CNET Top 5: Best budget 7" Android Tablets
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CNET Top 5: Best budget 7" Android Tablets

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

When the iPad first came out, it immediately faced competition from 7-inch tablets running Android. Unfortunately, they all cost too much and most of them came with a two year contract. Eventually, some genius figured out that the way to compete against the iPad was to make a solid, cotract-free table t for around $200. I???m Donald bell and in this week???s Top 5 we???re counting down the best cheap tablets under $300. These are the tablets that are keeping things interesting. Starting off at #5, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. Now don???t confuse this with the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, or the Galaxy Tab 7.7, or the Tab 8.9, or the Galaxy Tab 2... 10.1. This tablet has more sequels than Harry Potter, but this particular tablet hits the sweet spot on price: $249. It also has an IR blaster to control your TV, and best of all, a microSD expansion slot. At #4, the 2012 Kindle Fire. No, not the HD version, but the old design Amazon updated with a faster processor, a new OS and twice the RAM. There???s still no camera and the design is pretty blah, but the price is $159. That???s the lowest price on this list and makes this tablet a great value. At #3, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD. For $199 you get a lightweight 7-inch tablet with a beautiful screen and a microSD card slot. And because it???s from Barnes & Noble, it might even shame you into reading a book or two. Coming in at #2, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Here???s another $199 7-inch tablet with a great screen. You also get a 720p camera for Skype video chat, and some of the best speakers you???ve heard on any tablet. And with Amazon, you???re getting a selection of music and video content that truly rivals Apple. Now before we get to the #1 iPad mini competitor, let???s take a look back at the top 5 tablet flops. Remember when they wanted $550 for the Dell Streak? Those were dark times. Alright, and now the #1 reason the iPad Mini should just crawl back to Cupertino: the Google Nexus 7. I still don???t know how they pulled this off. $199, Tegra-3 processor, and a completely polished front-end for all of Google???s best software. I still say it???s a microSD card slot away from being perfect, but it???s pretty darn close. So there you go, those are the best 7-inch tablets out there right now priced around $200. Be sure to check out Eric Franklin???s roundup over on iPad Atlas. And for more Top 5???s like this head over to Top 5.cnet.com I???m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.

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