Best cheap Android tablet 2021

by Jeremy


Samsung Tab A7 LifestyleSource: Samsung

Best
cheap Android tablet
Android Central
2021

There are a lot of cheap tablets out there, but only a few are worthy of being called the best cheap Android tablets. The Android tablet market, on the whole, is a bit of a mess once you look outside of Amazon or Samsung, but there are some solid and viable options if you want to spend less than $300. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites, and while they vary in features and uses, all of the best cheap Android tablets are worthy of claiming the title of being your next couch tablet.

Best cheap Android tablet overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

Samsung Tab A7 Lifestyle

Source: Samsung

It’s no surprise that Samsung offers the best cheap Android tablet, as the company provides options for every corner of the Android market. Even with newer tablets like the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+, the Galaxy Tab A7 is no slouch and includes many features you will want.

Starting off with the design, this is a slim aluminum slab with glass on the front, which makes for quite a gorgeous form factor. With the Galaxy Tab A7, Samsung made the decision to include S Pen support, unfortunately, that will need to be purchased separately. The thin and light design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 makes it great to hold for longer periods and will make it easier to get some work done. Speaking of getting work done, the Galaxy Tab A7 works seamlessly across other Galaxy devices like the Samsung Galaxy S21 to keep all of your efforts connected.

Regardless of what kind of device you are looking for, battery life is always a part of the decision-making process. You won’t be disappointed with this one as you’ll get excellent battery life out of the 7,040mAh battery that charges up quickly with the included USB-C fast-charger. So you’ll have plenty of time to sit back and take advantage of the quad speakers with Dolby Atmos support for those times you just want to chill out with a movie.

If you really want to go “all-in” with Samsung’s tablet, then you’ll probably want the first-party keyboard. Like the S Pen, Samsung does not include the keyboard case with the Galaxy Tab A7, so that should be taken into consideration when you’re picking up a new tablet. Biometrics is an area where we would have liked to see a bit more effort, as the Galaxy Tab A7 does not feature a fingerprint scanner. Instead, you’ll need to rely on the good ole’ passcode to unlock or the inferior face scanning.

Pros:

  • Fantastic metal design design
  • S Pen support
  • Quad speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Great battery life with fast charging
  • Keyboard supported

Cons:

  • S Pen must be purchased separately
  • No fingerprint scanner

Best cheap Android tablet overall


Samsung Tab A7 Reco

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 10.4″

Perfect for everyone

The Galaxy Tab A7 has great specs, a gorgeous design, and a quad-speaker setup with Dolby Atmos. What more could you want?

Best cheap Android tablet with Google Assistant: Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus Lifestyle

Source: Lenovo

Sure, you could go pick up a Nest Hub if you want Google Assistant ready, but that has to be plugged in at all times. The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus includes a dock that allows the tablet to turn into a Google Assistant-powered smart display when docked. This makes it so you can use the Tab M10 Plus as a digital photo frame, listen to music, or manage your smart home. Then, when it’s time to hit the road or just go to another room, you can take the tablet with you.

The speakers won’t disappoint you, as there are two Dolby Atmos-tuned speakers on either side, immersing you in whatever content you are enjoying. Those who tend to travel will enjoy the 128GB of built-in storage to go along with the microSD card slot, which is capable of housing much of your video library. When it’s time to keep the little ones occupied, just turn on Google Kid Space and let the children have fun without accessing apps that they shouldn’t be using.

However, it’s clear that the Smart Tab M10 Plus is designed more for media consumption or as a Google Assistant display and not for those who need to be productive. Despite the pogo pins at the bottom of the tablet for docking, there are no keyboards that can be attached for easier setup or integration. We also would have liked to see a bigger battery since the Tab M10 Plus is limited to nine hours of battery life when it’s not docked.

Pros:

  • Transforms into Google Assistant smart screen when docked
  • Dock for Google Assistant is included
  • Dual-Dolby Atmos Speakers
  • 128GB of expandable storage
  • Includes Google Kids Space

Cons:

  • No first-party stylus or keyboard support
  • Slower processor than others
  • Limited to nine hours of battery life

Best cheap Android tablet with Google Assistant


Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus Render

Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus

Get a tablet and a Google Assistant display

The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus is a great cheap tablet with an included dock for Google Assistant Ambient mode.

Best cheap Android tablet for movies: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 Lifestyle

Source: Samsung

Not everyone needs to pay flagship prices for a tablet with a flagship-like design, and that’s what you get the Tab A 10.1. This tablet sports a sleek and slim design that looks good while being light enough to not tire you out if you hold or carry it for a while.

When it’s time to throw a movie or YouTube video on, you’ll get (close to) room-filling sound with the dual-Dolby Atmos rated speakers. The expandable storage means that you can fill this tablet up with your favorite content, perfect for when there’s no Wi-Fi. Plus, with up to 13 hours of battery life, the Tab A 10.1 will just keep chugging along throughout the day.

Unfortunately, those who want a tablet capable of helping you get some work done will want to look elsewhere. Multi-tasking is going to be less than stellar with just 2GB of RAM, and you won’t have access to Samsung’s fantastic S Pen. Instead, you’ll need to use third-party generic options. As for the keyboard, Samsung opted not to provide a first-party keyboard case, leaving users to rely on standard Bluetooth keyboards if you need to catch up on emails.

Pros:

  • Fantastic design
  • Expandable storage
  • Dolby Atmos Speakers
  • Up to 13 hours of battery life

Cons:

  • Just 2GB of RAM
  • No first-party stylus or keyboard support
  • Slower processor than others

Best cheap Android tablet for movies


Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10 1 Cropped Render

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

Perfect for almost everyone

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A 10.1 gives you a fantastic design, long battery life, and expandable storage in an almost perfect package.

Best cheap tablet for kids: Amazon Fire 7 Kids (2019)

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition

Source: Amazon

The kids need something for some entertainment too, right? But you don’t want them navigating the World Wide Web all on their own when you can’t stand over their shoulders. That’s where the Amazon Fire 7 Kids tablet excels, thanks to the expansive parental controls.

With a free year of Amazon Kids+, your children will get access to over 10,000 books, movies, and games. You can then set time limits and keep an eye on what they are playing, watching, and doing on the tablet. It also has a two-year worry-free warranty should anything happen to the device, Amazon will send you a new one — no matter what.

Under the hood, Amazon includes just 2GB of RAM, which shouldn’t present issues, but your kids could run into some bottle-necking when trying to switch between apps quickly. With the Fire 7 Kids tablet, you are provided with a durable, kid-friendly bumper cover available in three fun colors.

Pros:

  • Includes bumper case
  • Fantastic parental controls
  • Includes Amazon Kids+ for a full year
  • Expandable storage

Cons:

  • Limited RAM and built-in storage
  • No access to Google Play Store

Best cheap Android tablet for kids


Amazon Fire 7 Kids Clear Reco Clear

Amazon Fire 7 Kids (2019)

Keep the kids occupied

With its durable case, two-year worry-free warranty, lots of content, and excellent parental controls — this is the tablet to get.

Best for a small screen: Lenovo Tab M8 HD

Lenovo Tab M8 FHD Lifestyle

Source: Lenovo

Sometimes you just want a device that’s larger than your phone but smaller than a full-size tablet, and Lenovo provides just that with the Tab M8 HD. This 8-inch tablet sports a 1280 x 800 resolution, which is just fine for a screen this size. Under the hood, you’ll get 2GB of RAM along with 32GB of onboard storage.

When you need to upgrade the storage, Lenovo has included a microSD card slot that supports up to 2TB, if properly formatted. This will give you more than enough content to view while taking advantage of the 18-hour battery life and the included 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s even a Kids Mode built into the software so you can let your kids have some fun.

One potential issue that could arise with this tablet is that it is only equipped with a single Dolby Audio-tuned speaker. Those wanting to use the M8 HD for media consumption may be better suited relying on the built-in headphone jack or some Bluetooth headphones. And those hoping to get rid of those Micro-USB cables will have to keep hoping, as you won’t find USB-C on the Tab M8 FHD.

Pros:

  • Built-in Kids Mode
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • Features 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Storage expandable up to 2TB
  • Headphone jack

Cons:

  • Dated design
  • Just one speaker
  • Micro-USB for charging

Best for a small screen


Lenovo Tab M8 FHD Render

Lenovo Tab M8 HD

Lightweight surfing

The Tab M8 FHD may not have the highest resolution, but it’s perfect to pick up and surf the web or read a book from the couch

Best cheap Android tablet for the Amazon Ecosystem: Amazon Fire HD 10

Image

It’s no secret that Amazon’s ability to provide serviceable tablets is unmatched, especially in the budget market. The Fire HD 10 is the king of the Fire HD lineup, with a 10.1-inch display and 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage. In fact, you can add up to a 1TB microSD card, which should be more than enough for your needs.

Add in the 12 hours of battery life and four different colors to choose from, and you really have a no-brainer tablet option. There’s even USB-C on board and a new octa-core processor for more power than ever before in a Fire tablet.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Fire HD 10 runs an Amazon-centric version of Android, and it doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store. That’s not to say you can’t still download apps, you just have to take advantage of Amazon’s own App Store. We also don’t want folks to expect a high-quality build either, as Amazon had to cut costs, and it did so in the overall build, which is made from plastic.

Pros:

  • Great value for the size
  • Four colors to choose from
  • Expandable storage up to 1TB
  • 12 hours of battery

Cons:

  • No access to Play Store
  • Cheap-feeling build

Best cheap Android tablet for the Amazon Ecosystem


Amazon Fire Hd 10 2021 Reco

Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon on a big screen

Amazon’s Fire HD 10 may not have access to the Play Store, but you’ll still have access to many popular apps in a great package.

Amazon on the small screen: Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

Amazon Fire Hd 8 Plus With Wireless Dock

Source: Amazon

If you want to get started with the Amazon ecosystem, the Fire HD 8 Plus is a great way to do so. You’ll get a solid Full HD display with either 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage, along with up to 12 hours of battery life.

However, the Fire HD 8 has an extra trick up its sleeve with hands-free Alexa. This turns your tablet into another Echo Dot, and you can even get a stand to use it as a smart display. Amazon also introduced a wireless charging dock for the HD 8 Plus, making it possible to turn this into an Amazon Echo Show-like device, but one that you can grab and take with you. There’s even wireless charging available now, along with Amazon finally making the from MicroUSB to USB-C.

Unfortunately, the Fire HD 8 Plus isn’t as great as other options on the market, as you will need to purchase the dock separately if you want to turn your tablet into a smart display. The 2MP front and rear-facing cameras are also not great to use, and won’t cut it in 2020. Finally, you will have to deal with Amazon’s version of Android and won’t have access to the Google Play Store.

Pros:

  • 12 hours of battery life
  • Hands-free Alexa
  • Wireless charging
  • Expandable storage up to 1TB

Cons:

  • No access to Google Play Store
  • Dock must be purchased separately
  • Cameras are not good enough to be useful

Amazon on the small screen


Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus Render

Fire HD 8 Plus tablet

Amazon’s best, but smaller

Those who want an Amazon tablet but don’t want a big screen will love the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus with its great battery life and more.

Best cheap Android tablet for the family: VANKYO MatrixPad S20

VANKYO MatrixPad S20 New Lifestyle

Source: VANKYO

If you’re looking for the best cheap Android tablet with multi-user support, you’re in luck. While this is a rare feature, the VANKYO MatrixPad S20 includes multi-user support, which makes it possible for everyone in the family to have their own profile, even the kids. It also comes with Family Link, which provides all of the parental controls one could need, keeping the children locked into the content and games they are allowed to use.

Although the display panel isn’t the greatest, VANKYO went the extra mile to help keep your eyes in tip-top shape. Eye Comfort is built-in, which reduces eye strain, even when the surrounding light is not the greatest. Those concerned with battery life can rest a bit easier with the MatrixPad S20 as this tablet will provide up to 11 hours of juice before you need to reach for a charger.

While the MatrixPad S20 will be just fine for most content consumption, you shouldn’t expect to load your entire video library on it. VANKYO included just 32GB of storage, and while there is a microSD card slot, you are limited to using a 128GB card. Those who are looking for a multi-tasking beast may also want to look elsewhere as the included MediaTek processor won’t do the greatest job at multi-tasking.

Pros:

  • Multi-user support w/ Family Link
  • Eye Comfort helps to reduce eyestrain
  • Up to 11 hours of battery life

Cons:

  • Just 32GB of storage
  • MicroSD card expansion limited to 128GB
  • Slower processor than others

Best cheap Android tablet for the family


VANKYO Matrixpad S20 Render

VANKYO MatrixPad S20

Multiple user profiles

The best part about the VANKYO MatrixPad S20 is the ability to create and use multiple user profiles.

Bottom line

Finding the best Android tablet in the “budget” market is a bit odd. This is partly because our smartphones come close to the size of a smaller tablet, along with the fact that a budget-minded tablet can’t hold a cup of tea to the flagship smartphones. With little discrepancy between the two, it’s tough for users to spring for another device when they can already do everything the tablet can and, in most cases, in a better capacity. Plus, the market has been eclipsed in part by Apple’s iPad, which has been ahead of the curve in terms of tablet technology.

While there are a few things that could be improved upon, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is our favorite “cheap” Android tablet on the market. You get a great design, a beautiful display, and fantastic battery life in a slim and lightweight package. Samsung has even included quad-Dolby Atmos speakers that will fill the room and give you the “punch” that you need. Plus, those looking to get some work done will absolutely love that Samsung has included S Pen and keyboard support!

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central and iMore. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he’ll get back to you.

Author: Chris Wedel Profile Pic

Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, Chris enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.

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