Holidays are just around the corner and what more of an ideal gift you can give to a tech junkie than a tablet that is both cost-friendly and functional? Nowadays, tablets are the perfect replacement for the bulkier PC desktops and laptops with its compact body and equally high-performing processor. We have summed up the top 7 best tablets under $300 to give you the bang for the buck.
This 8-inch tablet from ASUS runs on Windows 8.1 and comes with a stylus. It works well for entertainment purposes, but the pre-installed programs as well as the 2 GB RAM and 1.3 GHz Intel Atom quad core chipset is capable of supporting office applications. On average, the battery can last up to 8 hours. The 32 GB solid state drive ensures fast data transfer compared to the typical SATA capability. Retail price starts at $289.
Despite its relatively inferior specs such as the 1 GB RAM, 16 GB storage, and a 5-megapixel iSight rear camera, the Apple iPad Mini 2 remains an attractive entry-level tablet that is below the $300 price mark. Unfortunately, this version of iPad Mini has limited free applications, so users will be compelled to purchase from the App Store. The 7.9-inch 2048 by 1536 Retina boasts clear film viewing and Facetime experience. Price starts at $275.
Dell’s newest tablet model runs on Windows 8.1 with very sharp screen colors and multi-gesture display. Compared to other brands less than $300, the Venue 8 Pro has 2 GB RAM and a 1.8 GHz quad core Intel Atom processor to support basic Microsoft Office applications. Storage is non-expandable at 32 GB with 10 hours battery life. This tablet is recommended for moms and young professionals for regular Internet browsing and office tasks. Price is pegged at $269.
If you’re an avid Samsung fan, the Galaxy Tab 4 should suffice your basic Internet browsing needs. Unfortunately, it is quite disappointing that this model is still operating on Android 4.4 Kitkat versus Android Lollipop and Windows 8.1 on other brands. The 16 GB internal storage is limited considering that Kitkat will consume more than 5 GB for the OS and pre-installed programs. The $247 retail price may seem a bit pricey if you would compare its technical specs with other brands.
Talking about style and functionality, the Lenovo IdeaTab Miix2 makes a great investment for watching movies and occasional gaming, especially with its sharp display and powerful speakers. It runs on Windows 8.1 so expect pre-installed Microsoft Office programs. Similar to the Dell Venue 8 Pro, Lenovo’s IdeaTab can last up to 10 hours on average usage. The rear camera boasts an 8-megapixel shooter, but the front facing camera is slightly inferior at 2-megpixel. Current retail price is $239.
The bigger 10.1-inch tablet version of Kindle Fire is definitely making a fuss in the market. The 1280 by 800 resolution display and 1.5 GHz MediaTek quad core processor is just enough to play entry-level games, but do not expect it can handle the ones with higher graphics requirement. The 5-megapixel rear camera and 720-pixel HD front camera may work for selfies except for panoramic shots. The 16 GB storage is expandable with an additional 128 GB in micro SD slot. Battery may last up to 8 hours depending on usage. Price starts at $200.
If you’re an avid Kindle book reader and enjoys watching videos on Amazon Prime, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 offers ebook rentals and video streaming options at no cost. This 7-inch tablet is lightweight and convenient to carry just about anywhere. It is equipped with the 4G LTE mobile internet just in case a WiFi connection is not available. The soft black matte surface gives an elegant look and a comfortable grip. Regular retail price starts at $229, though other stores sell it for as low as $185.
If you’re interested in buying an entry-level tablet below $300, consider the following points:
- Purpose. Will you be using the tablet for gaming, Internet browsing, office applications, or simply music and video entertainment?
- Brand. Truthfully, brands do not necessarily speak of the quality of the tablet’s specs. However, some brands are more reputable in manufacturing durable and high-quality tablets than their rival companies.
- Processor. Research what type of processor would best suit your needs. Some tablets are equipped with at least 2 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. Anything below that may render applications faulty.