Tablets: ‘Why Should Somebody Buy This Instead of an iPad?’

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10. “I’m meaningfully cheaper.”

vizioRemember when Apple’s then-unannounced tablet was supposed to sell for something like $1000, giving the rest of the industry lots of opportunity to steal its market share by undercutting its price? Instead, the iPad started at $499, a price that other manufacturers have struggled to match, let alone beat. But with tablets, as all things, price is a major issue for plenty of prospective buyers. And one way for an iPad alternative to quickly make its mark would be if it was (A) decent; and (B) substantially cheaper.

Any examples? Well, Toshiba’s Thrive will start at $429, but that’s not thatmuch cheaper, and it’s for a model with 8GB–half of the iPad’s starting capacity. If Vizio’s upcoming tablet goes for $349 at Wal-Mart, it’ll be a better test of the lure of a lowball price.

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