Whether you're in the market for an iPad alternative or are simply looking for a tablet for gaming and streaming video, it can be tough to find the right tablet for your needs at a price you can afford. The best tablets under $400 offer ample internal storage, large hi-res displays, powerful processors, and HD cameras at a wallet-friendly price point.
Before you purchase a tablet, it's a good idea to first consider the primary ways you plan to use it. If you're looking for drawing and design capabilities, you'll need something that has expandable internal storage and is compatible with a digital pencil. For a full laptop alternative, you'll need a powerful processor that can really hold its charge. And if your primary goal is to watch movies and play video games, a large hi-res display and quality stereo sound are must-haves.
In general, you'll probably want at least 32 GB of internal storage. More space is always nice to have, but in some cases, upgrading your storage will put you over the $400 price point. You may also want the option to expand your storage by using a flash drive or a wireless storage device. Battery life is also an important consideration. If you plan to spend hours playing video games, for example, you'll want at least 10 hours of continuous usage on a single charge. It's also a good idea to look at how long it will take for your device to reach a full charge.
If you plan to use your tablet for video calls, streaming, or taking photos, a good camera is also important. Look for both front- and rear-facing cameras with a minimum of 2 MP, and take note of whether or not you'll want to have high-definition video recording capabilities as well.
With these key factors in mind, read on to learn more about four of the best tablets you can currently buy on Amazon, all for $400 or less.
1. The best cheap iPad
- Internal storage: 64 GB (also available in 256 GB)
- Display: 10.2 inches
- Processor: A10 Fusion Chip
- Cameras: 8 MP rear camera, 1.2 MP FaceTime HD front camera
- Battery life: 10 hours
If you're looking for a tablet that will be compatible with the rest of your Apple products, this Apple iPad Mini is chock full of great features in a small package. The 10.2-inch Retina display makes this a great option for streaming videos, gaming, or drawing and graphic design. This tablet is also compatible with the Apple Pencil, and you can download and run Procreate, which makes this one of the best choices for anyone who is interested in digital art. The cameras on this tablet are another draw, with an 8 MP rear-facing camera, a 1.3 MP FaceTime HD front-facing camera, and 1080p HD video recording capabilities. You can also easily pair this with a Bluetooth keyboard for a more laptop-like experience. It comes in space gray, silver, and rose gold, with both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi plus cellular options available.
One reviewer wrote: "Upgraded from an iPad mini 2 and the performance difference is amazing! Much faster. Love the screen, very clear and setup was a snap. Best and most powerful small tablet on the market and runs all apps quickly and smoothly. Very small and light, easy to hold in one hand. Battery life is simply stunning at about 10 hours. Can't recommend highly enough for those looking for a smaller tablet. Great for reading books from as it the size of a book."
2. The best laptop alternative
- Internal Storage: 64 GB
- Display: 10.4 inches
- Processor: 2.3GHz octa-core
- Camera: Front and rear cameras, MP not listed
- Battery Life: 13 hours
If you prefer an Android operating system, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a great laptop alternative. It comes with 64 GB of internal memory including 4 GB RAM, and you can expand to 1 TB by using an external microSD. You can use this tablet for up to 13 hours on a single charge, which lets you transition from work to marathon-watching your favorite shows and still have battery life to spare. Dual Dolby Atmos speakers provide exceptional sound quality, and while there is no listed MP for the rear and front cameras, reviewers noted that it takes clear photos as long as you have good lighting. Another excellent feature is that this tablet comes with an S-Pen that can handle everything from note-taking and drawing to acting as a remote control.
One reviewer wrote: "I have no real dislikes of this product! At its price point, and with a stylus you can't pass this up. The screen is enough. It's bright, and it is loud. It is quick enough, but just as quick as a two year old iPad at the price point. It is even more of a value when you consider buying any micro SD card and [upping] your storage."
3. The best with Alexa
- Internal Storage: 32 GB, also available in 64 GB
- Display: 10.1 inches
- Processor: 2.0 GHz octa-core
- Camera: 2 MP rear and front cameras
- Battery Life: 12 hours
If you love asking Alexa to play your favorite music and answer the random questions that keep you up at night, the Fire HD 10 Tablet is a high-performer for a very reasonable price. Both the 32 and 64 GB versions have 2 GB RAM, and it's dual-band Wi-Fi and Alexa-enabled with an option to toggle on hands-free usage so you can have Alexa read your recipe aloud if your hands are covered in flour while tackling a baking project. In addition to the 2 MP front- and rear-facing cameras, it also has 720p HD video recording capabilities, so it's a true multitasker for photos and video calls. It has 12 hours of battery life with a four-hour charge time, plus dual speakers and a wide-screen display, making it great for endless video streaming. It also comes in four on-trend colors, and you have the option of a tablet without ads or a slightly cheaper ad-supported version.
One reviewer wrote: "I can't speak for others, only for myself, but I think I got a heck of a good deal. The tablet is beautifully made and has a good solid heft; the case is a perfect match for it. The designers and manufacturer couldn't have improved on it; for looks, I think they came up with a winner. The colors, graphics, video definition (it also streams HD just fine!) are all top of the line."
4. The best for gaming
- Internal Storage: 32 GB
- Display: 10.1 inches
- Processor: 2.4 GHz
- Cameras: 8 MP rear and front cameras
- Battery Life: 12 hours
The Huawei Media Pad M5 Lite runs on an Android operating system, and it's a great pick for gamers thanks to its hi-res display, enhanced eye-comfort mode to help reduce sensitivity to blue light, and quad-speaker system that provides concert hall audio effects. Your calls get a full 12 hours of continuous use on a single charge, and it takes just under three hours to get the battery fully ready for a marathon gaming session. It has 32 GB of internal storage with 3 GB RAM, and 2048-layer pressure sensitivity, which means that if you're using this tablet with a compatible stylus, you'll be able to render realistic drawings.
One reviewer wrote: "Basically this blows Samsung and Apple out the water. The picture quality is beautiful a sound is unbelievably awesome. It runs as fast as an apple with easy-to-use software and you don't get the Samsung bloatware. It streams live video and movies flawlessly with virtual surround sound coming out of a tablet for under 300 bucks."
5. The best under $100
- Internal Storage: 32 GB, also available in 64-GB
- Display: 8 inches
- Processor: 2.0 GHz quad-core
- Cameras: 2 MP rear and front cameras
- Battery Life: 12 hours
If you want all the features of the Fire HD 10 for only $90, the Fire HD 8 is an excellent alternative. Both storage sizes come with 2 GB of RAM, and it has the same Alexa capabilities, 2 MP front- and rear-facing cameras, and 12-hour battery life as the pricier Fire HD 10, so the main difference here is that you're working with an 8-inch screen rather than a 10-inch one. Weighing just over 10 ounces, this tablet is compact and lightweight, so it's easy to carry your videos, ebooks, music, and games with you wherever you go. At only $70 for the 32 GB option and $100 for the 64 GB one, it's especially great for first-time tablet buyers (or as a second tablet for parents to offer up to their kids for games and streaming). It comes in four colors, including plum and twilight blue, and it can be purchased with or without ads.
One reviewer writes: "I am a big user of Amazon products like Fire tablets and Alexa. This HD 8 boots up extremely fast. The screen movement is very smooth. I own an HD 10 but I like this better because the size makes it easier to hold and maneuver. It is much lighter than the 10. I had a concern about the sound quality before receiving it but the sound quality is very good. The charge time is fast and the battery holds charge for a long time."