If you’re like me, and you find it difficult to sift through the many different choices of tablets available online, this post is for you. Our in-house researcher, Duke, managed to do the dirty work and picked out some of the best tablets that you can buy for under RM1,000—whether you need one for work, school, or just to use at home.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8
According to Duke, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is the best all-rounder tablet within the price range. It’s also the chosen tablet for the PerantiSiswa loan scheme for students—as it has several useful features including Samsung Kids, Multi-Active Window with Drag & Split support, and the ability to copy and paste across other Samsung devices… despite being a budget device.
The tablet has a 7,040mAh battery, supports 15W adaptive fast charging via USB-C, and is available with 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage. It’s got an 8MP main camera and a 5MP camera for selfies and video calls, as well as a quad-speaker setup with support for Dolby Atmos and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Additionally, it runs on an almost unheard of Unisoc Tiger T618 chip—but it is a slightly better chip than the T610 that’s powering the Nokia T20 tablet, which is also on this list.
Of all options for tablets under RM1,000 listed here, it’s also Duke’s favourite choice due to the fact that it’s a lot easier to find Samsung service centers in case anything happens to the A8. However, you should note that while the Galaxy Tab A8 supports 15W adaptive fast charging, the tablet only comes with a slower 7.8W charger. And it doesn’t support 4G LTE, either—so you’d have to constantly hook it up to WiFi.
It’s been a while since I’ve heard “Nokia”, so seeing it listed in Duke’s choices was kind of a surprise. We’ve mentioned the Nokia T20 LTE before back in 2021 when it cost more than RM1,000. But the price now dipped to slightly below our budget so I think that it’s worth mentioning here.
The tablet has a large 10.4″ 2K display and runs on a 12nm Unisoc T610 processor—typically found in ultra-budget devices. It has 64GB of internal storage and a large 8,200mAh battery which claims to “last up to 10 hours of movies or up to 15 hours of web surfing”. And unlike the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 mentioned earlier, the T20 supports 4G LTE.
However, just like the Galaxy Tab A8, the Nokia T20 also supports 15W fast charging but provides a weaker charger. The tablet only comes with a 10W charger.
But if you’re looking for a tablet that’s good for consuming media and entertainment, this could be a good option if you’re on a budget. Besides the large display and a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels and a maximum brightness of 400 nits, the T20 also gets a pair of stereo speakers with OZO playback which promises an immersive listening experience.
Lenovo Tab M10 (3rd Gen)
Dropping a bit to the RM800+ price range is the Lenovo Tab M10 (3rd Gen). Unlike the 2nd Gen Tab M10, this one has a high-resolution display. And since both versions are around the same price range now anyway, it’s more worthwhile to feature the 3rd gen tablet in the list.
The M10 is able to support LTE, has a 10.1″ LCD display with a 60Hz refresh rate, and runs on the same Unisoc T610 chip, similar to the one in the Nokia T20. It has 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, but a measly 5,000 mAh battery.
Some key features that could help you decide if the Lenovo Tab M10 is for you are its Reading Mode that “makes long screen sessions easier on the eyes”—similar to a Kindle, and its pre-loaded Google Kids Space. Those features make it a decent family tablet that you can use for leisure.
Realme Pad Mini
The Realme Pad Mini is a tiny 8.7″ tablet with a low 800 x 1340 resolution. It also has a mere 3GB RAM + 32GB storage space, but it is pretty cheap for a sensible tablet. Its camera is around the same standard as the other tablets, too—with an 8MP main camera and a 5MP selfie camera.
Additionally, the Pad Mini gets a 6,400 mAh battery that’s supposed to “last up to 12 hours of video streaming or 15 hours of Zoom meetings”. It also supports 18W quick charging and the power adapter is included in the box.
You can currently purchase the Realme Pad Mini for a mere RM699 on Shopee, but you could have also gotten it for RM599 when it was first introduced as a promotional offer—so you could probably get it around that price in big sales.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
The cheapest of the bunch, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is meant to be the affordable alternative to the Galaxy Tab A8 and comes with LTE. The tablet has a low 800 x 1340 resolution and a small 8.7″ LCD display. It runs on a Mediatek Helio P22T chip and has 3GB RAM + 32GB storage space—similar to the Realme Pad Mini. For taking pictures, it gets an 8MP main camera while the front comes with a 2MP selfie camera, which is slightly worse than the other tablets listed.
However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite still comes with dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos—with a 3.5mm headphone jack still included. It supports 15W adaptive fast charging, as well, although only an 8W charger is included with the tablet. Still, it’s one of the cheapest decent tablets out there, and you’ll have the appeal of having many more Samsung stores around you if you need to visit one for warranty purposes.
Of course, there are plenty of other good tablets out there, but most of them are way above the RM1,000 budget range. If you’d like to check out more options, there’s the RM1,499 iPad and the Oppo Pad Air, which costs just above the RM1,000 price range at RM1,099.