Here at dealnews, we're not about to resolve the great debate between Apple iPad loyalists and those who love the Android tablet platform. We'd rather see everyone get on the same side of a battle: fighting high prices. We've searched high and low for five great tablet deals, so flex those touchscreen muscles and let's get started with the bargain hunting.
Apple iPad 2 16GB WiFi Tablet
Price: $429 in-store
Lowest By: $41
Expires: February 25
Is It Worth It?: This particular model normally sells for $499, but we're inclined to chalk up the discounted price to the impending launch of the iPad 3, reportedly set for early March. And it's hard to go wrong with this Editors' Choice deal on the 0.3"-thick tablet, which weighs 1.3 lbs. and features an Apple A5 1GHz dual-core processor, 9.7" 1024x768 LCD touchscreen display, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, accelerometer, compass, up to 10 hours of battery life, and more.
Samsung Galaxy 10.1" 16GB Android Tablet
Vendor: Toys "R" Us
Price: $399.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $34
Is It Worth It?: After a somewhat rocky start in the tablet marketplace, Samsung's Galaxy tablet is definitely a heavy hitter today. And this Editors' Choice deal is a monster: the best price we've ever seen for this tablet with free shipping. This wireless-only Android tablet (no 3G connectivity) features an NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor, 10.1" 1280x800 touchscreen LCD, 16GB memory, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, built-in GPS, 2-megapixel front camera, 3-megapixel rear camera, Google Android 3.1 OS (Honeycomb), and more.
What's more, Toys "R" Us is also offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1" 32GB WiFi Android Tablet in Black for $469.99 with free shipping — also an all-time price low and the lowest total price we could find by $59.
Refurbished BlackBerry PlayBook 7" 16GB WiFi Tablet
Vendor: Best Buy
Price: $169.99 with $8.99 s&h
Lowest By: $20
Is It Worth It?: The risk you'll take, in exchange for the low, low price, is that Best Buy sells this item "as is"; while it's subject to the store's return policy, there is no warranty coverage. That said, the Blackberry Playbook has proven to be very popular amongst dealnews readers, likely because of deals like this. This 0.4"-thick tablet weighs 14.4 oz. and features a 1GHz dual-core processor, 7" 1024x600 touchscreen LCD, 16GB of internal memory, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 3-megapixel 1080p front-facing camera, 5-megapixel 1080p rear camera, support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, BlackBerry Tablet OS, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, and micro USB and HDMI ports.
Sony Tablet S 9" 16GB Android Tablet with Cradle
Vendor: Sony Store
Price: $399.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $6
Is It Worth It?: Look closely at this tablet from Sony, which features an interesting curved form factor that almost resembles a folded-back magazine from the side. While not everyone will like this alternative to the standard flat slate, CNET calls the tablet's industrial design "smart, and the software refinements are both practical and restrained." It features a NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor, 9.4" 1280x800 touchscreen LCD, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal flash storage, 0.3-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, 802.11n wireless, IR capabilities for universal remote functionality, Google Android 3.1 (Honeycomb), and more. The cradle is automatically added in-cart.
MID 7" 4GB Android Tablet
Vendor: Global Phoenix Direct via eBay
Price: $79.95 with free shipping
Lowest By: $10
Is It Worth It?: While $79.95 is a great entry-level price to get you into the tablet world, there's a big difference in performance and features between this model and a souped-up iPad or Galaxy. Features include a VIA 800MHz processor, 7" 800x480 widescreen touchscreen LCD, 256MB RAM, 4GB storage, microSDHC card slot (supports up to 32GB), 802.11g wireless, 0.3-megapixel camera, built-in speakers and microphone, and more.
Front page photo credit: iPad Ze