Finding the Best Budget Tablets Under $300

Last Updated: January 7, 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.

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 >> More under $300 >>

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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.

apple-ipad-air-md785ll

Apple iPad Air MD785LL/B 9.7-inch

Thanks to its age, the ever brilliant Apple iPad Air now sells at less than $300 and as a result, it has gained significant traction among budget lovers. While you get a beautifully designed, attractive and premium tablet, what Apple really sells here is the light weight, which really makes a difference when using the iPad for long periods of time. The 9.7-inch IPS Retina screen is even more impressive, packing a good 2,048 x 1,536 pixels that result in razor sharp picture and very accurate colors. Viewing angles are wide, and brightness is sufficient, although Apple should have been generous enough to add anti-reflective coating for more comfortable use in the bright outdoors. The speakers are acceptably loud too, especially for a compact tablet such as this one. Performance is offered by the now fairly dated Apple A7 processor and 1GB RAM, which might not seem like much given today’s standards but is more than sufficient in practice. Apps open instantly, and even demanding games run smoothly with decent framerates. Tablet users out there often find it difficult to choose between Android and iOS, and while both have their ups and downs, what really propels iOS to the front is the App Store. With thousands of apps specifically optimized for your large iPad, the experience you get is generally smoother and more enjoyable. The iPad Air ships with iOS 7, but you can upgrade to iOS 10 the second you get it out of the box. The cameras are surprisingly better than most of what we get in this price range and even better is the battery, which manages a cool 10 hours of continuous multimedia use on a single charge.

Specs

  • Apple A7 1.3 GHz Cyclone [View Benchmarks]
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: No
  • Cameras: Front 1.2MP, Rear 5MP
  • 9.70 inches, 2048 x 1536 pixels (IPS)
  • Apple iOS 7
  • 1 lbs

Pros

  • Robust and premium design
  • Very light and thin
  • Excellent screen quality
  • Decent performance
  • Great iOS app optimization
  • Decent cameras
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • Non-expandable storage
  • No Touch ID

Summary

Diehard iPad enthusiasts might see the 2013 9.7-inch iPad Air as nothing but an old model, but for those of us looking for a bargain, it still remains a premium tablet, but at a not so premium price tag.

Apple iPad Air MD785LL/B 9.7-inch
from $300.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:33 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $95.37 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:33 UTC) Details

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T350NZAAXAR

Released as a newer, larger upgrade to 2015’s bestseller; the Galaxy Tab A 9.7, the Tab A 10.1 not only comes with an updated Android version, but also better overall performance and longer battery life. Much like its predecessor, the design has been kept simple to keep the price affordable. The case is made entirely out of plastic, with white and black being the only color choices. That said, it is sturdy enough for daily use, and will survive the inevitable knocks and drops. Equipped with a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution TFT display, the Tab A offers a splendid visual experience. It also gets sufficiently bright for use in the open outdoors, and a brightness sensor assures that the appropriate brightness level is automatically selected depending on the light conditions. The Galaxy Tab A runs a recent version of Android, 6.0 Marshmallow, and save for a few pre-installed applications, Samsung left the OS untouched. The software is perfectly optimized to offer seamless navigation, scrolling and app-launching. The mobile giant’s new Exynos 7870 octa-core CPU and a 2GB RAM module offer exemplary performance for general use. Even current games like Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2 run stutter free, and gaming enjoyment is only underwhelmed by a weak pair of bottom-facing speakers. 16GB internal storage is rather modest, but a microSD card slot is available for up to 200GB memory expansion. Nothing good can be said about the cameras, so let’s reserve the nice words for the battery, which with continuous Full-HD video playback offers an admirable 15 hours of uptime.

Specs

  • Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: MicroSD Slot
  • Cameras: Front 8MP, Rear 1.3MP
  • 10.1 inches, 1920 x 1200 pixels (IPS)
  • Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 1.2 lbs

Pros

  • Sturdy Design
  • Bright Full-HD screen
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box
  • Remarkable performance
  • Expandable storage
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Limited internal storage
  • Uninspiring cameras
  • Weak speakers

Summary

With a decent screen, an up-to-date software, great performance and long battery life, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 offers an exceptional tablet experience at a friendly price.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
from $296.93 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon
(as of 28-12-2016 00:23 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.

Specs

  • Apple A7, Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based)
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • 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
from $269.00 $248.95 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:26 UTC) Details

ASUS-Zenpad-s-8-Z580CA-C1

ASUS Zenpad S 8.0 Z580CA-C1

If you are wondering just how good a reasonably-priced tablet can get, wonder no further than the ASUS Zenpad S 8.0 Z580CA-C1. At first sight, even those accustomed to high-end Samsung and Apple tablets will bow to the ZenPad’s alluring look and feel. With clean lines, flat panels and a brilliant metallic finish, its styling will comfortably fit even the most premium of settings. Once you are done ogling the exterior, power the tablet on and you will be even more impressed with the 8-inch display which packs a stunning 2048 x 1536-pixel 2K resolution. Every video and image comes to life with vivid, bright colors and thanks to IPS technology, viewing angles are wide enough to deliver accurate color reproduction, no matter how you view the screen. Out of the box, the Zenpad S 8.0 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is overlain by ASUS’s ZenUI that provides an exquisite visual experience and a variety of features including ZenMotion, SnapView and an effective Kids Mode to enhance usability for the whole family. That said, stock-Android enthusiasts are likely to feel a little overwhelmed by the horde of pre-loaded apps and unique features. Rigged with a quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 and a whopping 4GB of RAM, there is really nothing that is too much for the ZenPad S 8.0. Additionally, you get 64GB of onboard storage, and in the unlikely event that this proves inadequate, make use of the microSD slot and expand by up to 256GB. We don’t normally say much about tablet cameras but ASUS gets it right this time, Both the 8MP at the back and the 5MP front camera perform exceptionally well, and you get a huge range of camera features from the camera app for even better photo output. Undoubtedly, the most significant let-down to an otherwise perfect device is the battery life, which is just a little over 9 hours on normal use.

Specs

  • Intel 2.3 GHz Atom Z3580 Quad-Core
  • 4GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Cameras: Front 5MP, Rear 8MP
  • 8 Inch, 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 0.66 lbs

Pros

  • Slim design
  • High resolution display
  • Smooth performance
  • Dual front speakers
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Bloatware
  • Mediocre battery life

Summary

The affordable price coupled with a premium design and impressive hardware makes it easy to forgive Zenpad S 8’s bloatware and mediocre battery life.

ASUS Zenpad S 8.0 Z580CA-C1
from $299.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 17-12-2016 00:02 UTC) Details

Google-Nexus-7-2013

Nexus 7 2013 7-Inch

The original Nexus 7 brought an affordable yet high performance Android experience to a market filled with price sensitive consumers. The 2013 Nexus 7, keeping up with the hardware and software trend, includes updated hardware, design and the latest Android 4.4 KitKat OS, but still manages to stick to a reasonable price point just like its predecessor. To keep the cost low, Google has refrained from using a metallic chassis casing. Instead, it has opted for a soft touch black plastic body with a thinner seam which makes the original Nexus 7 look quite dated. The most noticeable enhancement is its new Retina class 1,920 x 1,200 res screen with a 323 ppi pixel density, the highest pixel density of any 7-inch tablets on the market. The performance boost from the old Tegra 3 is significant thanks to a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The gaming tests show the new Nexus 7 to be twice as fast as its predecessor and in many benchmarks it even outperforms the Nexus 10. The only sub-standard feature on this tablet is its disappointing rear camera. Its main competitors are the Kindle Fire HDX and the iPad Mini.

Specs

  • Snapdragon Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • 2GB DDR2 SDRAM RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: None
  • Cameras: Front 1.2MP, Rear 5MP
  • 7 inch, 1920 X 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • 0.64 lbs

Pros

  • Fast performance
  • High resolution display
  • Slim form factor
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Lack of expandable storage
  • Relatively weak camera

Summary

The 2013 Nexus 7 is still perfectly sized for ebook reading and travelling, and even today it’s powerful enough to be crowned as the top 7-inch Android tablet.

Google Nexus 7 (2013)
from $199.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:22 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.

Specs

  • Snapdragon 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 5MP
  • 9.70 inches, 1024 x 768 pixels
  • 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
from $299.99 $239.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:20 UTC) Details

LG G Pad LGV940N II 10.1-inch tablet

LG G Pad LGV940N II 10.1

When the G Pad II 10.1 came out, it rocked a price tag that was up there with the premium devices of its time. Now however, thanks a variety of sales and offers all over the market as well as time itself, you can get yourself this truly remarkable multimedia all-rounder at less than $300! To start with, the G Pad II is encased in a robust plastic casing, which is made attractive and premium-looking by subtle black and metallic touch-ups. Additionally, with a measly 1-pound weight and measuring just 0.3-inches deep, this device is one of the lightest and thinnest 10-inch tablets in this price category. Powered up, the G Pad II reproduces the Full-HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels on its 10.1-inch IPS screen and the result is razor-sharp images, bright and accurate colors and crisp picture. The stereo speakers are also loud and clear, with acceptable distortion at maximum volume. Equipped with the very capable quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU and a generous 2GB RAM, the G Pad II’s performance competes well in the premium league of tablets. Couple high-end hardware with near-perfect Android OS optimization and you get a tablet that handles everything; from basic tasks to heavy productivity and gaming effortlessly. Now that we’ve mentioned it, the Android version here is v5.1 Lollipop and LG has been kind enough to include a good number of pre-loaded apps like MS Office and Google app bundle. Also a pleasant addition is the “Dual Window” multitasking app, which enables split-screen multitasking. 16GB internal storage is expected at this price range, and the G Pad II’s poor cameras don’t really come out as a shocking downside. A pleasant surprise is the battery, which from a single charge will endure up to a good 13 hours of constant web browsing on Wi-Fi, and up to 18 hours of balanced 3G use.

Specs

  • Snapdragon Snapdragon 800 2.26GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 5MP
  • 10.1 Inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 1.08 lbs

Pros

  • Attractive
  • Great screen
  • Sturdy build
  • Solid performance
  • Long battery life
  • Cellular connectivity

Cons

  • High price
  • Lack-luster cameras

Summary

The LG G Pad II 10.1’s long battery life, fast performance, and dazzling screen make it the perfect tablet for multimedia users.

LG G Pad LGV940N II 10.1-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:29 UTC) Details

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8-inchSamsung Galaxy Tab 4

If you look at its design, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 isn’t much different from its predecessor the Tab 3. As for the hardware, it sports a slightly faster Quad Core processor and there are also some UI tweaks and the updated Android 4.4 KitKat OS. However, the performance boost compared to the Tab 3 isn’t noticeable while running normal apps or games but when it comes to multitasking or advanced gaming, the Tab 4 is definitely a better performer, though not as powerful as the Galaxy Note 8. If you haven’t purchased the Tab 3 yet, then you will definitely enjoy the features on the Tab 4. Or, if you need even more power, for $45 more we’d also recommend checking out the LG Pad 8.3.

Specs

  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD expandable to 64GB
  • Cameras: Front 1.3MP, Rear 3MP
  • 8 Inch, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 1.1 lbs

Pros

  • Smooth performance
  • Enjoyable user interface
  • Multi-window functionality
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Plastic build
  • Modest screen resolution
  • Poor cameras

Summary

The 8-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 has just about everything an Android enthusiast wants in a mid-range tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (8-inch)
from $269.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 28-12-2016 11:43 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.

Specs

  • MediaTek Quad-Core 1.5 GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD slot
  • Cameras: Front 1MP, Rear 5MP
  • , 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
from $229.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:20 UTC) Details

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (8-Inch)Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (8-Inch)

Design-wise, the 8-inch Galaxy Tab 3 looks and feels like a budget tablet. Its casing is entirely made of plastic, and is completed with curvy edges, a glossy white back panel and a silver metal band around the screen. Speaking of the screen, Samsung has opted for a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution WXGA display, which is the norm in its class, but digging a little deeper into the market can get you cheaper devices with Full-HD displays. Regardless, the Tab 3’s screen is not too bad. Colors are decent, contrast is sharp enough to enjoy HD videos, and brightness is also sufficient for the outdoors. Onwards to the software, the Tab 3 runs a rather dated Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which you can manually update to version 4.4 KitKat. Pleasingly, Samsung has kept TouchWiz UI clean, light and intuitive, culminating in a generally enjoyable user experience. Armed with a Exynos 4412 dual-core processor, Mali 400 GPU and 1.5GB RAM, the Galaxy Tab 3 is more than capable of handling everyday tasks. Flicking through homescreens is smooth, applications launch fast and web browsing is seamless. As expected, however, the tablet struggles through demanding apps, heavy gaming and cumbersome multitasking. Going by today’s standards, the 16GB internal storage is hardly commendable but, thankfully, there is a microSD card slot on-board for expansion. Images captured by the 5MP rear-camera offer decent levels of detail, but lack sharpness, especially when captured in low-light conditions. The Tab 3  ends things on a high, with its 4,450mAh battery, which will comfortably get you through a day without charging.

Specs

  • Samsung Exynos 4210
  • 1.5GB DDR3 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: MicroSD card up to 32GB
  • Cameras: Front 1.3MP, Rear 5MP
  • 8 Inch, 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 0.68 lbs

Pros

  • Impressive design
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Decent display
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Modest performance
  • Poor sound output
  • Outdated OS version
  • Limited internal memory

Summary

Despite its shortcomings, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is a solid 8-inch tablet that promises the casual user an enjoyable Android experience at an affordable price.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (8-Inch)
from $215.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 27-12-2016 05:09 UTC) Details

Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70 10-inchLenovo IdeaTab A10-70

Like many budget tablets, the Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70’s design is nothing special. Featuring an uninspiring black casing with curved edges, style is not a word you can use to accurately describe the device. Nonetheless, the build quality feels decent, although not a durability champion like its 10-inch competitor, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1. The 1280 x 800-pixel display hardly compares to the higher resolutions you’d see on the high-end tablets of today, but picture detail is acceptable. The same can’t be said about brightness, with its maximum level being hardly enough for use outdoors. The multimedia experience is further upheld by the A10’s front-facing speakers, which work well with the Dolby branded app to output commendable sound. Power is offered by a MediaTek MT8121 quad-core 1.3GHz CPU and 1GB RAM. Admittedly, the specs don’t sound like much on paper. Nonetheless, general tasks are handled with little sweat, and you can even get away with some light to moderate gaming. The hardware integrates well with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to offer a seamless user experience. Lenovo has even made version 4.4 KitKat available, which you can download once you purchase the tablet. The 16GB version leaves a little over 12GB of internal memory available to the user, and expansion is possible via microSD cards. Camera-wise, the 5-megapixel rear camera takes decent snaps as long as you have good light.. Lenovo rates the A10’s battery life at 9 hours, which is fairly accurate as an average. Light to moderate use will comfortably last you a whole day.

Specs

  • Mediatek MTK 8121 1.3 GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD expandable up to 32GB
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 5MP
  • 10 inch, 1200 x 800 pixels
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 1.2 lbs

Pros

  • Slim design
  • Wide-view HD display
  • Decent performance
  • Excellent sound
  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • Low resolution for a 10-inch screen
  • Plastic build
  • Weak camera
  • Annoying custom UI changes

Summary

The Lenovo Tab A10-70 is a decent 10-inch tablet that offers great everyday performance for a reasonable price

Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70
from $259.98 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 29-12-2016 03:09 UTC) Details

 

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More 2-in-1 Tablets Under $300

ASUS Transformer Book T100HAASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR

The Transformer Book T100HA is neither as sleek nor as premium as the high-end tablets of today, but its 1.27-pound weight competes well with the competition. The bundled keyboard adds some weight and thickness, but even then, the T100HA feels reasonably compact and portable. It is custom for budget tablets to suffer in the display department, but things look pretty decent when you power up the T100HA. The 1280 x 800 WXGA resolution produces remarkable picture quality and color accuracy, and the IPS technology ensures great viewing angles. The multimedia experience is only let down by poor speakers, which output low maximum volume and woeful sound quality. Out of the box, the T100HA runs Windows 10, and users will be happy with the new features that come with Microsoft’s latest OS. That said, there is quite a significant amount of bloatware, including the ASUS digital deal app “Giftbox” and the virtually useless WildTangent game store. When you excuse the bloatware, however, you will be thoroughly impressed by the T100HA’s performance. Powered by a quad-core Intel Z8500 processor with Intel HD Graphics and 4GB RAM, the tablet breezes through everyday tasks. The 64GB of internal storage might be a little low for a tablet that is expected to be an occasional laptop replacement, but a microSD card slot is available for further expansion. Battery-wise, the 30Wh non-removable cell serves up a good 12 hours of life. The T100HA does discharge quicker with heavier usage but, thankfully, fast-charging is available to get you back up and running as speedily as possible.

Specs

  • Intel ntel Z8500
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Removable Storage: MicroSD
  • 10.1 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10
  • 1.27 lbs

Pros

  • Ultra-light and compact
  • Versatile user modes
  • Decent display quality
  • Commendable performance
  • Expandable memory
  • Fast charging

Cons

  • Dull design
  • Poor sound output
  • ASUS bloatware

Summary

The ASUS Transformer Book T100HA succeeds in meeting all that is expected of it, as a modern budget-friendly 2-in-1 tablet.

ASUS Transformer Book T100HA
from $269.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 28-12-2016 00:35 UTC) Details

Dragon Touch i10X 10.1-inchDragon-Touch-i10X-10.1

There is nothing particularly groundbreaking with the Dragon Touch i10X, and as with most budget tablets, it gets its convincing power from good value for the money. The design is generally kept simple and despite being only made from plastic and glass, it doesn’t feel horribly cheap or delicate. Its flat panels and a textured back also make it a delight to hold and carry around. If you are expecting to be disappointed by the Dragon Touch’s 10-inch IPS display, you will be as surprised as we were. While not 1080p, the 10-inch 1280 x 800-pixel resolution screen still achieves remarkable richness and clarity. For this price, 720p is not only acceptable, but it works well and it looks good. That said, the speakers are far from perfect and the best multimedia experience is gotten from headphones or other auxiliary sound output devices. Software-wise, the Dragon Touch i10X runs Windows 10 Home Edition and it works smoothly to ensure the satisfaction of every Windows lover. With an Intel Atom processor and 2GB RAM, this is undoubtedly not a business workhorse or a creative machine. Nonetheless, basic computer functionality and entertainment are handled just fine. Speaking of computer functionality, the DragoN Touch i10X features easy external keyboard connectivity to enhance productivity and office work. And when you feel like detaching your tablet from the keyboard for use out of the office, you can take all the time you want, thanks to a capable battery cell that serves up a decent 16 hours of life on normal day-to-day usage.

Specs

  • Intel Atom z3735 1.83 GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD card slot
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 5MP
  • 10.1 Inch, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10
  • 1.2 lbs

Pros

  • Large screen
  • Fast performance
  • Full Windows 10 features
  • Keyboard cover

Cons

  • Only one full-sized USB port
  • Charging via AC adapter

Summary

If you are a light user, the i10x will serve you like a fully functional laptop in a tablet form, but power users and gamers would want to invest more on a higher-end device.

Dragon Touch i10X 10.1-inch
from $229.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:26 UTC) Details

ASUS-Transformer-Pad-F103CE-A2-EDU-BK 1

ASUS Transformer Pad TF103CE-A2-EDU-BK

Unlike the top of the line convertibles, the TF103-A2 doesn’t have a sleek aluminum exterior. Instead, it features a slightly chunky and cheaper looking charcoal black chassis made of plastic. However, the tablet feels sturdy and its soft touch back doesn’t catch fingerprints easily. Regardless of its average build quality, for the price, it is a tablet worthy of praise for its impressive features including a bright touch screen, clear audio, an included keyboard dock as well as the relatively new Android 5.0 Lollipop. It has a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 touch screen boasting vivid colors and high brightness. Compared to the WXGA TFT screens on previous Transformer Pads, this IPS display offers improved color accuracy and wider viewing angles. The onboard 1.33-GHz Intel Atom Z3745 Quad-Core processor is also faster than the CPUs on the older T100 and TF30T Transformer Pads, and it also outperforms many new mid-range tablets equipped with MediaTek processors. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which is on par with most competitors in this price range. Overall the TF103C-A2 is a modest system suitable for everyday use. If a keyboard isn’t something you need and you are looking to experience a different kind of operating system, the Fire HD 10 is a great alternative.

Specs

  • Intel Atom Z3745 1.33 GHz [View Benchmarks]
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 16GB
  • Removable Storage: microSD card slot
  • Cameras: Front 0.3MP, Rear 2MP
  • 10.1 Inch, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2 lbs

Pros

  • Clear screen
  • Fast performance
  • Long battery life
  • Low price

Cons

  • Pllastic chassis feels cheap
  • Rear camera doesn’t take good photos

Summary

The Transformer Pad TF103C-A2 is smooth, fast and responsive. It is reasonably priced, has a solid construction and offers excellent typing experience though the attached keyboard.

ASUS Transformer Pad TF103CE-A2-EDU-BK 10.1
from $234.08 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:26 UTC) Details

Acer-Aspire-Switch-10-E-SW3-013-1566 L

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E SW3-013-1566

The Acer Aspire Switch 10 E SW3-013-1566 is a low-budget tablet with a detachable keyboard to transform it into a compact Windows netbook. Regular notebooks at this price are equipped with better hardware but come in much larger sizes and offer significantly lower battery life. The 10E is built with hard plastic with subtle patterns across the outer lid and the keyboard surface. With rounded corners, a thin profile and a lightweight build, it is comfortable to hold for a long time. The new magnetic docking mechanism feels solid and allows the display to be fixed at various angles to be used in tent, stand and clamshell modes. Standard ports including USB 2.0, micro HDMI and a micro SD slot are lined neatly on the left edge of the display. Modern connectivity options like AC WiFi, NFC and USB 3.0 are excluded. This low cost convertible features a 1280 x 800 resolution screen that acceptable levels of brightness, wide viewing angles and adequate color production. Despite its plastic construction, the keyboard feels solid with little flex and quiet keys. Inside, it has an Intel Z3735F processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB eMMc storage, which is the same configuration used on many cheap netbooks and mid-range Windows tablets. While the 10 E is primarily intended for tablet related tasks, it can easily run basic productivity software like MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint. The embedded Intel graphics is not cut out for PC gaming, but handles mobile specific games on Windows Store very well. The tablet’s battery can provide over 10 hours of video playback time provided all heavy background apps are closed.

Specs

  • Intel Intel Atom Z3735F
  • 2GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 32GB
  • Removable Storage: MicroSD memory slot up to 128GB
  • Cameras: Front 2MP, Rear 2MP
  • 10.1 Inch, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10
  • 2.54 lbs

Pros

  • sleek design
  • sturdy keyboard hinge
  • reasonable price
  • Decent performance

Cons

  • Screen is not Full-HD
  • Small onboard storage

Summary

A trendy convertible tablet with mid-range components and a competitive price.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E SW3-013-1566
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 21:26 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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