Many won’t expect these cheap $100 tablets to be any good but a handful of them did surprise us with their performance and the value they offered. Several major brands have lately been pushing their inexpensive devices in this price segment and the best ones of them have made it to the list of $100 tablets in 2019 that we recommend. This guide should help you make the right call and save a few dollars in the process. It’s time to get started!
Should I even consider getting a $100 tablet?
There aren’t many users whose workflow can justify all the features and performance their high-end tablets tend to offer, not to forget the premium price they command. Most of us need a tablet as a supplemental screen to share some workload of our smartphones and that additional screen estate is a bonus.
Watching a couple of YouTube videos or going through your daily news feeds don’t require a powerful processor running inside the machine. Neither should you hand your kids those expensive and largely delicate tablets for the higher chances of breakage. Going for a tablet under the 100-dollar mark will tick all those boxes without burning a hole in your pocket.
Now that we’re done convincing you, let’s look at the list of some of the best cheap tablets under $100 that you can get in 2019.
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018
Amazon has really made a space for itself in the sub-100 USD segment with its Fire range of tablets. The 8-inch model was refreshed late last year as it continued the legacy of staying unrivaled with its price tag of $79.99. The inexpensive tablet features an HD display that is decent for watching a video or two before hitting the sack. Being made from plastic, the tablet can sustain a couple of drops and rough handling by your kids.
The Fire HD 8 (review) came through with flying colors in our battery test with a score of 14.5 hours. With this, you will be required to charge the tablet just once every few days. It is meant for media consumption and the performance is adequate for that purpose. Using the optional Show Mode Charging Dock, the Fire tablet can be transformed into an Alexa-enabled smart speaker. The lack of Google Play Store out of the box was a bit let down but there are a few workarounds available for this problem.
Chuwi Hi8 Se
Costing just under $100, the Chuwi Hi8 Se is a strong contender and the only one on this list to have a metal body. It wasn’t announced too long ago, and it did well in our in-depth review. The most notable thing about the tablet was its vanilla Android experience which is almost non-existent especially among the Chinese tablets. Although, Chuwi preinstalled the older Android 8.1 Oreo even when Android Pie had been around for long.
It sports an 8-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels which we found to be decent for regular use. However, its performance isn’t the best and neither is the battery life which is among the lowest we’ve tested. For its price of $99, the Chuwi Hi8 Se is a fine device and gets the job done if you plan on using it casually.
Amazon Fire 7 2019
The Amazon Fire 7 2019 (review) is positioned right below the 8-inch model mentioned previously with a starting price of just $49.99. It borrows the same robust build quality that should help the tablet last longer than those glass sandwiches. The Fire 7 is a small device having a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. The low pixel density may bother a few people who’re used to a sharper HD resolution, but it remains usable for the most part, thanks to the use of an IPS panel.
Despite being the cheapest of all Fire tablets, the 7-inch model does support Alexa hands-free. The Fire OS used on this tablet is designed around Amazon’s Prime services and it will come handy for the people invested in the company’s ecosystem. Again, the OS doesn’t come pre-installed with the Google Play Store. The Amazon tablet features a basic set of internals which is just enough for simple tasks. You shouldn’t expect much from its two rear and front-facing cameras either.
Lenovo Tab M7
There aren’t many tablets in this price range that offer stock Android experience, and those by Lenovo usually stand out in this particular sphere. You can pick the Tab M7 either with the standard or Go version of Android 9 Pie, which only comes with a couple of additional features included from the company. Its build quality turned out to be excellent with the use of metal for the outer shell, while the display also performed sufficiently well.
In terms of performance, the tablet lacked quite a bit, especially when put against the Fire tablets. If you wish to use your tablet for anything more than the basics, than you’d be better off with a slightly costlier slate, but for everything else, the Tab M7 should be fine. It also offers a decent battery life, especially considering its compact body and a weight of just 236 grams. You can optionally get an LTE-enabled variant to stay connected when on the move, but that would cost more.
Read: Our Lenovo Tab M7 Review
Lenovo Tab E7
Responding directly to the Amazon Fire 7, Lenovo announced its Tab E7 model earlier this year for around $60. The inexpensive tablet differentiates itself with its software—Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition. This version of Android is as clean as Google intended it to be and the Go Edition is specifically designed for low-end hardware. And yes, the Google Play Store is fully supported out of the box. The internals of this tablet are just enough for basic things and you shouldn’t expect even a bit more than that.
Lenovo has installed a 7-inch (1024 x 600) display that gets the job done but it doesn’t use an IPS panel. The Tab E7 (review) has a 2750mAh battery which is easily dwarfed even by many smartphones and its battery life is also in line with that. However, the device is light enough for being carried around in your pocket for some casual use. All in all, there isn’t much you can expect from a 60-dollar tablet and Lenovo knew this fact beforehand.
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