Nexus 7 versus the budget tablet brigade

Is Google’s tablet the best cheap Android slate on the market? We look at its rivals and ask if any are more worthy of your cash

The Google Nexus 7 is a fantastic tablet for consuming media on the go, and well made too (read our five star review for more) – in short, it’s a steal for £160. But there’s a host of other affordable Android tablets out there vying for your attention, not to mention the contents of your wallet. So we ask: are any of them truly able to offer better value for money than the Nexus 7?

£119, Kogan

The Agora is astonishingly affordable, especially when you consider it has a 10-inch screen – three inches more than the Nexus 7. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich without any manufacturer adornment on top, which we like, plus front and rear cameras and 8GB of storage space (which can be bolstered by up to 32GB thanks to the microSD slot). The 1GHz ARM processor isn’t up to the standards of the Nexus’ quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, though, so don’t expect a speedy, lag-free experience – and multitasking isn’t recommended. Definitely good value for money, but the speed of the Nexus 7 means it’s still the one we’d rather own. 

Kogan Agora

US$200 (£130), Amazon

Yes, we know it’s not on sale in the UK, but if you happen to be Stateside you can pick this 7-inch tablet for a song. We ran the rule over the Fire last year (read our review) and liked it, but the Nexus has more storage space (16GB as opposed to 8GB) and a higher resolution screen; the Fire doesn’t even have a camera or GPS. We’d bet our bottom dollar, however, on the second generation Fire (or Fires) being a lot better – and we expect news of that soon.

£179, Andy Pad

The Andy Pad Pro quite impressed us when it was launch in 2011, thanks to its decent specs (16GB of storage, two cameras) and swift performance – but up against the Nexus 7 it comes out pretty poorly. It still runs Android 2.3 and costs £179, leaving it looking dangerously out of date and overpriced.

Amazon Kindle Fire

US$149 (£95), Ainovo

The 8GB Paladin is just US$89, but the $60 postage fee ups that significantly – and yet it’s still the cheapest model here. Don’t expect blistering performance compared to the Nexus 7 – the CPU is a single-core 1GHz number – and the 7-inch screen has a resolution of just 800 x 480. There’s a microSD slot to boost the storage by up to 32GB. The Paladin is ideal if you need a tablet under £100, but the Nexus 7 is leagues ahead in every other respect.

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Andy Pad Pro

Novo7 Paladin