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December 2, 2014

8 of the best budget tablets from Tesco, Aldi, Argos and others

Features list and prices on Hudl 2, Medion Lifetab, Nexus 7, Encore Minie and beyond...

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1. Tesco’s Hudl 2

Tesco Hudl2

Unveiled in October 2014 and weighing 410g, the device is heavier than the first Hudl (370g) and costs £129 or £65 with clubcard vouchers.

Operating on the 4.4.2 version of the Android KitKat, the device has an 8.3-inch 1,920 x1,200 Full HD screen that is powered by an Intel quad-core processor.

The Hudl 2 comes in eight "fab" colours and features a 5MP main camera with a 1.2MP front-facing camera.
It also includes eight hours of battery life and 16GB of memory, which is expandable to 48GB using a microSD, and access to Google apps and the whole Android App store.

Athough the tablet is "heavy and has a lousy battery and camera," according to James Vincent, a science and technology reporter for The Independent, it’s the "perfect tablet for the family".

"It’s cheap, well built and a perfect tablet for the home, where it can be passed round for games, movies, Facebook, finding recipes and, yes, even doing the odd Tesco shop," he wrote.

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2. Toshiba’s Encore Mini

Toshiba Encore Mini

It’s a 7-inch tablet that is now on sale in the UK for £99 and comes with an Intel Atom processor with a speed of at least 1.3GHz.

Other specs include 1GB of RAM, a 1,024 x 600 pixel LCD screen and a camera of 2MP. The budget tablet also features 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.

The tablet runs on Windows 8.1 with Bing – meaning Bing becomes the default search engine, and a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal is included.

3. Aldi’s Medion Lifetab

Aldi Medion Lifetab

After selling out the Medion Lifetab last year, the supermarket chain is restocking it again from 11 December with updated specs for £149.99.

Operating on the Android 4.4 KitKat, it features a 1,920×1,200p resolution LCD display with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in memory, expandable via a microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC card.

The 10.1-inch multi-touch tablet is 8.5mm thick and weighs 580g and comes with an Intel Atom quad-core processor (up to 1.83GHz), a 5MP rear facing camera and a 2MP front facing webcam.

4. Amazon Fire HD 6 Kids Edition

Amazon Fire Kids Edition

The latest Fire HD Kids Edition is powered by quad-core processor and has HD display with 6 and 7 inch screen options, costing $149 and $189 respectively.

Like the company’s other Kindle tablets, the Kids Edition also features front and rear camera and Dolby Digital audio.

Operating on the Amazon Sangria OS, it makes the tablet easy for kids to navigate and operate, while the extensive, built-in parental controls give parents the ability to limit activity.

The company is offering two-year guarantee and FreeTime Unlimited access to media content for a year.

5. Argos’s MyTablet

My Tablet

The catalogue retailer unveiled the second range of the MyTablet in July this year with the original device having launched last year as a rival to Tesco.

The latest range consists of tablets measuring 7 -inches for £80, 7.85 inches for £100 and 10.1 inches for £130 and are available in either silver or pink colour schemes.

In the two larger models, the dual core 1.6GHz has been upgraded to a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, whereas the 7-inch model uses a less powerful 1GHz dual-core processor.

All three tablets feature a 2MP main camera with a 5MP front-facing camera for the larger two and a 0.3MP for the 7-inch.

They also include 16 GB of in-built memory, which is expandable with a microSD car by up to 32GBon the 7-inch model and by up to 64GB on the larger ones.

Both the 7-inch and 10-inch screens offer the same resolution of 1,024×600, while the 7.85-inch has an upgraded 1,024×768.

The MyTablets are aimed at eight to 13-year-olds, coming with parental controls already enabled and pre-loaded games like Angry Birds and Fantasy Breaker.

6. Google’s Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7

If you cannot fork out £319 to buy Google’s new Nexus 9 in time for Christmas, the Nexus 7 may interest you for £169.99.

Released in August 2013, the Asus-manufactured device is one of the lightest budget tablets, weighing 290g, and is 8.5mm thick.

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," CBR reporter Ben Sullivan said in a review last year.

7. Acer’s Iconia Tab 8

Iconia Tab 8

The 8-inch Windows tablet has a 1,920×1,200pixel-resolution display, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which is expandable by a further 32GB using a microSD card.

Checking in at about £127, the device measures in at 8.46 by 5.12 by 0.33 inches (HWD), weighs 12.70 ounces and is available in white with an aluminium-clad body.

The Tab 8 boasts up to eight hours of battery life, a 2MP, front-facing camera and a quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3745 processor.

Users also get a free year of access to Microsoft Office 365 Personal and are encouraged to purchase the optional Acer Crunch Keyboard to get the most out of Word or Excel.

8. Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD

Amazon Kindle Fire Hd

Released in October 2013, the 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.

The 7-inch model also has a 1.3MP 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.

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