The best cheap tablets of 2017

The best cheap tablets of 2017

The best cheap tablet in 2017 makes on-the-go computing easier, and keeps the price inexpensive. They’re thin-and-light in all ways, with many under $200.

We compiled a list of cheap tablets, and the hard cut-off for this budget-based buying guide is $300. But don’t worry, most of them are $200 or less.

You can find big names here, too. Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo and even Apple have affordable options with flavors that come in Android Nougat and iOS 10.

While the top-tier best tablet in the US got a shake-up three times over from the iPad Pro 10.5, New iPad 9.7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, this list also benefits from hand-me-downs and tablet price drops.

Here are the best cheap tablets you can buy this year.

This list is dominated by Android tablet options, but there’s only one iOS 10 device affordable enough for this list: the iPad mini 2.

The “mini” line of iPads takes the best components introduced in previous iPads and shrinks them down. In the case of the iPad mini 2, it’s built with the power found inside of the iPad Air and iPhone 5S.

It isn’t the most affordable tablet option here, but if you cling to Apple’s ecosystem, this is a fine entry point. For your money, the more recent iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 4 doesn’t provide enough of an argument, other than Touch ID, to warrant the step-up in cost.

Read the full review: iPad mini 2

The best cheap tablets of 2017

The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) is the best tablet you can get at the price. That alone secures it a recommendation.

This is not a technological upgrade over the last Fire HD 8 (2016), but it takes the last version’s most important bits and lowers the price significantly by degrading a few of the less important parts.

If you’re a true gadget lover, you might want to consider spending a bit more on something with a better screen and more flexible software. However, if you’re happy to fit yourself into the Amazon system and can put up with the budget parts, this is an excellent buy.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017)

The best cheap tablets of 2017

Nvidia’s tablet is, in many ways, not like other tablets. It’s made by a manufacturer who deals almost exclusively in computer graphics, it can run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and it can play full-fledged PC titles. Oh, and it’s actually pretty affordable.

The Shield Tablet K1 offers a zippy Android experience with tons of graphical prowess (go figure.) What’s better, the design is super slick and, again, the GeForce Now software integration is the stand-out feature, allowing you can play games from your Nvidia-stocked PC.

Read the full review: Nvidia Shield Tablet K1

The best cheap tablets of 2017

For those who are in love with Samsung’s lineup of Galaxy smartphones, this is the tablet for you. The most affordable variant in the Tab S line comes with an 8.4″ inch screen, but houses the same powerful specs as its 10.5″ counterpart.

When it was introduced it 2014, we called it “serious competition” to Apple’s iPad Air 2, and the claim still stands. The Galaxy Tab S might not have the polished aesthetic found in the Galaxy Tab S2, but being a bit outdated makes this an excellent tablet for those with less cash on hand.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S

The best cheap tablets of 2017

The Huawei MediaPad M3 is a tablet with lots of admirable qualities. High screen resolution, ultra-low weight and speakers that go loud enough to become an anti-social menace in some situations earn a big thumbs-up.

It should be known that we encountered some issues with keeping a steady framerate during intensive games. The casual games everyone gets obsessed with for weeks at a time run fine, but those with console-like graphics tend to struggle to an extent that’s quite rare for a tablet of this quality.

You’ll need to think carefully about whether this is going to be an issue for you before choosing the Huawei MediaPad M3 over, say, the iPad mini 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab S, or any of these other fine options.

Read the full review: Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0

The best cheap tablets of 2017

Amazon’s super-affordable Fire tablet is best suited for first-time tablet owners. It’s also a perfect fit for parents looking for strong parental controls, or for those already highly invested in the wider Amazon ecosystem.

Even if you’re just looking for an extra tablet to have around the space, the Fire is a relatively easy sell.

But for the wider public, if a premium build and a fat stack of features is what you’re after, you won’t find it here.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire 7 (2017)

The best cheap tablets of 2017

Betting on a gimmick is never a good idea when it comes to technology. But Dell’s Venue 8 7000 claim to be the world’s ‘thinnest tablet’ at 6mm doesn’t come at the compromise of a good tablet experience.

Dell has been at the helm of some fantastic products as of late, such as the XPS 13. And the Venue 8 7000 borrows some of that brilliance with a head-turning aluminum design, a vibrant display and room-filling stereo speakers.

Read the full review: Dell Venue 8 7000

The best cheap tablets of 2017

Windows on a tablet might be best experienced on the Surface Pro 4, but not everyone has that type of cash. Thankfully, Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 2 offers the full Windows 10 experience in all of its glory at a bargain price.

This isn’t like other tablets. And as such, you might have noticed the massive, cylindrical area hanging off its edge. It seems like such an addition would work against the rulebook of what makes a tablet gorgeous, but in doing so, it allows for big benefits you can’t find elsewhere, like incredible battery life and booming sound performance.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2

The best cheap tablets of 2017

While a bit outdated (and no longer sold by Google,) the Asus-made Nexus 7 is the cheapest gateway to a stock Android experience. The most recent version from 2013 might not hold a candle to the pencil-thin designs brought on by today’s best tablets, but it does one thing that many of them cannot: run Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Only the 2013 model can run the latest and greatest Android OS, so make sure you avoid the 2012 version while shopping. It’s easy to tell the difference between the two: The one to buy has a rear-facing camera (the 2012 version only has a front-facing camera) and a headphone jack on the top.

Read the full review: Nexus 7

The best cheap tablets of 2017

Asus’ ZenPad S 8.0 is a tablet focused on value, but you wouldn’t guess as much by looking at it. This 8″ slate covers a lot of ground for its asking price, and even goes as far as providing a good-looking, sturdy build and handy features, like a microSD slot and 10-hour battery life.

This is an easy choice if you consume a lot of content and want to look good doing so, but don’t want to completely shell out your laptop budget on a tablet.


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24 thoughts on “The best cheap tablets of 2017

  1. they’re definitely clickbaiting, I’m not going to techradar for anything anymore. This has happened to me several times. The site used to have at least some level of integrity…

  2. The google link I clicked on says the best tablets for UNDER $200. I hope that was just an error and you guys aren’t click-baiting people with false link titles.

  3. That galaxy tab s is garbage. The battery on most of them is faulty and causes the tablet to glitch out and freeze up. Turns the tablet into an annoying piece of shit. If you’re reading this and you’re still convinced into buying it, you’ve been warned.

  4. okay… Nexus 9 $922.46 CDN … IS NOT CHEAP… Galaxy Tab at 500+ CDNdollars is NOT CHEAP… Dell Venu at 500+CDN is NOT CHEAP.\n\nIs this site being paid to recommend these or something?

  5. Weird to see an article dated ‘November 2016′, with comments from a year before that!\nBut great to see the Nexus 7 staying in the top ten: definitely the best I’ve ever used, and great value for money. In fact it’s probably still the best 7inch tablet, as all the newer, more advanced ones, seem to be larger. Sad for us Jacket pocket types!

  6. Just FYI, try to stay away from the first gen Nexus 7, as it has this tendency to go into a coma and never wake up. Mine has been like this for a couple years now. I got about a year of use out of it. But, they do sell for like $50 or less on ebay, so you roll the dice. \n\nHave been using a Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 (T-320) for a while and it’s been mostly great, except the fact that it likes to start doing reboot-loop when it gets lower on battery, like 20%. That was $200 when I got it just before the Tab S came out. \n\nThe Amazon Fire is $50 shipped. That’s great. I think I’ll get one for my mom.

  7. The Asus Zenpad S 8.0 (Z580C) for $199 retail is 2048×1536, NOT 1280×800\n\nFrom your own Tech radar….\n

  8. I was about to point that out. \n\nAs you can see, I got to this article about a month late!

  9. I agree, there is no reason for this nonsense unless they’re simply being paid to post these things, along with several tablets that aren’t even mid range price, let alone cheap, such as the #1 choice costing over 900 canadian dollars. Cheap is 250 or less. You can get an Irulu 10.1 inch for like 76 bucks canadian on these days. Not a great tablet, but I use it for watching HD TV and it works perfect at such low price. I’d say a good cheap tablet would be more like 120-200 range.

  10. \u003ci>Windows in a tablet usually means that you have to shell out somewhere in the thousands for a Surface Pro 4.\u003c/i>\r\n\r\nA quick search on Amazon for cheap Windows 10 tablets will disagree with this statement both in terms of price and user reviews. This must be a paid advertisement. It’s the only explanation why this list is so wrong.

  11. tablet that cost $300 to $400 price point isn’t consider as cheap. just sayin

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