Tablets are excellent for content consumption, keeping up with social media, and occasionally getting some work done. But not everyone wants to spend a thousand dollars on a tablet when they already own a decent smartphone and laptop. This is where the sub-$500 tablet segment comes into play, and it has a fairly decent selection. So if you want a tablet that doesn’t cost a lot but still offers good performance, you are in luck. I have handpicked the best tablet under $500 that you can buy today.
Best tablets priced under $500
|Apple iPad (2021)||Lenovo Tab P12 Pro||Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (2021)||Apple iPad mini (2021)||Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite|
|Buy from Amazon||Buy from Lenovo||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Samsung|
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Apple iPad (2021)
Apple’s 2021 iPad is undoubtedly the best tablet you can buy for under $500. Its A13 Bionic chip runs everything smoothly, and the iPadOS has an impressive selection of apps that work great on the tablet’s 10.2-inch Retina screen.
Whether you want to use the iPad solely in your home or you plan to take it around with you, you can pick between Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular variants to get the best connectivity.
You will also be happy to know that the iPad also supports the first-generation Apple Pencil, which will come in handy if you like to draw or prefer to take notes with something resembling a pen.
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro
If you prefer Android tablets over iPads, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is a fantastic option. This feature-rich tablet comes with a 12.6-inch 2560x1600p AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. So you will get an excellent picture quality and a smooth experience while playing games. Moreover, the Tab P12 Pro also doubles as a portable monitor, so you can use the tablet as your second monitor on the go. All you have to do is connect a video-capable USB Type-C cable from your computer to the tablet.
The Snapdragon 870 SoC is powering the tablet, and it’s a pretty capable processor, resulting in a solid overall performance. Other specifications include Android 11, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
Lenovo also includes stylus support, and you can buy the company’s Lenovo Precision Pen 3 for $70 separately.
Among other highlights, the tablet supports both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos formats, so you will not only be able to enjoy the HDR content on streaming services but also get a great sound experience. There are a total of four speakers on the device.
>> The Lenovo Tab P12 Pro starts at $499, and you can order it from Lenovo.com.
Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (2021)
If you primarily use a tablet to watch content on streaming services or read e-books, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus is perfect for you. It’s the most powerful Fire Tablet model in Amazon’s portfolio, but it still starts at just $180. The 10.1-inch full-HD+ screen is excellent, and the octa-core CPU keeps everything running smoothly.
Although the Fire HD 10 Plus is technically an Android tablet, it runs Amazon’s Fire OS, which is an Android fork and doesn’t use Google apps or services. Instead, you get Amazon’s app store, which you will use to download apps and games. While the app selection on Amazon Appstore isn’t as expansive as Google Play Store but it’s decent enough, and you will get most popular apps and games.
The tablet lasts around 12 hours on a single charge and uses the built-in Type-C port for charging and data transfer. There is one camera each on the front and the back, which are average but enough for your video call or occasional photo needs.
Apple iPad mini (2021)
Unfortunately, there aren’t many great small tablets on the market, but the Apple iPad mini (2021) is an exception. It’s a solid tablet, which is even more powerful than the regular iPad. The 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display is fantastic, and the A15 Bionic chip can handle everything you throw at it without breaking a sweat. Let’s not forget iPadOS, which has a vast app library.
You can buy the iPad mini in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular variants like the regular iPad. And you will be happy to know that, unlike the regular iPad, it supports 5G connectivity.
The iPad mini can last around 10 hours on a single charge and supports 20W charging via the USB-C port.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2020)
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2020) is a little dated, but it’s still a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot on a tablet. The tablet features a beautiful 10.4-inch display, Exynos 9611 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. The Exynos chip may not be the latest, but it’s powerful enough to offer a smooth and snappy performance.
The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite also comes with S-Pen, so you can scribble, draw, and do a lot of other stuff. Among other specifications, you get a 7,040mAh battery, which Samsung claims can last up to 13 hours on a single charge.
Although when launched in 2020, the Tab S6 Lite ran on Android 10, the tablet has since been upgraded to Android 12 and should receive one more major Android update.
So these are the best tablets you can buy for under $500. There are devices for both iOS/iPadOS and Android lovers. Which tablet are you planning to buy? Let me know in the comments section. Meanwhile, you can also check out my handpicked recommendations for the best car chargers and mobile hotspots.