So Dad wants to get techy for Father's Day but you don't want to break the bank? Here's a list of great tablets and laptops that won't cost the Earth.
What you're looking at here isn't any ordinary tablet: it's still the best tablet to come out of Google.
The Nexus 7, despite being put together from a hardware perspective by Asus, was Google’s first foray into a Nexus tablet. The Nexus line — for the uninitiated — is intended to be a “pure Google” experience, originally designed for developers, with none of the manufacturer’s crapware slowing it down. To see that design ethos applied to a tablet is very exciting.
It’s a 7-inch, rubber-backed tablet powered by a 1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 and 1GB of RAM. It comes in both the 8GB and 16GB storage variants (we tested the 16GB) and it weighs just 340 grams. The screen is a 7-inch, 720p IPS display, the device is Wi-Fi only and doesn’t come with a MicroSD-card slot.
It's important to remember that the new Nexus 7 is now available in the US, not Australia. Try using this tactic to get yourself a better deal on the Nexus if purchasing from in-store.
The iPad Mini is a 7.9-inch Apple tablet that sports the same specs as an iPad 2 and the form factor of your favourite A5 notebook.
Under the hood of the 7.9-inch device is dual-core A5 processor with a neat little clock speed of 1GHz, 512MB of RAM, a 1024×768 pixel screen that packs 162 pixels per inch and a 5-megapixel rear facing camera. It weighs just north of 300 grams and is built out of the same sleek aluminium as the iPhone 5.
It's great, and can run you less than $300 if you look around, but straight out of the Apple Store you're looking at $369.
Say what you want about Ruslan Kogan and his online monolith, Kogan Electronics: they know how to make cheap hardware that you actually would want to buy. The sequel to the Agora tablet is here, and it's better than ever.
There are two Agora tablets these days — an 8-inch model and a 10-inch model — and both have the same specs while coming in at a pocket-friendly price.
The Agora tablets comes with a dual-core, 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and between 8GB and 16GB of internal storage space. Both run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the first Kogan product to do so, and both tablets have a 1024×768 screen.
The 8-inch model starts at $119 for the 8GB model, while 16GB will set you back $129. The 10-inch meanwhile is $179 for the 8GB model, and the 16GB is $199. You can grab either from the Kogan Online Store.
The MeMo Pad (pronounced "meemopad") is a quirky little device.
It packs a 7-inch, 1024x600 screen with 170PPI and 350 nits of brightness, an ARM Cortex-A9 chip clocking in at 1GHz, 1GB of RAM, up to 16GB of on-board storage and 32GB of expandable storage and a 4270mAh battery with a stated life of 7 hours.
For those playing at home, yes: the Nexus 7 beats the MeMo Pad on pretty much every single spec listed, but where Asus is trying to compete is on price.
You'll be able to pick up a MeMo Pad starting from $199 RRP, but these days it's already much cheaper in store. That's $50 cheaper than the already bargain-price of the Nexus 7, and for that amount of money, the MeMo Pad makes a lot of sense.
You can nab the MeMO Pad for just $174 from the likes of Harvey Norman.
We'll admit it: we're breaking our budget with the Galaxy Note 8. It suffers from a higher price point, simply because it's the newest tablet on our budget list. Having said that, it's fantastic value for money.
While all of the other tablets we looked at were just rectangles with a data connection, the Note 8 has a 3G connection out of the box, meaning that it's a phone as well as a tablet. That's two great devices for the price of one, when you think about it.
Weighing just 388 grams, the Note 8 has an 8-inch screen (duh) with a 1280x800 resolution and 189 ppi, on top of a 1.6GHz A9 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and the choice of either 16GB or 32GB of storage, expandable up to 64GB via a micro SD card.
The Galaxy Note 8 is a little on the pricey side, coming in at $458.
What's your favourite cheap tablet? Let us know in the comments!
(All the stores you're we have recommended don't engage in grey importing, either, so you can be sure of your warranty.)
ChomeOS isn’t like your ordinary operating system. It’s based entirely around a web browser, with very little emphasis placed on files actually being stored on your physical drive. You don’t install software on a ChromeOS machine, you install apps from the Chrome Store. You don’t open Office on the Chromebook, you run Google Drive and Google Docs. It’s essentially a cloud-based laptop.
The Samsung Chromebook packs in an 11.6-inch screen, as well as its own 1.7GHz Dual-Core Exynos 5 chip, much like the ones it makes for tablets.
Size: 11.6-inches (1366x768) OS: Chrome OS Processor: 1.7GHz Dual-Core Exynos 5 RAM: 2GB Price: $345
The Acer Chromebook is the smaller of the two Chrome OS laptops on the market right now.
Measuring 11.6-inches and packing a 4-hour battery capability, the Acer Chromebook is a great, cheap second laptop.
It weighs 1.4 kilograms, runs a Celeron Processor and has 320GB of internal storage, complimented by 100GB of Google Drive storage.
It's still running Google ChromeOS, and as we mentioned earlier, it's based entirely around the web browser, with the software all being replaced by apps from the Google Play Store.
Size: 11.6-inches (1366x768) OS: Chrome OS Processor: 1.10GHz Intel Celeron RAM: 2GB Price: $299
The Asus VivoBook is a great line-up of products to bring the Taiwanese manufacturer into the new world of Windows 8 laptops. The S56CM-XX097H is no exception, and it's great for those on a budget.
For $494, you get a 1.8GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard disk with a small SSD for caching to make the laptop faster on boot, as well as a 15.6-inch screen.
The VivoBook also comes with dedicated graphics in the form of a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT635M for gaming on a budget.
Size: 15.6-inches (1366x768, 16:9) OS: Windows 8 Processor: 1.8GHz Intel Core i3 RAM: 4GB Price: $494
HP was a bit late to the Chromebook party in Australia, but it's still a great, big-screened device that won't break the bank.
It’s called the HP Pavilion Chromebook, and it’s packing Google’s Chrome OS, along with very similar specs to the Acer Chromebook C7: dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk with and additional 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage.
The 14-inch screen makes the Pavilion the largest Chromebook currently out on the market, compared to the 11.6-inch screens on the Acer and Samsung models. The Pavillion also has HDMI-out.
Size: 14-inches (1366x768) OS: Chrome OS Processor: 1.10GHz Intel Celeron RAM: 2GB Price: $398
While it wins zero points for the creativity of its name, the HP Envy 4-1001TU is a great laptop on a budget.
It costs $492 and gets you a 14-inch (1366x768) screen, a 1.4GHz Intel Core i3 Processor, a 320GB SATA hard disk, 4GB of RAM and Beats Audio speakers. Other bells and whistles include a card reader and Bluetooth.
It also runs Windows 7 if Chrome OS isn't your thing.
Size: 14-inches (1366x768) OS: Windows 7 Home Premium Processor: 1.4GHz Intel Core i3 RAM: 4GB Price: $492
It feels like as long as there have been laptops, there have been Toshiba Satellites. It's a trusted and reliable brand that you can count on, and this one — the C850D/01S — won't break the bank.
It's $497, making it the most expensive cheap laptop we have in our roundup, but with that you get a dual-core 1.4GHz AMD processor, 4GB of RAM, a 15.6-inch screen and a 500GB SATA hard disk.
It also comes with shared graphics capabilities thanks to the AMD Radeon HD 7310. Shared graphics aren't as good as dedicated cards, however.
The Satellite is also packing Windows 8, so you can be as up to date with your operating system as possible.
Size: 15.6-inches (1366x768, 16:9) OS: Windows 8 Processor: 1.4GHz Dual-Core AMD RAM: 4GB Price: $497
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