Best New Affordable Tablets for 2015 Review
Budget Tablet Options for 2015
Tablets have changed our lives. They have made it possible to have everything from books to movies and music on a portable, lightweight device that can be used anywhere. Tablets have even helped us in the classroom and the boardroom. They have and will continue to transform our lives.
With all of the good they do, they have a few drawbacks. One is the price. Some tablets, especially high end ones, can cost quite a bit - as much as a good laptop or desktop computer. The Galaxy Tab (left) can cost above $500. There is an emerging trend, however, to make tablets more affordable and accessible. This is good new for those looking to buy a relatively inexpensive tablet.
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a less expensive tablet. One is the type of touch technology used in the screen. There are two types, Capacitive touch, and Resistive touch. Capacitive touch is the better of the two technologies and will yield the best overall experience. Another consideration is storage or memory. The more storage space you have the more movies, music and books you can put on the device. Storage can be fixed or removable - usually in the form of Micro SD cards. Storage amounts can vary but usually range from 8GB to 32GB.
Here are some of the best tablets of 2013 - 2015 that come in under $300.
Best Affordable Tablets Under $300 for 2015
Kindle Fire Tablet
The Kindle fire made by Amazon is a great buy for those looking to get into the world of tablets. While it is billed as an e-reader or content and media delivery system it is much more than that. The Kindle Fire uses a highly modified version of the Android operating system and the have done a good job making it easy to use. The Fire comes with the backing of Amazon's Kindle e-reader software - a standard in the industry - and Amazon's amazing content network full of books, movies, games, and products.
The Kindle Fire features a 7", 16 Million color, Capacitive touch screen with a 1024 X 600 pixel resolution and IPS (in-plane switching) technology. The screen is bright and vibrant. The Kindle Fire weighs in at 14.6 ounces, which is a little on the heavy side for a tablet of this size.
Storage and Features
The Fire features 8GB of internal-only storage (about 6GB can be used for user content) and connects to a computer with a USB 2.0 micro-B connector. Storage on the Fire is supplemented by free cloud storage for all Amazon content. The Fire supports 802.11 b, g, & n Wi-Fi networks or hotspots and can connect to networks that use WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security protocols. The Fire also has a 3.5mm headphone jack and two top-mounted stereo speakers. Full experience web surfing with flash support is achieved with Amazon's own Silk browser.
Overall the Fire is a great choice for someone looking to get their first tablet or someone wanting an e-reader with expanded capabilities. Some downsides of the Fire include a lack of front or rear facing cameras, no Bluetooth support, no storage expansion slot, and limited on-device storage. The Fire can feel a little heavy at times after long periods of use, but for a price tag of $199 the Fire is still a great deal.
Blackberry Playbook Tablet
Blackberry is synonymous with professional class devices and the Blackberry Playbook is no exception. The Playbook has come under a lot of scrutiny for it's apparent lack of applications and multiple OS upgrades soon after it was released. These aside, the Playbook is a worthy tablet in its' own right and is a stable multimedia powerhouse.
The Blackberry Playbook is built around a 7" multi-touch capacitive screen with a 1024 X 600 pixel resolution for high-fidelity images and video. The Playbook comes equipped with an HDMI output so you can play full HD 1080p videos on your HDTV or monitor. With its' dual cameras - a forward-facing 3-megapixel camera and a rear-facing 5-megapixel - you can video chat with anyone anytime. Both cameras can capture video up to Full HD 1080p. The Blackberry Playbook comes with Blackberry's own app store with access to thousands of apps and Blackberry's own OS. It has a built in 16GB of storage which means you can put a lot of content on this little device. You get a full web browsing experience with the Playbook's browser which supports Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR and the latest HTML5 and Webkit technologies. One advantage of the Playbook is that it comes equipped to connect and use all of the Blackberry Enterprise technologies. This means you have access to email, calendar, contacts, memo pad, and tasks just as a Blackberry Smartphone would. It also features GPS, Stereo speakers, and 802.11 b, g, & n Wi-Fi connectivity.
One of the main disadvantages of the Blackberry Playbook is that the OS is proprietary. It does not use an Android based OS and does not have access to all of the applications in the Android market.
With that being said, RIM has tried to make sure they have all the apps you would need in Blackberry's app store. The price on the Playbook is a tablet well under $300 and would make a great tablet to own.
A Budget Large-Screened Tablet Under $200
Le Pan TC970 Tablet
LePan is a relative newcomer to the tablet market but they have made a big splash with the TC970. This tablet is among the very few that are larger than 7" for under $300. The TC970 is a great full-featured tablet that can be enjoyed by those looking for a large screen size and low cost. The TC970 features a 9.7" capacitive touch display with support for 720p video playback. Images and videos look great on the large screen and the TC970 offers full support for Adobe Flash Player 10.2.
Android 2.2 OS
The LePan TC970 runs on Android 2.2 OS (Froyo) and is great at multi-tasking. Video recording or chats are made possible with the front-facing 2-mgapixel camera and built-in microphone. The TC970 features a Micro SD card slot for up to 32GB worth of storage space. Some other great features include built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and GPS capability. For audio, it features
One drawback to the TC970 is that the OS cannot be upgraded due to hardware requirements. Otherwise, this is one great tablet for under $200.
The newer version of this model has come out on the market, the Le Pan II which uses the new Honeycomb OS from Android. You can expect to pay $75-100 more for the newer version. Because of that the price has been significantly lowered on this model and it's still a great tablet for those looking for a budget tablet option but want a larger screen than something like the Kindle.
Coby Kyros MID1125-4G Tablet
Coby electronics has produced a good quality tablet with the Coby Kyros MID1125-4G. If you want to surf the web, check email, watch videos, and more, then the Kyros will help you do it. The Kyros features a large 10.1" capacitive mulit-touch LCD screen with 1024 X 600 resolution. The HDMI port allows you to connect to an HDTV and play Full HD 1080p video. With an Android 2.3 operating system and a 1 GHz processor, the Kyros MID 1125-4G feels fast and responsive. The Kyros has 4GB of built-in storage and a Micro SD card slot to expand with up to a 32GB Micro SD card. The Kyros connects you to the internet with its' built-in 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi. The Kyros MID1125-4G also has a built-in front-facing camera and microphone so that you can video chat with friends and family.
There are a few disadvantages to the Coby Kyros MID1125-4G. It does not have Bluetooth and does not come with the Android market. However, this is a solid tablet for the $199 price tag.