There Are Cheap Tablets, And There Are Cheap Tablets

The holiday shopping season is looming, and with the notable exception of the Apple iPad, consumers have definitely sent the message that cheap tablets are what we want. I think the feeling is "Well, I'd like an iPad, but if I can't afford that I'm not paying similar money for an Android device". However there is cheap, and there is cheap. One kind of cheap might be a sub-$100 device that may be very underpowered, has an old version of Android and a low-quality display. The kind you might happily give to an 8-year-old as a gift to "get them started".

Another kind would be the Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet, the Barnes & Noble Nook HD, or the Google Nexus - these can all be had for $200 or less, but still have good technical specifications and performance, and very nice displays. There are reports out that Google and Asus may be teaming up to bring us yet another tier in the cheap tablet pantheon - a $100 device that still has good specifications and a decent display!

With the iPad mini waiting in the wings, a very budget-friendly Nexus tablet might be just the thing to hold onto some of those Android sales that would undoubtedly go to Apple if they are able to bring the iPad mini to market around with a sticker price of, say, $250-$350.

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