Top 8 Best Cheap Tablets Under $100 Of 2020

Looking to jump into the world of ultra portable computing but not quite ready to make a big investment yet?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

We compared dozens of different budget tablets to find the absolute best models available for less than a single Benjamin Franklin.

Want the best bang for your buck?

Depending on what features you need, staying under $100 will require going refurbished with some brands, while others have brand new models available.

Whether you prefer Android or Windows (or just need a drawing tablet for graphic design!), we can show you the 8 absolute best cheap models available in 2020.

If you want something with better specs for all your productivity or gaming needs. Checkout our:

Mid range budget tablet pick:
Under $200

Highend tablet buying guide:
Under $300 |
Under $400

..or browse our Tablet by budget series to get our experts’s most recommended tablets falling under different budget constraints.

The Lineup At A Glance



Review Of The Best Cheap Tablet Under $100

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite – Best Android Option

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-E-Lite-7

Don’t need the latest and greatest OS or fastest tablet around? If you just need to surf the web, send messages, and use the occasional app, this is easily one of the best cheap Android tablets.

  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Great performance for the price

  • Have to go refurbished to get under $100
  • Older version of Android

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Key features & details

Powerful And Budget-Friendly

Just getting started in the world of handheld tablet devices? The “Lite” version of the standard Tab E is an excellent place to begin.

This model gets you close to a high end tablet experience without paying a high end price.

While it has an older version of Android and not quite as much RAM as the more expensive models, it otherwise includes all the features you’d want in a tablet.

Samsung’s sleek black design fits well in one hand or two, and the screen is surprisingly crisp for a 1200 resolution display.

Reliable Technology

While still lightweight, the Samsung Tab E is a durable device, which is why you can still find these Lite models used or refurbished well under $100.

If you prefer a new unit you’ll need to slightly over the $100 threshold if you want a more recent version of the Android OS. That will be particularly important if you want to play the latest version of new games, which may not be compatible with Android 4.4 any longer.

Want to get one of the absolute best devices Samsung has to offer? If you don’t mind bumping up the price, I personally recommend the latest version of the Samsung Tab A, although it is much more expensive.

Specification

Hardware specifications for Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite
Processor1.3 GHz Tablet Processor
RAM1GB
Storage8GB
GraphicsIntegrated
Display7” touchscreen display, 1024 x 600 pixels resolution
Operating SystemAndroid 4.4 KitKat
Battery Life8 hours
Weight0.68 lbs
Other FeaturesMicroSD slot

2. Huawei Mediapad T3 – Inexpensive Android Tablet Pick

Huawei Mediapad T3

Want beautiful colors, deep blacks, and great speed? The Huawei MediaPad T3 is easily the best inexpensive Android tablet (although it does usually sell for slightly over $100).

  • High quality display
  • More RAM for better performance
  • Excellent battery life

  • Slightly heavier than other models
  • Lots of bloatware

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Key features & details

High Quality Display

First off, you should know we’re cheating a bit here. This model usually goes for around $108, so it isn’t technically under $100 unless you wait for a sale.

Huawei makes some killer thin laptops, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that they have some excellent tablets as well.

There are two big draws to this model over any others — a much crisper and more clear screen with a higher resolution, and 2GB of RAM.

That combo means you get a much better experience than with nearly any other tablet in the price range.

Extra Features

The MediaPad T3 extends some of the basic features of the Android OS with Huawei’s custom EMUI interface.

That interface speeds up app load times, and also includes extra tools for taking photos or connecting to other otherwise devices.

Keep in mind that may be a negative in some aspects however, as this model comes pre-loaded with a ton of extra apps.

If you like the apps that are pre-installed that’s not a problem, but there isn’t much of the 16GB of internal space left by the time you turn on the machine.

Be ready to install a secondary microSD card if you plan on saving anything on the tablet.

Specification

Hardware specifications for Huawei Mediapad T3
Processor1.4GHz tablet processor
RAM2GB
Storage16GB
GraphicsQualcomm Adreno Integrated
Display8” touchscreen IPS display, 1280  x 800 pixels resolution
Operating SystemAndroid 7.0 Nougat
Battery Life15 hours
Weight1.12
Other FeaturesEMUI 5.1 Interface

3. Fusion5 – Best 10 Inch Pick

Fusion5

If you want a bigger screen for the best viewing experience, this is easily the best 10 inch tablet under $100.

  • High quality screen
  • Extra ports

  • Lower battery life
  • Heavier unit

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Key features & details

Wide, Vibrant Display

When you go with a 10” display, you lose out on some of the portability from smaller tablets. While the Fusion5 is harder to hold with one hand, it beats the competition in many other ways.

The IPS panel is top-notch for the price point and offers high quality visuals whether you are playing Android apps or streaming Netflix movies.

Additional Ports

The screen size may be the main reason to consider the Fusion5, but it has some extra bells and whistles that may seal the deal for you.

Most notably, this model includes both a mini HDMI port and a full size USB port, which is rare for a tablet.

If you like to have the ability to hook up to other devices and want a larger tablet, this should be your top pick.

Specification

Hardware specifications for Fusion5
ProcessorMT8167 Quad Core 1.3Ghz ARM Cortex-A35
RAM1GB
Storage16GB
GraphicsIMG PowerVR GE8300
Display10.1” touchscreen IPS display, 1280  x 800 pixels resolution
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Battery Life5 hours
Weight1.52 lbs
Other FeaturesHDMI port

4. Amazon Fire 8 – Best 8 Inch Pick

Amazon Fire 8

If you love using Amazon Prime as your main entertainment source or read a lot of eBooks, the Fire 8 is easily the best 8 inch tablet under $100 for you.

  • Excellent performance
  • Low price
  • Extra Amazon features

  • You have to manually install the Google Play store
  • Apps will try to upsell you on Amazon services

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Key features & details

Versatility

The Fire 7 is easily the best tablet under $50, so it should be much surprise that the upgraded Fire 8 would make our list here.

Besides a larger display, this model features a better HD quality screen than the 7, which is on par with the other devices in our list of contenders here.

It also boasts much higher maximum memory capacity than other tablets. The Fire 8 is capable of handling up to whopping 400GB of space with a microSD card.

Like to have control over all your options?

This model is available in multiple color schemes, so you get the tablet that best matches your personality!

Affordability

Not only is the Fire 8 under $100, but it’s actually up for grabs for under $80!

Considering all the extra bells and whistles you get — like Alexa control and a free month of Prime — that’s a killer deal.

Amazon also offers payment plans on the Fire devices, so those who are cash strapped don’t even have to pay the full price up front.

Specification

Hardware specifications for Amazon Fire 8
ProcessorQuad-Core 1.3 GHz
RAM1.5GB
Storage16GB
GraphicsIntegrated
Display8” touchscreen IPS display, 1280  x 800 pixels resolution at 189 ppi
Operating SystemFire OS
Battery Life10 hours
Weight0.8lbs
Other FeaturesAlexa support and free Prime trial

5. Asus Google Nexus 7 – Best 7 Inch Pick

Asus Google Nexus 7

Looking for a smaller, lighter tablet with excellent screen quality? While you have to go refurbished, the Asus Google Nexus 7 is easily still one of the best 7” tablets under $100.

  • Highest screen quality
  • Lightweight

  • Refurbished
  • Older version of Android

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Key features & details

Reliable, Tested Hardware

Looking for a lighter tablet that is easy to hold in one hand? At just over half a pound and 7” in diameter, the Nexus 7 perfectly fits the bill.

Now to be clear, this is an older model, but these refurbished units are still some of the best budget tablets around.

Besides quick speeds from 2GB of RAM, this model has the best display quality of any of our contenders.

You won’t often find a full 1920 pixel resolution screen for this low a price.

Newer Options

There is one potential downside to keep in mind, however.

While this is reliable hardware that’s been working well for years, the Nexus 7 uses an older version of the Android OS.

If you prefer a new version of the Android OS, there’s instead the Asus ZenPad that’s available for under $100.

While it has similar specs and a newer operating system, it doesn’t have nearly as high quality of a screen, unfortunately.

Specification

Hardware specifications for Asus Google Nexus 7
Processor1.5GHz quad-core
RAM2GB
Storage16GB
GraphicsIntegrated
Display7” touchscreen IPS Corning display, 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution
Operating SystemAndroid 4.3 Jellybean
Battery Life10 hours
Weight0.64 lbs

6. Nuvision Encite Split – Best Windows Option

Nuvision Encite Split

If you’re on a very tight budget and you are a die-hard Windows user – this is the perfect Windows tablet for you. It features a decent configuration, runs Windows 10 smoothly, is easy to use and navigate – and it even features a removable keyboard cover which is included in the price.

  • Cheapest Windows tablet
  • Long lasting battery life
  • Features USB-C port
  • Runs Windows 10 OS
  • Dual-core processor
  • Comes with a removable keyboard cover
  • Keyboard is very comfortable

  • Sound is an average
  • Doesn’t feature the latest Bluetooth version

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Key features & details

Full HD Display

This tablet features almost the size of a 12” tablet (it’s 11.6” big), but it can achieve a high resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Needless to say, this display a full HD screen that is very responsive to touch and can even be operated with a pen (which isn’t included).

Guaranteed Versatility

Nuvision Encite Split is a very lightweight tablet which is very portable even when it’s placed in its keyboard cover.

But it’s a tablet that has an advantage over other tablets when it comes to connectivity too. It features USB-C port that is becoming a new universal port in the laptops.

What we liked the most is the USB-C to standard USB adapter that comes included so you can connect any USB device with this tablet.

Keyboard Cover

While some manufacturers make you pay for additional accessories, Nuvision adds keyboard cover in every purchase. And considering the price – this makes it a really valuable purchase.

The cover integrates the keyboard, allows you to attach the tablet via the USB-C port, and even protects the back cover of the tablet.

We really liked the comfort this keyboard provides as it can be easily compared with Surface Pro Cover keyboard – and yet it costs a lot less.

Specification

Hardware specifications for Nuvision Encite Split
ProcessorIntel Celeron N3350, 1.1 GHz, dual-core
RAM4 GB
Storage32 GB flash storage
GraphicsIntel Integrated Graphics
Display11.6”, Wide View full HD touch display
Operating SystemWindows 10
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight1.7 lbs
Other FeaturesKeyboard cover

7. NuVision 8″ Full HD – Best Windows Option

NuVision 8

Want the full Microsoft Windows 10 experience in a tablet that weighs under a pound? NuVision easily offers the best budget Windows tablet under $100 right now.

  • Windows 10 in a lightweight tablet
  • Full HD display

  • Slower performance than other models
  • Not much storage space left with Windows installed

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Key features & details

Windows In Mini Form

Not all tablet users want to figure out a new operating system like Android, Fire, or iOS. If you’re comfortable with Windows and want to stick with it, there are options available.

There is one major caveat to keep in mind, however.

At this price range, a Windows device will always be a bit slower than an Android tablet.

There simply isn’t enough room to cram in all the hardware Windows needs to run at full speed in an 8” tablet.

32GB sounds like a lot for a tablet, but note that most of that is taken up by the Windows installation. If you intend on using this device as a laptop replacement, you will need a microSD card.

Those warnings aside, if you just need a lite secondary device for web browsing or simple tasks, you can’t go wrong here for the low price.

Specification

Hardware specifications for NuVision 8″ Full HD
ProcessorIntel Atom x5-Z8300 Quad-Core Processor 1.44 GHz
RAM2GB
Storage32GB eMMC
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics
Display8” touchscreen IPS display, 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution
Operating SystemWindows 10 Signature Edition
Battery Life6 hours
Weight0.65 lbs

8. CHUWI Hi8 SE – Top Picks

CHUWI Hi8 SE 8.0 Inch

Want the absolute cream of the crop in terms of performance and construction while still staying on budget? Chuwi offers the best overall tablet under $100!

  • Excellent performance for the price
  • Durable metal body
  • Much more storage capacity

  • Slightly lower battery life

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Key features & details

High Performance, Low Cost

With the latest version of Android totally devoid of bloatware and high end specs for the price point, it doesn’t get much better than this.

You can expect quick boot up, fast app response time, and solid wi-fi connections at home or out running errands.

The HD display with IPS panel technology is also a pleasure to look at, whether you are checking up on emails or playing with apps.

Extra Storage Space

One big difference between Chuwi’s offering and our other contenders is in the storage capacity.

Most tablets at this price range will give you 8 – 16GB of internal storage. Here, you get double that with 32GB of space to save files.

With the microSD card slot for extra space, many users run a dual OS setup and install Windows as well, so you can get the best of both worlds.

Specification

Hardware specifications for CHUWI Hi8 SE
ProcessorQuad Core 1.1GHz MT8735VT Cortex-A53
RAM2GB
Storage32GB
GraphicsMali T720 GPU
Display8” touchscreen IPS display, 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1Oreo
Battery Life5 hours
Weight0.77 lbs

Criteria used for evaluation

Display Quality

You don’t want to sacrifice visual quality to stay on budget, especially when you’ll be staring at a screen for hours at a time.

100% of your tablet usage time will focus around visual quality, whether you are reading a news story, catching up on that latest thriller, or playing on an app. When comparing reviews from end users, we found that the #2 cause of negative buyer feedback was poor screen quality.

At this price range, we recommend you pick a device with an IPS panel and a minimum of 1200 pixels resolution, but 1900 is a much better option if you want to view HD videos.

2. High Performance

You will have to make a few sacrifices on specs to stay under $100, but you still want a reasonably fast device that meets your needs.

Without question, the #1 top reason buyers aren’t satisfied with their budget tablet purchase is slow speed or frequent crashes when using memory-intensive apps.

We strongly recommend a quad core processor and a minimum of 2GB of RAM for any device in this price range. 16GB should be your minimum acceptable storage amount in most cases to ensure you have enough space to save your files and run apps smoothly.

3. Hand Comfort

Unlike a laptop, you will be holding your tablet for extended periods so you want the most comfort possible without going over budget.

Tablets come in all shapes and sizes these days, but there are a few designs that tend to be more well received by reviewers than others.

We recommend staying under a pound in weight unless you are picking a tablet that is at the larger 10” size.

Be on the lookout for comfortable rounded edges as well, and always check reviews to see if previous buyers used aftermarket rubber cases for additional comfort.

4. Durable Design

You don’t want to waste your $100 and end up buying a new tablet after an accidental drop!

Not all tablets are designed in the same way, and most budget tablets don’t include worthwhile warranties. Those that do cover parts usually won’t repair or replace critical components like the screen if they have suffered accidental damage.

We strongly recommend looking for a device with a solid metal chassis that won’t break the first time it gets bumped or spilled on.

Note that you can also alleviate some of this issue by buying an aftermarket case with a screen protector, although you may end up spending more than the full $100 at that point.

5. Extra Features

You’ll notice many tablets in this price range have the same overall hardware specs, but some offer additional features that make your purchase more worth the price.

You aren’t buying a full computer, but you still want to have as much versatility and usability in your device as possible.

We recommend looking for tablets with extra ports (such as full sized USB or HDMI), higher end full HD screen qualities, or that include free perks like a stylus to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Some tablets include free trials of streaming services as well, such as Amazon Prime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to look for when picking a tablet?

You might be tempted to solely look at the starting specs and try to find the tablet with the best speed, but that’s a common mistake for new buyers.

There are several other features that should be more strongly considered first.

First up, you should decide on which specific OS will work best for your needs. 

For instance, do you want access to a stable of apps from the Google Play store? Or do you instead prefer to stick with the Windows platform you already know how to use?

Will your device primarily be used for entertainment like reading books and streaming movies? Or do you instead plan to utilize graphic design apps or image editing tools?

In most cases, you can use these broad categories to find the device that fits your needs:

1. For the quickest speeds at this price point and the widest range of apps, go with an Android device. The newer the Android OS version, the better.
2. For basic web browsing and using a few programs you already know well, consider picking a Windows device.
3. For hooking up to your Prime account to stream music & movies or read your eBook collection, go with an Amazon Fire OS device instead.

Besides OS, size is the next most critical factor to keep in mind.

Tablets are available as small as 7 inches, which is great for portability but doesn’t offer much display area for viewing videos or playing games.

On the opposite end, 10 inch tablets require two hands to hold, but give you significantly more viewing room.

If you want a good compromise, we recommend going with an 8 inch device that gives you the best of both worlds.

After you have your OS and size decided, you can then drill down into the specs and look at other features that will determine how much money you should spend.

What are the bottom line specs I should expect from a budget tablet?

Before you start considering specs  like RAM and graphics chips, make sure to take a close look at the projected battery life of a tablet.

You don’t want to have to plug in multiple times a day, and some models offer faster charging than others.

In general, we recommend sticking to any device with 8 – 10 hours of projected battery life, unless there’s a compelling reason to go lower (such as higher specs).

Always keep in mind that those projections are based on dimming the screen brightness while running a single app at a time.

If you keep multiple apps going, crank the brightness to max, and use memory-intensive apps like games, your battery life expectancy will drop significantly.

Don’t forget to carefully compare screen resolutions between models, either. Even budget models that are $99 or less can be found with full HD screens.

Be on the lookout for any device with IPS panel for better viewing angles and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Those specs are particularly important if you plan on streaming a lot of movies or want less eye strain when reading for hours at a time.

After finding your ideal battery life and screen resolution, it’s time to finally decide on the basic hardware.

If you are going to spend up to $100, you should expect a minimum of 2GB of RAM and a quad core processor. Those two specs together will be necessary to run most Android apps without any lag.

What other features should I keep an eye out for when tablet shopping?

We’ve covered quite a few features that can change your decision when buying a tablet, but there are still a few other aspects to consider.

Like with a laptop, different tablet brands can come with varying port configurations. One might only have a mini USB for charging, while another could have a full USB port and an HDMI port for hooking up to an external monitor.

Take careful stock of how you intend to use your tablet before making that final buying decision so you don’t end up losing out on features you need!

Most tablets at this price point will include a microSD card slot for extra storage space, but not all tablets can accept the same amount of storage.

If you intend on storing plenty of PDFs, eBooks, and photos on your tablet, make sure it can use a large maximum amount of SD space to keep up with your collection!

Finally, be sure to check the reviews from previous buyers to see what extra features may have been installed by the manufacturer.

Some manufacturers include extra tools to extend the basic functionality of the Android OS. Others may include a host of “bloatware” from third parties, which helps them lower the price but also reduces overall tablet performance.

Will you have to sacrifice a few things along the way to find the most affordable tablet?

You definitely will have to sacrifice a few things along the way – but that shouldn’t discourage you from finding a quality tablet because it’s still possible to find one. And things you will have to sacrifice are mostly additional accessories on some models and improved storage or such components. But you still get a fully working tablet.

How to deal with loads of bloatware on cheaper tablets?

The simple way to deal with bloatware is to simply uninstall it before installing any other apps on your tablet. Bloatware is always easy to uninstall, and once you uninstall it – you will have plenty of space to install newer apps. However, make your choices wise – since not all apps that come included are bloatware, yet you might delete some.

Which OS is the best for a $100 tablet?

The best OS for such affordable tablets is definitely Android – but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a Windows OS or even an iOS. Android is known world-wide and you will always get the support you need regarding the apps and system itself. But if you look hard enough, you might even find some refurbished iPads with iOS which is another great option.

Resources

  1. Florian Wimmer, Mediapad T3 Review, NotebookCheck
  2. Gadgets 360 Editorial Team, Asus Google Nexus 7 Review, Gadgets.NDTV
  3. Zach Bowden, NuVision Tablet Review, Windows Central

Categories Reviews

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