How to choose a good and affordable budget tablet? What to pay attention to what features and functions are important, but from what can refuse? What manufacturer makes the best budget tablets? Is it worth buying a cheap Chinese tablet? Or is it better to buy a phablet (a smartphone with big diagonal)?
To these and other questions in the article, read it slowly, as you learn a lot. If You are afraid of the large amount of information, at the end of the article is the bare minimum that you need to know before buying and recommended best budget tablets 2016.
Tablet computers, which are usually referred to simply as tablets, thanks to its compactness, versatility and ease of operation has actively invaded our lives and continue to gain new fans. With the advent in late 2012 of more or less high-quality budget tablets willing to buy them even more. Currently, prices in online stores at the most affordable tablets starts from funny 50.e. and this is the price for a device with a capacitive screen and pretty good performance! Of course, that in the future capacity of tablets will only increase at a slow price decline and many potential buyers think that it would be good for themselves or their children to buy some cheap tablet, but I doubt whether it will be for a little money to work normally. In addition to the market EN masse appeared cheap Chinese and Chinese-domestic tablets of different manufacturers that actively tighten the quality of its products under the brands, and that they are doing well.
It is worth noting that almost all the budget tablets running the Android operating system. And although the quality of Apple technology, a world leader in this direction is really high, but the prices of their tablets several times higher and the majority of potential buyers are not willing to pay 280.e. the most affordable version of the small budget tablet from this manufacturer (iPad Mini), because then it is already possible for that same price buy a cheap budget laptop. An additional advantage of Android was that to version 4.1 inclusive was a normal support Adobe Flash and most sites created with the participation of this technology (online cinemas, online flash games etc.) worked correctly, and the Apple was originally deprived of such opportunity. But now, when are the dominant version of Android 4.4, the relative support for Adobe Flash was only on the level of capabilities of individual browsers.
From budget tablets have both advantages and disadvantages, but the short conclusion is that if You need an inexpensive, feature rich, easy to use “toy” where you can read the books or textbooks in the classroom, play is not very heavy games, watch movies or just sit on the Internet some cheap budget tablet would be sufficient for these purposes. Most tablets don’t die on their own (fall, pulled the connectors, broken screens) and often uneconomic to repair, but considering the low price budget tablets – they do not wish to give the children as a replacement for the many toys, but every year to buy a much higher quality, but much more expensive iPads and Samsung-and not every pull.
If You want to fully work (typing, working with large volumes of data and so on), in this case it is better suited to laptop/netbook or a high-quality low-cost budget laptop, a tablet in most cases for serious work is not suitable, except that the forwarders. Naturally, for heavy duty gaming needs gaming personal computer, as the quality of 3D graphics on even the best tablets still far away from the computer, besides the features of the touch interface doesn’t allow you to play many types of classical types of games.
How to choose a cheap budget tablet, not overpaying for unnecessary capabilities, consider further.
Screen size – the main thing that visually distinguishes one tablet from the other and standards permits and proportions of the screens already exist and it is unknown how many will appear. The cheap budget tablets have widescreen display with a diagonal of 7 inches is small size and weight allow you to take it with you almost anywhere, although it is much easier to have one more or less high-quality phablet (a smartphone with a diagonal of 5.5-6.8 inches) than two cheap small devices – tablet and smartphone. Tablets larger much more comfortable to work with, they are size 8, 9, 9.7, 10.1 and 10.2 inches. The aspect ratio is 16:10 (widescreen) and 4:3 (“square”) – the first is easier to use for watching movies and most games (which do often universal – screen phones and tablets) and the second is for reading books and browsing the Internet.
If you do not plan to carry your tablet everywhere with you, then it is preferable to choose a tablet of larger size, as many small details will be hard to use on a slight diagonal, to the same resolution of the larger tablets is usually higher and therefore the image will be more qualitative and detailed. This is especially important if you intend to use the tablet mainly for reading or for educational purposes (as a replacement for school textbooks).
In the manufacture of screens of tablets are usually used technologies are IPS and TN. First, IPS, higher quality (more colorful image, good viewing angles), but also more expensive. Second, TN is much cheaper, but the quality of the screens on this technology is very different, and some of the samples almost as good as IPS have good viewing angles and picture quality. In connection with a variety of manufacturers of budget tablets, which are sometimes a little bit shy to praise yourself and call grey white, screen quality of a particular model, it is advisable to find out for reviews online or directly at the store – the picture under different viewing angles should not be distorted, otherwise it will be a tablt “for one”, as friends of the parties will not be able without distortion to see the image.
Nowadays even the most inexpensive tablets have capacitive touch, supports 5 to 10 simultaneous touches, although most users will only scale the image, which is enough for two. The capacitive sensor responds to touch, not pressure, as an outdated resistive, but the quality of the sensor may be very different – ranging from models where it works just disgusting because of the low sensitivity and ending with models that can “live your life”: the slightest noise or interference can cause the tablet to press himself anything (from the outside it looks a little creepy – like a scene from a mystical movie). Often the cause of such behavior is interference from the connected device charging – in this case, the sensor is considered faulty. To check the quality of the sensor, it is best to test it on their own – a light touch (not pressing!) objects must produce the desired action clearly and without false positives. Worth checking out the largest possible area of the tablet, especially around the screen, at the same time checking the accuracy of the sensor at the edges, where it often “lame.”
In the most affordable budget tablets are used screens with very low resolution (7-inch – 800×480 display, diagonal 10 inch 1024×600) – this is quite enough for games and watching movies, but not nearly enough for normal work on the Internet and reading books, so it is better to choose a tablet with a higher resolution, as this depends directly on the picture clarity and detailing.
If you look along the surface of the screen, you can see that some really cheap tablets have a very smooth surface. It is necessary to consider that if you plan sticker protective film – on the surface it will stick pretty bad to be lifted up at the edges and so on. Smooth plastic surface of the screen or even the semblance of glass usually indicates that it is resistant to wear and sticker protective film is not required. Given the relatively high cost of the protective film and the fact that for a number of reasons lifetime of low-cost tablets are usually short (often not exceeding 2 years), then you can buy protective film just makes no sense. Not worth buying on sale old cheap tablet with a resistive sensor, which is very inconvenient to work with and has other limitations – the joy of such a purchase will end immediately for the low price.
When you choose inexpensive budget tablets huge role played by the CPU, as there is a risk to become the owner of the device with the outdated cheap processor of the previous generation, but it depends on the speed of the device.
The most widely used ARM processors, produced under license from Cortex, among which stands out MediaTek as the main manufacturer of processors for budget smartphones and tablets. To make it easier to understand the difference in performance between the different models, below they are ordered by performance.
The weak – 2-core processors, although their performance is sufficient for Internet browsing, movies in high quality (HD and some HD) and almost all 2D games. The choice of tablet “in action” running on an outdated single core CPU is a very bad idea, as the probability that the tablet will run extremely slow and this will cause constant irritation.
Faster 4-core processors, their performance is currently enough for a comfortable surfing Internet, watching online and offline movies of the highest quality (including FullHD), all 2D and almost all 3D games at the minimum and medium-quality settings. The optimal choice for a cheap budget tablet.
The fastest 6 – and 8-core processors. They are more expensive, so often used only in the best budget tablets. For normal operation (Internet, movies, undemanding applications, 2D games), their performance is sufficient enough, and for most 3D games at medium quality settings.
Important note: although the number of cores and their frequency is very important, but the final performance of the mobile processor depends on many factors and sometimes even eight-core processors can run slower than a Quad core with a lower operating frequency. Unfortunately, the Internet is not a summary of all mobile processors and devices, so for a more precise selection of tablet for CPU power it is possible to use the results of performance test on various sites.
It is not necessary to choose a tablet with the performance level “Low” or even weaker, although its performance will suffice for most tasks, but very often a distinct lack of speed work, and a more or less heavy applications are simply not available. It is highly recommended to choose a processor with a process technology 28 nm or thinner, as this strongly depends on the time of Autonomous work of the tablet and heating it, and if you want to play on your tablet heavy games, it is very important to pay attention to the performance of the integrated graphics card.
From memory there are some features, as in Android tablets must use two types of memory, and additionally you can still use a MicroSD card:
The cheapest budget tablet equipped with a modest battery capacity of 2000 to 3000 mAh and can work autonomously at best 3-4 hours at minimum load (reading books, module Wi-Fi disabled, brightness minimum) and 1-2 hours during active load (playing games, watching online videos via Wi-Fi). Of course, that such or even more modest settings you can mess with bright impressions from the purchase of any tablet, so battery life should be given special attention, as it will only decrease along with the aging of the battery.
The main thing that affects the battery life – the battery capacity. For comfortable work with the tablet it is preferable that its capacity was not less than 4000 mAh. There are tablets where the battery is 8000 mAh, respectively, the battery life in these models is up to 10 hours or even above, and in the standby mode for more than a week, which is very convenient, especially during travel or in the case of using a tablet as a replacement for textbooks.
The battery life is significantly affected by the size and brightness of the screen and active modules Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G. In addition, the processors of later generations (created by the finer process technology, highly recommended 28 nm or thinner) is better than obsolete, as the increase in performance reduces temperature and power consumption, respectively, less strain on the battery.
As manufacturers of budget tablets sometimes a little flatter the performance of their batteries and often do not pay significant attention to energy efficiency, the most reliable sources showing the actual battery life of a particular model – independent professional tests (if any) or reviews online.
The main weight of the tablet are the battery and the body, so the thicker case and a more capacious battery of the tablet – the worse it is. Too easy is odd because they are lightweight, rather, the capacity of the battery is very low, so should pay attention to. It is also worth remembering that the large tablet with the good battery had considerable weight to the kilogram, and the child in the hands of such a device would be hard to keep.
The full name of the tablet – Internet tablet, because it is conceived as a single whole with the Internet, so all the tablets are equipped with Wi-Fi module. Most laptops can confidently work via Wi-Fi network if between the access point and the laptop is not more than three of the walls, then as already happens. But the size of tablets small, moreover in the inexpensive models inside usually only one antenna (usually two laptops), so very often it happens that built-in Wi-Fi already through one wall from a good Wi-Fi router loosely receives the signal, and the characteristics of the specific model is not specified anywhere. The output is, as always, feedback, reviews and tests, only they can know the quality of the wireless module Wi-Fi.
Built-in Bluetooth is often touted as a big plus though if to understand, practical benefit from it a bit because the memory card from another smartphone or tablet can connect directly, and devices running on Bluetooth, are not used so often. So if the tablet is missing Bluetooth, then little will change.
Even in an inexpensive budget tablets in recent times often has an internal 3G modem is very convenient, since the Internet it works almost everywhere, not just in the area of Wi-Fi access. Not as convenient as internal, but still more reliably receive signal in areas with weak coverage external USB-modems – in most cases the tablet without any complicated settings immediately he connects to the Internet, but you should pay attention that some older models of budget tablets do not have support for external 3G-modems in principle. External modem it is advisable to connect directly to the USB connector in the tablet (if any), and through the OTG cable, otherwise sooner or later a bad move in the area of modem – USB plug and will cease to live. An additional service feature available for all Android devices – working in access point mode, i.e., connecting to the Internet through a 3G modem, using built-in Wi-Fi module to distribute Internet friends around.
OTG is the ability to connect USB devices to the tablet. Often a very useful function because this way is easiest to mount to your optional equipment (mouse, modem, flash drive, keyboard). If the tablet is classic and a USB connector for connecting external devices, an adapter MiniUSB-OTG, it is preferable to connect USB devices via an adapter, as in this case, the risk of inadvertently damaging your tablet to a minimum.
GPS – the possibility of using satellites to track Your location below to plan your route on maps. Most tablets are generally used for surfing the Internet and games, so rarely leave the confines of a house or apartment and the lack of GPS do not disappoint. As in the car on the lap of the satellites are unstable, and continually to hang the tablet on the glass at least uncomfortable, besides, it significantly closes the review, it is better for car navigation using a smartphone.
The rear (main) camera and microphone – a mandatory attribute of the tablet, front facing camera optional. The number of megapixels and the quality of matrix in the cells of budget tablets rather modest, there is usually no autofocus, so do not count on them to shoot night landscapes, videos, special events, and similar situations. Besides, it’s just uncomfortable and looks funny, but for normal communication on Skype enough any camera.
HDMI out on the tablet can be useful only if there is a monitor or TV with HDMI input and plan to use the tablet as a media player. If you connect to your wireless mouse, a normal TV turns into a fashion now a Smart TV – you can see it on the big screen YouTube videos, online movies on numerous websites or simply surf the Internet or play your favorite game.
Standard operating system for almost all budget Android tablets is that, due to its simplicity and free of has gained immense popularity, became the most popular mobile OS in 2012, and there is no doubt that in the current 2016 will continue to build on their success. Prior to version 4.1 of Android to fully support Adobe Flash, which is used in many active elements in web pages, games, online videos, online radio, even entire sites, but at present, its relative support is only at the level of individual browsers, although with the rapid transition of many sites in HTML5, the lack of Adobe Flash may be sometimes uncomfortable, but nothing more. If for some reason requires the presence of Adobe Flash, you can install yourself.
It is important that the Android version was 5.0 (at least 4.4), since an earlier version with less features may be incompatible with some new software and indicate that the model of the tablet is already outdated. Do not expect that manufacturers will release an update to the new version, most likely they will release new models of tablets, because it is more profitable than free maintain already purchased the device.
Very difficult question, because in the middle and upper price range “live” serious reputable manufacturers – Apple, Google, Samsung, Asus, Acer, etc., the range of models, each of them relatively small and very easy to find a detailed review of a specific model. Producers of low cost budget tablets dozens of different models in the sale of hundreds, and new ones appear almost every day, including many Chinese tablets with different names and very nice price. This flow stability is practically absent and it is impossible to say that this one manufacturer makes the tablets a very reliable device, and this every second buggy the next day, so in the choice of the manufacturer and specific model of tablet you need to consider more or less known manufacturer, customer reviews, and the timing and availability guarantees. The latter is very important, because if the manufacturer or the seller gives a tangible guarantee for their goods (including Chinese tablets), it will be required to make or sell a better device, so you do not do free warranty repairs.
Modern tablets are impossible to do on my knees in the basement of the Chinese in the light of a kerosene lamp as their components and assemblies are done almost on the same production lines as the branded models, and dozens of different “manufacturers” just gather them up, install the software and come up with the name, so do not expect a mass marriage from such a large number of brands. 3Q, Digma, HP, Prestigio, Ritmix, Texet, Wexler and other manufacturers for a long time already sell low-cost budget tablets, but you can safely choose tablets and other brands, the main thing – the availability and accessibility of warranty.
The tablet is virtually no mechanical wear components (hard drives, fans, optical disc drives, etc.), capacitive screen with more or less good coating or protective film is not subjected to wear, so expect even the most affordable budget tablets can be very durable, only eventually losing the battery life. But the compactness of the tablet – a big plus for the convenience and at the same time a big disadvantage for their lifetime, as the tablet can be crushed in the bag, sit on the couch and another way to turn it into a pile of useless plastic and liquid crystals.
If you choose on these characteristics the tablets in the store that You trust, you will remain a few models at an affordable price, to determine among which will be quite simple – see photos, compare specifications, prices and read reviews, to get unsuccessful model.
It is difficult to determine the best tablets in such variety and variability of brands, models and features, but still should pay attention to the models listed below. It is worth adding that strongly imposed by managers rather expensive set-up services, install the necessary programs and anti-virus software is optional, and how to register in Google Play and download then from there anything could any student, and viruses is dangerous only to those devices that have security settings allowed installation from unknown sources.
Diagonal 5.5-inch: phablet (cross between smartphone and tablet) and Xiaomi Redmi Note Pro 3 with an amazing performance for their price, or very inexpensive phablets with good performance and a complete set of all of the required functions DOOGEE X6 Pro (Android 6.0) or more modest DOOGEE X6 (Android 5.1). As practice shows, almost all users next smartphone purchase bigger, so it is reasonable now to combine a phone with a tablet in one device, it’s really very convenient.
Diagonal 6.4 inch: Xiaomi Mi Max is a very good modern tablet with amazing performance for its price with a big battery. Highly recommended to buy in checked places to not get a camera with the Chinese firmware.
Diagonal 7-inch: Prestigio MultiPad PMT3797 3G or Lenovo TAB 2 A7-20F is a small modern quick tablets well-known manufacturers on Android 5 with good features at an affordable price. The first model is a better screen and is 3G, and the second has a more capacious battery, but lower quality screen and no 3G.
Diagonal 8 inch: Prestigio MultiPad PMT3108C or Digma Plane 8.6 3G good tablet with a quality screen adequate for its price battery and Wi-Fi support, which includes everything you need, including 3G and GPS.
A diagonal of 10 inches:
– Prestigio MultiPad PMT3111 – one of the cheapest tablets of the large diagonals, which, although has not the best performance, a simple screen, weak camera, and sound, and also lacks 3G and GPS, but nevertheless, its capacity will be sufficient for most tasks, except for the most heavy games, but an additional advantage is very good for its price, the battery and more or less famous manufacturer;
– Digma Plane 1600 or 3G Digma Plane 1501M – very good cheap tablets with good screens and modern fixtures, including all necessary, including 3G and GPS. The first model is cheaper but the second is much faster and has a more capacious battery.
As you can see, it’s not too difficult to choose a cheap tablet for half the evening, but it will be Your own informed choice. Naturally, the low price implies that the class of the tablet and its computing power can be lower than the brand, but this does not mean that it will be much worse (except for the Wi-Fi module, he is really weak at the most affordable budget tablets). Besides, even the best tablet at any price will be considered obsolete in 2-3 years and even that short time will live, not everyone, since some of tablets is extremely high “mortality rate” from drops and bumps (it is expected that 60-80% of tablets will not live 2-years).