Best Tablets Under $500

We rank and suggest tablets based on a specific user budget ($400-$499)and also let you know what kind of features you can expect. We rank them based on our subjective opinion. We review these tablets individually. We use them on a daily basis; we know their pros, cons, and what’s inside. We also keep updating the list based on the price change of the devices and new devices making it to our list. The shortlisted tablets are reviewed on performances and features, irrespective of whether they are based on iOS, Android, or Windows.

Without a further a do, let’s get to the list and talk a bit about each tablet and highlight the most important features.

Top $500 Tablets:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Samsung Tablet S7 Samsung Tablet S7
  • Screen Size: 11-inch
  • Storage/RAM/Processor: 8GB/128GB/
    Snapdragon M865
  • Battery: Up to 15 hours
  • Camera: 13 MP / 5 MP
  • OS: Android
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iPad Air 4th gen iPad Air 4th gen
  • Screen Size: 10.9-inch
  • Storage/RAM/Processor: 4GB/64GB/
    A14 Bionic chip
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Camera: 12 MP / 7 MP
  • OS: iOS
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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
  • Screen Size: 12.4-inch
  • Storage/RAM/Processor: 4GB/64GB/
    Qualcomm 7225 Octa-core 
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Camera: 8 MP / 5 MP
  • OS: Android
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Microsoft Surface Go 3 Microsoft Surface Go 3
  • Screen Size: 12.4-inch
  • Storage/RAM/Processor: 8GB/128GB/
    Intel Pentium Gold
  • Battery: Up to 11 hours
  • Camera: 8 MP / 5 MP
  • OS: Windows 11
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CHUWI UBook X Tablet CHUWI UBook X Tablet
  • Screen Size: 12-inch
  • Storage/RAM/Processor: 8GB/256GB/
    Intel N4120 Quad Core
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours
  • Camera: 5 MP / 2 MP
  • OS: Windows 10
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1. Samsung Tablet S7 11-inch 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

At this price point, we can definitely rank Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 at the top. Its original price was $699, but it is available at a discounted price of $499. (Samsung often put their tablets on discount; if it’s not on the discount, we recommend waiting) It is a durable product made of machined aluminum chassis with a frameless design due to thinner bezels. The best part of this highly acclaimed tablet is its really high-quality display with an 11-inch screen and a TFT panel. Often picked by students and artists due to the 120Hz screen.

The performance of the tab is also top-class and is great for multitasking purposes. The Samsung Notes app syncs well among multiple devices, where you can attach the audio recordings as well. You can very conveniently use the S-pen, which comes with the device(included in the price), to write, take notes and draw. The battery of this device is immensely powerful, with more than 13 hours of video playback. This is a real value-for-money tablet that you don’t want to miss, as it is packed with features and high-performance.

Specifications:

OS:Android 10
Screen Size: 11-inch
Resolution:2560×1600
Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon M865 (Octa-Core)
RAM: 8 GB
Storage:Starting from 128GB
Camera:Front: 5MP | Rear: 13MP with HDR and 1080p HD video
Refresh Rate:120Hz
Ports:USB-C port
Dimensions:253.8 x 165.3 x 6.3 mm
Weight:1.10lbs
Battery Life:Up to 15 hours

Additional features:

  • Redesigned S Pen included
  • 4 months of Ad-free Youtube included
  • SD memory card reader
  • Extendable memory: microSD up to 1TB
  • Audio: Quad + AKG + Dolby Atmos
  • Compatible with Bluetooth enabled game controller (example XBox)
  • Dex Mode for PC like experience
  • 45W super-fast charging support
  • One UI 3.1 – Lets you copy and paste from your phone to tablet or vice-versa
  • 8000 mAh battery capacity

Pros:

  • Great battery backup
  • S-Pen included
  • Sleek, lightweight, and great finish
  • Amazing display and audio quality

Cons:

  • WIde-angle camera mode needs improvement
  • Facial recognition struggles in low-light conditions

2. iPad Air (4th Gen 2020)

apple-ipad-air-4th-gen

Apple released the iPad Air 5th Gen, and due to that fact, the iPad Air 4th Gen’s price is dropping, which is good if you had your eye on this device.

It’s the perfect device for people that love to get some work done, take notes, and do some sketching is often on the go. You can easily switch it from a productivity device to an entertainment device – just open up Netflix and start enjoying your favorite TV Show or Movie.

It’s sort of like the perfect tablet between an iPad Pro and a regular iPad. You get great performance, great display, and beautiful colors. The only downside is that you won’t be able to use heavy apps like Lightroom, Photoshop, etc. They are quite laggy on iPad Air. If you don’t intend to use apps that require heavy processing, it’s the perfect fit.

Specifications:

OS:iPadOS 14
Screen Size:10.9-inch
Resolution:1640×2360
Processor:A14 Bionic Chip
RAM:4GB
Storage:64GB, 256GB
Camera:Back: 12MP wide | Front: 7MP
Refresh Rate:60Hz
Ports:USB-C port
Dimensions:247.6mm x 178.5mm x 6.1mm (9.75 x 7.03 x 0.24 in)
Weight:1lbs (458g)
Battery Life:Up to 11 hours

Additional features:

  • Fully laminated display
  • Two speakers audio landscape mode
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Wide color display
  • 64-bit desktop-class architecture
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps

Pros:

  • Great performance owing to a superfast Bionic processor
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent camera quality
  • USB-C charging
  • Apple Pencil 2 compatibility
  • Wide angle front camera
  • Great speakers
  • Great mic

Cons:

  • No headphone jack
  • Face ID (facial recognition login) is not available 
  • No Magic Keyboard
  • Expensive
  • Not great for people with big hands

3. iPad Mini 6 (2021)

ipad mini 6 2021

It’s definitely the best 8-inch tablet available in the market and also one of the best tablets under the $500 mark. We think it’s great to take a quick note and a quick sketch, which makes it ideal for students, artists, and even in corporate. Yes, the size is a deal breaker for some, but for some, it’s an advantage.

The compact size, display, and brightness make it great for watching YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, etc. It’s also equipped with a really great front camera, 12MP, which makes it the best tablet for video calls. A great option for students attending online courses/classes.

If you’re not a fan of big-screen tablets, this 8-inch compact device is a great option. Perfect for people that like the functionality but don’t like the big screens. It’s powerful, jammed with a lot of cool features, and can outperform most tablets.

Specifications:

OS:iPadOS 15
Screen Size:8.3-inch
Resolution:2266×1488
Processor:A15 Bionic Chip
RAM:4GB
Storage:64GB, 256GB
Camera:Back: 12MP wide | Front: 12MP
Refresh Rate:60Hz
Ports:USB-C port
Dimensions:195.4 mm x 134.8mm x 6.3mm (7.69in x 5.3in x 0.25in)
Weight:0.65lbs (293g)
Battery Life:Up to 10 hours

Additional features:

  • Fully laminated display
  • Two speakers audio landscape mode
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Wide color display
  • 64-bit desktop-class architecture
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps

Pros:

  • Great performance owing to a superfast Bionic processor
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent camera quality
  • USB-C charging
  • Apple Pencil 2 compatibility
  • Wide angle front camera
  • Great speakers
  • Great mic

Cons:

  • No headphone jack
  • Face ID (facial recognition login) is not available 
  • No Magic Keyboard
  • Expensive
  • Not great for people with big hands

4. Galaxy Tab S7 FE 2021

This Fan Edition tablet is a toned-down version of the Samsung Tab S7. The tablet boasts a massive screen of 12.4”, and even with such a big screen, the battery runs for up to 14 hours. The tablet comes with an S-Pen, which lets you easily draw and write in your handwriting which works with apps like AR Doodle and Screen Write. The tablet is equipped with 2 speakers, one at the top and the other at the bottom, tuned by AKG to produce good quality sound. As it is a toned-down version, there are some performance limitations, but able to deliver decent performance for daily usage. 

The camera performance of this device is also pretty good with a 12MP rear camera with an ultra-wide angle capability. The front camera is good enough for video calls. The Samsung OS on this Samsung Galaxy S7 FE tablet also includes DEX, which equips this tab with a desktop interface, which gets activated as soon as you plug in a keyboard to the device. We used this extensively and were impressed with the DEX performance. A good alternative if you don’t want to buy a laptop.

Specifications:

OS:Android 11.0
Screen Size:12.4-inch
Resolution:2560×1600
Processor: Qualcomm SM 7225 Octa-core Processor
RAM:4GB
Storage:Starting from 64GB
Camera: Front: 5MP | Rear: 8MP
Refresh Rate:60Hz
Ports:USB-C port
Dimensions:247.6mm x 178.5mm x 6.1mm
Weight:1.34 lbs
Battery Life:Up to 14 hours

Additional features:

  • S-Pen included
  • microSD slot
  • Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless audio
  • Speakers tuned by AKG and support Dolby Atmos

Pros:

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Brilliant color output in indoors as well as outdoors
  • Galaxy connectivity – multi-device setup
  • Large display

Cons:

  • Slow charging
  • A fingerprint sensor could have been a good addition

5. Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft-Surface-Go-3-10.522

We listed this product also as one of the best tablets under $400. but by increasing your budget to $500, you can get 8GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage, as opposed to 4GB and 64GB eMMC storage. If you can increase the budget further by about $150 you can get an Intel Core i3 processor. Here we are reviewing this tablet with an Intel Platinum Gold processor, which comes under $500. 

With SSD storage and Intel Platinum Gold, this is a really fast tablet running on Windows 11 OS. It works best with the Windows apps like Skype, Zoom, Edge, Office tools, etc. It also has a Micro SD slot so you can add more storage to the device. It has improved wireless connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. The design is very sleek and attractive and has narrow bezels to offer more screen space. 

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 secured 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.

Specifications:

OS:Windows 11
Screen Size:10.5-inch
Resolution:1920×1280
Processor:1.1 GHz Intel Pentium Gold. Another variant with Intel Core i3 processor is also available at a higher price.
RAM:4GB/8GB
Storage:Starting from 64GB
Camera:5MP Front and 8MP rear-facing 1080p HD 
Refresh Rate:60Hz
Ports:USB-C port | Headphone Jack | MicroSDXC Card Reader
Dimensions:245 mm x 175 mm x 8.3 mm
Weight:1.2lbs
Battery Life:Up to 11 hours

Additional features:

  • Dual Studio Mics
  • 2W stereo speakers with Dolby® Audio™
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Compatible with a digital pen along with finger touch
  • Built-in kickstand
  • Windows Hello face authentication

Pros:

  • A secured tablet with Windows Hello
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Sleek, light, and portable design
  • Works great with all Microsoft Apps

Cons:

  • The battery and speakers could have been better
  • Single USB port
  • Not much different from the previous version

6. CHUWI UBook X 12 inch

CHUWI UBook X 12 inch Touchscreen Tablet

Chuwi Ubook is a very suitable 2-in-1 tablet for students, as it has a decent screen size, very easy-to-use Windows 10 operating system, and it comes with a keyboard and HiPen H6. It is very convenient to use for children and teenage students with a 3.5 MM jack, faster bootup, expandable memory slot, and USB 3 and USB type C ports. It is made of aluminum and has a tiltable stand (up to 145°) attached to the body of the tablet. It has dual speakers on either side of the device and also has two microphones. 

The display quality is also decent with 2K resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio, which makes it very convenient to use in horizontal as well as vertical orientation. The Chuwi Ubook is equipped with a 14nm quad-core Celeron processor, which gives decent performance for the purpose of studies, and other basic tasks. It has 256 SSD storage which makes it faster to access data stored locally on the device and makes the device boots faster. It can be attached to the keyboard to be used as a laptop, though we don’t suggest you expect an actual laptop-like performance.

Specifications:

OS:Windows 10
Screen Size:12-inch
Resolution:2160×1440
Processor:Intel N4120 Quad-Core Processor (Celeron)
RAM:8GB
Storage:256GB SSD
Camera:5MP rear | 2MP front
Refresh Rate:60Hz
Ports:USB Type-C; USB-A 3.0 port; microHD slot, 3.5mm audio jack
Dimensions:292.19 mm x 207.89 mm x 9 mm
Weight:1.71lbs
Battery Life:6 hours of video playback

Additional features:

  • Bundled with Keyboard and Stylus Pen HiPen H6
  • Integrated UHD 600 graphic card
  • 3:2 screen aspect ratios
  • 5 seconds fast boot-up
  • U-shaped kickstand
  • 5000 mAh battery

Pros:

  • Good balance of features and performance within a mid-range budget
  • IPS display
  • Bundled with keyboard and stylus pen

Cons:

  • Slow charging – takes 3 hours to fully charge
  • Heavier

7. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5

Lenovo-IdeaPad-Duet-5-Chromebook

This device has a 13.3” AMOLED display that can be conveniently used as a 2-in-1 laptop with Chrome OS. The tablet is equipped with Snapdragon SC 7180, which is an octa-core processor and is also loaded with a Qualcomm Adreno graphics processor. The tablet is made for long working hours with a battery that can last for up to 15 hours. Though it is on the heavier side, its build quality, size, and features justify it. It has an Aluminum metal soft coated back, and the narrow bezels provide for better viewing.

As it is a Chrome OS you can seamlessly use all the Google apps and tools conveniently. It can be easily attached to a keyboard to be used as a laptop. The kickstand attached with the Lenovo Duet 5 is very sturdy and can be adjusted to achieve the best viewing angle based on an individual user. It has got 4 speakers, which is parallel to none other. Slow charging is the only problem that you could face in your day-to-day usage. Also, we advise you to use it with your cover to protect it from any damages, as it is heavier. 

Specifications:

OS:Chrome OS
Screen Size:13.3-inch
Resolution:1920×1080
Processor:Snapdragon SC7180
RAM:4GB/8GB
Storage:64GB
Camera:5MP Front | 8MP Rear
Refresh Rate:60Hz
Ports:2 USB-C ports, 5-point pogo pins
Dimensions:305.86mm x 186.74mm x 7.23mm
Weight:1.5lbs
Battery Life:Up to 15 hours

Additional features:

  • Dual microphones
  • 4 speakers with smart amplifier technology
  • 400 nits peak brightness
  • Detachable fabric folio keyboard, stylus support
  • Eye Care Display certified by SGS
  • Titan C Security Chip
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 42 Watt rapid charger

Pros:

  • Ultra-light slim chassis
  • 2-in-1 device – can be switched to the laptop using a keyboard
  • Impressive battery
  • 70% less blue light 

Cons:

  • Bit on a heavier side at 1.5 lbs
  • No 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Slow charging

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3

We can call it a mini-monster tablet. This is a smaller tab with an 8-inch screen but is of great use for enterprise use. It can be used in industries like medical, travel, healthcare, and manufacturing environment, among others, as it is made out of military-grade design. It can go through dust, dirt, water, and shocks pretty nicely as it is IP 681 certified. It has a strong battery that can run for up to 11 hours. It has got enhanced touch capability. That is, you can use the touch even with your gloves on.  

One of the other features that make this product stand out is its battery optimization. You can use it on No Battery mode while it is plugged into a power source. The battery is fast charging, and it can be easily replaced with another battery by opening the back flap. This Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 can be used with the Dex desktop interface to use as a mini-laptop. In terms of connectivity, this is probably one of the very few devices in this price range that offer LGE connectivity along with Wi-Fi 6 and Dual Antenna MIMO. The rear camera can be conveniently used as a barcode scanner. We highly recommend this product if you are using it for any professional use, not just for office use, but specifically to be used in the field and high-intensity work environments like factories, medical facilities, shipping, etc.

Specifications:

OS:Android 10
Screen Size:8-inch
Resolution:1200×1920 px
Processor:Exynos 9810
RAM:4GB
Storage:Starting from 64GB
Camera:13MP rear camera | 5MP front camera
Refresh Rate:60Hz
Ports:Pogo Pin
Dimensions:213.8mm x 126.8mm x 9.9mm
Weight:0.93 lbs
Battery Life:Up to 11 hours

Additional features:

  • IP 681 rated – makes it dust, dirt, sand, and water-resistant.
  • 1.5m anti-shock protection
  • Extendable memory to up to 1TB
  • LTE and WiFi 6 connectivity
  • Optimized for camera-based barcode scanning
  • No battery mode when switched to a power source
  • Samsung wireless Dex
  • Programmable key

Pros:

  • Fast and effective Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Very well suited for professional use, especially for doctors, healthcare, manufacturing facilities, offices, etc.
  • It is an Android Enterprise Recommended device
  • It has enhanced touch capabilities

Cons:

  • Smaller screen size
  • Thick bezels
  • Looks bulky

9. Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Tablet

Lenovo Tab P11 Pro

You can easily bet on the durability and reliability of any Lenovo product, and this is no different. The Lenovo P11 pro is an Android tablet that can help you perform tasks on the run with some of the pre-loaded Google and Microsoft apps. You can use it in a multi-windows mode for multitasking and enhanced productivity. It is built lightweight with an aluminum alloy unibody frame with very narrow bezels around the screen.

This device is also great for the purpose of entertainment and gaming with an immersive audio experience as it is equipped with 4 JBL speakers with Dolby Atmos. The dual-microphone setup sends your voice clearly to the person on the other end of your important video call. The Lenovo Tab P11 pro tablet is compatible with Lenovo Precision Pen 2, which can be used with the preloaded Bamboo Paper or Squid Apps. Or pair it with the optional keyboard to use it as a laptop, made possible due to the optimized PC-level productivity UI.

Specifications:

OS:Android 10
Screen Size:11.5-inch
Resolution:2560×1600
Processor:Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 730G Octa-Core Processor
RAM:6GB
Storage:128GB
Camera:13MP rear camera | 5MP front camera
Refresh Rate:60Hz
Ports:4-point Pogo pin; USB 3.2 Type-C; Micro SD Slot
Dimensions:264.28mm x 171.4mm x 5.8 mm 
Weight:1.06lbs
Battery Life:Up to 15 hours

Additional features:

  • 4 x JBL® speakers with Dolby Atmos®
  • Dual mic array
  • Compatible with Lenovo Precision Pen 2
  • Optimized for PC-level productivity UI
  • Facial recognition
  • Auto-blur video call backgrounds

Pros:

  • Great for entertainment, equipped with 4 JBL speakers, enhanced graphics and brilliant display
  • Lightweight aluminum-alloy unibody frame
  • TÜV Rheinland eye comfort certification

Cons:

  • Software is not very well optimized, hence some apps don’t work well

FAQ

Which tablet under $500 offers the best connectivity?

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 is the clear winner in terms of connectivity, as it offers LGE connectivity and Wi-Fi 6, and is also equipped with Dual MI-MO Antenna, which means it will be effective even in areas with weak signals. 

Which tablet you will recommend for professional use?

We will highly recommend Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 for professional use due to multiple reasons, as follows:

  • Handy, portable, and easy to carry
  • Military grade design
  • Android Enterprise Recommended – Refers to the device hardware and software optimized for enterprise applications
  • Can be used in any type of environment as it is resistant to dirt, dust, water, etc.
  • Enhanced touch functionality, which means it can be used even with gloves, which makes it suitable to be used by doctors, factory supervisors, etc.
  • Good battery backup, to support you all day long

Conclusion: Which is the best tablet under $500?

You can get some really great tablets within $500. You can find one based on your favorite operating system (Android, iOS, Windows, Chrome OS), as well as you can choose one based on your preferred specifications. Some tabs are considered better for entertainment, like Lenovo Tab P11 Pro, while if you are looking for a tablet on the run in the workplace then you can find Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 as your best option. While we find Samsung Tab S7 and iPad Air 4th gen topping our list of recommendations due to their overall specifications and features.

Our top pick is definitely the S7 due to its great screen – 120Hz. If you plan on taking notes & creating art on your tablet, we definitely recommend getting a 120Hz tablet.

Related Articles:

Best Tablets under $300

Founder & Chief Editor | + posts

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.