3 Best Gaming Tablets at Low Cost for This Holiday Season

Written by B Johnson January 02, 2018
3 Best Gaming Tablets at Low Cost for This Holiday SeasonWith more and more Android tablets getting released this year, it really makes it a lot easier for customers to get great tablets with powerful specs at affordable cost.

The reason why most people right now are aiming for affordable but powerful tablets is because nowadays, tablet has evolved not only as a media-consuming device, but tablet has also emerged into a great platform for playing games.

Next year, there are many many games for tablets and smartphones that will use more powerful 3D graphics and stunning visual effects than most of the 3D games that you play today.

And that is the reason why you need to buy the tablet that is guaranteed will be capable to handle all of those games smoothly and perfectly.

Newest games like Modern Combat 5, N.O.V.A 4 (not confirmed yet, but it’ll probably be out next year), GTA San Andreas (will arrive in December) or Asphalt 9 obviously won’t run perfectly on tablets with less powerful hardware.

And if they can, these games won’t run smoothly and not in full graphics for sure.

That’s a bummer, right?

I mean, it’s gonna be annoying when the tablet you thought was gonna be powerful enough to run high-performance games, turns out can't play many of your favorite games perfectly.

That actually happened a lot to many owners of old generation iPads that always felt cheated whenever they found out that most of newest apps on App Store, even the 2D simple games, were not compatible anymore with their older iPads, thus forcing them to upgrade to the newer iPads (I believe this will always happen over and over again in the future because that’s how Apple sells its devices).

The good thing, that’s not gonna happen to you if you choose Android tablet over iPad.

However, if you want to get the right Android gaming tablet that will be capable enough to handle most of the latest games next year or even in the next 2 years, then you must find the right tablet that not only has powerful hardware inside, but also has other aspects that make it a great gaming tablet.

So if you’re currently looking for an affordable but great tablet that you’re gonna use it mostly as a gaming platform, besides as media-consuming device of course, then here I’ll give you some of my tips in finding the right Android gaming tablet for you that I believe is powerful enough in handling the highest performance 3D games on Google Play Store even in the next 2 years.

How to Find the Right Gaming Tablet Without Spending Big?

Okay, first of all, in order to ensure that your tablet is great for gaming, then it’s really important for you to choose the tablet that comes with great hardware specs on it.

The reason why you need to pay attention to this aspect is because next year, many game developers will take their games to the far new level, especially in terms of graphics.

And that means, next year’s mobile games will have more detailed and well-polished graphics and could even reach the graphics quality of console games.

Tablets with older and weaker hardware obviously won’t be capable to run those games perfectly and smoothly. And that will totally ruin your gaming experience, right?.

Therefore, if you don’t want that to happen to you, then you must find the tablet that is believed to be capable to run the newest and highest performance games even in the next 2 years ahead.

There are some great options of tablets that I think will be more than enough to do some powerful games without any lag whatsoever, even in the next few years.

They are Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition), Kindle Fire HDX or NVIDIA's newly released Tegra Note.

These 3 devices have some incredible specs going on inside them.

Google Nexus 7 comes with 2GB of RAM, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and Adreno 320 GPU.

Meanwhile, Kindle Fire HDX has been armed with Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon 800 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

Lastly, although Tegra Note hasn’t been launched yet (but will likely launch this holiday season), this NVIDIA’s reference tablet comes with a quad-core Tegra 4 SoC and 1GB of RAM.

Google Nexus 7

Okay, first of all, let’s focus on Google’s latest Nexus tablet. Instead of using Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 800 just like Amazon’s homemade tablet, apparently, Google goes with the one that can be said as last year’s processor from Qualcomm.

However, despite being last year’s chipset, you must never underestimate any of Qualcomm’s chipsets, including this Snapdragon S4 Pro on Nexus 7.

It’s still the flagship processor from Qualcomm though.

Besides, facts proved that Qualcomm’s chipsets always outperform some of Samsung’s processors that are considered as the flagship models for Samsung high-end devices.

So no wonder if many users experience that Samsung GALAXY Note 10 (2013 edition) that uses Samsung’s Exynos processor runs really laggy compared to GALAXY Note 10 (LTE edition) that is using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800.

That’s why Samsung GALAXY Note 3 uses Snapragon 800 instead of Samsung’s homemade Exynos and as a result, it’s super fast in performance.

Therefore, even though the latest model of Google Nexus 7 comes with Snapdragon S4 Pro, many owners of this tablet feel that Nexus 7 has a really outstanding performance compared to other high-end 7-inch tablets out there to date.

And what makes this Snapdragon S4 Pro inside the Nexus 7 so superior is how this chipset is capable to power the Full HD 1280x1920 pixel display on Nexus 7 so perfectly without suffering any lag whatsoever.

And amazingly, even with its Full HD display and outstanding performance, this Qualcomm’s processor manages to make the battery life of Google Nexus 7 last all day long without the needs of recharging during the day.

That is an impressive achievement by Google and Qualcomm given the price point that Google is asking, which is only $229.

And last i heard, the price just got slashed on some online stores and retailers to just $199 for the smallest 16GB model.

That’s the reason why I believe Google Nexus 7 will be such a great and powerful tablet for gaming, even in the next 2 years.

And I also think that this tablet will still be capable to run even the high-performance console-quality games across Google Play Store in the next 2 years, like Modern Combat 5 (or even Modern Combat 6 if that ever launches), Asphalt 8 or 9, GTA San Andreas or even N.O.V.A 4. So if you’re looking for a great gaming tablet, then you’re in good hands with Google Nexus 7.

Kindle Fire HDX

Few years ago, with Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon managed to open the market for 7-inch tablets that didn’t exist yet when iPad was still in control.

However, given that Amazon had a really huge online store that was filled with real consumers with real money, Kindle Fire had an outstanding success in the first months of its launch on Amazon’s website.

Having managed to ship around 5 million units of Kindle Fire tablets during the holiday season, Amazon finally found a great formula to sell a device at low cost but gain more profits in the future by selling contents, like books, apps, magazines, music, etc from Amazon’s website, thus covering the cost of making that tablet in the first place, but still gaining more future profits from every Kindle Fire user across the US who buy contents on Amazon.

Since then, Amazon had launched new models of that tablet to the market every year, from Kindle Fire HD and this year, the Kindle Fire HDX, which sports much more powerful specs compared to the predecessor models, but still at the fraction of the cost of other high-end tablets around the market to date.

This year’s Kindle Fire HDX, is no-brainer, one of the best Android tablets not just in its class or in its price category, but one of the best 7 to 8.9-inch tablets out there on the market to date.

Having been armed with Qualcomm’s latest beast, Snapdragon 800 (which is also used on many high-end smartphones and tablets like Note 3, Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, Google Nexus 5, Samsung GALAXY S4, etc), Adreno 330 and 2GB of RAM, then Kindle Fire HDX is more than powerful as a gaming machine in the next few years, even more superior than Google Nexus 7.

And what makes this tablet even more impressive is its price tag.

Can you believe that, by only paying around $199 to $229, you can get a really powerful gaming tablet that could even handle all of the latest high-performance games in the next 2 years perfectly and smoothly without any lag whatsoever.

So if you’re a big fan of N.O.V.A or Modern Combat series or even GTA San Andreas, then you don’t need to worry as these games will absolutely run perfectly in full graphics on Kindle Fire HDX when they finally launch on Amazon App Store next year.

And the other great thing about Kindle Fire HDX is its battery life.

Ever since the first model of this tablet got launched few years ago, many owners of Kindle Fire experienced that the battery life of this Amazon’s tablet was really outstanding.

Most of them even managed to reach around 7 to 8 hours of battery life in heavy usage.

And that’s no different with this year’s Kindle Fire HDX.

Having used a powerful Snapdragon 800 chipset, it’s amazing how this tablet manages to deliver an outstanding performance on its full HD 1280x1920 pixel display and still manages to last all day long.

So if you’re looking for a great alternative for Google Nexus 7, a great gaming tablet at low cost, then Kindle Fire HDX is definitely your best shot.

However, if you currently have big budget in your pocket and you want to spend it on 1 single tablet, then iPad mini 2 with retina display is also a great option for you.

It’s great for gaming, it has a great display, it lasts all day long even 2 days in heavy usage and its collection of well-optimized apps on iTunes is much bigger than Kindle Fire HDX on Amazon App Store.

Tegra Note

Maybe some of you, or even many of you here haven’t heard yet about Tegra Note, right?.

Well, it’s because this device just got released around this quarter of 2013.

And the maker of this device is no other than the owner of Tegra chipset, NVIDIA, which is a popular giant chip maker for PCs, laptops and mobile devices in the world.

The reason why NVIDIA goes with the name “Note” on this device is because this company is aiming its bullets to the potential customers and markets of Samsung GALAXY Note 8.

And similar just like Samsung’s homemade phablet, Tegra Note is also equipped with a stylus that of course comes with some dedicated apps and features on that device.

However, what makes Tegra Note so awesome than Samsung GALAXY Note 8 is its price point.

Can you believe that by only paying $199, which is way cheaper than $380 of GALAXY Note 8, you can get a really outstanding device for most of the things that Samsung GALAXY Note 8 could do, including for playing games.

Tegra Note comes with NVIDIA’s latest mobile processor, Tegra 4 SoC, accompanied by 1GB of RAM and 72-core GPU.

The display of this device, which only has 720p resolution, might not be so impressive compared to the 1080p screens on other tablets like Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX and especially GALAXY Note 8.

However, there are still come pros about this device that could even outperform those rivals.

For example, on Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX, you get no microSD card slot, while Tegra Note has it.

And then, you also won’t get stylus on Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HDX, while Tegra Note has it.

And given that NVIDIA has been so popular in the whole world for its insanely powerful GPU chips, then you’ll definitely get more graphic bumps on Tegra 4-optimized games that probably couldn’t be found on Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HDX.

So to sum it up, by paying only $199 for Tegra Note, compared to $229 on Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX, you can get a really powerful gaming tablet, that has:
  • a stylus with its dedicated apps and features,
  • microSD card slot,
  • Tegra well-optimized games on Tegra Zone,
  • a great 720p display,
  • long lasting battery life
  • and quick support for updates from NVIDIA (which has been proved on Project Shield before).
I also believe that Tegra Note will be more than capable to run most of the graphics intense games on Google Play Store perfectly and smoothly with no lag.

Therefore, if you're planning to get this tablet this holiday season, then you’ll make no mistake if you buy this Tegra Note.

You'll get some pros that become cons on Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX, like stylus, microSD card slot, Tegra well-optimized games on Tegra Zone, quick updates from NVIDIA when there is issue with the tablet and some other more.


Well, there you go, 3 of Android tablets that I believe will be great options of powerful gaming tablets at affordable costs. I know, there are probably other tablets that are also great for gaming that are not mentioned in this article.

However, the reason why I only focus on these 3 tablets is because of their price points. The 16GB models of Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX 7-inches now only cost for $229, while Tegra Note can be bought for just $199.

Therefore, it’s really hard to not recommend these 3 devices as great gaming tablets given that their price tags are just so insanely cheap for powerful spec'd tablets like them.

Can you imagine that around that price range, you can have great tablets that are so powerful for gaming, watching movies, browsing the net and on top of that, all of these entertaining activities can be enjoyed at the fullest in really long battery life, where you don’t need to recharge the tablet during the day, even in heavy usage.

So again, if you’re still looking for an affordable but great gaming tablet that has great battery life, then your options are between Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX and Tegra Note.
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