Tablets. You'll always have the high-end, the high asking prices, and the people who are willing to pay for them. But for many, just getting good hardware, a great experience, and not emptying your wallet is the most important set of factors in buying a new tablet.
The Android tablet space has exploded in recent years and there are now some great choices to be made around the $200 price point and below. Here we've rounded up some of the best choices you can make.
Amazon Fire HD 8
The Amazon Fire HD 8 has impressive specs and, starting at $79.99, a very attractive price point. It also features 12 hours of battery life, and a processor that's twice as fast as the previous generation and Dolby Audio. The 1280x800 pixel LCD display won't win any awards, but the 8-inch screen looks great at any angle — awesome for sharing the tablet with family.
And all models of Amazon's Fire tablet now have support for the company's AI assistant, Alexa, allowing you to control your tablet, and your smarthome, with your voice.
And as with Amazon's other tablets, you can offline Prime Video to an SD card, which is a frequent traveler's dream. If you'd like something cheaper, there's the $49 7-inch version of the Fire tablet, while larger screen fans can get the latest 10-inch model for $150. Both the HD 8 and HD 10 will soon be available with a dock that gives you Echo Show-like functionality.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 3 8-inch
Now in its third generation, Lenovo's Yoga tablet remains one of the most distinctive offerings around. The design is unusual but it also makes it one of the best tablets money can buy for consuming media since you don't need to invest in a case with a kickstand.
You also get some great sounding front-facing speakers with excellent volume, so you can just pop it down, kick back and watch a movie wherever you are.
The software experience won't suit everyone, but it's mostly inoffensive, and Lenovo adds a few useful apps and features instead of cramming it with bloat. But while the design is excellent in some regards, it does make it awkward to hold in landscape.
You do get superb battery life though. That bulge is full of battery, which means you get more life from a Yoga than a lot of other Android tablets. And all for $135 when you get the 2GB RAM model, which you absolutely should.
Lenovo Tab 4
Lenovo's second entry in our roundup, the Tab 4 is a regular slab-style tablet next to the unusual form factor of the Yoga Tablet 3. But while it's less to look at it, it has plenty of its own charm.
It has an 8-inch 1280 x 800 resolution display, quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and Android 7.1 Nougat with Lenovo's newer, closer to stock user interface.
Lenovo claims up to 20 hours of battery life during media consumption, and with Dolby Atmos support you're getting another stellar audio experience from a low-cost Lenovo tablet. At only $107 it's perfect for you or the kids, and Lenovo has an optional kids pack which includes a roughty toughty case to protect from the expected falls to the floor.
Huawei Mediapad M3 Lite
The less-powerful version of the Mediapad M3 is a great buy at around $199 for folks searching for a high-quality, yet still affordable tablet. The software experience is all Huawei with its custom EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7.1, and it's on some pretty solid hardware.
The display is a really nice looking 8-inch, 1920 x 1200 resolution panel and with audio from harman/kardon, the Mediapad M3 Lite is true to its name: It's great for consuming media.
You get 16GB of internal storage with a micro SD card slot, 3GB of RAM and a 4,800 mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner and for the little ones, a bunch of child-safe features to help the parents control what they're seeing.
There's also a 10-inch model if you want something bigger, though this is more expensive at around $249. So the 8-inch is still the one to get on a tighter budget.
Updated July 9, 2018: The two Lenovo tablets in our list are now cheaper giving you a great tablet for even less!
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