The 6 Best Cheap Tablets for Budget Gifts

Tablets are among the best tech gifts for geeks or anyone else. From babies to senior citizens, most people can operate a tablet with ease. Here are some of the best cheap tablets for movies and music, gaming, portability, or web surfing. How Cheap Is a “Cheap” Tablet? Our data shows that most budget buyers are looking for the best tablets under $200. This eliminates Apple iPads and Microsoft Surface devices, which start at a much higher price. It also eliminates several Android tablets that we love. Still, what you’ll get is an Android tablet, which includes Amazon Fire tablets….

Read the full article: The 6 Best Cheap Tablets for Budget Gifts

Tablets are among the best tech gifts for geeks or anyone else. From babies to senior citizens, most people can operate a tablet with ease. Here are some of the best cheap tablets for movies and music, gaming, portability, or web surfing.

How Cheap Is a “Cheap” Tablet?

Our data shows that most budget buyers are looking for the best tablets under $200. This eliminates Apple iPads and Microsoft Surface devices, which start at a much higher price. It also eliminates several Android tablets that we love. Still, what you’ll get is an Android tablet, which includes Amazon Fire tablets.

So when you want the best Android tablets under $200, here’s what you can buy.

The Best Tablet for the Money
Lenovo Tab 4

Lenovo Tab 4 is the best cheap tablet for android

Lenovo Tab 4, 8" Android Tablet, Quad-Core Processor, 1.4GHz, 16GB Storage, Slate Black, ZA2B0009US Lenovo Tab 4, 8" Android Tablet, Quad-Core Processor, 1.4GHz, 16GB Storage, Slate Black, ZA2B0009US Buy Now At Amazon $109.92
  • Screen: 10.1-inch WUXGA IPS (1920×1200)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (1.4GHz quad-core)
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • Battery: Up to 20 hours

The Lenovo Tab 4 is the clear winner among cheap Android tablets today. It is available in two sizes: an 8-inch screen and a 10-inch screen, as well as Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi+LTE versions. The prices change according to what you buy, but the 10-inch Wi-Fi-only version is the best value for money.

The battery life on this tablet is exceptional, with multiple tests beating the 10-inch versions of the Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface, Amazon Fire tablet, and Samsung Galaxy Tab. And Lenovo hasn’t skimped on hardware either, equipping the Tab 4 with the solid Snapdragon 625 processor and a vibrant Full HD IPS screen.

The only limiting factor is the 2GB of RAM. While it’s good enough for most tasks, like playing games, watching movies, and so on, the machine is sluggish when multi-tasking. It’s not a deal-breaker though.

Of course, which tablet size to get is up to you, but I’d go with the 10-inch version with only Wi-Fi.

The Best Cheap Tablet With 4G LTE
Lenovo Tab 4 Plus

Lenovo Tab 4 LTE 8-inch is the best cheap tablet with 4G data

Lenovo Tab 4 Plus, 8" Android Tablet, 64-bit Octa-Core Snapdragon, 2.0GHz, 16 GB Storage, Black, ZA2H0000US Lenovo Tab 4 Plus, 8" Android Tablet, 64-bit Octa-Core Snapdragon, 2.0GHz, 16 GB Storage, Black, ZA2H0000US Buy Now At Amazon $194.89
  • Screen: 8-inch WUXGA IPS (1920×1200)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (1.4GHz quad-core)
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • Battery: Up to 20 hours

The 10-inch version of the Tab 4 is an excellent tablet, but it relies on Wi-Fi. If you want to use an internet connection anywhere you are, you need the version that supports 4G LTE mobile data. For not much more money, get the 8-inch Lenovo Tab 4 Plus.

But before you buy that, check whether you really need it. Depending on your needs, a tablet with 4G LTE may be unnecessary.

The Best Cheap 10-Inch Tablet
Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon Fire HD 10 is the best value for money tablet

Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black - with Special Offers Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black - with Special Offers Buy Now At Amazon $149.99
  • Screen: 10.1-inch Full HD (1920×1200)
  • Processor: MediaTek MT8173 (1.8GHz quad-core)
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 32GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

It’s almost a unanimous verdict among tech reviewers. The Amazon Fire HD 10 is the best value for money tablet you can buy today.

The Fire HD 10 has a better-than-average screen at this price for watching movies and TV shows, or reading books and magazines. It also has Dolby Atmos Sound for better audio. You can issue voice commands to Alexa anytime with its always-listening technology that claims to not consume battery. On the downside, there’s no Google Play Store and no app for YouTube.

Additions like the ad-based discount, FreeTime Unlimited for kids, and the kids’ mode make it the best tablet for consuming media content. That includes movies, TV shows, books, magazines, newspapers, and anything apart from YouTube.

The Best Cheap Tablet Overall
Amazon Fire HD 8

Amazon Fire HD 8 is a great cheap Android tablet

All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet | Hands-Free with Alexa | 8" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet | Hands-Free with Alexa | 8" HD Display, 16 GB, Black - with Special Offers Buy Now At Amazon $79.99
  • Screen: 8-inch HD (1280×800)
  • Processor: MediaTek MT8163 (1.3GHz quad-core)
  • RAM: 1.5GB
  • Storage: 16GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

The new 2018 version of the Amazon Fire HD 8 is shockingly good for its price. It packs a 64-bit processor like the Fire HD 10, which means you now get hands-free, always-listening Alexa on this low-cost tablet.

The screen is HD instead of Full HD, but you can’t complain about that at this price. Amazon has even thrown in dual stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, instead of the mono speakers you usually find on tablets in this price range.

You’re still tied into Amazon’s ecosystem of apps. But with our handy tips for the Fire tablet, as well as our unofficial Amazon Fire tablet manual, you should be able to unlock all its potential, like installing Google Play Store apps.

The Cheapest Tablet You Should Buy
Amazon Fire HD 7

Amazon Fire HD 7 is the cheapest tablet worth buying

Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7" Display, 8 GB, Punch Red - with Special Offers Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7" Display, 8 GB, Punch Red - with Special Offers Buy Now At Amazon $49.99
  • Screen: 7-inch HD IPS (1280×800)
  • Processor: MediaTek (1.3GHz quad-core)
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 8GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

You don’t need reason to buy the Amazon Fire HD 7. For this price, you won’t get a better deal.

It has a few differences from the Fire HD 8; it’s notably missing the always-listening hands-free Alexa support. The processor, RAM, and battery life are also inferior to the 8-inch model. If you can get a certified refurbished model of the Fire HD 8, go for that instead. (What’s the difference between refurbished and used?)

One More Cheap 8-Inch Tablet
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite

Huawei Mediapad M3 Lite is a good cheap 8 inch tablet

Huawei W09A Mediapad M3 Lite 8" 3+16 Octa-Core, Android N + EMUI 5.1 Huawei W09A Mediapad M3 Lite 8" 3+16 Octa-Core, Android N + EMUI 5.1 Buy Now At Amazon
  • Screen: 8-inch WUXGA IPS (1920×1200)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (1.4GHz octa-core)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is a great device for its price, but the screen’s resolution can be an issue if you like to read comics or enjoy high-definition content. And it restricts you to Amazon’s Fire OS. If you want a regular Android device, check out the Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite.

I have always found that the 8-inch size is perfect for reading comics, especially in the rectangular 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. You can actually hold the tablet one-handed at this size.

The MediaPad M3 Lite gets the small details right, like adding a little extra RAM and making sure the battery life is long enough to watch a few movies or play some games without an issue. Choose between this and the Lenovo Tab 4, and you won’t be disappointed.

Do You Really Need a Tablet?

Given how you can get a good tablet for such a low price these days, it’s tempting to go out and buy one. But chances are, it will end up ignored and unused in a corner of your house—you might not need a tablet anymore.

In fact, now that there are so many great 2-in-1 laptops, you might want to get one of those instead. Hybrid laptops are especially great, as they give you the convenience of a tablet when you want it, and a full keyboard when you want to use it as a laptop.

Read the full article: The 6 Best Cheap Tablets for Budget Gifts

How to Set Up a Kid-Friendly Amazon Fire Tablet

kid-safe-amazon-fire

You’ve bought an Amazon Fire tablet for your child, but you’re worried about what they might see on it. Unsuitable videos and free access to the web isn’t ideal. Fortunately, the Android-based Fire OS features a built-in parental control system. While not immediately obvious, it’s pretty solid, too. Here’s how to set up parental controls on your child’s Amazon Fire and ensure they stay safe and educated! Getting Started: Protect Your Account Before you even think about setting up a profile for your child, spend a few minutes activating some basic protections on your account. Open the Settings screen, and…

Read the full article: How to Set Up a Kid-Friendly Amazon Fire Tablet

You’ve bought an Amazon Fire tablet for your child, but you’re worried about what they might see on it. Unsuitable videos and free access to the web isn’t ideal. Fortunately, the Android-based Fire OS features a built-in parental control system. While not immediately obvious, it’s pretty solid, too.

Here’s how to set up parental controls on your child’s Amazon Fire and ensure they stay safe and educated!

Getting Started: Protect Your Account

Before you even think about setting up a profile for your child, spend a few minutes activating some basic protections on your account.

Open the Settings screen, and under Personal, find Security & Privacy. Ensure you have a Lock-Screen Passcode set. You can choose either a password or a PIN; select whichever you consider more secure and easy to remember.

Setting this will ensure your child cannot access your screen by simply exiting their own. In your screen, a child might inadvertently (or mischievously!) delete and install apps, remove movies from your watch list, and even add or remove items from your Amazon wish list. It’s best to take the sensible precaution, and put these features out of reach.

You’ve just saved yourself a lot of trouble!

Create a Child Profile on the Amazon Fire Tablet

Your next job is to create a profile for your child.

Pull down the menu from the top of the screen, and tap your user icon. Here, look for the Plus button to Add New User, tapping OK to confirm the step.

Create Amazon Fire Tablet child's profile

Here, tap Add a Child Profile (adult profiles are also available, should your partner require one). Then add the details, such as name, gender, and date of birth.

You can choose from two available themes. Blue Sky is for those under nine years old, while the Midnight Black Theme is for children between nine and 12. When you’ve made your choices, tap Add Profile.

Now your child has their own profile.

Add Content to the Child Profile

With the profile created, the next screen will prompt you to add suitable content. This should be the sort of material (books, audiobooks, videos, apps, etc.) that you are comfortable with your little one consuming.

Tap to select the content you’re happy with, then hit Done. If at any time you want to change the material he or she can access, open Settings > Profile & Family Library, then Add Content or Remove Content.

You should also take a look at the Age Filters screen. This is a feature you can toggle on or off as needed; when on, it lets you set an age range for the material your child can see. If you want to ensure your preschooler isn’t watching Horrible Histories (or other great shows on Amazon Video), this is an important feature.

Amazon Fire Tablet: set an appropriate age range for your child's content

All you need to do is slide the lower and upper age range bars as appropriate. The tablet will inform you how many apps, videos, and books are viewable with the selected range. When you’re happy, tap Back to exit.

Finally, make sure to set the Enable In-App Purchasing setting to off. That will prevent them from racking up charges in games.

Set Up Screen Time for the Fire Tablet

You probably don’t want your children spending the whole day glued to their tablets, especially when there’s a chance to do an outdoor activity. So setting up some time limits is a good idea.

To do this, open Set Daily Goals & Time Limits, and tap the switch to enable.

You’ll see a screen split into two tabs: Weekdays and Weekends. Each of these lets you set a Bedtime, when the tablet will disable, and a wake up time, when it become available again.

Fire Tablet: set time limits on your child's profile

Here, you can also set Educational Goals, with time limits for Apps, Books, Audible (audiobooks), and Videos. There’s also a Learn First toggle, letting you block entertainment until “educational goals” are met.

Further down, you can set a Total Screen Time (so your little one might have, say, four hours of tablet time within a 16 hour period). You’ll also find Time by Activity Type, where you can set time limits for individual activities.

Managing Web Content for Your Child’s Tablet

Your kid’s tablet must be online in order to access Amazon content. But what if you want to limit your child’s to access to the web?

Open the child’s profile again and look for Web Settings. Here you’ll find the toggle to Enable Web Browser. When enabled, you’ll be able to Limit Web Content, where you can add Websites, and Web Videos, using the Plus button.

Fire Tablet: enable web access for your child

Meanwhile, the Settings tab lets you Enable Pre-Approved Web Content. This is Amazon’s own curated content, so you can expect the material to be suitable for your child. You can also choose whether to Enable Cookies.

Note that if Enable Web Browser is set to Off, your child will have no browser access. For younger ones, this seems a wise option.

What Is Amazon FreeTime?

If you’re not sure what content is suitable for your children, and you don’t have time to check everything manually, then Amazon FreeTime might be the answer.

Amazon FreeTime is an optional extra that you pay for via monthly subscription. It removes ads, in-app purchases, and links to websites and social media. Most importantly, FreeTime offers content specifically aimed at children between three and 12 years old.

Use this link to try Amazon FreeTime for free for one month!

Although the monthly fee might seem costly, it really does save you a lot of time. Note that an internet connection is required for FreeTime, however. While you can download some content, it’s best used at home, or while connected to another friendly network.

Reviewing Your Child’s Online Activity

If you want to check on your child’s tablet activity (perhaps to see if TV shows are more popular than games), Amazon offers a feature that lets you monitor what they’re doing.

You can easily manage this via Settings > Parental Controls. Scroll down to the Activity Center, and enable Monitor This Profile. You’ll find the results at parents.amazon.com, presented in easy-to-read graphics.

Check your child's tablet activity with Amazon's free monitoring tool

Making an Amazon Fire Suitable for Children

By now, you should have total control over your child’s Amazon Fire tablet. There’s now no risk of accidental purchases and no in-app purchases threatening your bank account. You’re safe from unsuitable content contaminating your offspring’s young, innocent eyes, and you can easily add content and monitor activity.

You’re done. But what about your other devices? Don’t worry, parental controls are available pretty much everywhere, suitable for safeguarding children of all ages. Need more help? See our detailed guide to using Amazon Fire tablets.

Image Credit: Dubova/Depositphotos

Read the full article: How to Set Up a Kid-Friendly Amazon Fire Tablet