Having a tablet can make our job a lot easier because we can work, play games and watch movies while on the go. They are usually pretty small and can be carried around with you easily. That’s why, we reviewed the 5 best tablets under $200 that you can buy right now. I made this list based on many hours of research and testing. Let’s take a look.
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab A
The winner of our best tablets under $200 list is the Tab A by Samsung. Samsung has been one of the most prominent smartphone manufacturers, in fact, it is the market leader, and it takes its technological prowess and experience into the tablet industry as well. Delivering great options in every price range, but their most notable product under the $200 price is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, with a good screen, performance, and battery life, showcasing what can be done to an affordable tablet.
Design-wise the Samsung Galaxy Tab A has made some touches and has refined the aesthetics and the looks of the device, compared to its predecessor, namely the screen to body ratio, making it easier to hold it in the process.
It features a smooth polycarbonate back panel and a glossy aluminium band covering the sides, top and bottom part of the device, but I noticed that the whole device is a fingerprint magnet, so it is handy to keep a microfibre cloth to keep the device looking clean. The device measures about 8.35×4.89×0.35-inches in total and weighs about 12.65-ounces, pretty lightweight and compact making it pretty easy to hold and use, even with just one hand.
On the front you will find the 8-inch TFT display with a resolution of 1280×800 resulting in 189 pixels per inch, delivering plenty of sharpness in the process. The colours were also pretty good and vibrant, on top of all that I found that the brightness was perfect even for outdoor use under direct sunlight, and it supported great viewing angles.
This device is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor with a base clock speed of 1.4GHz and 2GB of RAM, making it pretty capable of multitasking and an opening bunch of apps without noticing any kind of lag. It was also pretty capable of gaming and I tried demanding games with medium settings at high frame rates pretty smoothly.
The battery life of this tablet is also pretty strong managing about 8 hours of video streaming at maximum brightness before giving up, better than its competitors in this aspect. On top of these, you get a set of good cameras, an 8MP main shooter, and a 5MP selfie camera, allowing you to make excellent video calls.
The perfect tablet under the $200 price, it doesn’t get better than this Samsung.
2. Lenovo Tab 4
If you want affordable 10-inch tablet things get a bit frustrating as most of the better models starts getting pretty expensive, however, Lenovo Tab 4 10-inch tablet comes at the sub$200 prices while offering a great screen quality. You can also get the same device in the 8-inch version for even cheaper, but the screen quality is worth the extra price of this device, and also the added battery life, combined with the adequate performance makes things worthwhile.
The Lenovo Tab 4 features a pretty utilitarian design, simple and bland, however, it is pretty functional easy to hold and it’s soft to touch back panel is excellent in its dark-grey paint job. It has medium-sized bezels, but I would have preferred slimmer ones, however, even with those bezels it measures about 9.7×6.7×0.3-inches and weighs a lightweight 1.1-pounds, making it pretty easy to use even with one hand, which is a problem for most 10-inch tablets.
The major selling point of the Lenovo Tab 4, is its 10-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280×1080. While this isn’t much compared to pricier models, it is an excellent display under the $200 price, and you should spend at least $300 to get a better screen.
This screen delivers plenty of sharpness, vivid colours and amazing contrast to make your viewing experience pleasant, and on top of that reading was easy on the eyes. It managed to reproduce about 90 percent of the sRGB colour gamut and a brightness of 307nits on max.
It is worth mentioning that it has two-speakers that are listed as Dolby Atmos surround, while they don’t specifically put out that quality they get pretty close, and I didn’t exactly need headphones to watch movies.
Performance-wise this tablet has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage that can be upgraded via the micro SD port. It was enough for some gaming and with plenty of smoothness, and it got good results in synthetic benchmark tests.
Overall I can say that the Lenovo Tab 4 has one of the better screens in this category, and it will leave everyone pleased with its performance, great work from the manufacturer.
3. Fire HD 8 Tablet
Amazon’s Fire HD tablets have been all the fuss in the last few years, as they have created a great device, filled just with the right features for in-home use, delivering tremendous value for their asking price. The Fire HD 8 Tablet is the most notable from the series, and it is a perfect tablet if you don’t expect it to execute heavy tasks or high demanding games, it is capable of light gaming, great for streaming shows, and good for reading, with its extremely affordable price the Fire 8 HD is an excellent tablet.
In the design department the Fire HD 8 Tablet looks pretty good despite being so cheap, it is neither the thickest and neither the heaviest, and it isn’t equipped with an ultra-wide display. It is mainly manufactured and designed for home users, as it has a very durable and sturdy chassis that will allow you to treat it in a care-free manner. Its paint jobs only further enhance the comfort creature looks, a cosy look that will soothe you in your free time.
This device has a nice display, displaying lots of sharpness, colour, and contrast, with its 8-inch 1280x800p IPS panel, while it would have been nice to get a better display it’s perfectly adequate for home use and its asking price, a pretty mediocre display performance. The touch screen sensitivity was excellent though, very responsive and no input lag whatsoever.
In the performance department this tablet sports a MediaTek MT8163 CPU with 1.3GHz base clock speed and 1.5GB of RAM, this may not look like its lacking here, however, thanks to its optimized OS, it manages to get through its dedicated use pretty well.
Battery life is good enough, managing about 10 hours before giving up, and the charging times were pretty fast too. We also see an upgrade in the camera department, last year we saw a 0.3MP camera, but this time around we see a 2MP one, that is detailed enough for Skype sessions.
Running with a modified version of the Android, the Fire OS, this tablet is a perfect device for streaming your shows and leisure activities, on top of that you also get voice activation for your smart home features.
4. Huawei MediaPad T5
Just like for PCs, tablets to offer lower gaming performances lower you go into the price range, however, the Huawei MediaPad T5 offers a great gaming performance that will please you just under the $200 price. It also has a great design, beautiful display, amazing sound, and a lengthy battery life that will keep the device up and running for a long time.
Design-wise this tablet resembles closely to its predecessor, but I wouldn’t complain because it is pretty good and looks premium despite the price suggesting otherwise. It has a metal back panel with just a plastic band on top for the antenna and the camera, but it looks the part, and you can get the device in two paint jobs, Black and Champagne Gold, both sporting an amazing look, but I would prefer the black version for subtlety.
You get two speakers at the bottom part of the device, which is appropriately placed, and they deliver a good sound for the asking price, the same can be said for the 5MP back camera and the 2MP front camera, which are not the best in the market, but good enough.
The major improvements are made to screen, which now is a 10.1-inch Full HD touch screen display with a resolution of 1920×1200, which is plenty for the size of the tablet and the IPS layer delivers amazing brightness enough to use under direct sunlight. It is worth stating that the contrast and colours are great and overall, it delivers a great viewing experience.
This tablet shines when it comes to performance, it sports a HiSilicon Kirin 659 Octa-Core CPU with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage that can be expanded further via the micro SD port. These specs make it a good performer in daily tasks such as surfing the internet or switching through the apps, and in synthetic benchmark tests for performance it got good results.
In gaming performance, it delivered everything smoothly at medium settings with a lot of framerates. Even with the high demanding games such as the Player Unknowns Battlegrounds Mobile, it put out a smooth performance in medium settings, something that I didn’t expect from it.
5. Apple iPad Mini 2 (Refurbished)
Finding a good tablet under the $200 price point can be pretty difficult, however, if you know what you are looking for, things start to get easier. For example, if you want a great multi-purpose tablet, a great choice is the Apple iPad Mini 2, which has been in the market for about 6 years now, but its reputation is still going strong and its prices have plummeted. However, it still offers a great display, amazing Apple design, and lengthy battery life.
The Apple iPad Mini 2 rocks the tried and tested design that we’ve come to know and love. It has an aluminium unibody construction that is available in three beautiful paint jobs, consisting of Silver, White, and my favourite the Space Gray, but all three look gorgeous and you really can’t go wrong.
It has a smooth but subtle texture on the back panel that allows you to grip the device securely without much effort with just one hand, also on its edges you will find a metal that just reinforces its premium claim.
The Apple iPad Mini 2 features a 7.9-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels resulting in 324 pixels per inch, which is amazing even to this day. The Retina display is capable of outputting amazing detail with rich colours and accuracy, and it is worth mentioning that it can get pretty bright. I noticed that the resolution made it possible to have a perfect reading experience, a feature that is lacking in tablets with lower resolutions.
I was very impressed with the sound performance of the speakers, which was not expected from this small tablet. They got pretty loud, without any distortion and provided stereo quality, great if you are planning to watch videos and stream your shows with this tablet.
In the performance department, this device runs a 64-bit A7 SoC CPU with 1GB of RAM, running with a base clock speed of 1.3GHz. Even to this day the performance of this tablet is excellent, running through the apps was pretty smooth and it didn’t lag at any moment, but nothing less is expected from Apple, even with older devices. Definitely one of the best tablets under $200.