The Best Cheap Tablets in 2021
There’s never been a better time to find the best cheap tablet for you. Due to the popularity of portable-but-powerful devices running on iOS, Android variants and even Windows, finding a good tablet has never been easier. Tablets are no longer a hi-tech luxury for those who can afford it.
Among even the smallest tablets, processing power, RAM size, screen resolution and operating system capabilities have grown exponentially over the past couple of years. This means there are plenty of good options on the market. It also means that the market is absolutely flooded and that choosing the right tablet could be time-consuming.
Below, we’ve outlined the most important aspects you need to take into account while choosing a cheap tablet. We’ve also included a list of the best such tablets on the market today, highlighting each model’s key features, pros, and cons.
How to Choose a Cheap Tablet
As stated above, there’s now a comparative glut of operating systems in the world of tablets. Whether you want one that runs iOS, Android/an Android derivative like Amazon’s FireOS, or Windows, you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that suits your needs. There are also other options out there — like Linux tablets, for example — but we’d recommend most users stick with one of Windows, iOS or Android simply for usability and supported software.
That said, on the cheap end of the scale, the two most common operating systems are Android and Amazon’s FireOS. Neither Apple nor Windows truly has any comparatively priced options.
There are more similarities than differences between the two, but each one has distinct advantages. Android is more flexible and allows for more customization and power, while FireOS gives you direct access to Amazon’s content and services. If you’re already an Amazon consumer, FireOS could make your life even easier. If you’re not crazy about Amazon or you don’t have Prime, then Android could give you a little more control.
One of the most significant factors for how fast your tablet can run is RAM. If you plan on doing any kind of work that’s particularly intensive, like photo editing or heavy multitasking, then taking an upgrade on the RAM size might be a good idea.
At this point in time, even the best cheap Android tablets come with at least 1GB of RAM. Upgrades to 1.5GB or 2GB are often possible if you’re willing to shell out a little more. Going below 1GB for a price cut may not be worth it, though; you may end up regretting that decision later on when your tablet slows down significantly.
Screen size and resolution have also jumped significantly in recent years. On a cheap tablet, you’re unlikely to find anything truly incredible, but you can reasonably expect an HD resolution capable of 720p images or a Full HD resolution capable of 1080p images. Actual pixel numbers and ppi may vary by screen size and manufacturer, but HD/Full HD are usually good keywords to look for.
There are also other, slightly less concrete details to consider when considering any given laptop’s screen. Screen brightness is important if you plan on using your tablet outside. Color reproduction/accuracy matters for visual or graphics work. Finally, aspect ratio could play a big role in your experience: a standard, more horizontal aspect ratio (like 16:9) is great for entertainment, but a more vertical one (like 3:4) could work better with documents or vertical reading.
Memory capacity, thankfully, is usually stated upfront and will be very easy to determine. Tablets could have anything ranging from 8GB of storage to 64GB and above (though you’ll likely have to pay a premium for 128GB or 256GB of memory).
Again, this is a feature that will largely depend on your intended usage. If you take lots of photos or need to do media work on your tablet, you’ll need lots of memory to handle the large files. But if you mainly plan on using your tablet to surf the web and chat with others on social media, having a lot of storage isn’t an issue and you could easily get away with 16GB or less.
One more thing to look out for is whether or not onboard storage is expandable. Some tablets have SD card slots or other inputs where you can add more room for your files, music and photos.
Are you planning on keeping your tablet at home, or do you need to use it on the go and in places where an outlet might not be readily available? Battery life of around 8-10 hours is now a standard bottom line on budget tablets, and you can expect to see up to 15 or 20 hours of promised time on higher-end models.
8 Best Cheap Tablets
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8
A Solid All-Rounder
Right in the middle of the pack, this tablet is a solid choice for those who need a tablet that isn’t particularly flashy but has the specifications to more or less do its job. It comes with up to 32GB of built-in storage and it’s expandable — meaning any media lovers out there will be more than satisfied with the Galaxy Tab 8’s ability to hold photos, videos, music and other large files.
Furthermore, it has a battery life of up to 13 hours while using the internet as well as a 2.0GHz processor. All that means is that this might not be the most powerful tablet out there, but for the price, you’re getting a very capable machine, especially when it comes to viewing or working with media.
- Expandable storage
- Decent battery with up to 13 hours of video playback
- Screen is 1280 by 800 pixels
- Relatively fast and capable, especially for the price
- no USB-C
Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa
Best Bang-For-Your-Buck 10-Inch Tablet
For those who are already significantly invested in Amazon’s ecosystem, the Fire HD 10 Tablet will let you easily access your favorite shopping, movies and games. It’s also likely the best cheap 10-inch tablet on this list in terms of cost-value ratio. It has a fast octa-core processor at up to 2.0GHz, a generous 2GB of RAM, and expandable storage as well as a FHD screen.
That also makes it a good choice for anybody who just wants a good budget tablet. While not as flashy as the Samsung Galaxy Tab above, the Fire HD 10 offers more for less. That’s why we love it.
- A lot of bang for your buck
- Storage up to 64GB and the possibility of expansion
- 2.0 GHz octa-core processor
- 2GB of RAM
- FHD screen
- USB-C and faster charging
- FireOS less flexible than vanilla Android
Lenovo Tab M10 Plus
The Tablet That Continues Lenovo’s Legacy of High-class Performance
The market is full of million choices that are too often specialized or heavy on your budget to allow you the luxury of choice that can encompass all your needs within a reasonable price range. Lenovo has you covered with this sleek and powerful tablet.
The metal design is durable and pleasing to the eye, combining simplicity and ruggedness to create a highly-resistant portable device without investing in any expensive protection products. A simple folio case is more than sufficient for keeping your device in pristine condition.
The 10.3″ FHD display offers you a fantastic viewing experience, enhanced with TDDI tech. The Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core delivers 2.3GHz of power that gives you the freedom to do whatever you want in the quickest of time.
The 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage offer a satisfactory user experience sufficient to power this miniature machine to fulfill everyday tasks and more!
The Tab M10 is also child-friendly, as it includes a Kid’s mode that filters out unwanted content, offers a high level of parental control, and even contains sophisticated eye protection.
This is an excellent everyday tablet that offers impressive specs for every occasion.
- Great all-around performance
- 10.3 inches screen with FHD display
- 8MP rear and 5MP front camera
- Reliably built to withstand most conditions
- Modern and compact design
- Lackluster battery life
VANKYO MatrixPad S20
Your Everyday Companion With Reliable Performance to Carry You Throughout the Day
This is a device you want to have by your side if a long-lasting portable entertainment system is what strikes your fancy.
The 10-inch screen display allows you to become immersed in the content of your choosing. Eye comfort software reduces eye strain during prolonged use, allowing you to read or watch videos for hours without negative consequences.
64 BIT Octa-core processor, with the power of 1.6 GHz, excellently complements the 3GB of RAM to give you a pretty powerful machine. You can further expand the 32 GB storage to 128GB’s, making this tablet great for storing all of your information in one place.
This gadget comes with 2 box speakers that produce spacious and natural sounds fantastic for transforming your device into a portable cinema, gaming system, or music player.
Never we lost again with the integrated GPS sensor that allows for offline navigation by downloading maps to your tablet.
This product is fantastic for the entire family. With the multi-user function, you can lend your tablet to other family members or even friends that can use it through their account on the device.
This tablet is a versatile choice for everyone who wishes to have power and portability on their hands at all times.
- Expandable memory
- Octa-core processor
- Lightweight (1.10lbs)
- Powerful sound system
- Long-lasting battery life (6000mAh)
- 5MP front and 8MP rear camera
- This gadget is excellent for the price, but it cannot compare to high-end tablets when it comes to taxing tasks
Fire HD 8 tablet
The Budget-cut Tablet That Offers Above-average All-around Performance
Adaptability to the buyer’s needs is the hallmark of a company that cares about its customers by providing a product that fits a wide range of users, and this fantastic miniature tablet exemplifies that principle!
You can carry this companion with you anywhere and enjoy a large plethora of options to fill your free time with productivity and enjoyment alike! Stream your favorite shows with Netflix or Disney+, play great games in Game Mode or communicate with anyone you want with apps such as Zoom – this tablet offers you everything at a moment’s notice.
You get to choose from a wide range of customizable choices:
Do you want an ad-free option, or do you want to save up on your money by accepting sponsored screensavers to appear on your screen, higher storage memory, or the standard option? You get to choose everything!
The 8″ HD display gives you a fantastic viewing experience while the 12 hours of battery life extend your usage duration provides e you juice to carry through the entire day without needing to recharge.
The quad-core processor delivers 2.0 GHz of power to your daily activities, which nicely complements the 2 GB of RAM to produce an above-average platform for all your activities.
- A drastically faster and more responsive device
- Very affordable
- Elegant build
- Expandable memory up to 1TB
- Solid sound system
- Only 2MP front and rear camera
Dragon Touch Notepad K10
A Solid Choice for the Ultimate Portable Experience
If you are looking for a good performance that can keep your attention for hours on end while remaining within an affordable range of tech products? Dragon Touch Notepad K10 has you covered with a wide range of features that make it relevant to the market.
This device comes with the latest Android 9.0 Pie, certified by GMS, delivering on the promise of genuinely breathtaking performance. This device gives you the freedom to explore all of the capabilities of portable machines faster and smarter than ever.
It sports an 800*1280 IPS display that comes with Eye-Care software to protect your eyes no matter how long you are using this gadget.
Use Google Assistant to access everything this device has within mere moments. What’s even more impressive is the possibility of converting your TV into a portable cinema through the HDMI port located on your tablet.
The standard specifications, including 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space, give you great options for standard, everyday activities. The strong 64-bit quad-core processor has the power to load all of the tablet’s functions and apps extremely fast, giving you a powerful machine for all kinds of purposes.
- Fast and responsive
- 10.1″ inch display
- Sturdy design
- Expandable memory up to 128GB with micro SD
- Good battery life
- The speakers on this tablet are kind of weak
Lenovo Tab E 10 1″ Android Tablet 2GB
Fast and Furious
With Lenovo Tab E 10, the guys and gals of Lenovo prove themselves to be able to offer not only reliable budget laptops but also tablet devices as well. This particular tablet is stable, fast, and most importantly – affordable. Let’s see just what’s in store with E 10.
The display supports Full HD resolution, and its IPS technology allows for the great picture and video quality from any angle – perfect for watching your favorite Netflix shows and videos. This device boasts with amazing sound quality, both with headphones and with speakers.
The tablet is powered by an AMD 8032 1.3 GHz processor, with the impressive 16 GB of RAM! Combine this with Android Go OS, and you’ll get a stable device with incredible speed, working smoothly in every situation.
- Elegant design
- High-speed performance
- Excellent sound quality
- Boosted safety with individual user accounts
- Excellent graphics quality
- Only 2 GB of installed flash memory
- One camera of mere 2 megapixels
Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
The Best Tablet for Kids
To be clear, this tablet is indeed for kids — anybody who was looking for a fully-functioning tablet they could use for daily tasks might have a hard time. The Fire 7 Kids’ screen is a bit small and it has limited capabilities. You may find yourself held back by the non-HD screen, or the lone 1GB of RAM aiding the Fire 7 Kids’ 1.3GHz processor.
That said, it is indeed a bargain: you get 16GB of memory (which is expandable) and up to 7 hours of battery life. It also comes with a two-year, worry-free guarantee for if a child breaks it in any way, as well as a year of Amazon’s FreeTime content for children. The Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet might very well be the best cheap tablet for kids.
- Very affordable
- Built-in parental controls
- A free year of Amazon’s FreeTime educational and entertainment content system for kids
- Non-HD screen
- Not the most powerful or sleek tablet on this list