AfterDawn: Tech news

Cheap Android tablets everywhere on Black Friday - buyer beware

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 14 Nov 2011 15:56 User comments (19)

Cheap Android tablets everywhere on Black Friday - buyer beware Retailers in the US appear to be preparing to capitalize on the wealth of smaller and cheaper Android tablets on the market to help spark sales on Black Friday.
It's hard to say whether that will ultimately be better for Android or Apple. There are a lot of cheap Android tablets, but there are reasons those tablets are cheap.

Companies like Amazon or Barnes & Noble can sell pretty good hardware for around the same price as it costs (less in Amazon's case) because they are using them to push other revenue streams. Those companies are the exception, not the rule.

If you want to gauge what a realistic price for a tablet being sold for profit instead of a sales tool, you should look at the models sold by Samsung or Asus, or newer Archos models. Tablets from those companies start at $300.

Looking through a list of Black Friday sale items, there are certainly some of those tablets represented, but there are also a few big deals likely to leave a bad impression on the buyer (via AndroidGuys):

  • Kmart
    • Leader i7 7" Tablet w/1Ghz Processor, 4GB HD for $99.99
  • Kohls
    • Polaroid 7" Android tablet for $99.99 (after $20 mail-in rebate)
    • Pandigital Planet 7" Android Multimedia Tablet for $139.99
  • Hastings
    • Archos Android 10" Tablet for $199.99
    • Archos Android 7" Tablet for $179.99
    • Sylvania 7" Wi-Fi Tablet for $99.99
  • Toys R Us
    • Archos Arnova 4GB Tablet for $249.99
    • Asus Tf101 Eee Pad for $399.99
    • Samsung 16GB Galaxy Tab for $499.99
    • Sylvania 7" Android 2.2 tablet for $74.99
  • Best Buy
    • Dell Streak 7" Tablet for an unknown price
    • Asus Transformer 10.1 for $249.99
    • Toshiba Thrive 10.1 for $279.99
    • Acer Iconia 7" Tab for $189.99
  • Staples
    • Acer Iconia Tab 10.1" w/16GB Storage for $299.99
    • Toshiba Thrive Tablet for $349.98
    • Nook Colour w/$25 Staples Gift Card for $199.99
    • Kindle Fire for $199.00


If the cheapest tablets sell too well, it could end up being a net negative for Android. Cheap Android phones which live down to their price have sold more than a few iPhones.

A glut of cheap Android tablets could do the same for the iPad, particularly if Apple introduces a 7" version of their tablet as has been rumored.

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19 user comments

114.11.2011 20:10

I agree somewhat in terms of sales (old garage out, new products in) revenue, but I also think that well start seeing some quality tablets down the road as well, and I don't mean Apple, which has proved themselves in this area already. Hopefully, well start seeing Amazon/Barnes & Noble go and start selling more expensive tablets, because I think that right now these guys are just testing the waters to see whether or not consumers bite on these tablets. If they do, then Apple could be in for some competition. That being said, tablets that are made with cheap plastic and shoddy parts can be spotted a mile away. Remember, if the price is too good to be true with the specs, then chances are you need to proceed with caution, and don't jump on something too cheap to have it break 3 months or less down the road. Take a close look at those tablets, and if you can't read or don't know the name of the company, I suggest not getting it unless you have solid reviews on it. You'll be surprised at what you'll find out when you take a "closer look. - P.S. BTW, some ot the brands (such as ASUS, Toshiba, Archos) that they list are pretty reliable. Again, just check those reviews from multiple tech sites and then make your decision.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Nov 2011 @ 20:16

Chance prepares the favored mind. Look up once in a while and you might learn something. - BLUEBOY

214.11.2011 23:45

Man, people are f**king stupid...they buy the cheapest android devices available (which are usually free with contract), then they complain that they are not top of the line, so they go out and buy some Apple that is only a little better but now costs them $500+ without contract.

I am sure this will happen with tablets more that with phones...because tablets are stupid in general.



315.11.2011 0:00

Originally posted by blueboy09:
Hopefully, well start seeing Amazon/Barnes & Noble go and start selling more expensive tablets, because I think that right now these guys are just testing the waters to see whether or not consumers bite on these tablets.

Why would you hope they start selling more expensive tablets?

Quote:
If they do, then Apple could be in for some competition.

Cheap tablets are exactly how they are trying to compete with Apple...by selling a cheaper tablet, the theory is they will attract more customers as some people are not willing to pay the money for an iPad yet.

Quote:
Remember, if the price is too good to be true with the specs, then chances are you need to proceed with caution,
That is not always the case..Kindle fire and the new Nook Tablet are perfect examples.

OS: Kubuntu 12.10/Windows 8 -- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K -- Motherboard: MSI P67A-G45 -- Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Dominator -- Graphics Card: Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X -- Monitor: Dell 2208WFP -- Mouse: Mionix NAOS 5000 -- PSU: Corsair 520HX -- Case: Thermaltake Mozart TX -- Cooling: Thermalright TRUE Black Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Heatsink Rev C -- Hard Drives: 1x180 GB Intel 330 SSD/1xWD 1 TB Caviar Black/1xWD 2 TB Caviar Green/2xWD 3 TB Caviar Green

415.11.2011 1:36

Quote:

Why would you hope they start selling more expensive tablets?
Profit from possible consumer demand in the future?

515.11.2011 4:57

Originally posted by Xplorer4:
Cheap tablets are exactly how they are trying to compete with Apple...by selling a cheaper tablet, the theory is they will attract more customers as some people are not willing to pay the money for an iPad yet.
I honestly don't think they are trying to compete with Apple; Samsung is to a certain extent by making high priced, large-screen tablets...but all these cheap tablets are trying to compete with the Kindle Fire IMHO.


615.11.2011 8:27

Originally posted by blueboy09:
I agree somewhat in terms of sales (old garage out, new products in) revenue, but I also think that well start seeing some quality tablets down the road as well, and I don't mean Apple, which has proved themselves in this area already. Hopefully, well start seeing Amazon/Barnes & Noble go and start selling more expensive tablets, because I think that right now these guys are just testing the waters to see whether or not consumers bite on these tablets. If they do, then Apple could be in for some competition. That being said, tablets that are made with cheap plastic and shoddy parts can be spotted a mile away. Remember, if the price is too good to be true with the specs, then chances are you need to proceed with caution, and don't jump on something too cheap to have it break 3 months or less down the road. Take a close look at those tablets, and if you can't read or don't know the name of the company, I suggest not getting it unless you have solid reviews on it. You'll be surprised at what you'll find out when you take a "closer look. - P.S. BTW, some ot the brands (such as ASUS, Toshiba, Archos) that they list are pretty reliable. Again, just check those reviews from multiple tech sites and then make your decision.

I think there are definitely some quality Android tablets available now. And actually a pretty good range of them, depending on what you're looking for. I did mention that in the article by the way.

At the discount end, I would say the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire are both pretty appealing.

A little higher up, the Archos G9 80 seems like a good buy, particularly if you consider their expertise in multimedia and the cost of getting a good media player from the market.

Even higher up than that, the Galaxy Tabs, Asus Transformer, and Acer Iconia all seem like good values.

But based on what I know about how people shop on Black Friday, I'd be willing to bet the super cheap models will be the big sellers, and I worry that will give Android a bad reputation it doesn't deserve.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

715.11.2011 10:21

I've got an Acer Iconia 10.1" 16gb, and for the price I think is the best by far.

815.11.2011 10:46

Most of these tablets, I've never heard of brand name, regardless when it comes to tablets Google should put a requirement similar to how all windows phones have 1.4 ghz processors. You can't be having android tablets running 2.2 with 600 mhz processors, just makes your tablet look like poop compared to the gold standard.


"Cable thief is a victimless crime."

915.11.2011 11:12

The

Originally posted by Gradical:
I've got an Acer Iconia 10.1" 16gb, and for the price I think is the best by far.
I suspect the Iconia is ahead of its time in the number and selection of external ports. Interestingly, I think it's a preview of what Microsoft is hoping to see for Windows 8 tablets.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1015.11.2011 11:49

Still patiently waiting to replace my laptop with an Asus Transformer + Dock for around $300. Hope it gets there soon with the launch of the Prime.


1115.11.2011 18:59

Originally posted by DVDBack23:
Still patiently waiting to replace my laptop with an Asus Transformer + Dock for around $300. Hope it gets there soon with the launch of the Prime.
Same here.


1215.11.2011 18:59

Originally posted by Azuran:
Quote:

Why would you hope they start selling more expensive tablets?
Profit from possible consumer demand in the future?

The thing is they already do that, not through hardware revenue but by other outlets as pointed out in the article, but furthermore, as technology evolves the prices come down.

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by Xplorer4:
Cheap tablets are exactly how they are trying to compete with Apple...by selling a cheaper tablet, the theory is they will attract more customers as some people are not willing to pay the money for an iPad yet.
I honestly don't think they are trying to compete with Apple; Samsung is to a certain extent by making high priced, large-screen tablets...but all these cheap tablets are trying to compete with the Kindle Fire IMHO.

Samsung is competition, no question, there. However, I disagree that they are not trying to compete to an extent. As we are discussing, cheaper prices are going to be a big factor, and which is cheaper? The iPad 2 or the KF? Sure the KF cut a few corners but it should run good, and thats going to be the biggest factor. Next year, Apple may need to bring the iPad3 display size down a bit to keep up with Amazon has the KF have been selling hotter then the Tab or any other android tablet bringing it to the forefront of the battle lines imo.

OS: Kubuntu 12.10/Windows 8 -- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K -- Motherboard: MSI P67A-G45 -- Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Dominator -- Graphics Card: Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X -- Monitor: Dell 2208WFP -- Mouse: Mionix NAOS 5000 -- PSU: Corsair 520HX -- Case: Thermaltake Mozart TX -- Cooling: Thermalright TRUE Black Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Heatsink Rev C -- Hard Drives: 1x180 GB Intel 330 SSD/1xWD 1 TB Caviar Black/1xWD 2 TB Caviar Green/2xWD 3 TB Caviar Green

1316.11.2011 0:05

Originally posted by Xplorer4:
Samsung is competition, no question, there. However, I disagree that they are not trying to compete to an extent. As we are discussing, cheaper prices are going to be a big factor, and which is cheaper? The iPad 2 or the KF? Sure the KF cut a few corners but it should run good, and thats going to be the biggest factor. Next year, Apple may need to bring the iPad3 display size down a bit to keep up with Amazon has the KF have been selling hotter then the Tab or any other android tablet bringing it to the forefront of the battle lines imo.
Apple's thing is selling overpriced, poorly made hardware to morons...and that is where Samsung is trying to compete. Of course Apple has the advantage of being able to stick an Apple logo on their devices, which probably outweighs anything Samsung can ever do. The Kindle Fire is underpriced, well-made hardware for price-conscious people, so they obviously are in a different market all together.


1416.11.2011 0:13

Originally posted by DVDBack23:
Still patiently waiting to replace my laptop with an Asus Transformer + Dock for around $300. Hope it gets there soon with the launch of the Prime.
I'm torn on the Transformer. I like the idea, but I wish there were more ports on the tablet (like the Iconia). I do, however, think the general combination of tablet and keyboard dock is the way of the future.

I do, however, wonder if we are ultimately headed toward a world where the tablet itself becomes just a dock for your smartphone, with the keyboard as a secondary dock for the whole thing. It's essentially what a company called Antelope Technologies created a decade ago, except in their case it was a tiny PC with laptop and desktop docks which extended the hardware in areas like video and storage. A brilliant product, but way ahead of its time.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1516.11.2011 0:55

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by Xplorer4:
Samsung is competition, no question, there. However, I disagree that they are not trying to compete to an extent. As we are discussing, cheaper prices are going to be a big factor, and which is cheaper? The iPad 2 or the KF? Sure the KF cut a few corners but it should run good, and thats going to be the biggest factor. Next year, Apple may need to bring the iPad3 display size down a bit to keep up with Amazon has the KF have been selling hotter then the Tab or any other android tablet bringing it to the forefront of the battle lines imo.
Apple's thing is selling overpriced, poorly made hardware to morons...and that is where Samsung is trying to compete. Of course Apple has the advantage of being able to stick an Apple logo on their devices, which probably outweighs anything Samsung can ever do. The Kindle Fire is underpriced, well-made hardware for price-conscious people, so they obviously are in a different market all together.
That is laughable. They are getting the same chips samsung uses. Not only that, but there customizing them with dual -core graphics..I mean really, if they were poorly made people would be returning them and apple wouldn't be making so much money off of them. Your free to say you don't like the iPad and its success, but please don't spout lies about it. Personally I'd rather get a transformer prime if I were to get a tablet, and try to get the best android has to offer. But since I'm poor I might settle for a nook tablet. Like mostly everyone that'll be buying the fire or nook tablet, there getting it because like me, there poor not price conscious, if they were they wouldn't be getting this gadget/toy in the first place.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Nov 2011 @ 0:57

"Cable thief is a victimless crime."

1616.11.2011 5:45

Originally posted by plutonash:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by Xplorer4:
Samsung is competition, no question, there. However, I disagree that they are not trying to compete to an extent. As we are discussing, cheaper prices are going to be a big factor, and which is cheaper? The iPad 2 or the KF? Sure the KF cut a few corners but it should run good, and thats going to be the biggest factor. Next year, Apple may need to bring the iPad3 display size down a bit to keep up with Amazon has the KF have been selling hotter then the Tab or any other android tablet bringing it to the forefront of the battle lines imo.
Apple's thing is selling overpriced, poorly made hardware to morons...and that is where Samsung is trying to compete. Of course Apple has the advantage of being able to stick an Apple logo on their devices, which probably outweighs anything Samsung can ever do. The Kindle Fire is underpriced, well-made hardware for price-conscious people, so they obviously are in a different market all together.
That is laughable. They are getting the same chips samsung uses. Not only that, but there customizing them with dual -core graphics..I mean really, if they were poorly made people would be returning them and apple wouldn't be making so much money off of them. Your free to say you don't like the iPad and its success, but please don't spout lies about it. Personally I'd rather get a transformer prime if I were to get a tablet, and try to get the best android has to offer. But since I'm poor I might settle for a nook tablet. Like mostly everyone that'll be buying the fire or nook tablet, there getting it because like me, there poor not price conscious, if they were they wouldn't be getting this gadget/toy in the first place.
Any device that doesn't even have a replaceable battery is just a throw-away toy as far as I am concerned. Also, I didn't say the samsung was a quality device either...it is made well enough, but it should be made a whole lot better considering the price.


1716.11.2011 7:52

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by plutonash:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by Xplorer4:
Samsung is competition, no question, there. However, I disagree that they are not trying to compete to an extent. As we are discussing, cheaper prices are going to be a big factor, and which is cheaper? The iPad 2 or the KF? Sure the KF cut a few corners but it should run good, and thats going to be the biggest factor. Next year, Apple may need to bring the iPad3 display size down a bit to keep up with Amazon has the KF have been selling hotter then the Tab or any other android tablet bringing it to the forefront of the battle lines imo.
Apple's thing is selling overpriced, poorly made hardware to morons...and that is where Samsung is trying to compete. Of course Apple has the advantage of being able to stick an Apple logo on their devices, which probably outweighs anything Samsung can ever do. The Kindle Fire is underpriced, well-made hardware for price-conscious people, so they obviously are in a different market all together.
That is laughable. They are getting the same chips samsung uses. Not only that, but there customizing them with dual -core graphics..I mean really, if they were poorly made people would be returning them and apple wouldn't be making so much money off of them. Your free to say you don't like the iPad and its success, but please don't spout lies about it. Personally I'd rather get a transformer prime if I were to get a tablet, and try to get the best android has to offer. But since I'm poor I might settle for a nook tablet. Like mostly everyone that'll be buying the fire or nook tablet, there getting it because like me, there poor not price conscious, if they were they wouldn't be getting this gadget/toy in the first place.
Any device that doesn't even have a replaceable battery is just a throw-away toy as far as I am concerned. Also, I didn't say the samsung was a quality device either...it is made well enough, but it should be made a whole lot better considering the price.
I don't know that I'd call it a throwaway toy. The only Apple device I've ever owned is a 1st gen iPod Touch which was given to me. The construction quality is first rate.

Having said that, the non-replaceable battery is one of 2 deal breakers for me when it comes to the iPhone and iPad. The other is the lack of SD card support.

Actually, for the iPad it's more than that. The lack of USB and HDMI ports is another problem.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Nov 2011 @ 7:58

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1819.11.2011 5:07

Exactly my point...you can't replace the battery, you can't upgrade it, you can't use most accessories. Heck, you can't even do things that could be done on a 2-year-old droid.

It is not a tool; it is a toy...and the only thing that prevents it from being a throw-away toy is the unreasonable price tag.



1919.11.2011 22:02
ribbie149
Inactive

The Nook Color running CM7 off of an SDHC micro card is a very nice, functional little tablet. You can also keep the original Barnes and Noble Rom, by pulling the SDHC card (dual boot). If you don't need a camera or microphone, it will do very well. The 800 mhz processor can be overclocked to 1.2 ghz. It has 512 megs of ram, and a very nice capacitive display. A refurb at $149.00 will give you a really decent android gingerbread tablet.

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