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The Best Cheap Tablets

The best inexpensive tablets allow you to comfortably surf the web, watch videos, and play games without breaking the bank. 

While the best tablets can cost up to $1,000 and include many premium features, you can spend less to get an excellent tablet that will last for years. While all but the cheapest iPads are out of the price range of those seeking an inexpensive tablet, Amazon, Samsung, and other companies offer a variety of slates that provide excellent value for a low price. 

We’ve tested and reviewed dozens upon dozens of tablets from the top manufacturers to determine the most affordable options. The following is a list of the best inexpensive tablets currently available on the market, ranging in price and design. 

Our Top Picks

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How do we evaluate tablets 

First, we run as many benchmarks as the tablet will allow determining its speed in a manner that can be directly compared to that of competitors. We say “will allow” because some tablets, such as Amazon’s Fire tablets, have issues with side-loaded Android applications. Then, we use colorimeters and light meters to determine how colorful and bright the screens of these tablets can become. Then, we put them through our in-house battery test, which measures how long it takes to deplete a tablet’s charge while web surfing with the brightness set to 150 nits. 

Then, we do the same things you do—surfing the Internet, watching YouTube, playing games, composing emails, and much more. We attempt to write some (or all) of our tablet reviews on the tablets we’re testing, provided they have a keyboard. Nobody wants to compose a masterpiece on a glass screen. 

The best cheap tablets you can buy today

Some tablets are professional-grade replacements for laptops, while others perform menial tasks. Inexpensive tablets can serve as platforms for children’s entertainment, eBook readers, alarm clocks, and even digital signage. You do not need to spend $300 or more to acquire a simple slate with these capabilities. Below is a list of our favorite models and helpful purchasing advice for the category. 

1. The best iPad for those on a budget: Apple iPad 2021

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The basic iPad is Apple’s most affordable tablet and your least expensive option if you wish to purchase an iPad. Apple’s A13 Bionic chip provides the device with ample power. The display is still vivid and colorful, and the battery life will not leave you stranded. Additionally, Apple is sticking with its first-generation Pencil and Smart Keyboard Folio for its supported Apple-made accessories, which may be easier to use than third-party Bluetooth options for many users. 

The sound quality of the speakers is also quite good; the only thing we dislike about the iPad is that the iPad mini and iPad Air make it appear even older than its design. It lacks support for Apple’s finest accessories, but it still has a headphone jack, which is a win for the wired headphones crowd. 

Specifications 
  • CPU: A13 Bionic 
  • Camera Resolution: 8MP (rear), 12MP (front) 
  • Display: 10.2 inches, 2160 x 1620 pixels 
  • Storage: 64GB, 256GB 
  • Ports: Lightning, Headphone 
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.3 inches 
  • Weight: 1.07 pounds 
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with optional LTE 
PROS
  • Speedy performance thanks to A13 Bionic
  • True Tone added to display
  • Apple Pencil (1st Gen) support
  • Headphone jack
  • Better storage capacity
  • Upgraded selfie camera for video calls
CONS
  • Design feels dated
  • No support for Magic
  • No Face ID
  • No touch-to-wake screen
  • No USB-C
  • Weak camera quality
  • No landscape stereo speakers

2. The best cheap Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

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The Galaxy Tab A7, which retails for $229 and is frequently on sale for much less, is an excellent 10.4-inch tablet for media consumption. With its thinner bezels than Apple’s $329 iPad, you can concentrate more on the content you’re viewing, whether surfing the web or streaming movies. The device lasted for 13 hours and 13 minutes. It also has a feature that Apple charges a premium for on the iPad Pro: facial recognition to unlock the device. 

And similar to Apple’s more expensive tablets, the Galaxy Tab A7 charges via USB-C, allowing you to eliminate non-reversible micro-USB cables from your life. Even though it’s not as fast as the iPad and its screen isn’t as bright, neither of these is a significant issue at this price, mainly when Samsung provides authentic Android with the Google Play app store, as opposed to the Amazon Fire tablet experience, which is diluted. 

Specifications 
  • CPU: Qualcomm SM6115 
  • Camera Resolution: 8MP (front), 5MP (rear) 
  • Display: 10.4-inch, 2000×1200-pixel 
  • Storage: 32GB 
  • Memory: 3GB 
  • Ports: USB-C, microSD 
  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.2 x 0.3 inches 
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds 
PROS
  • Excellent battery life
  • USB-C charging
  • Vibrant, colorful display
  • Decent Dolby Atmos quad-speaker system
  • Reviewers Didn't Like
  • Screen is a little dim
  • Minor lag with demanding mobile games
  • Underwhelming performance
  • Processor and RAM are limited
  • Camera quality is poor
CONS
  • Screen is a little dim
  • Minor lag with demanding mobile games
  • Underwhelming performance
  • Processor and RAM are limited
  • Camera quality is poor

3. The best cheap Amazon Fire tablet: Amazon Fire 10 HD

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The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) is a tablet with incremental improvements, including a slightly brighter screen, 1GB more RAM, and a smaller, lighter design. While it’s probably not a must-have for anyone who purchased the 2019 model, it demonstrates Amazon’s ability to produce a value-driven slate that is sufficient for many. 

Suppose you anticipate being irritated by minor lags in performance. You should consider spending an additional $30 on the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus for $179, arguably the best Amazon tablet ever. Despite this, the Fire HD 10 (2021) will continue to be an excellent option for those seeking a device to casually browse the internet, read e-books, and watch videos. However, its most significant flaws are not novel. Amazon’s Fire OS is still app-challenged, lacking the Google Play app store. As a result, you can’t get the full Gmail or YouTube experience, among other things, and you’ll miss out on many great apps not available on Amazon’s app store. 

Specifications 
  • CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core CPU 
  • Camera Resolution: 5 MP (rear) 2 MP (front) 
  • Display: 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel 
  • Storage: 32GB, 64GB 
  • Ports: 1x USB-C, headphone jack, microSD 
  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.5 x 0.4 inches 
  • Weight: 17.8 ounces/1.1 pounds 
PROS
  • Fast processor for the price
  • Plenty of RAM
  • Acts as an Alexa smart display
CONS
  • Poor app selection
  • Very Amazon-centric interface

4. Best Affordable Android Tablet: Lenovo Tab P11 Plus

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Lenovo’s Tab P11 Plus follows in design in the footsteps of its more expensive sibling, the Tab P11 Pro. It has an aluminum unibody design and appears more refined than most Android tablets in this price range. It measures 10.7 by 6.5 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 17.3 ounces, making it slim and light enough to hold for extended periods. It is also an appropriate size for simple productivity tasks, online classes, and drawing. 

The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is the most affordable Android tablet due to its dependable performance, vibrant 11-inch display, and impressive speakers. 

Specifications 
  • Processor: Mediatek Helio G90T 8 x 2.1 GHz, Cortex-A76 / A55 
  • Graphics adapter: ARM Mali-G76 MP4 
  • Memory: 6 GB   
  • Display: 11.00 inch 15:9, 2000 x 1200 pixel 212 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, 60 Hz 
  • Storage: 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 128 GB , 109 GB free 
  • Weight: 490 g  
PROS
  • Sharp display
  • Loud, clear speakers
  • Perky performance
CONS
  • Unimpressive cameras
  • No promise for OS updates after Android 12

5. The best cheap compact tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

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The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is an improved version of the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020), so it is not surprising that it is one of the best inexpensive tablets. It has 3GB more RAM, wireless charging support (so you can use it with an optional dock that brings it close to an Echo Show), and a faster charger than the standard Fire HD 8. 

Beyond that, it is comparable to its more affordable sibling. But this alone makes it faster than the previous generation of the Amazon Fire HD 8 and provides you with significantly more storage space. 

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus isn’t the fastest slate in our tests, but it holds its own for the price, and if you want a tablet and intelligent display in one, it’s a great choice; however, if you want a tablet, the standard Fire HD 8 (2020) is a better option. 

Specifications 
  • Weight: 355g 
  • Dimensions: 202 x 137 x 9.7mm 
  • OS: Fire OS 
  • Screen size: 8-inch 
  • Resolution: 880 x 1280 
  • CPU: quad-core 
  • Storage: 32GB/64GB 
  • Battery: up to 12 hours 
  • Rear camera: 2MP (wide) 
  • Front camera: 2MP 
PROS
  • Inexpensive
  • Long battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Excellent Alexa support
CONS
  • Limited app compatibility

6. The best cheap Windows tablet: Microsoft Surface Go 2

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Sometimes it takes a second attempt to get something right. The Surface Go 2 targets and eliminates all the shortcomings of its predecessor. Thinner bezels allow for a larger screen, the arguably most crucial tablet component. The Surface Go 2 has a display that is 0.5 inches larger than its predecessor. 

More significant than five hours longer than the original Surface Go, the Surface Go 2’s battery life lasts 11 and 39 minutes. Microsoft also granted my wish for a laptop with an excellent webcam. The 5-megapixel, 1080p camera in the top bezel is ideal for the era of online video calls, and the second front-facing camera sensor adds Windows Hello biometric login. 

Specifications 
  • CPU: Pentium Gold, 8th Gen Intel Core m3 
  • Camera Resolution: 8MP (rear), 5MP (front) 
  • Display: 10.5 inches, 1920 x 1280 pixels 
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 
  • Memory: 4GB, 8GB 
  • Ports: headphone jack, USB-C, microSD, Surface Connect port, Surface Type Cover Port 
  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches 
  • Weight: 1.22 pounds (1.75 pounds with type cover) 
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 
PROS
  • Compact size, light weight
  • Will get Windows 11
  • Solid productivity performance
  • Versatile as a tablet and laptop
  • Sharp front-facing webcam
  • Good display
CONS
  • Cramped keyboard makes prolonged typing awkward
  • No real improvements to the $400 model
  • Windows 10 S is limited
  • Every accessory is extra
  • Average battery life

7. The best Amazon tablet under $100: Amazon Fire HD 8

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The Amazon Fire HD 8 is an excellent tablet for specific purposes. Its brilliant display and over 13 hours of battery life make it ideal for content consumption, and its reversible USB-C port is a feature we wish the less expensive Fire 7 tablet had.  

On top of that, this $90 tablet is good enough at everything else, including audio quality and performance, for its price; I cannot deny that many will find it a good deal. I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of its front camera when I took selfies while writing the review, as webcams on more expensive laptops are significantly inferior. 

Those who desire the comprehensiveness of the Google Play Android app store or the iPad’s iOS app store may be disappointed with Amazon. People who dislike using inferior web-based versions of these applications are frustrated by the need for Google’s apps, which must be sideloaded. 

Specifications 
  • CPU: 2.0 GHz quad-core processor 
  • Camera Resolution: 2MP (rear), 2MP (front) 
  • Display: 8-inch 1280 x 800-pixel 
  • Storage: 32GB, 64GB 
  • Memory: 2GB 
  • Ports: headphone jack. USB-C, microSD, 
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches 
  • Weight: 0.8 pounds (12.5 ounces) 
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 
PROS
  • Inexpensive
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent audio
  • Hands-free Alexa support
CONS
  • Limited app compatibility
  • Sluggish performance

8. The best cheap tablet for reading and writing: reMarkable 2

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If you’re a pen-and-paper writer, you know that the iPad and Apple Pencil do not feel right. Here, reMarkable tablets have entered the fray, offering a writing experience with a realistic feel, thanks to a unique screen technology that uses digital paper and the Marker stylus, which feels more natural when pressed against the screen. The reMarkable 2 is a significantly more alluring device, now measuring a sleek 0.2 inches and abandoning its plastic frame for a more elegant metal chassis. 

It’s not just a notebook, either. Your documents synchronize with the cloud, allowing you to read them on iPhones, iPads, PCs, Macs, and Android devices. The reMarkable 2 also converts your handwriting into editable text, allowing you to share your notes with your entire team or transform your scribbled notes into a manuscript. And its two-week battery life will enable you to leave it unplugged on your coffee table for when inspiration strikes, as opposed to always having it plugged in. 

Specifications
  • CPU: 1.2 GHz dual core ARM processor 
  • Camera Resolution: N/A 
  • Display: 10.3-inch, 1,872 x 1,404 digital paper 
  • Storage: 8GB 
  • Memory: 1GB 
  • Ports: USB-C 
  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.4 x 0.2 inches 
  • Weight: 14.1 ounces (0.88 pounds) 
  • Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz and 5GHz 
PROS
  • Enjoyable writing experience
  • Excellent display
  • Stylus is magnetic
  • Better design than its predecessor
  • Longer battery life than its predecessor
  • Useful cloud and cursive handwriting-to-text features
CONS
  • High price
  • Limited capabilities
  • Lacks backlight
  • Handwriting-to-text can't be edited
  • No color, apps, browser or video support
  • Latency lags behind iPad Pro

9. The best cheap Samsung tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

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Even though it is not Samsung’s newest tablet, it has a battery life of over 12 hours on a single charge, a sleek design, a bright screen, and excellent sound. This results in a tablet that is ideal for content consumption.  

In addition, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite’s thin bezels further distinguish it from other mid-range tablets, making it appear more like the iPad Pro than the iPad. In addition, the S-Pen stylus, which offers low-latency drawing, is included by default and snaps to the Tab S6 Lite’s top, making it less likely to be misplaced. 

The Tab S6 Lite’s performance will be less impressive when attempting to multitask. Still, it is a great Android tablet for a reasonable price. 

Specifications
  • CPU: Samsung Exynos 9610 
  • Camera Resolution: 8MP (rear), 5MP (front) 
  • Display: 10.4 inches, 2000 x 1200 pixels 
  • Storage: 64GB 
  • Memory: 4GB 
  • Ports: USB-C, headphone jack 
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.1 x 0.3 inches 
  • Weight: 1 pound 
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 
PROS
  • Useful S Pen
  • Excellent note-taking features
  • Good stereo speakers
  • Very good 10.4" screen
  • Headphone jack and USB-C
  • Plentiful UI customization options
  • Decent battery life
CONS
  • No fingerprint scanner
  • No Samsung DeX
  • Android apps not always optimized for tablet form factor

10. The best Amazon tablet under $60: Amazon Fire 7

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Amazon could have been complacent with the $50 Fire 7 tablet. Fortunately, the latest version of the company’s cheapest tablet features a speedy quad-core 1.3 GHz processor, allowing you to navigate apps and browse the web more quickly than you would expect from a tablet of this price. And whereas previous Fire tablets required a tap to activate Alexa — which made no sense, as the digital assistant is intended to be activated via voice — the Fire 7 finally added voice triggers for the digital assistant. 

Expect none of the extras that come with the more expensive tablets on this list. The Fire 7 tablet’s sub-HD display is not sharp enough for iPad users, and unless you pay extra, its lock screen is filled with advertisements. Nonetheless, it is an excellent option for children seeking a media consumption device. 

Specifications
  • CPU: Quad-Core 1.3 GHz processor 
  • Camera Resolution: 2MP (rear), 2MP (front) 
  • Display: 7 inches, 1024 x 600 pixels 
  • Storage: 16GB, 32GB 
  • Memory: 1GB 
  • Ports: headphone jack. microUSB, microSD, 
  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches 
  • Weight: 0.6 pounds (10.1 ounces) 
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n 
PROS
  • Affordable
  • Doubles as Alexa smart display
  • Battery life
  • USB-C
CONS
  • Performance needs patience
  • Display is just okay
  • Cameras aren’t all that impressive

How to choose the best tablet for you

Open your pocket and consider how dependent you are on your smartphone before considering the operating system in which you live. iPhone owners may jump directly to the iPad, and they would be correct to do so; iMessage integration and shared app ecosystems between iOS and iPadOS are a perfect match. 

Android users have more options, but since Android apps on tablets aren’t doing as well as hoped, now is an excellent time to consider your choices. Yes, the Galaxy Tab A7’s Android apps are helpful, but isn’t Windows 10 a more capable operating system? The Surface Go 2 is the best tablet for you if you are affirmatively nodding your head. 

In conclusion, if you have a large family and you all use the Amazon Prime ecosystem, choose the Fire 7 if you’re on a tight budget (or if you need a cheap tablet for the kids) and the Fire HD 10 if you want a bit more power and a better display. 

What to Look For The Best Cheap Tablets In 2022 

Screen Size 

What you plan to use the tablet for will determine the optimal screen size. Choose a tablet with a 7- or 8-inch screen if you’ll be using it primarily for reading and emailing, as it fits better in your hand and most closely resembles holding a paperback book. Smaller tablets are also helpful when you have only one free hand, such as when riding the subway or bus. 

But if you enjoy binge-watching movies or intend to use your tablet to view large documents, you should opt for a larger device. A 10-inch model, such as Amazon’s Fire HD 10, strikes the ideal balance between portability and size, with a large screen accommodating enough pixels. 

Processor 

All inexpensive tablets on the market today are quick enough for web browsing, checking email, and playing simple games. If multiple tabs open in your web browser, you may experience a small amount of sluggishness. 

Do not expect a low-priced tablet to be capable of multitasking with multiple programs open or running high-end games. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars more for a high-end tablet if you intend to use your tablet as your primary computer or for serious work, such as working with large spreadsheets or editing photos. Maintain reasonable expectations, and any inexpensive tablets on our list will suffice for essential functions. 

Memory 

The amount of memory is an essential feature to consider. Even the cheapest tablets come with 16GB of memory, which is adequate for web browsing and reading eBooks but barely sufficient for installing apps and watching movies. Consider a tablet with at least 32GB of memory if you plan to download numerous games or other applications. 

The cheapest tablets, such as Amazon’s Fire 7, lack a memory card slot that expands the storage. Slightly more expensive tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, can accommodate a microSD card with up to 1 terabyte of storage, allowing you to store all your movies, music, and software. 

FAQs

What to look for
  • Screen size. As with laptops, screen size on tablets is measured diagonally from corner to corner and usually expressed in inches. …
  • Screen resolution. …
  • Storage space. …
  • Online access. …
  • Hardware connections. …
  • Battery life. …
  • Processing speed (GHz)

One of the components that determines the speed of the tablet is the processor. A processor has multiple processor cores. The processor divides tasks over multiple cores. This means that a processor with more cores can perform tasks more efficiently.

The 9-9.5 inches tablets are the perfect size of an ideal tablet. Not only is it portable and lightweight, but it also features a large, clear display. The screen size is big enough to help you skim through eBooks and other documents without squinting your eyes.

RAM works with the other components of your tablet and is the part responsible for multitasking or running complex programs. You will want a minimum of 2GB of RAM in any tablet, as that will allow it to perform all essential work or school tasks.

Ideal Tablet Screen and Audio Specs To Look Out For In A Tablet In 2021
  1. Screen Size: 10-inch or higher display.
  2. Screen Resolution: Full HD or better resolution.
  3. Screen Type: OLED screen (if it fits in the budget)
  4. Screen Brightness: 400 nits or higher.
  5. Loudspeakers: Stereo speakers.

If you intend to use your device for watching movies, reading long texts, or browsing the net, then a tablet offers a better and more comfortable alternative. True, all the above can be done with a smartphone, but the smaller screen is harder on the eyes, and more tiring from a visual perspective.

Compared to competing tablets, the iPad is more stable, easier to use, and works more smoothly. In terms of overall user experience for a non-technical user, Apple’s iOS has a distinct advantage over Google’s Android OS. It’s a robust, user-friendly operating system with a simple UI.

Conclusion

If you decide that a Fire tablet is not for you, an Android tablet is the most comparable alternative. 

Android is an excellent operating system, but this implies that only some inexpensive Android tablets are ideal. Numerous no-name brands are available, but as with most technology, you can only purchase one based on its specifications. 

Not only does the operating system determine which apps are pre-installed, but also which apps can be downloaded and utilized. It is uncommon to find an app exclusive to the iPad and unavailable to Android users, but it does occur – particularly on the tablet front. 

iPadOS is arguably the most capable and user-friendly tablet operating system, although Apple’s hardware is more expensive. 

If you’re uncertain whether a tablet is suitable, read our laptop vs. tablet buyer’s guide and peruse our roundup of the best tablet stands. 

Why Trust Us?

Best Top Reviews Online was founded in 2018 to provide our readers with thorough, unbiased, and independent advice on what to buy. We now have millions of monthly users from all over the world and evaluate over 1,000 products per year.

The article above was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which includes many of the US’s most knowledgeable technical experts. Our team includes well-known writers with extensive experience in mobile phones, computing, technology, photography, and other fields.

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