Best cheap tablets: top budget options

The best budget tablets £250 can buy you

Best cheap tablets top budget options

The iPad Air 2 is ruling the roost as the best tablet in the world, but with prices starting at £399 and rising to £659, it's clearly priced in a bracket way above many people's budget.

Apple's sky-high prices mean those wanting a more affordable tablet experience will have to look elsewhere, although the iPad mini 2 has seen a price cut since the new and only slightly improved iPad mini 3 and now features on this list.

Google's Android operating system now adorns a multitude of tablets, from those priced at the same lofty heights of Apple's offerings to those that can be picked up for less than £100 at your local supermarket – although we'd advise against purchasing most of these.

We're also seeing Windows 8.1 tablets dropping in price, although for the most part they're still not at the level of the Android slates.

If you can't quite hack the lower offerings, and you've managed to scrape together enough money to indulge in a pricier tablet experience, then take a gander at the following:

For those of you who are still with us, well done. To reward you for your loyalty, here are some top tablets for under £250 currently on sale.

Asus MeMoPad 7

10. Asus MeMoPad 7 ME572C

Asus' follow up to the Nexus 7

Weight: 269g | Dimensions: 200 x 114.4 x 8.3mm | OS: Android 4.4.2 | Screen size: 7-inch |Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: Quad-core 1.83GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery:3950mAh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 2MP

Good screen
Respectable power
Lots of pre-installed apps
Not much volume

It may not have a catchy name, but with the company behind the Nexus 7 making it the Asus MeMoPad 7 ME572C was always likely to be good.

A full HD display, stereo speakers and 2GB of RAM are a good start. A slim, attractive design and solid battery life don't hurt either and it even one-ups the Nexus 7 with the inclusion of a microSD card slot.

With the Nexus 7 now off sale the 7-inch MeMoPad 7 is perhaps the closest alternative and it's one of the best options for fans of small-screen Android slates.

Read the full review: Asus MeMoPad 7 ME572C

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8 4

9. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4

One of Samsung's finest tablets

Weight: 331g | Dimensions: 219 x 128.5 x 7.2mm | OS: Android 4.4 | Screen size: 8.4-inch |Resolution: 1600 x 2560 | CPU: Quad-core 2.3GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery:4800mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP

Stunning display
Lightweight, nice proportion
Expensive
Cheap design

This is a bit of a surprise - a fairly high-end Samsung slate making it into the "best cheap tablets" roundup - but the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 does just that.

It's obviously towards the upper end of the £225 boundary, but you get a lot for your money, including an 8.4-inch 1600 x 2560 Super AMOLED display, 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, Android KitKat and a microSD slot, plus front and rear cameras.

The plastic construction isn't the best we've seen on the tablet, and the speaker placement could be better, but if you want a supremely powerful tablet with an impressive screen the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is a decent shout.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4

Amazon Fire HD 6

8. Amazon Fire HD 6

If you live on Amazon you'll want a Fire

Weight: 290g | Dimensions: 169 x 103 x 10.7mm | OS: Android (Fire OS) | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 800 x 1280 | CPU: quad-core | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 8GB/16GB | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA

Compact size
Prime integration
Awful cameras
Fire OS can be restrictive

The Amazon Fire HD 6 is one of the most enticing tablets to come from Amazon, mixing efficient integration with the Prime services and a compact footprint that makes it easy to drop in your bag.

It's no tablet king, but it does what it sets out to well. Its crazy low price tag means its perfect to hand off to the kids without the fear that they're wielding an expensive bit of kit around.

It may be too small for some, and the cameras aren't up to much, but the Fire HD 6 gives you the core tablet experience for not very much outlay.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 6

EE Harrier Tab

7. EE Harrier Tab

Super low-cost 4G tablet

Weight: 338g | Dimensions: 212.8 x 124 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: Full HD | CPU: octa-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 4650mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP

Good screen
4G mobile internet
Limited to EE
Poor cameras

The EE Harrier Tab is a tablet of greater taste than its shiny-as-you-like fake metal rear might suggest. It doesn't have an EE-heavy interface, performs very well, and has a practical design that is both light and practical.

If the idea of a 4G tablet appeals, this is one of the best budget options. It is much better than the Vodafone alternative, the Smart Tab prime 6, thanks to its higher-quality screen.

However, if mobile internet is something you can live without, the Tesco Hudl 2 is an even better buy at a jaw-dropping £99.

Read the full review: EE Harrier Tab

Hudl 2

6. Tesco Hudl 2

Supermarket giant brings the goods

Weight: 410g | Dimensions: 224 x 128 x 9.14mm | OS: Android 4.4.2 | Screen size: 8.3-inch |Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: Quad-core 1.83GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery:5710mAh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Great value for money
Decent HD screen
Poor battery life
Tesco launcher sluggish

A few years ago the prospect of a Tesco-brand tablet wouldn't have filled us with confidence, but the impressive Hudl changed our minds and the Hudl 2 has impressed us all over again.

At just £79 it's really incredible value for money, thanks to an 8.3-inch HD screen and stereo speakers. The low cost combined with handy parental controls also make it a great choice if you've got kids around.

There's not much built in storage, but a microSD card slot makes up for that somewhat, and the battery life could be a LOT better, but this is about as cheap and cheerful as a tablet gets.

Read the full review: Tesco Hudl 2