Finding the Best Budget Tablets Under $300

Last Edited: November 29, 2017 by

Best Budget Tablets Under $300

Welcome to our guide to the best tablets under $300 based on professional reviews, sales, build quality, consumer feedback and real world performance.

Bordering on the premium end of the tablet market, the tablets on this list still aren’t the best of the best. Many premium range tablets will cost you as much as $400 upwards – however, hitting mid-level pricing, these devices do not cut corners as much as their budget brethren. Everyday hardware/software performance as well as design of these tablets is comparable to what many of the best-in-class tablets have to offer.  Also featured on the list are older flagship tablet models, which, despite running a slightly dated operating system and hardware, are still solid choices considering their prices have come down significantly since their release. Included in the list are also some Apple tablets. They have average specifications relatively to their Android competition but offer more premium designs and access to the Apple App store for many premium tablet apps.

Included in the list are also some Apple tablets. They have average specifications relatively to their Android competition but offer more premium designs and access to the Apple App store for many premium tablet apps. Around the $300 price range you may also want to review our best cheap smartphones guide over at SmartphoneNinja where you’ll find some similarly priced (and often similarly sized) smartphones which may allow you to kill two birds with one stone in terms of your mobile computing needs.

Tablet Buying Guide

Before you get started on your journey be sure to check out our Tablet Buying Guide for a run down on tablet basics or if you would like to learn more of the ins and outs of what makes a tablet without being confused by a ton of technical jargon.

Top Picks >>

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Tablets Under $300 Top Picks

Due to ever increasing competition in the mid-range segment, expect these tablets prices to fluctuate on a regular basis. Check regularly so that you don’t miss out on the latest discount offers on every product in this list.

ASUS ZenPad 3S Z500M

ASUS ZenPad 3S Z500M tabletFor the price, the ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 9.7-inch tablet has some impressive hardware driving it. Boasting a hexa-core MediaTek MT8176 chipset that clocks speeds of up to 2.1GHz, it features snappy performance. The 4GB of RAM is fairly prevalent in higher end tablets, making multitasking a breeze. The 2048×1536 IPS LCD display is sharp and CNET.com have described the colors as more lifelike in comparison to the deep blacks and rich colors of the Samsung displays that creates an almost overly dramatic image. The design is very similar to that of the iPad Pro 9.7 in terms of shape and its adoption of the 4:3 aspect ratio, but based on Amazon reviewers, unlike the iPad Pro 9.7 the quality control is not the best, with many receiving faulty devices upon arrival. It’s diamond-cut edges and metal casing give the Zenpad 3S 10 an elegant look and the fingerprint scanner, which doubles up as the home button, is super responsive. It has capacitive buttons on each side of the home screen/fingerprint scanner – one for back and the other for multitasking. The speakers are on the edge of the screen, with some potential to block them when holding the screen, which could be a bit annoying. But they are otherwise loud and impressive, and ASUS have made use of an NXP Smart AMP to drive the speakers. It makes use of USB-C and its quick charging allows for the 5900mAh battery to charge full in around 2.5 hours. The battery life is around 10 hours according to ASUS, which is more than enough for most users. The camera quality is rather poor, with the 8MP camera and 5MP front camera underperforming. The rear camera also doesn’t come with an LED flash, meaning you cannot take shots in low light at all. It is able to shoot videos in 1080p, but this is reportedly also rather poor. The PowerVR GX6250 allows it to run high-end games with general ease, so it well suited to those who enjoy playing demanding games. It makes use of Android 6.0 and unfortunately comes with quite a bit of bloatware that cannot be removed. The 64GB built in storage is more than enough for the price and it can be expanded to 128GB with its included microSD slot.

  • Mediatek [View Benchmarks]
  • 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot)
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 8MP
  • 9.70 inches, 2048 x 1536 pixels pixels (IPS)
  • Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.95 lbs

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Sharp 2K display
  • Well priced
  • Good performance
  • USB-C
  • Quick charging
  • Decent battery life
  • Responsive fingerprint scanner
  • Good speaker quality

Cons

  • Speaker placement
  • Bloatware
  • Potential quality control issues
  • Poor camera quality

Summary

If you are not too worried about snapping pics and you are on a tight budget, then the ASUS Zenpad 3S 10 is for you. It offers a top tier performance, a beautiful 2K display and the design is stunning.

ASUS ZenPad 3S Z500M
$287.99$284.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 14-12-2017 12:35 UTC) Details

Samsung Galaxy Tab A – T580Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 SM-T580NZKAXAR 10.1-inch tablet

Combining decent build quality, impressive performance, a sharp screen and great battery life all for under $200, Samsung seems to have struck gold with their new Galaxy Tab A T580. Aluminum cases are reserved for higher-end devices, so it is no surprise that plastic dominates the Tab A’s design. Nonetheless, it benefits from the Korean company’s usual good finishes and impressive ergonomics. With a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, the display is remarkably crisp and playing multimedia content is a pleasant experience. Moreover, the two speakers at the bottom edge of the device deliver more than acceptable sound for music, video and games. The good vibes spill over to the software, which features a relatively up-to-date Android version, v6.0 Marshmallow. Thankfully, Samsung has not flooded the interface with dozens of apps, but has instead opted for a fairly light version of TouchWiz that keeps things neat and positively affects performance. And speaking of performance, the Galaxy Tab A T580 packs a very capable 1.6GHz Exynos 7870 Octa and 2GB of RAM, which both result in a generally fast and fluid tablet. Even demanding games are handled fairly, and while 16GB storage is average, a microSD card slot is on-board to ensure you have all the space you need for your favorite games. The Tab A excels in the camera department, with an admirable 8MP main sensor at the back and a fitting 2MP front camera. Even more inspiring is the battery, which justifies the tablet’s relatively heavy nature with a good 18 hours of continuous video playback.

  • Samsung [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB DDR3L RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSDXC Card Reader
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 8MP
  • 10.1 inches, 1920 x 1200 pixels pixels (TN)
  • Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 1.16 lbs

Pros

  • Sturdy design
  • Bright Full-HD display
  • Great performance
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • MicroSD slot with App2SD
  • Decent cameras
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Lacks a dedicated standard-sized USB port
  • Only 10.5 GB available storage
  • Weak speakers

Summary

Offering the best balance between features and price, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is a stellar choice for the budget lovers.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 SM-T580NZKAXAR 10.1-inch
$279.99$199.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 14-12-2017 20:54 UTC) Details

Huawei MediaPad M3 BTV-W09
Huawei MediaPad M3 BTV-W09 8.4-inch tablet

While Apple’s iPads continue to dominate the tablet world and Microsoft has reached new heights with the Surface, Android devices haven’t had as much say in the market. With the MediaPad M3 however, Huawei aim to change this unpleasant trend. The new tablet is designed to look like a larger Huawei P9, and it inherits the flagship phone’s metal unibody, clear-cut lines and chamfered edges. Sporting a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, the 8.4-inch display is near-perfect for multimedia use. Colors are vivid, blacks are dark, viewing angles are spectacular and although the panel can be a little too reflective in the outdoors, it gets sufficiently bright. Speakers are an important aspect of a media tablet, and the M3 doesn’t disappoint. The dual speakers output excellent sound quality and the software provides additional tweaks that help balance the sound. Speaking of the software, the MediaPad M3 ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which brings more than a few useful refinements to the tablet. Unfortunately, despite receiving a recent update, the Emotion UI still remains one of the worst custom interfaces around. On the bright side, Huawei has fitted top-of-the-range hardware under the hood – a 2.3GHz octa-core processor, Mali-T880 GPU and 4GB RAM – to ensure everything runs smoothly. General tasks are handled effortlessly and not even the most demanding games are too much for the M3. The 8MP rear camera doesn’t disappoint, and with 32GB of internal storage, all your pictures have enough space to call home. Tucked under the chassis is a well-sized 5100mAh battery, which not only offers a good 11 hours of life, but is also commendably efficient while the device is in use.

  • Hisilicon Kirin 950 4x2.3 GHz Cortex-A72 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex A53 [View Benchmarks]
  • 4GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB
  • Cameras: Front 8MP, Rear 8MP
  • 8.4 Inch, 2560 x 1600 pixels (IPS)
  • Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 0.7 lbs

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Sharp high-resolution display
  • Admirable audio
  • High-speed Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Blazing-fast performance
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Intrusive custom UI

Summary

The Huawei MediaPad M3 is an exemplary tablet that is only let down by an overly dense custom interface.

Huawei MediaPad M3 BTV-W09 8.4-inch
$96.13
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 14-12-2017 03:19 UTC) Details

Apple iPad Mini 2 (2013)

iPad Mini 2 2013

The iPad Mini 2013 with Retina, also dubbed as the Mini 2 ME276LL/A, is currently one of the most popular small-form tablets from Apple. Compared to the original, the Mini 2 offers some great improvements to justify its price which is higher than most of its Android competitors. It has a sharper screen with 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution, improved cameras and a faster A7 processor that is excellent for gaming, photo and video editing and is built for handling the more powerful apps coming down the road. However, its bigger brother, iPad Air 2, is better equipped to handle demanding tasks such as video editing, but you’ll be paying more and sacrificing portability. If the 16GB of storage isn’t enough, you can go as high as 128GB, but that option is very expensive and many will find it too pricey relative to the competition. It also doesn’t come with a fingerprint ID sensor which many were expecting. Side by side you won’t notice any difference between the unibody aluminum design of the Mini and Mini 2, although the latter is a bit thicker and heavier mainly due to its pixel dense Retina display. All in all the Mini 2 is a well-priced tablet offering the performance equivalent to the iPad Air while remaining compact enough to slip into a handbag or rucksack. However, users who want to give Android a try have many alternatives that offer better value for the money.

  • Apple
  • Removable Storage: None
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 1.2MP
  • 7.9 inch, 2048 x 1536 pixels (IPS)
  • Apple iOS 7
  • 0.72 lbs

Pros

  • High-resolution Retina display
  • Fast processor
  • Great battery life
  • Sturdy metallic design

Cons

  • No microSD card slot
  • Android alternatives are cheaper

Summary

While there are some strong Android competitors, the iPad mini 2, now available at a lower price, is the best value iPad thanks to its great screen, stable performance and robust design.

Apple iPad mini 2 ME276LL/A
$269.00
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 14-12-2017 07:26 UTC) Details

Fire HD 10 10.1-inchamazon-fire-hd-10

The Fire HD 10 is an affordable 10-inch tablet running Amazon’s latest Fire OS 5 that provides quick and easy access to access all the digital contents in the Amazon Prime subscription. The tablet has a basic design resembling the glossy plastic back of a budget smartphone. The cover is an absolute fingerprint magnet and while the build quality isn’t something to write home about, the overall impression is that of a cheap but well-made tablet. At this price, one would expect a reasonably sharp display. However, the HD 10, as the name suggests only has a 1280 x 800 HD display. This is not a bad display more affordable tablets such as the Lenovo Tab 2 A10 has a Full-HD display while the 8-inch Zenpad S8 has an even higher resolution 2K display. The HD 10 has powerful set of stereo speakers at the bottom but they sound bleak in comparison to the front-facing speakers on the Tab 2 A10 and Zenpad S8. Thus, media consumers are more likely to go with these cheaper alternatives featuring better displays and sound. Packing a 1.5 GHz MediaTek Quad-Core processor and 1 GB of RAM, the Fire HD 10 isn’t the king of performance in its price range, but it will get the job done. The HD 10 is again beaten by rivals S8 and Tab 2 A10 both of which pack 2GB of RAM on top of mid-range Quad-Core processor to offer an overall better performance. However, it has a respectable battery life of over 9 hours, which falls short of 11 hours of battery life on the Tab 2 A10 but easily outlasts S8’s 5 hours of runtime. Overall, if you are an Amazon user who needs quick access to your Amazon content and need Amazon Fire OS exclusive features like Mayday customer support and parental controls, the HD is the most affordable large screen tablet in the market. If you’re a regular Android user, the Tab 2 A10 offers more bang for your buck.

  • Mediatek 1.5 GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD slot
  • Cameras: Front 1MP, Rear 5MP
  • 10.1 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
  • Fire OS 5
  • 0.69 lbs

Pros

  • Large screen size
  • Loud speakers
  • Expandable storage
  • Parental control features

Cons

  • Display isn’t as sharp as its competitors,
  • Plastic build feels cheap

Summary

Overall, if you are an Amazon user who needs quick access to your Amazon content and need Amazon Fire OS exclusive features, the Fire HD 10 is the most affordable large screen tablet in the market.

Fire HD 10 10.1-inch
$229.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 14-12-2017 06:19 UTC) Details

Lenovo ZA1N0007US Yoga Tab 3

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus ZA1N0007US 10.1-inch tablet

The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus is marketed as an entertainment machine. It has a 10.1-inch QHD 2560X1600 display that has been commended for its clarity and sharpness. The higher end octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 drives a admirable performance that has impressed those who own this, and the 3GB of RAM allow for easy multitasking. The 32GB of onboard storage is decent for a tablet being pushed as an entertainment tablet, but it only seems to support FAT32, meaning you are limited 4GB files sizes. People were perplexed as to why it did not support exfat or NTFS, and this was a dealbreaker for many. Some BluRay movies are easily larger than 4GB, so it is rather puzzling. It comes with a kickstand, which allows you to stand it on any surface easily. Many users found that the four front facing JBL speakers are loud and immersive, but some users did report an audible hiss or static noise. Its beefy 9300mAh battery allows for around 15-hours of continuous video playback, and Lenovo even boasts that it can be used as a USB power bank. Lenovo Media cast allows you to wirelessly cast your phone’s screen to the Tablet, or you can simply use the Tablet as portable speaker for your phone. Its IP52 rated splashproof design is pretty neat, but it is obviously not recommended to take it into the shower with you or to deliberately throw water on it to test it. The tablet uses USB Type-C for fast charging and connectivity, and it supports Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and LTE. It has a rear 13MP camera and a 5MP front camera.

  • Snapdragon [View Benchmarks]
  • 3GB DDR3 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD card reader
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 13MP
  • 10.1 Inch, 2560 x 1600 pixels pixels (IPS)
  • Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 1.3 lbs

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Crisp QHD display
  • Solid performance
  • JBL speakers

Cons

  • Weight
  • Only supports FAT32
  • May have static/hiss noise from speakers

Summary

The Lenovo Tab 3 Plus 10.1-inch tablet has a great battery life and has a lot of potential as an entertainment hub, but the FAT32 only support is rather disappointing.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus ZA1N0007US 10.1-inch
$299.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 14-12-2017 11:48 UTC) Details

Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T550NZAAX 9.7-inchSamsung-Galaxy-Tab-A-SM-T550NZAAXAR-9-7-Inch

The 2015 9.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T550NZAAX features the same all-plastic design you see on most Samsung products. Fortunately, the back cover is matte finished, which prevents fingerprints and also provides a firm grip. On the bottom of the screen, it has a signature Samsung button arrangement with a physical home button in between two capacitive keys. On the right side, you’ll find the power button and volume rocker, while the microSD slot is placed at the left. The microUSB port and 3.5mm headphone jack rest on the bottom edge along with great sounding dual stereo speakers. The Tab A also features front and back cameras, which perform very well for tablet cameras. The 9.7-inch Tab A weighs just 450 grams and measures 0.5mm thick. Its screen has a low 1024 x 768 resolution, but has a 4:3 aspect ratio that give readers a much wider area to comfortably view the contents of ebooks and web pages. While the display panel could be sharper,, itl offers excellent viewing angles and vibrant colors.. Under the hood, it packs a Quad-Core Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, which is backed by 1.5GB of RAM. This hardware package is capable of handling the usual Android applications and tasks without breaking much of a sweat. The Adreno 306 GPU will also let you play some demanding Android games, albeit with the occasional slow down here and there. If you run out of the onboard 16GB of storage, you can expand it up to 128GB via the included microSD slot. According to Cnet, its 6000 mAh battery offers 8 hours of screen on-time, and if you turn down the brightness and close some background apps it can last for even longer.

  • Snapdragon 1.2 GHz
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD Card Slot (Up to 128GB)
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 5MP
  • 9.70 inches, 1024 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 0.9 lbs

Pros

  • Fingerprint resistant cover
  • 4:3 aspect ratio screen
  • Decent amount of memory
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Low resolution display
  • Many competitors cost less

Summary

Despite its lower-resolution screen, the Tab A SM-T550NZAAX is a worthy option because it offers respectable performance, a wide display and Samsung’s exclusive software features.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T550NZAAXAR 9.7-Inch
$299.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 14-12-2017 05:37 UTC) Details

CHUWI Hi10 Plus

CHUWI Hi10 Plus tablet

The CHUWI Hi10 Plus is a budget 10-inch tablet that boasts dual booting capabilities. It has both Windows 10 and Android 5.1, and thanks to the modest performance of the Atom x5-z8350 and the generous 4GB of RAM, it handles basic tasks pretty well. The heavyweight apps do expose its weaknesses in the performance department, but this is a budget tablet and it is geared more towards the handling of basic tasks such as web browsing, MS Office, basic image editing and video playback. Most reported that its 10.8-inch 1920X1280 FULL-HD IPS screen is vivid and beautiful and the aspect ratio 3:2 was favored by quite a few reviewers. The dual boot speeds received some mixed reviews; some found that it can be exceptionally slow, while others found that it is reasonably quick, taking anywhere between 15 to 30 seconds. Some reported slow Wi-Fi speeds, which may be related to the Atom x5-z8350. The 64GB of internal storage should satisfy most, but it is upgradable to 128GB with a microSD card. It has included USB-C, HDMI and MicroUSB ports, as well as an AUX plugin to get the most of the sound, since the speakers are said to be quite tinny sounding. It has a 8,400 mAh battery which allows for around 6-hours of battery life. Both its front and rear cameras are 2MP, which are said to be average at best.

  • Intel Z8350 1.44GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 4GB DDR3L RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Removable Storage: TF Card reader
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 2MP
  • 10.8 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 2.8 lbs

Pros

  • Value
  • Dual boot (Windows 10 and Android 5.1)
  • Good at basic tasks
  • Good Full HD display
  • Generous 4GB of RAM
  • USB-C

Cons

  • May be slow to switch between Windows and Android
  • Screen glare
  • Struggle with resource heavy tasks
  • Screen may have sensitivity issues

Summary

The Chuwi Hi10 may have issues with slow Wi-Fi and it may struggle a bit with resource heavy apps, but its dual boot and otherwise generally smooth performances with basic tasks makes it a worthwhile purchase.

CHUWI Hi10 Plus 10.8-inch
$231.99
Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 14-12-2017 12:03 UTC) Details

 

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Final Words

Although the sub-$300 market has some shining stars, things really start to get interesting when we look at the upper price tiers where premium tablets emerge. For entry level Apple tablets and additional options that pack a bit more heat be sure to checkout our guides to the best 7 inch tablets, the best 8 inch tablets and the best 10 inch tablets where you’ll find the best of the best offered in the tablet market. Although some more powerful tablets may be a lot more expensive, extremely competitive tablets such as the Nexus 7 offer world class tablet experiences at less than $200, including the latest Android operating systems and much more. On the other side of the coin, Apple’s latest iPad mini can be had for $400.

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