You can still get a great experience with a cheap Android tablet
It’s no surprise that Samsung offers the best cheap Android tablet, as the company provides options for every corner of the Android market. Even with newer tablets like the Galaxy Tab S8 lineup, the Galaxy Tab A8 is no slouch, and includes many features you will want.
Starting with the design, this is a slim aluminum slab with glass on the front, which makes for quite a gorgeous form factor. The 10.5-inch LCD display still looks fantastic, and is powered by an octa-core chipset paired with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. In terms of storage, there are three configurations available, but the Galaxy Tab A8 also supports storage expansion up to 1TB with a microSD card.
Regardless of what kind of device you are looking for, battery life is always a part of decision-making. You won’t be disappointed with this one as you’ll get excellent battery life out of the 7,040mAh battery that charges up quickly with the included USB-C fast-charger. You’ll have plenty of time to sit back and take advantage of the quad speakers with Dolby Atmos support for those times you just want to chill out with a movie.
Unfortunately, you’ll miss out on nifty features such as S Pen support or a first-party keyboard case. Thankfully, there are alternatives available for both a stylus and Bluetooth keyboard, it just would have been nice for Samsung to include those.
Sure, you could go pick up a Nest Hub if you want Google Assistant ready, but that has to be plugged in at all times. So instead, the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus includes a dock that allows the tablet to turn into a Google Assistant-powered smart display when docked. This makes it possible to use the Tab M10 Plus as a digital photo frame, listen to music, or manage your smart home. Then, when it’s time to hit the road or just go to another room, you can take the tablet with you.
The speakers won’t disappoint you, as there are two Dolby Atmos-tuned speakers on either side, immersing you in whatever content you are enjoying. Those who tend to travel will enjoy the 128GB of built-in storage to go along with the microSD card slot, which can house much of your video library. When it’s time to keep the little ones occupied, just turn on Google Kid Space and let the children have fun without accessing apps that they shouldn’t be using.
However, the Smart Tab M10 Plus is designed more for media consumption or as a Google Assistant display, and not for those who need to be productive. Despite the pogo pins at the bottom of the tablet for docking, there are no keyboards that can be attached for easier setup or integration. We also would have liked to see a bigger battery since the Tab M10 Plus is limited to nine hours of battery life when it’s not docked.
Lenovo is leaning heavily into industrial design with this minimalistic style on the Tab P11 Plus. The two-tone dual-material of rubber and aluminum to give this tablet a sleek and slim design that looks good, while being light enough to not tire you out if you hold or carry it for a while.
When it’s time to throw a movie or YouTube video on, you’ll get (close to) room-filling sound with the four speakers with Dolby Atmos certification. You can expect excellent picture quality on the 11-inch 2K display. Expand your storage up to 512GB with a microSD card to fill this tablet up with your favorite content, perfect for when there’s no Wi-Fi. With up to 15 hours of battery life, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus will keep chugging along throughout the day.
Unfortunately, when securing your tablet using biometrics, you’ll have to settle for an inconsistent Face Unlock, as there is no fingerprint reader. The Tab P11 Plus is also sans a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you will need to use a USB-C audio adapter or pick up an excellent set of wireless earbuds. The tablet is compatible with the Lenovo Stylus when you want to doodle or jot something down.
The kids need something for some entertainment, too, right? But you don’t want them navigating the World Wide Web all on their own when you can’t stand over their shoulders. That’s where the Amazon Fire 7 Kids tablet excels, thanks to the expansive parental controls.
With a free year of Amazon Kids+, your children will access over 10,000 books, movies, and games. You can then set time limits and watch what they are playing, watching, and doing on the tablet. It also has a two-year, worry-free warranty. Should anything happen to the device, Amazon will send you a new one — no matter what.
Under the hood, Amazon includes just 2GB of RAM, which shouldn’t present issues, but your kids could run into some bottle-necking when trying to switch between apps quickly. With the Fire 7 Kids tablet, you are provided with a durable, kid-friendly bumper cover available in three fun colors.
Late in 2021, HMD Global-owned Nokia started teasing the release of the company’s first tablet since the Nokia N1 back in 2015. When the big day arrived, the Nokia T20 made its debut, providing another cheap Android tablet option with a big screen. The T20 sports a 10.4-inch display with a 2000×1200 resolution, and offers up to 400 nits of peak brightness.
Even with the larger screen, the Nokia T20 will last for up to 14 hours during regular use, and around seven hours if you have to use it for video conference calls. As for software support, Nokia has already confirmed that the T20 will get both Android 12 and Android 13, while providing security updates into 2024.
All of this comes in a tablet that hits the mark in most regards when it comes to looking for the best cheap Android tablet. We just don’t recommend using this for work, as the Tiger T610 SoC paired with 4GB of RAM won’t really get you far.
It’s no secret that Amazon’s ability to provide serviceable tablets is unmatched, especially in the budget market. The Fire HD 10 is the king of the Fire HD lineup, with a 10.1-inch display, and 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage. In fact, you can add up to a 1TB microSD card, which should be more than enough for your needs.
Add in the 12 hours of battery life and four different colors, and you really have a no-brainer tablet option. There’s even USB-C on board and a new octa-core processor for more power than ever before in a Fire tablet.
Keep in mind that the Fire HD 10 runs an Amazon-centric version of Android, and it doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store. That’s not to say you can’t still download apps. You just have to take advantage of Amazon’s own App Store. We also don’t want folks to expect a high-quality build either, as Amazon had to cut costs, and it did so in the overall build, which is made from plastic.
If you want to get started with the Amazon ecosystem, the Fire HD 8 Plus is a great way to do so. You’ll get a solid Full HD display with either 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage, and up to 12 hours of battery life.
However, the Fire HD 8 has an extra trick up its sleeve with hands-free Alexa. This turns your tablet into another Echo Dot, and you can even get a stand to use it as a smart display. Amazon also introduced a wireless charging dock for the HD 8 Plus, making it possible to turn this into an Amazon Echo Show-like device, but one that you can grab and take with you. There’s even wireless charging available now, along with Amazon finally making the jump from MicroUSB to USB-C.
Unfortunately, the Fire HD 8 Plus isn’t as great as other options on the market, as you will need to purchase the dock separately if you want to turn your tablet into a smart display. The 2MP front and rear-facing cameras are also not great to use and won’t cut it in 2020. Finally, you will have to deal with Amazon’s version of Android and won’t have access to the Google Play Store.
Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet is not only one of the best Chromebooks, but it also makes for a great cheap tablet that runs Android apps. The original Chromebook Duet was released back in 2020, but it will continue to be supported until 2028, long after many of the other options on this list are.
With the Chromebook Duet, Lenovo includes a kickstand case and detachable keyboard, allowing you to chill out on the couch or get some work done. The only thing that Lenovo doesn’t bundle is a stylus, so you’ll have to pick up a USI stylus for it. And despite the fact that it’s more than two years old at this point, you can regularly find the Duet on sale for much lower than the original asking price.
Between the MediaTek Helio P60T and its 10 hours of battery life, we found that there’s plenty of power and juice to make it easily through a day or two. Plus, the dual-speaker system sounds much better than you might expect from a 10.1-inch tablet. You might need to get used to the Chrome OS platform, but you’ll still have access to all of the best Android apps courtesy of the Google Play Store.
What to look for in a cheap Android tablet
When it comes to buying a new device, whether its one of the best Android phones, best Chromebooks, or anything in between, there are a few factors to keep in mind. The first of which is identifying a reason for buying the tablet.
Do you want a cheap Android tablet that has a great screen for media consumption? Maybe you want something that your kids can enjoy with plenty of parental controls. Or maybe you need a tablet that pulls double-duty and is great for answering emails, but can transform into a portable Xbox Game Pass machine.
Price-to-performance is always a key factor in any decision, meaning that just because a tablet is more expensive, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best out there. That more expensive tablet could have an incredible display with all of the bells and whistles from a feature-set perspective. But if the internals don’t match with the externals, then you might end up being disappointed.
With this roundup, we took a look at every Android tablet priced under $300 and made our decisions based on what we would look for. There are a lot of tablets that come in under the price threshold, but not all of them are really worthy of consideration.
Finding the best Android tablet in the “budget” market is a bit odd. This is partly because our smartphones come close to the size of a smaller tablet, and a budget-minded tablet can’t hold a cup of tea to the flagship smartphones. With a slight discrepancy between the two, it’s tough for users to spring for another device when they can already do everything the tablet can and, in most cases, in a better capacity. Plus, the market is eclipsed in part by Apple’s iPad, which is ahead of the curve in terms of tablet technology.
While a few things could be improved, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is our favorite “cheap” Android tablet. You get a great design, a beautiful display, and fantastic battery life in a slim and lightweight package. Samsung has even included quad-Dolby Atmos speakers that will fill the room and give you the “punch” that you need.