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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.

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.

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.

Companies: Acer, ASUS, Motorola, Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone