Plenty of tablets will be available this holiday shopping season for low prices. Just be aware, though, that not everything advertised as a special deal is really a bargain.
Tablets inevitably drop in price over time. Devices that launched last year, no matter how much fanfare they got at the time, are no longer cutting edge, and their price tags must reflect this. All reputable retailers understand this and won’t try to rip off their customers by charging the original price for a tablet that’s been on the market for over a year,
But there is a slightly un-ethical practice that some retailers just can’t resist: advertising an older model’s new price alongside its original price, with the difference being proclaimed as a special deal.
Keeping it Real
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 launched last year from $179.99, but is now widely available for $99.99 — a retailer with weak ethics might include a big note claiming “$80 Savings!” Of course, the buyer isn’t really saving $80 because that device can’t be sold for $179.99 any longer.
That doesn’t mean that $99.99 is a bad price for the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0; it’s certainly worth that. But at that price it’s not the amazing bargain that any note claiming “$80 Savings” would indicate.
Another good example is the Apple iPad 2, which has been discontinued, but is still widely used and new units can be found online for $299.99. That’s a reasonable price, and shouldn’t be listed as a special deal just because this model once sold for much more.
Or the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with a Core i5 processor and 128 GB of storage now sells for $899.99. Only prices below that qualify as bargains, even though this tablet debuted at $1,000 last year.
An Ounce of Prevention
The way to make sure any price is actually a good deal easy: Do some comparison shopping. Check to be sure any price listed by a retailer this Cyber Monday or beyond isn’t being matched or beaten by another retailer.
It’s also a very good idea to read a review or two before buying a tablet.
Possibly the best way to save time and effort when hunting for tablet bargains is to read our Best Black Friday Tablet Deals 2014: iPad, Android, and Windows, as everything on that list is definitely a good deal.