back to article UK retailers in TABLET PRICE SLASH BONANZA

Bad news for the big man in red - if Santa left a tablet under your tree he probably paid too much, as a massive glut of fondlesome devices has seen prices tumbling. You can buy tablets for under £30, but for just over that (including shipping) you can get a 7” Quad Core device, and Amazon is now chock-a-block with cheap …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Don't forget

    The malware as well as the security holes.

    Caveat Emptor and all that.

    I have a cheapo noname android tablet. I use it for playing solitaire and other simple games. These were loaded the day I bought it in HK. I have read lots of reports about the malware that it was shipped with. So there is no way it is ever coming out of Airplane mode.

    I got what I paid for. My issue is with the average job punter out there who really do not know what they are letting themselves in for with some of these cheapo bits of kit.

  2. Pen-y-gors

    Big name no guarantee

    I got an ASUS TF701T Transformer 13 months ago - nice bit of kit until they upgraded to Android 4.4.2 - now the OS burns up battery even when it's off - use on mains only or recharge every 12 housr! Fairly useless response from ASUS Tech Supprt as well.

    Might as well stick to cheapo no-name and throw it away if it breaks.

    1. ukgnome

      Re: Big name no guarantee

      >>now the OS burns up battery even when it's off

      Have you been drinking? Read that back for me.

      You've been drinking haven't you!

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Big name no guarantee

        I would imagine they mean 'when asleep' as opposed to when powered fully off....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big name no guarantee

      I've never had a flawless in-place upgrade on a Droid yet.

      However, backing up and doing a factory reset after updating usually is enough to sort most quirks out - other than that, head to the XDA forum for a better device support experience and possibly some bug fixes for the problems that you are having...

  3. Sykobee

    As someone who got a Playbook 64GB two years ago when it was dropped to around £130, I wouldn't recommend getting one now. The OS is really out of date (although good for the time), and the few apps it ever got are rarely updated. In addition, key repeat on Bluetooth keyboards doesn't work (for me).

    However ... if you want a touchscreen music player, photo viewer, the 64GB memory means it is very capable compared to standalone units.

    The screen is good, but 720p.

    1. Jess

      Re: I wouldn't recommend getting one now

      I got one a year ago for about £50 I'm still very pleased with it.

      £70 with charger is a decent price for the device.

      It works nicely when paired to a BB phone with BlackBerry bridge.

      It's a shame they have pretty much pulled the plugs on the system, were BB 10 available on it, it would have certainly been worth a lot more than £70

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The HDMI out is 720p, but the screen is 1024 by 600, which is why in the end I sold mine.

      I'm half tempted to buy one at £70 (less than I sold mine for) but I wonder what the battery life is going to be, given that they must be several years old.

    3. jason 7

      Yeah I got the 64GB real cheap too a couple of years ago. I don't use it for web etc. now but its still an awesome music and video player and while the screen res isn't much the colour quality etc. is superb. As others mentioned the HDMI out boosts its media use.

      A tablet from the time before they started cutting corners. Good for keeping in the car with some Disney/Pixer movies on for the kids.

  4. Ol'Peculier

    I've seen Playbook's at £40 - I have one and as a media player and for light internet use it's superb, excellent speakers and sound, The apps are pretty crap (although I do have a decent RDP client running on it) but it's more than paid for itself in the time spent watching stuff whilst travelling.

  5. Richard Jones 1

    But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

    I discussed buying a tablet with my wife. The discussion lasted about 10 seconds,


    What For?

    Not something else to keep charged"

    And that was the end of discussions.

    I tend to agree with her viewpoint, they feel like a solution looking for a problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

      A friend gave me her old tablet which she had found useful for taking notes when she didn't want to carry a laptop.

      It has a standard app that displays simple Excel spreadsheets. Ideal for holding my DVD catalogue when visiting the charity shops - thus avoiding buying duplicates. Large enough to read easily - small/light enough for my backpack. A soft case cost £1.99.

      Also useful as a portable photo album - a bigger screen than a pocket smartphone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

        I use my Tablet for giving Slideshows. Don't need to take the Macbook/PC with me any more.

        The HD output works perfectly. The only downside is the inability to calibrate the output but otherwise? Perfect.

        It also holds all my tech manuals (PDF Format), well on a different SD Card.

        As has been said, until you have one you don't know what to do with it.

        They are not for everyone but I had reservations about getting one until I thought about it and importantly how I use my MacBook or work Laptop.

        As many have found, the tablet is nigh on perfect for the consumption/replay of Audio Visual content.

        The MacBook/PC is better at content creation.

        But everyone will have different needs from such a device.

    2. James12345

      Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

      Until you have one, you won't know what you are missing....

      1. Richard Jones 1

        Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

        @James12345 and AC, I think you have unwittingly made my point for me. There are those who have a tablet find it useful and that it meets a need in their life. I have a choice of desktops and a couple of portables, the portables rarely move from my 'office' space in the house, though one did go out in 2009...

        For example, I do not collect DVDs and have no need for any portable device to catalogue them or anything else, see above.

        For those who have a use and a need, tablets can be wonderful and perhaps to them a life saver, they are one side of a coin. To those with other issues not suited to the tablet they would not be useful and would be an encumbrance, not an aid. So there is a clear divide between the tablet demographic and the non tablet demographic. No amount of brass knobs or even chrome knobs will change that situation. For those that the tablet suits it is now a replacement market not a growth market. Not dead, not even dying but more of a steady state situation with which makers will have to live. A SMART-ish phone sits unloved, unwanted and unused in my office tidy a solution that has sought a problem to solve for two years.

        1. death&taxes

          Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

          Fundamentally disgree about a clear divide between tablet/non-tablet demographics - tablets are a hardware adjunct for many people precisely because they fill usage gaps. It's not either/or.

          They facilitate on-line access and use of media/software away from the immovable suitcase-sized brick which is either in the office/study, or is dominating some other shared space; or the bulk and the surface-requiring mode of use of a laptop.

          And in response to the original question, a few suggestions: reading your daily paper in bed (without the dirty fingers), checking recipes in the kitchen, gaming on the sofa, sharing photos around the table on a decent sized screen, providing alternative means for other household members to consume their preferred visual media, not having to drop by the desktop or make space somewhere for the laptop when you are expecting to hear from friends or family, amongst thousands...

          You may not want one yourself, but if you can't see what roles they could usefully play then you really do have no imagination.

          But for work - the desktop in the office and the laptop on the road - of course.

          1. BongoJoe

            Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

            I use my Tablet (Hudl 2) as my Kindle device. Not only that when I am doing my daily database runs I can sit downstairs with the missus and drive the computer upstairs with it via a VNC app.

            I use my main machines in my upstairs office for most of the time, mostly development and laptops when I need to (they usually sit into the studio now) and now the tablet is for all those useful things where I don't need a keyboard and I wish to be sociable.

            1. teebie

              Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

              I use my tablet as a device to quickly google things. Mainly what has gone wrong with my PC.

              I think I expected more when I bought it.

      2. John Lilburne

        Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

        Indeed. In July 2010 we went to see some relations in France. The husband is a major Apple fanboi and had bought 4 iPads (one for himself, another for the wife, and one each for the two oldest boys), white bordered of course. He spent all weekend cooing over it, rubbing it, hugging it, announcing how much he was in love (the later only partly in jest).

        Two years later, we went back and all four iPads were stacked on a shelf in the living room. I asked, are the broke? He responded "can't think of anything to do with them", "but two years ago?", deep sigh "Yes but then they were new, and they were from apple." subject change "Have you seen this app I've just got on the iPhone, you can point it at a plane flying overhead on its way to/from CdC airport and it will tell where its from or where its going - cool eh ... oooh look that one has just come from Finland".

        1. Nifty

          Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

          But the 4 iPads are far from landfill. Do a total reset on them and sell them efficiently via Ebay and get over 50% of the new price.

          Try that with Android devices.

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

      I don't own a tablet, couldn't see the point, but had to borrow one to set up a Chromecast so had a bit of a play.

      It was great for watching videos and browsing the web but rather pointless when I have that Chromecast, TV and desktop, and when elsewhere I'd need a Wi-Fi connection which I wouldn't have. I could move my lists of DVDs and CDs off the e-reader and onto a tablet but don't really see much gain in doing so.

      It's best use is as a remote for the Chromecast when the desktop is turned off but I haven't found a killer application which makes a tablet essential for me. Playing games is probably a good enough excuse to get a cheap tablet or for getting to grips with Android programming.

      1. Chris G

        Re: But Has Anyone Found something To Do With Them?

        I have a 10.1" Tab 3, in the house I rarely use it but for traveling it saves a fair bit of weight and space compared to my laptop with charger and I fing the virtual keyboard on it quite useable. The only gripe with the keyboard is it automatically goes to caps after a full stop and through force of habit I always hit shift after a full stop, going back to capitalise the start of every sentence hasn't taught me yet.

        otherwise the graphics quality is good and even the sound quality is not bad, also using my moby's Spanish uncapped data deal with a hotspot makes it perfect for travel within Spain and outside Spain I am usually near a free wifi or I will buy a local data card.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crap picture

    So those two slightly vapid looking women are excitedly looking at an iPad, which is a tablet, but which isn't reduced. Why? The picture doesn't add to the story that follows at all.

    Can one of El Reg's highly skilled design Clem Fandangos remind us again, why we have these stupid top-of-story pictures now?

    1. phil dude
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Crap picture

      It is the same tool used on Italian television to prevent male eyes from wandering during shows involving talking and not "jiggling".

      Come on El Reg, dump the cartoon format.

      Otherwise go the whole hog and get Viz's full gallery...


  7. Shaha Alam

    windows tablets

    you can get some bargain windows 8 tablets that run the full windows desktop (not the RT version) for under 100 squid from a number of places. plug in a hdmi lead, usb/blootooth keyboard and mouse and away you go for a full desktop experience.

    but beware. most of them come equipped with only 1 GB of ram which will feel sluggish very quickly. there're a few models that come with 2GB which are a huge deal better and don't cost much more so shop around and read the specs carefully.

    they run on atom cpus so don't expect the moon on a stick in terms of performance. having said that, they're surprisingly capable for what they cost. mainly because you have a proper windows installation and access to a huge library of x86 software - not the stripped down android equivalents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: windows tablets

      The staples £79 for 10 inch Linx deal was the best I've seen. Then £50 cashback for trade in old android so £29 for a new 10 inch 2gig ram "full" windows experience.

      Its just a shame Microsoft have hidden some annoying crippling features in there still like RSAT refusing to install.

    2. montyburns56

      Re: windows tablets

      Yep, Tesco have been selling Windows 8 7" tablets for £60 for the past few days and they only have 1GB of memory, but at that price it's still a bargain.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge


    The Galaxy & Playbook are refurbs.

  9. Jah

    No HP/Palm Touchpads for sale?

    The Touchpads were really very good - and still usable now.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do cheap tablets really hurt iPad sales?

    People willing to spend only $50 on a tablet never considered iPad in the first place. To the extent people have really bad experiences with such low end devices and tell their friends they got an "Android" tablet and it sucked, it might even push some people who might have considered higher end Android tablets to go with an iPad instead.

    I think the biggest thing hurting iPad sales is the fact that old iPads are still working just fine and people see no reason to replace them. My girlfriend is still using her first gen iPad quite happily. She'll probably do so until it will no longer hold a charge, but it hasn't shown any signs of battery issues at all so that may be a few years yet.

  11. Adolph Clickbait

    IPad 1s for under a ton

    On Morgan's recent emails

    1. Mevi

      Re: IPad 1s for under a ton

      don't do it... I was an early adopter.

      iPad 1 runs OK on iOS 4.3 (I downgraded mine with a little effort), but with few apps supporting that version. iOS 5 borked the iPad 1 as the 256MB RAM (I think) means modern websites cause safari to crash. OK for playing Angry Birds. Even Fruit Ninja is a low FPS disappointment.

  12. David Gale

    Lenovo Tab S8

    I bought a Lenovo Tab S8 at Currys for £129 Inc. It has 2GB RAM, a super thin full HD screen, Android 4.4, and weighs less than 300g. Use it for blogging / research / emails whilst in bed. Massive improvement over my HTC One M7 for this purpose. The clincher was a better spec than a main stream tablet of more than three times the price. WARNING! Do NOT take the Lenovo / Android OTA update when offered.

  13. cambsukguy

    I never really thought I would use a tablet either

    I think, in my case, the tablet had to be able to replace a laptop in most cases.

    Not for work purposes, I don't travel and work usually. Not for 'real' things like document creation or major edits perhaps. Not for watching stuff on a connected TV.

    So, I keep my laptop powered and cable-connected to a TV almost always.

    But, when I want to browse Argos at the lunch table, tablet. Likewise conservatory, bedroom, garden dining room.

    When someone, like offspring or a guest wants a better browser than their phone offers, tablet. No need to share a WiFi key either.

    When I want to buy something from Amazon which requires more than trivial searching/analysis, tablet.

    When I want to created shared lists, select a group of pictures to share etc., tablet.

    When I want to travel so I have the ability to watch stuff, use Skype, edit docs, create if required, apply for jobs, return email with attachments, links etc., view PDFs well, watch stuff on the plane, tablet. Useful with the Easyjet luggage limitations.

    For my purposes, a tablet is only useful if it is a laptop replacement and thus has to have a passable keyboard, has to be quickly accessible - not stuffed in some bag or folding case making it even thicker, has to be portable and reasonably powerful. Has to be small enough to be more portable than a small laptop.

    Even if I could warrant the money for a Surface 3, it would be wasted because the main laptop hardly ever moves, maybe a docking station would fix that but then it is probably larger than I need/want and definitely more powerful as well as super expensive.

    A trip last year had someone on it with an iPad mini and a separate Bluetooth mini-keyboard. Charging, at extortionate cost, was regularly required. The total combination was as thick as a small novel, it required a case to hold/protect both and probably cost a considerable sum.

    My laptop can be a cheaper, non-ultrabook and my tablet can be less capable (read much cheaper) than a Surface 3 or fancy Lenovo laptop.

    So, venerable laptop still running Win7 plus Surface 2 RT.

    Docs appear on both (and the phone) anyway so they are always available.

    Netflix on all, I can pop a TV show etc. on OneDrive as required by me or anyone else.

    And, the Surface will run for a week with reasonable use.

    Tablets can be useful, just get the right one.

  14. Sirius Lee

    I bought myself a 7" Linx Windows 8 tablet for £65 from EBuyer before Christmas. It's great. OK, it only has 1GB but runs Office like any other Windows device except it is 180g and fits in my coat pocket.

    Though the Atom CPU only runs at 1.3GHz (burst 1.8GHz) maybe its the quad core that works because it runs really well. I have Outlook hooked up to our Exchange server and everything is good. It streams Netflix and BBC iPlayer flawlessly unlike the 1.3GHz Asus notebook my wife has. Even better, it can project at 1920x1080 using an HDMI micro port. This is a device I use everyday now. Not for serious stuff but for watching a program when everyone wants to watch something else or to check email. Let me say it again. It's great, especially for the price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not stealing your thunder

      but I bought my 8" linx windows 8.1 tablet from Staples for £49 two weeks ago. As for first impressions, I couldn't agree more with you, its a brilliant piece of kit especially for the price I paid. :)

  15. The Vociferous Time Waster

    iPhone 6

    I ditched my playbook when I ditched my blackberry about 2 years ago. Now I have a 6 and there is nothing I want to do on a tablet that I can't do on the 6.

  16. Dick Emery

    No use found

    Had an Asus Transformer for a year. Sold it on Ebay, Father got one to pass some time whilst in hospital then gave it to my sister (status unknown but probably unused). Brother got a Asus 7" tablet. Sold it about 6 weeks later.

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