Best cheap Android tablets (January 2016)

by: Team AAJanuary 19, 2016
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While high-end devices are generally the stars of the Android world, there is a growing emphasis on quality on a budget, and that’s very visible in the tablet arena.

From companies that are willing to sacrifice profits for the sake of market share, to established players looking to improve their game in the mid-range, several companies have brought to market affordable Android tablets that are actually worth buying. Unfortunately, for every great cheap Android tablet, there are tons of poorly made, clunky, and underpowered slates out there, which can make buying tablets on a budget a pain. We’re here to help.

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If you’re looking for a good budget-friendly gift for a loved one, or just want to treat yourself, check out our list of best affordable Android tablets. Let’s get started!

Pixel C-34Don't miss: Best Android tablets (January 2016)230
Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.
Update, January 2016: This month we saw the NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1 take the top spot, followed closely by 2013’s Nexus 7. We’ve also removed the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Dell Venue 8 from the list.

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1

Did you love the original NVIDIA Shield Tablet? Well, you’ll probably feel just the same about the Shield Tablet K1, its direct successor. The specifications and design are pretty much the same with both tablets, aside from the addition of a rubberized surface next to the speakers and brushed metal lettering on the back of the K1.

NVIDIA also removed the stylus holder on the K1, which brings us to our next point – the stylus is gone! So are the charging cable and wall adaptor. The big news here is that NVIDIA is trying to cut costs, and they did just that by not including a stylus or charger. With that said, this tablet is now only $200, which makes it not only one of the best Android tablets out there, but also one of the most affordable.

Specs

  • 8.0-inch LCD display with 1920 x 1200 resolution, 283ppi
  • 2.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD card expansion available
  • 5MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 19.75WHr battery
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 221 x 126 x 9.2mm, 390g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Nexus 7 (2013)

Despite being more than two years old, the Nexus 7 (2013) is still one of the best budget tablets you can buy.

Perhaps the biggest draw to buying a Nexus tablet is that it will, at least for a few years, will receive the latest versions of Android as Google releases them. Currently, the 2013 Nexus 7 is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which actually runs very well. Thanks to the tablet’s 2GB of RAM and Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, navigating around the device’s interface is still a breeze. There are a few signs of age when playing more graphic-intensive games, but all in all, this tablet can handle most everyday tasks that are thrown at it.

It’s compact, light, and running the latest version of Android. What more could you want out of a budget tablet?! Nowadays you can find this device for around $100, though the current rate on Amazon is hovering just around $140.

Specs

  • 7.0-inch LCD IPS display with 1920 x 1200 resolution, 323ppi
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 5MP rear camera, 1.2MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3950mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 200 x 114 x 8.7mm, 290g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

ASUS ZenPad S 8.0

While Asus refreshed their affordable MeMo Pad Android tablet line earlier this year, they have more recently launched an even newer and more powerful tablet in this price range. In this new ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 you’ll find an 8-inch IPS LCD screen with a quad-core Intel Atom Z3560 processor running at 1.8 GHz with 2GB of RAM. There are actually a few different versions of this tablet floating around, we’ll link below to one that has a slightly slower processor but 32GB of internal storage for the same $199 price.

Specs

  • 8.0-inch IPS LCD display with 2048 x 1536 resolution, 320 ppi
  • 1.8GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3560 or Z3580 processor
  • 2/4GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 15.2WHr battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 203.2 x 134.5 x 6.6mm, 298g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

LG G Pad 2 8.0 (LGV498)

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The LG G Pad 2 8.0 is a great option if you’re looking to save a bit more money. It has a big 8.0-inch display, a Snapdragon processor and enough on-board storage for all of your photos and games. It also has a decently-sized battery that should be big enough to last multiple hours on a single charge. And as an added bonus, this tablet also comes with a stylus and a full size USB port, which is definitely a nice touch.

This isn’t the most capable tablet on the market, but you certainly could do worse for this low price point. Nowadays you can find it on Amazon for just around $150.

Specs

  • 8.0-inch IPS LCD display with 1280 x 800 resolution, 189 ppi
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4200mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 210.8 x 124.2 x 9mm, 347g
Buy now from Amazon

Acer Iconia Tab 8

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The Acer Iconia Tab 8 is another great option for those looking for a low-cost tablet that offers solid specifications and performance. The device also comes with a premium design and build quality that goes beyond what its price point suggests, a high resolution display, and dual rear speakers that allow for a good audio experience, along with a large battery and the promise of an impressive battery life.

It’s a good option on the hardware front, but buyers should be aware that this tablet likely won’t ever see an update to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Specs

  • 8-inch IPS LCD display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, 283 ppi
  • 1.86GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3745 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB storage, microSD expansion up to 32GB
  • 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4600mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 215 x 130 x 8.5mm, 360g
Buy now from Amazon

Amazon Fire line

Amazon-Fire-HD-10-AA-(17-of-19)

Following in the footsteps of the previous Kindle Fire HDX tablets, Amazon has launched not one, but 5 new tablets in recent months. While this sounds like a lot, rest assured, these are all just updates to previous models. And to be fair, two of them are pretty much the same device. What stands out in this new line is the prices, setting a precedent that we’ll talk about later.

The main tablet we’ll be focusing on here is the Fire 7, which comes with a 7.0-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 600 x 1024, a quad-core processor, expandable storage and a battery that allows up to 7 hours of use on a single charge. There’s only 8GB of on-board storage and the display might seem a little fuzzy, but the minimal approach to Amazon’s Fire OS 5 promises smooth performance out of the device. The best part of this deal is the price, by far. You can pick one of these tablets up for just $50, brand new, straight from Amazon. The company is also selling them in 6-packs for $250.

Related: Best tablet for kids (tabtimes.com)

From there, you can find the Fire HD 6, Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10, all of which sport slightly better specs than the Fire 7, with optional larger internal storage capacities and features, priced at $100, $150 and $200 respectively.

Specs

  • 7-inch IPS LCD display with 1024 x 600 resolution, 171 ppi
  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion
  • 2 MP rear camera, VGA front camera
  • Up to 7 hours of battery life
  • 191 x 115 x 10.6mm, 313g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Lenovo Tab 2 A10

The Lenovo Tab 2 A10 has a lot going for it when compared to the rest of the devices on this list. Not only is it the tablet with the largest screen on our list, it’s also the first tablet to feature Dolby ATMOS 3D Cinema audio enhancements, which aims to make your audio experience much clearer while taking advantage of the beautiful, large Full HD display.

Performance is impressively smooth, and while mobile photography isn’t a key feature when it comes to tablets, this device does offer a solid camera experience. If you’re looking for a large-screen tablet experience on a budget, look no further than the Lenovo Tab 2 A10.

Specs

  • 10.1-inch IPS LCD display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, 218 ppi
  • 1.7GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8165 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 64GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 7000mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 247 x 171 x 8.9mm, 509g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Bonus tablet: Xiaomi Mi Pad

Xiaomi Mi Pad (4)

Fully admitting that the Xiaomi Mi Pad is not available in all parts of the world, that it runs a highly skinned version of Android that purists won’t care for, and it’s successor, the Mi Pad 2 is already out, we still think it is a great device to consider. Before the new NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1 launched, the original Mi Pad was basically the only sub-$200 tablet on the market with the NVIDI Tegra K1 processor, 2GB of RAM and a beyond FHD display.

To be specific, the Xiaomi Mi Pad comes with a 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536 resolution IPS display with a pixel density of 326ppi. The Tegra K1 is clocked at 2.2GHz, there is 16GB or 64GB internal storage options available, with microSD expansion for cards up to 128GB. After the Mi Pad 2 launched, the original Mi Pad dropped in price. You can now find it most places for around $200.

Specs

  • 7.9-inch IPS LCD display with 2048 x 1536 resolution, 326 ppi
  • 2.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • 202.1 x 135.4 x 8.5mm, 360g
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Non-removable 6700mAh battery
Buy now from ebay

There you have it – our picks from the best affordable tablets Android has to offer right now. Missed anything? Tell us in the comments!

For more tablet information, head on over to the TabTimes blog for more tablet news, reviews and information.

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (1)Next: Best cheap Android phones (January 2016)328
  • NvidiaJim

    Tegra Note ftw

  • Hamza

    Where’s the Venue 8?

    • James Ickes

      I agree. Well my wife has the 7 and it’s a snappy little thing

      • Hamza

        My brother has a Venue 8 and it just flies like Nexus 7…2 gig dual core intel atom is fair enough and 2gb ram that is just a superb tablet..although it has a low ppi but $150 makes it an exceptional case

    • Praetor918

      Why do you think the title of this webpage is
      “Best Android tablets under $199”?

  • Minhnghia Bui

    Best cheap Android tablet: Nexus 7 2013.

    Best cheap Android phone: Nexus 5

    There are frist devices of all device eat Android 5.0 Lollipop.

    I love Google Nexus 7 & 5!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://haroldmansfield.com Harold Mansfield

      Yep. Nexus 7, best little tablet on the market.

      • mpflinn

        Too bad mine has become unusable after 5.0 and update.

        • Hugo Nobre

          its not true mine is super fast and smooth with the 5.0 update

          • http://tracker1.info/ Tracker1

            The 2012 model seems to have had more issues than the 2013 model.. so it may well depend… my 2013 was slightly slower with Android 5.. but my Nexus 4 is what really started misbehaving after the update.

    • Anthony Gonzalez

      oneplus one > nexus 5

    • Ryan S.

      Yes, I own the nexus 7 2013 and I don’t see why any of these are even in the same category. My tablet is pretty old now, but still I have yet to see a reason for a new one! It does anything I need it and more!

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  • derekisthematrix

    How about something in the 10″ category? (side note: I have a Matricom G-Tab Quantum w/1.5 Ghz quad core A31 Allwinner chip that REALLY lags bad so I’d stay away from off brand cpus if possible)

    • Tandem0

      Lenovo Tab 2 A10 is in the list and it has 10-inch Full HD display.

  • mistermastermind

    they should’ve kept selling the nexus 7…or make a new version, a nexus 7 that has 7.7 inch screen (yeah, still seven) and an nvidia tegra k1 processor. the nexus 7 is pretty much a brand on its own since it has two versions already.

    • mpflinn

      And ruined with 5.0 and delayed, ineffective update for many of us with Nexus 7.

      • Modman

        Read up on wugs wipe and install marshmallow image

  • igy

    don’t look devices under 1.5 gb ram. there are too many applications that it ram.

  • Vinay Mallik

    I hate tablets which have low ppi.

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  • Louis
  • Ozome

    I love the Lenovo Ideatab for its low price and decent looks.

    Might get a Lenovo next Xmas.

  • ThunderCrackR

    Nexus 7 FTW!

  • hoggleboggle

    You left out the fabulous Hudl 2 for the UK market. Full HD display for £129 ($166 once you deduct VAT)

  • Ricardo A. Fragoso

    N7 all the way… ;D

  • Eduardo Laguna

    I have the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 and it is a piece of crap, DO NOT BUY

    • ShinX

      obviously since it is a samsung product they always fk up really badly in one aspect like software and price to performance.

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    Isn’t it amazing that you can pick up a 72 GPU tablet, for US $152, or a FHD tablet for $200 US, go android, go hardware manufacturers, waiting for my 32 GB Nexus 9, $487 US, if you want a real bargain, look for a Nexus 10 QHD second hand, mine cost $300 AUD retail new.

    • Shiloh Trigg

      bought my nexus 10 for $195 NEW at walmart. they were doing a 25% off deal on several no longer manufactured devices.

      • stucrmnx120fshwf

        Yup got mine for $300 AUD, 9 months ago in Dick Smiths, AUD is less than the US dollar and it was 9 months ago. Sold it for $335 AUD, 32 GB Nexus 9, was $570, so with costs upgrade to 32 GB N9 only cost $270 AUD. Or about $215 US, nay, nay, na nay, nay, I beat you, fabulous piece of kit the Nexus 10 though, that’s why I got more than I bought it for. Enjoy Lollipop 5.0.1, you might have to do a factory reset, to get it to work well. Again in all seriousness, nay, nay, na nay, nay !!! Booya !!

        • Shiloh Trigg

          I don’t want a nexus 9. I may still get a nexus 5, but beyond that I think I’m done with nexus devices.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            Yeh the price performance, of the current generation of Nexus devices, aren’t as good as last time. The N5 was a huge advance on the N4, at the same release prices, the first and second generation N7’s, were great value. I was hooked in by the 64 bit, 192 graphics processors, but N6 is only 32 bit, not as big a pixel leap, as N4 to N5, but it’s much more expensive. And yikes, a hundred AUD more for 16 extra gig of flash, on the N9, when 32 extra gig on the N6, only costs $50 AUD more, 4 times as much, what a rip off.

          • stucrmnx120fshwf

            P.S., One Plus One is half the price of the N6, with similar specs.

  • Naimul Niloy

    where is memo pad 7 (me176c/x)?

  • Eddy

    If you are concerned about getting a great tablet deal for the coming holiday, then don’t worry about the price because we have Black Friday Tablet deals here. If you were not satisfied with the deals available in last Black Friday, you could expect more fantastic ones on this occasion.

  • Megha Agarwal
  • Pedro FPS

    Great list, but as a Galaxy Note aficionado, I’m missing this great tablets the note 10 2014 and the note pro…
    What I’m REALY missing is a new note 8ish 2014…

  • Jack

    Hudl 2 from Tesco in the UK is better than all of these!

  • Guest

    ur missing all the cheap chinese tablets here

    such as this chinese cube talk-9x 9.7 inch octa core tablet with retina display, 3g and call function, and 10000 mah battery

    http://www.cube-tablet.com/cube-talk-9x-tablet-phone-octa-core-9-7-inch-retina-2048-x-1536-3g-gps-bluetooth-fm-2gb.html

  • omgwtfbbqhax1

    You are missing bunch of cheap chinese tablets that are under $200 but has specs comparable to top end tablets. For example:
    http://www.cube-tablet.com/cube-talk-9x-tablet-phone-octa-core-9-7-inch-retina-2048-x-1536-3g-gps-bluetooth-fm-2gb.html

    For $189, you get
    octacore processor
    2048*1536 resolution retina IPS display
    2gb ram
    3G and call function
    GPS
    10000 mAH battery

    • Lars Andersson

      Lenovo is a Chnese manufacturer, the company is headquartered in the USA, if I am not misstaken they own Motorola now. Lenovo has competetive offerings, but I agree with you there are som exceptional good offerings from Chinese manufacturers. One needs to be carefull with Android updates and quality, not always easy when buying over the Internet. l like Xiaomi’s productline, seems to be a great company with great products, there new smartphone offerings, Xiaomi Redmi Not 2 offering USD 160 to 200 have great specs and colours and Xiaomi have a policy to keep updating the software on there products for five years. And there are more good companies, Smartisan has new offerings and there CEO behave like Steven Jobs.

  • david

    where is Asus Fonepad 7 FE170CG ???

  • david

    where is Asus Fonepad 7 FE170CG

  • Bugge

    We dont want 7 inch tablets when we got 5,5″ phones. Where are the 10″ tablets??

  • tablet lover

    I loved my fNexus 7 (2013) that I got for a gift about a week ago, but something is wrong with the google play app (I think that’s the cause) that refuses to accept any open wifi signal even if it’s “excellent” signal strength –the icon says it’s connected, but it lets you know it’s refusing the connection because you’ll see the signal strength bars on the app indicator are all ORANGE. I’ve looked all over the net and found LOTS of people with the same problem, but so far no one with a working solution. So I gave up on it, and returned it–and went home and sulked because I really liked the machine itself.

  • Roobla.com/Tech

    I love my G Pad so much. No matter what I’m doing on it, even if I’m going hard on it all day long, I still don’t have a dead battery. It maybe goes down ten percent every two hours or so???…

  • LeetLawrence

    Everything on here except the Nexus 7 has a screen as good as those in 2011… 1280×800 on tablets just isn’t right anymore. I’d buy the Nexus 7 now if it was $100 though.

    • Tandem0

      Did you really read the article? Most of them in the list has Full HD display and one of them has QHD.

      • LeetLawrence

        Like? I can’t access the article, I’m getting a 401 error.

  • Brian

    Can anyone help me? I’m thinking of getting either tab 4 7.0 or the tegra note 7, Which is better and if you know something better with 7 inch screen quad core with cellular service please tell me.

  • disqusaccount1981

    Seriously, I load up your page and have like three videos autoplay. Good reviews, but seriously crappy post. Who autoplays videos anymore. What is this, MySpace?

  • ScrewLouie

    Fire HDX tablet. I caught it on sale 64GB w/ LTE for 159. Can sideload apps so don’t bring that argument. Also, the screen is fuckin awesome and being a prime member getting the perks on a device that doesn’t actually suck is also a plus.

  • Jawad Ahmed

    What a website, i opened this page and about 4 or 5 videos are playing simultanously. Going off and never coming back androidauthority

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  • Saravanan

    Damn autoplay, all videos auto playing. No one like auto play videos. Please stop doing it.

  • Megatron

    nexus 7 it is

  • titiryu

    Mi pad u forgot that

  • Njaan

    where is xiaomi mi pad?

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  • peggysue

    Beware the Amazon Fire tablets. If the brand new tablet is defective they will replace it with a refurbished model. This not stated in the return procedure but only written in the fine print on the box. Customer support is hopeless.

  • Lars Andersson

    I recently bought the Lenovo A10-70F with 32GB ROM and uppgraded it to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. It was on sale for only USD150 here in Sweden for a few days only. It is a great Tablet and I use it for all my surfing. My old smartphone, Sony Xperia Lti26, is mainly functioning as a Wi-Fi wireless modem and for taking phone calls at home and on the go. I love the tablet, it works so well, fast and easy with a great screen and extra SD card slot. The best buy I can think of, only USD 150 in Sweden, USD 220 at Amazon today, for this quality Tablet. Lenovo is an underated manufacturer with many good products, laptops, smartphones and tablets. I will always check there offerings from now on before buying anything. The software update for Androids work well. I also use Smart Launcher on all my devices from now on, another great product for Android phones and tablets. I can recomend this product with all my heart. Great buy.

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  • Gangsta101

    Nexus 7 (2013) still king in Nov 2015! Damn I guess Google made a huge mistake. No wonder they haven’t released another one since then. It’s so future proof, it could still be top of this list this time next year (you can be sure it won’t get Nexus N, just to hasten its death 😭😭😭😭)

  • TJ

    I like the Asus and Lenovo but the cheap mediatek and intel processor’s are making me choose the Samsung. I already have the N7, best tablet I’ve ever used.

  • Casey Robertson

    You realize those pictures are of the Tab S right? I owned a Tab Pro, I know what it looks like.

  • Parnell

    Who buys a 7″ tablet when they have 5.5″ phone? It’s strange that the tablets seem to get smaller while the phones are getting larger…
    One inportant feature of a tablet is an HDMI port or similar. My old one had a mini HDMI but the new one I bought doesn’t, which means I must use Chromecas for getting the contents on the TV. Since Chromecast is not supported in the majority of apps, this is a bummer.

  • Shlomo Levi

    i have a friend that have 7 kids 2 of them disabled,+ one going through multiply surgery, wife after chemotherapy. so i look on CL and buy as gift for them LG G PAD 7 LTE (att) unlocked with case for $50 new, it’s average price on CL. i make setup and some day try to use. so i decide that for me if my tablet die i do not need more than this device

  • Steve

    Clicked on literally of the buy from amazon links, and all of them are stated to be way below the price they are on amazon. Seriously?

  • Siddharth Bhadwaj

    Thank you for including Mi Pad, I’ve been using is for a year and I think its absolutely the best, the screen is mind blowingly amazing especially for the price and the processing package is great too.

  • asdf

    “Best cheap android tablets”
    Are you guys insane? Only one of these is under $100. There are dozens of tablets for under $50. $200 is not cheap!

  • Maria Montesano

    I have a Google Nexus 7 from 2012 and is been an absolute NIGHTMARE! Within 6 months it was running slowly and acting up. I had to send it to the manufacturer to fix it. It was slightly better afterward but still wasn’t great. After the Android update to 5.0 it is basically unusable! It constantly freezes, the screen goes blank and flickers. Its awful! I don’t think I could buy another one after this experience. Didn’t other people have trouble with theirs – esp after the latest update?

  • HiroRoshi

    The $50 Fire tablet pretty good with full Android installed.

  • HotelQuebec

    I spent a little more and got something I was really happy with the 8″ Galaxy Tab S2.

  • cilldara

    The Teclast X98 Air III is a really good cheap tablet. I’d highly recommend it.

  • arbocorp

    Why are there no any Android tablets with 128gb internal storage or larger? I believe I SHOULD decide if I want to use the cloud and not have me passively aggressively forced into it? Oh, and as “mature” as Android is, why hasn’t Google fixed app orientation for tablet? I will not return to Apple, but might have to start looking at Microsoft for tablets?

    • http://www.androidauthority.com/author/jonathan-feist/ Jonathan Feist

      These are things we all wonder (and complain) about. Certainly, our list of best ‘cheap’ tablets won’t see a resolution to these requests. A little inside info, however, I chat with Samsung’s Foundry business at CES, they have some working 256GB modules in hand, so at least Samsung should be pumping out 128GB and higher later this year. Just don’t hold out to see a 256GB tablet on our cheap list. Maybe on the overall best Android tablet list though.

      As for orientation, check out Remix OS by Jide. It’s Android, but it’s made for productivity like Windows offers. I am very impressed with it. That said, sorry, I know that wasn’t really what you wanted, but I promise once that perfect tablet and OS comes around, we’ll be here to talk about it.