Why I Chose To Buy A Cheap Android Tablet [Opinion]

Ads by Google

cheap android tabletI have wanted a tablet for a long time. Ever since Apple released the first iPad, if I’m honest. That’s over two years of wanting, of waiting, of denying myself a new gadget. Mainly because I couldn’t justify the expense for a device I didn’t know how much actual use I’d get out of.

Finally, after doing a little more research than was healthy, I took the plunge and chose a tablet. One which I now own and use every day. It wasn’t an iPad, or even a name-brand Android tablet such as the Transformer Prime or Galaxy Tab. Instead it was a generic Android tablet bought from a random third-party seller on Amazon.

My Tablet Of Choice

The tablet I settled on was the 7-inch A710, a cheap Android tablet you can buy from any number of different retailers. It boasts a 5-point multitouch capacitive screen, a 1.2GHz CPU, 8GB of built-in memory expandable to 32GB with a microSD card, and 512MB of RAM. It has USB and Mini HDMI ports, a 2MP front-facing camera, and battery time of around 4 hours.

My tablet came pre-rooted with Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) installed. It also came loaded with Google Play, and several other essential apps and widgets.

cheap android tablet

 

OK, so this isn’t an iPad. It’s less powerful, has an inferior screen, a lesser battery, a lesser camera, etc. But then no one, including myself, is claiming this to be an iPad. It serves a different purpose but is more than enough for my particular needs. What follows are the reasons I chose to buy a cheap Android tablet at this juncture.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

cheap android
I thought about which size of tablet would suit me better for a long time. After trying the 9.7-inch iPad, the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, and everything in between, I decided that a 7-inch screen would be ideal. It’s small enough to hold comfortably in one hand but not too small that writing on the screen is impossible without a stylus.

Ads by Google

In landscape mode the A710 is perfect for writing, playing games, and watching streaming video. In portrait mode it’s perfect for reading, whether it be articles saved via Pocket or e-books downloaded to the Kindle app…

No Kindle, No Problem

cheap android
I have been interested in buying an Amazon Kindle for a while. As a book lover I felt it would give me an extra opportunity to read books on the go. I had already installed Kindle for PC on my laptop and downloaded various free e-books, but reading on a laptop isn’t ideal. Reading on a 7-inch tablet, however, is as ideal as it gets.

I now read e-books in bed and on the bus, to name just two occasions. And I spent less money buying the tablet which enables me to do so (as well as a lot more besides) than I would have buying a Kindle. The battery life isn’t comparable, and it’s much harder to read in direct sunlight, but it fulfills my needs extremely well.

Money Matters

cheap android
The main reason I chose to buy this particular tablet, and to buy it now, is price. I paid £75 ($120) for my A710. It came with a screen protector, a soft case, a USB lead, a USB adapter, and a set of headphones. They may be crappy headphones but that’s besides the point. The price also included shipping, and it was delivered just two days after the order was placed.

Compare all this to the iPad, as I did when I was looking at all the options. The new iPad retails at £399 in the UK. Or $645. That is more than five times the price I paid. Even the iPad 2 is £329 ($532) in the U.K. I could buy four A710s to give to family members for the price I’d pay for one out-of-date iPad.

A Netbook Of Sorts

cheap android tablet
As you may have guessed already I am a freelance writer working from home. But I’m not always at home. My primary device for working on is a 17-inch laptop that has served me well for coming up to three years. But it’s not exactly portable enough to carry everywhere I go. To the point that I have considered buying a netbook to fill that void.

With the addition of a keyboard case which cost me £9 ($15) I can turn my cheap Android tablet into a netbook of sorts. Whenever I need to. It’s small, compact, and easy to operate. All of which makes it perfect for using at those times when it would be impractical to be carting a large laptop around. For $135 I have a tablet and netbook rolled into one.

Conclusions

These are the reasons I personally chose to buy a generic Android tablet at this point in time. Some may apply to you, others may not. The point is that the tablet market is expanding at a rate of knots, and there are numerous tablets out there to choose from. The iPad may well be king, and the best tablet money can buy right now, but it’s far from the only option available.

Look out for a follow-up article exploring the reasons anyone considering buying an iPad should first look at the cheap Android tablet alternatives. Until then please let me know your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below. Opinion is free, discussion is good, debate is healthy.

Image Credits: Cheon Fong Liew, Zhao!, bfishadow, Cheon Fong Liew

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Best Android Phones
Best Android Phones
8 Members
Best Android Games
Best Android Games
19 Members
Best Android Apps
Best Android Apps
30 Members
Android Rooting and ROMs
Android Rooting and ROMs
30 Members
Android OS Tips
Android OS Tips
26 Members
Android Rumors and News
Android Rumors and News
10 Members
Best Android Tablets
Best Android Tablets
6 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (102)
  • Megan

    My husband bought me this same one as a surprise and I completely love this. I’ve never had any other gadgets other than simple cells or laptops so it works rather well. I play on this thing all the time.

  • Ivy Carter

    I always wanted to buy generic tablets, but after researching a lot in the internet, there are horror stories been told by some owners. Like, a lot of apps are not supported, market couldn’t run, and other sorts of trouble when the tablet start getting software or hardware malfunctions.
    I find some cheap android tablets on http://www.tablet-pcuk.com – are they worth it?

  • Dr Ramraj

    the best choice . people are always attracted by features . they will be saying that this one lacks this , this one lacks that etc. but many of us dont know what do we need and what is enough . YOUR ARTICLE IS ARTICLE EXAMPLE TO ALL THOSE WANT TO BUY A GADGET . THANKS BUDDY

  • Bill

    Have read with interest the many views re Android Tablets, aps etc, but no mention of security re email or internet purchasing seems to appear, it is the security issue that makes me think very hard about the purchase of any tablet.

  • 7d8b4923ab407fb41d04e3d9b4ef6cce

    I have to agree and I am in the process of starting a business selling Android 4.x and Windows OS import tablets from my site Tablet Depot USA (www.tabletdepotusa.com). I will be testing and reviewing all different manufacturers/models of tablets and notebooks. I will be looking at price, performance, quality, and reliability of the products I receive. If the tablet works great or is poor , you will see the results in my blog posting. The product will appear in my e-Commerce store only if it receives a good review which you as the consumer can purchase it. My overall goal is to show that you can find a quality tablet PC for a reasonable price and not have to buy the name brand to achieve the same result. Please check out my blog or subscribe to my RSS feed, or even buy a tablet or notebook as I will continue to post blogs about different products that get sent to me.

    Thanks for looking.

    Bob S., Owner
    Tablet Depot USA

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.