Best budget tablets to buy in 2015

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The market for cheap and compact tablets has grown over the past couple of years and has seen many of the major manufacturers - Google, LG, Samsung and others - going up against less conventional competitors, such as retail giant Tesco.

And it's that competition that is helping to push down prices - for less than £200, you can bag yourself an impressive device. If you're lucky, you can even find yourself spending less than three figures! But how do you know which one to buy?

Well, we've rounded up some of the best budget tablets that we've had the pleasure of testing over the past weeks and months to give you the best possible advice when it comes to picking out the budget tablet that best suits your needs.

MORE: Awards 2014 - Best tablets

Best budget tablet

Google Nexus 7

Five stars

Tested at £200 - Buy at Amazon

It's proving hard to shift the Google Nexus 7 (2013) from its Award-winning pedestal, the device yet again attracting the plaudits in 2014 after picking up the prize for Best tablet up to 8in. And much of that is owed to its stunning screen performance and ease of use.

Even in the face of fierce competition from the sharp 2048 x 1536 pixel display of Apple's iPad Mini, this Nexus more than holds its own – offering one of the crispest screens we've seen; bright, punchy and packed full of detail. The sound is impressive too.

MORE: Google Nexus 7 (2013) review

Best budget tablet under £150

Tesco Hudl 2

Four stars

Tested at £129

After the roaring successor of its predecessor plonked Tesco very firmly on the budget tablet map, it seems apt that the retail giant has returned with a new model in the form of the Hudl 2. It comes with an updated spec list and new design – and it's worked.

For its price, there's little to grumble about – Tesco clearly knows how to make a good budget tablet and puts in a performance that far excels how much you'll spend on it. OK, so its music performance could be better, but don't let that put that off the Hudl 2.

MORE: Tesco Hudl 2 review

Budget tablet alternatives

If you're still weighing up your budget tablet options, the following devices also come in under £200 and could be most suited to you; Kindle Fire tablets, for example, are particularly handy for Kindle users or Amazon customers.

And don't forget to keep your eye out for special offers, deals and sales on these tablets as there are huge bargains to be had as models become superceded by newer models.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Four stars

Tested at £200 - Buy at Amazon

The Kindle Fire HDX 7 boasts one of the best spec sheets of any other tablet in this list. It runs on a 2.2GHz Qualcoom Snapdragon 800 processor and offers a full-HD display which puts out 323ppi.

It may not offer access to the Google Play Store, and some key Google apps aren't there, but with access to Amazon's extensive library of media content, the HDX 7 is an awesome tablet for viewing movies and TV shows.

MORE: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 review

Amazon Kindle Fire HD (7-inch)

Four stars

Tested at £160 - Buy at Amazon

Alternatively, you could opt for Amazon's previous tablet, the Fire HD. The screen may not have the same pizazz as its latest sibling, and the processor is clocked at a slower speed, but nonetheless, the Fire HD offers a plesant user experience. And now it has a lower price, its definitely worth a look.

MORE: Amazon Kindle Fire HD review

Kobo Arc

Four stars

Tested at £160

The Kobo Arc, is, for the most-part a fine tablet option. Its 1280 x 800-pixel screen delivers 215ppi, which is better than some other competitors in this list. Android 4.0 is on board, with full access to Google Play's catalogue of movies and TV shows.

e-Books are the Arc's best friend, thanks to an affiliation with WH Smith. The only niggle is the average audio quality.

MORE: Kobo Arc review

More budget tablet reviews

Asus MeMo Pad 8

Three stars

Tested at £200

The Asus Memo Pad 8 is a tricky one. It's by no means the best tablet money can buy, but neither is it the worst. What is strange is how the brand behind the Nexus 7, can make something of their own with lesser specs.

For those wanting a basic tablet, the MeMo Pad 8 is a fine option, but for the money, we'd always recommend the Nexus 7 or now, the Tesco Hudl

MORE: Asus MeMo Pad 8 review

Versus TouchPad 10.1

Three stars

Tested at £170 – Buy at Amazon

You might not have heard of Versus before, but the manufacturer is beginning to make a few waves with the introduction of impressively specced tablets for the affordable end of the market.

For web browsing, social media and remote controlling your network-connected home cinema and hi-fi devices, this Android device gives you little to complain about; a useful tool of a tablet.

MORE: Versus TouchPad 10.1 review

Archos 80b Platinum

Two stars

Tested at £170 - Buy at Amazon

Archos, like Asus above, is also responsible for one of the better tablets on this list; the Tesco Hudl. And in a similar fashion to Asus, Archos' own effort is somewhat disappointing.

For the money, the specs are below what should be expected, and its nearly 200g heavier than the Nexus 7. Screen and audio are both rather poor, as is the 2MP camera. Considering the competition, its hard to recommend.

MORE: Archos 80b Platinum

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