Top 6 Budget Android Tablets (September 2013)

HP Slate 7 cheap android tablet

If you want to enter the Android space without emptying your checking account, there’s plenty of low-cost budget tablets available. Want the best of Android? You don’t have to put down $400+ for that. In fact, the best of Android is a cheap Android tablet priced at $229, offering the same, premium experience as a $400 tablet.

If you don’t mind skipping the premium experience, Android tablets can get even cheaper with the Acer Iconia B1 at $179 or the HP Slate 7 at $142.99. If you’re looking for a budget-level, yet good performing tablet, then Android might be a wise path.

ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)

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The Nexus 7 (2013) launched with flying colors, showing the world you don’t need top of the line specs to make a premium tablet experience. Coming in at a humble $229 for the 16GB model, the ASUS-made Nexus 7 (2013) is the best cheap Android tablet you can get.

A bevy of optimizations makes its Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU clocked at 1.5GHz something to brag about, and with the help of 2GB of RAM, multitasking is a breeze, as it should be.

On the software side of things, you get the latest version of Android — 4.3 Jelly Bean. The OS is as smooth as can be, and with features like Google Now, it’ll be hard to put the tablet down.

ASUS Nexus 7 (2013) Specs

  • Profile: 7.62mm (0.3-inch); 2mm thinner, reduced bezel by 3mm on each side
  • Weight: 318g (11.2oz)
  • 7-inch LCD IPS display with 1920 x 1200 resolution (323ppi)
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • Adreno 320 graphics
  • 2GB of DDR3LM memory
  • 16/32GB storage
  • 5-megapixel camera
  • 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • dual-stereo speakers
  • virtual surround sound technology
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • MicroUSB port with SlimPort
  • 9 hours video playback, 10 hours web and reading
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

For more info on the new Nexus 7 (2013), including our review, click here!

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HP Slate 7

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The HP Slate 7 is HP’s entrance into the 7-inch market, attempting to take on the Nexus 7 (2013) at a low price point of $142.99. When put to the test, this tablet is nothing in comparison to the Nexus 7 (2013).

Elements are generally slower, mainly because of the lack of high spec’d hardware and a bevy of software optimizations. Don’t get me wrong, the HP Slate 7 is a great cheap Android tablet for its price, but media consumption isn’t the best.

Nonetheless, the Slate 7 will get you through the day with ease, depending on usage. There are frequent amounts of lag here and there, but if you can get past that, the tablet is a decent performer for its price. Of course, for those wanting to spend a little bit more cash, the HP Slate 7 may be a hard sell with rumors of an alleged HP Slate 8 Pro on the horizon.

HP Slate 7 Specs

  • 197.1 x 116.1 x 10.7 mm
  • 372 grams
  • Cortex-A9 dual-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz
  • 7-inch FFS (Field Fringe Switching) LCD display, 600 x 1024 pixels (170ppi)
  • 1GB of memory
  • 8GB of storage
  • microSD card slot
  • 3.15-megapixel rear camera
  • Beats Audio
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

For more on the HP Slate 7, including our review, click here.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD

kindle fire hd cheap android tablet

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD is yet another way to get your hands on a cheap Android tablet. Only, you won’t get the full features of Android, as the Kindle Fire HD is running a forked version of the operating system.

In layman’s terms, Amazon built a tablet using Android as its foundation, but made it in such a way that the  device is without Google services. It’s a pure Amazon experience.

Nonetheless, it’s still a good tablet if you can have patience with Amazon’s limited AppStore. While the AppStore may be limited, and you may only find a handful of useful apps, the Kindle Fire HD excels at media consumption. Whether it be games, movies or music, you’re in for something special.

At the time of this writing, the tablet is on sale for $159; it’s normally priced at $199. Either way, if you can get past the lack of Google services, this is one impressive cheap Android tablet.

Kindle Fire HD Specs

  • 7-inch IPS touchscreen display (for the 7-inch version)
  • laminated touch sensor that helps decrease glare by 25%
  • TI OMAP 4470 processor said to outperform the current Tegra 3 SoC
  • 16GB memory
  • Stereo speakers
  • Wi-Fi 2.4GHz/5GHz and MIMO support
  • Bluetooth
  • HDMI out
  • HD front-facing camera with custom Skype app
  • Android OS – a forked Android version that’s incompatible with Google’s Android version and future updates
  • Whisperync for Voice – syncs audiobooks with reading to offer an advanced “Immersion Reading”
  • Whispersync for Games – save game progress and continue progress from the last saved session, even when switching to a different device
  • X-Ray for movies – find out details about movie characters/actors while playing a movie
  • X-Ray for ebooks – offers book-related details taken from the web
  • Kindle for kids functionality: Kindle FreeTime supporting multiple customizable profiles (one for each kid)

For more on the Kindle Fire HD, including our iPad Mini and Kindle Fire HD comparison, click here.

Kindle Fire HD
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Barnes & Noble Nook HD+


Much like the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ is running a forked version of Android. However, Barnes & Noble recently gave the device a fresh coat of new point by opening up the Play Store and giving the tablet a much needed price drop.

Does the added Play Store and price drop make all the difference? In short, yes. The Nook HD+ is a very impressive device, but Barnes & Noble’s own app store was just too limited to justify the price.

Nonetheless, things have changed, and with the Play Store, new possibilities have opened up for this little performer. In example, the Amazon Kindle app can be downloaded from the Play Store, opening up Amazon’s massive library of books for this tablet, and there are a variety of games available, so you can finally take advantage of the Nook HD+’s Retina-like display.

There are now an endless amount of possibilities for this tablet, which puts the Nook HD+ one step ahead of the Kindle Fire HD, in my opinion. It’s easily one of the best cheap Android tablets on the market, even if it is a year old.

Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ Specs

  • 240.3 x 162.8 x 11.4 mm
  • 515 grams
  • TI OMAP44709 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz.
  • 9-inch IPS LCD display, 1,920 x 1,280 resolution (256ppi)
  • 1GB of memory
  • 16/32GB of storage
  • microSD card slot
  • HDMI

For more on the Nook HD+, click here.

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Hisense Sero 7 Pro


In the Android space, when you think tablet, Hisense isn’t usually the first manufacturer that comes to mind. In this case, Hisense has released the Sero 7 Pro, an impressive budget-level tablet, equipped with formidable specs.

For $129, you’d think this cheap Android tablet to be a slouch. On the contrary, with a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, the device is blazing fast. Sure, it may be a cheap Android tablet, but under the hood, it performs exceptionally well.

As for the software, you get an interface very similar to stock Android on the Nexus 7 (2013). In short, you’re in for a slick and smooth experience with the Sero 7 Pro. And if it’s too expensive for you, there’s a lower spec’d version of this tablet, the Sero 7 LT, priced at $79.

Hisense Sero 7 Pro Specs

  •  NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 7 inch, 1280 x 800 IPS display
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of on-board memory
  • 2.0MP front camera
  • 5.0MP rear camera with flash and auto-focus
  • Mini HDMI, SD, and USB ports
  • 10-hour battery life
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth

For more on the Hisense Sero 7 Pro, click here.

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Starting at $129, the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 is a formidable competitor to the Nexus 7 (2013). The hardware may not be as impressive, but at $100 less, the MeMO Pad is hard to pass up.

The MeMO Pad HD 7 features ASUS own UI with myriad of extra features. To name just a few of those additions, there’s a Power Saver, Movie Studio, and smaller overlays, which are app window that stay on top of what you’re already doing.

So, what does $129 get you? A handful of extra software features, a fast UI, a beautiful display, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage, which is something the Nexus 7 (2013) doesn’t have.

ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 Specs

  • 196.8 x 120.6 x 10.8 mm
  • 302 grams
  • MediaTek MT8125 chipset with a quad-core Cortex A7 clocked at 1.2GHz
  • 7-inch IPS LCD display, 1,280 x 800 (216ppi)
  • 1GB of memory
  • 8/16GB of storage
  • microSD card slot
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, compass
  • 5-megapixel back camera
  • 1.2-megapixel front camera
  • 3,890 mAh battery
  • stereo speakers
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

For more on the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7, including our review, click here.

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Final Thoughts

Nexus 7

If you’re not looking to conduct demanding tasks, a cheap Android tablet will work the same way a premium device does. Just with less power and more savings in your pocketbook.

The cheap Android tablets of today are the outdated, high-end specs of last year. Honestly, if you don’t need to perform demanding tasks and you don’t care if you have the latest and greatest, a cheap Android tablet can save you a whole lot of money, while being beneficial to your daily tasks.

We’ll be updating this list throughout the coming months as more devices come in, so be sure to keep your browsers pointed to Android Authority to find the latest and greatest in cheap Android tablets!

What is your favorite cheap Android tablet? Have you had one before? What’s your experience been like with them? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

By | 2013-09-17T03:00:03+00:00 September 17th, 2013|Android Related, Just the Tablets|0 Comments

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