Best Tablets Under $400

Last Updated on January 14, 2023 by Ernests Embutnieks

Tablets are a great solution to bridge the gap between a laptop and a mobile, or it can also be conveniently said that it offers the best of both these devices. The objective of this article is to compile a list of tablets within a range of $300 to $400 (+ or – $10, as price varies on a regular basis) for your convenience. We have tried to enlist the tablets which are launched within the last 2-3 years, but there are some older devices as well that perform at par that is also included in our compilation.

These budget tablets (under $400) are best suited for students for studying and other learning activities. But they can also be a good choice for elderly people who moderately surf the internet, watch videos, and want to make video calls to their relatives and friends. The budget-friendly tablets can also be used by professionals as a secondary device for moderate tasks that are not very intensive to the processor.

What to expect from a tablet under $400?

Unlike flagship tablet devices that boast the best specifications, we certainly cannot expect the same from tablets under $400. Let’s have a look at what we can expect in terms of the respective core specifications.

  • RAM: Most devices within this range offer RAM somewhere between 3GB to 8GB.
  • Internal Memory: Apple tablets (iPads) within this budget comes with 32 GB or 64 GB options, while some of Android tablets offer up to 128 GB of internal storage.
  • Extendable Memory: Not many devices offer this. You will find very few devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab Lite 6 that offer extendable memory of up to 1 TB.
  • Display Size: 6-inch to 12-inch options are available, but with the products that we have shortlisted in this article, you will get 8-inch to 11-inch tablets.
  • Camera: Most tablets in this range come with an 8GB rear camera and 5GB front camera.
  • Battery capacity: 5500 mAh to 8400 mAh. You can expect a battery life of 10 hours to 16 hours.

Top Products:

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022 Edition)

OS: Android 12
Screen Size: 10.4-inch
Resolution: 1200×2000
Processor: Exynos 9611 / Snapdragon 720G
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB | 128GB
Camera: 5MP Front Facing / 8MP Rear Facing
Dimensions: 9.63” x 6.07” x 0.28”
Weight: 1.02lbs
Battery Life: 10-12 hours

Pros
  • Keyboard & Stylus support
  • Dual speakers (Dolby Atmos)
  • Expandable storage of up to 1TB
  • Facial recognition
  • Samsung DeX
Cons
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • The keyboard is sluggish
  • Average Performance

This Lite tab from Samsung is a trimmed-down version of one of its flagship products Samsung Tab S6(2022 Edition). This budget-friendly tablet is more than just an entertainment and browsing device. There is a lot of power packed in this tablet, backed by a Snapdragon 720G processor and 4GB RAM. The battery can hold up to 12 hours, which is really impressive. The MicroSD card slot makes it even more usable with up to 1TB of extendable storage. 

The Samsung S6 Lite tab is very convenient to use with the S-Pen, which is included with the product, which makes Samsung budget tablets superior to Apple budget iPads.

It has a beautiful screen, S-pen is included in the price, and the battery life is great, arguably I believe Samsung created better budget tablets than Apple due to the fact that the S-pen is included in the price, which is a major advantage.

Renewed/Used
2. iPad Air (3rd Gen 2019)

OS: iOS
Screen Size: 10.5-inch
Resolution: 2224×1668
Processor: A12 Bionic
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 64GB | 256GB
Camera: 7MP Front Facing / 8MP Rear Facing
Dimensions: 10.35” x 7.28” x 1.89”
Weight: 1.20lbs
Battery Life: 10 hours

Pros
  • Great design
  • Home button/Touch ID
  • Good battery life
  • Good cameras
  • Fast performance
Cons
  • Compatible only with Apple Pencil 1
  • No SD slots
  • Storage can’t be upgraded

If you are looking for a budget-friendly yet powerful Apple device, then this is the one you should go for, and it can also be used as an entry-level laptop. It is a perfect device for entertainment, learning, and professional purpose. Of course, at this price point, you cannot expect performance as with other latest Apple tablets, but this is a good choice for fulfilling basic needs and performing basic tasks. This tablet can be paired with an Apple pencil as well as Apple’s keyboard to enhance convenience and usability. The iPad Air has dual speakers and a 10.5 inches screen equipped with TrueTone, which makes it an excellent device for entertainment.

The iPad is dust-proof and water-resistant, with all its keys sealed for protection. We used this iPad for up to 8 hours 20 minutes on a single charge with multiple applications running like music, chatting, browsing, and email with about 75% brightness. The camera quality is decent, and it can record videos at 1080p video with an FPS of 30. This iPad Air 3 was launched way back in 2019, and there is a more recent version available.

It’s a renewed model, but it’s compatible with the latest iPad OS 16. There aren’t that many great options under $400, and even if it’s used, we believe the iPad Air 3rd gen deserves to be at the top, because it is still a great device.

It’s not compatible with the 2nd gen Apple Pencil, but it is compatible with the 1st gen Apple Pencil. It also has a home button, which is removed from newer models, and it also has Touch ID.

Best Windows Tablets Under $400
3. Microsoft Surface Go 3

OS: Windows 11
Screen Size: 10.5-inch
Resolution: 1920×1280
Processor: 1.1 GHz Intel Pentium Gold | Intel Core i3
RAM: 4GB/8GB
Storage: 64GB | 128GB
Camera: 5MP Front Facing / 8MP Rear Facing
Dimensions: 10.82” x 7.98” x 1.89”
Weight: 1.18lbs
Battery Life: Up to 11 hours

Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Dual studio mic
  • Dolby Audio speakers
  • Kickstand
  • Face authentication
Cons
  • Single USB port
  • Not much updates compared to previous Go 2 model
  • Accessories not included in price

This is an upgraded model with an improved battery and faster performance. The previous version had an 8th Gen Intel Core m3 processor, while this one has been upgraded to a Core i3 processor. This tablet also has a MicroSDXC card reader for easy access to your external storage. It is best suited for professionals who love to use Microsoft products, as it is optimized for their in-house apps like Office Suite, Teams, Xbox, Skype, etc. It offers two different storage options, one is an eMMC drive with 64 GB storage, while the other is an even faster SSD drive with 128 GB space, but the latter will obviously exceed the budget.

The Surface Go 3 tablet is equipped with PixelSense Display, which allows for 10-point multi-touch and also recognizes hand gestures. The tablet is also highly secure yet convenient to access for the authorized person with its Windows Hello face authentication camera. This is a very good device to be given to Kids as you can easily enable a kid-friendly environment using built-in guardrails and set screen time limits option. This tablet comes in handy with advanced defenses against malware and viruses at no additional cost.

with 6GB RAM
4. Lenovo Tab P11 Plus

OS: Android 11
Screen Size: 11-inch
Resolution: 2000×1200
Processor: MediaTek Helio G90T Tab Octa-Core processor with up to 2.05GHz
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 64GB | 258GB
Camera: 8MP Front Facing / 13MP Rear Facing
Dimensions: 10.17” x 6.42” x 0.30”
Weight: 1.08lbs
Battery Life: Up to 12 hours

Pros
  • Keyboard, Stylus support
  • Good display
  • Good performance
  • Good camera
  • Great RAM
  • Good storage
Cons
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • No headphone jack

You can also get Lenovo Tab P11 Plus under $300, but this model will have 6GB RAM and bigger storage, and honestly, it makes quite the difference, especially if you intend to do some multitasking. The tablet feels a bit faster.

It has a great design, powerful performance and great battery, great camera, and it also has stylus and keyboard support. Capable of multitasking, doing basic tablet tasks, taking notes, and can even handle some heavy games and apps.

There aren’t that many tablets under $400 mark, new that is, and this one is a solid option if you are seeking for an Android tablet.

Renewed/Used
5. Apple iPad Mini 6 (Renewed)

OS: iPadOS 15
Screen Size: 8.3-inch
Resolution: 2266×1488
Processor: Apple A15 Bionic
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB | 258GB
Camera: 12MP Front Facing / 8MP Rear Facing
Dimensions: 7.7” x 5.3” x 0.3”
Weight: 0.7lbs
Battery Life: Up to 10 hours

Pros
  • Portable/Compact
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil 2
  • Great mic
  • Great speakers
  • Great cameras
  • USB-C
  • LCD display
Cons
  • No headphone jack
  • Hard to take notes if you have big hands
  • No magic keyboard

If it were a new iPad Mini 6, I would give it the #1 position. On the list, but it’s renewed/used. I’ve to deduct some points for that, unfortunately. It’s a great 8-inch tablet. You can take notes on it, you can draw on it, can play games on it, can make video calls on it, and the camera is stellar for Zoom calls, Skype, Hangouts, etc. It even has center-stage compatibility.

Feels like it’s the perfect device for people that are on the go and need to have a quick video call, take a quick note, and draw a quick sketch. A student, a professional, an entrepreneur, an artist is definitely a more capable device than your smartphone.

It’s also great to watch movies and YouTube, it’s lightweight and small, and hands don’t get tired if you hold it in your hands.

Renewed/Used
6. Apple iPad 9th Gen

OS: iPadOS 15
Screen Size: 10.2-inch
Resolution: 2160×1620
Processor: Apple A13 Bionic
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 64GB | 256GB
Camera: 12MP Front Facing / 8MP Rear Facing
Dimensions: 9.87” x 6.85” x 0.30”
Weight: 1.07lbs (498g)
Battery Life: Up to 9-10 hours

Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Touch ID
  • Great cameras
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil 1
Cons
  • Renewed
  • Not compatible with Apple Pencil 2
  • Lightning port

Apple just released the iPad 10th gen, and for $440, you can get a basic model. But you can also get a renewed iPad 9th gen with LTE for under $400.

It’s compatible with the latest iPad OS 16. It has great battery life that can hold up to 10 hours. It has a headphone jack, and for a budget iPad, the processing speed is impressive, thanks to the A13 Bionic chip.

It’s a capable tablet, the price is adequate, and you can also connect Apple Pencil 1 and a keyboard and turn it into a mini laptop.

Great for anyone that’s looking for a cheap, multi-functional device.

Chrome OS
7. Asus Chromebook CM3

OS: Chrome OS
Screen Size: 10.5-inch
Resolution: 1920×1200
Processor: MediaTek Kompanio 500(8183)
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 64GB | 128GB
Camera: 2MP Front Facing / 8MP Rear Facing
Dimensions: 10.06” x 6.58” x 0.31”
Weight: 1.12lbs
Battery Life: Up to 12 hours

Pros
  • Stylus & Keyboard support
  • Kickstand
  • Fast charging
  • Good audio
  • Stylish design
Cons
  • The camera could be better
  • Average performance

The Asus Chromebook comes with a detachable keyboard of suitable size, which makes it a truly 2-in-1 device with the capabilities of a tablet as well as that of an entry-level laptop for some basic tasks. This tablet also comes with a USI pen for better writing and drawing experience, which makes it a good choice for artists and students to draw, study and take notes on it. This tablet has eMMC storage which is considered ideal for small file storage devices. The Asus Chromebook CM3 comes with a foldable kickstand to place as per your own preference.

In terms of connectivity, this tablet offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity along with a USB-C port. This Chrome tablet comes with 100 GB of cloud storage on Google for one year. The battery is capable enough to easily last for up to 11-12 hours. Chrome OS is made to boot quickly, and we observed the same on this tablet. It just took a few seconds to boot this up, and the web browsing experience is also exceptional with this device.

Xiaomi Brand
8. Xiaomi Mi Pad 5

OS: Android 11
Screen Size: 11-inch
Resolution: 2560×1600
Processor: Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 Octa-core
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB | 256GB
Camera: 8MP Front Facing / 13MP Rear Facing
Dimensions: 10.03” x 6.55” x 0.27”
Weight: 1.13lbs(511g)
Battery Life: Up to 14 hours

Pros
  • WQHD+ 120Hz display
  • Great display
  • Excellent resolution
  • Great audio
  • Outstanding battery
Cons
  • No LTE option
  • No headphone jack
  • Limitations due to the Xiaomi brand (with apps)

This is termed by critics as a perfect answer to the iPad by Xiaomi, with all the top-of-the-line features, especially in terms of audio, video, processing, and battery performance. It is a very stylishly designed product that is less than 7 mm thick. It is being praised for its amazing display quality which comprises of ambient light sensor, color temperature sensor, Dolby vision, 1 billion colors, and 120 Hz refresh rate. Its high-quality display provides for immersive gaming and viewing experience. The Xiaomi Pad 5 offers ultra-fast magnetic wireless charging.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 is a flagship processor based on 7nm fabrication technology, which is three times faster than Snapdragon 845. The sufficiently large-capacity battery complements the other tech specifications really well and can last for up to 10 hours of gaming. The device is compatible with Xiaomi Smart Pen, which allows precise, smooth pen strokes. There is also a Pro version available for this product. 

Why did we rank Apple iPad Air 3 higher than Microsoft Surface Go 3?

There are a couple of obvious reasons behind it, and being an Apple product is one of them which scored the points for Apple iPad Air 3. If we look at specifications in detail, you will see the difference. For instance, iPad Air 3 has a screen resolution of 2,360 by 1,640, whereas Microsoft Surface Go 3 possesses a screen resolution of 1,920 by 1,280. The Geekbench performance of the A14 processor used in iPad Air 3 is better than the Core i3 processor in Surface Go 3, by a decent margin in single-core as well as multi-core results. The same goes for its GPU performance results. In terms of camera quality, Apple is way ahead of Microsoft, iPad Air 3 is equipped with a 12 MP rear camera, while Surface Go 3 has an 8 MP camera at its rear. You can actually do a one-to-one comparison of each of the specifications and will find iPad Air 3 winning on most fronts. 

What are the key differences between budget tablets and premium tablets?

Here are some of the key differences:

Budget TabletPremium/Flagship Tablets
Just average specificationsTop-of-the-line specification
Good for students and childrenBest suited for professionals
Good for learning and entertainmentGood for multi-tasking and professional uses
Less stableMore stable and lasts longer
Good to be used in the current situationMore future proof
The processor and RAM get overloaded quickly.Processor and RAM can take a lot of loads
It should be used gentlyMore susceptible to rough and harsh use

While listing some of these differences doesn’t make budget tablets a bad choice at all. It all depends on your requirement, application, and, of course, budget. Probably you might need a lot of battery backup, and a budget-friendly tablet can fulfill your need better than a premium tablet. On the other hand, you want to do a lot of multi-tasking like online meetings, replying to emails, updating sheets, all at once, and a premium tablet will be able to address the need. So, the choice boils down to your personal needs and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should choose a $400 range tablet?

A tablet within a range of $400 is good to be used for the purpose of learning by students, as well as by professionals that have moderate usage. It can also be used for the purpose of entertainment like watching YouTube videos or movies. Some of the tablets priced around $400 also offer a decent gaming performance. 

Is Chrome OS good for tablets, compared to iOS and Android?

Chrome OS is a great product from Google, and some of its features are better than the ones on Android or iOS. Some of them are mentioned as follows:

  • Update Support: The security and application updates are offered on Chrome OS devices for up to 8 years. This means you can expect more features being added over the years and a bug-free operation of your device.
  • Better Compatibility: Chrome-based devices offer better compatibility and offer better speed when paired with other gadgets like keyboards, USB drives, etc.
  • Good for Web Browing: Chrome OS is best if your primary use is to browse the web. For professionals like content writers, who need to browse a lot to research content over the web, a Chrome OS tablet can be a good choice.
  • Good for Google Apps: All the apps by Google like Drive, Docs, Spreadsheet, Calendar, etc. work smoothly on Chrome OS compared to iOS and Android.

Conclusion: Which is the best tablet under $400?

Each of the above-shortlisted tablets, priced around $400 is offering decent performance and good in their own way on one or the other front. Based on the individual requirements, you can choose the one that addresses your needs. There are tablets ranging from an 8-inch screen to an 11-inch screen.

For the sake of answering the question, and as our personal opinion, we found Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, and Apple iPad Air 3, perform reasonably well on all fronts. We were specifically impressed with the optimized performance of the A12 Bionic processor. A good option also is Microsoft Surface Go 3 with Core i3 processor, and it can be conveniently termed as the most portable 2-in-1 tablet, which can replace a need for a laptop. There are some newer entrants, like Xiaomi Pad 5, which offers some great features and the best specifications.

If you like portability, iPad Mini 6 renewed is a good option as well.

Basically, I can list all the tablets on the top list again, but it comes down to your preferences, how big of a tablet you want, do you need a stylus support keyboard, how you are planning to use the device, etc.

Related Articles:

Best Tablets Under $100
Best Tablets Under $200
Best Tablets Under $300
Best Tablets Under $500

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I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.