the best (and cheapest) iPad alternatives

[ 0 ] March 20, 2012 |

It’s no secret that the tablet market is owned – no, ruled – by Apple. And with the giant company’s newest iPad 3, lots of tech gurus-in-waiting have started looking around for a suitable iPad alternative. But in a market inundated with competing PC tablets, how is one supposed to know which is worth their money?

Not all iPad rivals are made the same. While you may see a tablet under the $500 mark and start crying with joy, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be getting a great product. Thankfully, we’ve sussed out the best cheap iPad alternatives for those seeking a decent tablet that won’t do major damage on your pocketbook.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, $399

The aggressively priced (and strangely named) Transformer has certainly had the online tech community buzzing with its versatility, lightning-fast processor and optional keyboard dock.With its nearly paper-thin measurements and impressive specs, it’s easy to see why many have called the Transformer Prime one of the top Android tablets to rival the iPad.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, $349

The Galaxy Tab has appealingly robust specs and quite a roomy display. It’s no wonder that it’s considered by many tech bloggers to be the iPad’s strongest competition. Engadget even considered the Galaxy Tab to be superior to the iPad 2 in terms of display resolution and handling – no small feat, to be sure.

Amazon Kindle Fire, $199

Scoff all you want at a tablet that traces its lineage to being a mere eBook reader, but the Kindle Fire actually has a firm second place hold on the tablet market. And with its user-friendly interface, powerful web browser and vibrant 7-inch screen, it’s not terribly hard to see why. For $200, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth.

Nook Tablet, $249

When it comes to low-cost media-focused Android tablets, the Nook Tablet is frequently cited as one of the best for eBook and magazine readers. It’s no slouch in the memory expansion department either, with its 16 GB starter going for $249. To the delight of many developers, it also supports Flash content, which the iPad has fallen short on.

Have you been looking for a less expensive iPad tablet alternative? Which are your top contenders?

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