4 Frugal iPad Alternatives

by Redeeming Riches on February 6, 2012

Two years ago when the iPad came out, there was nothing like it.  Even today, it’s still amazing to see what you can do with one.  My wife actually uses one for medical school and views hundreds of notes through an app that’s incredible to use.

While we really enjoy using our iPad, we’ve noticed a few other iPad alternative tablets that are much less expensive and have much of the same functionality as an iPad.

If you’re unable to spend $500 on a new iPad, you should consider these alternatives that can save you hundreds of dollars.  If you can’t shake the Apple addiction, you can always look for used iPads on Craigslist and eBay.  (We found our first generation iPad on Craigslist for $300.)

Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon’s Kindle Fire was released in the fall of 2011 and has been very popular among users.  It’s lightweight and perfect for reading book – including the 800,000 free books that are out-of-copyright.  You can listen to songs, watch movies, and use apps like Netflix, Pandora, Words with Friends, and Angry Birds.  It’s 7” color touchscreen is compact enough so that the Fire isn’t bulky, but it doesn’t make you squint every time you use it.

Price: $199 (At this price, we’d recommend the Kindle Fire as the most frugal and most comparable alternative to the iPad.)

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Released in the fall of 2011, the Samsung tablet has a smaller screen and runs on the Android platform so that you have access to thousands of cool apps.  Its smaller size makes it nice for those who like to read on the go.  As for battery life, you can expect to see 8-10 hours depending on what activities you’re doing (i.e. watching a HD movie or checking email)

Price: $399

Asus Eee Pad

This tablet was just released in January 2012 and boasts a 10.1-inch wide-screen.  It has a front and rear 8 mega pixel camera that makes it ideal for video chatting and a camera backup.

It operates on the Android platform and also has an optional keyboard docking port available for about $100. The mini HDMI output makes it easy to share pictures directly onto your TV.

Price: $399

Sony Tablet S

The Sony tablet has a very clean look and ergonomic feel to it.  It has a 9.4-inch touchscreen, wifi, USB port and an SD card slot.  With two cameras, you can chat or take pictures.  Customer reviews give it 4.3 stars on Best Buy’s website and gave it high marks for its long battery life (8 hours).

Price: $399

Are you in the market for a tablet?  Which ones have you considered?

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