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Top five cheap tablets for 2018

By Jack Turner

We pick out the best cheap tablets. Discover five bargain tablets for less than £200 - that's half the cost of the Apple iPad mini.

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A great tablet can be expensive, but they don't need to be. If you fancy a tablet and have been out off by the price, or are looking for a cheap second tablet, there are plenty out there that can do the job and won't feel like a compromise, including models from Amazon, Huawei and Asus.

Fresh from our test labs, these aren't budget 'also-rans', but some of the best tablets available. They'll be able to handle the latest apps, have top quality screens for watching films and they're responsive, so there won't be any lag when you're swiping around on the web.

We've also picked out three tablets that may be cheap, but certainly aren't cheerful.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by taking a £1 trial to Which?

Best cheap tablets for 2017

Lowest price (in stock) £154.97
Which? score 73%
Reviewed Mar 2016
Ease of use:
5 out of 5
Screen quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
3 out of 5
Operating system:
Member exclusive
Actual internal storage capacity (GB):
Member exclusive
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive

An incredibly crisp 10-inch display for a budget tablet, this model exceeds expectations, and also manages an impressive battery life as well. It's not the fastest tablet out there, but if you're just looking to do basic tasks, it's worth seeking out.

Typical price £80.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Dec 2017
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Operating system:
Member exclusive
Actual internal storage capacity (GB):
Member exclusive
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive

A great choice for those on a budget, this 8-inch tablet isn't a power house, but does more than enough for the average user. The battery stamina means you can use it for long stretches away from the plug socket.

Lowest price (in stock) £79.98
Which? score 69%
Reviewed Oct 2016
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
3 out of 5
Operating system:
Member exclusive
Actual internal storage capacity (GB):
Member exclusive
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive

This tablet is a workhorse that can easily get manage your daily tasks with ease, and has a long battery life that won't leave you left without juice when you're out and about

Typical price £80.00
Which? score 63%
Reviewed Dec 2016
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
2 out of 5
Operating system:
Member exclusive
Actual internal storage capacity (GB):
Member exclusive
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive
Typical price £50.00
Which? score 56%
Reviewed Dec 2017
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen quality:
3 out of 5
Sound quality:
2 out of 5
Operating system:
Member exclusive
Actual internal storage capacity (GB):
Member exclusive
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive

The specs on this tablet won't turn heads, but the price might. One of the cheapest models we've tested, and incredibly competent too. A great choice for a kids tablet, or secondary device.

Pricing, recommendations, and test scores correct as of November 2017.

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our tablet reviews

And here's three cheap tablets to avoid

While there's some cheap tablets that you should consider, there are plenty that you shouldn't. Stuffed with bad tech and unpleasant to use, here are three cheap tablets that you'll want to give a wide berth.

Three tablets you'll want to avoid

Typical price £80.00
Which? score 43%
Reviewed Dec 2016
Features:
4 out of 5
Screen quality:
3 out of 5
Battery:
3 out of 5
Performance:
3 out of 5
Operating system:
Member exclusive
Processor speed (GHz):
Member exclusive
Actual internal storage capacity (GB):
Member exclusive
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive

With its pixelated screen, lacklustre audio and slow speed, there's little to say about this tablet, aside from a warning to leave it well alone.

Typical price £100.00
Which? score 42%
Reviewed Sep 2017
Features:
4 out of 5
Screen quality:
3 out of 5
Battery:
3 out of 5
Performance:
3 out of 5
Operating system:
Member exclusive
Processor speed (GHz):
Member exclusive
Actual internal storage capacity (GB):
Member exclusive
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive

Cheap but certainly not cheerful, this tablet has an underpowered processor which struggle to keep up while the speakers and screen are both mediocre.

Typical price £50.00
Which? score 31%
Reviewed Dec 2016
Features:
4 out of 5
Screen quality:
3 out of 5
Battery:
2 out of 5
Performance:
3 out of 5
Operating system:
Member exclusive
Processor speed (GHz):
Member exclusive
Actual internal storage capacity (GB):
Member exclusive
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive

A slow processor and just 1GB of Ram means that this tablet is sluggish and unresponsive, making a for a frustrating user experience.

Saving money with an older model

A lot of manufactures refresh their tablet line-up on a yearly basis, which means that you'll often see deep discounts on the previous years older, less desirable models. 

The launch of the latest tablet can be a great time to pick up the previous version, with stores getting rid of old stock to make way for the latest shiny model. While manufacturers would have you believe that their newest model is the best ever, remember that they would have been parroting exactly that same sentiment the year before, and in many cases, the older version will still be a good tablet.

By ensuring that the software is up to date, you should find that an older tablet will have more or less the same functionally as a new one, but the specifications won't quite be as impressive. Choose wisely, by checking our reviews, and you could grab yourself a bargain.

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