Good accessories for tablets can add the ability to do tasks outside the scope of the slate form. The large accessory ecosystem for the iPad mini is an advantage over the Galaxy Note 8.0. The number of good keyboards on the market for the little iPad bears witness to that.
Other accessories aside, a good case can extend the value of a tablet and Samsung makes a very good one for the Note 8.0.
Samsung Book Cover
Apple first introduced the smart cover with the iPad, and Samsung has produced a good one for the Galaxy Note 8.0. It uses smart cover technology so the tablet turns on/off when you open/close the cover.
The cover can be positioned in two different angles: one for reading and typing and another for watching video. A magnet embedded in the cover holds it in the desired configuration but is a little unstable in the video watching position.
Unlike the iPad smart cover, Samsung's completely covers the Note 8.0 for protection. It adds little bulk to the slim Note 8.0. The protection it provides was inadvertently tested as the Note 8.0 survived a fall from a table with no damage.
The Samsung Book Cover is expensive at $50 but is worth it for the protection and the utility it offers. Since it arrived the Galaxy Note 8.0 has not been out of the Book Cover case.
The iPad mini is a nice tablet that will appeal to many, and the new Nexus 7 is a good value for some in the Android camp. Being so new this writer hasn't used the new Nexus 7 yet but even so, after heavily using the Galaxy Note 8.0 it is apparent the latter is the best small tablet.
Samsung has added good value by including the pen with special apps to leverage the pen support missing on other small tablets. The multiview capability unique to Samsung Notes is also an advantage over the competition. The Galaxy Note 8.0 has several features that the competition lacks, and for this reason this writer considers it the best small tablet at the time of this writing.