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!
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.
- 8.0-inch LCD display with 1920 x 1200 resolution, 283 ppi
- 2.2 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor
- 2 GB of RAM
- 16 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
- 5 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
- Non-removable 19.75 WHr battery
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- 221 x 126 x 9.2 mm, 390 g
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 2 GB 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 32 GB of internal storage for the same $179 price.
- 8.0-inch IPS LCD display with 2048 x 1536 resolution, 320 ppi
- 1.8 GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3560 or Z3580 processor
- 2/4 GB of RAM
- 16/32/64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
- 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
- Non-removable 15.2 WHr battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- 203.2 x 134.5 x 6.6 mm, 298 g
Amazon Fire line
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 are 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.
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.
- 7.0-inch IPS LCD display with 1024 x 600 resolution, 171 ppi
- 1.2 GHz quad-core processor
- 1 GB of RAM
- 8 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion
- 2 MP rear camera, VGA front camera
- Up to 7 hours of battery life
- 191 x 115 x 10.6 mm, 313 g
- Amazon Fire HD 10 hands-on and first impressions
- Six-pack of tablets and the iPad Pro: the tablet market is polarizing
There you have it – our picks from the best affordable tablets Android has to offer right now. Missed anything? Tell us in the comments!