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10 Best Tablets Under $500

Want to get a bigger slate than your phone, be it for movies, games, or designing, but don’t want to dig deep in your pocket? Say no more, as we bring you some of the finest gadgets online. One of them will definitely be Best Tablet Under 500 you’d want to invest in. 

People opt for tablets for various reasons, such as they want to draw some illustrations, use it for notes in school, better gameplay or movie streaming. And, the tablets not only give you a sense of portability (unlike TVs or gaming consoles) but also provide amazing features in a smaller size. 

Without ranting more, whatever your reasons for buying a new tablet, below are some best choices. You’ll find one for yourself for sure.

Best Tablet Under 500 Dollars

Tablet NameProcessorEditor’s ScorePrice
1. Apple Ipad Air 10.5″M1210/10
2. NVIDIA SHIELD K1 8″NVIDIA Tegra K18/10
3. Microsoft Surface Go1.6 GHz8.5/10
4. Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro2.1 GHz8/10
5. Microsoft Surface Pro 42.5 GHz9/10
6. Google Nexus Samsung GT-P81101.7GHz8.5/10
7. Toshiba Excite AT275T161.4 GHz8/10
8. Apple Ipad 9.7″A10 Fusion chip9.5/10
9. Lenovo Miix 21.6 GHz8/10
10. Microsoft Surface 32.4 GHz9/10

1. Apple Ipad Air 10.5″

“Editor’s Choice”

Apple iPad Air (10.5-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB)...
4,030 Reviews
Apple iPad Air (10.5-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB)...
  • 10.5-inch Retina display with True Tone...
  • A12 Bionic chip
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor and Apple...
  • 8MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD front...
  • Stereo speakers
Pros
  • Laminated screen for better colors
  • Powerful Chipset
  • Cheapest iPad for Smart Keyboard
  • Fast charging
Cons
  • The design is traditional
  • Two speakers only instead of four

Apple iPad Air 10.5 inch, also known as iPad 3rd Generation, is the newer, powerful yet still underrated iPad in the lineup, and we don’t get why.

The look and feel of this iPad is nothing new, its same Apple-ish design just with thinner bezels on the side. Yet, it still has some features that the newer iPad Pro series lacks, which is 3.5mm headphone jack and Touch ID. Also, it supports the smart keyboard the same one used by Pro versions.

A big upgrade from the previous iPad 9.7 inch, this iPad has a 10.5-inch retina display. The screen is laminated, which means there is no gap between the glass on the top and the screen for better colors. Also, the lamination on the screen makes a great difference when using the Apple pen.

The deal maker here is the powerful processor behind the laminated display and pretty design. It is equivalent to many of the best laptops selling today. It has A12 Bionic chipset, the same chipset used in iPhone XS and XS Max. It has a better speed than its predecessors, which means multitasking is easier with this laptop.

An upgraded battery life, laminated screen, thinner bezels, anti-reflective coating, powerful chipset, and wider color palette are some of the highlights for this iPad, and that too in such price! It’s a steal.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 10/10
  • Processor: M12
  • Storage: 64GB or 256GB
  • Display: 10.5 inch
  • Screen resolution: 2160 x 1620 pixels
  • Graphics: A12 Bionic chip
  • Weight: 1.0 pounds
  • Battery life : up to 10 hours

2. NVIDIA SHIELD K1 8″

“Fast Processor”

NVIDIA SHIELD K1 8' Tablet - Black
2,902 Reviews
NVIDIA SHIELD K1 8" Tablet - Black
  • More ways to game with Android games and...
  • Powered by the NVIDIA Tegra K1...
  • Full HD 1080p, 8-inch display, and...
  • MicroSD slot provides expandable storage...
  • 802.11n 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz...
Pros
  • All-black sleek design
  • The screen is quite great
  • The processor and GPU are great at such price
Cons
  • Controller and cables are not included

You might know Nvidia from the graphics and gaming related hardware. However, Nvidia has stepped in making some robust tablets (obviously aimed for gaming), and one of these is Nvidia Shield K1.

The first look of this tablet will give you a premium sense with an all-black color scheme. The rear of this tablet is made of soft-touch plastic with a matte finish. While on the front, there is a large glass panel with the two rubber strips to hold the front camera and speakers.

The 8inch Full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution display makes your gaming and streaming experience to the next level. The colors are bright and accurate. The previous version had some brightness issues when watching or playing games in the dark setups; however, with the K1, you are all set to watch your favorite movies, whether you are on plane or car.

Typically aimed for gaming, the K1 has to be undoubtedly a high-performance tablet when on a budget. With the power of the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor and 192-core NVIDIA Kepler GPU, this tablet can instantly turn into a robust gaming gadget.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra K1
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB
  • Display: 8 inch
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA 192-core Maxwell
  • Weight: 12.5 ounces
  • Battery life : 5 hours

3. Microsoft Surface Go

“Great Graphics”

Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium...
1,170 Reviews
Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium...
  • High res 10 inch PixelSense Display...
  • Lightest Surface yet, starting at just...
  • All day battery life, with up to 9 hours...
  • Comes with Windows 10 in S mode, to do...
  • Includes multi tasking USB C, fast...
Pros
  • Great graphics
  • Simple and decent design
  • Display and speakers are top-notch
Cons
  • Accessories are not included
  • The screen could have been better

Inheriting all the good features from Microsoft Surface Pro, The newer Microsoft Surface Go is lower in price, which is kinda good news as you get the features for Pro version on a budget.

In design, the Microsoft Surface Go is very similar to the Surface Pro except the Go version has rounded edges, and obviously, the size is smaller. Even though the size is smaller, Microsoft has been able to accommodate the full-sized keys and larger in-depth glass trackpad.

With a 10-inch display, Microsoft Go comes with 1800×1200 resolution, which is quite great for everyday use. The colors are accurate, ideal for movies. Even Though the bezels around the screen are large, they give a better grip so that you don’t accidentally touch the screen and trigger something.

Coming to the processor of this tablet, simply, it is a powerhouse. Being almost equivalent to a gaming laptop, Microsoft Surface GO runs rigorous games like Minecraft like a dream. Also, with the 4GB RAM, you can open several tabs at a time.

If you are a heavy traveler who wants lesser hardware on the go, this tablet with up to 9 hours of battery is the one for you!

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz Pentium
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • Display: 10 inch
  • Screen resolution: 1800×1200 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
  • Weight: 1lbs
  • Battery life : up to 9 hours

4. Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro

“Amazing Audio”

Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro Tablet with 10.8'...
78 Reviews
Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro Tablet with 10.8"...
  • 【2.5D Glass Display】Curved-edge 2.5D...
  • 【Excellent Sound】Quad stereo...
  • 【Pure. Simple. Stylish】M5's curved...
  • 【Quick Charge】It takes only 2.9 hrs...
  • 【Smart UI】EMUI 8.0 (Based on Android...
Pros
  • Audio is amazing with four speakers
  • Premium sleek design
  • Good for value
Cons
  • A little heavy
  • Camera performance is mediocre

At this price, 10 inches is the average display size you’ll get. However, this Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro comes with a good 10.8-inch screen. This tablet has a good framing around the display. The body of the tablet is made up of metal, while the front is all glass.

The design is premium with 7.5 mm thickness and 500g in weight. It isn’t the lightest option, however, what to complain about at such a price.

The display is 10.8 inch IPS 2K resolution 2560 x 1600 panel, quite amazing with colors and brightness. With 2.5D glass, you can use it even in bright conditions, such as outdoors. There is also the night mode option available; this will drop the resolution for added protection of your eyes and battery saving.

It claims to provide 3D sound that is penetrating and richer with its quad speakers, so turn up your parties or your dull mood with the loud music!

If you are looking for the best tablet under 500 with a reasonable battery, Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro is the one for you. It charges fully in 2.9 hours and lasts up to 10 hours. It also comes with many power saving options to save your battery when traveling.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: 2.1 GHz 8032
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB
  • Display: 10.8 inch
  • Screen resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Graphics: Mali G71
  • Weight: 1.1lbs
  • Battery life : up to 10.5 hours

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

“Great Resolution”

Latest Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (2736 x...
293 Reviews
Latest Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (2736 x...
  • Intel Core i5-6300U 2. 4 GHz processor...
  • 8GB RAM, Wireless: 802. 11a/b/g/n/ac...
  • Ports: Full-size USB 3. 0; microSD card...
  • Display: 12. 3-inch PixelSense...
  • Operating System: Windows 10...
Pros
  • Sharp screen
  • 8GB RAM is enough for multitasking and gaming
  • Pen is included and it is improved
Cons
  • Battery life should have been better
  • The Intel core m3 processor is just entry level

This third Microsoft Tablet in our list, hands down, is the best one till now among. And, we don’t see any doubts over that.

The design of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is quite decent with all magnesium unibody casing. The Surface logo is no longer there, as seen in the previous surface versions, which makes it more attractive, to be honest.

The panel of this tablet is a talk of the show. With 2736×1824 resolution, it beats the Macbook Air 2017. The screen is more responsive to touch, luminous, and more color accurate. It is a perfect choice for designers and editors due to the amazing screen.

Even though the tablet is not aimed for gaming, still the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has provided a better gaming experience, all thanks to 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM.

The battery is something Microsoft should have paid a little more attention to. Even though it claims to be 7 hours, it doesn’t mark up to that.

Even it has been years since its launch, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet come laptop is still in the bests’ lists, mainly because it is beyond good as a tablet and an ‘almost’ alternative for laptop.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8 GB SDRAM
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Display: 12.3 inches
  • Screen resolution: 2736×1824 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel HD 520
  • Weight: 1.9lbs
  • Battery life : up to 7 hours

6. Google Nexus Samsung GT-P8110

“Powerful Battery”

GOOGLE NEXUS SAMSUNG GT-P8110 32GB WI-FI...
19 Reviews
GOOGLE NEXUS SAMSUNG GT-P8110 32GB WI-FI...
  • Google Nexus 10 Tablet
  • 32GB Storage
  • WiFi
  • 10.1" Touch Screen
  • Android O\S
Pros
  • High-resolution screen as compared to other competitors
  • Processor is powerful
Cons
  • No 3G or 4G option

Google finally decided to jump in the 10-inch market with its Nexus 10, does it fulfill the expectations or not? Let’s dig into it.

Apple’s iPad has been on the top, but Google’s Nexus 10 hasn’t come unprepared. With the 10.05-inch retina super PLS screen, the Nexus 10 has a higher resolution than the new iPad. Its 300 pixels per inch in contrast to the iPad’s 264 pixels per inch.

The design of this tablet is not the premium so far. The first look of this tablet will give you a cheaper sense because of the all plastic built. And, it is not comfortable to hold for a longer time either. A stand would have been a great addition with this tablet.

The processor of this tablet is quite robust, too, with 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos processor paired with 2GB RAM makes it equivalent to many Android phones out there in the market.

Unlike its predecessor, Nexus 7, it comes with relatively higher capacity, i.e., 32GB, enough for day to day use and gaming.

For now, this tablet only supports Wi-Fi. For 3G or 4G configurations, you might have to wait longer, fingers crossed!

It comes with a powerful battery. Google and Samsung claim that it can last up to 7 hours with browsing and 9 hours of video. These figures are amazing as compared to other competitors.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor: 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB
  • Display: 10.1 inches
  • Screen resolution: 2560×1600 pixels
  • Weight: 1.33lbs
  • Battery life : up to 9 hours

7. Toshiba Excite AT275T16

“AMOLED Screen”

Toshiba Excite AT275T16 7.7-Inch Tablet...
63 Reviews
Toshiba Excite AT275T16 7.7-Inch Tablet...
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 Super 4-PLUS-1 Quad-core...
  • 16GB storage
  • 7.7" AMOLED (1280x800) AutoBrite Display
  • Dual HD Cameras (2MP front-facing, 5MP...
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Pros
  • Great AMOLED Screen
  • Robust processor
Cons
  • Awkward placement for the front camera

Body made of grayish aluminum, the Toshiba Excite 7.7 is quite ok-ish with the design. However, it is quite light, 0.77 lbs, so that you can easily slide it into your backpack and purse. The bezels around the screen will help you lay your hands easily while holding.

The 7.7-inch screen has 1280×800 pixels resolution, which makes streaming a real pleasure. The colors and its accuracy is quite amazing for the given price.

The quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor paired with the GeForce graphics, the performance is quite impressive. You might face a little lag when switching from landscape to portrait or vice versa. But, overall, the gaming experience is good with bright and smooth graphics.

Even though camera is always the last thing to consider when it comes to a tablet. But, the camera for Toshiba Excite 7.7 is not great even for the 5MP. The pictures captured are blurry with washed out colors and overexposed light. If camera is the last thing for you too, this shouldn’t bother you much.

If the screen size isn’t a problem for you, the Toshiba Excite is the perfect choice in this price range.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: 1.4 GHz Tegra 3.0
  • RAM: 1 GB SDRAM
  • Storage: 16 GB
  • Display: 7.7 inches
  • Screen resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Battery life : up to 9 hours

8. Apple Ipad 9.7″

“Attractive Design”

Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 128GB) - Gold...
14,211 Reviews
Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 128GB) - Gold...
  • 9.7-inch Retina display
  • A10 Fusion chip
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP back camera and 1.2MP FaceTime HD...
  • Two speaker audio
Pros
  • More on an affordable side
  • Good screen for the given price
Cons
  • Design is the same as the older iPad

Undoubtedly, Apple iPads have ruled the market for all the good reasons. But, is this relatively older model worth to buy? I’d say yes!

As always, the design of this iPad is like all other iPads, nothing new. The body is all metal. Therefore we recommend buying a case for it to avoid any unwanted scratches. The iPad itself is 7.5mm thick, which is quite reasonable. The bezels on the side are good for resting your fingers.

The display is 9.7 inches with 1536 x 2048 pixels resolution, not the best Apple has made, but still at this price, its brighter, colorful and smooth.

The battery of this tablet is very much comparable to the expensive Pro version. With the battery life of up to 10 hours, you can take it anywhere you want without giving a second thought.

Even though it’s an old version, it supports the Apple pen. So, if you are looking for some drawing pad, this iPad together with Apple pen is a dream of every artist.

There isn’t much difference between the last version of iPad and this newer iPad, apart from the apple pen support and a faster A10 Chipset (good news for the gamers and editors!).

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor: A10 Fusion chip
  • RAM: 2 GB SDRAM
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • Display: 9.7 inches
  • Screen resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels
  • Weight: 1.03 pounds
  • Battery life : up to 7 hours

9. Lenovo Miix 2

“Full-Sized USB Port”

Lenovo Miix 2 11 11.6-Inch 128 GB Tablet...
58 Reviews
Lenovo Miix 2 11 11.6-Inch 128 GB Tablet...
  • 11.6 inches Display
  • Intel Core i5
  • 128 GB Flash Memory, 4 GB RAM Memory
  • 8-hour battery life, 1.76 pounds
Pros
  • High resolution IPS screen
  • A full-sized USB port on the tablet
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • CPU and GPU never utilize its full capabilities

The design of the Lenovo Miix is a mix and match of the grey scheme, giving it a decent look. The body is made out of all plastic. The tablet itself feels quite solid. However, the keyboard that comes with the tablet is not up to the mark (quite flimsy).

The 11.6 inches IPS panel with 1920 x 1080 pixels, is amazing without being heavy on your pocket. The screen shows no major brightness or reflectivity issues, that’s good news if you like to work in the bright sun.

Lenovo Miix 2 comes with a detachable AccuType Keyboard-dock, so you can switch from a laptop setup to a tablet in no time. Also, you get two viewing modes with this, the stand mode and handy tablet mode.

This tablet comes with a powerful processor, i.e.,1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 paired with 4GB RAM, quite amazing for multitasking and playing rigorous games. However, while testing Lenovo Miix 2, it was noticed that it doesn’t utilize its full resources.

The battery of this tablet is the showstopper here. It is far beyond what it claims and what we expected. It lasts up to 11 hours, while the manufacturer claims to be up to 8 hours. So, meet your new travel buddy now!

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • Display: 11.6 inches
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Weight: 1.76 pounds
  • Battery life : up to 8 hours

10. Microsoft Surface 3

“Lightweight”

Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet, Intel Atom...
5 Reviews
Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet, Intel Atom...
  • Windows 10, 10.8-Inch Display.
  • Processor Quad Core Intel Atom Z8700...
  • 64 GB Flash Storage, 2 GB RAM.Surface 3...
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
Pros
  • Full-size USB port
  • Lighter in weight, thus portable
  • Sleek 2-in-1 design
Cons
  • The keyboard quality is ok-ish and just an additional cost in the price
  • Not sufficient for demanding tasks

After the success of Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Microsoft decided to launch a compact yet a little less powerful version of it as Microsoft Surface 3. The screen is one of the compromises that Surface 3 had to make from its predecessor.

The processor, i.e., 2.4 GHz Atom Z8700 is a set back from the Pro version. However, it uses the Intel Cherry Trail ATOM CPU, which keeps it silent and cool in the absence of fans.

If you are picking up this device for day-to-day tasks, you are good to go with it. However, for some pro gamers and editors, it might not work up to the mark for you. Talking in figures, the Microsoft Surface 3 easily handled ten tabs at a time and video streaming at 1080p. But, more than that? It started hitching.

When the product tries to serve two purposes at one time, laptop and tablet, it is quite hard to fulfil both the expectations. But, with 64 GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, this iPad is ‘almost’ justified for the given price. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Atom Z8700
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB
  • Display: 10.8 inches
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1280 pixels
  • Graphics:1500
  • Weight: 1.37 pounds
  • Battery life : up to 10 hours

Conclusion

This marks the end of our list “Best Tablets Under $500”. You can never go wrong with a tablet as they are versatile with bigger screens than your phones (Obviously, you can’t carry your TVs with you!).

The few options given above might be a little older models, but they still mark the best considering what you are getting in the range of $500. And, spending a lot on a tablet is history now unless you are a tech junkie or a designer.

Do let us know in the comments below which one is your favorite among these or if you have any other option?

Last update on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jeff Finder is a Digital Nomad who travels around the world and blog about technology, and gadgets at 10monster.com. He’s also an international speaker and love to persuade youth to find their voice online and make it count.

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