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November 11, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 3:02pm

6 of the best budget tablets for Christmas

CBR looks at six of the cheaper options available for price sensitive buyers.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

With tech companies battling for the estimated 184 million tablets to be sold this year, it could shape up to be a tablet Christmas.

Not so long ago the tablet industry had been ruled by the iPad range, but now other Android-based tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle range have risen to challenge its dominance.

Figures released from analyst firm IDC showed that Apple’s share of the global tablet market dropped to 29.6% for the first time in the third quarter this year, down from 40% a year ago, while Android shipments were up.

And while the iPad still remains at top favourite for many, they don’t come cheap. Costing up to £739 for the latest model or £250 for an older iPad version, other low-budget and more child-specific tablets have recently been launched by Tesco, Argos, Amazon, Google, Samsung and Carphone Warehouse.

Avoca 7

Avoca

Best for affordability, Avoca 7 has a 800×480 resolution screen and runs on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, weighing about 350g.

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Usually priced at £99, Carphone Warehouse’s tablet is available for £49 during the build-up to Christmas, while stocks last.

It comes with a 1GHz processer, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 32GB using a Micro SD slot.

However, there’s only a front-facing camera on this model with 0.3- megapixel for taking pictures or making video calls and promises to last between.

The Avoca 7 also supports Wi-fi and audio connections, and promises between 3.5 hours and 8 hours of battery life, depending on usage.

 

 

Hudl

hudl

Unveiled in September 2013 and weighing 370g, Tesco’s Hudl costs £119 or £60 of clubcard vouchers.

Operating on the 4.2.2 version of Android, the Wi-Fi-only tablet has a 14,400 x 900-pixel display that is powered by a quad-core processor with about nine hours of battery life.

Unlike Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, the device comes with a dedicated "T" button in the bottom left hand corner that takes you to the retailer’s online stores, allowing users to download apps for Tesco’s blinkbox system including films, music, books and clubcard points.

It also includes 16GB of memory, which is expandable to 48GB using a microSD, and access to Google apps and the whole Android App store.

Although the tablet is "plasticky" and comes with "hefty borders around the edge," according to Matt Warman, head of technology at The Telegraph, it’s more than good enough for what most people need.

"Its 243 pixels per inch looked more than adequate for films… its 243 pixels per inch looked more than adequate for films… and decent speakers for when you want to watch the TV or films you’ve downloaded with stereo sound," he said in a recent review.

 

 

Kindle Fire HD

Kindle

Being the bottom-of-the-range Amazon Kindle Fire, the latest Wi-Fi only tablet has a 1280 x 800 HD display with a decent pixel-density level of 215 ppi and a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, which is 60% faster than its predecessor.

Released in October 2013, the 7-inch model also has a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, dual stereo speakers and 8GB of storage, and comes with a library of easily accessible ebooks, films and apps with better brightness for enhanced viewing in any lighting conditions, according to Amazon.

It is priced at £119.

 

 

 

MyTablet

Launched in October 2013, the 7-inch MyTablet runs on Google Android’s 4.2.2 operating system and costs £99, undercutting the price of Tesco’s Hudl by £20.

The device features the same storage as the Avoca 7, but with a 1024×600 resolution LCD display and a dual core 1.6GHz processor.

It also features a 2-megapixels front and back camera, a five-hour battery life and support for Wi-fi and Bluetooth.

The MyTablet is available in silver or pink metal cases and is aimed at eight to 13-year-olds, coming with parental controls already enabled and pre-loaded games like Angry Birds and Fantasy Breaker.

However, would-be buyers may perhaps be put off by the "poor build quality", according to technology writer Samuel Gibbs at the Guardian.

Webpages are slow to load, he said in a review, and the dual-core processor isn’t powerful, while 1GB of RAM means multitasking suffers.

"The display itself is also low resolution (1024 x 600, 169ppi), which makes text on websites and ebooks look slightly fuzzy. Images also lack detail, while the colours are washed out and dull," he added.

 

Nexus 7

nexus7

Released in August 2013, the Asus-manufactured device is one of the lightest tablets, weighing 290g.

Operating on the Android 4.3, it features one of the best screens with a resolution of 1920×1200, while the 323 pixels per inch means its display is better than any of the other tablets.

Power has been beefed up with a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, while other features include a rear-facing camera and 10 hours of battery life.

What’s more, you can control access to certain apps and content and shoot videos up to 1080p resolution.

It also has "a gorgeous feel, seamless software and a great look," according to CBR reporter Ben Sullivan’s latest Nexus 7 review.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids

Samsungkids

On sale since November 2013, the £199 tablet sports a 7-inch 1,024×600-pixel display that is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.

Running on the Android Jelly Bean 4.1, there’s a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front and 3-megapixel camera on the back, and a time management feature for parents that can lock the device after a certain amount of usage. Parents can also manage the apps through a parental control function.

Samsung also preloaded the tablet with e-books apps and games, while more can be added from Samsung’s kids store.

Other extras include a "C Pen" stylus, drawing apps and a kid’s case.

 

 

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