Why Buying a Second-hand Tablet Might Be Your Best Bet
Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, the tablet scene has exploded. Anyone who’s anyone in tech has since followed suit, starting at the extremely budget and moving up to more premium offerings that rival Apple’s own slate.
What you’re looking for in a tablet operating system will depend on the type of user you are: Windows 8 is a solid choice for anyone after a tablet for productivity; Apple’s iOS is best if you want simplicity; and Android offers a greater amount of flexibility. There are other options too, such as Amazon’s Fire OS, which features on its Kindle Fire tablets.
But as tablets are still a luxury item in the eyes of many people, the price plays a big part in that purchasing decision. But with new generations coming out annually, opting for an older model can be a great way to get a decent tablet but at the right price.
So if you’re after something that can hold its own but comes in at a more pocket-friendly price tag, we’ve rounded up the five best ranges of tablets for anyone looking to buy a second-hand slate, with some tips to guide you in the direction for finding that perfect tablet for you.
Google’s Nexus range has been used a showcase for the company’s Android updates, but they’re also solid tablets in their own right. With a low price and a top-performing screen, Google’s Nexus 7 range has been a top tablet contender.
There’s not a huge amount of design difference between the 2012 and 2013 models, but the more recent ups to the 1280 x 800 resolution to an eye-popping 1920 x 1200. It’s a tad faster, too. And if you’re looking for something a bit bigger than the Samsung-built Nexus 10 will have you covered, with another great, but bigger, screen, and a price that won’t cost the Earth.
Samsung Galaxy Tabs
The Samsung Galaxy Tab series has been a winning range for the Korean company, running Google’s Android and offering users the option of 3G and 4G connectivity. The most recent is the Galaxy Tab S, which comes in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch flavours.
However the Galaxy Tab 4 may be a better option right now, as it was originally priced for the more cost-conscious consumer and you should be able to pick one up for a fair bit cheaper now. And if you can’t track one down, the good news is that it’s only a minor upgrade to the Tab 3 - the only significant difference is the processor.
Sony’s Android-running Xperia series has a lot of great things to offer, with a particular focus on the build and design quality.
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 is both water and dust resistant, and a quality tablet, but the Tablet Z also sports those element-proof features, and can be picked up for a smaller price tag. And if you don’t want to go full-sized, you’ve got the option of Sony’s ‘Compact’ variants, which naturally come in a bit cheaper. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact also packs a waterproof rating of IP65/68 and a lot of power inside.
Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon’s kept its eye on affordability with the Kindle Fire range, which updates the Kindle e-reader with a colour display and many of the other features you’d expect on a modern tablet.
The Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD X 7 lead the top-end, with the HD packing a 7-inch 1280 x 800 display and the HDX offering itself in both 7-inch (1920 x 1200) and 8.9-inch (2560 x 1600) flavours.
But you can bag yourself a standard Kindle Fire for a fair bit less right now. However, remember that Amazon’s tablets run on its Fire OS, which is a forked version of Android heavily tied to Amazon’s own services. You’ll get a lot of the essential apps that feature on Google’s Play Store, but plenty are missing.
ASUS Memo Pad
Asus is hitting the budget end with its Memo Pad range, but that doesn’t mean you always have to compromise on the quality. The Memo Pad HD 7 offers a 7-inch HD screen, a range of vibrant colours, built-in speakers and up to 10 hours of battery life - all for a highly affordable price.
The Memo Pad 8, meanwhile, adds an inch to the display and packs in loads of features, but keeps the price down reasonably low. And if you’re after something bigger, the Memo 10 Pad bigs up its vibrant 1280 x 800 display to 10 inches for a cost that still won’t break the bank.