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The best cheap tablets of 2021

Here are the best cheap tablets you can buy, regardless of OS!
November 5, 2021
Apple iPad 2021 rear panel angled in carpet
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Smartphones may be larger than ever, but they still can’t hold a candle to tablets when it comes to media streaming on any operating system. On the bright side, you won’t have to splash too much cash to get a solid tablet in 2021. Here are some of the best cheap tablets you can get right now!

See also: The best cheap Android tablets of 2021

Buying the right cheap tablet for your needs

Choosing your next cheap tablet isn’t difficult as long as you keep a few things in mind. Price comes above all else, as these are affordable options, after all. We’ve done our best to limit this list to $300, though you can find some possibilities for closer to $100. Remember, the more you spend, the better features you’ll have access to.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on your screen size and resolution. If you’re hoping to binge-watch the day away, a larger high-resolution screen is a must-have — though it will cost you a bit more money. As you inch towards a larger screen, you may have a tougher time toting it around with you, too.

We’re committed to cheap options on this list, so you can’t expect top-notch power. These tablets will treat you well through everyday tasks like browsing and streaming, but you may want to turn to the best Android tablets list if you need a little more punch.

Best overall: Apple iPad (2021)

Apple iPad 2021 rear panel off center
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
aa2020 the best



The Apple iPad barely qualifies for our cheap tablet list, but it’s packed with some of the best features around. This lightly updated 2021 version of the classic tablet pairs impressive battery life with a crisp display to excellent results.

The Apple iPad moved to the A13 Bionic processor, backed by 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage if you want to stay within budget. You can kick that up to 256GB, which will last you a lot longer, but it will cost you dearly. Eric Zeman was more than pleased with Apple’s latest refresh in his Android Authority review, deciding that the light update still keeps it ahead of the rest.

Its seamless integration, excellent display, and solid battery life more than balance out the Apple iPad's dated design.

Even though Apple is somewhat secretive with its iPad batteries, the cheap tablet is still rated for 10 hours, and Eric managed to achieve as much in his testing. Unfortunately, the tablet is the last to rely on a Lightning cable, and there’s no real fast charging to speak of. You’ll also have to work around the hefty top and bottom bezels, though the bottom one does house the Touch ID Home button.

The Apple iPad starts at $329.99, but you can easily hike that price up. You won’t get an Apple Pencil or a Magic Keyboard, but those aren’t strictly necessary. If you’re hoping for a well-rounded tablet experience, the iPad has it in spades.

2021 Apple iPad 1
Apple iPad (2021)
The new most-basic iPad gets some new processing power.
The vanilla iPad got a 2021 refresh with a new A13 Bionic chipset and a new price.


  • Improved camera
  • Solid battery life
  • Touch ID


  • Dated design
  • Limited storage at $329
  • Mono speakers

Check out our full review to learn more about the Apple iPad (2021).

Other products worth considering

Looking for other recommendations? While the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is our top recommendation, keep reading below for additional choices worth considering.

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: This Samsung tablet is your best overall Android option. It packs the best performance with a solid display and long battery life.
  • Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD: If you’ve considered a smart display, look no further. Lenovo’s cheap tablet includes a display dock that essentially transforms it into a Nest Hub.
  • Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus: The Fire HD 8 Plus is the best iteration of Fire OS to date. It offers enough RAM and decent performance at an approachable price point.
  • Amazon Fire HD 8: Amazon’s other 8-inch tablet is our most affordable pick. It packs many of the same specs as above, just with less RAM and no wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: The best cheap Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 from afar
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A7 is our most expensive Android pick for this list, but it’s also the best one. This entry into the Tab A series blends a premium-feeling design with capable performance and a nice display.

The Tab A7 relies on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor and 3GB of RAM with 32 or 64GB of storage. You won’t see it come first across the line in any speed tests, but it can hold its own. The cheap tablet impressed us with its 7,040mAh battery, lasting for more than 10 hours of video playback. We’ve long lauded Samsung for its impressive displays, and the Tab A7 delivers once again. It measures 10.4-inches across with a 2000 x 1200 resolution that is crisp, colorful, and bright.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 starts at $229.99, and it’s more than worth the money. It’s no gaming machine; you’ll have to boost both the RAM and processor if you have dreams of Fortnite. Otherwise, the Galaxy Tab A7 is going to deliver on your needs.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
$229.99 at Amazon


  • Durable construction
  • Crisp display
  • Excellent battery life


  • On the heavy side
  • Software is lagging behind a bit
  • Lack of kids mode

Check out our full review to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7.

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD: A tablet and a smart display

cheap lenovo Smart Tab M10 tablet
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Lenovo’s Smart Tab M10 HD is a textbook example of a cheap tablet as far as specs are concerned. It keeps moving thanks to a MediaTek Helio P22T processor backed by up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. If you want to save some green, you can try 2GB and 32GB on for size. The Smart Tab M10 HD won’t blow you away with its speakers or battery life, but the 10.1-inch display is just the right size for long streaming sessions. It’s not a surprise, but this cheap tablet won’t be your go-to for gaming, either.

If you’ve been thinking about a smart display for your home, that’s all the more reason to turn to the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD. Thanks to the included charging dock, it doubles as a Google Assistant-powered display, essentially transforming into a Nest Hub. The display feature works remarkably well, and it can even become your kids’ new favorite gadget, thanks to Google Kids Space.

The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD with the charging dock will set you back $129.99 at Walmart. This is one cheap tablet where you may want to consider another configuration, though. You can pick up versions directly from Lenovo with more RAM or more storage for not much extra dough. However, we’d recommend the option with the charging dock.

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD
$259.99 at Lenovo


  • Expandable storage slot
  • Comes with a charging dock
  • Google Kids Space
  • Doubles as a smart hub


  • Battery life is lacking
  • Speakers are on the week side
  • Not for gamers
  • Haptics could be improved

Check out our full review to learn more about the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus: The non-iPad casual tablet

Amazon Fire 8 HD Plus rear panel with blue
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Amazon has figured out the cheap tablet segment with its line of Fire tablets, and none is better than the Fire HD 8 Plus. Sure, the name is a mouthful, but it tells you everything you need to know. You’re looking at an 8-inch display, a crisp HD resolution, and Amazon’s Fire OS. The tablet is made of plastic, which underwhelms, but it’s great to have the power of Amazon Alexa at your fingertips. The tablet is even better if you have Amazon Prime, as it brings Prime Video, Audible, and more into the picture.

Amazon packed decent speakers into its Fire HD 8 Plus, but we’re more excited by expandable storage and the impressive battery life. Of course, performance could use a boost, and the display isn’t the best on the list despite its HD resolution. The Fire HD 8 Plus hides a MediaTek MT8168 under the hood, as well as just 3GB of RAM.

However, where you can’t top the Fire HD 8 Plus is on price — it will run you just $109.99, taking some sting out of the shortcomings. You can double your storage for another $30 or knock out ads for the same increase. In our opinion, ditching the ads but staying at 32GB of storage is the best option. After all, the storage is expandable, so you can always get a microSD card.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2021)
$109.99 at Amazon


  • Alexa at your fingertips
  • Value for the cost
  • Solid battery life
  • Decent stereo speakers
  • Headphone jack


  • Underwhelming screen despite the HD
  • MT8168 comes up short
  • Low-res cameras
  • Slow to pick up a charge

Check out our full review to learn more about the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus.

Amazon Fire HD 8: The kindest on your wallet

Cheap Fire 8 HD tablet

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is basically the same tablet we discussed above, just minus a few things. Namely, 2GB of RAM instead of 3GB and wireless charging is out the window. Amazon tapped the same MediaTek MT8168 processor and the same 8-inch HD display, but at least it kept the stereo speakers, too.

This isn’t a premium tablet by any means, but it’s a good pick if you’re already ingrained in FireOS. Provided you shop on Amazon, binge with Prime Video, rock out on Amazon Music, and like to read e-books, you’ll feel right at home on the Fire HD 8. Sure, you could use the same apps on other tablets, but this is all about the FireOS platform.

Now, the price — Amazon’s entry-level machine kicks off at $89.99 for the 32GB version with ads. To ditch the ads, you’ll have to chip in an additional $15, but it’s definitely worth the surcharge. It may not be the best, but the Amazon Fire HD 8 is easily the cheapest pick among the best cheap tablets to buy.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)
$89.99 at Amazon


  • Lowest price around
  • Great Amazon apps
  • Similar specs to Amazon Fire 8 HD Plus
  • Headphone jack


  • Charging takes a while
  • Display isn’t the best
  • MT8168 is underpowered

Check out our full review to learn more about the Amazon Fire HD 8.