Even today, with tablets increasingly taking on laptop functions, these devices are still often viewed as luxury items. That’s because their expansive functionality and larger screens are often accompanied by higher prices. But what if you didn’t have to mortgage your home to buy one? There are plenty of affordable options out there, and if you’re willing to compromise, you can easily snag yourself a respectable tablet for $200 or less.
- Best cheap tablets at a glance
- Best overall tablet: Amazon Fire HD 10 2021
- Best midrange tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
- Runner-up: Lenovo Tab M10 Plus
- Best entertainment tablet: Dragon Touch Max10 Plus
- Best budget tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8 2020
- Best photo and video tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
- Research and buying tips
- How we test
Cheap tablets have improved over time as their prices have dropped and huge smartphones started eating into the tablet market. You’ll have to be satisfied with the Android operating system and its variants because there are no Apple products in this price range. If you’re on a limited budget, here are the best cheap tablets that $200 or less will buy you.
Looking for more tablets and not restricted by price? Check our list of the best tablets money can buy.
- Best overall tablet: Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021)
- Best midrange tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
- Best entertainment tablet: Dragon Touch Max 10
- Best budget tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8
- Best photo and video tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
Why should you buy this? The new and improved Amazon Fire HD 10 includes all the major features of the previous version and more and is considered the best tablet in its price range.
Who’s it for? Anyone who wants a powerful but cheap tablet for phoning, texting, video chatting, or movie viewing.
Why we picked the Amazon Fire HD 10: Amazon has once again revamped its popular Fire HD 10, so you can sit tight with your favorite apps like Netflix, Facebook, Hulu, Instagram, TikTok, and more through Amazon’s Appstore — Google Play is not supported. The 2021 edition is thinner and lighter than the previous version, with the screen constructed with strengthened aluminosilicate glass. With its swift, powerful octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM — 50% more RAM than the previous generation — there’s also a brighter 10.1-inch 1080p full HD display with more than 2 million pixels. A split-screen mode can show two compatible apps open side by side for multitasking, with battery life spanning 12 hours.
The unit comes with 32GB or 64GB internal storage with an option to add up to 1TB via microSD card (sold separately). Use apps like Zoom, productivity apps like Microsoft Office, OneNote, and Dropbox, or ask Alexa to make video calls to friends and family.
Why should you buy this? This tablet offers high-end processing wrapped in a modern design at an affordable price.
Who’s it for? Anyone who wants a decent tablet for web browsing, social media, and video viewing without having to fork over a ton of cash.
Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7: The affordable Galaxy Tab A7 touts an excellent 10.4-inch LCD, making it a fine choice for movie or TV bingeing. It’s light and slim, with a fingerprint sensor on the side instead of on the screen. The Tab A7 features a midrange Snapdragon 662 processor and 3GB of RAM. It comes in two variants, with either 32GB or 64GB of storage, and there’s room for a microSD card. It also has a 7,040mAh battery, and there’s a single-lens, 8-megapixel main camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. There’s no S Pen support, but the tablet works with Samsung’s desktop DeX mode. For browsing the web, watching movies, and casual gaming, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is a great choice.
Why should you buy this? A simple but powerful all-purpose tablet, the Lenovo is great for most tablet users.
Who’s it for? The Lenovo hits the spot for the casual multitasker who needs routine services like email, web browsing, and listening to music.
Why we picked Lenovo Tab M10 Plus: This tablet is a more affordable option, costing much less than $200 and featuring a 10.3-inch screen. With this tablet, you’ll get a resolution of 1280 x 1920 pixels, which surpasses many previous Lenovo models. The screen’s topside provides two high-quality stereo speakers that face you as you look at the display. With this setup, you get exceptional sound that won’t get muffled even if you hold it or put it on a surface.
This tablet also features an impressive octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of overall storage. You can even use a microSD card if necessary. The primary camera has an 8MP lens, and you also get a 5MP front-facing camera. The tablet also boasts a powerful 7,000mAh battery that offers a maximum of 10 hours of use on a single charge.
Why should you buy this? Advanced functionality, impressive specs, and eye safety features make this a compelling alternative to name-brand tablets.
Who’s it for? If you want a tablet for playing games and watching movies, this high-resolution, safety-enhanced device will more than suit your needs.
Why we picked Dragon Touch Max10 Plus: The Max10 Plus device offers some extremely impressive specs for a very good price, even if Dragon Touch isn’t one of the most popular tablet manufacturers around. This Android tablet with Wi-Fi features a 1.6GHz octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB of internal storage, which guarantees smooth gaming and speedy multimedia. You can also expand the memory by up to 128GB via a microSD card (not included). It runs Android 10.
The 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 display, coupled with the 178-degree-wide viewing angle, offers the ultimate immersive visual experience. The tablet has an advanced display color gamut for a broader color spectrum and vivid images. This tablet also strives to protect your eyesight with TÜV Rheinland-certified and quantum-dot technology to filter out most harmful blue light for quality visuals with minimal color shift and less eye strain. But it’s not all about fun and games. It facilitates faster app launches and full access to Google services, such as Gmail, YouTube, Drive, and Maps, with access to all apps from Google Play. It’s a stylish tablet that feels more expensive than it is.
Why should you buy this? The Amazon Fire HD 8 offers all the same features offered by the Fire HD 10, but in a smaller, more portable package.
Who’s it for? Anyone who wants the cheapest Android tablet out there that’s also portable enough to take on the road.
Why we picked Amazon Fire HD 8: The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) is a refresh of the 2018 model, offering a USB-C port and a faster processor. Its real advantage is that it’s ultra inexpensive while offering a small and portable design. The display is a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution, and while it’s not the sharpest, it’s good enough for watching movies. The Fire HD 8 is also available in a range of different colors, and you get Dolby Atmos speakers around it that deliver respectable audio quality. And, as expected, the tablet deeply integrates with Amazon services, like Amazon Prime Music, Prime Video, and Alexa.
Battery life is impressive, with up to 12 hours of mixed-use, including reading, gaming, and streaming. The Fire HD 8’s Fire OS software, a customized version of Android, isn’t for everyone. But folks immersed in the Amazon ecosystem will appreciate the For You interface, a recommendation engine that puts videos, apps, games, and movies from the retailer’s library on your home screen.
Why should you buy this? The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is a no-frills, easy-to-use tablet worth picking up for its low price and its high-quality camera.
Who’s it for? The Galaxy Tab A8 is a fine budget offering for those who crave power and simplicity and who value a good tablet camera.
Why we picked Samsung Galaxy Tab A8: This portable tablet is an excellent blend of build quality and specs for an affordable price. Samsung’s budget tablet has an 8-inch display, and the 1280 x 800 resolution is great for reading. Dual speakers are located at the bottom of the tablet, out of sight. It has a decent quad-core processor inside with 2GB of RAM. You also get 32GB of storage, while there’s room for a microSD card.
Battery life is very good, with the 5,100mAh cell capable of lasting well over a day. Thefeatures an 8MP camera as well as a 2MP front-facing camera, so this is the cheap tablet to go for if the camera is important to you. It’s available in black or silver.
- Which OS is best for you?
- Can you print from a tablet?
- Can you make phone calls on a tablet?
- Can you text on a tablet?
Android is your OS of choice for tablets in this price range. Luckily, the Google Play Store offers a large selection of free apps and games. Things get a little complex for Amazon tablets, which run a forked version of the platform — a version of Android called Fire OS. Amazon-branded tablets have access to only a limited subset of apps and games that are available in the Amazon Appstore, not the full roster available in Google’s Play Store.
Yes, you can print from a tablet. Check out our guides on how to print from an Android tablet for more details.
Yes, you can make phone calls on a tablet, but the opportunities are limited with tablets in this price range, as you must be connected to the internet via your Wi-Fi network. There are lots of high-quality video chat apps available that work with Android tablets and many of them allow for audio calls as well. Ideally, your contact should also have the same app installed on their end. Some apps, like Skype, also allow you to call landline or mobile phone numbers, but you’ll need to pay per minute or subscribe. Google Voice, which only works in the U.S., is a good app that will work on Android tablets and gives you a free number for calling, text messages, and voicemail.
Yes, you can send text messages from a tablet. There are lots of great text messaging apps that work on both Android or iOS. Or, keep your life simple by using Google Voice if you are based in the U.S., as it gives you a free phone number for calls and text messages.
To test our tablets, we use them extensively and at every opportunity to judge their performance for a variety of tasks. We mirror our readers in using the tablets to watch movies, play games, and engage lots of different kinds of apps, as well as read, work, and shoot photos and videos. We’re constantly on the lookout for new, innovative features, but we also appreciate well-executed classic design and simple operation. We judge how well the tablets we review fulfill the various needs of most users.
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