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Four great tablets that deliver the goods for a reasonable price


There are times when top-of-the-line is just overkill. Sometimes you just need a no-frills workhorse to do what you need to do. When it comes to tablets these four can get the job done without leaving a vacuum in your bank account.

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Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017)

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/amazon-fire-hd-8-2017/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The latest Fire HD 8 delivers faster performance, a bigger battery and more base storage than the previous version for almost half the price. Its 8-inch screen is bright, the speakers are loud and it offers expandable microSD storage and ample parental controls. Amazon Prime members can access gobs of free video, music and other content with their subscription.

The bad: Display isn’t as sharp as that of the iPad Mini; to truly take advantage of what the tablet has to offer, you need an Amazon Prime membership; slow charging (takes 6 hours to fully cap battery).

The cost: $69.99 to $82.99

The bottom line: Despite some small drawbacks, you just won’t find a tablet with these features and performance at this price.

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Asus ZenPad 3S 10

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/asus-zenpad-3s-10/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 has a sharp, clear HD screen and its design is both comfy and cool. The fingerprint scanner adds extra security. Comes with a good amount of storage for its price.

The bad: The speakers are easy to block when holding in landscape orientation. Games take their time to load.

The cost: $286.73 to $299.99

The bottom line: The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 is a fantastic portable video watcher with enough storage to get you through long flights at a reasonable price.

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Apple iPad Mini 2

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/apple-ipad-mini-2/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The iPad Mini 2 has a sharp Retina screen, an ultraportable design, great battery life and it’s the most affordable tablet with access to the iOS App Store. Upgradeable to iOS 10 later this year.

The bad: Android and Amazon tablets — and even Windows laptops — are available for less. Base model includes only 16GB of non-expandable storage. It’s missing the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and split-screen feature found on newer iPads.

The cost: $239.99

The bottom line: It lacks the features and speed of a cutting-edge iPad, but the Mini 2 is still a solid tablet for basics, especially if you can buy it at a discount.

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Lenovo Tab 4 (10-inch)

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/lenovo-tab-4-10-inch/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The 10-inch Lenovo Tab 4 has a big screen and an attractively low price. It has a long-lasting battery, front-facing speakers and a microSD card slot.

The bad: It’s heavier than comparable tablets. The screen is underwhelming.

The cost: $179.99 to $187.72

The bottom line: The Lenovo Tab 4 is a good option for an affordable, big screen tablet that doesn’t feel too cheap.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Associate Editor Xiomara Blanco, Executive Editor David Carnoy and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.



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