Best cheap tablets under £200 [update]

by , Technology Researcher Tablets 17/02/2014
Cheap tablets

Don’t fancy spending £399 on a new iPad Air? There are plenty of cheap tablet alternatives available for half the price, or less – Tesco’s Hudl, for example, will set you back just £119.

When you’re looking for a tablet bargain, it’s important to compare across models to see which suits you best. To help you in your quest, we’ve taken a look at five modestly priced devices: the Hudl, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX, Tegra Note 7 and IdeaTab A1000. Read on for our guide to the best cheap tablets under £200.

Tablet reviews – all our tablet reviews in one place

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX – £199 (16GB version)

amazon-kindle-fire-hdx

The Kindle Fire HDX range has grabbed several headlines for its handy Mayday feature – which offers live technical support via a video link – but what about the tablets themselves? Well, they’re not too shabby. This 7-inch tablet comes furnished with a speedy processor and a battery life of 10 hours when playing video.

Unfortunately, it runs Amazon’s customised version of Android, which won’t allow you to download apps from the Google Play store. A sore point as the Amazon Appstore’s selection of downloads leaves a lot to be desired.

Find out how the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX fared in our test labs with the full review.

Tesco Hudl – £119

Tesco Hudl

Tesco has blown the budget tablet market wide open by offering the Hudl, a 7-inch Android device, for almost a third of the price of Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display. Surely it can’t be any good you? Well, its speedy 1.5GHz processor, relatively crisp screen and 16GB of internal storage space beg to differ.

That said, its touchscreen can seem slow to use, especially when switching between portrait and landscape mode.

Watch our Tesco Hudl hands-on first look with the tablet.

Advent Vega Tegra Note 7 – £139

Advent-Vega-Tegra-Note-7-2

A tablet that’s been built with multitasking in mind, the Advent Vega Tegra Note features a ultra-speedy 1.8GHz processor. Despite this, it’s impressively cheap at a price of just £139 and even comes with a stylus to help with day-to-day note-taking. Not bad if you’re in the market for something that’s a little more powerful than the Tesco Hudl.

That said, the Tegra Note’s screen is a disappointment. With a resolution of 1,280×800, it’s easily bested for detail and clarity by both the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX.

Is the Advent Vega Tegra Note 7 good value for money? Find out in our full review.

Google Nexus 7 – £199 (16GB version)

Google Nexus 7

Last year’s Nexus 7 was an impressive tablet, but this year’s model raises the 7-inch bar even further. It weighs just 290g and comes with the latest version of Google’s Android operating system pre-installed. That’s not to mention a dazzling 1,920×1,200 resolution screen, which should prove an excellent choice for watching HD movies.

The catch? Its 5-megapixel camera won’t serve you particularly well for capturing family snaps and detailed holiday shots.

Read our Nexus 7 review to find out how it performed in our tough lab tests.

Lenovo IdeaTab A1000 – £110

lenovo_ideatab_A1000

As one of the cheapest tablets available, it’s hard to look past the Lenovo IdeaTab A1000’s £90 price tag. While you shouldn’t expect a blockbuster device for that amount of money, there’s enough on offer for the A1000 to be deemed good value. You’ll get a solid seven hours of battery life when playing video, and its 1,024×600 resolution screen is decent enough.

That said, Tesco’s Hudl costs only £29 more and comes with a better array of specs. Competition is fierce when it comes to the budget end of the tablet market.

How does the Lenovo IdeaTab A2100-F compare with its rival tablets? Find out in our full lab test review.

More on this

Tablet reviews – read all of our full tablet reviews
Tablet buyers guide – advice on choosing the right model for you
How we test tablets – find out what it takes to become a Best Buy

20 comments

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Derren Ball

Why no mention of the Bkackberry Playbook? I have recently purchased the 64Gb version of this tablet, for only £120, and couldn’t ask for more. They were clearly overprived when released, but for that price the build quality and spec is pretty impressive. With the knowledge that they are due to be upgraded to BB10 at some point in the near future they an only get better.

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cathy creighton

im 43 and just recently ordered the blackberry 64gb playbook, im not sure if this is right for me as im a novice, any help and information on this would be great, derren ball seems to think so……….lets hope

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Ian Gray

you are restricted with a kindle hd fire it stops you from downloading things like sky go and restricts you from downloading all your music collection after 250 songs downloaded you have to pay to store any more if we had realised this beforehand we wouldn’t have touched it with a barge pole. There is a way to change this but you need to know what you are doing and its quite risky we will getting rid of it as soon as poss

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mikehuk

Why no mention of extended storage? I would not buy a phone/tablet that did not have an SD or micro SD slot.

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Bee

“Best cheap tablets under £200″
When I saw that headline I should have known not to get too excited. Are there really only 5 deemed worthy of analysis by Which? When I last looked on Amazon they had listed no less than 50, FIFTY, brands of tablets. It would be nice if the technology researcher at Which spent a bit more time doing his research not just on high street brands because I’m really beginning to question whether its worth continuing to be a Which member.

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T.F. - London

“It would be nice if the technology researcher at Which spent a bit more time doing his research not just on high street brands because I’m really beginning to question whether its worth continuing to be a Which member.” – Bee
That’s the main reason I discontinued a couple of years ago; that and their blind acceptance of the fraudulent climate change junk science. You can find far superior product reviews for free from a decent search engine.

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stan

For years I have used a HP PDA ABOUT 5 x 4 INCHES which slipped into a small pocket and easily carried around.
It emailed, to a list of contacts, acted as a diary through the calendar. What was important was that the keyboard could be activated by a self contained stylus (modern keyboards requiring direct touch are too small for my stubby fingers}
The PDA does not have a telephone or a camera. This is fine for me as I do not wish to pay monthly fees or exaggerated initial capital costs.
Another plus was that it backed up easily with my old XP Computer
Unfortuately Winows 8 will not recognise the PDA and I am Forced to look for a similar modern gadget of about the same size. Can anyone make a suggestion?.

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mikehuk

I too used to use PDAs, in my case it was a number of Palm PDAs but now use a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It is very expensive but I believe it is worth the money ans as a Note 3 has now been released, the Note 2 should be discounted.
It has all the features you describe including a very useful stylus. The Note 2 is large but still small enough to slip into my shirt pocket. The superb large screen means that it double up as a mini tablet as well as a mobile and is excellent for keyboard entry, surfing the web or watching video.I have Win 7 and it is compatible with that. It does have a micro SD slot which will allow up to 64GB of extra storage. It is without doubt the best phone/PDA I have ever owned.

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Josquine

Two years ago I was devastated to lose my Palm PDA because they no longer make PDAs. A month or so later I was thrilled to have done so because I was obliged to buy a smartphone at last, which turned out to be so much ore flexible and inventive than the PDA, quite apart from the obvious mobile phone aspects. I bought a second-hand Samsung Galaxy S and I’m still delighted with this antediluvian model.

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Joan

I find very little information on the Samsung note 8. Its always the Tab 3 or Note 10. All-though having had a desk top since the early 90′s I am struggling with my note 8. I read much and thought this was for me wishing to upgrade on my basic kindle (which I love for reading). Could we have some basic help on the Samsung 8 please

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Figgis

Toshiba Encore Tablet PC, Intel Atom Z3740 1.33GHz, 2GB RAM 32GB Flash, 8″ IPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, 2 Cameras, GPS, Windows 8.1

I just saw this advertised for £250. It sounds good for the price and I can store photos on an SD card until I transfer them to a separate hard drive same applies to books etc.. It would also allow me to play with and get used to Win 8.1 whilst still having Win 7 on my laptop for serious stuff. Has anyone who would buy this price Tablet got a view on it. I realise it is not Apple but I will never pay the price demanded for an Apple product – unless I win the euro lotto jackpot.

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mikehuk

Remember that this is a Windows RT tablet and apart from Internet explorer and Office you can only run Win 8 apps NOT Windows full screen win32 applications like Firefox or Paint Shop Pro.

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Figgis

Mikehuk, thanks so much for pointing this out.

I’m getting desperate to get either a first tablet or smartphone soon. I thought if I bought this then I could wait a bit longer for the smartphone. There would be the added benefit of getting used to Windows 8 and a touch screen.

I did plan on using Firefox and Libre Office. What type of web browswer could I use on this if I decided to only use FF and Libre at home on my laptop, And would there be other restrictions that I as a PC and laptop user would not be aware of?

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mikehuk

you can use Firefox for Android on the Note 2, Dolphin is another good browser for Android – these apps are free to download, Polaris Office is supplied free with the Note and I have found to be a good alternative to Office

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mikehuk

You would only have internet explorer. Why not get an Android tablet like Asus Phonepad, about £180 or cheaper 7″ . use Firefox for Android, Chrome or loads of other free android apps and the Phonepad has a sim slot and can be used as a rather large mobile. If you forgo the need for a phone there are loads of cheaper an Android phones. Check reviews on Which or the online mags like CNET, PC Pro, Expert reviews, etc

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Figgis

Thanks Mike, I will have a look at the Asus Phonepad.

Reading too many reviews I have found that I keep looking at the higher priced models. That was why I was chuffed with the Toshiba Tablet details – not seen a review yet as it has not been released. I had sort of decided on a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone or an S4 mini, if I could find either at around £300 or so. Then I read about the Google Nexus 5 and that seemed great for £300 but the price was much higher when I checked some retailers. Now I’m totally confused.

All my laptops and my one old PC’s were bought based on the spec and the reputation of the manufacturer and I was very happy with them. It was much easier deciding on buying a new home or car than than it is with this new technology stuff. I am afraid that I will buy a phone or tablet and then find out that I can’t do something with it that I would expect to be able to do. Finding out now about having to use Internet Explorer on the Toshiba tablet means that I can decide if I would be happy with that restriction. Perhaps I would as I have only used Firefox for about ten years.and would still be using it on my main laptop. Confusion reigns!

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barbara

I love my Kindle Fire – and don’t feel limited at all by it. I watch netflix and amazon movies on it and the quality is very good. The grandkids love to get their hands on it too and there is always plenty for them to do and they are happy 8 year olds. I have a lap top and a main computer to work on if I need to – this is purely for pleasure

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paul

just bought the kobo arc 7 64gb. £89.99 @pc world.check it out-amazing.

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p3t3

have you looked at Prestigio tablets yet? I have had one bought for me and reviews on line look good, but no mention here

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Dubsies

Bought my better half a “Time 2″ at £99 recently and so far am very impressed. It compares well with my Galaxy 10.1 which was over 3 times the price and it has usb connections which mine doesn’t. She loves it cause it is so light and manageble.

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