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The best tablets for under $250

Budget tablets are a dime a dozen. We rounded up the cheap tablets worth your time and money.

Josh Miller/CNET

There's never been a better time to buy a tablet. You can get a dirt-cheap model for reading while on vacation or pick up a powerful laptop replacement for the upcoming school year.

If you're interested in something that lands somewhere in between a bare-bones tablet and a high-end powerhouse, there are many midrange models to choose from that don't break the bank. Here's a roundup of the best tablets for under $250.

The Asus ZenPad Z8 is available through Verizon.

Josh Miller/CNET

Asus ZenPad Z8

All tablets have Wi-Fi, but not all tablets have cellular service. The Asus ZenPad Z8 is a tablet with 4G LTE cellular service that allows you to access the web on the go -- that is, once you sign up for service through Verizon. It has everything you need in a small tablet for casual use (portable design, sharp screen, smooth performance), and if you don't need the cell service, there's a similar Wi-Fi-only model, the Asus ZenPad S 8.0, that's a bit cheaper.

The oldest iPad is also the cheapest model available.

Josh Miller/CNET

Apple iPad Mini 2

You could shell out $400 for the latest 4, or you could save a few hundred and pick up the older . You miss out on the latest bells and whistles, like the TouchID fingerprint sensor and a slimmer design, but the older model still works great for watching all of the media you've accumulated on iTunes throughout the years.

Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon's entire Fire tablet lineup is reasonably priced and the Fire HD 10 is one of the most affordable 10-inch models available. For $230, you can pick up this decent, movie-watching tablet that the whole family can share.

Good for the price.

Josh Miller/CNET

Acer Iconia One 10

Cheap 10-inch tablets that are actually decent to use for casual tasks like checking email and watching clips on YouTube are hard to find. That's why the Acer Iconia One 10 is special. At $130, it's so cheap that its dated design and subpar screen are forgivable. That is, if you're OK with going with a basic budget tablet to begin with.