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May 04, 2011

Eye These iPad Alternatives Before You Choose a Tablet


Do you want all the benefits of the coveted Apple iPad, but without having to put a huge dent into your bank account? According to Business Insider, there are a number of affordable and just as functional tablets out on the market that match up to the iPad in terms of usability but don’t come with a hefty price tag.

Get Hooked on the Nook Color

For only $249, this Android (News - Alert) tablet is perfect for the “casual” user who wants access to an e-book library on-the-go. I’ve personally seen many commuters using this tablet on the train to pass the time. With instant access to Barnes & Noble’s gigantic e-book collection, there’s no doubt you’ll be hooked on the Nook.

Micro-Manage with Velocity Micro Cruz T301

Retailed at $199.99, the Cruz T301 offers the basic functions of a tablet: e-mail, music and video player and a Web browser. While it lacks a camera and has limited storage, this Android 2.2 Froyo-powered tablet is just the right pocket pal.

Dell (News - Alert) Streak 7 is Hardware Heaven

While it is only $100 cheaper than the standard iPad, this $399.99 Dell Streak 7 tablet is worth it. Not only does it boast a rear and front-facing camera for instant video chat, it also offers 16 GB, GPS and 4G service from T-Mobile (News - Alert). Therefore, current T-Mobile customers are in luck as a two-year contract will get you this 7-inch tablet for only $199.99, or $499.99 with a prepaid data plan with T-Mobile.

Out-of-this-world Samsung (News - Alert) Galaxy Tab

This tablet has gone head-to-head with the iPad since it’s been on the market, but starting at a price of $199.99, this is obviously your most affordable option. Powered by Android 2.2, this 7-inch tablet features front- and rear-facing cameras, as well as complete access to the Android Market app store. While pricing varies depending on your carrier, Business Insider suggests going with the WiFi (News - Alert)-only version for flexibility.

Big Value with Asus Eepad Transformer

Coming in at 10.1 inches and running on the Android Honeycomb, this tablet’s $399.99 price tag means big value. In addition to a Tegra 2 processor, the Asus Eepad Transformer has two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card reader, front- and rear-facing cameras, and a hefty 16 GB of storage. Sounds perfect for the business user on-the-go.

Acer Iconia Tablet Aces It

Comparable to the Asus Eepad, this $499.99 tablet also boasts a 10.1-inch display, Tegra 2 processor and 16 GB of storage. According to Business Insider, this is a great alternative for those on a budget who want to stick to Android.

The Wee Huawei Ideos S7 Tablet

Described by a review on GottaBeMobile.com as a “cheaper alternative” to the Galaxy Tab, the Huawei Ideos S7 tablet – coming in at $299.99 -- features a 7-inch screen but is only a wee 15.5 mm thin. It is still packed with a 2 MP camera, WiFi connectivity and a stylus, which makes good use of the resistive touchscreen. You can even pair with it a kickstand to use it as a photo frame or video viewer.

Get TV Time with Coby 4 GB Internet Tablet

Just like its $149.99 price tag and 4 GB of internal storage space, Business Insider considers this tablet to be rather weak due to its outdated Android 2.1 operating system. However, it makes up for it with its full 1080p HD output for a TV.

The Pre-Tablet Archos Portfolio

Archos is a company known for producing tablets before they became the hot commodity they are today. In several sizes (10.1-, 4.8- and 7-inch) and with several price tags ($349.99, $299.99, $249.99, and $449.99) that vary according to storage and other features, the Archos lineup even boasts of a 500 GB version.




Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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