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The Best Cheap Android Tablets – November 2018

Posted by William Sattelberg on November 18, 2018

In some ways, tablets feel like they’ve been a product in our lives for far longer than they actually have been. Though the idea of a tablet-shaped computer dates back to episodes of Star Trek and, in reality, can even be traced to the 90s with products like the Apple Newton, the true idea of what we consider a “modern” tablet began with the launch of the original iPad back in January 2010. Now, nearly eight years later, we can say that the tablet truly is here to stay. Though the idea of a tablet-style computer is still relatively new to the market, we’ve already seen dozens of variations on the basic idea. In addition to the fifteen iPad models that have been sold since the launch of the device, we’ve seen convertible laptop-style tablets, tablets that can dock into a keyboard, tablets that use phones to power their large displays, and even tablets that are meant to replace your laptop entirely.

It didn’t take long following the launch of the original iPad to see Android competitors begin to line up. Google was woefully unprepared for the market ready for an iPad-like device, taking nearly a full year to finally develop and launch a product that could properly compete with Apple’s new hot item. Though devices like the Galaxy Tab released before 2010 could end, Google urged customers to wait for the full release of Android 3.0, a version of Android that would be entirely focused on tablet-sized devices. The Motorola Xoom was the first tablet released with Android Honeycomb, placed on sale in February 2011, but it wasn’t quite the sales boom that Motorola and Google were probably expecting.

That wouldn’t arrive until the launch of the Nexus 7 in 2012, a 7″ tablet co-developed by Asus and Google. Running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at launch, the device was a fairly large success mostly due to its price point. It wasn’t groundbreaking in terms of hardware or design, but at just $199, almost anyone could afford to pick up the Nexus 7 to have around the house. When Google and Asus followed up a year later with a refined second-generation device, it was even more successful.

And although Google has moved away from the budget market, the Android tablet market certainly hasn’t. The mass adoption of tablets as third devices has slowed over the past two or three years, as phones grew larger and newer tablets began to make only minor incremental changes between generations, but if there’s one place where the target audience for tablets still exist, it’s in the budget area. Just like phones, cheap tablets have been getting better and better over the past two or three years. Devices that used to be considered “good for the price” are now simply “good,” with higher-resolution displays, faster processors, and more memory than ever before. The sub-$200 market has become overloaded with Android options, and it can be pretty difficult to determine which devices are good for the money and which aren’t.

Which brings us to this guide of the best cheap Android tablets on the market in 2018. Whether you’re looking for a gift idea for Christmas, something to keep your kids occupied in the back of a long car ride, or just something to keep around the house, we have you covered with the best sub-$200 tablets money can buy today. Let’s take a look.

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