Desktops

Best Tablets for $300 or Less

Apple created a stir this week by introducing a 9.7-inch iPad with an entry-level price of just $329. According to the company, the 32GB tablet compares favorably to the $399 iPad Air 2, but it features a cutting-edge A9 processing chip that speeds up performance.

This new iPad targets people willing to pass up premium features such as 4K HD video recording, a high-end display, and a stylus in return for a lower price.

There are other tablets under $300 to consider. The tablets featured here don't brim with exciting new features but are great for watching YouTube videos, browsing the web, and checking email. In fact, they come recommended by our testers.

And they're even cheaper than the new iPad.

Here's our list of the best tablets for $300 or less.

Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Z580C-B1 (32GB)

Priced at about $200, this 8-inch tablet received an excellent score from our testers for its speedy performance—even while running demanding graphics applications—and its high-resolution display. The 328 pixels per inch capture the finer details in photos and provide crisp text from websites and e-books.

The 9-hour battery life will get you through the workday, not to mention many a flight. And the tablet comes with 32GB of storage, double the amount you find on most budget-friendly tablets. That means you get more room for apps, games, and movies.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 SM-T580 (16GB)

If you're looking for a screen with more real estate, consider this 10.1-inch tablet from Samsung. It has an excellent display and clocked an admirable 18.5 hours' worth of battery life in our labs.

Those are impressive feats for a tablet priced just under $300.

Be prepared to make some concessions, though. The device has only one speaker, the camera is middle-of-the-road, and the Exynos 7870 processor is a step below those found in Samsung's flagship S2 series.

Huawei MediaPad M3 (32GB)

This 8.4-inch tablet earned excellent grades from our testers for display and performance. Even gamers will appreciate the $300 machine's ability to run graphics-heavy mobile apps.

While the front- and rear-facing cameras didn't wow us, the tablet did log 12.5 hours in battery life, and the 361-pixels-per-inch screen resolution is a step up from the iPad Mini 4.

Apple iPad Mini 4 (32GB)

Apple introduced a new Mini 4 this week as well, which means you won't find the old 32GB model for sale online in the Apple Store. But if you shop Best Buy right now, you can find 32GB WiFi-only models for $300. 

The pint-sized tablet is an excellent performer capable of running even demanding graphics apps. The bright, colorful 324-pixels-per-inch display might not surpass the Huawei MediaPad's screen, but it's still finer than most. The battery lasts nearly 12 hours between charges. And like all of Apple's mobile offerings, this Mini features a fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication.

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