Best cheap tablets

There are plenty of dirt-cheap tablets floating around out there, but only a handful are really worth your time.

Take a look at some of our top budget tablet picks. Sarah Tew/CNET

The demand for dirt-cheap alternatives to the iPad 2 is undeniable. At the outset of the tablet wars, the majority of sub-$300 tablets being sold were pretty awful. Their bad screens and slow processors fundamentally crippled the entire tablet experience and had us begging for our laptops, or even a decent smartphone.

Fortunately, there's now an abundance of tablets that are both cheap and worthwhile. Sure, their screens are not as big as the iPad's or a 10-inch Honeycomb tablet, and their Internet connections may be limited to Wi-Fi. But through all their skimping, they still preserve the fundamentals of what a good tablet should deliver: Web, e-mail, and fun.

To give these wallet-friendly slates their due, we've created an ongoing feature that rounds up our top budget tablets.

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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