Tablets have become affordable and are becoming superb devices to read eBooks, watch movies, run apps, surf the internet and do much more. There are many dirt cheap tablets available in the market, with brand names that we have never heard before. Choosing a tablet therefore becomes a tough decision as the end user can get confused and may pick up a tablet with bad screen (display), low processor and next to none features.
Best Budget/Cheap Tablets
If you do not want to spend a fortune to buy your first or may be a second tablet, then let’s take a look at cheap and affordable tablets which fall under the range of $400.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire features 7″ multi-touch display with IPS, 8GB internal memory, USB 2.0 port and 3.5 mm stereo audio jack. This tablet comes with Amazon’s own Android app store using which you can install thousands of popular apps and games, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and more. Kindle Fire also comes with Amazon’s cloud accelerated browser named as Silk.
Since this is a budget tablet, it doesn’t have any premium features like 3G connectivity, camera, GPS , Bluetooth and camera. Some users may want to add more storage because the internal storage is limited to only 8GB of which approximately 6GB is available for user but the problem is that there is no expansion slot available to expand the storage. That’s not all, to get more from this tablet, you will need to get paid subscription of Amazon Prime.
Price: 8GB for $199 and 16GB for $249
Like Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet is also a 7″ tablet. Technically, Nook Tablet comes with 7-inch color touchscreen with IPS display with a resolution of 1024 X 600 pixels, Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), microphone, 1GHz TI OMAP4 dual-core processor with 512MB RAM for 8GB model and 1GB RAM for 16GB model, 11.5 hours of reading or 9 hours of video and expandable memory up to 32GB with microSD memory card.
In addition to all the books and magazines, it also offers more than thousands of apps which can be downloaded from Nook Store. Netflix, Pandora and Hulu Plus are pre-loaded to instantly watch movies & popular TV shows. The web browser also supports flash.
Nook Tablet is a good alternative to Kindle Fire. But this tablet has one added advantage of having expansion slot, which the Kindle Fire lacks.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 is powered by Android’s latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. This enables user to install and use apps supported by the new ICS technology. Technically, Galaxy Tab 2 features 7-inch WSVGA (1024×600) PLS TFT, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 3 megapixel camera (rear) and VGA camera for video call, supports video playback & recording at Full HD@30fps, 3.5mm ear jack, Bluetooth technology v 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct and 8 / 16 / 32GB User memory + 1GB (RAM). Those in need for more storage can expand the memory up to 32GB by inserting a microSD card.
Overall it can be said that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 offers excellent value because of Android 4.0 ICS experience that no other tablet can provide under this price.
Lenovo’s Ideapad A1 is also an Android tablet, but it comes with Android 2.3 OS instead of ICS. Ideapad A1 features 7″ SD LED Glare screen with a resolution of 1024×600, Cortex-A8 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB LP DDR memory, 16 GB inbuilt storage (SSD), microSD card expansion slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and integrated front (0.3M) and rear (3M) webcams.
This is no doubt an affordable Android tablet but technically, it’s not that impressive compared to other tablets in this comparison. Android 2.3 Gingerbread can be considered as a minus point in this tablet.
With the launch of third generation of iPad (known as the new iPad), Apple has slashed prices of iPad 2. iPad 2 now costs $399 for 16GB model with Wi-Fi and the 3G model costs $529.
Apple iPad 2 features 16GB storage, 9.7-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology with resolution of 1024 x 768, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), HD video recording with 30FPS, front VGA camera and up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music
If you don’t want to spend more than $400, then the iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi model is an affordable decision. You can’t go wrong with this tablet. And if you want to spend even less, then you can consider buying Kindle Fire, Nook tablet and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.
There are many tablets available in the market but its recommended to stick with known brands and popular tablets, then to spend less and being unsatisfied with the purchase.