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Top 7 Best Tablets Under $500 | 2024 Edition

Looking for the best tablet under $500? We test almost every tablet and here are our test winners in this price range.

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Lenovo Tab P11 Pro test

We have compiled a list of the best tablets priced under $500 with Android, iPadOS, and Chrome. These tablets come equipped with powerful hardware, high-quality display, and excellent software and workmanship, proving that you don’t have to break the bank to get a top-quality tablet.

Regardless of whether you value the strongest possible performance or a large display is your top priority – you will find what you are looking for in our list of best devices. Nowadays, you don’t need to spend $1000 to get a high-quality tablet with good performance and a nice screen. The best part is that many mid-range tablets come with pen and keyboard support. In our review, we also provide details on how good the accessories are.

Top Tablets Under $500: An Overview

  • Best Tablet Under $500: Apple iPad 10 (on Amazon*). The latest iPad 10 takes inspiration from the iPad Air, resulting in a higher price point. Compared to the 9th-gen model, it boasts an improved design and faster processor, but some issues may be affecting its sales. I think the absence of a laminated display and limited storage options are the culprits. So, while it’s an upgrade from the iPad 9, it may prompt some users to invest in the iPad Air instead.
  • Best Android Tablet Under $500: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE (on Amazon*). Boasting the features of a full-fledged Galaxy Tab S9, the Fan Edition performs well at a fraction of the cost. The Exynos 1380 processor is great for everyday use but not for gaming or video editing. But the 8000mAh battery is pretty impressive, lasting up to 16 hours of moderate usage.
  • Best Midrange Alternative: Xiaomi Pad 6 (on Amazon*). With a 144Hz display, a revised stylus, and new hardware, the Xiaomi Pad 6 stands out as a midrange alternative in the market. I particularly like the display as I can still easily use the tablet under direct sunlight. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor also handles multitasking and gaming smoothly. Add the ample storage and excellent battery life, and it’s a compelling choice for heavy users.
  • Best Value for Your Money: Lenovo P12 (on Amazon*). Priced under $400 USD, the Lenovo P12 competes well with its rivals. It’s got a large yet thin display that feels light and has a solid performance. The only drawback is the 60Hz refresh rate, which makes scrolling jittery. Nevertheless, the tablet outperforms similar products, like the Galaxy Tab S7 FE and the Lenovo P11 Gen 2.
  • The Cheapest Entry into the Apple Ecosystem: Apple iPad 9 (on Amazon*). The iPad 9 is currently available for $385. Thanks to Apple’s A13 processor, it is more powerful than the vast majority of premium tablets from the competition. The screen has a resolution of 1620 x 2160 pixels and 60Hz. However, the display is not laminated. The iPad 9 also offers a fingerprint scanner and it can be assumed that it will be supplied with up-to-date software for years to come, as is typical for Apple.
  • Affordable yet Powerful: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022) (at Amazon*). For around $250 you get a good mid-range tablet that offers Android 12 and a very good S Pen stylus. The screen is solid and offers a resolution of 2000×1200 pixels. The design of the device is also high-quality. However, the tablet’s performance is merely sufficient and thus not a good option for gamers and users of demanding apps.
  • A Good Alternative for Students: Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook (on Amazon*). The best thing about this 11-inch tablet is that the keyboard cover is already included. The device is available for around $375. It is also practical that the desktop version of Chrome is on board. It is also commendable that Google promises updates until 2030. Furthermore, the tablet offers a good screen with a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels and 60Hz. Unfortunately, the device only offers Android 9 and not particularly potent hardware. Gamers would rather reach for another tablet.

The Best Tablets Under $500: All Details

Let’s take a look at the best tablets under $500 in detail.

Apple iPad 10: Best tablet in this category

Apple iPad 10 tested

Apple iPad 10 on* Amazon

Apple iPad 10 Specs
Display10.9 inches 1640 x 2360 pixels
ProcessorApple A14 Bionic (5nm)
Storage64 GB or 256 GB


  • Solid performance
  • Long battery life
  • Modern design with USB-C port
  • Touch ID integrated into the power button


  • Does not support Stage Manager
  • Price increase

The new Apple iPad 10 borrows many features from the iPad Air, making it more expensive than ever. It’s got a better design and faster processor than the 9th-gen model, yet it’s still tougher to sell. This may be due to the device’s number of hits and misses. 

With a home button-less design, the tablet looks very similar to the last two iPad Air models. It also feels nice to hold and interact with. I have the yellow version as my review unit, but it’s also available in blue, silver, and pink. 

The big thing that’s missing here is the laminated display. You can see an air gap between the IPS panel and the touchscreen. The blacks look more like dark gray because they lack a good anti-reflective coating.

Read More: We Compared the iPad 10 vs the Galaxy S8

The iPad 10 is equipped with an A14 Bionic and supported by 4GB of RAM and 64 GB or 256 GB of internal storage. If you don’t want to worry about constantly running out of space, get the higher storage. Also, keep in mind that while Apple’s processor is powerful, it cannot replace your laptop. 

In addition to the good processing power and high-quality build, I also like the bright display. Plus, it has a pretty solid battery with a runtime of 5.5 hours. In short, it’s better than the iPad 9 but has enough weaknesses for you to consider spending more money on an iPad Air. 

Also Read: Our Full Review of the Apple iPad 10

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE: Best Android tablet under $500

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE with Samsung Notes

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE on* Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Specs
Display10.9 inches1440 x 2304 pixels
ProcessorExynos 1380 (5nm)
RAM6 GB or 8 GB
Storage128 GB or 256 GB


  • Long-lasting battery
  • Bright, beautiful display
  • Excellent performance
  • Portable design


  • Some frame rate drops on high-end games

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE (Fan Edition) trims the fat of the full-fledged Galaxy Tab S9, resulting in a tablet that can do everything well at a fraction of the cost. It’s the perfect option for casual users who don’t need top-of-the-line graphics performance for gaming and video editing. 

What I love most about it is it’s encased in an aluminum chassis. At the top, you’ll find the power button with a fingerprint sensor and a magnetic area for the included S Pen. 

If you put it side by side with the Tab S9, there’ll be a slight size difference. The S9 also has a dual-camera setup, while the FE carries a singular lens. 

Read More: How the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Stacks Up With Its Bigger, More Powerful Brother

The S9 FE’s IPS LCD screen is pretty good and gets the job done 100% of the time. I do prefer an AMOLED display, but at the price point, I’m not complaining. There’s also a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth animations and scrolling.

The device runs One UI 5 out of the box, which is based on Android 13 but can be upgraded to Android 14. If you have a Galaxy phone, you can take advantage of Samsung’s ecosystem. 

The Galaxy Tab S9 FE comes in 6 GB or 8 GB RAM with either 128 GB or 256 GB of internal storage. An Exynos 1380 processor comes with that, which you won’t find in high-end tablets. While it doesn’t necessarily scream performance, it’s perfectly fine for everyday use. I also don’t have issues with the 8000mAh battery, which could get around 16 hours of usage. 

Also Read: Here’s Our Review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE

Xiaomi Pad 6: Best Midrange Alternative

Xiaomi Pad 6 display

Xiaomi Pad 6 on* Amazon

Xiaomi Pad 6 Specs
Display11 inches1800 x 2880 pixels
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G (7nm)
RAM6 GB or 8 GB
Storage128 GB or 256 GB


  • Good camera quality
  • Bright display
  • Fast and powerful processor
  • Excellent battery life


  • No guaranteed software updates
  • Mediocre speakers

The Xiaomi Pad 6 offers fantastic value as it competes against Samsung and Apple. With a 144Hz display, a revised stylus, and new hardware, it’s the best midrange alternative you can buy today. 

The 11-inch IPS display is the highlight of the tablet, especially considering its price. It has a nice resolution of 1800 x 2880 pixels, with texts and icons looking sharp. It is also fully laminated, making it suitable for watching videos and working outdoors. However, you have to buy the new active pen as older models don’t work with the new tablet. 

Read More: We Compared All the Xiaomi Pad 6 Models. Here’s What We Found Out

The Xiaomi Pad 6 is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor and comes with 8GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of internal storage. There’s a stronger version, but I don’t think you can get it outside China. 

I don’t have problems multitasking, and the tablet hardly stutters when switching between apps. I was also able to play games well with Ultra HD graphics, so I’d recommend it as a gaming tablet. 

The only issue is the missing fingerprint reader. While it supports facial recognition using the webcam, it’s not secure. 

The Xiaomi Pad 6 has an excellent battery life, considering its bright display and 144Hz refresh rate. Whenever I’m on the go, I usually switch down to 90Hz or 60Hz to extend the battery life by a few hours. But overall, it’s quite a good deal. 

Also Read: Our Review of the Xiaomi Pad 6

Lenovo Tab P12: Best Value for Your Money

Lenovo Tab P12 mulitasking

Lenovo Tab P12 on* Amazon

Lenovo Tab P12 Specs
Display12.7 inches1840 x 2944 pixels
ProcessorMediatek Dimensity 7050 (6nm)
RAM4 GB or 8 GB
Storage128 GB or 256 GB


  • Large, vibrant display
  • Impressive battery life
  • Great design
  • Screen resists fingerprints well


  • Slow charging
  • Dim screen with only 60Hz refresh rate

The Lenovo P12 is a mid-range tablet that costs under $400 USD. Its high-resolution display, solid performance, sleek design, and ample storage capacity make it an excellent choice for tech-savvy users. I think it’s comparable to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE. 

Read More: Here’s How the Lenovo Tab P12 Compares to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

The design of the P12 is similar to the P11 Pro Gen 2. Although the display is quite large, it looks thinner and feels lightweight. I like how it looks and feels in my hand, thanks to the metal casing. I also love the fact that it has a built-in fingerprint scanner on the power button. 

One of the main issues is the 60Hz refresh rate. I noticed a rolling shutter effect when holding the tablet in portrait mode and scrolling. If this bothers you too much, I suggest you get the Tab P12 Pro. 

Powered by a Mediatek Dimensity 7050 processor, it’s almost twice as strong as the Galaxy Tab S7 FE and Lenovo P11 Gen 2. You can get it in 4 GB or 8 GB RAM and 128 GB or 256 GB of storage, whichever suits your needs and preferences. 

Multitasking works very nicely with the tablet. However, the battery is a bit disappointing. The runtime is comparatively short, and the P12 charges at a slower speed. Still, it competes well with its rivals. 

Also Read: Our Review of the Lenovo Tab P12

Affordable iOS Tablet: Apple iPad 9

Apple iPad 9 Review

Apple iPad 9 on* Amazon

Apple iPad 9 Specs
Display10.2 inches1620 x 2160 pixels
ProcessorApple A13 Bionic (7nm+)
Storage64 GB or 256 GB


  • Better processor
  • Good battery life
  • Great screen
  • Stellar hardware quality


  • No USB-C
  • No Face ID and touch-to-wake screen

The iPad 9, which is priced at $385, is considered an “entry-level” tablet. Despite its outdated-looking design with thick edges, it boasts advanced technology that makes it more powerful than many high-end tablets offered by competitors.

The tablet runs the latest version of iPadOS (currently 16.3.1). The device will probably be supplied with the latest software from Apple for about seven years. The screen has a resolution of 1620 x 2160 pixels and 60Hz. It is also very bright thanks to a peak brightness of 500 nits. However, it is annoying that the display is not laminated. Accordingly, an air gap is visible between the IPS layer and the touchscreen. This can be particularly annoying when drawing and writing with the Apple Pencil.

Read More: Here’s Our iPad vs Samsung Comparisons

The performance of the iPad 9 is excellent thanks to Apple’s A13 processor with 3GB of working memory and either 64GB or 256GB of internal storage. A version with LTE is also optionally available. Apple’s proprietary chipset makes the tablet more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7.

The device is ideal for high-performance tasks such as gaming and using demanding applications like DaVinci Resolve, a newly released video editing program. The speakers on the device are of good quality for its price, but they are both located on one side. As a result, the device cannot produce true stereo separation when in landscape mode.

You can use the “old” Apple Pencil 1 with the iPad 9, which is great for writing and drawing, just like its successor. Additionally, the iPad 9 is compatible with the same Apple Smart Keyboard that worked with the last two generations and the original iPad Pro. The keyboard is well-made and typing on it is flawless.

During our battery test, we played an HD YouTube video on loop and found that the iPad 9 lasted only 6 hours. It’s worth noting that the iPad 9 comes with a fingerprint reader and can be expected to receive software updates from Apple for several years.

Also Read: Apple iPad 9 review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022: Good value for money

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 test

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 on* Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite 2022 Specs
Display10.4 inches1200 x 2000 pixels
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 720G
Storage64 GB or 128 GB


  • Very good S Pen stylus
  • Big, beautiful screen
  • High-quality design
  • Good quality speakers


  • Unimpressive performance
  • Not designed for gaming

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes with a 10.4-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels and a 60Hz refresh rate. The screen is fully laminated and bright enough, but a bit darker than the iPad 9. Streaming Netflix in HD is a seamless experience on this tablet.

The tablet has a sturdy, well-made metal case and is currently running Android 13. Samsung usually provides software updates for several years. The tablet’s hardware includes a reliable Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chipset, 4GB of RAM, and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Additionally, there is an option to purchase an LTE version.

Although the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 is not geared towards gaming, it can still handle most games at low to medium settings without issues. Multitasking and using Samsung’s DeX desktop mode are smooth experiences. You can even use YouTube, an internet browser, and Word documents simultaneously without any limitations. However, if you run too many apps simultaneously in DeX mode, it may impact the tablet’s overall performance.

The two speakers on the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 have good quality and are superior to those on the Galaxy Tab A8. The tablet comes with two keyboard options that function well, but the build quality is not very high. The tablet also supports the S Pen, which is great for drawing and writing.

During our battery test, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 lasted for 7.5 hours while playing an HD video on an endless loop. The tablet comes with Android 12 pre-installed, and it can receive at least two more major version updates.

Overall, the tablet offers a solid display, satisfactory performance, up-to-date software, along with an impressive design.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 2022 review

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook: Good alternative for pupils and students

Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook tablet

Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook on* Amazon

IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook Specs
Display10.1 inches1200 x 2000 pixels
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2
RAM4 GB or 8 GB
Storage64GB, 128GB, or 256GB


  • Affordable
  • Updates until 2030
  • Keyboard cover is already included
  • Good screen


  • Does not support Microsoft Office apps
  • Unimpressive battery life

The tablet costs around $375 and is an affordable option for students. It comes with a keyboard, and the Chrome browser is already installed on the device. The tablet is expected to receive updates until 2030. Unlike Android or iPadOS, the Chrome browser lets you install the same extensions as on a regular computer.

Since Chrome was initially a pure desktop operating system, it can also be operated flawlessly with a mouse and keyboard. Android apps can also be installed. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook also has access to the Google Play Store. Thus, you can install most Android apps and games on this device as well. Only the Microsoft Office apps do not run on the tablet, but fortunately, there are good Chrome alternatives.

However, the computing power of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook is not very strong. The tablet is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor and is available with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of internal storage. Moreover, the 10.1-inch display, which offers a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels, is rather mediocre. 

Furthermore, you cannot watch movies and series in HD with the Netflix Android app. This only works in the Chrome browser. We were also not convinced by the battery life of 5.5 to 6 hours in our test with the brightness turned up all the way and an HD YouTube video in an endless loop. If you mainly want to do writing tasks with your tablet, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3 Chromebook could still be the right choice for you.

Also Read: Lenovo Duet 3 Chromebook review

The original version of this article was published on April 19, 2023. Jian contributed and updated it on April 15, 2024. 



  1. pat

    April 19, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    once again no mention at all that PWM is used.Why do you not warn people about this? The screen may be excellen oled but recommending it if it may cause health issues, not even mention it?

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