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5 Great Tablets On A Budget

The tablet industry abounds with big players vying to create the latest innovation, with new varieties, brands and features hitting the market each year. But you don't have to break the bank to find a solid device that meets your average needs. Here are five of the best budget tablets currently available.

Your tablet may be a budget model, but that doesn't mean it has to be subject to the hardships of everyday life. We have a host of tablet and iPad kiosk stands to protect your device in a range of compatible sizes.

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Amazon Fire.

It's easy to get lost in the extensive Amazon Fire range that includes standard and HD varieties and numerous sizes. But if you're after a super cheap, bare bones tablet to surf the web, e-read and do only a little entertainment streaming, Amazon is worth a mention, according to sources like CNET, PC Advisor and Tech Radar.

The basic Amazon Fire 7 model can be picked up for US$50, and features a 7-inch display, 8GB or 16GB internal storage, MicroSD slot, and up to seven hours battery life. It also includes two cameras with a VGA front facing camera and 2MP rear facing. Higher quality models like the $149 HD 8 feature better cameras, higher screen resolution, faster processing speeds and Dolby sound.

The Fire range runs on the Fire OS5 operating system, similar to Android Lollipop, but without the perennial favourites like GMail, YouTube or Google Maps installed. These can be accessed via browser instead.

Noted as not fabulous, but fine for everyday tasks, the budget Fire range is still a solid option, especially at such an affordable price

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iPad Mini 2

First launched in 2013, the iPad Mini 2 still holds its own in the greater tablet market, but particularly now it's shifted into the budget range. Available from apple.com and a host of other retailers, it sells from US$269, and boasts all the major features associated with the acclaimed iPad range.

These include the iOS9 operating system, 5MP main camera, 1.2MP webcam, 7.9-inch Retina display and slim design measuring just 7.5mm thick.

Although the Mini 2 features the slightly older A7 processor chip that has now been superseded by the A8 and recent A9, it's still nimble in the processing department, and has up to 10 hours battery life.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

Currently available for US$199, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is another solid option of the Android variety, with access to pre-installed Microsoft apps like Word.

It features a quad core processor, 5Mp main camera and 2Mp front-facing number along with a 1.5GB storage. A key component is its MicroSD slot for additional storage. Combine that with access to MS Office apps, and this makes it easy to use for limited work on the go.

This is also billed as a "family friendly" all-rounder, so the Galaxy Tab A8 also has kids’ mode available.

On the battery front, the Galaxy Tab A8 isn't the longest lasting tablet on the block but can run up to 12 hours, with power saving and ultra power saving modes.

As it's part of the Samsung range, the Galaxy Tab A8 can sync with other Samsung devices like mobiles.

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Google Nexus 7

These days the Google Nexus 7 is getting a little harder to find as the second generation model discussed here was released in 2013, but three years later experts like androidauthority.com and pcadvisor.co.uk still rank this Android device as one of the best budget buys available.

With a little scouting around you can find it for around US$140. The features that keep this widely popular tablet in the running are its build quality, pixel density, and quad core processor. The Nexus was built by ASUS with an HD screen, 5MP main camera, and 1.2MP webcam. It comes with 16GB or 32GB capacity and nine hours battery life, with PC Advisor noting, "It may even be the best value tablet there is".

If you need an alternative, the ASUS Zenpad S8 strikes a similar balance between price and performance. Boasting a MicroSD slot, 64-bit Intel quad processor, a variety of storage sizes and 4GB RAM, it looks a lot like the iPad Mini and retails for US$199 for the 32GB version.

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Lenovo Yoga Tab 3

With the 8-inch model retailing from just US$169.99 the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 receives accolades from a number of sources including cnet.com and androidauthority.com as an all-round performer.

This Android tablet appears different to your average hand-held device due to its aluminum-clad spine on one side that houses an inbuilt kickstand and 180-degree rotating camera. The design allows you to hold the tablet easily like a book, then provides stability when you turn it to landscape mode and utilize the kickstand for activities like watching movies or streaming TV.

The Yoga Tab 3 also boasts an HD display and up to 20 hours battery life. The 8MP camera takes a pretty good image, and as it rotates, it doubles as the front and rear-facing camera. The android operating system allows good performance and gaming, with Dolby Atmos technology taking care of quality sound.

The Roundup

Ultimately finding the right tablet to suit your budget and needs takes a little hunting around. But with a little research and willingness to compromise in an area or two, there's an affordable tablet available to cater to your mobile needs.

Posted by Andrea Baker on