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Best Cheap Android Tablets- Are Budget Tablets Under $100 Worth the Money?
How good are Android tablets you can get for under $100?
You can easily find an Android tablet for under $100. You can get a lot of features for a little money, so I decided to get a cheap Android device and see what it can do. I got a $100 gift card, so I wanted to see if I could find an Android tablet and a keyboard for under $100.
My first thought was to buy one at a local store so I could return it if it didn't work, but none in the under $100 price range were for sale at Best Buy or Target. Kohls was sold out. K-mart and CVS had ads, but I decided to check on amazon.com.
There were many choices with similar features available. I went with a generic AllWinner A13 Q88 tablet with 7" capacitive touch screen, android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich,1.2GHz processor 512MB RAM, 4GB internal flash memory, webcam, and WiFi. This unit also has a mini USB port. The tablet size is 7.64 × 4.72 × 0.31 inches and weighs 9.86 oz. The package also included ear buds, a power adapter, a mini-usb to standard USB adapter cable, and a paper manual that few will read.
First Time Success with AllWinner Tablet
I was relieved that the tablet worked without any issues. For something this cheap, I was concerned that it would be dead on arrival. I was impressed by the thin profile and light weight of the tablet. It worked without any issues out of the box.
The touchscreen is "5 point capacitive" which means that the screen can track 5 individual points on the screen, useful to support hand gestures such as pinching gestures to zoom in and out. Screen resolution is 800 x 480 pixels (color TFT).
The USB keyboard was recognized automatically and worked the first time.
Battery Life and Touch Screen Issues for Cheap Android tablets
One issue specific to this product is battery life. Under continuous use, the battery life is about 3 hours. I normally use it at home where it is easy to plug in, but if you're moving around, on an airplane, etc. 3 hours is pretty short. I was hoping a device with such a small screen would have a longer battery life.
Another issue is that I am struggling a bit with the touch screen. Sometimes it takes several tries to click on an interface to achieve the desired effect. This will probably improve as I get used to working with a touch screen.
As you would expect for a product in this price range, the display is not high definition.
Below are a couple examples of Android tablets that you can find for well under the $100 price range. These bargain tablets were offered at a special price right inside the door at Best Buy.
Tablets Under $40 are Here!
Can I use a cheap Android tablet as a laptop replacement?
Adding a cover and USB keyboard makes a laptop computer- sort of. The USB keyboard is a nice addition, especially at $12.97. This allows the full screen area of the tablet to be available and not taken up by the on-screen keyboard. Also, I feel that I can type faster on the USB keyboard vs. the on-screen keyboard.
Unfortunately, the tablet does not have bluetooth, so the USB cable needs to be plugged in to use the keyboard. The tablet is so thin that it does not fit tightly in the cover- I added a couple small pieces of foam behind the tablet to hold it tight in the cover.
I would not consider this setup a viable laptop replacement- the screen is just too small, and the USB keyboard is also too small for very fast typing.
Is a cheap Android tablet for under $100 a good buy?
A cheap 7 inch Android tablet is suitable for web browsing, watching streaming videos, and simple games. For web browsing, free downloads of Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and other web browsers are available from Google Play. You can also get free Netflix and YouTube apps to play videos. Lots of free games are available from Google Play as well.
With all of the things a cheap Android tablet can do- you can't go too far wrong for under $100. However, as convenient as a small tablet can be, I have found myself going back to my laptop. I miss the larger screen and keyboard.
2015 Update: The price range for cheap android tablets such as Allwinner has now has dropped to under $40! If your budget for an android tablet in the $100 range, consider choosing a higher quality tablet such as the Kindle Fire HD for about $140. The extra money will get you a faster, more responsive tablet and a better display.
Overall, I would give this tablet a 3-star rating. The battery life is pretty short, and sometimes it runs very slowly. But the price is cheap and it does work. I am still using my cheap Android tablet after 2 and a half years. I use it in my shop as a clock, running a free app. I also use it occasionally for web browsing, although it can be slow.
Video: Unboxing of Cheap Android Tablet
Android Tablet vs. Android Smart Phone
If you are a cell phone user and have a cell phone anyway, you may want to consider getting an Android cell phone instead of a separate tablet computer. Some Android smart phones come with large screen sizes and run Android just like tablet computers. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note has a 5.5 inch screen and can be used for many of the things you would use a tablet to do. You can get "free" Android phones with a 2 year cell phone service plan- my favorite free Android phone: the Droid RAZR M.
Of course, with a cell phone, you have to pay about $60 per month for cell phone service- tablet computers have no monthly bill which is nice! Plus tablet computers have much larger screens, making them easier to use for watching videos or surfing web sites.
Android Tablet vs iPad
If you have a budget of $300 or more, you can get an . iPad is Apple's brand of tablet computers and runs iOS instead of Android operating system. My wife has an iPad mini and uses it every day. iPads are fast and have great displays. If you are planning to use a tablet a lot, it may be worth spending a bit more to get a faster tablet such as a Kindle Fire or iPad. iPad
© 2013 Dr Penny Pincher