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, 283ppi
- 2.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
- 5MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
- Non-removable 19.75WHr battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- 221 x 126 x 9.2mm, 390g
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 $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.
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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
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8.0-inch
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8-inch checks a lot of the right boxes many folks are looking for. It has a great design and build quality, exceptional battery life, a near-stock Android software experience, and to top it all off, a very affordable price tag. It does stumble a bit when it comes to the lower resolution display and less capable processor, but for most tasks it will be just fine.
One of the most unique features of this device is its built-in kickstand. It’s extremely convenient for watching movies or YouTube videos. While it does make the whole tablet a bit wonky to hold at times, it’s still a very useful feature we wish more manufacturers would bring to their tablets.
- 8.0-inch IPS LCD display with 800 x 1280 resolution, 189 ppi
- Quad-core 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 processor
- 1 GB of RAM
- 16 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
- 8 MP rotating camera
- Non-removable 6200 mAh battery
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- 209.8 x 145.8 x 7 mm, 467 g
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.