TABLET & iPad Deals: Black Friday Recap and 2013 Predictions

Best of Black Friday Deals 2013Ready or not, Black Friday 2013 is close!

TABLET & iPad Deals:

Tablet and iPad deals soared with shopper anticipation and volume (176 deals vs. only 65 in 2011) as Android technology became real competition for Apple in this market during holiday 2012 (plus, this was the first time the Kindle and Nook were categorized as a tablet product). There were 73 tablet deals under $100 and 21 iPad deals and/or bundles, with 32 different stores offered Black Friday tablet deals, including Menard’s and Big Lots. But which rank as the best? Do they even stack up to current Tablet and iPad deals?

FatWallet tech/finance expert Bryan Marsden reviews the 10 Most Popular Tablet Deals from Black Friday 2012.

ASUS Google Nexus 7 Tablet 32GB with Wi-Fi – Black from MacMall

– See Details.
$244.99 (msrp $299), specs: 216ppi 7″ screen, Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU, 32GB storage, 1 GB RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC capable, Bluetooth, 1.2MP front-facing camera.

The Google Nexus 7″ tablet was actually made by Asus in partnership with Google. It was a full featured tablet that runs Android Jellybean straight from Google. Feature for feature it matched it’s Apple counter part, and even edged out the iPad mini on screen resolution. It’s on the list because it came in at a very attractive price of $250 for the holiday season–about $180 less than a similarly equipped iPad mini!

The Wirecutter has a new and incredibly comprehensive review on the Nexus 7 model, currently featured at $269 and should come down in price again for holiday shoppers in 2013.

Google Nexus 7 16GB from Staples

– See Details.
$199.99 (msrp $249), specs: 216ppi 7″ screen, Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU, 16GB storage, 1 GB RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC capable, Bluetooth, 1.2MP front-facing camera.

This was the less expensive twin to the ASUS Nexus 7. The only difference being the amount of internal storage it had (16GB vs 32GB). At a $130 cheaper than it’s Apple equivalent, this deal provided “best bang for your buck”! Engadget said it was the best tablet for $200 on the market, and PCMag gave it a impressive 4.5 out of 5 ratings.

Sophix 7″ Tablet w/Android 4.0 from GameStop

– See Details.
$79.99 (msrp $99.99), specs: 7″ 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A8, 1GB RAM, 4GB Memory, .3MP front facing camera, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Micro SD slot, Android 4.0, Mini HDMI port.

This was (is) budget 7″ tablet, but that doesn’t mean it’s wasn’t worth buying at $80. Unlike the Nexus 7, it comes with expandable storage slot (up to 32GB), which means total storage is 36GB. While it wasn’t as snappy speed wise as the Nexus 7, but was good enough if you were looking to test out the tablet market on the cheap. ReviewsReverbed as a YouTube review of this device.

Ultratab by jazz 9″ Tablet from Office Depot

– See Details.
$99.99 msrp $179.99), specs: 9″ screen, Allwinner A13 Cortex-A8 1.2GHz CPU, 512RAM, 4GB storage, Wireless 802.11b/g/n, 0.3 megapixel front facing camera, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), microSD slot.

This was a budget tablet like the Sophix. At 9″ the screen was slightly larger, which pushed the price up to $99 for Black Friday. It had a very good battery life of around 8 hours, and like the Sophix it made up for only having 4GB storage by offering a microSD card slot to add another 32GB. The WiFi could be more consistent. BestTabletsUnder$200 users gave it 3.5 our of 5 stars. It’s a tough tablet to find, but we’ve seen them recently available for purchase on eBay for around $85.

iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi w/$100 Meijer Gift Card from Meijer

– See Details.
$399.99 (msrp $449.99), specs, 132ppi 9.7″ screen, 1GHz Dual-core A5 CPU, 512 RAM, 16GB storage, Front/Rear facing cameras, Wi‑Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1., iOS.

It wouldn’t be a “most popular” tablet list without the originator. The iPad 2 is Apple’s full size “budget” tablet. It has an impressive 10 hour battery life, which means longer time away from the plug. The $399 retail price tag was slightly higher than other 10” tablets, but the $100 instore gift card into the mix and suddenly a price of $299 made this stellar deal. CNET’s Donald Bell gives the Apple iPad 2 4 of 5 stars (at the retail price).

Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet, 16GB RAM w/ $30 Amazon Gift Card ($159.99 for 8GB) from Best Buy

– See Details.
$199.99 (msrp $199) ($159.99 for 8GB model), specs: 169ppi 7″ screen, 1.0 GHz Dual Core TI OMAP4CPU, 512 RAM, 16GB storage, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Based on Android 2.3.3.

The Kindle Fire was Amazon’s first full tablet. It runs a modified version of Android 2.3. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles some of the other tablets have, it does what it was supposed to do very well…run Amazon distributed media. So if you use a lot of Amazon’s media services, the $199 price tag is well justified, and the $30 Amazon gift card let you buy even more Amazon media. A $230 value for $199, the 8GB at $160 with the same $30 gift card made the more solid savings. Even with the price difference, we would have picked it up over the Sophix tablet above. Why? Because as NBC News put it “Kindle Fire review: Yes, it’s that good.”

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1″ w/, Free $50 Fry’s Gift Card from Fry’s

– See Details.
$299.99 (msrp $399.99), specs: 149ppi 10.1″ screen, 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, front/rear facing cameras, microSD slot, Android 4.0.

This tablet is the largest tablet on the list. It has a respectable 8.5 hour batter life, and comes with all the bells and whistles of the competition. It’s was a solid tablet, but if you were to pay the retail price of $399, you would have been better off getting the iPad 2, or the Google Nexus 10. Once you throw in the discounted price of $299, you would still would have been better off with the iPad 2 w/ $100 gift card, but it would be a good buy over the Nexus 10. When Fry’s tossed in an extra $50 gift card, the overall price of this dropped to around $250, and at that price, it was a really good Black Friday deal.

Samsung 7″ Galaxy Tab 8GB from MacMall

– See Details.
$159.99 (was $249.99), specs: 170ppi 7″ screen, 1GHz dual-core OMAP CPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, front/rear facing cameras, WiFi a/b/g/n, microSD card slot, Android 4.0.

This is the smaller version of the Samsung tablet above. Like the Galaxy 10.1, it had stiff competition in it’s size category. If you like Amazon’s ecosystem and services, you would have been better off getting the Kindle Fire for $20 less. If you wanted more memory, than you would have picked the Google Nexus 7. If you were looking for a more open operating system, and expandable storage space, then the choice would have been this tablet. Either way at $150 it was a steal, and perhaps why it was one of the most popular Black Friday tech deals!

Lenovo IdeaTab A2 9″ Tablet from Office Depot

– See Details.
$199 (was $299) specs: 170ppi 9″ screen, 1.3 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, front/rear facing cameras, microSD card slot, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, HDMI out, Android 4.0.

This tablet was aggressively priced at a retail price of $299, which is really good for a full featured tablet. It is in direct competition with the Samsung 10.1, and Google Nexus 7. Head to head it holds it’s own against both of those. If you don’t believe us, read the review over at NotebookCheck. They gave it a impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars. The retail price was good, but on Black Friday Office Depot discounted them to $199, or 33% off. At that price, this was one of the best deals on the list.

Vtech InnoTab 2S Console Bundle from Toys R Us

– See Details.
$99.99 (msrp $59.99 currenty) w/(Blue or Pink), specs: 5″ screen, 2GB storage, microSD card slot, 1.3MP camera.

As you can see, this tablet is targeted for younger kids to use. As such it’s made to be more durable than the average tablet on the list. The specs aren’t all that impressive, but it does have enough toys on it to keep your child entertained for hours. Like other tablets, you can access e-books, music, and games. It came with matching headphones, and carrying case. Priced at $100, it was one of the hottest “toys” of the season, and our friends at TechAdvisor across the pond gave it 4 out of 5 stars. If your child has a birthday coming up, or you want to pick one up for Christmas this year, it’s current available through Amazon for less than $80.

TABLET Deals Predictions for 2013 Holiday

Last year the Android tablets, along with the Kindle and Nook (being considered tablets), found their place beside the iPad as legitimate holiday competition. With a Google Nexus 7 price under $200 and the iPad 2 at a final cost under $300 in 2012, it’s safe to say we’ll see more of this kind of pricing in 2013. And with new iPads, Kindles and other Android tablets being made as we speak, plus the outbreak of “Phablets” like the popular Galaxy Note III and just announced Sony Xperia Z1, last years tablet models should see sharp price reductions across the board, making it the perfect holiday shopping season for tablet-less consumers to get in the game.

SERIES Master List: “Best of Black Friday 2012”

FatWallet’s in-depth series reveals the top products and deals from last year…some you’ll wish you didn’t miss! Featuring expert deal reviews, shopping tips and predictions for 2013, series content is based on sales and shopping activity recorded from FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder (and mobile app) in 2012 which featured 27,000+ deals and doorbusters, 100+ Black Friday ads, and the hot Thanksgiving Day Deals, as well as Cyber Monday Deals from last year.

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