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Budget Tablets

Best cheap 10 inch Android tablets available today

Are Android tablets on their sure way to extinction, caught in an inescapable chokehold by rapidly soaring phablets and slowly recovering conventional Windows PCs? Hard to cast a definitive verdict, but even Apple’s mighty iPads seem to be losing steam, as iPhones close the size gap.

ProductBrandNamePrice
LenovoLenovo Tab A10 10.1-Inch 16 GB Tablet (59413342) Midnight BlueBuy on Amazon|$399.88(Price as of 02/22/2019 02:32 ET)
AsusASUS Transformer Pad TF103C-A1-Bundle 10.1-Inch Tablet with Keyboard Bundle (Black)Buy on Amazon|$254.99(Price as of 02/22/2019 02:32 ET)
AmazonFire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa, 10.1" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th)Check Price on Amazon
HPHP Slate S10-3500US 10-Inch Tablet with Beats Audio (Silk Grey)Check Price on Amazon
LGLG Electronics E10 LGV700 10.1-Inch TabletBuy on Amazon|$650(Price as of 02/22/2019 02:32 ET)
LenovoLenovo TAB2 A10 - 10.1" Tablet (ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core, FHD IPS, 2GB SDRAM, 16GB SSD, Android 4.4 KitKat) ZA000001USBuy on Amazon|$89.95(Price as of 02/22/2019 02:32 ET)
AsusASUS ZenPad 10 Z300C-A1-BK 10.1" 16 GB Tablet (Black)Check Price on Amazon

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Woman with tablet

What’s crystal clear is Google-endorsed slates have trouble standing out without an obvious, compelling selling point. The superior productivity of laptops can’t be denied, and convertible models are no longer significantly bulkier than, say, your average 10-inch slate.

Meanwhile, there are 5.5, 6-inch, even 6.4-inch “handhelds” around that can essentially do whatever a 7-inch tab is capable of, plus make and receive voice calls. Game over for Galaxy Tabs, Amazon Fires, G Pads, Asus ZenPads, and so on, and so forth? Not so fast, given some of those still hide an important ace up their sleeve.

Namely, extreme affordability, combined with a footprint phablets don’t come close to… just yet. Yes, dear readers and friends, the best budget 10-inch Android tablets on the market today should stay in the spotlight a while longer, and tempt you with their quality-pricing ratios, generous screen real estate, and in a few cases, remarkable versatility.

Lenovo Tab A10 – $240 (Bluetooth keyboard included)

The first product featured on our list of best inexpensive 10-inch tablets is not necessarily the absolute best, but it’s the costliest, when you factor in the companion keyboard cover accessory. Without it, the first-gen A10 doesn’t look great on paper, sporting mediocre 1,280 x 800 display resolution, and packing humdrum quad-core MediaTek 8121 power.

Lenovo Tab A10

But you have to consider the ensemble’s economical price when judging its specs, and at least appreciate the 8-hour battery life, 16 GB internal storage space, microSD support, dual front-facing stereo speakers, and relatively slim design. On the not so bright side, you’re offered an ancient Android iteration out the box, 4.4 KitKat, and 1 gig of RAM hardly makes this a multitasking champ.

Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-A1 (keyboard bundle) – $233

Another 4.4-running 2-in-1 machine, the TF103C further ups the endurance ante, to close to 10 hours, and likely improves raw speed as well, thanks to an Intel Atom Bay Trail Z3745 CPU. At 545 grams, keyboard not included, the Transformer Pad is no featherweight, but it’s decently robust, and more importantly, comes with over $270 worth of free content and services.

Asus TF103C

Before you yell crapware, let us mention Asus gives you 500 gigs of complimentary WebStorage cloud depository for two years, in addition to a 16 GB ROM and microSD card slot. Even the six gratis mini-subscriptions to your favorite magazines out of a very generous library sound pretty enticing.

Amazon Fire HD 10 – $230

It has barely gone on sale, and so, it’s untested at the moment, but the closer-to-stock-than-ever Android user interface alone makes it an attractive prospective purchase. It’s also the thinnest Fire family member to date, at 7.7 mm, and yet, it still vows to last a solid 8 hours between charges.

Fire HD 10

Like all Amazon products, the Fire HD 10 is ideal for e-book reading first and foremost, though the on-board Dolby Atmos audio system means listening to music is always an option. And the 1,280 x 800 display isn’t that bad, delivering decent HD video content.

HP Slate S10 – $200

Is the Palo Alto-based computer giant really so delusional that it believes an affordable 10-inch tablet can actually sell in 2015 loaded with decrepit 4.2 Jelly Bean software “treats”, and powered by a dual-core Marvell SoC?

HP Slate S10

Technically, HP isn’t the one charging two Benjamins through Amazon for this Beats Audio-armed bag of mediocrity. It’s a third-party merchant, which had better consider a discount if it wants to clear lingering inventory. Make it $150, and maybe, just maybe, the 9-hour promised autonomy, 5 and 2 MP cameras, and 16 GB ROM will justify the buy.

LG G Pad 10.1 – $199

Forget archaic OS builds, obscure processors, and questionable aesthetic choices. The 10-inch G Pad was released on 4.4 KitKat, then recently upgraded to 5.0 Lollipop, it’s fashionable and slender, and the quad-core chip under the hood is a speedy, respected Snapdragon 400.

LG G Pad 10.1

Even better, the 8,000 mAh cell is massive, the 5 MP rear cam above-average, given the price range, the stereo speakers loud and sharp, and proprietary LG software add-ons like Knock Code, dual window and Q pair 2.0 destined to enrich your user experience.

Lenovo Tab 2 A10 – $179

Lenovo Tab 2 A10

Want the best all-around cheap 10-inch tablet in the world? This is probably it, with a Full HD (1,920 x 1,200) IPS LCD screen in tow, 64-bit quad-core 1.5 GHz MediaTek MT8165 SoC, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM, 10-hour battery, 8 and 5 MP snappers, immersive Dolby audio, 8.9 mm profile, 74 percent screen-to-body ratio, and a planned update to Android 5.0 Lollipop for the near future.

Discounted from its $200 MSRP, the Tab 2 A10 would likely be worth as much as $280, if tablet sales weren’t hurting so badly on a global scale.

Asus ZenPad 10 – $159

Asus ZenPad 10

The least pricey tab on our roster is clearly not the worst pick, since it also features 2 gigs of random-access memory, Lollipop goodies, a quad-core 64-bit Intel Atom CPU, sleek aluminum finish, lightweight 1.1 pound design, 16 GB local data hoarding room, microSD capabilities, and even 100 GB of free Google Drive cloud storage for your first two years of ZenPad ownership.

Any downsides to buying this ultra-low-cost 10 incher? A few: lousy 2 and 0.3 MP cameras, lackluster 800p panel, unremarkable sub-8-hour battery life.

ProductBrandNamePrice
LenovoLenovo Tab A10 10.1-Inch 16 GB Tablet (59413342) Midnight BlueBuy on Amazon|$399.88(Price as of 02/22/2019 02:32 ET)
AsusASUS Transformer Pad TF103C-A1-Bundle 10.1-Inch Tablet with Keyboard Bundle (Black)Buy on Amazon|$254.99(Price as of 02/22/2019 02:32 ET)
AmazonFire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa, 10.1" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th)Check Price on Amazon
HPHP Slate S10-3500US 10-Inch Tablet with Beats Audio (Silk Grey)Check Price on Amazon
LGLG Electronics E10 LGV700 10.1-Inch TabletBuy on Amazon|$650(Price as of 02/22/2019 02:32 ET)
LenovoLenovo TAB2 A10 - 10.1" Tablet (ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core, FHD IPS, 2GB SDRAM, 16GB SSD, Android 4.4 KitKat) ZA000001USBuy on Amazon|$89.95(Price as of 02/22/2019 02:32 ET)
AsusASUS ZenPad 10 Z300C-A1-BK 10.1" 16 GB Tablet (Black)Check Price on Amazon

* Links in this table contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Thank you for your support. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

Best 4G LTE-capable Android tablets available today stateside

If you’ve been following our website lately, chances are you’ve already purchased a tab… or ten. You’re only human after all, and probably couldn’t resist the temptation of a stellar bargain, the best 7 inch+ gamers around, the 2015 endurance champions or ultra-high-res media streamers.

4G LTE

But there’s one market segment we haven’t tackled in a while. And even back when we did, in October 2014, the budget was restricted, so technically, you never got a list of the top 4G LTE-enabled Android pads. Just the finest low-cost soldiers.

Now, it goes without saying not everyone can afford to cough up $600 or $700 for a high-speed, always connected laptop replacement. Nor does everybody want to pay that much with the large-screen Google “ecosystem” deeply flawed and app support lowly at best.

man-using-tablet

So, instead of narrowing our search to a predefined price range, we’ve decided to bring together the low-enders and high-enders, the budget contenders and no-nonsense flagships. Here they all are, with advanced connectivity options their sole feature in common:

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – starting at $650 for Verizon

Going after Microsoft Surface Pros and Apple iPad Airs with comparable price tags never felt like Sammy’s smartest strategic move. And indeed, the Note Pro is a decidedly nichey product, which could never appeal to the masses.

Galaxy Note Pro

But boy, is it colossal, literally and figuratively, with a 2,560 x 1,600 pix res 12.2-inch screen in tow, S Pen functionality, Snapdragon 800 muscle, 3 GB RAM and 9,500 mAh battery juice. Just think of how sharp the high-def YouTube vids will play on the move.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet – $500 and $650 respectively on and off-contract at Verizon

The name may send an old-fashioned vibe, yet the 10.1-inch Z2 is very much “contemporary”, what with its 1,920 x 1,200 display, S801 chip, Android 5.0 Lollipop software, 3 GB RAM and 8.1 MP rear camera.

Xperia Z2 Tablet

Plus, for a large 10 incher, it’s extremely easy to transport, thanks to a 6.4 mm waist and 439-gram “heft”, not to mention it’s dust and water-resistant, ergo ready for whatever nature throws at it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 – $500 and up with Verizon

Oh, come on, another Verizon exclusive? Technically, no, but Big Red does cut you the best Tab S deal at the moment, and Amazon always endorses steals. Well, steal might be a bit of a stretch, at five full Benjamins.

Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Let’s call the bang for buck factor… adequate. Enticing. Almost unrefusable if you’re in the market for a super-slim 10 incher with fingerprint recognition, LTE speeds, Snapdragon 800 SoC, 3 GB RAM, 7,900 mAh cell capacity… and only 16 GB internal storage.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 – $529 and up for AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon

Fire HDX 8.9

Finally, something you can activate on your network of choice. As long as it’s not Sprint. Too bad the HDX is a little steep for what it offers – forked Android (an archaic iteration, no less), 2 gigs of RAM, bland design, somewhat awkward albeit ultra-sharp screen, and “sponsored screensavers” to begin with.

Luckily, $15 rids you of pesky ads, and $50 bumps up the storage from 32 to 64 GB. Remember, there’s no microSD card slot.

Google/HTC Nexus 9 – $469 unlocked with 32 GB storage

Nexus 9

Ah, a purist’s wet dream, now at an all-time low tariff. What can be sweeter than that? Perhaps a smidge of extra battery serum or CDMA carrier compatibility, but beggars tablet buyers on a tight budget can’t be choosers.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 – starting at $380 for AT&T; $350 GSM unlocked

How is this any different from the Tab S, you wonder? Well, actually, their specs couldn’t be further apart. The Tab 4 is almost ridiculously low-end, and ultimately, it’s not worth the $350 and up Amazon charges for it. With or without operator agreements.

Galaxy Tab 4 10.1

Yes, it’s compact, fairly handsome (in a non-standout way), and equipped with 1.5 GB RAM, which isn’t that bad. But the 1,280 x 800 panel is pretty crappy, and the same goes for the quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 6,800 mAh ticker and especially 3.15/1.3 MP cams.

LG G Pad 10.1 – $150 with Verizon pacts; $380 sans obligations

LG G Pad 10.1

All in all not much better than the 10.1-inch Tab 4, the G Pad 10.1 is at least cheaper on-contract. And it’s upgradeable to Lollipop, slightly prettier, courtesy of narrower bezels, plus longer-lasting, with an 8,000 mAh pacemaker. And in case you’re one of those weirdos that takes photos with a big-ass slate, there’s a respectable 5 MP autofocus shooter around the back.

LG G Pad 8.3 – $130 on-contract at Verizon; $350 outright

LG G Pad 8.3

Sometimes, it pays to wait. And oftentimes, smaller and cheaper doesn’t equal weaker and lower-end. Case in point, the almost two year-old 8.3 incher under the microscope here, which features 1,920 x 1,200 screen resolution, Snapdragon 600 power and 2 GB memory in addition to LTE capabilities. At $130, that’s a positively dreamy inventory of hardware components.

Oh, and as far as software goes, Android 5.0 is reportedly nigh.

Verizon Ellipsis 8 – $49.99 on-contract, $299.99 off

We’ll give it to you straight, as usual. If you can do better, ignore the Ellipsis. Don’t buy it outright either, it’s a waste of money. The only wise ploy would be to score it at 50 clams, even if that means pledging a two-year allegiance to the Big Red flag.

verizon_ellipsis_8

Not quite a disaster, the inexpensive 8 incher is probably stuck on KitKat for good, and it provides a lousy gig of RAM. Translation – it’s slow as hell, and opening more than a couple of browser tabs while on 4G may freeze the system instantaneously.

LG G Pad 7.0 – $150 GSM unlocked; $100 with AT&T contracts

LG-G-Pad-7.0

It’s petite, it’s good-looking (all things considered), soon-to-run-Lollipop, quad-core, can work as a universal remote for TVs, sound systems, DVD or Blu-ray players, and “optimized” to last up to 10 hours between charges.

Of course, it’s not high-res (1,280 x 800 pixels), a multitasking beast (1 GB RAM), or photography champ (3.15 and 1.3 megapixels). But it’ll do if $100 is all you have lying around.

Best small (7-inch) Android tablets available today

Winter is coming, and with it, comes possibly the most fruitful time of the year for both electronics retailers and tech consumers. Yes, you can find compelling promotions on Android gear from January to December nowadays, as competition heats up, manufacturer profits shrink, and upgrade cycles are shortened.

7 inch tablet

But the best deals on smartphones, tablets, wearables and everything in between still allow you to spend the holidays without worrying the bank accounts are empty, or you’ve been left behind by the latest wave of fall releases.

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, they’re all nigh, and while technically the onslaught of discounts isn’t in effect yet, some of the best small Android tablets can be had for historically low prices. Is it likely they’ll drop any further? Hard to imagine, especially as far the first few models on our list of the best 7-inch tablets around are concerned:

Amazon Fire 7 – $49.99

Fire 7

Is this the world’s best 7 inch tablet at the moment? Hardly. But it’s easily the cheapest, and if you buy five units, the sixth comes free. As always, Amazon doesn’t care about profit margins on hardware sales, aiming instead to draw as many people as possible away from Google apps, and hooked on their own software ecosystem.

That said, the Fire OS 5 Android “fork” is much less intrusive than its predecessors, and most important of all, microSD storage expansion is now permitted. Well, it should really be compulsory on slates with just 8 gigs of internal space, even if the 1,024 x 600 pix res screen will make you think twice before trying to consume or hoard video content.

Toshiba Excite Go – $75

Toshiba Excite Go

The main (only?) selling point of this decrepit KitKat-running gadget has been suppressed by Amazon’s newest ultra-low-cost effort, so Toshiba may as well retire the Excite Go. Unless you absolutely need to have Intel inside every device you own.

Lenovo Tab 2 A7 – $80

Lenovo Tab 2 A7

Still no Lollipop update? Afraid not, though it’s planned, and could make its way over-the-air any day now. On the plus side, the 8-hour advertised battery life sounds pretty good, and it’s all thanks to a frugal but respectably zippy quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek SoC.

The 1,024 x 600 display also plays its part in conserving energy, albeit it’s not necessarily a strong suit of the A7.

BLU Touchbook G7 – $88 GSM unlocked

BLU Touchbook G7

SIM-free phone specialist BLU hasn’t produced a lot of tablets so far, and this G7’s marketing is almost nonexistent, despite only a few months having passed since its launch. Then again, anyone would be ashamed to aggressively promote a gizmo featuring 512 MB RAM, 4 GB ROM, a dual-core MediaTek chip, and 3,000 mAh (!!!) battery in late 2015.

That’s not a tablet, it’s a toy, and the best you can hope to get is a decent e-book reading experience. Relatively smooth web browsing, with a couple of tabs open max, too. Oh, and 3G voice call placing and receiving.

Acer Iconia One 7 B1 – $90

Acer Iconia One 7 B1

Released with pre-loaded Jelly Bean, brought up to KitKat recently, and unlikely to ever score a Lollipop makeover, the B1-730HD is at least 720p-capable, not to mention it can accommodate 16 gigs of data locally.

Sure, microSD cards aren’t overly expensive, but if you’re looking to spend less than a Benjamin on a nice Christmas gift for a loved one, it’s best to keep the slot empty. Too bad the screen bezels are, well, horrible. What’s that, a 50 percent display-to-body ratio? Come on, Acer, you can do better than that!

Asus ZenPad Z170C – $94

Asus ZenPad 7

One of the newest best small Android tablets available on Amazon, this obviously runs Lollipop off the bat (version 5.0), rocks much slimmer borders, the same spacious 16 GB ROM, but a non-HD 1,024 x 600 IPS panel.

Compromises were mandatory to attain a premium design, with ergonomic rounded edges, a fashionable leather back pattern, polished metallic frame, and 8.4 mm profile. Somehow, the 7-inch ZenPad also promises 8 hours of endurance on a single charge, at a measly 265 grams weight, which is probably unfeasible in real life.

LG G Pad 7.0 – $105 AT&T GSM unlocked; $80 Wi-Fi only

lg-g-pad-7.0

Can’t decide between the older, pricier, KitKat-stuck but cellular-enabled model, and the newer, cheaper, Lollipop-boasting but Wi-Fi-limited configuration? We reckon the former is the smarter buy overall, with LTE speeds, Snapdragon 400 power, 16 GB internal storage, and a 5 MP rear camera.

The latter isn’t half bad either, in spite of its missing LTE modem, adopting a Snapdragon 410 processor that should help with autonomy.

Amazon Fire HD 7 – $130

Fire HD 7

Justifying the existence of this OG isn’t easy at almost three times the introductory price of the 2015 Fire 7, particularly sans microSD support, and with an older, uglier, clunkier Fire OS 4 UI. Why is the Fire HD 7 on our list of best current small tablets then?

As the moniker suggests, the display sports HD resolution (1,280 x 800 pixels), and furthermore, you get 1.5 GHz quad-core punch, Dolby Audio stereo sound, 8-hour battery, and a slightly more robust build.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 – $143

Galaxy Tab 4 7.0

Honestly, the sole reason this made the cut is the brand name on it, and the hope it’ll be discounted come Black Friday. $100 would likely be a fair price to pay for Android 4.4 software with TouchWiz atop, a 1,280 x 800 TFT screen, thin bezels, 8 GB flash memory, 1 GB RAM, 3 and 1.3 MP cams, microSD capabilities, a quad-core Marvell SoC, and all the connectivity bare necessities.

Asus/Google Nexus 7 2013 – starting at $149

Nexus 7 2013

It says a lot about the market’s evolution, or rather stagnation, that a two-and-a-half-year-old earns a well-deserved top ten spot, not having to resort to extreme price cuts… yet, and running a newer Android iteration than every single one of its rivals.

Yes, Marshmallow goodies are available OTA for this OG beast, which remains a stunner in the display res department, with 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, and a multitasking champ, courtesy of 2 onboard gigs of random-access memory.

Best sub-$150 Android tablets available today (May 2015 edition)

Although we haven’t gone through an entire “upgrade cycle” since July 2014, when we first rounded up your top ultra-affordable Android tablet options, the seven-name list from ten months ago feels dated enough.

150 dollars

It’s time we revisited and revised it therefore, expanding the “magnificent seven” to a “grandiose ten”, as the market greatly diversified and grew in size bolstered by a free fall of premium, extravagantly priced models, iPads included.

As “traditional” PCs, particularly laptops and mini-laptops, slowly but steadily recover their mainstream charm, the demand for not-very-compact, bulky yet unproductive 10-inch+ slates dwindles. Meanwhile, 7 and 8 inchers need crystal-clear distinguishing features and functions to survive. Namely, extreme affordability and respectable bang for buck.

Android shopping

Without further ado, we give you the world’s best sub-$150 Android tablets widely available stateside today, ordered by their current Amazon price tags:

Fire HD 7 – $139 with special offers and 8 GB storage

One of the newest entries in this competitive niche, the 800p 7-inch Fire isn’t exactly dirt-cheap. Not if you want to “locally” hoard a few movies and a couple of gigs of music, with the 16 GB non-microSD-supporting configuration starting at $159.

Fire HD 7

Another major flaw is Amazon’s awkward Android fork, devoid of all Google services and apps. On the plus side, you get a surprisingly fast quad-core processor clocked at up to 1.5 GHz and decent 8-hour battery.

Acer Iconia One 8 B1-810 – $135

Larger than most of our low-cost contenders, at 8 inches, the Iconia One 8 is hardly a looker, but it’s reasonably slim and light, weighing 12 ounces while measuring 0.33 inches in depth. 16 GB internal storage is really the best you can hope for so close to a Benjamin, and the 5 MP rear-facing camera should produce above-average stills.

Acer Iconia One 8

Of course, KitKat runs the software show, and a Lollipop update is but a distant dream. Also, the quad-core 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3735G doesn’t quite qualify as a powerhouse. Even by mid-range standards.

Asus MeMo Pad 7 ME176CX – $125

Our first returning title challenger from last year lost some of its pizazz lately, sticking to the age-old KitKat guns when so many rookies retaliate with Lollipop bombs. At the end of the day however, the HD 7 incher doesn’t show its advanced age, perhaps needing an additional $25 or so trim to clear up remaining stocks once and for all.

Asus ME176CX

Can you imagine, scoring a 16 GB tab with quad-core Intel Atom inside, 1 GB RAM and 8-hour juice in exchange for a measly Benjamin?

LG G Pad 7.0 – $122 LTE unlocked; $135 international Wi-Fi-only; $100 and up at AT&T

Did anybody say Lollipop? Ah, yes, the smallest G Pad to date delivers Android 5.0 goodies, at least “internationally”, whereas the US AT&T-usable cellular version is so inexpensive, you’ll forget it’s still on 4.4.

LG G Pad 7.0

Other fortes? Well, the 1,280 x 800 pix res panel is sharp albeit it’s beginning to feel like a given, and the quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip should easily outpace previous-generation Atoms.

Dell Venue 8 – $119

Once upon a time up for grabs at $200, the “newest version” of Dell’s entry-level Venue 8 (read sans 3D camera gimmicks) takes the cake with a vibrant 1,920 x 1,200 display. It’s as simple as this – if you’re looking for the cheapest on-the-go Netflix streamer, look no more.

Dell Venue 8

Otherwise, the aging 8 incher is not without its share of weak points: a humble dual-core Intel Atom Z3480 SoC, Android 4.4, humdrum design.

Dell Venue 7 – $119

Dell Venue 7

Why in the world would a sane person pay the same amount of cash on a 7-inch HD Dell Venue as the Full HD 8 incher? It boggles the mind, which is why we’re ready to bet the Venue 7 will soon drop to $100. Maybe less. You just wait and see.

Lenovo Tab 2 A7-30 – $99.99

Aw yeah, now we’re talking. Welcome to the sweet, sweet land of sub-$100 Android gear. No contractual obligations, no strings attached. Just a bunch of compromises and sacrifices. For instance, flash memory here caps off at 8 gigs, so besides the pre-loaded Android 4.4 OS, you almost can’t store a thing sans bringing in a microSD card.

Lenovo A7-30

At least you’re allowed to add external space in the mix, and the “enhanced” Dolby audio system is certainly a nice surprise. So is the impending Lollipop makeover, respectable quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek CPU and 8-hour battery life. Too bad we can’t say the same about the cringe worthy 1,024 x 600 pix res screen.

Amazon Fire HD 6 – $99

Fire HD 6

Closed ecosystem, tiny footprint, no microSD, mono speaker, crappy dual cameras, chunky profile. Why bother then with the world’s only non-voice-call-enabled 6 incher? For one thing, you get a crisp 252 ppi display. Then there’s that 1.5 GHz quad-core processor also found inside the Fire HD 7. Autonomy is fairly impressive too, all things considered, at “8 hours of mixed use.”

Finally, unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content is clearly nothing to sneeze at.

Toshiba Excite Go – $87

Well, hello there, our old, remarkably unpretentious friend! It’s good to see you around a whole year after your formal introduction. Cheaper than ever before, no less. If only you’d make the jump to Lollipop already, and somehow improve your shoddy screen resolution.

Toshiba Excite Go

On the bright side, quad-core Intel Atom power remains a key selling point at a fraction of the price of a Nexus 9 keyboard. Just the keyboard, you understand?

Asus MeMo Pad 7 ME170CX – $80

Don’t ever die on us, sweet KitKat-based, 16 GB storage-packing prince. Yes, you’re decrepit in more ways than one, and deeply flawed, what with your 1,024 x 600 WSVGA panel, dual-core 1.2 GHz Intel chipset, 2 MP rear camera, VGA front shooter and 6-hour or so pacemaker.

Asus ME170CX

But you’re cheaper than a first-gen Moto E, yet can accommodate a good dozen of semi-high-quality movies for when there’s no room for the 15-inch notebook in our travel knapsack. Europe, here we come!

Best low-cost 4G LTE Android tablets available on major US networks

Stacking up on LTE-enabled gear for the cold season and would love to have something left in your bank accounts at the end of the holiday shopping season? Don’t want to make the choice between a spanking new Android tablet and food, as you’re afraid you’ll die of starvation playing Temple Run 2?

LG G Pad 8.3 LTE

Then maybe the wise call would be settling just for a fresh LTE smartphone. But if you listen to our recommendations, it’s virtually impossible to go broke simply from spending, say, $200 on a Moto G 4G.

So if the piggybank isn’t completely empty, we give you the seven best, cheapest LTE-capable Android slates available in the States. We’ll get to the names and ranking in a minute, but before, let’s list our selection criteria to avoid discussions and general complaints:

  • Affordability – since carrier subsidies are minuscule compared to on-contract discounts for smartphones, and solid sub-$200 no-contract tabs are as easy to find as unicorns, we’ve raised the pricing bar a little. Not a lot though, so anything costing north of $350 sans pacts is a no-go.

LTE speeds

  • Wide US availability – network backing from at least one of the “big four” is a must for obvious reasons, and Amazon is as always our online retailer of choice.
  • Quality-price ratio – it’s not enough for a slate to be affordable to make our listicle. It has to offer bang for buck. Likewise, we’re always willing to recommend spending a little extra in exchange of excellence.

And now let’s get to it:

7. Verizon Ellipsis 7 – $0.01 with service agreements, $249.99 without contract

The prospect of accessing Big Red’s high-speed 4G connectivity options on a 7-inch screen for just one penny is probably irresistible for most budget tech consumers. Yet you may want to think this through before doing something you’ll end up regretting.

Ellipsis 7

Yes, we’ve certainly seen worse. But why be so skimpy when, you’ll see, $100 buys a lot more? A whole lot more than this ultra-bezel-y, fugly, low-res, laggy gizmo. Okay, maybe we’re pushing it to prove a point. Yet there’s a reason the Ellipsis finished this in last place. Make that several: Android 4.2, 10 mm profile, 4,000 mAh battery, 3 MP rear camera with no flash or autofocus.

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 – $244.77 outright with Sprint-friendly LTE

Even though we’re dealing with a prettier, lighter, more reliable Samsung than the no-name Ellipsis, we’ll be just as brutally honest and admit the Tab 3 7.0 also made the list thanks squarely to its low, low price.

Galaxy Tab 3 7.0

Technically, lower than the no-contract retail costs of the Ellipsis, though by very, very little. In the hardware department, we’re actually looking at a worse slab, packed with a sluggish dual-core chip and also towing a modest 4,000 mAh juicer. Meanwhile, the 7-inch screen is horrible, at 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution and 170 ppi.

So yeah, it’s an option, but only if you can’t afford something better.

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 – $299.99 with no contracts for Sprint

Something better, like Tab 3 7.0’s 2014 follow-up, erm, spin-off. This thing isn’t drastically improved by no means, but it’s only $50 or so pricier and it at least increases RAM by 50 percent (1.5 gigs now), and ups the screen res ante to 1,280 x 800.

Galaxy-Tab4-7.0

Oh, yeah, and you get quad-core punch now, plus an even slimmer figure, with no impact whatsoever on battery life. Bottom line, we’re still a long way from perfection, but we’re clearly progressing.

4. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX – $279 for AT&T or Verizon with “special offers” and no contractual obligations

We’re no extreme Android purists, so we can certainly appreciate the benefits of a nice, smooth, non-intrusive custom-made UI, but what Amazon does to Android isn’t customization or skinning. It’s altering it from the roots, and we don’t like that one bit.

Which is a terrible shame, I tell you, because from a technical standpoint, the Fire HDX is a whopper. That display may be small, but it’s packed with pixels (1,920 x 1,200 resulting in top-level 323 ppi), then you have a fast and furious quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 generous GB of RAM and a battery supposedly capable of lasting hours and hours of “mixed use”.

Amazon-Kindle-Fire-HDX-7

Yes, the microSD card slot absence is a major flaw, but slap an actual flavor of Android on this baby, offer freedom of choice between Google Play and Amazon Appstore and we’d have no problem in promoting the Fire HDX to the podium. Maybe the top spot.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 – $200 with Verizon pacts, $340 outright

Sad to see the Fire HDX miss bronze by a whisker? You’re about to get sadder. Aside from running a copy of Android KitKat that, you know, looks like Android, and allowing Big Red customers to get a discount in exchange of a 24-month commitment, the Tab 4 8.0 has nothing on Amazon’s OG 7 incher. Nada.

Galaxy Tab 4 8.0

Well, size, yeah, and also expandable storage, but what about the positively lackluster 1,280 x 800 panel? The snail-like 1.2 GHz quad-core SoC? The 1.5 GB RAM? Ugh, how we hate encouraging mediocrity.

2. Google Nexus 7 2013 – $250 and $350 on Verizon, $404 in flavor compatible with other networks

Wait, the legendary second-generation vanilla Android-powered Nexus 7 has had its budget crown dispossessed? Sounds hard to believe, but it’s true. Yes, it’s the end of an era, and in part, you can blame the limited inventory most retailers seem to retain these days.

Clearly, N7 2013’s days are numbered, but at least its legacy will be carried on with pride by a larger, somewhat similar albeit not stock Android-running tablet. Before paying our respects to the new champion though, let’s underline the 7-inch “new” Nexus is a deserving silver medalist.

Nexus 7 2013

Sure, it lost some of its charm, its je ne sais quoi, yet the 1,920 x 1,200 pix res display remains a monster, and so does the quad-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro chip. And remember, Android L will swing by the Nexus line first and foremost.

1. LG G Pad 8.3 – $99.99 with Verizon contracts; $299.99 outright

Would you look at that, the G Pad 8.3 can be had for as little as one measly Benjamin, yet its spec sheet includes top-level stuff like a comfortably large, slim-bezeled, high-resolution 1,920 x 1,200 IPS screen, punchy quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU and 2 GB RAM.

LG G Pad 8.3

Not to forget the beefy 4,600 mAh battery, the incredibly slim (all things considered) 8.3 mm profile, microSD support, 5 MP rear camera and, starting a couple of months back, Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

It’s the near-flawless blend of affordability, raw power, great looks, portability and productivity and, best of all, it works both on Wi-Fi and 4G LTE on America’s biggest service provider. Your tough decision has become a no-brainer all of a sudden, eh?

Best sub-$150 Android tablets available today (July 2014 edition)

A whole lot can change in the shifty tech décor in the space of nine months. Heck, even one month sometimes makes a world of difference. Take last month. Lenovo rolled out a slew of A-series budget-conscious slates, HP and Toshiba one-upped each other with the dirt-cheap 7 Plus and Excite Go, and Asus refreshed the increasingly successful MeMo Pad family.

Android shopping bag

Just like that, we got half a dozen of brand new contenders at the low-cost, lightweight crown, and in case our little listicle from back October 2013 wasn’t dated enough, all these exciting releases prompted an immediate update.

Since only one of the fresh title candidates fits the old budget though, we’ve decided to supplement it with 50 bucks. After all, you need to keep up with technological progress, and often, that means ponying up a bit of extra dough. Not a lot. Clearly, $150 is no small fortune.

Android money

Besides, our latest top picks for the best affordable Android tablets around still include a $100, $110 and $120 slab, so if $150 is too steep for your monthly spending plan, you’ve got options. Without further ado, here they all are:

7. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

I can just about hear Amazon admirers boiling with rage at Fire HD’s “offensive” number seven ranking, but you should actually take it as a compliment. A most flattering compliment, given the 7 incher’s advanced age. Mind you, four of its six rivals are barely a month old.

Kindle-Fire-HD-7

Meanwhile, the Fire HD is nearly ready to blow out its birthday candles for the second time. So yeah, it’s amazing it made the charts, but not at all surprising looking at some of its specs: 1,280 x 800 pix res IPS LCD screen, 1 GB RAM, 10-hour battery life (in “mixed” use). Too bad about its decrepit TI OMAP chip, microSD absence and clunky OS.

6. HP 7 Plus

Our sole sub-$100 contender offers exactly the kind of humble features we’ve come to expect from sub-$100 tablets. But hey, it’s one lousy Benjamin, so don’t even think of complaining about the laggy quad-core 1 GHz Allwinner CPU, crappy 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution display, painful 2 MP camera or minuscule 2,800 mAh battery.

hp-7-plus

If you really want something to bitch about, I guess the pre-loaded aging copy of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean best fits the description. On the bright side, HP discounted the low-ender to $84.99 for a second there, so similar deals are likely in the cards for the near future.

5. Lenovo IdeaTab A8-50

I could’ve just as well picked one of A8’s little A7 siblings, especially since they have the affordability edge, but ultimately, the richer screen real estate propelled the A8 in our top seven list. Also, the generous 16 GB storage space.

Lenovo A8

The 8-inch panel ain’t bad resolution-wise either, at 1,280 x 800, and the cameras are pretty impressive all things considered: 5 and 2 megapixels. So then why on Earth couldn’t Lenovo set up the A8 with KitKat out the box? Anyone?

4. Acer Iconia A1-830

Exactly as large and cheap as Lenovo’s bad boy, but boasting a crappier 1,024 x 768 display, the A1-830 prevails in the processing power battle, thanks to a dual-core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560 SoC, as well as in the battery life bout (up to 7.5 hours of continuous juice).

Acer-Iconia-A1-830

It’s also overall sleeker and more elegant than the A8-50, which sadly can’t hide the fact it too runs Jelly Bean. “Upgradeable to Android 4.4 KitKat when available”, Acer says. Yo Acer, KK has been available for roughly eight months now.

3. Toshiba Excite Go

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Best Buy sells the Excite Go for $99.99?!? That has to be a mistake. The MSRP is $110, and it’s way too early for discounts. Oh, well, maybe it’s a limited-time deal. In which case you better hurry up and order it.

Toshiba-Excite-Go

Then again, even at $110, this is a must-buy. It’s one of the very few in its class powered by Android 4.4 KitKat, it tips the scales at 354 grams and packs quad-core oomph, courtesy of an Intel Atom Z3735G. Yes, the 7-inch display is cringe worthy, sporting 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution, and yes, there’s only a disappointing VGA front-facing cam and no rear snapper.

But erm, KitKat for 100 clams? I’ll eat my hat if you find an OEM as high-profile as Toshiba that offers something similar.

2. Asus MeMo Pad 7 ME176CX

The newest MeMo Pad is by far the zippiest and most frugal, carrying an outstanding quad-core 64-bit (!) Intel Atom Z3745 “Bay Trail” processor beneath its hood. The chip delivers around eight hours of autonomy, and, with the exception of cameras, everything else about the MeMo Pad 7 is state-of-the-art… for mid-range standards.

Asus MeMo Pad 7

The 7-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS panel is as good as it gets, Android 4.4 KitKat is as smooth as it gets, and 1 GB RAM takes care of the multitasking business. Tech hoarders have 16 GB of internal storage to use, plus up to 64 gigs external, and not only is the tab elegant, it’s also stylish, rocking four distinct chromatic options: white, black, red and yellow.

1. Dell Venue 7

Believe it or not, we’re not done yet. Because as awesome as the ME176CX is, the Venue 7 is actually awesomer. How’s that even possible? Simple: 2 GB RAM. Sure, the Intel Atom Z2560 inside Dell’s 7 incher is considerably less punchy than MeMo Pad’s Bay Trail. And the software isn’t quite up to date: 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Dell Venue 7

Plus, the Venue 7 is somehow just as thin as the MeMo Pad 7, yet 20 or so grams heavier. But at the end of the day, the extra gig of RAM makes all the compromises worth it. For crying out loud, Dell used to charge a whopping $230 for the 7-inch Venue. Needless to say therefore that $144 is an extraordinary bargain.

What say you, bargain hunters? Agree with our list entirely? Only partially? Which parts would you alter? Sound off below. We’re all ears.

Best kid-friendly Android tablets: top picks, best deals and crucial pointers

So your little one is growing up. Fast. And as he or she is starting to pick up on what tickles your fancy, expect to notice major changes in behavior, interests and “hobbies”. What’s that, I’m preaching to the choir? Then let’s skip the introductions and get right down to the meat of it.

Kids with tablets

The playground, education, your offspring’s whole mental and physical development, they’re entirely different ballgames than what you remember from way back when you were a squirt. Hide-and-seek is no longer hip. Card games are boring, dodgeball is for losers, hopscotch is a thing of the past and so is “I spy” or Marco Polo.

Meanwhile, what goes down in kindergartens and schools resembles sci-fi movie storylines rather than similar activities from three, five, ten years ago. You’ve been caught in the middle of a digital revolution and adapting to new trends is not a choice.

Bottom line, you have to buy your bambino his own tablet. Maybe a smartphone and laptop too, but that’s a discussion for another time. Right now, let’s see what your best Android slate choices are and how many of the obligatory boxes they tick.

android.child

Keep in mind some of the options below suit the needs of toddlers first and foremost (yes, you may want to get him an Android gizmo that early), others are specifically designed for kids aged 3 to 5, 6 to 9 or tweens.  

6. Kurio 7S – $89.99 via Amazon; $99.99 from Best Buy, Toys R Us and Walmart

Right off the bat, this thing’s fundamental flaw is obvious. It doesn’t come from a household name in the hardware manufacturing business, or an OEM with a great tradition in building children-focused gear. So it’s normal to be a little wary about its build quality and reliability.

As far as the former is concerned however, we’re delighted to let you know the 7S is sturdy, versatile and good-looking. It comes with its own detachable protective bumper, so in theory, it’s ideal for kids aged three and up. Heck, even adults could pull off using the Kurio from time to time.

Kurio 7S

Needless to say it’s also extremely cheap, though I’m afraid the corners the tab’s creators needed to cut are glaring from a distance. The 7-inch display is horrible (1,024 x 600 pixels resolution), the battery minuscule (4,000 mAh), and there’s no Google Play support whatsoever, so at the end of the day, you can bet the farm your tween son or daughter will get bored with the 7S before you can fully unpack it.

5. Archos ChildPad 2 (80 ChildPad) – $89.99 via Amazon

Albeit strangely hard to come by stateside, the ChildPad 2, aka 80 ChildPad, benefits from Archos’ steadier reputation in the biz. Plus, a larger, higher-res screen: 8 inches, 1,024 x 768 pixels. Even better, it has access to the Play Store, which you can of course tweak, filter, censor or block altogether.

archos-80-childpad

The parental controls are rich, easy to understand and master, the HDMI port can help you hook up the slate to the big screen in seconds, and the on-board 1 GB RAM ensures breezy multitasking. Too bad the processor is a single-core. Also, the 4 gigs of internal storage are laughable.

Aesthetically, the 80 Childpad is colorful, playful and charming, but pretty fragile, so I wouldn’t recommend you letting your three-year-old use it.

4. LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra – $149 via Amazon, Toys R Us and Best Buy

It’s weird. At a first glance, the LeapPad Ultra is nothing special. Quite on the contrary, in light of its shabby 7-inch 1,024 x 600 pix res display, crappy 800 MHz processor and absence of both Google Play support and storage expansion options.

But looking beyond the surface, you’ll find LeapFrog has no rival in build quality (try all you want, you can’t break or scratch the LeapPad Ultra), educational content and autonomy. No, this little guy ain’t a looker. It’s for toddlers, three, four, five-year-olds tops. And the ecosystem is anything but rich. Yet for some parents, the 9-hour battery, total parental control and indestructibility will make it a must-buy.

LeapPad-Ultra

By the way, yes, we realize the LeapPad Ultra isn’t Android-based. It’s not exactly a “smart” device either, and mundane tasks like web browsing are really uncomfortable and clunky. But we have to give credit where credit is due, regardless of little things like operating system egos. Bottom line, there’s a reason this is an award-winning “toy” and Amazon’s best seller in kids’ electronic learning and education systems, and so you die-hard Android fans should be willing to ignore it’s not technically part of your world.

3.  Toys R Us Tabeo e2 – $129.99 through, well, Toys R Us

Legal controversies aside, retail powerhouse Toys R Us did a splendid job in cracking the children tablet market with the first-gen Tabeo, and the second-gen is just as solid. In many ways, it’s very similar to the Archos ChildPad 2, sporting the same 8-inch 1,024 x 768 pix res panel and targeting mostly preteens, with an elegant but fragile exterior.

Tabeo e2

The Tabeo e2 trumps Archos’ contender primarily in raw speed, thanks to a dual-core 1 GHz chip and 1 GB RAM, accommodating a bunch of extra games and videos too, with double the internal storage (8 GB). The Achilles’ heel is the lack of Google Play support, although the Tabeo App Store is refreshingly vast, while the battery is no pushover, but no champion either, rated at roughly 5 hours.

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids – $199 via Amazon and Best Buy

Look, we appreciate Samsung deems this market niche important enough to warrant its own spot under the Galaxy sun. But asking $200 for the Tab 3 Kids Edition when there are alternatives at half the price isn’t very smart.

galaxy_tab_3_kids

Besides, the bundled bumper case seems frail and the children-dedicated “ecosystem” falls a little short in the education department. On the bright side, the 7 incher is slim, thin and cute, performance is unrivaled and not only is Google Play unrestricted, but pre-loaded software perks include $40 worth of free games and apps. This is definitely the closest a kid tab has ever gotten to catering to both the needs of small children and teenagers.

1. Fuhu Nabi 2 – $157 via Amazon, $180 via Nabi Shop and Walmart

A true classic of the kiddie tech décor, the Nabi 2 is today, like two years ago, the all-around best children-oriented tab. Its reputation precedes the 7 incher, and for a good reason, as the quad-core (!!!) slate splendidly blends sturdiness, reliability and functionality into one nearly flawless package.

Fuhu Nabi 2

Running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with full Google Play support since late 2013, the Nabi 2 can reportedly last around eight hours on a single charge and easily access the Amazon Appstore and Nabi App Zone in addition to GPlay.

It’s the perfect gaming device, but also an ideal learning tool, and parents can control anything and everything their kids do on the Nabi 2. Sure, it’s a little pricey given its age, the 7-inch 1,024 x 600 pix res screen is pretty lousy, and the design makes it difficult to market to tweens. But for toddlers and kids aged 3 to 5 (maybe 6 or 7), it… is… the… best.

LG G Pad 7.0 features revealed: KitKat, Snapdragon 400 chip, 1 GB RAM

After timidly trying its hand at tablets for the first time in eons with the compact-but-punchy G Pad 8.3, LG seems to have found its footing in the ever-growing, ever-competitive market, feeling secure enough to turn the G Pad from a one-off affair into a family of devices.

LG-G-Pad-7

Made official teased a couple of days back, the G Pad 7.0, 8.0 and 10.1 are tipped to get actual, detailed introductions at some point this week, during a Monaco tech trade show called MedPI. If you’re like ourselves however, patience is not your number one virtue, so any information obtained early is pure gold.

Luckily, and thanks to benchmarking authority AnTuTu, we now have a fairly thorough scoop on G Pad 7.0’s specifications. I know, the 10-incher’s features would have probably been much juicier, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

The thing is there doesn’t seem to be anything special about this 7-inch G Pad, aka V400. Nothing at all. Sure, LG promised us an “on-the-go entertainment hub that delivers both portability and power”, but I fail to see the power part translated into reality.

I mean, can you really call a Snapdragon 400 machine powerful in 2014? With four cares, true that, but each clocked at a measly 1.2 GHz. The 1 GB of RAM isn’t particularly hot either (last year’s G Pad 8.3 packed twice as much), whereas the dual cameras are a pain to read.

LG G Pad 7.0

3.2 and 1.3 megapixels respectively. My eyes are burning! What else? Oh, yeah, keeping with the spec sheet’s 2012 vibe, the display sports 1,280 x 800 pixels. And you get 8 GB built-in storage, though at this point 16 would have been a genuine miracle.

Finally, Android 4.4.2 KitKat runs the software show, being basically the sole tidbit that signals the G Pad 7.0 has a place in the 2014 Android tablet ecosystem.

Of course, LG can still make the G Pad 7.0 (partially) attractive. The design looked like a hit from the get-go, with a wasp waist, slim bezels and funky paint jobs, and, if the Koreans keep costs in check, the soon-to-launch low-ender may well give fellow budget contenders a run for their money. Not the Nexus 7 2013 though. Or the 2012 version. Or Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD 7.

Yeah, sounds like an uphill battle to me too.

Via [AnTuTu China]

Verizon-bound Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, Wi-Fi-only Tab 4 7.0 get FCC clearance

Fearing they’d cause too much confusion rolling out so soon after the swanky Galaxy Tab Pro trio and S Pen-toting Note Pro 12.2, Samsung held off on the formal introductions of the Galaxy Tab 4 triad. But there’s no point in delaying them any further, as they’ll perplex and confuse us no matter when they break cover.

Galaxy Tab 4 10.1

Two fresh FCC certifications help untangle things a little, though Sammy’s soon-to-be-completed 2014 tablet portfolio still looks crowded and mystifyingly convoluted. The lower end spectrum will no doubt include three slates named simply Galaxy Tab 4 (or maybe Tab 4 Lite), one with a 7-inch display, the second with an 8-inch and finally a 10.1 or 10.6 incher.

The larger pad is model numbered SM-T530 in a Wi-Fi only flavor, SM-T531 with 3G connectivity, and SM-T535 when supporting “international” 4G LTE bands. We knew all that already, but apparently there’s also an SM-T537V variant in the pipeline, poised to land exclusively on, you guessed it, Verizon.

Of course, Big Red is yet to confirm the scoop, however the “V” at the end of the alias sets it in stone, as do some tidbits revealed by FCC. According to one of the agency’s internal docs, the 10 incher carries LTE connectivity on bands 4 and 13, which just happen to be routinely used by America’s largest mobile operator.

Galaxy Tab 4 Verizon

Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find a sketch to corroborate the tablet’s exact size, and reports on the matter continue to be conflicting. Twitter leaker @evleaks, whose reputation really precedes him, hinted at 10.1 inches of screen real estate less than 24 hours back, whereas a known and reliable benchmark database pinpointed the diagonal at 10.6 inches a while ago.

Oh, well, half an inch doesn’t make much of a difference anyway. Besides, the rest of the features are out and thoroughly documented: 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution, pre-loaded Android 4.4.2 KitKat, quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip, 1/1.5 GB RAM, 16 GB built-in storage, 3 MP rear-facing camera, 1.2 MP front snapper, 6,800 mAh battery.

Meanwhile, the smallest member of the upcoming entry-level family, dubbed Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 or Tab 4 Lite 7.0, passed FCC’s test with flying colors too in a version equipped merely with Wi-Fi support: SM-T230.

Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 FCC

Also leaked by @evleaks recently, the thing is expected out with optional 3G as well, but no LTE. Apart from size and battery capacity (shrunk to 4,450 mAh), the Tab 4 7.0 is bound to replicate Tab 4 10.1’s specs to the letter.

Remember, a low-end 8 incher is most definitely part of the series too, paying FCC a visit under the SM-T330 moniker not long ago. Oh, and let’s not forget about the SM-T700 and SM-T800, benchmarked and detailed already and tipped to essentially mimic the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and 10.1 while adding Super AMOLED panels in the mix. Did I not warn you confusion was inevitable?

Via [FCC] (1), (2) 

Huawei MediaPad X1 7.0 spotted online with Full HD display and 7.5 mm profile

Huawei may have taken a bigger hit than anyone as a consequence of Lenovo’s bold purchase of Motorola, since the Android landscape looks too cramped and competitive to accommodate two aspiring China-based players.

Huawei

But you can definitely count on the creators of last year’s breathtaking Ascend P6 to pick themselves up, get back on the horse and not give up the fight… just yet. Sure, the Ascend P6 S is weirdly mundane, the Mate 2 downright weird, however odds are we won’t need to wait for the spring to see a solid new addition to the OEM’s lineup.

Surprise, surprise, as Huawei’s first decent 2014 effort is… a tablet. About time they started taking that market seriously, right? I mean, enough with the low-end MediaPad Youth and Vogue crap. The world needs another Android-running iPad mini “killer”.

Enter the MediaPad X1 7.0, aka 7D-501, which you can call a cross between Google’s Nexus 7 2013 and Apple’s iPad mini 2. Not a clone. Not yet. From a distance, yeah, it kind of looks like the latest iOS-powered diminutive pad.

Only there’s just one pic of this MediaPad X1 around, and it’s tiny and low-res. So let’s wait before pointing the finger. Let’s celebrate too, as the 7-incher rocks a 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution screen (that’s 323 ppi, for the record), 2 GB RAM and one of Huawei’s latest homebrewed quad-core chips.

Specifically, the Hisilicon 910 Kirin, based on ARM’s Cortex-A9 architecture and clocked at 1.6 GHz. No idea if it’s zippier than, say, N7’s Snapdragon S4 Pro, but it’s doubled by a snazzy Mali-450 GPU, so it can’t be a pushover.

Huawei MediaPad X1

Such a shame Tenaa (i.e. China’s FCC equivalent) lists the MediaPad X1 as running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is unlikely to drastically change in time for the tab’s commercial rollout. KitKat? A sweet, distant dream.

Oh, but what’s that? The slate measures 7.5 mm in thickness? And weighs in at 239 grams? Impossibru. For crying out loud, the N7 2013, which you can hardly call bulky, is 8.7 mm thick and 290 grams heavy. What kind of sorcery is this?

Well, take a look at that leaked photo. Don’t the bezels strike you as particularly slim? They should, since the X1 is 17 mm shorter and 10 mm narrower than the second-gen N7. All while accommodating the same 7-inch display. It’s getting harder and harder to explain why Huawei was so self-conscious about high-end tablets for so long.

Now let’s hope they’ll tackle a similarly aggressive pricing policy as always. Can you imagine being able to score such a marvelous little thing at, say, $150 – $170? Fingers crossed for a formal February introduction.

Via [Tenaa]

(Limited-Time) Deal Alert: Woot Selling First-Gen Google Nexus 7 For As Little As $130

The hunt for the best Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday electronics deals is already on and you’re probably just about done with getting your ducks in a row and figuring out exactly how much you’ll afford to spend.

google-nexus-7

But why wait two more weeks and risk getting stuck in the traditional shopping season stampede? There’s nothing elegant about that and, worst of all, you may end up both hurt and broke. Not to mention most key Black Friday players don’t really offer once-in-a-lifetime kind of savings on gadgets people actually crave for.

Meanwhile, Woot has kicked a truly unique promotion into gear earlier today, though chances are it’ll last but a few hours. Technically, the special offer should be valid by midnight, so 19 more hours or so, but I wouldn’t count on that.

Why? Because you’d be fools to turn your backs on the chance of scoring one of those sizzling hot Asus and Google co-branded Nexus 7 tablets for $130. That’s right, 130 lousy bucks buys you yesteryear’s 7-inch Android bestseller and today’s second or third best compact slate.

The only catch, other than the 7-inchers on sale being a part of the first generation of Nexus 7s, not the 2013 line, is Woot sells the gizmos in factory reconditioned state, so technically they aren’t brand new. But they’re just as good, trust me, and come with 90 day Asus-fulfiled warranties in case, God forbid, you don’t get a mint-condition, fully functional N7.

Woot

The cherry on top is both the 16 and 32 GB variants take part in the promo, with the former costing $129.99 and the latter 20 bucks extra. Actually, scratch that, the real cherry on top is, starting roughly 24 hours ago, 2012 Nexus 7 models have started getting Android 4.4 KitKat updates, so by the time the tabs ordered via Woot will reach their destinations, chances are they’ll be all smooth and chocolaty.

Mind you, this may very well be one of the last chances to jump on the 2012 Nexus 7 bandwagon, as Google Play no longer sells them (and is unlikely to reboot shipping anytime soon), whereas most third-party retailers are clearing remaining stock as we speak.

And no, there’s no one else that can compete with Woot’s pricing. Amazon, for instance, has the 16 GB slate at $170 and the 32 GB model going for $180. Then there’s even thriftier Best Buy, charging $150 for a 16 GB refurbished version, so 20 bucks north of this little retailer that we’re boasting about.

Oh, yeah, and as for specs and features, if Android 4.4 is not enough to get you hooked, there’s also a quad-core 1.2 GHz Tegra 3 CPU humming beneath the hood, 1 GB RAM, massive 4,325 mAh battery and 1.2 MP front-facing camera. The 7-inch display is no longer the cream of the crop, but it’s decent enough with 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution, and in the connectivity department you get everything from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth 3.0 to NFC. Bottom line, there’s plenty in there to make this deal a steal. Who’s with me?

Via [Woot]

Best Sub-$100 Android Tablets From Companies You’ve Actually Heard Of (Or Should Have)

The whole world revolves around money. But money can’t buy happiness. What we have there is two universally accepted old sayings that contradict each other without leaving much room in the middle. So which one’s true after all?

piggy-bank

How about neither? If you’re a geek like me (and you won’t be here otherwise), I’m sure you can find pleasure in things that don’t require to pay an arm and a leg and therefore make you, pardon my French, money’s little bitch.

At the same time though, the tablets I’m going to tell you about, which can make you happy beyond your wildest dreams, can’t be scored without a little bit of dough. Namely, a Benjamin, give or take.

Without further adieu, I thus give you the top five Android tablets up for grabs for 100 bucks or less. Top five tabs that are manufactured by companies you’ve actually heard of or should be hearing of starting now.

100-dollar-bill

And I don’t mean obscure China-based clone makers that are trying to start over and build a new reputation, but instead genuine businesses legitimately on the rise or already among the industry’s top dogs.

5. Hisense Sero 7 Lite

I know, the name Hisense probably doesn’t ring many bells or inspire a lot of trust, especially upon hearing the company works out of China. But so do Lenovo, Huawei or ZTE and I don’t see you giving them such a hard time.

Besides, Hisense has never had any sort of involvement in Shanzhai, aka the booming pirated brands and goods Asian business, and its $13 billion 2012 revenue proves the company is here to stay. Plus, they have quite the reputation in Europe when it comes to white goods and they’re a state-owned enterprise.

Hisense_Sero_7_Lite

Now, about one of their first meaningful Western tablet efforts. This is called the Sero 7 Lite and its one fatal flaw is it’s only available via Walmart stateside. Other than that, I dare, nay double dare you to find anything wrong with this 7-inch beauty.

Up for grabs for a measly 89 bucks, the Sero offers everything you could hope for in that budget: a dual-core CPU (clocked at 1.6 GHz), 1 gig of RAM, microSD support, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, full Google Play access, Wi-Fi and mini HDMI connectivity.

4. Ematic EM63

Only launched roughly 24 hours ago, the EM63 looks a lot like the Sero 7 from a technical standpoint, but it’s both cheaper, at $85, and easier to score, through Amazon and soon enough a number of other retailers.

ematic-em63

Plus, if you’re still not comfortable with buying a slate from a relatively low-profile Chinese manufacturer, you’ll be ecstatic to hear Ematic is based in California and has an expertise in the tech world of close to two decades.

Bottom line, this is another name you probably haven’t heard of yet, but should remember it for time to come. As for the EM63, it’s equipped with a run-of-the-mill 7-inch 1,024 x 600 pix res screen, runs Android 4.1 out the box and packs dual-core speed and 1 GB RAM.

3. Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet

It may be older than its two contenders so far, having seen daylight two full years ago, but it definitely has the edge when it comes to brand recognition and awareness, coming from a suffering yet respected name in the tech game.

NOOK-Tablet

In terms of hardware, the Nook Tab is lacking in a number of departments, like connectivity, where HDMI is missing, but in others it completely blows the Hisense and Ematic out of the water. For instance, it comes with 16 GB of on-board storage in a version that only costs $99.95 nowadays.

Remember though, the Nook doesn’t technically run Android, but a fork of Google’s OS, which is a little clunky and dusty, as it’s based on 2.3 Gingerbread.

2. Lenovo IdeaTab A1000

Now don’t tell me you’ve never heard of Lenovo. And while the IdeaTab A1000 is pretty obviously light years behind what they call powerhouses, it at least comes with the company’s guaranteed solid build and fairly premium looks.

On the not so bright side, it’s only been a few months since Lenovo rolled this bad boy out, so it’s a little difficult to find it for under $100. Amazon, for instance, currently sells it for $99.99, but my guess is that’s part of a limited-time deal only and it will all go back up to $120 in no time.

lenovo-tablet-ideatab-a1000

What’s clear is that if you’re in the market for a dirt-cheap 7-incher and happen to find this thing around the $100 mark, you should go for it. Granted, it only packs 8 GB of on-board storage and the dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU is not that hot. Yet the looks, pre-loaded Android 4.1 (upgradeable to 4.2), 3,500 mAh battery and 1 GB RAM make it a great overall buy.

1. Asus MeMo Pad ME172V

And the award for best sub-$100 Android tablet goes to the first-gen MeMo Pad, cooked up in the same laboratories as Google’s Nexus 7. Included on our list of best all-around small slates, the ME172V probably needs no introduction, with the sole catch blocking a possible purchase being the cheapest model, available for $90, is… pink.

Asus ME172V

Meanwhile, the white and grey versions go for $105, which is not all that expensive when you think about it. More specifically, when you pit the Asus slate against the IdeaTab A1000 and see the former has an extra 8 gigs of storage, much bigger battery and even better looks, with a skinnier profile and obvious N7 design nods. Bottom line, you can’t do much better than this at such a low price.

Did we forget anything? Include something on the list that wasn’t worth the recognition? What’s your personal top five? Or top three? Let us know down below.

Portability Is Not Everything – Top Five 10-Inch Android Tablets (Features, Pricing, Availability)

Ranking the best large Android tablets might seem odd with mere hours left until IFA 2013’s official kick-off. After all, even though 10-inchers are no longer the hottest things in town, they’re still deemed fairly important for the tablet businesses of OEMs such as Sony, Samsung, Asus, Acer and so on and so forth.

Best Android tablets

In other words, odds are the 10-inch slate class will be turned upside down by the IFA unveilings. But will it really? The new Nexus 10 is unlikely to make any sort of cameo appearance in Berlin, Samsung seems to have set its sights higher, Sony looks mostly focused on the Xperia Z1 and Acer has already brought to light the Iconia A3, which is nothing special.

That only leaves Asus with an ace or two up its sleeve, but even if the new Transformer Pad turns out to be spectacular, it’s unlikely to actually go up for sale earlier than next month. So, you see, if you want a 10-inch Android and you want it now, these are your top five choices and will remain so for the foreseeable future:

 5. Asus Transformer Pad TF300T

Tablet/laptop hybrids haven’t taken off as some predicted, both in the Android décor and in the Windows world, but I highly doubt there aren’t people out there that get the benefits of owning a gadget like the TF300T.

ASUS Transformer Pad_TF300

Especially if you’re a student or always-on-the-move professional, there’s nothing cooler than having both a portable, sleek tab and full-sized, fully functional notebook at your disposal. Or, you know, close enough, as the Transformer Pad is a little cramped when used along with its keyboard dock.

And forget about paying an arm and a leg for a 2-in-1 device, as this particular hybrid costs around 300 bucks nowadays with 32 GB of internal storage, plus $100 give or take for the docking station. $400 for the entire ensemble? Dayum, that’s cheap.

But let us talk about specs for a second too, which of course are not exactly high-end material… anymore. Then again, they’re not entry-level either, including a snazzy quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, 1,280 x 800 pix res IPS panel, 1 GB RAM, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and… 8 MP rear camera. Not too shabby, eh?

4. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700

The 700 works essentially the same as the 300, it also shares a number of design elements, but it clearly ups the ante when it comes to raw performance and display crispness. Not to mention it rocks a much sturdier, more elegant exterior, with aluminum all over the chassis, plus it’s a lot thinner (8.5 vs. 9.9 mm) and lighter (598 vs. 635 grams).

ASUS Transformer Pad_Infinity

The overall piece de resistance is definitely the 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution Super IPS+ LCD screen, though my guess is Asus isn’t ashamed with Infinity’s 1.6 GHz quad-core SoC, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or 8 MP camera either.

On the not so bright side, the 700 is much pricier than its “cousin”, going for $420 with 32 GB of on-board memory sans the optional keyboard dock. Ouch!

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

This is a much more conventional tab, in that it can’t seamlessly transform into a mini-laptop, but in a way it’s also focused on functionality and productivity first and foremost, courtesy of its S Pen support and the unique apps that go with it.

Galaxy Note 10.1

One big flaw of the Note 10.1 is that it doesn’t run Android 4.2… yet, although 4.1 is really not that bad. The quality-pricing ratio is a little off as well, since Sammy’s 10-incher sports a fairly modest 1,280 x 800 display and still costs a whopping $450 in a 16 GB flavor.

On the whole though, the Exynos quad-core CPU, 2 GB RAM and massive 7,000 mAh battery should make the Note 10.1 worth your while… and hard-earned money.

2. Sony Xperia Tablet Z

I wanted to rank the Tablet Z at number one, I really did, but as much as the design and hardware leave me breathless, the thing is too darn expensive. $500 with 16 GB of storage? Come on, Sony, you can do better than that.

Sony_Xperia_Tablet_Z

Aside from the pricing, the Z has two big flaws in my eyes. It packs a 6,000 mAh battery, which I’m afraid is petite, and a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU that has aged fairly well, but, unlike the Tegra 3, has the disadvantage of being followed by two outstanding chips – the S600 and S800.

Other than that, the design is flawless, you get water and dust protection, which is really unique, the 1,920 x 1,200 display is mind-blowingly crisp, multitasking is a breeze courtesy of 2 GB RAM and there’s even a high-res 8.1 MP camera slapped on the slate’s back.

1. Samsung/Google Nexus 10

Who needs an iPad when the biggest, fanciest Nexus device ever can be had for just 350 bucks, or two thirds of the price of Apple’s leading tab?

And no, the N10 is not only about affordability, running silky smooth software (aka Android 4.3) with no ugly skins on top, plus boasting the most incredible display ever seen on an Android – a Super PLS panel with 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution and 299 ppi pixel density.

nexus-10

True, the dual-core Exynos 5250 CPU inside the tab is likely no match for Apple’s A6X when it comes to raw speed, but the 9,000 mAh battery, splendid design, 2 GB RAM and wide array of connectivity options more than make up for it.

Honestly now, don’t you feel a little guilty for ripping Google off when you purchase such an outstanding piece of technology for a more than modest $350? I know I would…

And that’s a wrap, ladies and gents, but be sure to hit back at us with your own personal top five and any future potential contenders you can think of. The floor is all yours.

Acer’s latest teaser video gives a sneek peek at some upcoming tablets from Computex

Acer is all set to unveil some new tablets at Computex on June 3rd. Acer has always been the underdog in the tablet market, with competitors like Asus having a much larger share in the industry. However, the company has no plans to give up. Acer has always tried to focus on the budget tablet category and in their latest teaser video on YouTube; the company assures that they have something in store for us at Computex 2013.

acer tablets

The video shows off a studio where their spokesperson is taking a break from the Acer Aspire R7 product film. Then he goes off to tell us that Acer’s new tablets will be the ‘biggest little news’ of the event. So the tablets are going to be budget that’s for sure. Further he adds that these tablets will let users do more than just use apps and surf the web.

Well, we don’t know what ‘lets you do more than use apps and surf the web’ means as of now, but June 3rd isn’t far off, so we will patiently wait.

Take a look at the video shown below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTF1kyJudhc
We know that Asus has some big plans for Computex this year and now, Acer will also join the party. It would be interesting to see whether any of them ditches android for their latest tablets, but given the popularity of android and the amount of apps on the platform, we think that a firefox tablet or a windows tablet is highly unlikely.

So what do you think? Can Acer make a better product than Asus?