Apple iPad 8 review

The Best Tablets Under 400 Dollars


Which is the best tablet under 400 dollars? In this price range, there are quite a lot of options running Android, Windows, and Chrome OS. By now, even Apple has two tablets that cost below 400 dollars. So, you’ve got lots of options.

Here at MyNextTablet, we review pretty much every tablet that gets released in all price classes. And our tests constantly show: To get a good one, you don’t have to pick the expensive pro versions. Even with a bit more affordable ones, you can get stylus support and with some the keyboard even is included.

Tablets Under 400 Dollars: An Overview

Here is a quick overview over the tablets we currently recommend. Further down, you can find more detailed information and our reviews are linked too.

  • Best Performance: Apple iPad 8 (at Amazon*). Because of its Apple A12 processor, the iPad 8 is the fastest tablet on this list making it a great gaming devices. It has lots of other great features including stylus support and you can get an official keyboard cover.
  • Best Screen & Media Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e (at Amazon*). With its 10-inch AMOLED screen and four great speakers, the Galaxy Tab S5e is a fantastic tablet for watching Netflix and YouTube. At the same time, we get lots of premium features like a slim design, a fingerprint scanner, and the DeX desktop mode.
  • Great Android Tablet With Pen: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (at Amazon*). If you’re looking for an affordable Android tablet with active pen support, this could be the perfect tablet for you. The S Pen is included and works as it does on Samsung’s higher-end tablets.
  • Chrome OS & Great Keyboard: Lenovo Duet Chromebook (at Amazon*). For students, the Lenovo Duet Chromebook is a fantastic choice. That’s because a keyboard cover is included, Chrome OS supports Android apps now, and you get a desktop-class browser to work with.
  • Best 8-Inch Tablet: Apple iPad Mini 2019 (at Amazon*). Even though it’s a bit older, the Apple iPad Mini continues to be the best 8-inch tablet you can buy. It offers a pretty screen, a fast processor, and can be used with the Apple Pencil.
  • Cheap Windows Tablet: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i (at Amazon*). If you need a Windows tablet, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i is pretty much your only choice in this price range. We get a great design, a good keyboard, and the performance is fast enough for simple office work.

Best 400$ Tablets: An In-Depth Look

Let’s check them out in more detail.

Apple iPad 8: Best 400 Dollar Tablet For Most

One of the best performing machines under the 400 dollar price tag, the Apple iPad 8 offers great value thanks to its A12 Bionic processor, which pushes its performance past that of almost any other Android tablet.

A brilliant gaming tablet, it runs PUBG Mobile and other similar games on the maximum graphic setting. It runs with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with an option to purchase a 128GB version for an extra 100 dollars.

The speaker quality is one of the best available for the price, but unfortunately, they are located only on one side of the tablet, so you won’t hear any real stereo separation.

Its screen is a 10.2-inch IPS display, with good color reproduction, and with 500 nits brightness. It has a resolution of 2160 x 1620 pixels and has a brighter display than comparable Android tablets.

With added features, the iPad includes a good split-screen view, even allowing a third app to be opened at the same time. Lots of accessories including external storage are supported within the OS. Improving on previous-generations, the iPad 8 includes a proper files app with download folders, you can copy and paste files, allowing more flexibility and user customization.

As for the camera, a 1.2-megapixel version is at the front, but the resolution is too low for full HD videos. It is also located on the side when holding it in landscape orientation, which can be difficult to get used to when doing lots of video calls. The 8-megapixel main camera can take good photos and videos, though nothing which would make it stand out from similar products.

Almost every keyboard is now supported by the iPad 8, except the current iPad Pro generation versions, which are not supported. Touchpads are supported, however, as well as the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio that was developed for the old 10.5-inch iPad Pro, the iPad Air 3, and iPad 7.

Within its price range, the iPad 8 is the only device where the screen is not laminated, which means that there’s an air gap between the glass and the LCD. This could be bothersome if looking for a device tuned for precise stylus design, but this is down to user preference.

The first-generation Apple Pencil is the same stylus compatible with the iPad 6, 7, and 8, as well as the iPad Mini, which may make the difference for some customers who have already invested in a stylus. But compatibility is not assured with the Apple Pencil 2.

The tablet also includes a lighting port, so no USB C, something which has irked users in the past. A touch ID fingerprint scanner is integrated into the home button, right below the screen, which is a reliable addition to the device.

As is standard with Apple devices, the design is a 7.5mm thick metal body that weighs 490 grams and comes in silver, gray, and gold. When streaming an HD video at maximum brightness on YouTube, the battery lasts 5.5 hours, not as good as other options available.

Read: Our Apple iPad 8 Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e: A Great Android Alternative

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e test
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
on*
Amazon

At a starting price of 399 Dollars, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is one of the best tablets within the price range because of its 10.5-inch AMOLED screen and slim metal body.

The AMOLED display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, much better than the competition. It is one of the sharpest 10-inch screens available. The color display is very accurate, has high contrast, and is readable outside. It has wide viewing angles too and is highly adjustable. A blue light filter for nighttime reading is also included.

In terms of processing power, it shows off with a Snapdragon 670 octa-core chipset. It consists of two 2GHz and six 1.7GHz cores. We also get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. You can also get 6GB RAM and a 128GB storage option.

It is thinner than the 5.9mm iPad Pro, with a full-metal body giving it a very high-end feel. It weighs only 400g, making it super light for a tablet of its size. 10-inch tablets are usually heavy after carrying for a while, but this one can be held in one hand for long periods without needing a break.

Just like the Galaxy Tab S7, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e has four speakers in total. The sound is much clearer than what you get with cheaper tablets. Its 13-megapixel camera on the back sticks out a bit but I guess that’s a must if the body is so slim. While photos and videos could be improved upon, they are very good for a tablet. Most smartphones will be capable of taking better-quality photos. An 8-megapixel front-facing camera is also included.

There is a fingerprint scanner built into the power button and that’s great. The fingerprint sensor works very fast and is precise, better than some included in other tablets on the market. There’s a microSD card slot below the volume rockers.

There is a USB C 3.1 Gen 1 port included, which can connect with accessories like keyboards or external SSDs. There is also a PIN connector for an optional keyboard cover on the left-hand side of the tablet.

But there is no headphone jack, although a USB C to headphone adapter is included with the tablet to offset this.

Simple games run great, PUBG Mobile runs smoothly when graphics are set to HDR. Need for Speed No Limits looks great, and Shadowgun Legends can run with high graphics settings. Ultra-high settings will see some stuttering though.

The battery life varies, lasting anywhere between 9 hours to 15 hours and 30 minutes, depending on active screen time.

Read: Our Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite: Great Tablet With S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Review
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
on*
Amazon

The Android 10 device with a premium metal body stands out from the crowd thanks to its S Pen.

It’s the same kind of pen Samsung has used for its Galaxy Note smartphones, as well as the Galaxy Tab S4, S6, and S7. It is a stylus that supports 4096 levels of pressure, meaning that pressing down harder results in a thicker line, just like in a real pencil.

Among other features, the tablet can transform handwritten text into computer text. This makes writing down handwritten notes very easy.

Other important features include a 10.4-inch screen which has a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels. Compared with other LCD screens it is more reflective, potentially leading to limited visibility when reading outside. The S6 Lite has a Widevine Level of L1, which allows video streaming at an HD level.

The resolution is high, but in comparison with other devices which offer the AMOLED screen, it is not as defined.

Within the Air Commands is another added feature that allows screenshot annotation. Air Commands offer many more features, which can be perused by hovering the S Pen over the screen and taping the floating Air command icon.

Some more features include: Creating a note with the S Pen, smart select, which allows you to make GIFs from content on the screen; drawing your own emojis, making animated GIFs, translating words, or writing handwritten messages on photos.

Bixby Vision, another feature, identifies landmarks and can shop for products online. Currencies and units in a sentence can also be converted in accordance with the system language that you’re currently using. The Bluetooth features of recent Galaxy Note phones and the Galaxy Tab S7 are not supported.

Samsung is using its own Exynos 9611 Octa-Core processor that is supported by 4GB of RAM. You can get versions with 64GB and 128GB of internal storage, as well as a version with LTE 4G.

The tablet has a speaker on both shorter sides, so sound separation is better than in other devices, although competitors with four speakers beat the device in terms of sound quality.

The 5-megapixel selfie camera and the 8-megapixel main camera are good for an under $400 device. The camera is sufficient for most outings and general purposes, but those looking to take artistic or professional photographs with the camera may prefer other options.

If looking to use the tablet as a gaming device, choices may be limited. Games like Call of Duty or Asphalt 9 perform well but will struggle to run at the highest graphics setting, meaning games will have to look less polished to run without any lag or stuttering. Its competitors in a similar price range outperform it as gamer-friendly devices.

The battery of the S6 Lite lasts 6.5 hours when watching YouTube videos on full brightness, giving it an average battery life compared with other options. When watching an HD video locally at medium brightness, it lasts for up to 11.5 hours.

Read: Our Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Review

Lenovo Duet Chromebook: Chrome OS With A Good Keyboard

Lenovo Duet Chromebook review
Lenovo Duet Chromebook
on*
Amazon

The Lenovo Duet Chromebook is relatively cheap at 279 Dollars, bringing it towards the lower price range compared with others on the list. It includes a back-cover, a keyboard, and an optional stylus. The Chromebook is optimized for work and portability – aimed at students in particular – but it is not as good as an entertainment device.

Previously, Chrome OS relied on the cloud, but it has since branched out to make the tablet compatible with Android apps from the Google Play Store. Chrome OS is also based on Linux, making it more secure than some alternatives.

One of its best features is that the Lenovo Duet Chromebook is set to receive updates until June 2028, ensuring device performance well past other devices which are updated less frequently.

It also has additional nifty features because of the Chrome OS, such as being able to leave YouTube running in a background tab and listen to the audio without it stopping without YouTube premium.

The Chromebook is thin at 7.3mm, and weighs 450g, around the same as the other options included in the list. Only one USB C port is included, making the tablet less user-friendly for customers who priorities multitasking on their device, although USB C hubs can be connected as well as external monitors and other accessories.

There is also no microSD card slot, and no headphone jack, although the Chromebook does come with a USB C to 3.5mm audio adapter.

Other missing features include a fingerprint scanner, and the Chromebook cannot be unlocked using facial recognition.

As for the cameras, the main camera has a resolution of 8 megapixels, but the second front-facing camera is not up to the same standard. The Chromebook enables recordings of up to 1600 x 1200 pixels too, which improves on the quality but is constrained without the 16:9 aspect ratio that users may be accustomed to.

The Duet Chromebook works with all USI styluses, with the HP USI Stylus costing around 80 Dollars. It is less premium than other stylus models but can be charged using a USB C cable, and supports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing for more precise illustration.

A back cover for the tablet with an integrated kickstand and a keyboard are included at no extra charge, which can save users around 100 Dollars compared with other models which almost always sell the keyboard separately. This makes the 279 Dollar price even more competitive.

The kickstand has one metal hinge, which can be opened quite wide. The cover is plastic and protects the back of the tablet, but leaves the frame exposed.

The keyboard is connected using a magnetic connector and does not have to be charged separately. It is made out of plastic, as is the cover, giving it a less-than-premium feel compared with other models.

The Lenovo Duet Chromebook is powered by a MediaTek Helio P60T Octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM. If extra storage is needed, packages of 64GB and 128GB of internal storage can be purchased. This may be required without a microSD slot.

When watching HD videos on YouTube at maximum brightness, the battery lasts 4.5 hours. If watching HD videos locally at 50 percent brightness, it can last up to 10 hours.

Read: Our Lenovo Duet Chromebook Review

Apple iPad Mini: Best 8 Inch Tablet

iPad Mini 2019 display
Apple iPad Mini 2019
on*
Amazon

The Apple iPad Mini 2019 is the best 8-inch tablet within the 400 Dollar price-range, offering outstanding performance, long battery life, and a good-quality screen. But it is less up-to-date compared with some of its competitors and may start to show its age more quickly.

The design of the iPad Mini has not changed, with Apple opting to stick with the same build used for previous compact models. This can make the mini feel older than other products, especially when compared with the iPad Pro.

It has a thin full aluminum body, at 6.1mm, and relatively light at 300g, making it a highly portable device.

Looking at its other features, the fingerprint sensor is fast and precise. But other design quirks are more limiting. Apple continues to use the old Lightning connector, not yet switching to USB C like with the iPad Pro.

The Mini boasts some of the best quality for tablets in its price range. The two speakers are located on the left and right side of the Lightning connector, meaning the sound is coming out only on one side of the tablet. It will be difficult to get any stereo feeling when watching movies, but some base reverberation can be heard when streaming.

It includes a standard headphone jack, but there is no microSD card slot.

The cameras offer a resolution of 7 and 8 megapixels, ending up with slightly worse picture quality compared with more recent iPhones, but still better than most competitors.

The iPad Mini 5 has a 7.9-inch screen, with an aspect ratio of 4:3, and a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. This is high-res enough for most purposes, even though it has not changed much since the last few generations.

The Mini is a great tablet for reading and serves well as a digital notebook alongside the stylus.

Unfortunately, the iPad Mini 2019 supports only the original Apple Pencil, meaning the Apple Pencil 2 is not compatible. Logitech Crayons can be used as a replacement.

The display is of premium quality. It includes an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, and a fully laminated screen, removing any air gap between the stylus and the screen. One of the brightest available, it reaches 500 Nits with color reproduction and contrast also surpassing competitors.

It is the first iPad Mini that supports Apple’s True Tone technology, adjusting the white balance of the screen to look like a real piece of paper would under in-door lighting. The 4:3 ratio is used, which is suitable for reading websites, books etc. But it can make black bars appear when watching YouTube or on other streaming services.

The iPad Mini 5 runs the same Apple A12 Bionic processor that was introduced with the iPhone XS. Additionally, it includes 3GB of RAM and 64GB or 256GB internal storage. A 4G LTE can also be purchased alongside the iPad.

Games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile run smoothly, making the iPad a competitive gaming tablet.

Read: Our Apple iPad Mini Review

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i: A Cheap Windows Tablet

Lenovo Yoga Duet 3i test
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i
on*
Amazon

If Windows is a must, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i is the only usable option for under $400. It offers a great design with an integrated kickstand and a good keyboard cover that is included in the price.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i comes with an Intel Celeron N4020 dual-core processor or with an Intel Pentium N5030 quad-core chip. You get between 4GB and 8GB of RAM, as well as 64GB or 128GB eMMC flash storage. A version with LTE is planned, too.

The performance of the Intel N4020 is slower than others on the market, such as the Intel Pentium Gold of the Surface Go lineup, but much more powerful than an Atom X5 which used to power other Windows tablets in previous generations.

This comes across in its graphics performance. The tablet is not suitable for gaming, being unable to play titles like Fortnite or other titles, and what games can be played such as Asphalt 9 will lag as the highly demanding app wears on the tablet’s graphics capabilities.

Other apps like Adobe Photoshop can be used, but not ideally. Simple edits work well but more complex tasks can force the app to close unprompted.

Saving on the price, the Lenovo IdeaPad has a keyboard cover included, making it around 100 Dollars cheaper than the Surface Go 2 with a keyboard.

Due to the 10.3-inch screen, the keyboard is smaller than those included with bigger laptops, but still similar in size to other official keyboards for 10-inch tablets. The cover is connected using a magnetic connector and folded up, protecting the screen.

Lenovo built-in a small battery and Bluetooth, which allows the customer to use the keyboard even when it is separated from the tablet, a very useful feature when used in environments where space is limited

The design of the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i is also fantastic, with a stylistic plastic body, a metal kickstand built into the back, and two USB C 3.2 Gen 2 ports on its side used to charge it.

This does make the tablet slightly heavier than others on the list, at 890g, and thicker at 9.9mm. There is also no USB Type-A port, although a microSD card slot is included, along with a headphone jack. Facial recognition is not supported and there’s no fingerprint scanner either.

There is a 5-megapixel main camera on the back, the webcam has a 2-megapixel resolution. Photo and video quality are weaker than others, similar to an average laptop.

The Duet 3i has a runtime of exactly 6 hours while looping an HD video on YouTube at maximum brightness, better than other Windows tablets. When looping an HD video locally at medium brightness, it lasts a bit longer.

Read: Our Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 3i Review



Tom Brown

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *