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Best Cheap Tablets 2024: Great value Android picks and our go-to iPad

Trusted Reviews reveals our definitive verdict on the best high-performing cheap tablets you can buy now

Finding a new tablet in 2024 can be quite a daunting task with plenty of options to choose from, all with varying designs, specs, screens and more, all suited to different tasks. That means finding one that suits your needs can be challenging, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

While you don’t want to compromise on your tablet experience for the sake of price, you also don’t want to go too far the other way, buying a tablet packed full of specs and features you’ll never use. You won’t buy an iPad Pro 12.9 if you simply want to scroll through Facebook, after all.

That’s where we at Trusted Reviews come in. Our team of tech experts have thoroughly tested a range of budget-friendly tablets, testing crucial elements like battery life, processing power, camera performance and more to provide you with an informed recommendation that you’ll be happy with.

It’s not just about specs either; it’s about how well the tablet handles everyday tasks like web browsing and replying to emails. That’s why we personally use each tablet we review as a main device for at least a week, transferring all our apps and other data to get the most out of the hardware during testing.

Our thorough round-up of all the best budget-focused tablets under £350/$400 includes a range of options to choose from. Some favour price, while others focus on other elements like a great display, long battery life or powerful processing power, and we’ve highlighted the focus of each where possible to make your buying decision even easier.

With that in mind, whether you’re looking for a tablet for casual browsing and note-taking or need a device with a large display for movie-watching, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re looking for a more specialised tablet, make sure you also check out our best lists on the best tablet for kids, the best Android tablet, the best iPad and the best tablet, to give you an even broader view of what’s on the market.

Best cheap tablets at a glance

How we test

Find out more about how we test tablets

Every tablet in this list has been properly tested and used for an extended period of time by one of our product experts. We categorically do not recommend a product unless it has been put through our lab tests and used by the reviewer as their main tablet for at least five days.

Lab testing includes colorimeter checks to gauge screen accuracy and max brightness levels, synthetic benchmarks to evaluate graphics and general performance, and battery drains to assess average discharge rates for basic office tasks, streaming video and gaming.

Our reviewer will then move on to consider the tablet’s performance for everyday use. This will see them use it as their primary tablet and enact common tasks such as movie streaming, gaming, web browsing and video calling. If the device is targeted at a specific market such as digital artists, they’ll also consider areas such as digital stylus support and whether it can effectively run relevant applications.

When a device is sent in for review with optional extras, such as a stylus and keyboard cover, we’ll assess its performance both as a standalone product as well as with any accompanying peripherals.

Honor Pad X9

The best cheap tablet
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Pros

  • Fast 120Hz screen
  • Great minimalist design
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Not the sharpest display
  • Pushy bloatware
  • Speakers distort at higher volumes

If you’re on the hunt for a great value Android tablet, the Honor Pad X9 should be of serious consideration. Despite its sub-£200 price tag, the tablet boasts a premium look and feel and a seriously impressive display that blows the similarly priced competition out of the water.

The Honor Pad X9 sports a large 11.5-inch display and a 2000 x 1200 resolution that would’ve already been enough to compete with much of the budget competition, but the inclusion of a 120Hz refresh rate truly sets it apart. The super-smooth refresh rate helps the tablet feel responsive, with smooth animations and better response time when gaming on the tablet.

Despite the middling Snapdragon 685 chipset and 4GB of RAM, the Honor X9 can handle everyday tasks like browsing the web, split-screen multitasking and even gaming at medium graphics levels. 

Throw in great battery life, a landscape-mounted selfie camera for video chats and surprisingly loud speakers, and it becomes an easy recommendation for any tablet buyer on a budget. 

Reviewer: Josh Brown
Full review: Honor Pad X9 review

Apple iPad 9

The best value iPad
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Pros

  • Wide selection of optimised apps
  • Very good front camera
  • Sharp screen

Cons

  • Design feels a little tired
  • Doesn’t work with newer Apple accesories

The iPad 9 is the cheapest Apple tablet we’d recommend to buyers on a budget. Though it didn’t impress us as much as its lighter, more powerful iPad Air 2022 when we got it in for review, the iPad 9 remains the best value option if you’re 100% committed to getting an Apple device.

While the screen doesn’t have a variable refresh rate and the bezel surrounding it is undeniably chunky, you’ll struggle to find a better option at this price, especially if you’re an Apple fan. The 10.2-inch Retina Display is the sharpest you’ll find on this list and, thanks to reliable black levels and high maximum brightness, it is ideal for watching Netflix on the go.

The tablet is also solidly built and comes with a variety of case options, including some with keyboards, which means it’s a good option for older kids who need a device for school work as well as entertainment.

The A13 Bionic chip powering the iPad 9 means that, unless you’re doing high-end video editing or vector graphics, you won’t suffer any performance issues based on our exhaustive testing. The only downside is that, even though it is cheap by Apple standards, the iPad 9 is still the most expensive option on this list, which is why we can’t recommend it for young children.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: Apple iPad 9 review

Teclast T40S

The best cheap Android tablet
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Pros

  • Outdoor-capable display
  • Reliable browsing experience
  • Generous UI considerations

Cons

  • Plastic build
  • Basic sound
  • Landscape-focused design

Teclast might not be a household name in the tech market, but the plucky Teclast T40S manages to deliver a solid Android tablet experience at just £170, and it’s often found cheaper over at Amazon too, further solidifying its value for money. 

The star of the show is processing power as, despite its cheap price point, it can compete with more established tablets like the Honor Pad X9 and Oppo Pad Air in terms of performance. There’s also a surprising 8GB of RAM on offer to aid multitasking and help chew through ad-laden websites, with an additional 8GB of your 128GB storage also able to be allocated to RAM when performing particularly power-intensive tasks.

That powers a moderately sized 10.4-inch display that we found perfectly usable indoors, though with a maximum brightness of just 350 nits, it’s not a tablet suited to outdoor scrolling. 

There are a few oddities about the tablet – it runs a stripped-back version of Android 12 with bigger buttons and boasts fairly random features like FM Radio support – and it’s not exactly the best-looking tablet around, but for the price, you’ll be hard pressed to find something more capable. 

Reviewer: Josh Brown
Full review: Teclast T40S review

Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd Gen)

The best cheap tablet for entertainment
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Pros

  • Landscape selfie camera
  • Stylus support
  • Punchy widescreen display

Cons

  • Only 60Hz
  • No included case or stylus
  • Slow charging speeds

The Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd Gen) is a budget tablet with a premium look and feel, sporting an aluminium unibody with a stone-textured strip along one side of the rear to further elevate its design status. It really is a good-looking tablet, complete with a thickness of just 7.5mm and rounded edges that sit comfortably in the palm. 

The 10.61-inch 2000 x 1200 display sports a 16:10 aspect ratio that keeps black bars to a minimum when watching video content from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and when coupled with Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, the watching experience is quite pleasant. The 400nits of brightness isn’t enough for HDR playback, but it’s just about enough for use outdoors. 

It’s just a shame that the MediaTek MT6769V chipset isn’t a little more powerful, with our reviewer noting unpredictable stuttering that would occasionally plague the tablet, and it wasn’t quite enough to run demanding 3D gaming titles either.

It does have a compatible stylus accessory that could make it a tempting option for note-taking students, though it’ll set you back an additional £45. 

Reviewer: Josh Brown
Full review: Lenovo Tab M10 Plus (3rd Gen) review

Nokia T21

The best cheap tablet for portability
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Pros

  • High-res 2K display
  • Affordable
  • Decent battery life
  • Optional cellular connectivity

Cons

  • Sluggish performance
  • Entry-level camera setup
  • No high refresh rate

If you’re in the market for a good-looking tablet with a high-res display for watching movies, the Nokia T21 is a solid option at a rather tempting price.

The T21 does a good job of hiding its budget price tag with a premium build that includes a solid-feeling metal rear with a two-tone design. It’s also surprisingly lightweight given the 10.3-inch display on offer at 471g, making it easy to use one-handed.

That 10.3-inch IPS LCD display is one of the main reasons to opt for the Nokia T21 as it boasts a 2K resolution (1200 x 2000) that’s great for watching movies from apps like Netflix and videos from YouTube. There is also wireless second-screen functionality on offer, but it’s laggier than more premium alternatives.

It also lasts pretty long on a charge thanks to a large 8,200mAh battery, usually providing around eight hours of use split across a few days.

Part of the reason why it lasts so long is that the tablet is notably underpowered, featuring the almost-unknown Unisoc T162, a chipset similar to the Snapdragon 660 released in 2018. That means you won’t be playing games or doing anything too processor-heavy as the tablet simply lags and can’t handle it.

Reviewer: Sean Cameron
Full review: Nokia T21 review

Oppo Pad Air

The best lightweight cheap tablet
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Pros

  • microSD card support
  • Little in the way of bloatware
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • Can’t handle today’s games
  • So-so general performance
  • Poor viewing angles

If portability is one of the key factors in your buying decision, the Oppo Pad Air should be of serious consideration. At 440g and 6.9mm thick, the 10.36-inch tablet is lighter than Apple’s iPad 10 and even the lightweight iPad Air while still delivering that large-screen experience.

It’s not just lightweight either; the gunmetal aluminium shell is smooth and sleek, helping the tablet feel more premium than it actually is, and it comes with handy features like a microSD card slot to expand the 128GB of storage on offer.

The 10.36-inch IPS LCD display is sufficiently sharp at 2000 x 1200 and is perfectly serviceable for scrolling through websites and watching movies on Netflix, though with just 360 nits of brightness, it’s not the best in bright outdoor conditions.

It’s not a powerhouse of processing power either, with the Snapdragon 680 delivering fine – but not rapid – everyday performance, though it can’t quite handle high-end AAA games so gamers may want to look elsewhere. Even certain worlds in Roblox would slow the Pad right down.

It’ll last around 15 hours on a charge with decent standby times and although it takes over two hours to charge, that’s in line with the iPad 10 and Xiaomi Pad 5.

All this boils down to a lightweight, portable tablet that’s great for scrolling through TikTok, browsing the web and watching movies on Netflix, though it’ll probably not suffice for the majority of gamers.

Reviewer: Josh Brown
Full review: Oppo Pad Air review

Amazon Fire Max 11

The best Amazon Fire tablet
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Pros

  • Much more premium design than other Fire tablets
  • Great all-day battery life
  • Solid 11-inch 2K display

Cons

  • Limited app availability
  • Very slow to charge

The Amazon Fire Max 11 is the latest in a long line of Amazon Fire-branded tablets from the retail giant, though this one looks and feels different

Sporting a more mature design that’s more than a little bit reminiscent of Apple’s iPad Air, complete with rounded edges and a slightly raised single camera bump on the rear, the tablet feels much more premium than its price tag suggests it should.

The 11-inch 2000 x 1200 IPS LCD display might not boast OLED tech of more premium tablets, but what it does have is a fully laminated screen. It might not sound like much, but it means there’s no air gap between the front glass and LCD panel like Apple’s cheaper iPads, removing that cheap hollow feeling when you tap and swipe on the display. 

The big display is designed for productivity according to Amazon, and even sells dedicated stylus and keyboard case accessories for the tablet separately, further separating itself from the rest of the budget Fire collection. 

But for all Amazon’s efforts to position it as a productivity workhorse, the lack of pro-level apps on Amazon’s limited Fire OS and Appstore stop it from achieving its aim. Even the built-in word processing app doesn’t fit the tablet’s display properly.

That’s a real shame too, as the chipset within easily beats just about everything else in our charts, and by quite a way too. Still, it does mean it’s great for gaming and general day-to-day use, as long as the apps and games you enjoy are available on the Fire OS platform. 

Battery life is also solid with exceptional standby times that allow it to last over a week when not in use, though charging can be slow with only a 9W charging brick in the box. 

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Amazon Fire Max 11 review

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FAQs

Are cheap tablets any good?

The quality of cheap tablets varies a lot more than what you’ll find in the flagship end of the market. But, based on our experience testing them, there are a number of great value options on the market at the moment. The main thing is to make sure you’re making the right compromises. Regardless of price, you need a tablet with decent battery life. You also don’t want to sacrifice on key things, like screen resolution, if you plan to watch lots of Netflix on it.

What’s the least you can spend on a good tablet?

The answer to this question hinges on what you want to do with the tablet. We tend to define a cheap tablet as anything below £350/$400. But if you only want one to keep the kids entertained you can get one that’ll do the job for as little as £100/$100, based on our experience reviewing products like Amazon’s Fire HD Kids tablets.

Are cheap Android tablets worth it?

The answer to this question depends on the tablet you’re talking about. Since Google released the first generation Nexus 7, we’ve seen a steady stream of great value affordable Android tablets pass through our labs. But for every good cheap Android tablet, we also get at least three that aren’t worth your money. Common issues are poor build quality, terrible performance and no guaranteed updates to future versions of Android.

Trusted Reviews test data

You can see a full breakdown of the test data we collected reviewing all the tablets in this guide using the table below.

Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
3D Mark – Wild Life
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

Comparison specs

You can compare the specs of all the cheap tablets included in this list using the table below.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

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Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

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