Android tablets under $300

CNET's top 7-inch Android tablets that can be had for less than $300.

No matter how small or how affordable Apple can make the iPad, nothing can change the fact that it's a newcomer to the market of mini tablets.

Small, inexpensive Android tablets have been around for years and are finally hitting their stride. Through trial and error, manufacturers have figured out the sweet spot of features, design, and performance that seems to be resonating with customers.

What's more surprising is that the players in this space aren't the typical cast of characters that Apple is used to fighting. Sure, Samsung makes an appearance, but so does Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Personally, I think this is the most interesting battlefronts in tech right now. The profit margins are razor sharp. Every component and every design decision counts. And in the end, the battle is as much about content and ecosystem as it is about hardware and price.

And so, I present to you the top 7-inch Android tablets under $300 , most of which are right around $200. This Top 5 video is pulled from Eric Franklin's roundup of iPad Mini competitors over on iPad Atlas.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab (Sprint)

The Bottom Line: The Galaxy Tab is a beautiful product with features that will make iPad owners envious, but its in-between size and possible carrier commitments hold it back from broad appeal. / Read full review

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Google Nexus 7 (16GB)

The Bottom Line: With its excellent design, useful software features, and low starting price, the Nexus 7 is the cheapest way to experience the best that the Android OS has to offer. / Read full review

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Google Nexus 7 (8GB)

The Bottom Line: With its excellent design, useful software features, and low starting price, the Nexus 7 is the cheapest way to experience the best that the Android OS has to offer. / Read full review

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Apple iPad (16GB)

The Bottom Line: The Apple iPad is the first affordable tablet computer worth owning, but it won't (yet) replace your laptop. / Read full review

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 4G LTE (Verizon)

The Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 4G LTE (Verizon) delivers on 4G speeds and features, but is too expensive to recommend. / Read full review

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD

The Bottom Line: With a beautiful screen, refined interface, and huge coffer of media consumption options, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is the Kindle Fire as it should have been. / Read full review

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (Verizon)

The Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 delivers a beautiful screen and fast performance but our enthusiasm is ultimately tempered when the price is taken into account. / Read full review

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (8GB)

The Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 4G LTE (Verizon) delivers on 4G speeds and features, but is too expensive to recommend. / Read full review

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus - 16GB

The Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is pretty and sleek, with well-implemented remote-control functionality, making it the best 7-inch Honeycomb tablet yet. / Read full review

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Amazon Kindle Fire (2012)

The Bottom Line: The Kindle Fire (2012) takes it up a notch in value, but is tethered to the same design oversights of the original. / Read full review

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Barnes & Noble Nook HD+

The Bottom Line: The Nook HD+ is a low-price, quality entry point into the world of tablets, especially now that it has full Google Play support. / Read full review

About the author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.

 

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