As we get older, it becomes harder to read small text. That’s why a tablet might be just the right gift for Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day, as they can give any book large print. There are a number of good affordable tablets to choose from near or even below $50.
And ebooks are just the tip of the iceberg. The larger screens on tablets make email easier to read, and web pages too.
Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet 7″
While our review just described the 7-inch display as “better than adequate”, we really meant that. It’s not great, but it’s quite usable. The same holds true for the performance of this tablet.
Some of the other devices on this list use modified versions of the Android operating system that restrict the applications that can be used. By contrast, the NOOK Tablet 7″ uses a standard version, so it can handle all Google’s free software, and there’s full access to the Google app store.
Other features include 8GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for adding capacity.
Be sure to read our Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet 7″ Review.
Amazon Fire HD 8
Those looking for a larger screen, and willing to pay a bit more, can choose the Fire HD 8, which offers an 8-inch display. It has a last price of $89.99, but is available Amazon for $64.99 at the time of this writing.
In our review, we pointed out that “a mid-size display like this one makes for an ideal ebook reader.”
The performance of the HD 8 is a bit better than any of the other tablets on this list. It also has a decent battery life.
But keep in mind, it uses Amazon’s proprietary version of Android, so it doesn’t have access to Google Maps, Google Books, etc. Speaking of books, the only source supported by this tablet is Amazon’s web store.
There’s 16GB of storage in the base model, but a 32GB version is available for $119. It’s on sale for $94.99 right now, though. A microSD card slot is included.
Don’t miss our Amazon Fire HD 8 Review.
Amazon Fire (2015)
Fans of Amazon who want a more portable, even cheaper option can get the 7-inch Fire, which starts at $49.99.
Our review said it offers “nicely saturated colors and a reasonably bright screen,” which is a ringing endorsement at this price range.
All Amazon’s tablets run this company’s alternative version of Android, so their book, movies, games and all third-party applications have to come from the Amazon app store.
The base model has 8 GB of storage, and a 32GB version is on sale now for $59.99 The usual price is $69.99. More storage can be added via microSD card.
Our Amazon Fire Review is a must read.
RCA Voyager III
Another below-$50 option is the Voyager III, which is offered from Walmart and other retailers under the RCA brand.
Like the Barnes & Noble model previously discussed, it runs a standard version of Android so anything from the Google app store can be installed on it. However, it has the slowest performance of any device on this list.
Still, at 16GB it has twice as much storage capacity as any of the other sub-$50 models. And the screen is good enough that we said “Text doesn’t appear jagged, and images look decent.”
Be sure to check our RCA Voyager III Review before making a purchase.