Best cheap tablets: top budget options

The best budget tablets £250 can buy you

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD

5. Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+

Big battery and a built in stand

Weight: 615g | Dimensions: 261 x 180 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 4.4 | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: 1.6GHz quad-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 9000mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.6MP

Huge battery
Built in stand
Slow to charge
Heavy and bulky

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ combines a versatile and solid stand with a decently sharp screen, reasonable performance and amazing battery life.

It's not your run of the mill tablet with its folder book design, and that may put some off. It's also quite big and bulky.

That said, for those looking for a tablet which will last an transatlantic flight the 10 HD+ is one of the strongest contenders.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+

Nvidia Shield Tablet

4. Nvidia Shield Tablet

It's not for everyone, but this tablet stands a fighting chance to win over gamers

Weight: 390g | Dimensions: 221 x 126 x 9.2mm | OS: Android 4.4.2 | Screen size: 8-inch |Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: Quad-core 2.2GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery:5300mAh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 5MP

Decently priced
Great specs
Not as portable as the first
Contoller is beefy

The Nvidia Shield Tablet has been built from the ground up with gamers in mind, as such it's definitely not a tablet for everyone.

But if gaming on the go is important to you you'll struggle to do much better and it's downright impossible to beat it for under £250. High end performance and solid battery life ensure it will keep you gaming through the day and its impressive 8.0-inch 1920 x 1200 display will show your games off in all their glory.

If you're serious about gaming on it you might want to invest in the Shield controller, which is sold separately and pushes the total cost above £250, but it's still a great slate even without it.

Read the full review: Nvidia Shield Tablet

Nexus 9

3. Google Nexus 9

Pure Google in a tablet

Weight: 425g | Dimensions: 228.2 x 153.7 x 8mm | OS: Android 5.1.1 | Screen size: 8.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: 2.6GHz dual-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 6700mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.6MP

Ideal 4:3 aspect ratio
Strong speakers
Subpar display quality
Uninspiring design

When the Nexus 9 launched it was going toe-to-two with the iPad in terms of screen size and price. However, with the advent of potentially new Nexus slates on the horizon the Nexus 9 can now be picked up for a lot less.

At just a touch over £200 now it's an incredibly attractive offering. Issues with screen quality and easier to handle - it's still great, just not up to iPad Air 2 standards.

There's a decent slug of power, the latest Android operating system and HTC's BoomSound speakers for excellent sound quality.

Read the full review: Google Nexus 9

iPad Mini 2

2. iPad mini 2

The best value iPad out there

Weight: 331g | Dimensions: 200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm | OS: iOS 7 | Screen size: 7.9-inch | Resolution:1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 1.3GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16/32/64/128GB | Battery: 6470mAh |Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Amazing screen
Brilliant design
Similar-spec rivals are much cheaper
16GB too low storage

What's this? The iPad mini 2 in a list of the best cheap tablets? Why yes. It may be a premium slate but it's been superseded by the iPad mini 3 and as such it's dropped in price to a sliver under £250.

Better yet, as the iPad mini 3 is basically the same tablet with added Touch ID you hardly miss out on anything by buying this older model.

With a brilliant screen, a stunning design and quite a lot of power the iPad mini 2 is difficult to beat at this price point. It looks, feels and performs like something far more expensive.

Read the full review: Apple iPad mini 2

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

1. Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

A stunning tablet packed full of features

Weight: 270g | Dimensions: 213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: 2.5GHz quad-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 2.2MP

Great battery life
Very thin and light
Low internal storage
Annoying port flaps

Thanks to a recent price drop you can now pick up the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet for just £240. Which is a great price.

The super-slim, super-light frame makes the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact a joy to use, especially during those crowded work commutes.

Waterproofing gives you confidence you're not going to have any issues in the rain. Or the bath, if that's your bag.

If you want the most tablet hardware you can get for the least amount of cash, you'll find the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact fits the bill nicely.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact