Among all the advanced and smart gadgets available today, Tablet has a unique utility. Not only can you use it as a laptop for your office and personal work, but it can also be used as a phone if it supports a SIM card(LTE tablets). However, when choosing the best tablet for yourself, you will be in a dilemma.
As there are many choices in the market based on brand, features, and other aspects of the tablet, it becomes nearly impossible to shortlist one. If you are in a similar scenario, then this comprehensive guide is for you. Here you will know everything about finding the best tablet under $500. So, let’s begin! We’re listing tablets from $401-$500 in this article; if you’re interested in tablets under $400 – click here.
What can you expect from a tablet under $500?
If you are investing $500, it is obvious that the tablet will have some high-end features, so keep your hopes high for this.
- With a tablet under $500, you can play some medium-size games easily like COD, PUBG, Asphalt 9, etc. Most of these tablets are powered by 8 GB of RAM and a decent processor that will enhance your gameplay.
- You can watch HD Videos/movies without a glitch on these tablets, and usually, their resolution is above 1920×1200 pixels which makes it enjoyable.
- As far as the storage is concerned, most of these tablets have around 128 GB of storage and 256 GB. So, store as much as you want.
We have to warn you that tablets aren’t for everyone, if you have used laptops all your life, the experience is going to be totally different. It’s not going to be so fast and productive as with a laptop, it’s more like an advanced smartphone than a laptop I would say. With that said – you might be interested in checking out the best laptops under $500.
With that being said, let’s get to the Top 5 tablets that range between $400-$500.
1. iPad Mini 6 (2021)
Apple has once again raised the stakes for budget tablets by reinventing the widely successful iPad mini with all the features and hardware upgrades. Released in September 2021, we went two steps back to update the guide, since the iPad mini 6 deserves a spot on this list, regardless of whether you love or hate Apple. Despite barely fitting inside the $500 value with its base model, the fact that you get a wholesome iPad experience in such as small form factor.
With no cut corners on the hardware and the full-fledged iPadOS experience, Apple has made the iPad mini 2021 tablet simply irresistible. Gone is the Home button for good, and the bezels have been slimmed down to match the look and feel of a miniaturized iPad Air 2020. With the Touch ID integrated into the Power button, which has been repositioned at the top, to make room for Apple Pencil support. The magnetically positioned stylus from Apple on the iPad mini 6 is going to be the ideal companion for students who need to jot down notes quickly.
Although we would have liked to see some of that sweet OLED 120Hz action make it to the iPad mini 6, the LCD backlit display will have to do for now. The real power comes from the inside, with the A15 Bionic chip that drives gaming performance, multi-tasking, and browsing to a whole new level. A productivity boost comes from Apple finally dropping the Lightning port in favor of the universally standard USB-C port, which brings easy connectivity to different accessories in a convenient way.
- Wi-Fi + Cellular
- Sleek Industrial Design
- Robust performance for the 8-inch tablet that beats most competitors
- Several iOS 15 UI improvements
- 10+ hours of extended battery life
- USB-C port brings extra connectivity
- Works and charges the Apple Pencil
- The button placement is finicky
- More expensive than the larger iPad 9
- Mediocre 60Hz refresh rate screen
- No Face-ID offered
- No Magic Keyboard compatibility and missing headphone jack
Product specifications 🔧
- OS: iOS
- Display: 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display
- Resolution: 2266×1488 pixels and 326 PPI
- Processors: A15 Bionic chip with 65-bit architecture, 6-core CPU
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: up to 256GB
- Battery: about 10 hours
- Cameras: 12MP ultra-wide front camera with Center Stage and a 12MP wide rear camera.
- Port: USB-C for charging and accessories such as storage drives, keyboard, USB-C hubs, etc.
- Weight: 1.34lbs
2. Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
Lenovo is the brand that is popular in the market because of its high-end laptops and tablets. Getting into the limelight with its Yoga laptop has come a long way with its advanced and reliable gadgets. One of those top-end devices is Lenovo Tab P11 Pro, which was released in December 2020.
The tablet has a super clear OLED 11.5 inches screen that provides you remarkable picture quality. The 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution of the tablet offers a blend of vivid colors, balanced contrast, and dazzling brightness. If we talk about performance, the tablet is backed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core processor along with 4 GB of RAM. The combination of both offers you faster processing, no matter if it is app switching, app startup, or gameplay.
The 128GB of ROM storage allows you to store as much data as you want. If you are a picture clicking nerd, the tablet supports you with a fixed focus 8MP front camera and 13MP rear camera. The tablet also tops in terms of power. With a complete charge, you can keep it running for around 15 hours. So, it is ideal to be taken to work, if required.
- Powerful JBL speakers powered by Dolby Atmos.
- It has the state of the art facial recognition for login.
- Seamless file sharing with the Bluetooth 5.
- Premium design.
- Keyboard and Precision Pen are not included.
- A bit heavy.
Product specifications 🔧
- Measurement: 10.41 x 0.27 x 6.75 inches
- Screen size: 11.5-inch OLED
- Screen resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels
- Audio: 4 JBL stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
- Weigh: 1.06 lbs (485 g)
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G (Octa-core) Processor
- RAM: 4GB
- Internal storage: 128GB
- Front camera: 8MP
- Rear camera: 12MP
- Battery life: up to 15 hours
- Ports: USB 3.2 Type-C, Micro SD Slot, Fingerprint login
- Operating system: Android 10
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 (64GB)
As usual, Samsung tablets never fail to impress the users with their rounded edges and dazzling screens. The Galaxy Tab Active3 is also like those tablets but a bit powerful. The tablet offers dual functionality as you can insert a nano-sim in it and use it for carrier calls.
Other than this, the Active3 tab PLS IPS display that offers remarkable picture quality. This is also backed by the Mali-G72 MP18 graphics.
The speed and performance of this device are also off the charts. The tablet is powered by an Exynos 9810 octa-core processor and 4 GB RAM that keeps it lightning fast in all operations. If we talk about the connectivity, you can connect it with WiFi 6, NFC devices, Bluetooth, and USB-C.
The tablet is well-packed with the required security features, such as a fingerprint sensor. Other than this, the tablet also supports Samsung DEX. With DEX, you can connect your phone or tablet to the desktop or Mac for added functionality.
The tablet can easily support you for 11 hours. The rugged and water-resistant design will shield it from shocks and moisture. These aspects of the tablet make it better for working than entertainment purposes.
- Water, drops, and dust resistant design
- High external memory, expandable up to 1TB
- It Supports Samsung DeX
- Physical buttons
- The screen is less wide as compared to other tablets (8-inch).
- Entry-level camera
- On the expensive side, compared to other 8-inch tablets
Product specifications 🔧
- Measurement: 8.42 x 0.39 x 4.99 inches
- Screen size: 8-inch IPS
- Screen resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels
- Audio: Stereo speakers
- Weigh: 0.93 lbs (426 g)
- CPU: Exynos 9810 (Octa-core) Processor
- RAM: 4GB
- Internal storage: 64GB
- Front camera: 5MP
- Rear camera: 13MP
- Battery life: up to 11 hours
- Ports: USB 3.1 Type-C, Micro SD Slot, 3.5mm Jack
- Operating system: Android 10, One UI
4. Chuwi UBook X
Unlike many other less popular brands, Chuwi rose to be one of the best tablet brands with its high-end features. These tablets have offered a cut-throat competition to all the other tablets. Here are some of those features in detail!
The Chuwi UBook X has a massively wide 12-inch screen of 2160 by 1440 pixels. With this, you can enjoy watching your favorite movies and get superior picture quality while video chatting. The screen has completely laminated, which shields it from external scratches.
The tablet is fitted with an Intel N4100 quad-core low power consumption processor as far as the performance is considered. It delivers state-of-the-art performance whether you are playing a game, watching HD content, or just switching apps.
The feature that makes this tablet distinguishable is the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage. This is the best storage and memory combo that you will get in this price range. The tablet has the ability to backup your requirements for around 5 hours with a 5000 mAh battery. Lastly, its 1.72 lbs design can be easily carried across locations.
- 256GB of internal SSD storage
- It comes with a keyboard and stylus.
- A 2-in-1 design fit for work and personal use
- USB-C has limited functionality
- Less battery backup
- Low MP camera
Product specifications 🔧
- Measurement: 11.4 x 0.35 x 8.1 inches
- Screen size: 12-inch IPS LCD
- Screen resolution: 1440 x 2160 pixels
- Audio: Dual speakers
- Weigh: 1.72 lbs (780 g)
- CPU: Intel N4100 quad-core Processor, Intel Apollo Lake, Intel UHD Graphics 600
- RAM: 8GB
- Internal storage: 256GB
- Front camera: 2MP
- Rear camera: 5MP
- Battery life: up to 5 hours
- Ports: USB 3, 2, Type-C, OTG, 3.5mm Jack
- Operating system: Windows 10
5. Apple iPad Air (3rd Gen)
No matter in which price range you are looking for a product, Apple always has something for you. The Apple iPad Air 3rd Gen is the product you can buy if you have a budget between $400-500. As always, the product has some pretty awesome and distinguishable features.
First off, the tablet has a shimmering 10.5-inch retina display that provides the utmost viewing experience, whether it is games or videos. The iPad also offers you clear, crisp, and high-intensity sound with its stereo speakers. Thus, making your movie viewing experience awesome.
If you love to click pictures, the 8MP super clear rear camera can help you capture high-quality images ready to post on your social media account. You can also pose for selfies in front of the 7MP front camera. When it comes to storage, the iPad has around 64GB of internal storage where you can store your picture and videos. Other than that, the device offers you superior performance with its A12 Bionic chip and M12 coprocessor.
Some additional features that make it worth buying are dual mics, a hybrid IR filter, photo geotagging, and more! If you can extend your budget by $150, you can get a better iPad Air 8th Generation tablet.
- Supports Apple Pencil (1st gen)
- On the budget side (compared to iPad Pro and newer iPad Air models)
- Excellent battery life
- Touch ID
- High-resolution and bright screen
- No SD card slot
- Storage capacity cannot be upgraded (only with cloud storage)
- Old design/old model
Product specifications 🔧
- Measurement: 9.8 x 0.24 x 6.8 inches
- Screen size: 10.5-inch Retina Display
- Screen resolution: 2224 x 1668 pixels
- Audio: Dual speakers
- Weigh: 1.00 lbs (456 g)
- CPU: A12 Bionic chip, Embedded M12 coprocessor
- RAM: 3GB
- Internal storage: 64GB
- Front camera: 7MP
- Rear camera: 8MP
- Battery life: up to 10 hours
- Ports: 3.5mm Jack, Charging port
- Operating system: iOS 12
How is the iPad Mini 6 better than Lenovo P11 Pro in the Best Tablets under the $500 category?
The Android tablet market has seen a resurgence ever since the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of students to attend classes online and work-from-home became the standard norm. The Lenovo P11 Pro is meant to be the ultimate performance tablet under the $500 price tag, and while it does come out as the winner among Android budget tablets, the entry of the Apple iPad mini 6 changes the game entirely.
Android devices, especially those in the budget space, have a bad reputation when it comes to consistent software updates, and Lenovo suffers from the same. You can expect not more than 2 major software updates on the Lenovo P11 Pro, and they won’t come out as timely as Google Pixel devices get updated. On the other hand, every Apple iPad gets a minimum of 5 years’ worth of software updates, all of them rolled out immediately.
When comparing the two just based on the raw specs, the P11 Pro does come out on top with the OLED display, compared to the LCD backlit display on the iPad mini 6, along with dedicated JBL speakers and decent processing power. Apple might be a step back on the hardware, but the fact that iPadOS maximizes the potential of the A15 Bionic processor, puts it in a different spectrum, especially for long-term iOS users, who will also benefit from the seamless software experience across the Apple devices. It’s not all about the specs, but more about how they interact with each other.
The addition of Apple Pencil support cements the position of iPad mini 6 to the top of the table, making it the go-to tablet for students and business users alike. Despite the smaller screen size that may not be the best of sketches and illustrations, it still makes a fabulous companion for notetaking, which scores it extra points over the Lenovo P11 Pro.
Overall the experience just is better on iPad Mini.
Tablets Worth Mentioning that are Above $500
If you have room for more money, you can look at these tablets:
- Galaxy Tab S7: It is the newest Samsung tablet and is also on discount; grab it for $537.60. (currently the newest Samsung Tablet, that was released in 2020, September)
- Galaxy Tab S6: You can get this masterpiece at $599.
- Apple iPad Air 4: A great Apple product to buy at $559.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab Active PRO: Another Samsung product for you at a price of $579.99.
What to consider while buying the best tablet under $500?
Here are some factors that you need to consider while buying a tablet under $500.
You need to ensure that the battery of the tablet you wish to buy can serve you for long hours when fully charged. This will let you enjoy any activity without interruptions. Although it depends on your preferences, the average battery backup that you must look for should be between 9-12 hours.
Storage size is also a key determinant when choosing any 2-in-1 tablet, especially if you are a person who loves to download documents, movies and take photos. If you are among those people, then go for a tablet of storage around 128GB. If it is less than that, it may not be a good investment.
Operating system and CPU
To choose the best tablet, it is imperative to look for a powerful CPU. A powerful CPU will deliver you state-of-the-art performance, and for that, you need to check for the number of cores in the CPU. An octa-core processor will be the best bet for you. Other than this, choose the latest Android or Windows OS like Windows 10 or Android 10.
Again, if you are fond of videography, it is best to opt for a tablet with a larger camera. Go for either 8MP or 13MP for the rear camera and at least 5 MP for the front one. This will be the ideal combo in this price range.
Portability allows you to carry your tablets across locations. And you should go for lightweight tablets if you want to carry your tablet to work or any outing.
If you are investing this much money, you must check if the tablet comes with cellular connectivity (SIM card feature). Yes, you should look for WiFi, but cellular connectivity is also necessary to have. It will eliminate the use of a phone for you.
Which tablet has the most storage under $500?
Among the described choices, the Chuwi UBook is the best in terms of storage. You can keep a massive amount of pictures, videos, and apps in its 256GB storage.
Which tablet under $500 is the best performance-wise?
Both Lenovo Tab P11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 are the best tablets for performance. They are backed by an octa-core processor that aligns and handles multiple tasks efficiently, whether it is app startup, sorting background apps, or anything else!
In a nutshell, we can say that opting for a tablet under $500 can be a bit tricky if you don’t have the required information. As you have this guide, it will be easy for you to shortlist the best one. Do keep all these aspects and products in check! Any of the listed products are good, but it really comes down to the usage. What are your intentions for the tablet? For overall use, we would recommend Lenovo Tab P11. If you’re willing to go a bit above $500, we would suggest Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, the newest release from Samsung, and the quality is just magnificent. It’s good for everything – movies, entertainment, games, media browsing, social media, and even work. It can handle some heavy work stuff, especially if you add a keyboard to it. It can even replace your laptop for overall use.
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