The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (2023)

Our Experts Have Tested 18 Products in the Tablets Category This Year

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions.See how we test.(Opens in a new window)

Some tablets are pro-level laptop replacements, while others perform humbler duties. Inexpensive tablets can serve as entertainment platforms for kids,ebook readers, and alarm clocks, or even work as digital signage. You don't need to spend $300 or more to get a simple slate that fulfills those functions. We list our favorite models below, along with some useful buying advice for the category.

The Best Cheap Tablet Deals This Week*

  • Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus 64GB Tablet (2020 Release)(Opens in a new window)$69.99(List Price $139.99)
  • Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 128GB 11.2in 2.5K OLED 120Hz Android Tablet(Opens in a new window)$229.99(List Price $399.99)
  • Lenovo Tab M8 32GB Wi-FI 8" Android Tablet (3rd Gen)(Opens in a new window)$69.00(List Price $89)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 64GB 10.4" Tablet(Opens in a new window)$249.00(List Price $349.99)
  • Microsoft Surface Pro X 13" 2880x1920 256GB WiFi 4G LTE Tablet(Opens in a new window)$549.00(List Price $1,499.99)

*Deals are selected by our commerce team

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (1)

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021)

Best for Big-Screen Streaming

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Amazon updates the Fire HD 10 to deliver a very good tablet for $150, as long as what you want to do is control Alexa and consume Amazon books and media. Even without the Google Play store, it's the best tablet you can get for less than $200.


  • Fast processor for the price
  • Plenty of RAM
  • Acts as an Alexa smart display


  • Poor app selection
  • Very Amazon-centric interface
Sold ByList PricePrice
Amazon$149.99$119.99See It(Opens in a new window)

Read Our Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) Review

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (2)

Apple iPad (2021)

Best iPad Value

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Apple's 2021 base model iPad delivers strong performance and an excellent front-facing camera at a very palatable price, making it the best tablet for most people.


  • Powerful performance
  • Multi-year OS upgrades
  • Solid front-facing camera


  • Dated design
  • Tinny speakers

Read Our Apple iPad (2021) Review

Available at AmazonSee It(Opens in a new window)

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (3)

Lenovo Tab P11 Plus

Best Affordable Android Tablet

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is the best affordable Android tablet on the market, with solid performance, a vivid 11-inch display, and impressive speakers.


  • Sharp display
  • Loud, clear speakers
  • Perky performance


  • Unimpressive cameras
  • No promise for OS updates after Android 12
Sold ByList PricePrice
Lenovo$191.99$191.99See It(Opens in a new window)
Amazon$238.00 $238.00See It(Opens in a new window)

Read Our Lenovo Tab P11 Plus Review

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (4)

Alcatel Joy Tab 2

Best for LTE Connectivity

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

The Alcatel Joy Tab 2 is an excellent alternative to Amazon’s Fire lineup, with a clean Android experience, strong LTE connectivity, and impressive audio quality.


  • Handles basic tasks with ease
  • Good battery life
  • Strong LTE connectivity
  • Excellent audio for the price


  • Cameras perform poorly in low light
Sold ByList PricePrice
Metro by T-Mobile$199.99$199.99See It(Opens in a new window)

Read Our Alcatel Joy Tab 2 Review

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (5)

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022 Release)

Best for Video Playback and Zoom Calls

3.5 Good

Bottom Line:

The $100 Amazon Fire HD 8 is a simple media consumption slate that costs less than most other 8-inch tablets. It won't wow you, but it doesn't need to.


  • Vibrant screen
  • Good battery life
  • Lightweight


  • Sluggish performance
  • $10 more than the previous model
  • Limited app selection
Sold ByList PricePrice
Amazon$99.99$99.99See It(Opens in a new window)

Read Our Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022 Release) Review

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (6)

Microsoft Surface Go 3

Best Inexpensive Windows Tablet

3.5 Good

Bottom Line:

Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 is the best budget Windows 2-in-1 tablet, but its performance and value are a bit below expectations for a third-generation product that competes against Chromebooks and the Apple iPad.


  • Low starting price
  • Lightweight
  • Sunny display with vivid colors
  • Windows Hello webcam with 1080p video support
  • Integrated kickstand
  • SD card reader for easy storage expansion
  • Long battery life


  • Keyboard cover not included
  • Only one USB-C port
  • Optional extras pump up price quickly
  • Disappointing computing performance, even with Core i3 upgrade
Sold ByList Price Price
Amazon$629.99$629.99See It(Opens in a new window)
Microsoft Store$399.99$399.99See It(Opens in a new window)

Read Our Microsoft Surface Go 3 Review

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (7)

Amazon Fire 7 (2022)

Lowest Cost Tablet

3.5 Good

Bottom Line:

The $60 Fire 7 Tablet holds appeal if you want access to Amazon’s content ecosystem on the cheap, but you should keep your expectations in check.


  • More affordable than most tablets
  • Better specs and battery life than predecessor
  • Hands-free Alexa support
  • Expandable storage


  • Sluggish performance
  • Limited app selection
  • Low-resolution display
  • Poor cameras
  • Base models include ads on the lock screen
Sold ByList PricePrice
Amazon$59.99$59.99 See It(Opens in a new window)

Read Our Amazon Fire 7 (2022) Review

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (8)

Barnes & Noble Nook 10" HD Tablet Designed With Lenovo

Best for Reading in Color

3.0 Average

Bottom Line:

Barnes & Noble's 10-inch Nook-branded Lenovo tablet is a flexible reading device, but don't try to play games or do schoolwork on it.


  • High-quality build
  • Broad app support for reading books and comics
  • In-store support


  • Somewhat grainy screen
  • Slow performance in non-reading apps
Sold ByList PricePrice
Barnes and Noble$129.99$129.99See It(Opens in a new window)

Buying Guide: The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023

What to Look For In a Cheap Tablet

There are a lot of cheap tablets on the market. You can find them stacked up behind the counter at CVS and Walgreens or sold under dozens of different names on Amazon. We can't recommend most of them: They tend to be slow, unreliable, have dim screens, and run old versions of Android that are full of security flaws.

When you're shopping, keep an eye on screen resolution. An 8-inch, 1,280-by-800 display enables you to comfortably watch 720p HD video and read magazines. The combination of this size and resolution works out to 189 pixels per inch (ppi), which is the minimum you should look for if you want to experience reasonably sharp pictures and text.

At $100 or less, there are a few inexpensive 10-inch tablets, but their screens generally have such a low pixel density that they look fuzzy and are difficult to read.

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (9)

Apple iPad (2021)(Credit: Steven Winkelman)

Also, pay close attention to storage specs. Because Android often has trouble moving apps to microSD cards, we recommend at least 32GB of built-in storage for installing apps and storing multimedia. If you plan to play large games like Genshin Impact, you might even need 64GB because that game takes up almost 32GB by itself. Of course, a microSD card slot certainly can't hurt, especially if you want to download movies to watch on long trips.

If possible, look for 4GB of RAM or more. This will help you launch and run apps more smoothly, particularly if you have anything else running in the background.

Battery life is another factor to keep in mind, though you can always extend the life of your tablet on the go with one of ourfavorite backup battery packs.

Does Amazon Make the Best Cheap Tablets?

The best sub-$100 tablets we've tested come from Amazon. Amazon often subsidizes its tablets with ads on the lock screen and lots of promotions for Amazon content throughout the interface. They're relatively reliable, however, and they get security updates (even if only sporadically). Further, they have excellent customer support, which sets them apart from their sub-$100 kin.

The 2022 model of the Fire 7 Tablet is the least-expensive, decent-quality tablet on the market, at $59.99. Other tablets in this price range tend to have outdated versions of Android or are a complete roll of the dice in terms of quality assurance and support.

The Best Cheap Tablets for 2023 (10)

Amazon Fire 7 Tablet (2022)(Credit: Dave LeClair)

Amazon's tablets aren't only the best cheap options out there, they're also thebest kids' tabletswe've tested. Theyhave a simplified interface, strong parental controls, and Kids+, which is basically a giant bucket of content for kids. A Parent Dashboard lets you keep track of what your children are doing and restrict their screen time. You can put multiple user profiles on the tablets, as well. Other Android tablets also let you set up restricted kids' profiles and configure parental control settings, but Amazon's options are more comprehensive.

The one caveat with Amazon's tablets is that they use the Amazon Appstore, which doesn't have all the apps that are in the Google Play Store. If you want complete Google Play coverage with unrestricted access to thebest Android apps, you may need to give up some specs such as RAM, storage, or dual-band Wi-Fi on a non-Amazon tablet. Yes, you can sideload apps on Fire tablets, but this comes with risks.

If all of these choices feel underwhelming, take a look at our picks for thebest Android tablets overall.

Are There Cheap Tablets That Don't Run Android?

If you want a quality Apple or Windows tablet under $200, you're going to have to dip into the used market. In that case, we suggest you first check out manufacturers' certified refurbished sales or head to third-party sellers such as Gazelle, Glyde, and Swappa that buy used products and test them before reselling.

Recommended by Our Editors

The Best Gaming Tablets for 2023

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The Best eReaders for 2023

The least expensive new iPad is the outgoing 2021 model, and at $329, it's a great value. Now that the 2022 iPad is out, you might even be able to find the 2021 model for a discount. Over the past few years, Apple has made the iPad a decent replacement for a basic laptop, withaccessories such as the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard adding value.

We wouldn't call the iPad a cheap tablet, mind you, but there are some good reasons to invest in one. Most notably, you can likely stay current with software updates for at least three years. That's much longer than almost all the budget tablets on our list. If you get an older, used iPad, it's likely to get cut out of the software update cycle in a year or two.

In the Windows world, take a look at certified used devices at this price level. If your budget is a little more flexible, here's our list of thebest Windows tablets.

Finally, if budget buying feels too much like cutting corners, check out thebest tablets we've testedoverall. Just be prepared to spend a lot more than $100.

Steven Winkleman contributed to this story.

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