Best Android Tablets for the Money 2014

Good Value Android Tablets from $100 to Under $400

If you’re looking for a good new tablet for Christmas or the Holidays, then here’s a look at where I think you should your place your hard earned money for the biggest bang for your buck.

The tablet market continues to improve by leaps and bounds each and every year.

2013 is no exception; however, it’s sometimes last year’s model that should be getting looks at a lower price point. In this post I’ll take you through a few of my favorite new and old tablets for under $100 to under $400.

Where Tablets are Heading 2014 and Beyond:
Whether it’s a combination of a tablet and laptop or a standalone device tablets have much to offer moving forward.
We’re already seeing devices like the Chromecast change the way we stream and view media from our tablets.
Moving forward better processing power and graphical options will change not only how we view media, but also how we interact with games and applications.

Why Android Tablets give you the Most Flexibility:
While an iPad requires you to use Apple’s app store for installs Android tablets give you the freedom to buy where you want. While the majority of Android users use Google Play other good stores offer promotions and benefits that may cater to some.

*Google Play Alternatives:
Amazon Appstore
GetJar
Appoke
F-Droid
Slide ME

*While the list goes well beyond this small group of sellers these are the ones that I’d recommend.Good Android Tablets for Kids Under $100

While I wouldn’t recommend a tablet this inexpensive for adults there are a couple really good options in the $100 category if you’re looking for a decent option for your kids.
One option I really like as an entry-level tablet is the Dragon Touch. It’s not a tablet that’s going to run the highest-end applications, but for most kiddie applications it does a great job. For $85 you’ll be surprised at how well it works.

Another Android option for kids is the Kurio. It’s a little more powerful than the Dragon Touch and has features for parents that allow you to control what can go on it and how long your kids can use it. In addition, it comes with quite a bit of preloaded content.

Another Good Tablet Option for Kids (Not Android):
If you’re looking for a learning device, then you should also consider the LeapPad 2 – released in 2012. Yes, the more expensive Ultra model has been released; however, many still prefer the intuitive layout of this model.
An Under $150 Option for Kids and Adults

Last year’s Kindle Fire HD 7″ tablet is now $139. While this tablet is limited to the Amazon Store for applications, the price and what you get certainly should put it at or near the top of those who have a $150 budgetBest Android Tablets Under $200 2014

The mid-level price point is extremely competitive for tablets. Between the Nexus 7 (16GB version), Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3, last year’s Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, and this year’s 7″ Kindle Fire HDX which comes in slightly above $200.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Vs. Kindle Fire HDX

The main difference, other than screen size, between last year’s Kindle Fire HD and 2013’s HDX version is in the processor. The new HDX comes with a Quad-Core 2.2GHz processor while last year had a less than impressive 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU.

With more demanding applications being released into the market each and every single day, at this price point it’s worth getting the newer model.

Android Based, but Without the Freedom:
That being said the exclusivity that comes with owning a Kindle device isn’t for everyone and many would rather get their apps from the Google Play store or elsewhere.

Nexus 7 Vs. Galaxy Tab 3.0
For that you’ll want to look towards Google’s Nexus 7 tablet or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.0. While both of these are good options, you’ll want to go with the Nexus 7 at this price point. A more powerful processor, sharper screen, and better overall features make it the one to get.Good 10 Inch Android Tablets Under $400
In the $400 space there’s really only two tablets I’d consider heading to the end of 2013. It’s a similar battle of what we had in the under $200 category.

Those who’d rather have a fully unlocked Android device are most likely going to want to go with the Asus TF701T while those who’d prefer using Amazon will find a powerful portable device in the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ tablet.
For an even more technical comparison here is a review of the technical specifications for each:

Asus TF701T Specifications:
Processor: 1.9GHz Tegra 4 Quad-Core
GPU: 72-Core
Ram: 2GB
OS: Amazon Android Mojito 3.0
Screen: Up to 383 cd/m2 Brightness, .35 cd/m2 black level, 1,094:1 Contrast Ratio, and 2560 x 1600 resolution or 339 pixels-per-inch.
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ Tablet
Processor: 2.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 800
Ram: 2GB
GPU: Adreno 330
OS: Android 4.2.2
Screen: Up to 472 cd/m2 Brightnessm .40 cd/m2 black level, 1,180:1 Contrast Ratio, and 2560 x 1600 resolution or 339 pixels-per-inch.

Technical Specification Translation:
It’s a little bit hard to read between the lines when it comes to technical jargon. This is especially true when we’re crossing processors and graphics cards from different brands.
With that being said you can expect a little more processing performance out of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 while the Asus Transformer TF701T has the better graphical performance overall.
As far as the screens the Fire HDX 8.9 on paper has the better screen; however, because I’ve noticed a bit of clouding on it I actually prefer the TF701T.

Final Thoughts:
At a similar price point the Asus TF701T also gives you 32GB vs. the 16GB you get with the HDX 8.9″ While you can pay an additional $50 for 32GB or an additional $100 for 64GB the TF701T seems like the better overall value as of right now.

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