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Tablets : Prices of high tech cost a lot of dosh don't they? Not necessarily
Discover the best Android tablets for under £100 for the holiday buying season in Wired.co.uk's buying guide.
Everyone wants to get their hands on a tablet nowadays, but these prices of high tech cost a lot of dosh don't they? Not necessarily. Prices are dropping ever lower and two-figure Android tablets can be cheap as well as cheerful. Sometimes.
No HD and certainly no HDX but the original Kindle Fire is still available and you can now pick it up for just under a hundred quid.
You'll need the 8GB version rather than the 16GB for the lowest price, but you'll get a pretty decent seven-inch screen with 1,024x600-pixel resolution (standard at this price) and an okay 1.2GHz dual-core processor.
It also has Kindle's simplified version of the Android UI making it a breeze for all the family to use, plus access to Amazon Prime, the online retailer's lending library for paid members and unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon purchases.
Wired: Decent screen, dual-core processor
Tired: No camera, no expandable memory, no Google Play
Barnes + Noble Nook HD
The Kindle Fire's most obvious rival comes with a better screen, faster processor and more memory, all for the same price. You'll want the basic, not the + version, and in truth it's not a classy-looking device. But you'll still get a seven-inch touchscreen with 1,920x1280-pixel full HD resolution (very rare at this price) and a 1.3GHz dual-core processor. You'll also get 16GB of onboard storage, plus the ability to add up to 32GB more via microSD card.
Unfortunately, like the Kindle you won't get full access to Google Play, though there's no shortage of content at Barnes + Noble's online store.
Wired: Good screen and processor, expandable memory
Acer Iconia B1
Among this company it's hard not to see the B1 as a "me-too" product. It's got the price-average 1,024x600-pixel seven-inch screen and a single-core 1.2GHz processor, which puts it a little behind its rivals here. There's only 8GB of memory on board but at least you can add a microSD card. Still no camera though.
The one area where the B1 scores over the Kindle and Nook is that it's a proper Android device which has had little meddling from Acer, so you can use all the usual Android widgets and you have full access to the many riches of Google Play.
Wired: Okay screen, expandable memory, Google Play
Tired: No camera, slowish processor
If you can find a lesser-spotted MyTablet (Argos says they've sold out for now) you'll get a sub-£100 tablet with a camera at last. Don't get your hopes up though, it's only two megapixels so only takes the most basic of snaps.
The seven-inch screen is decent enough though, with a 1,024x600-pixel resolution but it's let down by its 1.6GHz dual-core processor which sounds good, but actually proves to be very much on the slow side.
The metallic casing looks a bit better than the usual plastic fare you find at this price and it comes in a choice of silver or pink.
Wired: Bright and cheerful design
Tired: So-so screen, poor camera, processor could be faster