Penny-pinchers rejoice. As tablet prices tumble, there are some fantastic opportunities to snap up some electronic bargains. The low to mid-end tablet market has seen prices fall dramatically in recent years, letting everyone unlock the benefits and enjoyment of a personal tablet.

There is a host of cheap tablet out there that provide exceptional value for money and offer a high-performance device at an affordable price. However, not all tablets are created equal. If you are going to be frugal with your tablet purchase, it pays to know the pitfalls and traps. These are three things to look out for to avoid making a purchase you will later regret.

1. Check it has Google Apps pre-installed

If you don’t have Google Apps, you can’t download a lot of the popular apps that are only sold through the Google Play Store. The Google App store boasts of some 500,000 apps and increasing.

Some cheap tablet only offers other app markets but there is no guarantee these app markets will have the apps you want and very few have anywhere near the same number of apps like Google (with the exception of the iTunes app store which has 650,000).

It pays to check the tablet you are purchasing is Google-Apps affiliated and comes with the store pre-installed.

google apps

2. Check the operating system isn’t outdated

Android didn’t start building operating systems with tablets in mind until version 3.0. This means that operating systems from 2.3 and before were only designed with smartphones in mind. As a result, the operating system is not optimized for a tablet and the performance suffers.

It is possible to install a later version of the Android operating system at a later date, but it is difficult to know if the tablet’s hardware is good enough to support a more modern operating system. Unless you know what you are buying and are confident the hardware will run a later operating system smoothly, it becomes a gamble. It is far easier to invest in a tablet with Android version 3.0 or later.

3. Check the battery life

One of the biggest bugbears with some brands of affordable tablets is the appalling battery life. In some cases, a fully-charged battery will provide less than one hour of tablet use.

The good news is that this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are budget tablets out there that have long-lasting batteries. You just have to hunt around for them. Carry out thorough research on the product before you buy and consult the online reviews. If the battery life isn’t up to scratch, you can bet people will be talking about it in the reviews.

laptop batteries cheap

Ultimately, putting in the time to conduct research on the brand and model before you purchase your tablet will go a long way towards preventing you regretting your purchase later on. There are some excellent tablets out there at very reasonable prices. It is just a matter of sniffing them out and sorting the good from the bad.