The best tablets under £250

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There was a time when buying a cheap tablet was a bit of a lottery, but now it's easy to find some great tablets at very reasonable prices.

With so many on the market, we've picked out some of our favourite tablets to suit any need - and stay on a budget!

Amazon Fire HD8 16GB (2017)

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from £49.99

Buy from PC World

One of the most affordable tablets around – and certainly the cheapest on this list – Amazon's Fire HD8 is a great choice for anyone shopping around on a budget.

We love the 8-inch HD screen, which is perfect for streaming videos - especially if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, which lets you download movies and TV to watch when you don't have an internet connection.

The Fire HD8 (2017) has an improved battery capacity over its predecessor, boasting roughly 12 hours of usage before it'll need charging. This makes it ideal for entertaining kids on long car rides, and you won't be tethered to a plug socket when you're using it around the house either.

As the Amazon Fire HD8 runs a custom version of Android called FireOS, you won't find the Google Play Store installed. Instead you'll have access to the Amazon Appstore which has its own collection of apps, many of which are also found on the Play Store. Any apps you've bought through Google can't be transferred to Amazon, which can be frustrating if you've used another Android device in the past.

If you're looking for a decent tablet at a great price, and haven't already purchased apps through the Google Play Store, Amazon's Fire HD is definitely one we'd recommend.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1

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from £179.99

Buy from PC World

With its colourful screen and long battery life, Samsung's Galaxy Tab A is another great tablet to add to this list.

The 10 inch screen is fine for video streaming and the microSD slot gives you plenty of extra storage space to keep your movies, TV shows or music on without cluttering up the main memory. The large screen is full HD, meaning you can enjoy video in excellent quality.

Samsung tablets tend to have great build quality – and the Tab A is no exception. While it may not be great under direct sunlight, its wide viewing angle and vivid colours make it ideal for using in bed or around the house. And if you're not happy holding the tablet while you watch videos, the Tab A also supports 'Miracast' – a feature that lets you broadcast the tablet's screen to a smart TV for easy viewing.

We found the battery life to be noteworthy, lasting around 13 hours of casual use and 7-8 hours of constant use. For such a large tablet, it's reassuring to know you won't have to hover near a plug socket when you want to watch a film on it!

Huawei MediaPad T3 10

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from £99.99

Buy from PC World

Huawei's MediaPad T3 combines a large screen with a lightweight case, making it a great choice for taking on trips. As the T3 also has space for a SIM card, you won't even need to worry about staying close to Wi-Fi to keep your internet going!

While the cameras on the T3 aren't the best, the fact it comes with front and rear cameras means you can use the MediaPad to make video calls as well as take photos when the opportunity arises.

We like the custom version of Android on the MediaPad T3, which comes pre-installed with Microsoft Office and some nifty antivirus software. If you're after a tablet that you can do some work on, the Huawei T3 is definitely one to consider. The quick access menus give you plenty of control over the tablet, and features like the Intelligent Support menu lets you turn the T3 on or off automatically - saving battery life and keeping your device secure.

If you're looking for a large portable tablet with a premium feel and a low price, The Huawei MediaPad T3 could be just what you're looking for.

Summary

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One thing that became clear during our research is that it really helps to know what you want to do with your tablet.

Larger screens are better for viewing or using anything with lots of detail, like HD films or artistic apps. Smaller tablets, on the other hand, are much more portable, and quite often easier for a child to use – if you feel like sharing!

Whatever your needs, though, there are some great tablets out there – even if you're watching the pennies.

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