Choosing the right Android tablet can be a challenging task and depends on numerous factors, not least when considering $200 devices. While a $200 budget may seem prohibitive when we consider tablets priced twice as much, if not more, finding a capable tablet at this price point is entirely possible.
Fortunately, we’ve reached a point where tablet technology has reached maturity. The natural trickle-down of this sees many ostensibly entry-level options boast features that were the reserve of premium models only a few years ago. It goes without saying that $200 won’t bag the best Android tablet, but with the right expectations and some choice compromises, we’d wager you’ll be more than happy. But, which is the best Android tablet under $200?
To answer that question and to save you some time researching what’s out there, we compiled a list featuring our top recommendations for the best Android tablets priced under $200.
How We Picked
To pick the best Android tablets under $200, we assessed potential options based on performance, under-the-hood specifications, build quality, connectivity, portability, battery life, and the size, resolution, and quality of the display.
More importantly, in the context of under $200 tablets, we considered whether the trade-offs – and they always exist at this price – are palatable for everyday use and don’t detract too significantly from the tablet’s overall quality.
After scrutinizing a fairly stacked budget tablet market, we pinpointed five tablets that offer the best value for $200 or less. Read on to find out why we think each one deserves to be considered courtesy of a brief review and pros and cons. We’ve also slotted in some handy tablet buying tips at the end to help your search.
Best Android Tablet Under $200 in 2021
Good quality display at this price point
Quad speaker system
Long-lasting battery life
Lightweight and sturdy build quality
Isn’t the brightest of tablets
In our estimation, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is the consummate leisure and entertainment tablet: simple, unassuming, with an appealing display and great quality speakers, and free of flashy, often underused features to hike up the price. Those wanting a tablet to watch Netflix, read articles, browse the internet, and while away a few hours in a casual game should find the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 ticking off all the right boxes. No more, no less.
The $200 price point invariably involves some trade-offs. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7’s specifications are proportional to its price: Qualcomm SM6115 Octa-Core CPU, 3GB of RAM, and 32 GB for the most affordable configuration. Nevertheless, there’s enough power here to run the most popular apps and deliver a smooth enough user experience; just be warned that poor quality cameras don’t make this tablet particularly suited to video calls.
The lightweight and sturdy aluminum chassis, as well as the display and speakers, prop up these mediocre specifications where it matters – the senses. The 10.4” WUXGA+ display produces solid colors and sharp images; although the brightness levels need a little work, it has to be said. The quad-speaker system with Dolby Atmos support shouldn’t be this good at this price. The Li-Ion 7,040mAh battery housed inside the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 guarantees a day of use with room to spare, perfect for binge marathons.
We’ve stretched the definition of under $200 to squeeze the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 into our list as it generally sells at a retail price around $229.99. We’ve seen it drop below the $200 mark in sales, though, so look out for a chunky discount next time your favorite online retailer advertises a blowout.
Vibrant 10.3″ FHD display
Decent gaming performance
Great build quality
Mediocre battery life
Alongside the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, the Lenovo Tab M10 Plus fits into the highest tier of under $200 tablets. Also mimicking the Tab A7, the Lenovo Tab M10 functions very much as an entertainment device, not suited to productivity or demanding tasks. However, it does deliver decent gaming performance at this price point. In contrast to the A7, Lenovo flogs the tablet for close to $60 less with no significant downgrades in performance or build quality.
Under the hood, the MediaTek P22 processor and 32 GB of RAM make the tablet responsive and sufficiently snappy for streaming video, fielding video calls, and toying around with popular Android apps. The 32 GB of storage should suit most, and if not, the in-built MicroSD card slot can balloon this to a roomy 256 GB. Otherwise, Lenovo offers a 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage configuration that bumps the price to just north of $200 for those that require a tad more performance.
One of the headline features of the Lenovo Tab M10 is the excellent 10.3-inch FHD IPS display. Expect vibrant colors and better brightness than the A7 to bring content to life. The dual-speaker system, fine-tuned to make the most of Dolby Atmos, makes for a standout listening experience at this price point.
The Lenovo Tab M10 does falter when it comes to battery life, capping out at around seven to eight hours under most typical use scenarios. Quite the gap to the A7’s roughly 12 hours. The cameras are also somewhat underwhelming. Functional, yes, but with that fogged-out quality so often found in budget devices, whether that’s phones, laptops, or tablets.
Compact form factor
Good quality 8-inch display
Excellent battery life
Low specs can hamper performance
For casual users that want a slate they can easily transport around, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a solid small form factor option that blends excellent battery life, loudspeakers, and yet another impressive example of Samsung’s eye for housing quality displays into its tablets.
Battery life pushes over 10 hours under regular use, perfect for staggered media consumption throughout the day. The build quality is great, with a suitably slim assortment of metal and plastic parts that feel robust enough to hand off to children without fear of the tablet returning to you in pieces. With an 8-inch 1280 x 800 WXGA, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A hits all the right notes for a bright, vivid viewing experience.
Specification-wise, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A features a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 429 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage. There’s no point beating around the bush here: the Samsung Galaxy Tab A sports some light specifications that can show their limitations even in everyday tasks.
Opening apps takes noticeably longer than the devices above. Still, if you are comfortable with that initial sluggishness, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A performs admirably when it comes down to the entertainment itself. Video playback is smooth, and swapping between already-open apps is relatively snappy.
Seemingly on-trend for under $200 tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A’s 5MP front-facing and 8MP rear cameras disappoint with a lack of crispness and that familiar blurred effect. Photo results are adequate, but little else.
Dual band Wi-Fi
Only 16 GB of storage
Dropping down to around $100, we have the budget 10.1-inch Dragon Touch K10. Don’t let the unfamiliar name put you off; Dragon Touch’s offering is one of the best low-cost tablets out there. The construction is of great quality for a budget device, offering a satisfying in-hand feel thanks to an aluminum chassis and compact 10-inch footprint.
While the display doesn’t offer the same crispness or brightness as pricier slates, the 10.1-inch HD IPS panel delivers good viewing angles, sufficiently accurate color, and enough brightness for most settings. The drop in resolution to 720p may be too much for some. But, in our experience, this doesn’t distract from the overall experience, and in a sense, places a lesser load on the internal components for better performance. According to Dragon Touch, the tablet’s battery provides enough for up to eight hours of use, but put to the test, we found it edges closer to six or seven hours at best. Unlike our budget pick below, it features dual-band Wi-Fi 5, bolstering its value.
The Dragon Touch K10 specifications include a quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and only 16 GB of storage, which falls on the smaller side for most tablets, even in this price range. Overall, the performance is decent for a budget device and easily outclasses many other devices considered entry-level. Uncommonly, the Dragon Touch K10 includes a micro-HDMI port, allowing connection to a larger display such as a TV or monitor.
8 hours of battery life
Decent 10-inch HD display
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi only
The VANKYO MatrixPad S10 doesn’t aim to compete with the pricier slates above. Instead, the aim is to offer a cheap, no-frills device that delivers everything you’d need for casual use.
While there are some noticeable build quality and performance downgrades at such a competitive price, the VANKYO MatrixPad S10 does well to mitigate these with a pleasant user experience. Ensuring this is a combination of a quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of onboard storage with a MicroSD card slot expandable up to 128 GB.
These are modest specifications but entirely respectable for half the cost of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. The offering is improved by a decent 10-inch FHD 1280 x 800 display with suitably vibrant colors and respectable brightness, perfect for general YouTube video watching and web browsing. The loud, clear speakers help in that respect, too.
The build quality promotes a good in-hand feel, and while made of plastic, the VANKYO MatrixPad S10 feels sturdy enough to handle its fair share of knocks and bumps. A 6000mAh battery delivers up to 8 hours of everyday use, plenty to get you through the day without dashing for the charger, and substantially better than the pricier Lenovo Tab M10 Plus.
As for the negatives, performance is mediocre in the grand scheme of things, and the 802.11 b/g/n standard Wi-Fi feels like a drastic cost-cutting measure in this day of age where virtually all devices offer at least Wi-Fi 5 and increasingly Wi-Fi 6. Unsurprisingly, the camera is cheap and just about adequate for quick snaps and the odd video call.
Things To Consider
The choice of specifications is thin at this price point, but even a small bump in the RAM count or storage can make a massive difference to the user experience. For more demanding tasks, a better CPU is recommended. Snapdragon processors are generally well regarded as well as Octa-Core CPUs.
On the RAM side of things, you commonly find anywhere from 2 GB to 4 GB. As a rule of thumb, more RAM equates to a smoother tablet experience and faster loading times.
The final specification to look out for is storage. $200 tablets don’t generally exceed 64 GB, and 32 GB is a fairly common standard. Most tablets also feature a MicroSD card slot for expandable storage. Capacity limits vary from model to model. If you intend to use a lot of storage, opt for tablets with more generous SD card capacities.
$200 generally translates to an 8-inch display or at best 10-inch, so there’s very little wriggle room in that respect, but if at all possible, especially if you want a more immersive experience, then opt for as large a screen size as possible. For casual use, a smaller 8-inch display is more than enough to browse the web or watch streaming services like Netflix.
Where tablets truly vary at this price point is the quality of the display. You won’t find premium 4K AMOLED displays, but there are great options to be found. Some offer excellent displays with decent color accuracy, strong brightness levels, and higher resolutions. On the other hand, others ship with poor, low brightness displays that are a drag to use and detract significantly from an enjoyable tablet experience.
We urge you to put in some work to research the quality of the display before committing to a purchase. All the Android tablet options above include good value displays for under $200.
Amazon tablets are hard to miss when shopping around for slates under $200. While technically Android-based devices (Fire OS uses an open-source version of the operating system), they don’t offer the same unrestricted access to the Google Play Store and Google applications as traditional Android tablets.
They are very affordable compared to other tablets, even within the low-price range, though, and are worth investigating if you are already invested in the Amazon ecosystem through Prime and are comfortable sourcing all your content from Amazon services almost exclusively.
It’s undoubtedly a significant trade-off and not one everyone is prepared to make, but it’s one of the best ways to save some serious money and pick up a more than capable tablet in the process. Because they are built like tanks, Amazon tablets suit younger users too and are a boon for parents worried about clumsy hands damaging costly tech.
Our top recommendation for the best Android tablet under $200 is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. A superb display and strong components ensure a premium casual experience, and with plenty of battery life, you’ll have more than enough juice for a day of use.
A close second, Lenovo Tab M10 Plus comes in at a lower price point with more or less similar specs as the Tab A7, alongside a fantastic display, powerful speakers, and quality construction. Mediocre battery life is one of the very few reasons it didn’t take the top spot in our list.
For a more compact 8-inch tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A makes great use of those $200. With yet another top Samsung display, the best battery life of our recommendations, and robust build quality, this is one for those that want an on-the-go media device.
Turning to more budget-friendly options, the best bang-for-the-buck crown goes to the Dragon Touch K10. Align your expectations accordingly, and this modest tablet will become an excellent halfway point between a smartphone and laptop.
Lastly, for those wanting a low-priced, cheap and cheerful device, the VANKYO MatrixPad S10 is a strong option. Compromises have been made, but this tablet is well worth the money for those wanting a reliable tablet to stream video and browse the internet.
With that, we’ll bring an end to our guide to the best Android tablets under $200. The comment section below is open, so don’t hesitate to drop in with any questions or concerns.