Is a tablet for under $100 enough to master everyday tasks? The tablets suggested in this list offer an unbeatable price-performance ratio, but they are not perfect. If you need a tablet for gaming or if you prioritize smooth web surfing and quick multitasking between Chrome and YouTube, we suggest investing a little more money and going for a better performing but slightly costlier tablet.
If a budget-friendly option is what you’re after, then look no further! We are suggesting tablets that not only provide access to streaming video platforms and the web but also give you the capability to complete tasks for work or school assignments – even enjoy some light gaming. While it is true that you cannot expect a stellar performance or display from this price range, there are still suitable tablets for everyday use available in the market at prices under $100.
Best Tablets Under $100: An overview
To begin, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview. Afterward, we will delve deeper into the tablets and likewise connect to our extensive reviews.
- Great price-performance ratio, but no HD streaming: Lenovo Tab M8 Gen 2 (at Amazon*). The tablet looks good, offers a high-quality metal casing as well as a very good build, and delivers sufficient performance for simple applications. It is a pity that you cannot stream Netflix and other similar platforms in HD.
- Good entry-level tablet with a nice overall package: Amazon Fire HD 8 (at Amazon*). The device scores particularly well with its long battery life and robustness. However, the performance is only suitable for basic apps. Unfortunately, Google Play Store is not included out-of-the-box but it can be manually installed easily by the user.
- The cheapest of all: Amazon Fire 7 2022 (at Amazon*). If you want your tablet to be as cheap as possible and you are willing to accept many compromises compared to more expensive models, you will get a solid device with this tablet for an unbeatable price of $60.
- Entry-level tablet for kids: Lenovo Tab M7 (at Amazon*). Despite the device’s low display resolution and lack of power, there is still a lot to appreciate. The Kids Bundle even comes with its own protective plastic cover.
Best Tablets Under $100: All Details
Now, let’s get down to business and look closely at the best tablets for under $100.
Lenovo Tab M8 HD Gen 2: Super price-performance, but lacks HD streaming.
The tablet comes in a high-quality metal casing and looks fine. It weighs 420g and is 8mm thin. The device has a USB-C 2.0 port as well as a conventional 3.5mm headphone input. It also offers a MicroSD card slot. The sound quality of the speakers is good, but cannot compete with the likes of an Apple iPad 9 or others.
The tablet has a 2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear camera that offer decent photo and video quality. It is cool that the Lenovo Tab M8 HD Gen 2 can be unlocked via facial recognition. However, this only works reliably in good lighting conditions. However, the whole thing is not as secure as Apple’s Face ID.
The resolution of the 8-inch display is 1280 x 800 pixels. This corresponds to a relatively low pixel density of 149 ppi. The screen gets up to 400 nits bright and is otherwise good. The display is certified by TÜV Rheinland and is supposed to be particularly easy on the eyes. This is supposed to be made possible by the reduction of blue light.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to enjoy Netflix with HD resolution on this tablet. The corresponding DRM standard is missing for that. YouTube and locally stored videos can of course be watched in full resolution.
Under the hood, there’s a MediaTek A22 quad-core processor with 2GB or 3GB of RAM, depending on the version with and 32GB of internal storage. The performance is sufficient for YouTube and Chrome. However, it is not really suitable as a gaming tablet. Even on low settings, stutters are noticeable in games like Asphalt 9 or PUBG Mobile. Less performance-hungry games run alright, though.
The tablet is shipped with Android 9, and we get almost pure Android with the Lenovo Tab M8 HD Gen 2. Only a few apps from the manufacturer are preinstalled. The device achieved a runtime of 23 hours and 40 minutes in our battery test. In return, we played an HD YouTube video in an endless loop.
If you are looking for a decent tablet with a 8-inch display for surfing and YouTube and can do without Netflix in HD resolution and basic gaming performance, you will make a solid choice with the Lenovo Tab M8 HD Gen 2.
Also Read: Lenovo Tab M8 HD Gen 2 review
Amazon Fire HD 8: Good entry-level tablet with a nice overall package
If you’re looking for the best bang-for-your-buck, we suggest investing in Amazon’s Fire HD Plus. With just a $20 increase from its less powerful counterpart, the Fire HD 8, it offers more RAM and thus increased performance potential – making this device well worth its value if you have room in your budget.
If affordability is a priority, the Amazon Fire HD 8 will provide you with an economical solution. The 8-inch display has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and thus a low pixel density of 189 ppi. The maximum brightness is 400 nits. Although we would have preferred a laminated screen, the affordability of this product makes up for it.
The tablet is equipped with the MediaTek MT8169A Hexa-Core and 2 GB of RAM. Games like PUBG Mobile or Asphalt 9 often crash due to low computing power. However, the Amazon Fire HD 8 can handle simple tasks like web browsing or playing YouTube videos in HD without problems.
The device is completely made of plastic and has thick symmetrical display frames. According to the manufacturer, the tablet is twice as robust as Apple’s iPad mini. However, we could not or did not want to check this for understandable reasons.
We liked the battery life of 9.75 hours in our test. We played an HD YouTube video in an endless loop for the test. It is also cool that the digital voice assistant Alexa is included in the Amazon Fire HD 8. For example, you can play your favorite music on command or ask what the weather will be like today.
The biggest plus points of the Amazon Fire HD 8 are the low price (at $100) and the long battery life. We also like the tablet’s robustness. However, the device is not suitable for extensive gaming sessions or for using demanding apps. It is also a pity that the Google Play Store is not included out-of-the-box but can be manually installed by the user.
Also Read: Amazon Fire HD 8 review
Amazon Fire 7 2022: The cheapest of all
What can you expect from a tablet for $60? If you just want to Netflix and surf the net and do not have high demands on display quality or performance, then the Amazon Fire 7 2022 could be the right tablet for you.
As expected, the device does not look very good. The Amazon Fire 7 2022 features thick black display frames and a plastic casing that does not look very high-end. It is also quite thick at 9.67mm but only weighs 282g. It is equipped with a USB C 2.0 port and a microSD slot.
The front-facing camera is decent enough to make occasional video calls in a good light despite a resolution of only 2MP. The rear camera is also 2MP and gives similar results. However, you should not expect more than snapshot quality from the cameras.
The tablet’s 7-inch screen offers a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. The display is fine for surfing the web and watching YouTube videos, but of course, does not come close to premium devices. The screen is also not laminated.
The Fire 7 offers a 2GHz MediaTek MT8168A quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. When it comes to storage, 16GB or 32GB are the available options without an LTE variant.
The tablet’s operating system is called Fire OS and is based on Android. According to the manufacturer, the device will be kept up-to-date with security updates for a long time. Advertisements sometimes appear on the tablet’s lock screen. This can be removed permanently for $15. The ads did not bother us when we tested the tablet.
Of course, the device’s performance is not impressive and is not suitable for gaming or using CPU-intensive apps. However, the performance is sufficient for Netflix, YouTube, or web browsing.
The tablet only has one speaker, whose sound is okay but relatively quiet. In our battery test, the Amazon Fire 7 achieved an impressive runtime of 10 hours. We played an HD YouTube video in a continuous loop at maximum brightness. The voice assistant Alexa also runs flawlessly on the Amazon Fire 7 2022. Of course, you can also use the tablet as an e-book reader. However, multitasking is not possible with the Fire 7.
If you want the most affordable tablet and you do not mind the limitations compared to more expensive devices, you will get a solid device with the Amazon Fire 7 for an unbeatable price of $60.
Also Read: Amazon Fire 7 2022 review
Lenovo Tab M7: Solid entry-level tablet for kids
The tablet offers a high-quality-looking metal casing. It is 8.3mm thick and weighs 237g. The manufacturer also offers the tablet in a special edition for children. This includes a protective cover made of soft plastic, which is supposed to protect the device particularly well. The built-in kickstand in the sleeve is practical. With its help, the tablet can be placed upright and in landscape orientation.
The tablet has a microUSB port. Fancy features like a fingerprint sensor are not on board. However, there is a conventional 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot.
The screen offers a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels, which makes for a low pixel density of 171 ppi. The display gets up to 300 nits bright and is okay, but nothing special. The small speaker above the screen sounds okay.
Unfortunately, the hardware of the Lenovo Tab M7 is pretty weak. The device runs an adapted Android version for underperforming hardware called Android Go. Despite the slimmed-down Android version, even simple apps quickly push the tablet to its limits. Even apps like YouTube or Google Chrome do not run very smoothly on the device. Overall, the Tab M7 feels quite sluggish and often overwhelmed.
The battery runtime on the other hand is good. In our test, the tablet achieved a runtime of 8.5 hours. For this test, we ran an HD YouTube video on a continuous loop with the brightness turned up all the way.
Overall, the Lenovo Tab M7 is only worthwhile if you only want to use it for web browsing or occasionally watching YouTube.
Also Read: Lenovo Tab M7 review
How do we test the tablets under $100
All tablets are subjected to the same tests. We use benchmark tools like Geekbench and AnTuTu to test the performance of the processors and graphics chips. We determine the battery life by always running exactly the same HD video at medium brightness and enabling Wi-Fi in an endless loop. This way, we get fairly comparable results.
Additionally, we use the devices as our personal tablets. So, we use them professionally and privately, just like we use any tablet. We use them to watch YouTube and Netflix, surf the Internet, edit photos with Lightroom, and play games. Mostly, it is Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, as long as they are supported. In addition, we also try to work with every tablet. We connect it to a keyboard via Bluetooth and usually use Microsoft Word for writing. Of course, this works better with some models than with others.
However, our test criteria for tablets that cost less than $100 are not very high. It is clear that you cannot play Fortnite on them, and PUBG Mobile does not run or only to a limited extent either. What we expect is for them to run reasonably well for simple applications in this price range. Can you surf the Internet properly and watch YouTube? These are the most important questions and you can read the results in our tests.
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