If you’re planning to buy one of the best budget tablets then, well, your options are limited. Most of the best tablets – such as the iPad Pro 11, which tops our best tablets list, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, which tops our best Android tablets list - are decidedly expensive.
But it’s not so much that budget tablets are bad, as just that not many are being made. That does mean there are fewer that you’ll need to consider though, making it easier to choose one.
All of our picks come complete with specs, pros, cons and key features, so you can see at a glance whether each tablet sounds right for you.
You shouldn’t go too wrong with any of the options below though, as while they’re ‘cheap’ they also offer a lot for the money, and scored well in our reviews.
Best cheap tablets 2020 at a glance:
- Apple iPad (2018)
- Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus
- Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5
- Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018)
- Amazon Fire 7 (2019)
1. Apple iPad (2018)
The best cheap tablet you can buy right now
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5mm | OS: iOS 13 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Apple A10 Fusion | Storage: 32GB/128GB | Battery: 8827mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The iPad 9.7 (2018) is the best cheap tablet you can buy right now.
It may not be the newest entry-level iPad on the market (that's the new iPad 2019), but the iPad 2018 still has an awful lot going for it - not to mention a lower price tag.
You get a display, plenty of power under the hood for your apps and games, plus it's been updated to Apple's newest software - iOS 13 - ensuring it's right up to date with the latest features and security patches.
Read the full review: iPad 9.7 (2018)
2. Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus
The best cheap Android tablet around
Weight: 300g | Dimensions: 210 x 123 x 7mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | Storage: 16GB/64GB | Battery: 4850mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
In a sea of slates and smartphones, crafting a device that has enough personality to stand out and enough quality to be worth caring about is a difficult proposition.
With the Tab 4 8 Plus, Lenovo has succeeded in producing something with a flavor of its own, and something that makes the mid-range Android tablet market worth attention once again.
If you already have an Android device, commute regularly and want something a little nicer than an Amazon tablet, this is the obvious next step.
Read the full review: Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus
3. Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)
A decent, big screen, cheap tablet
Weight: 504g | Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: octa-core | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 12 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP
The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019) is the latest and best of Amazon’s big tablets. Having a 10.1-inch 1200 x 1920 screen makes it a good budget option for media in particular, especially if you have an Amazon Prime subscription.
It’s built to last too, and has decent battery life, so this is a slate you can happily take with you wherever you go – as long as the size isn’t an issue.
Its biggest issue is the same issue all Amazon tablets have, namely the software, which is big on pushing Amazon products and services, and lacks access to the Google Play Store. But if you can live with that then the Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019) is a strong cheap choice.
Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)
Samsung's best budget tablet
Weight: 529g | Dimensions: 260 x 161.1 x 8mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 450 | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 7300mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 is the South Korean firm's answer to Apple's best cheap tablet which you've seen above.
If you're looking for an Android iPad rival on a budget, this is the slate you should consider. With Google's Android operating system providing plenty of flexibility and a large HD display, the Tab A 10.5 is great for gaming, movies and web browsing.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)
5. Amazon Fire HD 8 (2018)
If you live on Amazon you'll want a Fire
Weight: 363g | Dimensions: 214 x 128 x 9.7mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 800 x 1280 | CPU: 1.3GHz quad-core | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: 2MP
The Amazon HD 8 was rebooted for 2018 with a slightly updated look, better front facing camera and a larger storage option. They are useful upgrades and ensure it remains in our best budget tablet list.
It's no tablet king, but it does what it sets out to well. Its crazy low price tag means it's 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 8 gives you the core tablet experience for not very much outlay, making it a budget tablet worth buying.
Read the full review: Amazon Fire HD 8
6. Amazon Fire 7 (2019)
Amazon's latest 7-inch slate is a very cheap, very basic tablet
Weight: 286g | Dimensions: 192 x 115 x 9.6mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 7-inch | Resolution: 1,024 x 600 | CPU: 1.3GHz Quad-core | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: up to 7 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA
Notice the lack of 'HD' in the name of the Amazon Fire 7, compared to the other Amazon slates on this list? That's because the screen quality of the tablet is, well, not HD.
That's a compromise you'll have to make if you're wanting Amazon's latest super-cheap device, as it won't grace your eyes with a stunning display or slick performance. However there is enough power under the hood to get you through basic tasks, like streaming content or shopping.
It's also great as a Kindle device, if you want your Kindle to also come with Alexa and the internet and the best books of all, movies.
Read the full review: Amazon Fire 7 (2019)
- Got a bit extra to spend? Here are the best tablets in the world right now