Bargain tablets: six to choose from at under £200

Tablet computers have hit the bargain basement. A couple of years ago, if you could find a tablet for less than £200, you'd pretty quickly wish you hadn't...

 Fast forward to present day and even the £100 mark has been bested, with budget tablets now offering performance that belies their pocket-money price. Here, we take a look at six of the most popular tablets under £200. If you're after a bargain, this is where to find it...

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

Samsung has a whole range of tablets, going from the premium end of the market all the way down to this, its wallet-friendly budget offering. Its features are just about standard for this price point; they're certainly not disappointing but at the same time there's nothing here that's a huge thrill. The small amount of storage space (8GB) is something of a barrier to those planning to download lots of apps or videos, but one that's easily overcome by using the microSD slot to boost your storage by up to 64GB. This is a solid budget offering for anyone who needs an affordable Android tablet.

Specs
Screen: 7" (1280x800)
Processor: 1.2GHz quad-core
RAM: 1.5GB
Operating system: Android
Weight: 276g
Storage: 8GB
Price: £159

Kindle Fire HDX 7"

The Fire HDX 7" offers a whole heap of tablet for the money. Its got a sharp, bright seven-inch screen, a nippy quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM keeping everything running smoothly. All that for less than £160. The compromise comes with whether you're happy to work with its heavily customised version of Google's Android operating system. Amazon calls it 'Fire' and it's designed to be simple to use, while taking away many of the customisable options that come with Android. Notably, you can't access the Google Play store, so you're limited to only Amazon's selection of apps.

Specs
Screen: 7" (1920x1200)
Processor: 2.2GHz quad-core
RAM: 2GB
Operating system: Fire
Weight: 303g
Storage: 16GB (additional storage options available)
Price: £159

Google Nexus 7

Google has just updated its range of tablets, meaning it no longer sells this seven-inch tablet from 2013. However, it remains thoroughly capable (and quite the bargain) and some shopping around at the likes of Argos or Tesco will find you one for less than £170. It's slim and light, with a bright and vivid screen and strong battery life. Perhaps the main caveat if you're considering the Nexus 7 is its lack of a microSD slot; the 16GB of internal storage is all you're getting.

Specs
Screen: 7" (1920x1200)
Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core
RAM: 2GB
Operating system: Android
Weight: 290g
Storage: 16GB (additional storage options available)
Price: £169

Toshiba Encore Mini

The newest tablet in this list, Toshiba's Encore Mini was announced at the IFA trade show in Berlin in September. Budget tablets typically run on the Android operating system in one form or another, but Toshiba's new baby bucks that trend. It's instead powered by Microsoft's Windows 8.1, and comes with a year's subscription to Office 365 and 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive. You're getting a lot for your money, then, since this tablet costs less than £100. It's the quality of the screen where that saving is most apparent - the Encore Mini has a distinctly low-res 1024x600 display.

Specs
Screen: 7" (1024 x 600)
Processor: 1.33GHz quad-core
RAM: 1GB
Operating system: Windows 8.1
Weight: 350g
Storage: 16GB
Price: £99

Tesco Hudl

Forget tablets under £200, this supermarket special weighs in at less than a ton. If the idea of picking up serious electronics at the same time as your bread and milk still seems a bit weird, then think again. This is no cheap own-brand rubbish - the Hudl is a genuinely decent bit of kit. Screen quality is normally one of the first things to suffer as the price tag drops, but the Hudl's seven-inch display with its 1440x900 resolution is crisp and sharp. Although its not the nippiest performer, it does offer good battery life - and its 16GB of storage is expandable to 48GB via microSD.

Specs
Screen: 7" (1440x900)
Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core
RAM: 1GB
Operating system: Android
Weight: 370g
Storage: 16GB
Price: £99

LG G Pad 7.0

There aren't too many surprises to be found with LG's budget 7-inch tablet: it pretty much offers the standard specification of entry-level Android tablets. Still, that's tough to argue with when its price is so keen. There's certainly nothing here that you could consider a let-down. Its processor does the job fine and its screen is reasonable. The main niggle is really its built-in storage. You'll want to have a microSD card on hand in order to boost its puny 8GB to something more useable.

Specs
Screen: 7" (1280x800)
Processor: 1.2GHz quad-core
RAM: 1GB
Operating system: Android
Weight: 293g
Storage: 8GB
Price: £129

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