A recent edition of The Atlantic talks about how "the touch-screen generation" is hands-on with tablets from an early age. Fortunately falling prices on tablets make it possible for Mom and Dad to own their own devices and not have to share with the kids. Whether you're looking for a cheap 7" Android tablet or an iPad mini, these iPad and tablet deals are now at your fingertips.
Samsung Series 5 ATIV Smart PC Intel Atom 1.8GHz 64GB SSD 11.6" Windows 8 Tablet for AT&T bundled with a Docking Keyboard
Store: Microsoft Store
Price: $499 with free shipping
Lowest By: $125
Is It Worth It?: This Editors' Choice 1.7-lb. Samsung Series 5 11" Windows 8 tablet runs on the AT&T network and is bundled with a docking keyboard for just $499. Engadget called this model "a well-executed Windows 8 hybrid" that "strikes a good balance between portability and ergonomics." It features an Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz dual-core processor, 11.6-inch 1366x768 capacitive touchscreen LED-backlit LCD, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, built-in 4G LTE capability via AT&T (purchased separately), 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth,webcam, USB, micro HDMI port, 2-cell battery, and Windows 8.
Apple iPad mini 16GB WiFi Tablet
Price: $299 with free in-store pickup
Lowest By: $10
Is It Worth It?: Released just last November, the iPad mini packs iPad 2 specs in to a petite 7" frame, and at the lowest price we've seen, this is an Editors' Choice deal. The 0.3-inch-thick tablet is available in Black and weighs 0.7 lbs. It features an Apple A5 1GHz dual-core processor, 7.9-inch 1024x768 LED-backlit touchscreen LCD, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, compass, up to 10 hours of battery life, and iOS 6.
Refurbished Lenovo IdeaPad A1 7" 16GB Android Tablet
Price: $79.99 via $20 mail-in rebate with free shipping
Lowest By: $50
Expires: April 15
Is It Worth It?: While this refurbished 7" Lenovo tablet does have an older OS and a screen resolution that isn't on par with the Kindle Fire it is $20 under our February mention and the cheapest refurb Lenovo 7" 16GB tablet we've seen by $50. It features a Texas Instruments OMAP 3622 1GHz processor, 7" 1024x600 touchscreen LCD, 512MB RAM, 16GB of storage, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1, 1-cell battery, USB, and Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Note that a 90-day warranty applies, although it's unclear who backs it.
10.1" 8GB Google Android Tablet bundled with a Keyboard
Store: Campus111 via eBay
Price: $117.98 with free shipping
Lowest By: $15
Is It Worth It?: If you don't intend to do any heavy-duty office work or gaming, this 10" 8GB Google Android tablet (which also come with a keyboard) is perfectly priced at $118. It's ideal for watching videos and playing music, and doing some web surfing. And as the least expensive 10-inch 8GB Android tablet we've ever seen, this is an Editors' Choice deal. This tablet features a Vimicro VC0882 1 GHz dual-core processor, 10.1-inch 1024x600 touchscreen LCD, 1GB RAM, 8GB flash storage, 802.11n wireless, 3G support via dongle (not included), microSD card slot (called "TF Card Slot" on the product page), VGA front facing camera, and Google Android 4.0 OS (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Refurbished 3rd Generation Apple iPad 16GB WiFi 9.7" Tablet
Store: Apple Store
Price: $379 with free shipping
Lowest By: $25
Is It Worth It?: As the fastest-selling consumer electronics product in history, the iPad needs no introduction. But this refurb 16GB iPad does: it's $25 cheaper refurbished (with Apple's 1-year warranty) than used elsewhere. You can get it in Black (pictured) or White for $379. It's 9.4mm thick, weighs 1.4 lbs., and features a 9.7-inch 2048x1536 Retina display, A5x dual-core processor with quad-core graphics, 5-megapixel iSight camera with 1080p video recording, voice dictation, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, a front FaceTime camera, up to 10 hours of battery life, and iOS 5.
Front page photo credit: Applied Is