Things To Consider To Get The Best Tablet Deal: Tips & What Nots

smartphones and tablets collection

Portable technology, like tablets, allows users to work or play on the go. Every year tablet manufacturers add new features, more memory, and better graphics to entice people to give up their old tablets for the best and the brightest. New technology is great to have, but it can be expensive. The best way to get a new tablet is to learn how to look for the best tablet deals on the market. This article will teach you all the tricks to finding the best tablet deals around.

Table Pricing

Tablets come in a range of prices from under $100 up to close to $1000. Some people may just run out and purchase the least expensive tablet that they can find. However, they soon come to realize that the cheapest tablet is not always the best tablet. The adage "you get what you pay for" is very accurate when purchasing electronics. In fact, the best tablets are usually the most expensive tablets because they will have the newest technology in them, including high-end cameras, more onboard storage, and better graphics.

When shopping for a tablet, you will need to keep in mind that the price is a direct result of the quality of equipment in the machine. Therefore, you will want to take inventory of your needs, wants, and desires for features in a tablet. Once you set a budget, you will want to find the best tablet in your price range, or better, a higher priced tablet for which you can get a great deal.

Decisions To Make

There is no one best tablet on the market because all people have different needs. Therefore, the best tablet for you may not be the best one for your mom, dad, sister, brother, or best friend. To figure out what features you need or want in a tablet, you will need to answer a few fundamental questions:

  • Will you be doing work on the tablet or do you want it for games, apps, and watching videos?
  • Do you require internet access at all times or can you get by with just having a Wi-Fi connection?
  • Will you connect the tablet to your television and require an HDMI connection or will the tablet’s screen be enough?
  • Do you need to type and want access to a detachable keyboard?
  • How much storage do you need? Will the provided memory be enough or will you need slots for additional storage devices, such as a microSD card?
  • What size screen do you need?

Once you decide what you need the tablet to do, then you can get online and look at the different products that are available. The storage, memory, and graphics capacity can be easily compared across different tablets and platforms. These specs will give you an idea of the pricing for different manufacturers. This information will also help you set a budget.

Tablet prices vary considerably based on the manufacturer, memory, processors, and graphics. You will first want to determine the reason for purchasing a tablet. Buying a tablet primarily for kids to play apps will be less expensive than if you need a tablet to run programs such as Microsoft Word or Excel to get work done. Therefore, you should decide what you will need the tablet to do, which will help you decide on a budget. If you want a more expensive tablet than you can afford, you will want to pay close attention to the suggestions below to get more for your money by shopping smart.

Best Time for Sales

All products are created on a cycle. When companies release new models, retailers put the old models on sale to clear out their inventory, and then put the new models on a smaller sale. For instance, most major appliances are released at the same time every year. Phones have a similar yearly release because most people replace phones when their contracts expire. Therefore, an annual release means that phone manufacturers will catch those renewing contracts and adding additional phone or tablet lines.

Since tablets are essentially small computers, they are purchased and replaced similarly to laptops. This means that once people buy them, they do not replace them unless the unit breaks or becomes too slow to run the programs and games that the user wants to play. Consequently, tablets have a different yearly release, which depends on the manufacturer, so the best tablet deals are found at different times of the year.

Best Tablet Deal

New Model Release

To find out when companies are releasing their new tablet models, consumers should look forward to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that premieres every January, and then follow the electronic news for trade show release notes and rumors.

Another way to know when new products will be released is to read industry news online and in magazines. Often times, release dates will be gathered by writers and bloggers. In general, new tablets come out from July through November.

Manufacturers always want their best new releases close to the Christmas holiday to spur people to buy gifts for themselves or others. So look for new tablets in the second half of the year. Once retail stores receive the new inventory, they often put the older models on sale.

Holiday Sales

Everyone knows that major holidays are often times to get good deals but the best time of year to buy a tablet is during the Christmas holiday. As mentioned above, new tablets typically release in the third and fourth quarter of the year, close to the holidays, because retailers know that electronics are hot gift ideas.

These holidays spur retailers across the country and online to put the old models on sale and put the new models on special pricing. However, you will almost always get a better deal on the older models than a more modern tablet because they need to reduce stock numbers.

If you can wait to buy a new tablet at holiday time, you should look for the best deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, if you miss any of those deals, don't worry because prices will continue to be low through the holidays, especially closer to Christmas, to boost overall retail sales.

If you need a new tablet and Christmas time seems far away, look for retail sales during other holidays. There are always good sales going on during holidays such as Memorial Day, July 4th, or Labor Day.

Open Box and Refurbished Models

Another way to get an excellent deal on a tablet is to look for open box and refurbished models. Open box tablets have been returned to the retailer for many different reasons. Some buyers may not like the model that they have chosen and want to get a different one.

Other times, people can have buyer’s remorse and return the item because they do not think that they should have spent the money in the first place. Others may want a different brand, more memory, better graphics, or any host of reasons.

The bottom line is that there was not anything wrong with the tablet that was returned. Since the unit has been opened, the retailer cannot sell it at regular retail, hence the discount. So if you don’t mind a perfectly good tablet that someone else returned, then you can get a great deal from a retailer.

Refurbished models are used tablets that are older models. Other customers may have traded in the model for a newer one or turned it in for recycling but it still has life left in it. Tablets returned because of defects will not be put back out for sale until they have been tested, fixed, and cleaned.

Retailers use their tech support people to see what’s wrong with the returned models and determine if they are still useable. Discounts for refurbished or open box models typically run 10 to 30 percent off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

One downside to open box and refurbished items is that the product selection will be limited and may sell out quickly. Therefore, you should check the open box selection at your local retailer frequently to find out what models they have in stock.  Another way to find open box and refurbished models is to look online.

Several online retailers, such as Apple or Best Buy, list their refurbished and open box models that can be shipped to your nearest retailer or directly to your house. An alternate source of refurbished tablets would be a local computer repair shop. Many small dealers will sell used but repaired electronics.

Deal Tracker Websites

Certain websites track sales data all year long and can offer the best and most up-to-date information on tablet prices. You can also sign up for alerts on specific products to ensure that you do not miss any potentially great sales on the particular tablet you want.

Many of these sites are free to use because the website developers make money when you click on an item and purchase it through their affiliate link. Therefore, you can set up online trackers for any number of items that you may want.

Camelcamelcamel.com is the most well-known Amazon price tracking website. However, there are other sites that have similar features, such as Keepa.com, Tractor.com, and Komando.com. Many of these sites even have downloadable browser apps so you can check prices whenever you are online.

To find deals on websites other than Amazon, you will want to check out some broader-based deal tracker application websites. The TechBargains.com staff finds all the best deals, coupons, and sales and allows you to set alerts to get instant information.

BensBargains.com is another famous deal finder website where you can set alerts and get daily deals sent to your email. Offers.com, Slickdeal.com, DigitalTrends.com, and an array of other sites make money by helping you to find the best bargains on the internet.

Best Tablet Deal

Special Deals for Special People

Specific groups of people often earn an additional discount on items at some retailers. Emergency personnel such as police, fire, and medical workers often have a day of the year set aside for sales just for them.

Former and active duty military personnel can find additional discounts year-round just by showing identification. The third group of people that often receive additional discounts, especially on electronics, are teachers and students. These discounts often show up around July, August, and September for back-to-school purchases.

If you fall into one of these groups, ask the retailer about discounts and be prepared to show identification. This could save you up to an additional 10 percent on the price. However, you won’t receive the discount unless you know about it, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Auction Sites

There are many different auction sites on the internet where you can find new or used electronics. Some of these people are resellers of the items. Others can be an arm of the brick and mortar retailer.

If you decide to purchase a tablet on a bidding site, be sure to look at the feedback rating of the seller and its return policies. Many sellers do not take returns and may try to sell lousy merchandise.

However, this type of action often results in bad feedback. No matter how good the deal seems to be, you should avoid purchasing any electronics from people with no feedback, limited feedback, or bad feedback. If the seller has good feedback and a return policy, you may be able to get a great deal on a new or used tablet.

Brand Name Tablets

The technology to make tablets has become easy to get so that you may run across unknown brand names at great deals. You will want to do research on any manufacturers that you don't know. A critical part of dealing with name brands is the warranty that the manufacturer provides.

Retailers have return policies, but they may not have repair options. Buyers usually only have 30 days or fewer to return items to a retailer for electronics, and retailers are generally very strict on these return policies.

Therefore, problems with the tablet after the return window requires the customer to deal with the manufacturer. They may have you ship the item back for repair or authorize you to seek out a local repair shop.

When choosing a tablet, you want to select a company that stands behind its warranties in case anything happens to the tablet. You would not want to pay several hundred dollars for a tablet only to find you are stuck with it if something goes wrong.

Screen Sizes

Tablets come in a variety of handheld sizes. You will want to choose a screen size that is comfortable for you to see and hold. The size of the screen is determined by the diagonal length, not the vertical or horizontal.

The seven- to nine-inch size is considered a small tablet and is often less expensive because it has fewer options built-in. This is an excellent e-reader size because it fits nicely into a purse, bag, or briefcase.

Any tablet over nine inches is considered large. These cost more and have better built-in features. The size of the tablet makes it less convenient to carry but more comfortable on the eyes. Gaming, video streaming, and graphic design work are best done on a larger tablet. Look for a tablet with high resolution that you can afford, which makes the graphics sharper.

Operating Systems

There are three different operating systems from which to choose: Windows, iOS, and Android. The Windows tablets have similar features to the computers that run the same operating system. Many people like systems that they already know. A downside to a Windows-based system may be the number of applications available.

The Android operating system can be found on Google and Amazon Fire tablets. This system has the most customizability of all three systems. Android tablets have a good number of apps in the library. However, Amazon Fire tablets do not have access to all of those options.

The Apple iOS has a massive selection of applications and easy sharing ability. Yet, some people balk at the proprietary issues with Apple products. If you already have an iPhone, then the most logical tablet to purchase is an iPad due to the smooth exchange between the two platforms.

Choose Wisely

As you can see, there are many different ways to get great tablet deals if you are willing to research what you want and wait for a sale on a new tablet. However, you can get excellent prices on used, open box, and refurbished tablets at any time of the year.  

The downside to this is that the inventory is usually limited, so you may not find exactly what you want. The most important part of getting a great deal is to know what you need in a tablet and pay only for the features that you will use.

There is no sense paying for the memory required to run work-related programs if you are just going to stream videos or play app games with it. Also, be wary of any deal that seems too good to be true. Often, a deal that offers huge discounts on new merchandise is a scam.

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