Cheap tablets have been on the market for years, but there’s a fine line between a decent cheap tablet and one where, well, you get what you pay for. So with the mass of cheap tablets out there and Black Friday right on the horizon, let’s take a look at some of the best cheap tablets on the market today.
The Ultra Cheap & Proven: Amazon Fire Tablet
For a long time now, Amazon has been pretty good at releasing halfway decent Android tablets at an affordable price point. However, many have been willing to spend a few bucks extra to get an option running a more “pure” version of Android, especially for sake of the Google Play Store. At the right cost, though, Amazon’s ecosystem has its advantages. Step in the $50 Amazon Fire Tablet. Bringing decent specifications, a 7-inch display, and surprisingly decent performance, the Amazon Fire Tablet is a great option for the cost. That gets even better when you consider that this tablet commonly goes on sale around the holidays for as little at $35 brand new.
Ultra Cheap, But With Google Play: Barnes & Noble NOOK 7″
Where the Amazon Fire Tablet fails, Barnes & Noble hopes to fill in the gap. Recently the company unveiled the NOOK 7″, a new $50 Android tablet which hopes to beat the Fire Tablet by offering a similar bang for your buck, but with the addition of Google Play Store access out of the box. Just like the Fire Tablet it has decent specs and a halfway decent display, but since it hasn’t been released yet, we don’t know how it’ll perform. We do have a unit on order, however, so stay tuned for our full review.Get it from Barnes & Noble
The Affordable Entertainment Tablet: ASUS ZenPad S 8.0
If you’re looking for a slightly bigger option which is also better for media, the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 might be your best bet in terms of price. Offering an 8-inch, high-resolution IPS display, Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and front-facing speakers, the ZenPad S 8.0 is built for entertainment. Reading books and surfing the web is comfortable on the 4:3 display, and the high resolution makes watching videos and playing games easy. The tablet also comes in at a respectable $159 on Amazon.Get it on Amazon
Big, But Not Expensive: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7″
If small tablets just don’t fit the bill, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A lineup offers selections from small to large, but the larger 9.7″ variant is the one we’ll focus on here. Priced at $199, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A offers a large, 9.7″ 1024×768 display which, albeit a bit low, it more than sufficient for most basic tasks. The 1.2GHz processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and Android Lollipop OS round out the package for a pretty decent option overall.Get it on Amazon Get it from Best Buy
For The Gamer: NVIDIA SHIELD K1
Last but not least, if you’re on the hunt for a mid-sized tablet with a core focus on gaming, there’s no better option than NVIDIA’s SHIELD K1 tablet. Powered by the NVIDIA K1 processor, 2GB of RAM, and Android Marshmallow, the K1 offers a superb package for gaming and just overall use as well. Further, it offers not only Android games but an assortment of PC titles which can be streamed from the cloud. Plus, if you’re using a PC powered by an NVIDIA graphics card, you can stream any game on your PC to the tablet. The 8-inch, 1080p display has rich colors for gaming and the optional SHIELD controller completes the experience. Priced at $199, it’s a solid choice for just about anyone.Get NVIDIA SHIELD K1 on Amazon Get NVIDIA SHIELD Controller