Budget tablets for less than AU$400

Sure, they may not have the eye-blasting super hi-res screens of their competitors, but these tablets are guaranteed not to break the bank.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
3 min read

If you're a serious business person who needs a serious business tablet, then there are more than a few options out there, from the iPad Pro, to the Microsoft Surface, right through to HP's Spectre X2. But all of those are going to cost you some serious cash.

If you're in the market for a budget offering, it gets a little trickier in Australia. Without the likes of the Amazon Fire range (or even the Asus MemoPad), it's not that easy to find a bargain. But there are a few low-cost options which we've detailed here. No, you won't get the latest in processors, nor the kind of screen quality that'll put your TV to shame, but you will get change from AU$400 and a quality device to go with it.

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iPad mini 2


Apple iPad Mini 2

Yes, it's true that you could drop into the Apple store and shell out AU$1,699 for the top-of-the-line iPad Pro. But you can also grab a brand new iPad Mini 2. It's just AU$369 for the Wi-Fi-only 16GB model. This includes a 7.9-inch Retina display, with a 2,048x1,536 resolution at 326 pixels per inch -- just in case that was worrying you. The Mini 2 also ships with the latest version of iOS 9, meaning there's a very big selection of apps, games and various forms of entertainment you can avail yourself of.


Samsung Tab A 8.0

Samsung has some top-of-the-line and very expensive tablets, such as the Tab S2, which can cost as much as AU$859. But there's also the Tab A series, the Wi-Fi-only version of which will set you back just AU$299. Of course, for that money you're getting a screen resolution of 1,024x7,68 pixels, so people looking for something to watch videos on might get more from spending the extra $70 on the iPad. Sadly, the Tab A doesn't come with the most recent Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow, but the slightly earlier Lollipop. Android is used to a little fragmentation though, so you'll have the run of the Play Store while you wait for the latest update to arrive.

Josh Miller/CNET

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3

The smartly designed Yoga Tab 3 from Lenovo is another excellent option if you're after a good all-rounder of a Tab. The screen resolution is a quite decent (1,200x8,00 pixels) and the 8-megapixel camera rotates around the edge so you've got top-quality selfies, if that's really what you were looking for. You'll pay AU$329 for the 8-inch screen and AU$399 for the 10-inch model. Like the Samsung Tab A, you're getting Android 5.0 as the operating system.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite VE 7

Yes, it's another budget Galaxy Tab, but at AU$178 this 7-inch tablet might be perfect if you're after something for the kids to use. There's a Kids Mode if you didn't want the little ones to get access to full glory of the Internet. Even better, the lower res screen (1,024x600 pixels) and mid-range processer means you get a very good battery life -- Samsung reckons you can squeeze out a solid eight hours of video playback. Just a heads-up: At this price you're getting the KitKat version of Android, at least two generations older than the most recent.