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Cheap Tablets iPad alternatives, incl Samsung, Amazon & Google tablets

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Tablets are gaining popularity fast - but they don't come cheap. Our guide is a rundown of the cheapest big brand tablet deals, including the Kindle Fire HD, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and the Nexus 7.

When it comes to choosing one there's lots to consider, like screen size, memory, web access, and of course, price. If you're not sure which device to go for, read our FAQs.

Or, if you're adamant you want an Apple iPad, read our Cheap iPads guide for info and best buys.

As always, when buying big ticket items, always make sure you've done a full budget to ensure it won't break the bank and see Martin's Money Mantras below.

This is the first incarnation of this guide. Please post feedback on how you
find the info and if anything needs improving.

  • Pay by credit card for goods over £100
  • Use unfamiliar sites without checking
  • Protect purchases under £100
  • Let your anti-virus run out

Full DOs and DONTs

Top tips for choosing a tablet

So, you've decided to buy a tablet? Here are our top tips and things to know before you splash your cash on a new gadget:

What is a tablet?

How do I use a tablet?

What size screen do I need?

How much storage space do I need?

Do I need a wi-fi or 3G/4G model?

Is a tablet right for me?

Current top cheap tablet deals

Kindle Fire HD 7" refurb £75 (full-price £149) Get £34 off voucher from Amazon Local Deals. Previous generation model

To get this deal, you first need to get a free £34 off voucher from Amazon Local Deals*. There are 2,500 of these vouchers available until 11.59pm on Mon 7 Jul.

The voucher will be added to your Amazon account and will knock £34 off a refurbished Kindle Fire HD*, making it £75 rather than the usual £109. You have until 11.59pm Mon 7 Jul to redeem your voucher.

A full-price Kindle Fire HD would set you back £149, but this one's usually £109. So, you're saving £30 because this is a refurbished model and then a further £34 with this voucher.

It's important you don't place your order until you've had an email from Amazon Local Deals confirming the £34 voucher has been applied to your Amazon account.

The model is a 32GB 7" previous generation Kindle Fire HD, released at the end of 2012. A newer edition of the tablet was released in late 2013, so this isn't the latest version on the market. But it's still a great price.

What does "refurbished" mean?

We asked Amazon and it said it's a "pre-owned Kindle that has been refurbished, tested and certified to look and work like new, unless otherwise noted on the product detail page". Amazon will also repackage it in a new box. For full info for the tests Amazon does on refurbs, see 'more info' below.

Our experience of refurb items is generally good, whether they be phones, tablets or e-readers. MSE Deborah says: "I owned a refurbished Kindle and couldn't tell the difference at all. It looked brand new and worked brilliantly for two years (until my sister sat on it on holiday and broke it)."

It's worth noting with refurbs, you won't get the quick start guide that's available with a brand new one. Read here for full refurb info.

What warranty do I get?

You'll get a limited warranty of one year, covering defects in materials and workmanship under ordinary consumer use. Read here for full info on the Kindle one-year limited warranty. You're also entitled to the same 30-day returns policy as a new Kindle. Read the Kindle returns policy.

Cheapest small-screen tablets

Asus Google Nexus 7 - 7inLots of storage at a decent price
£129 online at Amazon

The Google Nexus 7 has a high spec but is a lot cheaper than its rival tablet, the Apple iPad Mini. You can get a 32GB wi-fi only model online at Argos* for £129.00. Delivery's free.

More info

Full spec

Tesco Hudl - 7in Cheap small-screen tablet
£119 online at Tesco

If you're looking for something that's similar to the iPad Mini but don't have a budget that stretches quite that far, the Tesco Hudl is only £119 in-store and online at Tesco Direct* (with free delivery).

Launched in September 2013, the Tesco Hudl is a more basic (and cheaper) version of its main competitors. Internal storage size is limited to 16GB, but it's expandable with a Micro SD card up to 48GB.

More info

Full spec

Nook HD - 7inCheap small-screen tablet
£79 online at Blackwell's

At £79 online from Blackwell's*, the 7in Nook HD (manufactured by Barnes & Noble) is one of the cheapest tablets on the market and, while the features are basic, it often comes out favourably in reviews.

More info

Full spec

Kindle Fire HD - 7inA good all-rounder
£99 at Amazon

Amazon's popular Kindle Fire HD (16GB) is currently £99 online at Amazon*. This version was previously on sale for £159, so this is a decent saving, although it's worth noting this is the previous generation model (the newer Fire HD is slightly faster than this one, running at 1.5GHz compared to 1.2GHz).

Amazon also released it's most recent offering, the Kindle Fire HDX, late in 2013. Prices start from around £199 for the 7" model and £329 for the 8.9" version. Discounts are rare though as the HDX is still relatively new, so the HD is a much cheaper option if you're not set on having the latest model.

Unlike other Amazon e-readers, the Kindle Fire is more like a tablet than an e-reader, letting you watch videos, listen to music, play games and surf the web, as well as read books. Looking for a Kindle e-reader? Read our Cheap e-Book Readers guide.

More info

Full spec

Cheapest mid-size tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 - 8iniPad Mini rival (but over £100 cheaper)
£138 online at Currys

With its 8in screen, the mid-sized version of the Galaxy Tab 3 offers something in between the traditional screen sizes of 7in and 10in. Although its spec is not quite as good as that of the iPad Mini, you get a bigger screen and the Samsung is much cheaper at £138 delivered (wi-fi only version) from Currys*.

More info

Full spec

LG G Pad - 8.3in Mid-size tablet with premium design
£190 online at Amazon

After a few years absence LG has got back into the tablet sphere with its aptly named G Pad 8.3, currently available in both black and white for £189.99 at Amazon*.

With similar specs and build quality to the iPad Mini, the G Pad is more of a premium product than some of its competitors, although it’s a good cheaper alternative to the Mini now that the price has come down since launching.

More info

Full spec

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Cheapest large-screen tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 - 10.1inTop spec 16GB iPad rival (but over £100 cheaper)
£256 online at Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is considered one of the biggest rivals to the iPad, and with a price tag that's £100 cheaper, it's a lot more MoneySaving. You can pick one up the 16GB wi-fi only version for £279 online at Amazon*. Delivery's free.

More info

Full spec

Sony Xperia Tablet Z - 10.1inSlightly cheaper iPad rival
£350 online at Amazon and Argos

Launched in spring 2013, this 10.1 inch tablet represents Sony's most popular offering in the market.

While reviews suggest its performance isn't quite as good as that of the iPad Air, it comes in slightly cheaper. Amazon* and Argos* both currently have the 16GB version for £349.99 delivered.

More info

Full spec

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Post in the Cheap Tablet Deals Discussion

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