Surfing the web, playing games or watching Netflix from the comfort of your couch: this works great with a tablet. This top 10 shows the best devices under 500 euros.
In recent years, the tablet market has picked up speed. This is shown by the new models from Lenovo, Xiaomi, Nokia, Realme and the top dogs Samsung and Apple. If you just want to surf the Internet and watch series, you can already find suitable tablets under 250 euros . However, the hardware then usually offers slow CPUs, little RAM and memory or outdated Android versions.
If you want more performance and better equipment, you have to invest more. We help with the purchase decision and show the best tablets under 500 euros in this top 10. Here buyers will find almost everything a tablet needs and real all-rounders for all things entertainment. If you are looking for a replacement for a laptop, we recommend the article iPad Pro or Galaxy Tab S8? Top 10 best tablets on the market . The purchase advice guide helps with the basic orientation : What can a good tablet cost?
The size of the displays ranges from 8.3 inches to 12.4 inches. OLED is rarely found as a technology for tablets up to 500 euros, unlike smartphones. Only Lenovo sells a device with OLED in this price range. The screens all have a resolution of at least Full HD. When it comes to pixel density, tablets cannot keep up with smartphones. Because you hold such a device further away from your face, it hardly bothers you. The front runner among large tablets with 274 ppi (pixels per inch) is the Xiaomi Pad 5 (test report) . The compact iPad Mini 6 even achieves 327 ppi. The maximum brightness of the screens reaches up to 500 cd/m².
A widescreen format of 16:9 or 16:10 dominates on Android tablets – like on a television. This is perfect for movies and series. However, this is less fun because of the length. This is different with the iPad 9 with an aspect ratio of 4:3. It also comes into its own in an upright position, for example as an e-book reader or when surfing and shopping. In the case of series and films, on the other hand, the screen area shrinks somewhat in comparison to the androids and reveals small black bars.
A Widevine Level 1 certificate is essential for streaming on Android. Only then does the playback of content via Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus work in Full HD. This applies to all Android devices in this leaderboard. Apple already has Widevine Level 1. We explain more about this in the guide Netflix & Co.: The best tablets and Chromebooks for streaming . Compared to a smartphone, however, tablets weaken when it comes to the refresh rate. With two exceptions, all models work at 60 Hertz.
Android tablets are exclusively powered by octa-core processors. The most powerful CPUs are the Snapdragon 860 and 865. There are also Snapdragon chips from the 7 or 6 series. The Apple devices bring more power to the road – and only with six cores. The iPad 9 with the Bionic A13 chip from the iPhone 11 runs very quickly. The Bionic A15 develops its greatest power in the iPad Mini 6.
The iPad system works stably with 3 GB, thanks to the interaction of software and hardware. Androids use 4 to 6 GB of RAM. 8 GB of RAM break the price range of 500 euros.
However, the surfing speed is often limited. Many devices only use Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 is still rare on Brod. Variants with an LTE module for a SIM card also usually exceed the price limit. A fingerprint sensor is rarely found on Android devices up to 500 euros. Almost all of the models presented here offer support for a stylus (Apple Pencil, S-Pen for Samsung). Many devices have small keyboards as accessories, which then also protect the display. Except for the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 (test report) , no tablet is waterproof.
The USB-C connection has finally become the standard, even on the iPad Mini. The iPad 9 still uses Lightning. There is no HDMI connection on any device. The internal memory ranges from 64 GB to 128 GB. Models with 256 GB already cost more than 500 euros. Many Android models can be expanded using a micro SD card. The cameras do not play a decisive role for us with the tablets. The cameras usually deliver (mediocre) mediocre results. Positive exceptions are the Apple iPad 9, iPad Mini 6 and the Xiaomi Pad 5 (test report) .
1st place: Apple iPad 9
The question of Android or Apple iPad is a matter of faith. Software perfectly matched to the hardware with regular updates for a long period speaks for Apple. Although the iPad 9 is still from 2021, in our opinion it is the best all-round device with a strong price-performance ratio. Prices from just under 320 euros make it affordable.
The 10.2 inch display with IPS panel produces a high image sharpness of 264 ppi. The screen shines with 500 cd/m². This is one of the best values for tablets. However, the refresh rate is only 60 Hertz. With a weight of 490 grams, it is slightly lighter than the Android competition
The main memory is the smallest at 3 GB. Because the software has been harmoniously matched to the device, this disadvantage is negligible. The CPU Apple A13 Bionic is still from the iPhone 11, but still provides a lot of power. The battery life is around 10 hours. A fingerprint sensor is also included. However, there is no Wi-Fi 6. The model with LTE breaks the 500 euro mark.
2nd place: Xiaomi Pad 5
The Xiaomi Pad 5 (test report) gets the crown of the Android tablets in this list of the best . It owes this to the good equipment, great workmanship and the fair price of around 340 euros.
The 11-inch IPS display has a pixel density of 274 ppi. In addition, the display flickers at 120 Hertz, which makes the image appear smoother when scrolling or playing games. Thanks to the brightness of up to 500 cd/m², the display is sufficiently legible outdoors. The loudspeakers hum along with a distinctive sound. The weight is 511 grams.
The best tablets up to 500 euros – picture series The best tablets up to 500 euros – picture series
The drive is extremely powerful thanks to the Snapdragon 860. According to PCmark Work 3.0, it is the fastest tablet with Android in this price range. Watching films, articles or games run smoothly with it. The battery life is also almost 10 hours. The main memory is 6 GB RAM, the internal memory offers 128 or 256 GB depending on the version. However, an expansion via micro SD card is not possible.
The only downside is the speed of the WLAN, only a maximum of Wi-Fi 5 is possible here. A fingerprint sensor is missing. The Pad 5 is compatible with a stylus, but this is only available as an accessory.
3rd place: iPad Mini 6
When it comes to technology alone, the iPad Mini 6 is one of the best equipped. However, it scratches the price of 500 euros and is always slightly higher. With a display of 8.3 inches, it is only half the size of the iPad. That saves weight. At 300 grams, it is significantly lighter. However, you get less screen space for media.
Due to its compact size, it is ideal as a mobile companion for buses and trains. The Bionic A15 chip is by far the most powerful processor. It masters Wi-Fi 6 and even has a USB-C slot – actually atypical for Apple
4th place: Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro (test report) is the first device in this list of the best with an AMOLED display. The screen offers excellent picture quality, pronounced contrasts and excellent black levels. At 375 cd/m², the brightness is not quite as high as in the trio at the top. With a diagonal of 11.5 inches. Despite the dimensions, it weighs no more than the iPad 9.
Buyers have to make compromises when it comes to performance. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G is used as the CPU. In terms of performance, the Tab P11 Pro is slightly behind the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (test report) . However, the processor is strong enough for most activities, except for hardcore gamers. The battery life is 10 hours. The main memory is well equipped with 6 GB. The internal memory is 128 GB. An expansion via a micro SD card is possible.
The sound of the JBL speakers convinced us. A fingerprint sensor is also on board. Unfortunately, the tablet also supports a maximum of Wi-Fi 5. The cheapest version of the Tab P11 Pro is 486 euros. The tablet is delivered with Android 10, an update to Android 11 should now be available.
5th place: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (test report) follows in fifth place . With a diagonal of 12.4 inches, it is significantly larger than many of its competitors. By default, the Galaxy Tab S7 Fan Edition comes with a stylus. The bright LC display with IPS panel achieves over 500 cd/m² and offers a pixel density of 243 ppi with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. The picture quality is excellent. The processing of the aluminum case is first class. However, the tablet is unwieldy and 100 grams heavier than the competition.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G is used as the drive. It can’t quite keep up with the 860 in the Pad 5 or the A13 in the iPad. However, the performance is sufficient for daily use and is on the level of a smartphone up to 400 euros (best list) . In the cheapest variant for 399 euros, memory and RAM are tight at 64/4 GB. With 128/6 GB, the tablet is already scratching the EUR 500 limit. With 5G and the price is above.
The storage can be expanded to 1 TB with a micro SD card. Thanks to the large battery, the device lasts more than 11 hours. When it comes to wireless connectivity, everything is up to date with Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6. However, a fingerprint sensor is missing.
6th place: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (2022)
The 2022 model is a new edition of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (test report) . Visually nothing has changed. It is around 30 grams lighter than the iPad 9. The 10.4-inch LCD uses a conventional IPS panel, and the Full HD resolution results in a pixel density of 224 ppi.
Samsung has improved the CPU: The Snapdragon 720G runs sufficiently fast, but is not a high performer. The main memory is still ok with 4 GB, the internal memory is 64 or 128 GB depending on the variant. There is also an LTE version. On the positive side: The stylus S-Pen is included in the scope of delivery. With a price of just under 286 euros, the tablet is not a bargain for the equipment.
The price-performance winner in this list is the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus (test report) . With a price starting at 250 euros, the 11-inch tablet offers a lot of features at an affordable price. Visually, the tablet makes a noble impression with a metal back and a rubberized top. It weighs no more than an Apple iPad.
The resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels is not quite as high, which results in a pixel density of 212 ppi. The LCD display with IPS panel ensures color reproduction that is too cool with a slight bluish cast. The Tab P11 Plus cannot keep up with the expensive models in terms of image quality.
A Mediatek Helio G90T is used in the Plus model. This provides more performance than the Tab P11, but the Tab P11 Plus is less suitable for gaming. However, the performance is sufficient for all other tasks. With 5/128 GB of RAM and storage, the equipment is absolutely fine for the price. The 7500 mAh battery ensures a good battery life of over 10 hours of continuous use at medium brightness. The battery lasts around 10 hours of continuous use.
The four speakers made a positive impression on us. They offer a rich and spacious sound thanks to support for Dolby Atmos. Surfing in home networks is only possible with a maximum of Wi-Fi 5. There is no fingerprint sensor. At least Lenovo offers a keyboard that can be plugged in and a stylus as accessories. The predecessor Lenovo Tab P11 (test report) with a weaker CPU is even cheaper.
Technically, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 (test report) largely corresponds to the Tab P11 Plus. The biggest difference is in the case. The Yoga Tab 11 is primarily intended for media consumption. For this purpose, the case offers an integrated stand that can be folded out on the back. This makes a separate stand for the tablet (guide) superfluous.
At the bottom is a larger, rounded handle with integrated speakers with Dolby Atmos. This equipment is very practical, but the Yoga Tab 11 ends up behind the Tab P11 Plus because of the higher price from 300 euros.
The rest of the hardware is the same as the Tab 11 Plus model: 11-inch LCD display, Mediatek Helio G90T and 7500 mAh battery good for 10 hours of use. Depending on the version, the main memory ranges from 4 to 8 GB RAM. There is 128 or 256 GB of storage. There is also a high-end version with LTE. The device is compatible with the Lenovo Precision Pen 2.
Actually, the Huawei Matepad 11 (test report) would have earned a place in the top three models in this list according to the tablet test, if it weren’t for the US ban on Huawei. As a result, all Google services and apps are not available.
Huawei’s app gallery has gaps in its range of apps. Numerous US providers such as Netflix, Disney+ or Facebook are missing. This limits the usability of the tablet. Users can locate and install apk files from other sources using the Petal search engine. But that is anything but safe or comfortable.
It’s a shame, because if you take a look at the hardware, you can see the quality of the Matepad 11. It could even easily compete with the Xiaomi Pad 5. The sharp 11 inch LCD with IPS offers 120 hertz. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor is also powerful. The device even supports Wi-Fi 6. The operating system Harmony OS also leaves a good impression. The battery also lasts 11 hours. Actually, it’s an excellent package for 399 euros – if it weren’t for the massive limitations that all Huawei devices suffer from.
10th place: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 (test report) plays a special role. It’s one of the few true outdoor tablets on the market. With an 8-inch display, it’s significantly smaller than the other models in this leaderboard, although not really lighter because of the sturdy case. It is waterproof according to IP68 and protected against dust. In addition, it also survives one or the other fall. The battery can even be replaced, and a stylus is also part of the equipment.
The display has a resolution of 1080p and offers a good brightness of 500 cd/m², which improves readability outdoors – an important criterion for outdoor devices. The Exynos 9810 processor dates back to 2018 and is just as weak as the chip in the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. After all, it offers 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. It also supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, and there is also an LTE version. In addition, the tablet offers support for GPS, GLONASS, Beidou and Galileo – which would be indispensable for an outdoor device. With a price starting at 380 euros, the outdoor tablet is expensive, and there are hardly any comparable competitors.
In the range of up to 500 euros, tablets offer almost everything you need for entertainment or surfing. 120 Hertz are rarely found here. Apart from the iPad, there is no high-end processor performance. In our opinion, the iPad 9 is currently the best tablet in this price range because of the strong overall package and the price. The Xiaomi Pad 5 (test report) is on par . The price-performance tip is the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus (test report) . It offers solid equipment, high processing quality and a strong price-performance ratio.
If you are looking for significantly more performance and a potential laptop replacement, you have to look for a top tablet. We show more about this in the list of the best iPad Pro or Galaxy Tab S8? Top 10 best tablets on the market . We show cheaper alternatives in the article The 10 best tablets up to 250 euros – Lenovo and Samsung before Blackview .