Getting a tablet for less than $200 used to mean lowering your expectations. Not anymore. Today’s budget slates deliver sharp and bright full-HD displays, long battery life and quad-core processors powerful enough to play the latest games. If you’re willing to live with less-than-HD resolution, Amazon offers a $50 7-inch Fire tablet. We evaluated the latest tablets from the biggest brands based on design, screen quality, performance and included software, and determined which ones belonged on our best list. You can buy these Android-powered devices with confidence.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3
When you pair more than 15 hours of battery life with a $170 price tag, you’ve got a match made in heaven. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 may not have the most powerful processor inside, but it does make watching videos for hours easy, thanks to the built-in kickstand. The bright, 1280 x 800-pixel screen and front-facing speakers are nothing to sneeze at, either.
Pros: Class-leading battery life; Accurate, 8-inch display, Built-in kickstand
Cons: Mediocre performance; A bit bulky
Lenovo Tab 2 A10
The Lenovo Tab 2 A10 delivers a lot for its aggressive price, starting with a very impressive 12 hours of battery life. Other highlights include a bright display that offers 94 percent of the color gamut and a 5-MP front camera that takes better selfies than your average slate. The quad-core MediaTek processor isn’t the fastest in its class, but this Android Lollipop device has more than enough oomph for multitasking.
Pros: Fantastic battery life; Bright and colorful screen; Strong overall performance;
Cons: Not the best gaming performance
Asus ZenPad S 8.0
It certainly looks more expensive than its $199 price tag would suggest. The Intel Atom-powered Asus ZenPad S 8.0 sports a slim design that’s only 0.26 inches thick, complete with a leather-like band on the back. This slate also benefits from a high-resolution 2K (2048 x 1536) display and sharp back (8 megapixels) and front (5 MP) cameras. We just wish it had a little more staying power.
Pros: Sleek design; Helpful ZenUI software; Sharp screen; Strong camera performance
Cons: Short battery life; Display not very bright; Some bloatware
Lenovo Tab 2 A8
With its bright, vivid screen and excellent battery life, Lenovo’s Tab 2 A8 offers a lot in one of the most affordable tablets on this list. With an endurance of 11 hours and 32 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi), the A8 proved its worth is greater than its $129.99 price tag. Costing $70 less than the Tab A10, this 8-inch tablet is a fine choice for reading e-books, watching videos or listening to music.
Pros: Fantastic battery life; Bright and colorful screen; Very affordable
Cons: Sluggish performance; Struggles with multitasking
There’s no reason to bother with cheap, no-name tablets now that Amazon is offering a 7-inch Fire for just $50 for 8GB of storage or $70 of 16GB of storage. It’s available in black, blue, tangerine and magenta. This sturdily built device offers access to all sorts of Amazon goodies, such as Prime content and the Underground app store that gives you paid apps for free. This tablet also has some impressive parental controls. We just wish it had longer battery life and a higher-resolution display.
Pros: Unbeatable price; Access to Amazon Prime content; Amazon Underground app store makes paid apps free; Impressive parental controls
Cons: Short battery life; Sluggish performance; Low-resolution screen; Poor camera quality
Amazon Fire Kids Edition
Access to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited content is a huge plus for the Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet. It’s got impressive parental controls and comes with a two-year accidental damage guarantee. It also features the pre-installed Amazon Underground app, which offers paid apps for free. Amazon Fire Kids Edition may not be the fastest tablet around, but for $100 it’s still a steal.
Acer Iconia Tab 8 A1
The Acer Iconia Tab 8 A1 is an affordable Android tablet with full access to the Google Play store that boasts a colorful display display with great viewing angles. It also comes with a microSD card slot for expanding the amount of storage space, something far too few tablets offer. Its battery life (7 hours and 28 minutes) is below average, but not unusably so.
Acer Iconia One 10
The Acer Iconia One 10 offers decent battery life in a full-size tablet that won’t break the bank. This 10-inch machine also comes with some nice multitasking tricks, such as the Acer EZ Tasking screen splitter that allows you to draft an email while you surf the web side by side. And you can add the EZ Gadget on top to add a floating calculator or notepad.