Affordable tablets for back to school, all under $400

Affordable tablets for back to school, all under $400

The Best Cheap Tablets of 2023

Tablets have become a versatile tool in today’s fast-paced world. From enjoying your favorite shows to taking notes on the go, these devices offer convenience and portability. Tablets also make great educational tools for students or simply provide entertainment. While some of the best tablets on the market can be quite expensive, there are affordable options that still deliver a reliable and consistent tablet experience.

In this article, we will explore the best cheap tablets of 2023, including the iPad (9th generation), Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus, Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3, Lenovo Tab P11 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, Nokia T20, and Samsung Galaxy S7 FE.

iPad (9th generation)

iPad (9th generation)

The iPad (9th generation) is our top pick for the best cheap tablet overall. This tried-and-true tablet from Apple offers a great processor, plenty of storage, and a decent screen size. While it lacks the Face ID option, it makes up for it with its other features.

Here are the tech specs of the iPad (9th generation):

  • Display: 10.2-inch Retina display
  • Processor: A13 Bionic
  • Storage: 64GB or 256GB
  • Biometrics: Touch ID
  • Colors: Silver, space gray
  • Cameras: 8MP rear, 1080p video, 12MP FaceTime camera with Center Stage
  • Weight: 1.07 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 inches
  • Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning port
  • Battery life: 10 hours

Not only does the iPad (9th generation) provide the same features you’d expect from Apple’s other tablets, such as iPadOS updates for years and access to the App Store, but it also comes at a more affordable price compared to the higher-end Pro and Air models.

The 9th-generation iPad, released in 2021, features an A13 Bionic processor and offers more storage options. Despite the introduction of the 10th-generation iPad in 2022, the 2021 version still holds its own and comes at a lower price point.

According to ENBLE editor June Wan, even for personal use, the 9th-generation iPad is a suitable choice if your intended uses mainly involve video streaming, note-taking, and playing tablet games. It offers 64GB of storage, and if you need more space, there is also an option for 256GB. The iPad can be transformed into a 2-in-1 laptop by pairing it with Apple’s Smart Keyboard and an Apple Pencil.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

The Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus is the best small screen cheap tablet. At a very affordable price, it offers microSD card expandable storage and impressive battery life. Although its performance may not be its strongest feature, it provides essential functionality for everyday use.

Here are the tech specs of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus:

  • Display: 8-inch, 1280×800 display
  • Processor: Quad-core 2.0GHz
  • Storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Colors: Black
  • Cameras: 2MP front and rear
  • Weight: 0.78 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.0 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
  • Battery life: 13 hours

Amazon recently redesigned the Fire HD 8 and HD 8 Plus with a rounder design that looks and feels fantastic. The standard HD 8 is priced at $100, while the HD 8 Plus is priced at $120. The difference between the two lies in the memory, with the HD 8 Plus offering 3GB compared to the HD 8’s 2GB. Additionally, the HD 8 Plus features wireless charging support and a faster charger in the box.

Wan reviewed the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus and described it as a good performer considering its price. It is suitable for casual browsing, mobile entertainment, and even for children. While running Amazon’s Fire OS, the tablet provides access to Android apps available in Amazon’s own Appstore. Although the performance may not always be perfect, it handles tasks such as shopping, Facebook browsing, and email checking without issues.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus

The Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus is the best cheap tablet from Amazon. With a large display and expandable storage, it offers great value for its price. It may not be the fastest tablet available, and the absence of Google apps and services may disappoint heavy Google services users. However, it still delivers a satisfying user experience.

Here are the tech specs of the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus:

  • Display: 10.1-inch, 1920×1200 display
  • Processor: Octa-core 2.0GHz
  • Storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Colors: Black
  • Cameras: 2MP front, 5MP rear
  • Weight: 1.03 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.73 x 6.53 x 0.36 inches
  • Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
  • Battery life: 12 hours

The Fire HD 10 Plus, along with its sibling Fire HD 10, offers an octa-core processor, 4GB of memory, and 32GB or 64GB of storage. Both models also support microSD cards up to 1TB.

ENBLE writer Jason Cipriani reviewed the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet and praised its comfortable design and clear full HD display. It provides ample space for gaming or watching movies, and its battery can last up to 12 hours on a single charge. The tablet runs Amazon’s Fire OS, which limits app options but still supports most popular apps like Zoom, Facebook Messenger, and Spotify. However, the tablet lacks official Google apps and services, requiring users to rely on third-party apps or the Silk browser instead.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is the best ChromeOS cheap tablet. With its 11-inch display, included kickstand, and detachable keyboard, it brings the versatility of a 2-in-1 device. The Chromebook Duet 3 offers an enhanced ChromeOS experience.

Here are the tech specs of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3:

  • Display: 10.9-inch, 2K (2,000×1,200), IPS, touchscreen display (400 nits)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Cameras: 5MP front, 8MP rear
  • Weight: 1.14 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.16 x 6.48 x 0.31 inches
  • Connections: 2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, pogo-pin (for detachable keyboard)
  • Battery life: 12 hours

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is designed to be a detachable tablet with a larger 11-inch display compared to its predecessor. It comes with an additional USB-C port and retains its compact and portable form. The tablet includes a kickstand and keyboard, transforming it into a portable work companion.

Wan stated that the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 impressed him just as much as more expensive Chromebooks. He stated that its 64GB of internal storage is sufficient for a Chromebook, even if you plan to download multiple apps. The tablet features a 2,000 by 1,200 resolution display, providing an enjoyable viewing experience for browsing, video playback, and multitasking. With its built-in Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor and 4GB of RAM, it offers a simplified user experience suitable for essential browser tasks.

Lenovo Tab P11 Plus

Lenovo Tab P11 Plus

The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is the best big screen cheap tablet. With its great display, expandable storage, and long battery life, it offers an excellent option for those who prefer a larger screen. Although the keyboard is not included, it provides strong performance in a budget-friendly package.

Here are the tech specs of the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus:

  • Display: 11-inch, 2,000×1,200 2K display
  • Processor: MediaTek Helio G90T
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB
  • Memory: 4GB or 6GB
  • Colors: Slate grey
  • Cameras: 8MP front and 13MP rear
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Connections: USB-C, microSD
  • Battery life: Up to 15 hours

The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus resembles the Chromebook Duet but offers a larger and more powerful experience. While it does not come with a keyboard attachment, one can be purchased separately, expanding its capabilities as a laptop replacement.

Wan describes the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus as an “enigma” with a spec sheet that rivals more premium offerings while remaining affordable at $250. The tablet features Google Kids Space, which provides age-appropriate content and utilizes Google’s Family Link parental controls to ensure a safe experience for children. It offers solid construction and reliable performance, making it an attractive choice for an affordable Android tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is the best Samsung cheap tablet. With its expandable storage and affordable price, it caters specifically to Samsung brand loyalists. Although its performance may not be the fastest, it offers access to Google’s apps and services.

Here are the tech specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite:

  • Display: 8.7-inch, 1,340×800 display
  • Processor: MediaTek MT8768N
  • Storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Memory: 3GB or 4GB
  • Colors: Gray
  • Cameras: 2MP front and 8MP rear
  • Weight: 0.81 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.37 x 4.91 x 0.31 inches
  • Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
  • Battery: All day

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite runs on Android 11 with Samsung’s interface modifications. Its lightweight design and small display make it highly portable, suitable for on-the-go usage and keeping kids entertained with educational apps. The tablet features a metal frame for added durability.

With access to Google’s apps and services, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite provides a broader range of options compared to Amazon Fire tablets. While it may not be the fastest tablet in this group, the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite offers a satisfactory overall performance for everyday tasks.

Nokia T20

Nokia T20

The Nokia T20 is the best Nokia cheap tablet. With its solid design and expandable storage, it offers a reliable and affordable option for users. It comes with Android 11 out of the box and promises software support with monthly security updates for three years and OS updates for two years.

Here are the tech specs of the Nokia T20:

  • Display: 10.4-inch, 1,200×2,000 display
  • Processor: T610 Octa-core processor
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Colors: Ocean Blue
  • Cameras: 5MP front and 8MP rear
  • Weight: 1.04 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.75 x 6.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
  • Battery: 8,200mAh

The Nokia T20 offers a recent addition to the Android tablet market. It features a 10.4-inch display and a solid build quality. With an affordable price tag, it provides great value for its range of features. With Nokia’s promise of long-term software support, including security updates and OS updates, it ensures a reliable and up-to-date experience for users.

ENBLE writer Sandra Vogel tested the Nokia T20 and praised its capability and build quality. It provides an adequate experience for both home and office tasks, making it a suitable choice for those in need of a budget-friendly tablet.

Samsung Galaxy S7 FE

Samsung Galaxy S7 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S7 FE is the best large cheap tablet. Offering expandable storage and a good battery life, this tablet is more affordable than its higher-end counterpart. With its large 12.4-inch display and S Pen support, it provides excellent value for its price.

Here are the tech specs of the Samsung Galaxy S7 FE:

  • Display: 12.4-inch, 2560×1600 display
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM7325
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Memory: 4GB, 6GB, 8GB
  • Colors: Black, silver, green, pink
  • Cameras: 8MP rear, 5MP front camera
  • Weight: 1.34 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7.28 x 11.21 x 0.25 inches
  • Connections: USB-C
  • Battery: 12 hours

Samsung’s FE series is designed for fans of the brand who want an affordable alternative. The Galaxy S7 FE takes the best features of higher-end devices, trims them down, and offers a more budget-friendly product. With its large display, snappy processor, and multiple storage and memory options, the Galaxy S7 FE delivers a great user experience. It also includes face recognition technology, two stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, and multi-device connectivity.

When it comes to choosing the best cheap tablet, it ultimately depends on how you intend to use it. For Apple ecosystem users, the iPad (9th generation) offers a well-rounded tablet with a beautiful display, long battery life, and a powerful processor. Amazon’s Fire tablets provide affordability and the most features for the price, making them ideal for children or light usage. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 combines the flexibility of a tablet with the functionality of a laptop. The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus offers a large screen and exceptional battery life. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A7 Lite caters to brand loyalists looking for a Samsung tablet experience. The Nokia T20 provides great value with its reliable performance and long-term software support. Finally, the Galaxy S7 FE delivers a large screen and a range of features at an affordable price.

Price, performance, and brand preference are important considerations when choosing a cheap tablet. In the end, it’s a matter of finding the best fit for your needs and budget.

To help further your decision-making process, here is a summary table of the discussed tablets:

Tablet Price Screen Size Storage
iPad (9th generation) $329 10.2 inches Up to 256GB
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus $140 8 inches Up to 64GB
Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus $180 10.1 inches Up to 64GB
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 $379 10.9 inches Up to 128GB
Lenovo Tab P11 Plus $258 11 inches Up to 128GB
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite $129 8.7 inches Up to 64GB
Nokia T20 $180 10.4 inches 64GB
Samsung Galaxy S7 FE $400 12.4 inches Up to 256GB

When choosing a cheap tablet, consider your specific needs and desired features. The listed tablets provide a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences.

Conclusion

Choosing the best cheap tablet involves considering factors such as price, performance, and intended usage. With the iPad (9th generation) topping the list as the best overall cheap tablet, it offers a reliable and feature-rich option. However, other tablets like the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus, Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3, Lenovo Tab P11 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite, Nokia T20, and Samsung Galaxy S7 FE offer their own unique features and benefits.

It’s important to explore and weigh the options based on your specific requirements. By considering factors such as brand preferences, storage needs, and desired screen sizes, you can find the best cheap tablet for your lifestyle. Remember to also keep an eye out for sales events where you may find discounted prices on these tablets.

In the end, the best cheap tablet is the one that suits your needs, accommodates your budget, and provides a satisfactory user experience.