Best cheap tablets: top budget options

The best 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.

Acer Iconia W4

10. Acer Iconia W4

A highly evolved Windows 8.1 tablet

Weight: 415g | Dimensions: 135mm x 219mm x 10.8mm | OS: Windows 8.1 | Screen size: 8-inch |Resolution: 1280 x 800 | CPU: Quad-core 1.33GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery:4960mAh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 2MP

Excellent screen
Office included
Processing power
Port selection

We always knew it was going to happen, and at last it has. We now have several low cost Windows 8.1 tablets, and the Iconia W4 is now sitting comfortably within the £250 threshold.

The big selling point of the Iconia W4 is its full blown Windows 8.1 operating system, giving you all the functionality of a PC on an 8-inch display and wrapped in a portable chassis.

Its 1.33GHz quad-core processor may not be the most powerful around, and with 2GB of RAM it's less powerful than some high-end smartphones, but with a decent display and reasonable battery life the Iconia W4 is a solid performer.

Read the full review: Acer Iconia W4

Linx 7

9. Linx 7

Windows and Office for the price of a PS4 game? What's the catch?

Weight: 281g | Dimensions: 192 x 109 x 95mm | OS: Windows 8.1 | Screen size: 7-inch |Resolution: 1280x800 | CPU: Quad-core 1.33GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3500mAh | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP

Good build quality
Decent screen
1GB of RAM
Poor rear camera

The Linx 7 isn't the most powerful slate around, but at roughly £65 it doesn't need to be, especially as for that money you get both Windows 8.1 and a year's subscription to Office 365 Personal.

You've arguably got your money's worth on the strength of those things alone, but it also has a decent screen and a solid build quality. With just 1GB of RAM it might struggle with more demanding tasks, but for basic use this 7-inch slate really is fantastic and it's got an impulse purchase price tag.

If you'd rather have a slightly bigger screen you can stump up an extra £25 and grab the Linx 8, which has an 8.0-inch display and is otherwise similar.

Read the full review: Linx 7

Pipo W2

8. Pipo W2

A well rounded Windows 8.1 tablet

Weight: 360g | Dimensions: 206 x 126 x 10.3mm | OS: Windows 8.1 | Screen size: 8-inch |Resolution: 1280 x 800 | CPU: Quad-core 1.8GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery:5000mAh | Rear camera: 5.04MP | Front camera: 1.92MP

Build quality
Low price
32-bit Windows 8.1
Hard to buy

There isn't a huge selection of affordable Windows slates around and to get the most bang for your buck you have to look away from the big name manufacturers.

The Pipo W2 is a case in point, it's an unknown name in England and in fact it dispatches from Hong Kong, but it's excellent value for money, with a solid build, decent battery life and reasonable performance.

Of course it runs Windows 8.1, so whether you want to stream videos, browse the net or get some serious work done it's up to the task.

Read the full review: Pipo W2

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

7. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire excels at one thing: Amazon

Weight: 303g | Dimensions: 186 x 128 x 9mm | OS: Android 4.3 | Screen size: 7-inch | Resolution:1200 x 1920 | CPU: Quad-core 2.2 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32/64GB | Battery: 4550mAh |Rear camera: 1.3MP | Front camera: N/A

Mayday is innovative
Great screen
Dark spots on screen
Poor browser

The Kindle Fire HDX 7 may be an Android tablet at heart, but fire it up and you wouldn't recognise Google's work. That's because Amazon has completely rebuilt Android to its own liking, giving you instant access to all the services the online retailer offers.

This means browsing Amazon's huge collection of eBooks, watching a movie on Amazon Prime Instant Video or even just browsing the web is simple on the full HD display - but anyone looking for flexibility here will be sorely disappointed - the Kindle Fire HDX is almost as locked down as an iPad.

In short, if you're heavily invested in Amazon's ecosystem, or want a hassle free (yet limited) user interface, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 could be the perfect tablet for you - if you want something more, keep reading.

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Asus MeMoPad 7

6. 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