Friday, 27 September 2013

The Best Android Tablets for Under $300

The tablet market is booming, and lately, the trend is downgrading from the 10-inch behemoth devices to 7- or 8-inch tablets. Beyond Apple's iPad mini, Android fans have a wide range of selections to meet just about any need. The just announced Kindle Fire HDX has added yet another option, but don't forget about the Nexus 7 and other decent tablets, whether you're shopping for yourself or on the early hunt for holiday presents.

Kindle Fire, Old and New


Earlier this week, Amazon finally unveiled its latest line of tablets, dubbed Kindle Fire HDX. While the 8.9-inch model does offer a higher resolution display, the 7-inch Fire HDX is still on-par with the Nexus 7, thanks to its 1920x1200 screen. Amazon is boasting about the gaming prowess of the Fire HDX, as the Adreno 330 GPU is reportedly four times faster than the Kindle Fire HD. And despite its extremely fast--for a tablet--2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, the Fire HDX still offers 11 hours of battery life (17 hours if you're just reading). Other new features include a 720p front-facing camera and Amazon's Fire 3.0 operating system.

The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX ships October 18 for $229 (16GB) and $269 (32GB).

But while there's obviously plenty of reasons to go with Amazon's newly announced tablet, don't forget about the new Kindle Fire HD. The updated version of the last-gen tablet features a 1280x800 resolution display, 1GB of RAM, and 10 hours of battery life. The 8GB Kindle FIre HD has an MSRP of $139, while the 16GB model will set you back $169. Both versions ship on October 2.

Where to Buy:

See the Kindle Fire HDX on Amazon for $229

See the Kindle Fire HD on Amazon for $139


See Kindle Fire HDX Origami Case on Amazon for $65

See PowerFast Charging Adapter on Amazon for $20

The Nexus 7 is Still a Solid Option


So, while the Kindle Fire HDX may have matched Google's Nexus 7 in the display department--and trounced it in the processor department--the Nexus 7 is still a great tablet. The 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor notwithstanding, the Nexus 7 offers 2GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera, and a 1.2MP front-facing camera for $229 (16GB) or $269 (32GB). Of course, the outstanding benefit of the Nexus 7 over the Fire HDX may quick and dependable stock Android updates, thanks to its Google branding; purchasing a Fire HDX means living with Fire 3.0 OS, love it or hate it.

Where to Buy:

See the Nexus 7 on Amazon for $229


See the Google Chromecast on Amazon for $35

Galaxy Tab 3 Goes (Slightly) Bigger


So, maybe you want a smaller tablet, but still need that extra inch of screen space to look bigger than the person using a Nexus 7 next to you on the bus. Some people just have that complex, OK? Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 offers a 1.5GHz Samsung Exynos 4210 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. Granted, you're not going to find all of the fancy features of Samsung's Note tablets on the Tab 3--the display is only 1024x600--but you'll also spend less than 300 bucks. And if you're willing to downgrade to a 7-inch model, you can find a Tab 3 for only $200.

Where to Buy:

See the 8" Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 on Amazon for $299

See the 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 on Amazon for $199


See the Snugg Leather Flip-Stand Case on Amazon for $25

See the rooCase with stylus on Amazon for $10

Yes, the Nook HD Still Exists


OK, so maybe buying a Barnes and Noble's Nook HD isn't an investment in a product line that has much of a future. Despite a somewhat recent refresh, we've probably seen the last of the Nook--but hey, that means savings! The Nook HD offers a 1440x900 resolution display (243ppi), about 10 hours of battery life, and either 8GB or 16GB of storage (upgradeable via microSD card). Unfortunately, it also offers a proprietary charging connector. Still, you'll have access to all the apps on Google Play, as well as a competent e-reader.

Where to Buy:

See the Nook HD on Amazon for $125.99


See the MoKo Slim Cover Case on Amazon for $13

See the Ionic Leather Case with Charger on Amazon for $24

Matt Clark is a freelance writer covering the world of videogames, tech, and popular culture. Follow him on Twitter @ClarkMatt and MyIGN at Matt_Clark.

Source : ign[dot]com

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