How to Find a Great Gaming Tablet Without Spending Big?

Written by B Johnson January 02, 2018
How to Find a Great Gaming Tablet Without Spending Big?These days, tablet shoppers are blessed with a wide range of tablets ranging from iOS, Android or Windows tablets that they can choose from around the market.

Right now, you can just go to the smartphone or tablet stores and pick up any tablet that suits your needs or budget.

From budget tablets, productivity tablets, entertainment or content consuming tablets, gaming tablets, ebook-dedicated tablets and pretty much everything, you name it.

That just shows how Android tablets are really spreading out like crazy on the global market to date.

Choosing the Right Tablet According to Your Needs and Budget

In deciding what kind of tablet that is right for you, you must firstly determine what is the reason you want to have a tablet in the first place.

And the second question you must ask to yourself would be how much money you can spend to buy that tablet.

Well, if you are a type of user that is always craving to enjoy entertainments regularly every day like movies, TV series, books, magazines or music, then you can just pick up either iPad or Kindle Fire HDX as both of these devices have a wide range collection of entertainment contents all across their respected contents stores, iTunes and Amazon respectively.

However, if you are a hardcore gamer and want to have a great and solid tablet for gaming, then there are some specific requirements that you as customer must firstly know in order to find the right gaming tablet for you.

How to Find a Great Gaming Tablet Without Spending Big
Google Nexus 7
If you happen to have big budget in your pocket, then it’s just no-brainer that you will definitely pick up the latest iPad Air or iPad mini Retina Display, as both of these tablets are armed with a great graphic processing power in it (PowerVR G6430) that is more than capable to run any kind of game across the App Store.

However, if you’re currently not in great shape financially but want to own a great gaming tablet, then you have nothing to worry about as you have a lot of options for great Android gaming tablets on the market that are really affordable in price points.

Unfortunately, given the fact that many of these Android tablets are mostly cheap in price tags, then you as customer cannot expect that these tablets to be mind blowing as other high-end tablets out there and can run all the games on Google Play Store, let alone play them smoothly.

Therefore, before making the final decision and hand over your money to get any Android tablet, you must firstly know some factors that make the tablet you wanna buy, a great gaming tablet.

Okay then, if you’re currently still looking for a great gaming tablet, without further ado, here i’ll give you some tips or to be exact, 9 important aspects of a great gaming tablet.

Check What’s the CPU or Processor that Powers the Device

First of all, let’s focus on the CPU or the processing power of the tablet.

As you might know or not, there are so many Android tablets out there, even the cheap ones, that already adapt some dual-core or even a quad-core processor.

However, many of these cheap Chinese Android tablets that you can find on the market right now are mostly using some cheap mediocre processor from a company like Mediatek.

As a customer, you must not let yourself being fooled by the mindset that a quad-core processor on tablet means that the tablet can run all the graphics intensive 3D games across Google Play Store smoothly and perfectly.

Well, although Mediatek’s low-end quad-core chipset on many cheap Android tablets (for example like Asus MemoPad 7HD), can handle some hardcore 3D games like Dead Trigger, Shadowgun or PES 2012 smoothly, there are many latest 3D games on Google Play like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Need for Speed: Most Wanted or Grand Theft Auto III that cannot be played perfectly on that device.

And even worse, that tablet maybe can’t even open the games or getting a forced close or crashes in the beginning.

Therefore, it’s really important for you to know a little bit about CPU or processor on a tablet, or at least what type of processor that usually can handle even the latest 3D games on Google Play Store today.

This can be crucial especially for gamers because next year, Android apps and games will have more stunning console-quality graphics and sophisticated visual effects than the games you see today, which obviously require more advanced and powerful CPU and graphic processing power on the device.

I mean, if you call yourself as a die hard tablet gamer, i bet you don’t want to miss new games like Modern Combat 5, GTA San Andreas (arrives in December), N.O.V.A 4, next Gangstar game, GT Racing Motor Academy 2 or maybe the next Need for Speed series, right?

Well, those games will definitely be using high-quality graphics and probably won’t run on some cheap Android tablets.

Mostly, tablets with processors like NVIDIA’s Tegra or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon usually have greater chance to be able to play those high-performance games aforementioned above.

The good thing is, NVIDIA and Qualcomm are both generous in giving their powerful chipsets at affordable price tags for any Android tablet manufacturers out there.

Therefore, if you’re targeting a tablet that is armed either with NVIDIA Tegra 3, Tegra 4, Tegra 4i or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro, Snapdragon 400, Snapdragon 600, then you’re in luck as these quad-core chips are more than capable to run many high-performance games across Google Play Store in buttery smooth performance.

Usually, you can find these chips on many affordable tablets like Asus Google Nexus 7, Acer Iconia Tab A110, NVIDIA’s reference tablets (e.g., Tegra Note, etc), LG G Pad 8.3 and some other tablets.

All due respect to Mediatek chipset, but if you want to get a really great but cheap Android gaming tablet, you should avoid some cheap Android tablets with low-end Mediatek quad-core chip in it (not the expensive ones of course).

Most of latest games like Modern Combat 5, the next Need for Speed or next GTA game might not run smoothly on these devices, although some high performance games like Real Racing 3, Dead Trigger or Shadowgun can be run pretty smoothly on those MediaTek’s quad-core tablets.

Get to Know With the GPU or Graphic Card of That Device

After knowing about what type of processor that is equipped on your targeted tablet, the next thing you must also figure out is the GPU or the graphic processing chip on that tablet.

There is a wide range of different GPUs on every Android tablet.

They are Adreno GPU, Mali GPU, Tegra SoC or PowerVR GPU.

According to many people who have used several different tablets with different GPUs, they said that Adreno GPUs usually can handle any Android game perfectly (maybe because most of Android games out there are designed by developers to run on Adreno GPU).

That might be true. However, other GPUs like Mali-400 or Tegra, are also great in handling any games across Google Play Store.

Even Tegra-armed tablets have more superiority compared to other tablets given that NVIDIA has some games in Tegra Zone (similar like Google Play Store) that are optimized specifically on Tegra devices.

So games on Tegra devices have more stunning graphics and amazing visual effects than other tablets out there.

Meanwhile, Mali-armed tablets, which mostly are found on Samsung GALAXY tablets are also capable to play many high-performance games on Android.

As for PowerVR SGX GPU, not many Android devices are using this GPU.

Mostly, Android devices are using either Adreno, Mali-400 and Tegra 3.

However, PowerVR SGX GPU is also powerful though given that all of iOS devices from iPod Touch, iPhone until iPad are armed with this GPU.

ctually, there are some Android devices that use PowerVR SGX GPU, like Motorola Droid smartphones, Archos Titanium tablets and some cheap Android phones.

So if you’re looking for an affordable tablet that is great for gaming, make sure it’s using at least the GPU like Tegra, Adreno or Mali.

If you’re having trouble to get this type of tablet, you can check the GPU of each tablet you’re wanting to buy on websites like For example, you can pick up either Google Nexus 7 (Adreno 320), LG G Pad 8.3 (Adreno 320), Tegra Note (Tegra 4), Sony Xperia Z Tablet (Adreno 320), Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 (Mali-400), Acer Iconia Tab A110 (Tegra 3) or Kindle Fire HDX (Adreno 330).

However, if you want to have a really powerful tablet at affordable price that can handle many newest games in 2014 or even 2015, then your choice should be between, Google Nexus 7 2013 edition, Kindle Fire HDX or Tegra Note as their GPUs are the current top performer.

Although they are affordable to buy, they are great quality and powerful tablets though.

So you can get a lot of value by buying either one of them and can still have some money left over.

And the great thing is, you’re able to play many newest games that are launched next year or even in 2015 on these 3 tablets.

Make Sure That the Device Comes With at Least 1GB of RAM or Memory

One of many factors that hold an integral part in ensuring that tablet can handle high-performance games with heavy graphics is the amount of RAM that is available on the tablet.

It’s similar like computer or laptop where the latest and powerful PC games require much bigger RAM in order to run them perfectly.

For example is like Call of Duty: Ghost that is asking for 6GB of RAM if you want to be able to play it, compared to old games like Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow that can be played on almost any average laptop with even 256MB of RAM.

It goes the same with tablets or smartphones.

Older games like N.O.V.A 1 or Modern Combat 1 maybe can be played on some cheap Android phones out there with less than 500MB of RAM.

However, the latest series like Modern Combat 5 or maybe N.O.V.A 4 will definitely need more RAM in order to run them smoothly, unless the developer, Gameloft, also releases the low-graphics versions of both games so any cheap Android tablets can play them.

But then again, if you want to play those 2 games and also other newest games that are coming next year in full HD 3D graphics, then make sure that your targeted tablet at least comes with 1GB of RAM or above.

Ensure that The Device Has Good Battery life

This is not only one of the most important factors, but probably the most important thing that must be had on any great gaming tablet.

It doesn’t matter if the tablet has last year’s hardware, but if that tablet has weak battery life, then you should definitely avoid this type of tablet.

For an example, maybe you found one Android tablet that has the spec requirements aforementioned above, like a quad-core Snapdragon chip, Adreno 320 and 1GB of RAM, which make it a great gaming tablet.

However, if that tablet only comes with around 1500mAh battery, then there is a huge chance that the tablet won’t last that long for heavy usage, like gaming of course.

Therefore, if you really really want to own a great gaming tablet at affordable price, make sure that it has the spec requirements above and the most importantly, bigger battery capacity, like 3000mAh or above.

This will ensure that your gaming experience will never be interrupted with the needs to recharge the tablet every couple hours during the day.

Always Check The Display of the Device

Besides having a dual-core/quad-core CPU, powerful GPU, big fat RAM and huge battery capacity, a great gaming tablet must also have a great display.

This can be a bit confusing especially since there are some arguments that display maybe has nothing to do with how Android games can be played or not. Well, that could be right or wrong.

You might remember with the old days when feature phone users had to find the right game with the same screen resolution as their phones in order to play it.

Well, maybe that doesn’t have that big of deal since low resolution games can also be played on higher-resolution phones, resulting the games to be displayed not in full screen and there are some blank area around the screen (similar like what happened when older iPhone games are not well-optimized for 4-inch screen on iPhone 5. Remember?).

So the conclusion is, even though display doesn’t have that huge influence whether the games can be played or not, you must also take this into your consideration when planning to get a great gaming tablet.

Besides, next year’s Android tablets mostly will have stunning graphics and even use some heavy visual effects just like console games.

I mean, have you seen NVIDIA’s latest project called “Ara” where its reference tablet is able to run an amazing 3D human face in real-time with insanely detailed graphics?.

Well, this just shows that next year, many Android game developers will be taking their games to the far new level with more stunning console-quality 3D graphics and visual effects.

And obviously, older tablets will probably have a hard time running those games perfectly.

So if you want your tablet to be able to play next year’s Android games smoothly and perfectly, then make sure that the tablet that you’re planning to purchase has at least 720p or 1280x720 pixels resolution. Above is better.

This will ensure that next year, you’ll be able to play many highly-anticipated games like Modern Combat 5, N.O.V.A 4 or even GTA San Andreas smoothly in full graphics.

And again, if you don’t have big budget in your pocket, you can just pick up either Google Nexus 7 2013 or Kindle Fire HDX with prices around $200.

They both are affordable tablets that have great hardware, great gaming capability, great battery life and the most importantly, great display.

You can get all of them for half the price of iPad mini.

That will make you a smart customer.

Make Sure the Device Has Great and Fluid Touch Response

The touch response usually is the one that most users never take seriously when buying a tablet.

Well, this sector is absolutely important, especially if you’re gonna use it for gaming.

There are many Android tablets out there across the market that offer quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, 720p display and good battery life at really cheap price tags, even under $100.

Well, that seems like a big deal, right?

I mean, at that price point, you can get all of those goodies in the palm of your hands.

However, if that tablet has a weak touch response or even horrible touch response on its screen, then you’ll find it really hard to control the phone using the virtual on-screen keys.

Maybe you like playing soccer games like PES 2012 or FIFA 2014.

These 2 games are pretty hard to play on touch screen devices because they require users to always focus on the ball, while pressing the right buttons on the screen.

If the tablet has a weak touch response, then it’s gonna be really frustrating for you to play those game perfectly.

And as a result, maybe you will stop playing those games again on the tablet in the future. What a waste of money, right?

Therefore, if you really want to get a great and perfect gaming tablet at affordable price, then you must get the tablet that has a great touch response.

For example, you can pick up either Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX or maybe NVIDIA Tegra Note as these tablets have great touch response on their screens and the most importantly, they are affordable to purchase.


So, to sums this up, if right now you’re still looking for a great tablet that you’re gonna use specifically for gaming, and maybe enjoying some other entertainment stuff like watching movies, reading books or listening music, then look no more as there are many options of great gaming tablets running Android around the market to date that you can get for some amazing cheap price points.

My recommendations are between Google Nexus 7 2013, Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch or NVIDIA Tegra Note.

These devices will guarantee you great displays, great CPU performance, great GPU power to run even next year’s Android high-performance games, big fat of RAM, great touch response and the most importantly, long lasting battery life.

These are already enough to make you happy as customer, especially if you’re a die hard gamer, tablet gamer.

Actually, there are some great offerings that have much even cheaper price range than the tablets aforementioned above, like last year’s Google Nexus 7 (Tegra 3) that is now sold for only $139 for the smallest model, and also last year's Kindle Fire HD that is now sold only for $150.

I know, they might be tempting to buy, right?

However, you must remember that next year, many Android games will have some stunning console-quality graphics and incredible visual effects.

So if you want to be able to play many of next year’s Android 3D games perfectly and smoothly on your tablet, then it wouldn’t cost you a lot of money if you just choose to buy the latest model of Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HDX.

Besides, last year’s Google Nexus 7 has some issue with the performance after being used for several months.

Many users experience that after using this tablet for months, last year’s Google Nexus 7 becomes laggy and slow compared to when they first got it.

Thankfully, that issue looks like has been taken care by Google with this year’s model of Nexus 7 that many users are satisfied with the performance.

So there you go.

If you’re still looking for a solid and great gaming tablet at affordable cost this holiday season, then aim your target at either Google Nexus 7 (2013) and Kindle Fire HDX.

But if you currently have some thick wallet in your pocket to buy a high-end tablet, then you can just pick up iPad mini with Retina Display as this iPad has the same exact internals just like the iPad Air.

So they both are extremely powerful for gaming and have outstanding battery life.

Well, there you go, some of tips that hopefully can be useful for you in finding the right tablet for gaming.

What about you? Do you also have your own tips to get a great tablet specifically for gaming? Sound your opinion on the comment section below, then we'll talk.
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