Best Cheap Tablets under $100 (2014 Update)
Can you find a good cheap tablet for under $100?
Yes! I originally wrote this article a couple of years ago, at
which time all of the cheap tablets were of questionable quality.
But now, as we approach the 2014 Christmas season, there are
tablets around the $100 price mark that are worth considering.
It's simply a good time to buy a cheap tablet because technology
has improved and older models have become discounted. Also
tablet sales are slowing this year, which means manufacturers
might have to slash prices. Tablet sales are only supposed to
increase by 11% this year, compared to a 55% increase last
Often, when I use my tablet while relaxing on the couch, I
reflect on how much technology has changed. When I was a
teenager I was using a clunky Windows 95 computer with a dial
up modem. Now, super thin and speedy tablets are ubiquitous.
In a sense, the future has arrived. The high resolution touch
screens and intuitive interface make tablets easy for all ages to
The Kindle Fire HD 6 - Amazon's New $99 Tablet
Amazon just released an under $100 tablet. They managed to do this in part by reducing the screen size to only 6". The reviews are pretty positive, many people describing the size as convenient and pocketable.
The Fire HD 6 has a lot of power and some new features. The screen is brighter, it's 2x faster than the previous model, has front and rear-facing cameras, the ability to edit documenmts, and unlimited cloud storage.
It has a solid 4 star rating, based on over 800 customer reviews. They're a lot of fun to read, and a surprising number of reviews are from people who also own the iPad or other Android tablets, so you can get a true comparison. It's the best tablet for viewing Amazon movies and other Prime content. Plus, it's backed by Amazon's customer service, which I've found to be really good.
Dell Venue 7 16 GB Tablet (Android)
Just over $100, but may go on sale...
This tablet has the same resolution screen as the Kindle Fire 7" HD and double the amound of RAM. That means it might be faster! It also has a Micro-SD card reader, so you can add a card for more storage. The processor is an Intel® Atom processor Z2560 (up to 2.0GHz Dual-Core). All in all, this had good specifications and only costs a little over $100 currently. (Although prices tend to be volatile so it might be less by the time you read this). Just like the Asus Memopad, this one runs Android and is a good choice for Netflix and Youtube video. It has two cameras so it'll work for Skype as well.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite
I have a special place in my heart for Samsung. I know that sounds funny, but I find their Galaxy phones to be easy to use and my husband has a Samsung tablet that he also uses all of the time. One thing about Samsung is that they write their own software so their tablets have the Android operating system and then the Samsung enhancements over the top. Some people call this bloatware, but most of the time I find that their software actually offers genuine improvements to Android. In any case, their tablets consistently get high reviews and they tend to be reliable. But, you pay a price for the Samsung name, so there's no under $100 tablet yet - but this one if their lowest priced one.
Also, Samsung makes deals with other companies so you often get free trials with their phones and tablets. This one says "Enjoy hundreds of dollars of premium apps and services and 50GB Dropbox space for 2 years" Having all that Dropbox space has proven useful for myself.
Buy now or wait?
Is that your dilemma? I like to watch prices and while prices have dropped over the past year, I don't know if they will continue to drop. On one hand, there always will be new technology coming out, and older technology should probably decrease in price, but you might have to buy refurbished or used to get the savings. Refurbished is not necessarily a bad deal - it may mean that they fixed whatever problem their was - but always check the warranty policy because sometimes refurbished items have a much shorter warranty period.
Also, beware of who you are buying from. Always look at who is selling the item on Amazon and if it's not directly from Amazon, check out their feedback. Unscrupulous dealers may list used items as refurbished.
One way to look for a deal is to check out Amazon's Daily Deals page. They offer deeply discounted merchandise year-round, not just on Black Friday or Cyber Monday!
Also, remember if you wait to buy, you can not enjoy the technology you don't own! If the price drops $20 in 3 months, would you have rather waited, or had the use of the tablet during that 3 month period?
If you are buying a tablet as a gift, you are purchasing something that many other people are also likely to buy as a gift, so right before a big holiday, like Christmas, demand might spike. So I wouldn't wait until last minute to buy. If you can, buy when others aren't. There really is something to shopping early and often. It's the best way to catch a deal.