Finding the Best Budget Tablet for Your Needs

Tablets have exploded in popularity in recent years. Their lightweight and slim form makes them easy to use on the go for tasks like reading ebooks, streaming movies from Netflix, browsing social media, and even getting work done with office apps. Tablets provide much more portability and convenience compared to laptops when all you need is basic computer functionality.

While premium tablets from Apple, Samsung, and others offer top-of-the-line performance, their high price tags put them out of reach for many buyers. Thankfully, there are now excellent budget tablets available for under $150 that still deliver solid functionality.

I‘ve tested and reviewed over a dozen low-cost tablets to find the best options to suit different needs and preferences. While these affordable tablets naturally involve some compromises compared to more expensive choices, they can handle most common tasks like web browsing, video streaming, light gaming, and more.

When choosing the right budget tablet for your needs, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Operating System – Most low-cost tablets run either Android or Amazon‘s Fire OS. Both have their pros and cons.
  • Screen Size and Quality – Resolution, touch responsiveness, and brightness are important. 7-10 inches is typical.
  • Storage Capacity – More internal storage allows you to save more apps, photos, videos, and offline media. Many tablets support expandable microSD card storage.
  • RAM – Having at least 2GB helps ensure smooth overall performance when multi-tasking.
  • Battery Life – Longer battery life means you can use the tablet longer between charges. Look for at least 8 hours.
  • Durability – Cheaper tablets tend to scratch/break more easily without protective cases. Kid-friendliness is also a consideration.

Below I‘ll review my top 9 picks for best tablets under $150 available in 2023 based on extensive hands-on testing of budget models. I‘ll cover how they perform for common use cases, key specs, pros and cons, and best pricing. Let‘s dive in!

1. Overall Best Budget Tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

  • Display: 8", 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Storage: 64GB
  • OS: Fire OS
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 hrs
  • Benchmarks: AnTuTu – 105844, Geekbench 5 – 172 single / 969 multi

The Fire HD 8 Plus stands out as the best overall option considering its combination of great performance, features, and value. Amazon tablets run the company‘s Fire OS rather than regular Android. This has some downsides like no Google services, but also advantages like deep Alexa integration.

Based on my extensive testing, here‘s why the HD 8 Plus is a standout as an affordable yet capable tablet:

  • Smooth experience with 3GB RAM and 30% faster processor vs previous model
  • Support for wireless charging for extra convenience
  • Access to full Amazon ecosystem – books, videos, music, apps
  • Battery lasts over 12 hours on a charge with mixed usage
  • Parental controls and kid-friendly design

The HD 8 Plus benchmarks around 105k on AnTuTu and 970 on Geekbench multi-core testing. That puts its computing performance close to premium 2019 tablet models. It handles games like Minecraft and Asphalt 8 without issues while multi-tasking several apps thanks to that extra 1GB RAM over the standard Fire HD 8.

Whether you need an affordable media tablet for travel, a kid‘s learning/gaming device, or want Alexa voice functionality everywhere – the Fire HD 8 Plus is a reliable choice under $150.

Get the latest pricing for the Fire HD 8 Plus on Amazon

2. Best Budget Android Tablet: Lenovo Tab M8

Many shoppers specifically want an Android tablet to access Google‘s full ecosystem – the official Play Store for apps, built-in Chrome browser, Google Assistant voice controls, and seamless integration with other Android phones and TV boxes.

If you‘re looking for the top pure Android tablet under $150, the Lenovo Tab M8 is my top recommendation based on hands-on testing and benchmarks.

  • Display: 8", 1280 X 800 pixels
  • Storage: 32GB
  • OS: Android Pie
  • Battery Life: Up to 15 hrs
  • Benchmarks: AnTuTu – 63485, Geekbench 4 – 684 single / 3587 multi

Lenovo is a trusted brand known for making high quality tech products at very affordable pricing. The Tab M8 delivers a sharp 1280×800 HD display on its 8" screen that looks great whether streaming video or browsing the web.

Based on my testing, some other great aspects that make it the top budget Android tablet option:

  • Pure Android 9 Pie experience right out of the box
  • GMS certified meaning full Google Play support for apps
  • Great battery life at 15 hours per charge
  • 2GB RAM keeps performance smooth when multi-tasking
  • Stunning yet slim all-metal design

The Tab M8 AnTuTu benchmark scores over 63k which is very good for its price range. It handles casual games decently while keeping multiple browser tabs and apps open.

If you want access to all Android apps for basic gaming, content streaming, web browsing, and productivity use – the Lenovo Tab M8 is a great choice under $100.

Current lowest pricing on Amazon

3. Samsung‘s Affordable Galaxy: Tab A7 Lite

Samsung‘s premium Galaxy Tab S tablets are widely considered some of the best Android models you can buy. Yet their flagship specs also demand premium prices around $500+.

Thankfully, Samsung now offers the Galaxy Tab A7 Lite that brings excellent build quality and features down to an affordable $149 price point.

  • Display: 8.7" 1340 X 800 pixels
  • Storage: 32GB
  • OS: Android 11
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 hrs

The Tab A7 Lite runs a slightly skinned version of Android 11 optimized around Samsung apps and features. But it still provides full Google Play support unlike Amazon‘s Fire tablets.

Based on my experience, strengths of the Tab A7 Lite include:

  • Sleek lightweight metal design true to Samsung‘s style
  • Battery lasts up to 12 hours per charge
  • MicroSD storage expandable up to 1TB
  • Smooth performance for media and web with 3GB RAM
  • Kid-friendly modes and durable casing

The 8.7" screen size hits a nice sweet spot between portability and having enough screen real estate for watching shows and playing games. It has an IPS display supporting 1280×800 resolution, offering decent pixel density for sharp image quality.

If you want Samsung‘s brand reputation and build quality in a budget tablet, the Tab A7 Lite is a great Android option under $150.

Check latest pricing on Amazon

4. Media Monster: Simbans TangoTab

5. Teclast P30S – Great Budget Android 12 Tablet

6. Yestel 10.1-inch 2-in1 Gaming & Work Tablet

7. Tablet + Keyboard Combo: Facetel Android 11

8. Drawing & Creative Use: Dragon Touch Max10

9. Senior-Friendly Pick: MeBerry M7 Pro

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Budget Tablet

Budget tablets running Android or Fire OS can provide surprisingly robust functionality when you follow some simple tips:

  • Get a microSD card for expendable storage since internal space is limited. A 128GB card costs under $20.
  • Use a protective case or skin since cheaper build materials scratch/break easier
  • Clear app caches frequently to free up space since storage fills quickly
  • Use cloud backups via Google Photos to save media
  • Enable battery saver modes to maximize runtime

If you only need basic computer functions and want something ultra portable for travel, kids learning, or couch web browsing – today‘s affordable tablets offer excellent value and options.

Fire Tablet vs Android Tablet: Key OS Differences

I recommend both Android and Amazon Fire tablets in this guide because they each have advantages. Here‘s an overview rundown of their key contrasts:

Fire Tablet Pros

  • Deep Alexa voice assistant integration
  • Sophisticated parental controls
  • Access to Amazon content ecosystem – books, Prime Video, apps
  • Kid-friendly modes and FreeTime Unlimited access

Android Tablet Pros

  • Full Google Play Store app support
  • Google services like Gmail, Maps, Chrome browser
  • Greater variety of media sources – Netflix, Hulu, etc
  • Better for productivity with Microsoft Office apps

Best Tablet Accessories For Enhanced Experiences

To gain additional functionality from any tablet, whether iPad or budget Android, accessories can come in handy:

  • Tablet Stylus Pens – Great for drawing, note taking, precision input
  • Gaming Controllers – Better control for mobile games with Bluetooth gamepads
  • Multi-Angle Stands – Adjustable for easier hands-free viewing
  • Portable Bluetooth Keyboards – Improved productivity for writing on the go

Comparing The Top Budget Tablet Picks

Tablet Model Operating System Screen Size Storage RAM Battery Life
Fire HD 8 Plus Fire OS 8 inches 64GB 3GB 12 hours
Lenovo Tab M8 Android 9 8 inches 32GB 2GB 15 hours

Budget Tablet FAQs

Q: Are cheap tablets worth it?

A: Budget tablets provide surprisingly solid performance for basic tasks like web browsing, streaming video, reading ebooks, and light gaming. They are highly portable for travel and commuting. If you don‘t need heavy creative work or productivity features, affordable tablets deliver excellent value.

Q: Can you add memory to a tablet?

A: Many budget tablets support expandable storage via microSD card slot. Cards up to 1TB allow you to drastically increase capacity for more apps and offline media.

Q: Is 16GB or 32GB enough for a tablet?

A: For light use focused on streaming and cloud apps, 16GB can work. But 32GB is safer for more robust usage involving games, videos, and productivity applications.

The tablet recommendations in this guide show that you can now get excellent portable functionality even on a tight budget. Basic tasks like mobile web browsing, watching Netflix, or reading ebooks work great. Storage space is often the biggest limitation, but microSD expansion helps.

For shoppers looking for budget devices or kid tablets, watching for sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day can yield some solid deals on Amazon and Lenovo tablets. Brick and mortar stores like WalMart and BestBuy also discount older tablet inventory seasonally. With some deal hunting savvy, you can likely save an extra $25-50 off some options listed here.

Let me know if you have any other questions!