BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper
Beyond reviews, our team aims to provide you with useful, compelling, and fun how-to guides, gift ideas, and deep dives into trendy products consumers like you love. Here are our latest articles.

11 tablets that cost less than $500

Ever since the iPad exploded onto the market, tablet computers have been taking over what once was the sole domain of rooted-down computers. They’re used for everything from retail sales to traveling entertainment centers to high-end creative powerhouses for artists.

At the same time, the cost of tablets has continued to drop, to the point where there are plenty of top-tier options for less than $500.

In this article: Amazon Fire 7 (2022), Apple iPad (2021) and Microsoft Surface Pro 7.


Today, the best tablets come from Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung.

  • Amazon purchased Kindle, once the king of e-readers, and turned its Fire tablets into an Amazon product. Fire tablets still have that e-reader DNA, so they’re best for casual entertainment and not much else. In return, they’re also the most affordable, often costing less than $100.
  • Apple didn’t make the first tablet, but it’s undeniable that the iPad is responsible for tablet computing’s popularity. iPads for professional use can cost more than $1,000, but even the sub-$500 ones are excellent for both business and pleasure.
  • Microsoft Surface tablets are mostly made for work, as they’re more like a mix of tablets and traditional computers. They usually even come with a half-keyboard, half-cover for easy typing.
  • Samsung tablets are similar to iPads in that they are just as good for work and play. They also have increased connectivity with other Samsung products, similar to the way iPads connect with other Apple products.

Data storage

How much data you can store on your tablet should be a primary concern when shopping. Begin by asking yourself what you’ll be using the tablet for. If it’s mostly for surfing the web, streaming videos and reading e-books, you don’t need much. If you’ll be playing games and downloading songs and pictures, you should get as much storage as possible.

Typically, tablets for under $500 offer 16, 32, 64 or 128 gigabytes. The more storage, the higher the cost. Some tablets also offer expandable storage through microSD cards, but the practice is uncommon.

Screen resolution

Tablets typically offer top-tier resolution, even for under $500. Most tablets have at least Full high-definition resolution — the quality used by most streaming services — with many having resolutions better than Full HD but not quite 4K. The most inexpensive tablets might only offer HD resolution, which is the quality used by most TV channels.

Battery life

As tablets are used most often when on the go, it’s important to double-check how long they can last on a full charge. Most tablets under $500 last for at least 10 hours. Keep in mind that as the tablet ages, the battery’s maximum life will degrade. Additionally, the more applications you have open and the more intensive those applications are, you may see the maximum battery life cut in as much as half.


Most tablets for under $500 include a camera so you can take pictures and videos and join video calls for school or work.

Best Amazon tablets for under $500

Amazon Fire 7 (2022)

This 7-inch Fire comes with either 16 or 32GB of storage that can be expanded with a microSD card. It has a 10-hour battery life and comes in black, blue or pink.

Sold by Amazon

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021)

This 10-inch Fire has a Full HD display and comes with either 32 or 64GB that can be expanded with a microSD card. The battery can last for up to 12 hours, and it comes in four colors.

Sold by Amazon

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

This 8-inch Fire comes with either 32 or 64GB that can be expanded with a microSD card. It has up to 12 hours of battery life and charges with a USB-C port.

Sold by Amazon

Best Apple tablets for under $500

Apple iPad (2021)

This iPad has a 10.2-inch screen with a resolution between Full HD and Ultra HD. You can get it in Wi-Fi only with 64 or 256GB of storage or Wi-Fi and cellular with 64GB of storage.

Sold by Amazon

Apple iPad Mini (2021)

This iPad may have a smaller 8.3-inch screen, but its resolution is higher. It also packs in a more powerful processor than the base iPad. For under $500, you can get it with Wi-Fi connectivity and 64GB of storage.

Sold by Amazon

Best Microsoft tablets for under $500

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

This beefy 12.3-inch tablet is perfect for those who need to complete plenty of work while always on the go. For under $500, you can get one with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and an Intel Core i3 processor.

Sold by Amazon

Microsoft Surface Go 3

This 10.5-inch tablet is perfect for saving a little more money without sacrificing what you need to get your work done without a struggle. It has a resolution slightly better than Full HD and up to 11 hours of battery life.

Sold by Amazon

Microsoft Surface Go 2

This older tablet offers the same resolution and screen size as the Go 3 but with less battery life and an older processor. In return, you get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of data storage.

Sold by Amazon

Best Samsung tablets for under $500

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

This 12.4-inch tablet has a resolution between Full HD and Ultra HD, and it includes a stylus. It offers Wi-Fi connectivity and 64GB of storage with more storage available but for over $500.

Sold by Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

This 10.4-inch tablet is a few years old but still offers excellent resolution, 12-hour battery life and either 64 or 128 GB of data storage. It comes in blue, pink and gray.

Sold by Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

This is among Samsung’s most recent tablets, but it’s from their budget line. It has a 10.5-inch LCD screen with slightly more than Full HD resolution. It comes with 32, 64 or 128GB data storage options and is available in dark gray, gold and silver.

Sold by Amazon


Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.