play Store without any workarounds. Because these tablets run Android you’ll also be able to use them to talk to the Google Assistant.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1" (2019, WiFi + Cellular) Full HD Corner-to-Corner Display, 32GB 4G LTE Tablet & Phone (Makes...
  • 10.1 inches, 295.8 cm2 (~80.7% screen-to-body ratio), 1200 x 1920 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~224 ppi density)
  • 32GB ROM, 2GB RAM, CPU: Octa Core (Dual 1.8GB + Hexa 1.6GHz), Rear Camera: 8MP, Front Camera: 5MP, Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G+5GHz, VHT80

While Samsung does offer tablets with nicer OLED displays in the Tab S line, those might be wasted for just this purpose. The other disadvantage OLED screens have is that they can suffer from burn-in when displaying the same thing for extended periods.

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SAMSUNG SM-T290NZKAXAR, Galaxy Tab A 8.0" 32 GB Wifi Android 9.0 Pie Tablet Black 2019
  • Minimum bezel; Maximum view: Designed with a minimized bezel, giving you more room to view your favorite content in a slim, comfortable form; The premium metallic finish and lightweight design make it easy to use around the house or on the go
  • Entertainment ready: An 8.0 inches display immerses you in content, and dual speakers deliver spacious surround sound

Raspberry Pi and touchscreen

For those wanting to build their own wall-mounted dashboard, there is the option of buying a Raspberry Pi and hooking it up to a compatible touchscreen. SunFounder makes a 10.1″ IPS touchscreen with a resolution of 1280 x 800. While the quality of the panel might not be as good as that of the Fire HD or Tab A tablets, the project of getting the Raspberry Pi set up might be more rewarding.

One big advantage the Raspberry Pi has over an off-the-shelf tablet is that it doesn’t have a battery. Batteries degrade and start bulging over time.

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About Liam Alexander Colman

Liam Alexander Colman has been using Home Assistant for various projects for quite some time. What started of with a Raspberry Pi quickly became three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-blown server. I now use Unraid as my operating system and Home Assistant happily runs in a Docker container. My personal setup includes many Zigbee devices as well as integrations with existing products such as my Android TV box. Read on to find out more on how I got started with Home Assistant.

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