You’re most likely working from home right now and on top of the constant demands from the office, you’re probably homeschooling your kids as well. As much as we love our kids to bits, having to deal with them nearly 24/7 can get quite tiring. That’s why it’s a good idea to get them a tablet to keep them occupied while you deal with work stuff. You don’t have to spend a fortune to do so, either: We’ve found these cheap but solid tablets that cost as little as $70. Save up to $60 when you get the Amazon Fire HD 7 Kids Edition, Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1, and iPad today.
Want a good yet inexpensive tablet with lots of child-friendly content and features? The Amazon Fire HD 7 Kids Edition is a great option. It offers plenty of extras, including deep parental controls, a colorful and sturdy Kid-Proof case, and Amazon’s excellent FreeTime Unlimited service. However, its display is pretty run-of-the-mill, and it’s also fairly laggy. Still, this tablet does what it’s supposed to do well enough and for just $70 on Best Buy ($30 off its normal retail price of $100), it’s practically a steal.
The Amazon Fire HD 7 Kids Edition is a pretty basic slate-style tablet but it does a decent job at most tasks. It allows you to play videos from multiple services (including Amazon Prime), read Kindle ebooks, handle web surfing and social media tasks, and even play some games. Its 7-inch IPS screen looks fine but definitely doesn’t compare to higher-end tablets. Less discerning kids won’t mind it. The rubberized protective bumper case that it comes with also doubles as a stand, making it perfect for streaming multimedia. On the top part of this tablet, you’ll find the power and volume rocker buttons, headphone jack, and Micro-USB charging port.
As mentioned, this kiddie tablet comes with a free one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited, which is a Netflix-like subscription service with plenty of child-friendly ebooks, videos, and games. This service also includes tools for detailed scheduling and restrictive internet access so parents can limit how and when kids use the tablet. FreeTime has a blue background and the icons are large and easy to read. The interface is landscape-only, but once you open certain apps and ebooks you’ll be able to view them in portrait mode. There’s also a great way to discover any type of content through “Characters” which you can click on the top part of the home screen. There, kids can scroll through icons that run from generic, like Dinosaurs, to very specific brands, like Lego, Sesame Street, Marvel, and Star Wars. Clicking on any of these brings up a list of all available ebooks, videos, and apps from that category, and tapping on each individual item downloads or streams it.
The Amazon Fire HD 7 Kids Edition is a solid low-cost tablet that your kids will love because of its large library of child-friendly content. Get it for the irresistibly low price of $70 on Best Buy.
We finally have something else to recommend beside the Amazon Fire HD 10 when someone asks for a solid yet cheap tablet. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is the most important tablet the South Korean tech company has released in years. It is not only super affordable (it’s currently on sale at Best Buy for $200 instead of $230) but also comes with a shockingly good LCD screen that nearly rivals more expensive models, even Samsung’s own premium Galaxy Tab S6. The drawbacks? Its graphics chipset is fairly weak, which means this is not a tablet for serious gamers. But for the price, it’s hard to fault this device. This is overall the best Android tablet that you can get on a limited budget.
This tablet is optimized for entertainment. Its 10.1-inch-wide TFT LCD panel displays a sharp, colorful picture that’s almost as breathtaking as Samsung’s AMOLED screens. This type of display has a backlight, which means its blacks are not going to be perfect, but it’s still a great screen for watching Netflix and YouTube on. Furthermore, its two Dolby Atmos speakers at the bottom produce a surprisingly loud sound for a device of its size. It’s now missing a physical home button, and its bezels are pretty slim but not so much that you’ll accidentally activate the screen on the sides.
At the heart of this tablet, you’ll find an Exynos 7904 CPU, Mali-G71 MP2 GPU, and 2GB RAM, which work together to run things pretty smoothly. While this tablet is fine for casual gaming, we clearly saw the limit of the graphics power when we played higher-end games. Minecraft plays decently with lower resolutions and frame rate settings but you won’t be able to play Fortnite at all. Surprisingly, Asphalt 9 plays well with no alterations to graphics, but that’s probably due to Gameloft’s outstanding scaling of the game on just about any hardware. This tablet’s internal memory of 32GB is pretty small by today’s standards, but at least there’s a Micro-SD card slot to expand the storage space.
When it comes to battery life, the tablet is quite impressive. Its 6250mAh battery charges fast thanks to its USB Type-C charging port and is capable of lasting up to 13 hours on a single charge. Lastly, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1’s 5-megapixel front-facing camera and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera can take detailed and crisp pictures which is surprising considering its low price point.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 may not be a tablet for gamers, but its gorgeous screen, upgraded sound system, terrific battery life, and very reasonable price provide more than enough reasons to recommend it. Get it for just $200 on Best Buy today.
The standard iPad’s bezels are still obscenely large (slimming them down would have made it look a tad more contemporary), but this tablet now boasts a bigger 10.2-inch screen compared to the previous model’s 9.7-inch display. In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6’s trimmed bezels look fetchingly modern, and so do those of the iPad Pro. None of this means that the iPad feels cheap, though. It has a nice substantial weight to it, plus it sports a 100% recycled aluminum enclosure which is good for the environment. Instead of Face ID, which remains exclusive to the iPad Pro and the latest iPhones, you get Touch ID, although that’s not exactly a deal-breaker for most users. What sets this apart from the older iPad 9.7 is support for the Smart Connector so you can use it with Apple’s Smart Keyboard (sold separately).
As mentioned earlier, this device offers a slight increase in screen size. The LCD panel’s pixel density is the same at 264 pixels per inch, although it looks sharp, and is colorful and very bright. And thankfully the headphone jack has not been removed, unlike the iPad Pro. You don’t have to go hunting for a 3.5mm-to-Lightning jack once your Bluetooth headphones lose power.
Strangely, the iPad 10.2 didn’t get a processor upgrade, unlike the rest of the iPad lineup, which now boasts the A12 Bionic chipset. However, this tablet’s A10 Fusion processor still packs plenty of power. Multitasking with several apps open won’t be an issue, and navigating the new iPadOS is buttery smooth. The previous iPads ran with just a slightly altered version of the iOS, but the iPadOS is an entirely different beast. You’ve got the ability to use multiple apps in the Slide Over menu, a revamped home screen layout that includes the Today View widgets, desktop-grade Safari, and multi-window apps. You can now even use Split View on the same app, like having two Google Docs open side-by-side.
The first-gen Apple Pencil is compatible with this iPad, and it remains an excellent and responsive tool. There’s still no way of storing it, though, unlike the second-gen Apple Pencil which magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro, and it’s still in danger of snapping in half every time you charge it through the Lightning port. Finally, the battery life was pretty good. You would be able to use the iPad for a maximum of three days with intermittent use, or a full workday if you’re going to use it as your primary device.
Despite its shortcomings, the iPad 10.2 is the best tablet that you can buy on a limited budget. It is powerful, has a fantastic operating system, and serves up solid battery life. You can get it with 32GB of memory at MacMall for the very reasonable price of $269 instead of $329, a cool $60 of savings.
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