It’s been 2 weeks now since the HP TouchPad Fire Sale that saw state of the art technology being sold for dirt cheap at Harvey Norman for $99 & $149 (16GB & 32GB), this proved beyond reasonable doubt that people are looking to get into the tablet game, but only if the price is right.

We now know that we won’t be seeing anymore HP TouchPads in Australian stores and the remaining units that are being built are headed for U.S. shores only.

So if you missed out on picking up one of the low priced TouchPads and are now suffering from Tablet envy, let’s see if we can help find you the right Android tablet at the right price.

I’ve broken this guide into 4 sections:

    Section 1: WiFi Only Tablets
    Section 2: 3G Tablets
    Section 3: 3G Data
    Section 4: Carrier Bundled Tablets


Need to know’s:

  • The green highlighting in the cells represent the best value for money in that row.
  • Outright price comparisons are between JB Hi-Fi, Myer, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith Electronics & Officeworks.
  • Carrier Bundled comparisons are between Telsta, Optus, Vodaphone & Virgin.
  • I have not included any tablets that don’t run Android Honeycomb (this is a tablet specific operating system).
  • The tablets listed in the guide are all available in Australian stores. I have not added any that cannot be found when out and about shopping.
  • Prices were collected on 5th September 2011. These prices are subject to change based on retailer price fluctuations.

Section 1: WiFi Only Tablets
The table in this section will compare the prices of Wifi only tablets. I have done it this way, because if you are reading this guide here at Ausdroid then chances are you have an Android phone, since Android 2.2 and above (iOS 4.1 and above, also) is capable of tethering your phone to your tablet and using the phone’s data connection to get the Tablet online, these tablets are usually on the cheaper side and don’t require 12 to 24 month commitments from Carriers.

Pricing
Tablet Storage JB HiFi Myer Harvey Norman Dick Smith Officeworks
Acer Iconia A500 16GB $488 $579 $498 $488 $488
Acer Iconia A500 32GB $598 $678 $624 $678
Eee Pad Asus Transformer 16GB $491 $498 $488 $526
Eee Pad Asus Transformer + Keyboard Dock 32GB $697 $749 $698 $747 $697
Toshiba A100/001 16GB $493 $499 $499 $579 $468
Toshiba A100/001 32GB $678
Motorola Xoom 32GB $658 $669
 

Section 2: 3G Tablets
This section’s table will compare the prices of tablets that have a 3G modem in them. These tablets will be listed by outright price and will require the buyer to also seek out a separate data plan with their carrier of choice.

Pricing
Tablet Storage JB HiFi Myer Harvey Norman Dick Smith Officeworks
Acer Iconia A501 16GB $728 $679 $714
Acer Iconia A501 32GB $748 $749 $798 $728 $729
Motorola Xoom 32GB $797
 

Section 3: 3G Data
Since section 2 was about 3G Tablets, the below table will outline data only plans across carriers to get your 3G tablet on the Internet. Please be mindful that these are the tablet (in some cases iPad) specific offerings, you may be able to find other plans that suit you.

Telstra Optus Vodafone Virgin
Data Allowance Plan (24mnth) Pre-Paid* Plan (24mnth) Pre-Paid Plan** Pre-Paid Plan** Pre-Paid
1GB $29 $39 $20 $14.95 $14
1.5GB $15 $19 $19
3GB $49
4GB $59 $29.95 $30 $29 $29 $29 $29
5GB $40
6GB $50 $100±
7GB $49 $70
8GB $39.95 $80
10GB $150± $59.95 $100 $39 $49 $39 $39
12GB $79 $49 $150± $49 $49
14GB $59 $59
15GB $130
16GB $79.95
18GB $200±
25GB $250±
30GB $300±

* No specific pre-paid plans
** Pay as you go monthly plans
± Extended pre-paid credit expiry period

 

Section 4: Carrier Bundled Tablets
If you don’t want to pay for a tablet outright and want to get a monthly deal on data rates, this section is for you. The table here will tell you which carriers have which tablets and for how much. Because of the varying rates and monthly commitment, price comparison is based on cost per Gigabyte (GB).

Motorola Xoom (24 Month Contract)
Cost & Inclusion (Monthly) Telstra Optus
Device Repayment $25 $25 $15 $20 $15 $15 $0
Minimum Spend $29 $49 $79 $30 $40 $60 $80
Total Spend $54 $74 $94 $50 $55 $75 $80
Data Allowance 1GB 7GB 12GB 4GB 8GB 10GB 12GB
$ per GB $54 $10.57 $7.83 $12.49 $6.87 $7.50 $5
 

Closing Thoughts
So as you can see by the above tables, there is really not much difference in the guts of all these devices, the differences will be in their look & feel. The Motorola Xoom and Acer Iconia are on the chunkier side of the spectrum when it comes to how they feel in your hand.

Since the Motorola Xoom is the only Android Tablet available with any of the carriers, you’re out of luck if you want variety.

2011 might not be the year of Android tablets, but this hasn’t been for a lack of trying for many Android Manufacturers (Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Delays). So we can only hope that Samsung is able to push out the Galaxy Tab in the coming weeks, but if you absolutely can’t wait, we hope this list of devices helps you satisfy your gadget cravings.

Update: Thanks to some of our loyal readers (Phill S & Sandeep S), I have now added Officeworks pricing and a $150 extended credit data allowance from Telstra into the tables.

  • dster

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  • http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-7-Android-2-2-Tablet-Pc-Netbook-MID-Wifi-Touchscreen-Apad-Epad-/261040882991 Android tablet

    I am still very impressed with what you have shared here. Just amazing guidelines for someone who want to buy an Android tablet of his own choice in the Australia. I hope, many would have been inspired by this post.

  • Adam

    The Acer Iconia A501 is available from Dick Smith for only $499 and it has 3G but because the new A510 has come out the A501 is in limited supply but it looks to be the best value 3G tablet out there for those of us who don’t want to be controlled by Apple

  • Fernando Deleon

    Got my galaxy tab 10.1 from mobicity for $630 by mistake they gave me a 32gb
    Definitely a good bargain

  • Dan

    I picked up an Acer iconia A500 16gb last week from Harvey Norman for $386 in a sale. Definitely worth the price. My friend has an Ipad and the android tablets are easily better.

  • Michael Wheatland

    After borrowing someone else’s iPad for a while I have learnt that there is something essential missing from the iPad and other apple products. Hardware buttons. Android phones have it absolutely right. The menu and back buttons are invaluable rather than relying on inconsistent app developers to implement similar UI.

    Is Ice Cream Sandwich capable of using hardware buttons? If so, why are there no tablets on the market with this clear technical advantage that android phones have had since inception. If not, Google must make some changes.

  • Michael Wheatland

    After borrowing someone else’s iPad for a while I have learnt that there is something essential missing from the iPad and other apple products. Hardware buttons. Android phones have it absolutely right. The menu and back buttons are invaluable rather than relying on inconsistent app developers to implement similar UI.

    Is Ice Cream Sandwich capable of using hardware buttons? If so, why are there no tablets on the market with this clear technical advantage that android phones have had since inception. If not, Google must make some changes.

    • http://profiles.google.com/imroykun Ian Tester

      Google decided to move the Android buttons onto the screen. Their main reasoning is that it works better with rotation – they can always be at the bottom no matter how you hold the tablet.

    • http://profiles.google.com/imroykun Ian Tester

      Google decided to move the Android buttons onto the screen. Their main reasoning is that it works better with rotation – they can always be at the bottom no matter how you hold the tablet.

  • James Monteverdi

    Mobicity is 599 WIFI XOOM and Handetck UK is 600 3G XOOM :) Just an fyi

    • Grunger

      Yup, Handtec and Clove are considerably cheaper and that includes delivery too!

  • PseudoEdge

    This should become a weekly feature.
    Love the table format

  • Harry Johnson

    correction the 3g xoom is 32gb

  • Harry Johnson

    correction the 3g xoom is 32gb

  • Harry Johnson

    correction the 3g xoom is 32gb

  • Grunger

    Thanks for posting it Irwin. I might end up getting a tablet for my Dad in the near future so this reference will be very useful. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Carreon/100001054400222 Paolo Carreon

    Surprisingly telstra has the best prepaid value with $150 10gb 365 days. In comparison the other companies pretty much offer the same + a bit more data, but I will take Telstra’s network over 2 extra GB

  • Anonymous

    Great chart, I think one thing is certainly clear. Harvey Norman has huge markups on EVERYTHING.

  • Ozboy1

    Great round up, but no Amazon a little cheaper and you can get the Samsung Tab!!

    • Irwin

      Absolutely, but thought it was best keeping this somewhat entry level, for people who aren’t comfortable buying online.

      • Ozboy1

        Point taken but I would think if they are reading this then perhaps online shopping (especially from a major online retailer) isn’t really a concern. ;-)

  • Jason

    For those closer to Good Guys, Asus 32gb Transformer + dock $599 :)

  • http://twitter.com/_Sim_On Simon

    Great post Irwin :)
    We should see more posts like these on Ausdroid :)

    ps: you Google+ link doesn’t work in the “About the author” section

  • Chocito

    I am curious about the new Sony tablet coming out soon. Any thoughts?

  • Sandeep S

    Section 3 (Please Add )
    Telstra Pre Paid $150 for 12 GB over 365 Days

    • Irwin

      Good pick up Sandeep. Added!

  • http://twitter.com/psych4 Phill S

    Officeworks has Toshiba A100/001 for $468 – Why no mention of this…?

    • Irwin

      Thanks Phill. Had a genuine brain fart not including Officeworks in the original post.

    • Irwin

      Thanks Phill. Had a genuine brain fart not including Officeworks in the original post.

  • http://twitter.com/surajmen0n Suraj Menon

    Under ‘Section 3′ , AMAYSIM is missing. Even though its a subsidiary of Optus, their pre-paid data plan is one of the cheapest – $10 for 1GB (validity 30days). I’ve been using it for over 6months are its been great this far!

  • Geoff Fieldew

    I would be truly impressed if there is a single human in existence that has managed to use up their full 30GB monthly allowance on their Vodafone plan. Very thorough guide Irwin.

    • vijay alapati

      Only if Netflix is available in Australia :( we need more movie rental apps so we can browse like google movies and amazon. 

    • vijay alapati

      Only if Netflix is available in Australia :( we need more movie rental apps so we can browse like google movies and amazon. 

    • vijay alapati

      Only if Netflix is available in Australia :( we need more movie rental apps so we can browse like google movies and amazon.