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The 10 best budget tablets 2014: Here are the best cheap tablets available to buy in the UK right now

Here's where we bring to you the 10 best budget tablets of 2014

The 10 best budget tablets of 2013/2014

Here's where we present to you 10 of the best budget tablets available to buy in the UK in 2014. All of the cheap tablets you see in this chart have been reviewed by one of PC Advisor's in-house experts.

24 months ago there wasn’t such a thing as a budget tablet, or at least one that we would recommend. Now the market is positively booming. Here's where we review and rank the 10 best budget tablets available to buy in the UK in 2014. Also see: Best SIM-only deals: Best SIM-only and Data SIM deals for smartphone and tablet users

When buying a budget tablet there are a few things that you need to consider, rather than just looking at our very informed chart of the 10 best tablets of 2014.

The first thing that you need to get your head around is that for less than £250 you’re not going to get a tablet that is going to compete with the iPad 4 in terms of specs and performance.

You should still be looking to buy a budget tablet with the best specs on offer. The key areas you should be concentrating on are: storage, screen size, pixel density, processor power, battery life, and size and weight. With regards to all of these hardware categories – excluding tablet dimensions - bigger is always better. For example, a dual-core processor is likely to be better than a single-core processor and a screen with 323 pixels per inch will look much better than a screen with 132 pixels per inch, as a rule

The last thing that you should know is that pretty much every budget tablet around today comes with Google’s Android operating system. This isn’t a bad thing though, as it’s very easy to use and is improving all the time. What this also means is that you are locked into the Google Play app store, but once again, in our expert opinion this isn’t a bad thing either. The Google Play store has an extensive amount of apps, movies, books, magazines and songs available to download. Just make sure that you have a recent version of Android, and that your tablet offers access to the Google Play store. Not all do.

The 10 best budget tablets of 2014

10. GoClever Tab R974

GoClever Tab R974
  • Reviewed on: 6 November 12
  • RRP: £179 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

One of the better bargain basement tablets we've seen, the GoClever Tab R974 suffers from some of the usual faults of low-cost tablets: poor screen resolution and poor build quality. But it has a great feature set and decent performance. If £200 is your limit and you want a 10in tablet - this is a good buy.

9. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9
  • Reviewed on: 1 April 13
  • RRP: £230 inc VAT (16GB); £259 inc VAT (32GB)
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is a good-value tablet for those who are happy to be locked into Amazon's system. For a lot of people, that won't matter at all as it's certainly not a bad system, particularly if you want to use it mainly as an e-reader. The hardware is hard to fault – excepting the hard-to-find buttons – and the screen is great for the money. The app store is lacking compared to Google Play, but undemanding users will find almost everything they need.

8. Archos 80 Titanium

Archos 80 Titanium
  • Reviewed on: 20 March 13
  • RRP: £130 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Archos 80 Titanium proves that you can get a decent tablet without breaking the bank. Its screen isn't high resolution, but it's a good IPS panel which matches the iPad mini for half as much. Performance is also good, as is build quality; only the cameras let the side down. If you're on a tight budget or want a tablet for your kids, this is a great choice.

7. Asus Fonepad

Asus Fonepad
  • Reviewed on: 31 May 13
  • RRP: £179 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

For those genuinely interested in a phablet, the Asus Fonepad is a bit of a bargain. It does the job of two devices for a budget price. However, you'll need to be prepared to make sacrifices including practicality and, in this case, no rear camera and slower performance issues. Not to mention the inevitable Dom Jolly impression, should you decide to use as a phone without a separate earpiece.

6. Acer Iconia A1

Acer Iconia A1
  • Reviewed on: 19 June 13
  • RRP: £149 (Wi-Fi), £209 (3G)
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The budget Android tablet market is a brilliant arms race. The Acer Iconia A1 is right in the mix as one of the best tablets in terms of value for money. If you're looking for something to surf the web, use social networks and watch videos on the A1 merits consideration. The fact that it has a microSD card slot makes it a really attractive tablet for £149.

5. Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013)

Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013)
  • Reviewed on: 20 December 13
  • RRP: £119 inc VAT (8GB), £139 inc VAT (16GB)
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

Since we initially reviewed the Fire HD, Amazon released an update which adds a new feature: FreeTime. this turns the Kindle into a great tablet for kids, allowing you to create separate user profiles and limit screen time. Usefully, you can set different limits for reading and everything else, so kids can't sit there playing games all day long.

If you can live with the limited amount of storage in the 8GB model, the £119 price makes this a great choice over virtually all other dedicated children's tablets.

4. Barnes & Noble Nook HD

Barnes & Noble Nook HD
  • Reviewed on: 6 June 13
  • RRP: £159 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

We can hardly find fault with the hardware, and at this price it's hard to find fault with anything. Since the Nook was set free from the confines of the Barnes & Noble content store it has been an amazing deal. An easy-to-use and well-built tablet at a great price.

3. Tesco Hudl

Tesco Hudl
  • Reviewed on: 10 February 14
  • RRP: £119 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Tesco Hudl is a budget tablet with a nice design and good build quality. Key specifications are better than the price tag suggests such as the processor and good quality 7 in screen. A microSD card slot and Micro-HDMI port are two reasons to opt for the Hudl over Google and Amazon alternatives.

2. Advent Vega Tegra Note 7

Advent Vega Tegra Note 7
  • Reviewed on: 11 January 14
  • RRP: £130 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

For the price, the Advent Vega offers an awful lot and is better than the Tesco Hudl in almost every way. Google’s new Nexus 7 is better overall, mainly because of its excellent screen and battery life, but it costs £70 more and has no microSD card slot for adding storage. If you’re after a budget Android tablet, the Tegra Note 7 is a great choice.

1. Nexus 7 (2013)

Nexus 7 (2013)
  • Reviewed on: 22 July 14
  • RRP: £199 (32 GB)/£239 (1 32GB)
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

The 2013 Google Nexus 7 is more expensive than the original and sees only a small change in the design, while its exceptional screen and added rear camera help justify this price hike. It's still lacking a microSD card slot but for many people with be the best 7in tablet around.

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