There are a number of reasons to buy a cheap tablet, but which ones are worth your money?
Tablets are incredibly useful, but if you're buying one for under $100, you're going to have to settle for some compromises. From durability issues to potentially out-of-date software, there's a reason why these are considered budget products and priced to move.
But there's still some good value to be had here, especially if you're planning to buy a tablet as a gift for a younger child. It can also be convenient to have a nice and portable device to take on trips, while leaving your more expensive tech safely stored at home.
Here's a breakdown of the best tablets you can get under $100!
Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet
Amazon has been producing some of the best budget tablets for years, and its latest HD tablet is the best yet. The Fire HD 8 features an 8-inch screen with battery life of up to 12 hours of reading, surfing, the web, watching videos, and listening to music. And audio is going to sound pretty decent with stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support. It's also Alexa-enabled, which means you'll be able to talk to your smart home products from wherever you are in your home.
If you've never bought a Fire tablet before, you should know that Amazon has its own store for accessing content like apps, movies, TV, songs, books, and more. If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber you'll have Amazon Video and Amazon Music at your fingertips.
Our very own Phil Nickinson (aka Modern Dad) says it's the best tablet for kids because it's still a pretty capable Android tablet that you won't be distraught if dropped. There's also the Amazon Fire 7, which is $30 cheaper and another great option for kids, but the choice is ultimately yours — compare the specs and pick the one that's right for you.
Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
The standard Amazon Fire tablets are already pretty great for kids, but Amazon has smartly gone a step further by offering both the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 packaged with a kid-proof case that's designed to take all the abuse a younger child can throw at it.
It's got some built-in tools for parents that allow you to control what and when your kids can access on their own tablet, without sacrificing specs or feeling like a cheap toy.
If durability is at top of the list for you, you'll want to get this tablet. It's also backed by a 2-year worry-free warranty, meaning if anything happens Amazon will let you return and replace it for free, no questions asked. That's music to any parents ears!
Lenovo Tab 10
This one is kind of a cheat because it's $7 over the $100 budget. But, if you're comfortable with that, the Lenovo Tab 10 is a solid buy for $107. It's a 10-inch tablet with a 1280 x 800 resolution display, Snapdragon 210 processor, 16GB of onboard storage and 1GB of RAM.
It won't set any records when it comes to performance, but it's got solid build quality and while it's still back on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it's far from the oldest version of Android you'll find on a super-cheap tablet. It's also fairly un-customized, so even with low specs should be ok for lighter use.
It also has a microSD card slot to expand the storage some, and the rear speakers support Dolby Atmos, which isn't something you find on most cheap tablets!
RCA Viking Pro
The RCA Viking Pro is likely the only 10-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard that you will find for around $100. Sure, the internal specs are mediocre at best, but it comes with 32GB of internal storage along with a microSD slot, so that's pretty decent. It's a great option if you're looking for a cheap tablet with a larger screen for watching Netflix and other downloaded content — just make sure to use headphones or a Bluetooth speaker for audio.
The detachable keyboard is a nice addition, too, giving you the option to get some writing done on the go. It's running Android 5.0 Lollipop, so you might not be able to play the latest games, but at $100 it's a great portable option for blogging and watching videos.
There are limited quantities available on Amazon, but you can also buy this tablet from Walmart.
Updated November 29, 2017: We've removed an older tablet and added in the Lenovo Tab 10 to our picks.