They're not the top-of-the-line best tablets -- but the tablets that cost less than $200 are getting better and cheaper all the time. If you start at the bottom with Amazon's Fire 7 tablet, you'll get a sturdy design and solid parental controls for less money than it costs to take a family to the movies. Also, if you're up for buying a pair of tablets — say, one for the kids and one for yourself — Amazon's had a habit of discounting the price when you buy two. And you can even get Google Play on a Fire Tablet.
Families can get a lot of value from Amazon with its Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet. The $129 slate comes with a protective case, free kid-friendly content and a 2-year no questions asked return policy.
Oh, and if you're able to save an extra $50, Amazon's got the 9.7-inch iPad (2018) marked down to $249.
Our best cheap tablets list has to begin with the Fire 7, which Amazon offers at the low, low price of $50. It's available in black, yellow, red and dark blue. This sturdily built device offers access to all sorts of Amazon goodies, such as Prime content and the Underground app store that gives you paid apps for free. This tablet also has some impressive parental controls. We just wish it had longer battery life and a higher-resolution display.
Pros: Unbeatable price; Access to Amazon Prime content; Impressive parental controls
Cons: Short battery life; Sluggish performance; Low-resolution screen; Lock-screen ads
If you thought full HD panels were limited to pricier tablets, we've got some good news. Amazon's new Fire HD 10 slate packs a 1920 x 1080-pixel display and starts at $119 (thanks to sale pricing available right now). Sure, that's $80 more than a Fire 7, but you also get four times as much storage as that tablet gives you. If only you didn't have to spend another $15 to remove its "Special offer" ads.
Pros: Brightest, most-colorful display; More storage; Includes Alexa
Cons: Must pay even more to remove ads; Much more expensive
2018's Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet fixes one obvious flaw from the 2017 model and adds another perk. The former is a seriously-improve selfie cam, and the latter is touch-free Alexa activation. Amazon gives you more bang for less buck with the HD 8, as it offers 16GB of local storage, which is twice as much as 2016's model. Its 9-plus hours of battery life are OK, but the 2017 model lasted almost 2 hours longer.
Pros: Decent performance; Bright display; Great value
Cons: No native Google apps; Less battery life than before
The long-lasting 10-inch Lenovo Tab 4 is one of the best affordable 10-inch tablets out there, and Amazon's offering it for $10 off, marked down to $169. Not only is its performance decent for its price-tag, this slate lasts over 11 hours, beating the Amazon Fire HD 8. Since it comes rocking Android 7.1 Nougat, you can split its screen between two apps to make the most of its size. And that means you get the real Google Play store — enough for it to be the best cheap tablet that actually runs an unfiltered version of Android — and you can get real Google apps, like YouTube.
Pros: Long battery life; Good rear camera; Good performance for price; Haptic feedback
It's not the cheapest kid-friendly Amazon tablet -- that's the Fire 7 Kids Edition -- but the $129 Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is, dollar-for-dollar, the best option available. It gives your child speedier performance and a brighter display, as well as a whole five hours of additional battery life. Sometimes it pays to spend a little more.
Pros: Durable design with two-year accidental-damage protection; Robust parental controls; Tons of free, age-appropriate content; Long battery life; Bright screen
If you prioritize battery life, the Yoga Tab 3's 15 hours of life might make it the best cheap tablet for you, even though its $170 price tag is on the high-end of the budget field. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 may not have the most powerful processor inside, but it does make watching videos for hours easy, thanks to the built-in kickstand. The bright, 1280 x 800-pixel screen and front-facing speakers are nothing to sneeze at, either.
Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.