It wasn’t all that long ago that, if you wanted a decent tablet, Android or otherwise, you’d have to spend at least £150 (or $199) on something that didn’t want to make you tear your own face off in frustration. See the likes of the $99 Maylong M-150 for evidence of just how bad it can get.

But times have changed. These days there are a slew of cheaper tablets out there that do an admirable job for the cash. Asus’ ZenPad range, which starts at around £79.99 ($99) isn’t bad at all, while Tesco’s £99 Hudl 2 often ranks at the top of budget tablet lists thanks to its full HD screen, and child-friendly design.

Specs at a glance: Amazon Fire Tablet
Screen 7-inch, 1024×600
OS Fire OS 5
CPU MediaTek MT8127, quad-core 1.3GHz
RAM 1GB
GPU Mali 450
Storage 8GB plus micro SD expansion
Networking Single-band Wi-Fi
Ports micro USB, headphone jack
Camera 2MP rear camera, VGA selfie camera
Size 191mm length, 115mm width, 10.6mm depth
Weight 313g
Battery 2980mAh
Price £50 / €60 / $50

But Amazon’s new Fire tablet is, remarkably, even cheaper than the competition, and sacrifices little despite its low price. At £50 ($50) it’s one of the cheapest tablets you can buy from a big-brand manufacturer, and it’s perfectly capable and pleasant to use. Oh sure, it’s not exactly what you’d call a looker, the low resolution display is merely adequate, and you won’t be able to run all of your favourite Android apps without a little work thanks to Fire OS, Amazon’s forked version of Android that lacks the Play Store.

Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments