With the iPad 3 set to kick off a new arms race fought over top-end tablet specs, best-of-breed current models like the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 are selling for less than ever.
With the tech industry abuzz over a heavily rumoured iPad 3 launch event slated just weeks away on March 7, Big W's current iPad 2 runout special
-- which is offering the entry-level 16GB model at a seemingly unprecedented (for a major retailer) Australian-stock price of $494 -- is certainly suggestive of a new model waiting in the wings, as the chain starts clearing its decks of soon-to-be past-its-prime iPad 2 stock.
Whatever your flavour, great deals are available on two of 2011's top tablets.
Big W is also selling the 32GB Wi-Fi model for $674, the 64GB Wi-Fi for $784, and the 16GB/32GB/64GB 3G models respectively at $714, $814 and $844, but while these prices are cheaper than what you'd pay from Apple, only the top-end 3G model is discounted beyond Big W's usual iPad 2 market pricing -- at $844 it's $50 less than its regular Big W $894 pricetag, while the same model would cost you $949 through Apple. So our advice: aim for the top or aim for the bottom, but don't aim in-between.
And the discounting action isn't limited solely to Apple's tablet fleet either. Samsung's controversial but impressive Galaxy Tab 10.1 has had its price slashed
at JB Hi-Fi in what could be the first of a spate of specials on current-gen Android tablets that were designed to compete with the iPad 2 (but which will come off less favourably against its impending successor).
For $473 the Galaxy Tab 10.1 -- which in many ways trumps the iPad 2
when it comes to features and specs -- is a great deal, having had more than $100 lopped off its regular $579 RRP. Bear in mind once again this is a 2011-spec product you're getting (one which had its release substantially delayed
by Apple's legal action last year), but it's still undeniably a great tablet. Expect to see more of these sorts of tablet deals in the weeks ahead, as the iPad 3's rumoured higher-res, faster CPU spec should push down prices on the class of 2011.