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What's the best cheap Android tablet? Here are our top 8

Get a larger screen for less money!
By

Published onApril 21, 2024

Samsung Galaxy Tab A9 Plus
MSRP: $219.99
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Positives
Larger, smoother display
Excellent, sturdy design
Lower base price
Cellular model option with 5G
Improved update commitment
Negatives
No S Pen
Slow 15W charging
Weak front and rear cameras
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE
MSRP: $449.00
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Positives
Excellent build quality with IP68 rating
Generous software support policy
Loud, clear speakers
Included S Pen
Negatives
Processor slightly underpowered
Light on RAM
Expensive accessories
Amazon Fire Max 11
MSRP: $229.99
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Positives
Affordable 11-inch tablet
Connected to Amazon's ecosystem
Solid battery life
Negatives
Ads on lockscreen
Adequate, but underwhelming specs
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023)
MSRP: $139.99
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Positives
Great price
Nice 10.1-inch 1080 screen
Nice design for the price
Negatives
Performance is good, but not great
Some people don't like Fire OS
Lenovo Tab P12 (2023)
MSRP: $349.99
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Positives
Large 12.7-inch 3K display
Four JBL speakers, Dolby Atmos-tuned
Affordable
Comes with a stylus
Negatives
Performance is good, but not great
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022)
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Positives
Very affordable
Portable size
Wireless charging
Negatives
Basic specs
Cheap construction
Only HD screen
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
MSRP: $159.99
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Positives
Very affordable
Available with LTE
Three years of OS updates
Aluminum metal build
Expandable storage
Negatives
Lackluster performance
Speakers tinny at high volume
Poor cameras
No gyroscope
Unremarkable display
2022 Amazon Fire 7
MSRP: $59.99
Check price
Positives
Small, travel-ready design
Still has a headphone jack
Expandable storage up to 1TB
Negatives
Very slow charging
Underwhelming display
Weak cameras

Smartphone displays keep getting bigger and better, but a tablet is still the best way to enjoy a large screen. Shows, games, and e-books make the most of the extra real estate. You don’t have to spend anywhere near a thousand dollars to get a great tablet. There are plenty of good, budget-friendly options, and we’ve tried almost all of them. Here are the best cheap Android tablets you can buy right now.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab A9 Plus is the best cheap Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A9 PlusSamsung Galaxy Tab A9 Plus
AA Editor's Choice
Samsung Galaxy Tab A9 Plus
Larger, smoother display • Excellent, sturdy design • Lower base price
MSRP: $219.99
Samsung's entry-level tablet is the best it's ever been.
Samsung's budget-friendly Galaxy Tab A series gets even better with an upgraded processor, smooth 90Hz display, and a new, lower price.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 was the king of this list of the best cheap Android tablets since its launch in late 2021. Now, there’s a successor, and we think it’s definitely the best budget tablet. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A9 Plus takes a successful equation and improves upon it with a set of incremental upgrades.

The $220 starting price is as friendly as they get in the world of mid-end Android tablets. Especially considering all the value you get here. The screen size has been increased to 11 inches, and the refresh rate is upgraded to 90Hz. You will also get a nice resolution of 1,200 x 1,920 pixels.

Inside, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor and 4-8GB of RAM. This won’t win any awards, but will offer a nice general experience for casual users. Storage is also a bit modest at 64-128GB. These specs are not as power-hungry, so the 7.040mAh battery should last quite a bit. In fact, we made it last a whole weekend over a skiing trip during our Samsung Galaxy Tab A9 Plus review.

There’s even a 5G version if you want to go completely mobile and get a data plan for it! We had very few things to complain about, but the tablet does come with some downsides. Charging is pretty slow at 15W. It took us four hours to go from empty to full during our tests. Additionally, the cameras are pretty bad and there is no S Pen support.

What makes it stand out:

  • Wide aspect ratio: Samsung’s selection of a 16:10 panel means that modern widescreen movies and shows fill the 11-inch display almost perfectly with minimal bezels.
  • Four speakers: The stereo setup with four speakers is impressive for a budget device.
  • Solid construction: Many budget-friendly Android options choose cheap materials, but the Galaxy Tab A9 Plus feels very good for its price point.

The best of the rest: Seven other cheap Android tablets worthy of your consideration

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 might be the best cheap Android tablet right now, but it’s not your only option. Here are a few others that we recommend:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab s9 FE is the best high-end tablet that is still relatively affordable.
  • Amazon Fire Max 11 is the biggest, baddest, largest Amazon Fire tablet around. It is also the most expensive, but it has a low enough price to be considered affordable.
  • Amazon Fire HD 10 combines a large, sharp display with a great base RAM in the Fire tablet family. It’s second only to the Fire Max 11, and it is also the cheapest 10-inch Android tablet we recommend.
  • Lenovo Tab P12 is a good option for media consumers who want a larger 12.7-inch screen. It also has a 3K display and JBL speakers that are Dolby Atmos-tuned.
  • Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is our pick for a good travel tablet. It has a large enough display to watch movies and shows, but it’s small enough to fit in a backpack or purse easily.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is an excellent tablet for kids. The price is low enough that you won’t worry too much about it, and Samsung’s Kids Mode offers peace of mind when you’re not looking.
  • Amazon Fire 7 is the most affordable tablet we recommend at just $60. It’s the closest you’ll find to a small Android tablet, and it’s a good Kindle alternative.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab s9 FE is the best high-end tablet at a relatively low price

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FESamsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE
Excellent build quality with IP68 rating • Generous software support policy • Included S Pen
MSRP: $449.00
Essential features in a 10-inch Android tablet
Available in Wi-Fi or 5G variants, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE is an affordable take on the powerful Tab S9 line. An Exynos chipset powers a WUXGA+ 10.9-inch display, which is backed by 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 is among the very best tablets in the market, but it is mighty expensive, with pricing starting at $800. If you don’t want to pay that much, but feel like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A9 Plus is not powerful enough for your needs, you might find a suitable balance in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE, which starts at $450.

It still comes with a capable Exynos 1380 chipset, 6-8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage at its base configuration. We found its performance to be pretty good, albeit not outstanding. Regardless, casual users will have a hard time slowing it down. The screen is still great at 10.9 inches, and it features a 1,440 x 2,304 resolution. The 90Hz refresh rate is also pretty nice.

You also get a stunning design that’s nearly indistinguishable from the high-end Galaxy Tab S9 series. The aluminum frame and back are nothing short of premium. If you’re looking for a device with a bigger screen, you can also go for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus ($599 at Amazon).

What makes it stand out

  • Stunning design: This device’s aluminum frame and back look and feel are nearly identical to the high-end, much more expensive Galaxy Tab S9.
  • Great bang for your buck: It’s a bit expensive, but you also get a near-premium experience for your money.
  • Good performance: While not high-end, the Samsung Exynos 1380 is a pretty capable chipset.

The Amazon Fire Max 11 is the best Amazon tablet

Amazon Fire Max 11Amazon Fire Max 11
Amazon Fire Max 11
Affordable 11-inch tablet • Connected to Amazon's ecosystem
MSRP: $229.99
Competing with the big dogs in the tablet market
Amazon has been in the tablet game for years, but the Fire Max 11 might be their first tablet to truly compete in the 11-inch tablet segment. A high-resolution display is backed by big battery life and enough storage for all of your apps and games.

If you want the absolute best Amazon has to offer, there is no better than the Amazon Fire Max 11. It features a large 11-inch display with a 2,000 x 1,200 resolution. A pretty capable octa-core processor also powers the device, and while its 4GB of RAM isn’t impressive, this amount is good enough for most casual tasks.

The tablet is pretty thin and light, but you can sacrifice a bit of portability for functionality, as Amazon also offers a detachable keyboard and stylus, which can be purchased separately. You get to pick between 64GB or 128GB of storage. This may not seem like much, especially for an 11-inch tablet, but you can expand the storage by up to 1TB with a microSD card.

By the way, this is the most expensive Amazon tablet, but it is by no means pricey. The price sits comfortably at $230, making it one of the best cheap Android tablets around. This is definitely the best cheap Android tablet if you want a premium experience.

What makes it stand out

  • Amazon’s largest display: You won’t find a Fire option with a display larger than 11 inches, nor can you top the 2,000 x 1,200 resolution. Plus, the 16:10 aspect ratio works well for streaming, like the Galaxy Tab A8 above.
  • Excellent price: Amazon might lean on ads to keep the costs low, but you can’t argue with results. This is an 11-inch tablet that can be had for just $230.
  • For the Alexa user: Whether you have a Fire TV or a series of Echo speakers, adding one more Alexa-enabled device to the mix goes a long way in building an Amazon smart home.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is the next-best Amazon tablet

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023)Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023)
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023)
MSRP: $139.99

The Fire HD 10 is Amazon’s almost-perfect answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A series. The tablet has a nice 10.1-inch screen, and has a pretty sharp Full HD Plus resolution. It also has 3GB of RAM, which isn’t amazing, but it is also the cheapest 10-inch Android tablet on this list with a $140 price tag. Although the plastic construction doesn’t feel as premium, we appreciate that the rounded design is comfortable to hold for hours on end. It’s one of the best budget tablets if you want to use it for long periods, as it has a 13-hour battery life.

Like all other Amazon tablets, it sports Fire OS instead of a standard Android skin. It skips the Google apps and Play Store that you’re probably used to in favor of Amazon’s versions. This can sometimes be a double-edged sword, but the tablet makes up for it as an excellent control center for an Amazon smart home. You can deliver Alexa commands as you would with a speaker, and you can even turn the Fire HD 10 into an Echo Show of sorts. If you really miss the Google Play Store, you can also go out of your way to install it.

Amazon achieves all this at an amazingly low price. There aren’t too many 10-inch tablets available for less than $200, which makes the Fire HD 10 shine just a bit brighter. It relies on ads to keep the price low, which we don’t love, but you can pay a little extra to remove them.

What makes it stand out

  • A pretty nice display: It’s no Fire Max 11, but this device still has a great display at 10.1 inches, and it gets a Full HD Plus resolution. Plus, the 16:10 aspect ratio works well for streaming.
  • Excellent price: This is a 10.1-inch tablet that can be had (with 32GB of storage) for just $140.
  • For the Alexa user: Whether you have a Fire TV or a series of Echo speakers, adding one more Alexa-enabled device to the mix goes a long way in building an Amazon smart home.

The Lenovo Tab P12 is amazing for media consumption

Lenovo Tab P12 (2023)Lenovo Tab P12 (2023)
Lenovo Tab P12 (2023)
MSRP: $349.99

Lenovo isn’t usually one of the first brands that spring to mind when discussing Android tablets, but the Tab P12 is working to change that. It brings impressive size and specs to the cheap Android tablet market without raising the price too much. It has a 3K display with a 1,840 x 2,944 panel and slim construction. The result is a budget-friendly option that looks and feels like something more.

Performance tends to vary in the cheap Android tablet segment, as it covers such a wide range of prices. However, the Lenovo Tab P12 often feels better equipped than most to handle daily tasks. It relies on a MediaTek Dimensity 7050 processor to keep the lights on. You get 8GB of RAM, as well as 128GB-256GB of storage. In either case, there is also a microSD card slot.

The Lenovo Tab P12’s design lends itself almost perfectly to streaming. The wide 16:10 aspect ratio and 3K resolution are a great start. It also brings four JBL speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning.

All told, Lenovo’s Tab P12 is easily one of the best cheap Android tablets for streaming. It also comes with a stylus, and battery life is estimated at 10 hours of streaming, thanks to the sizeable 10,200mAh battery. It can charge pretty fast at 30W. The best part? It retails for just $350.

What makes it stand out

  • Gorgeous, large screen: The 12.7-inch screen is large, and the 3K definition really takes things to the next level. Especially for such an affordable tablet.
  • Excellent sound: Lenovo tapped four Dolby Atmos-tuned JBL speakers to deliver premium sound.
  • Improved battery life: Despite the huge, high-definition display, this tablet is estimated to last 10 hours on a single charge, while streaming. And 30W charging is outstanding for a cheap tablet.

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022) is the best tablet for travel

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022)Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022)
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022)
Amazon services backed in • Good battery life • Affordable
Amazon-connected HD Android tablet
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is one of the more powerful Android tablets from Amazon. Solid battery life, a good size display, and a connection to Amazon services all for a very reasonable price.

Not everyone who wants a cheap Android tablet is after the largest device on the market. The 2022 Fire HD 8 Plus offers many of the perks of the Fire HD 10, but in a slightly more portable package. While we loved its larger siblings for movies and shows, the Fire HD 8 Plus shines a little brighter in portability, or for ebooks and mobile games.

It stuck to the same rounded plastic design we saw on the Fire HD 10, and it’s just as comfortable to hold. We can appreciate that the smaller design didn’t come with any hardware sacrifices, either. You still get a headphone jack, a microSD slot, and stereo speakers on the left side. This version also picks up an extra gigabyte of RAM, offering 3GB to the Fire HD 8’s 2GB. We feel like 3GB still isn’t enough at times, but it’s a step in the right direction.

We chose the Fire HD 8 Plus for our list over the standard Fire HD 8 for a few reasons. For starters, this version has wireless charging. That’s not always a given in the budget realm — even on smartphones that cost three times as much, so it’s great to see on a cheap tablet. As always, the biggest selling point for the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is that it nails the price point of a cheap Android tablet. It starts at just $120 (with ads).

What makes it stand out

  • Size matters: While bigger tablets might be better for video streaming, the Fire Tab HD 8 Plus is just like an e-reader or a light gaming tablet with an 8-inch display.
  • Battery beast: The Fire Tab HD 8 Plus offers excellent battery life thanks to a large cell and a power-sipping processor. It’s a great travel companion.
  • Kindle who?: Support for the Kindle app (and the rest of the Fire OS platform) means that the Fire Tab HD 8 Plus can easily replace your e-reader and comes with a full-color display.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is the best cheap tablet for kids

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 LiteSamsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
4-year security updates • Affordable tablet • Headphone jack
MSRP: $159.99
A solid tablet at an affordable price.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite has well-rounded software with three years of major OS updates and four years of security patch updates. It is equipped with a headphone jack, and the storage is expandable.

Tablets aren’t just for adults — there’s plenty for kids to enjoy with the larger display and long-lasting battery life. Of course, you probably don’t want to invest too heavily in a premium tablet, as kids have been known to put tech through the wringer, but that makes a cheap Android tablet fit so well. Mix in Samsung’s dedicated Kids Mode, and you have a low-stress, affordable way to entertain your kids.

The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite makes our list not only for the kid-friendly options. It can grow with them over time, as it’s not restricted to Kids Mode. We have to applaud Samsung for its choice of materials, as the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite feels more premium than a comparable Amazon tablet, while staying at a familiar price point. Most of the casing is made from sturdy aluminum, with thin plastic strips across the top and bottom.

The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite isn’t marketed as a processing powerhouse, and our testing revealed as much. It might struggle under the load of heavier titles like Genshin Impact or Call of Duty Mobile. But it can easily handle browsing and video streaming. The 8.7-inch display is large enough to read emails and play crosswords, and the optional LTE connectivity could make it an easy phone replacement.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite may be a bit of an oldie now, as it launched in 2021, but it is definitely a goodie.

What makes it stand out

  • Making connections: Wi-Fi and optional LTE means that you can keep this cheap Android tablet connected. Whether at home or on the go.
  • Material world: The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite sports a partially metal construction, which feels solid and well-built.
  • Software superiority: Samsung’s update commitment shines at even the most affordable tiers, with multiple Android versions and years of quarterly security patches.

The Amazon Fire 7 is the most affordable Android tablet we recommend

2022 Amazon Fire 72022 Amazon Fire 7
2022 Amazon Fire 7
Hard to beat Amazon price • Headphone jack included • 9 hours of battery life
MSRP: $59.99
There are better tablets out there, but few are as portable (or as cheap) as Amazon's pocket pal.
Amazon's most affordable tablet is back with a few internal upgrades and a familiar, travel-ready form factor. It still carries a headphone jack and expandable storage, too.

If you’re not sure you need a cheap Android tablet, the Amazon Fire 7 might be for you. It’s larger than the biggest smartphone displays. Yet it’s inexpensive enough that you won’t regret the purchase if you don’t use it all that often. However, you might find that the extra real estate will go a long way after you spend your $60. In our testing, we decided that it’s a great travel tablet for killing time at an airport or on a rainy day.

Let’s get it out of the way — the Fire 7 won’t win a specs race against, well, anything. It’s an entry-level tablet with just 2GB of RAM and a simple 2.0GHz MediaTek processor. The base storage isn’t great, but you can expand it by up to 1TB with the microSD slot. Despite all of that, it’s still an enjoyable tablet for light use.

We were nervous about the small tablet’s battery life when we started testing. Amazon seems to have figured out the right formula. The lower-resolution display and modest processor sip power rather than chug it. Amazon’s wired charging is slow at just 5W, but we were comfortable using the tablet while charging without overheating.

What makes it stand out

  • Budget friendliest: You won’t find another Android tablet — or any tablet — at this price. Seriously, with ads, it’s cheaper than a PlayStation 5 game.
  • Storage for days: No, 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage isn’t that impressive. You can expand it up to 1TB with the microSD slot. That’s enough room for quite a few Kindle titles.
  • Keep it simple: The Fire 7 is a no-frills, no-fuss tablet for those who want to occasionally read an ebook or watch a movie but not much more.

What to look for in the best budget Android tablets

If you’re shopping for a cheap Android tablet, you’ve already made an important first decision. Settling on Android means that you won’t have to complicate your choice with iPads of any kind. However, there are still quite a few things you’ll want to consider. Here are other critical factors in choosing a tablet:

  • Ecosystem: Choosing a cheap Android tablet that integrates with your already existing tech is a great idea. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab lineup is a natural choice for Galaxy smartphone users. Amazon’s Fire tablets make sense for those with Echo devices in their homes. You can, of course, choose another tablet if you’re the type to switch devices often. Or if you’re not worried about smooth integration.
  • Display size: There aren’t too many small Android tablets. The difference between an 8-inch display and a 10.5-inch display is no joke. Smaller tablets might excel as e-reader replacements as they’re closer in size to books. Larger tablets make more sense in place of small laptops when streaming from Netflix or Hulu.
  • Storage options: Cheap Android tablets often start with less storage than their smartphone counterparts. However, many make up for it with expandable storage. Finding a tablet with 64GB or even 128GB of base storage is usually a good idea. Regardless of whether you plan to use a microSD card.
  • Software support: Like cheap smartphones, cheap tablets are still playing catchup regarding software support. Samsung has started to offer multiple Android versions and longer security coverage. It’s a bit of an exception, though. You should be aware that not all budget-friendly options will stay current long into the future.
  • Hardware: Many cheap tablets opt for plastic constructions and lower-quality displays to save costs. You probably won’t mind if you just plan to use your tablet as an e-reader. That said, you may want to look for a sharper display if you plan to stream movies or videos. Aluminum construction will also handle the wear and tear better than plastic over time.

The best tablet for kids

We all know the little ones at home belong to a very special type of user. The best Android tablets for kids should be resistant, user-friendly, safe, and likely affordable. We have a few recommendations for you if you’re looking for a device specifically for your kids.

  • Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro ($189.99 at Amazon): This might be the very best full-sized tablet for kids. It has a large 10.1-inch screen, good performance, a 13-hour battery life, and a bumper case that will keep the device safe from drops. You also get to enjoy pretty solid parental controls and a two-year worry-free guarantee.
  • Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro ($149 at Amazon): Those looking for the best balance between price and performance will love this Amazon tablet. It offers pretty good performance, a nicely sized 8-inch HD display, 32/64GB of storage, a 13-hour battery life, and more. Of course, you also get great parental controls and a two-year worry-free guarantee.
  • Amazon Fire 7 Kids ($349 at Amazon): If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest option for the best Android tablet for kids, but still want something good enough, it’s hard to beat the Amazon Fire 7 Kids. Its specs are modest, but it has a $110 price tag, and it often goes on discount.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite ($121 at Amazon): This tablet isn’t specifically made for kids, but it is a great “normal” tablet for the little ones. It has a $160 price but is often offered for $120 or less. It has alright performance, an excellent design, and you can access the Samsung Kids app.
  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 ($480 at Amazon): This is not exactly an Android tablet, but the Chromebook tablet does have access to Android apps, so it can be used as one. It’s a bit pricier, but can be a much more comprehensive school tool. It comes with Chrome OS, an included stand cover, and a physical detachable keyboard.

FAQs

You may want an LTE or 5G-enabled tablet if you plan to travel frequently without access to Wi-Fi. However, most users will have access to Wi-Fi in their homes and in public places. You can always tether it to your phone, too. Generally, it’s probably not worth the extra cost. Additionally, tablets with LTE or 5G support are becoming more rare in the current market.

Yes and no. Most of the tablets on this list are more affordable than the base iPad. However, there are also Android tablets like the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra, which can get very expensive at over $1,000. Not to mention, the base 9th-gen iPad costs only $329 and is very often discounted.

You don’t have to turn off your tablet overnight. Leaving a tablet idle overnight won’t damage it, nor should it let the battery drain too much.

Out of all the Android tablets, Samsung seems to fare the best in terms of updates. The promise of four Android updates is second only to Apple’s iPad lineup. There is now more competition from Google, though, as the search giant released its own Pixel Tablet. And we all know Pixel devices always get updated first.

There are some drop-dead cheap Android tablets out there, but we usually wouldn’t recommend them. The most affordable tablet still worth your money is the Amazon Fire 7, at $60.

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