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Is it the right time to buy a tablet?

Tony Bradley | Sept. 12, 2012
The tablet market finally seems to have moved beyond a one-horse, Apple iPad monopoly. Google's Nexus 7 has made a splash in the tablet market, and Amazon's unveiling of the new Kindle Fire lineup will shake things up a bit as well.

Amazon just unveiled a new Kindle Fire lineup that includes slashing the cost of the base Kindle Fire model to $160, a new and improved 7-inch Kindle Fire for $200, and a couple larger models more on par with the Apple iPad, but undercutting the price of the iPad by $200. The new line of Kindle Fire tablets can be pre-ordered now, but won't ship for another couple weeks depending on the model.

Beyond the new Kindle Fires, though, there is also rampant speculation that Apple will enter the 7-inch tablet market with an iPad Mini. If that proves true, and if it is priced competitively (rumors suggest it will be $250), a smaller Apple iPad could turn the 7-inch tablet market upside down.

As for larger tablets, the Microsoft Surface RT tablet is expected to hit the street sometime around the official launch of Windows 8 at the end of October. There is no official pricing information available from Microsoft, but there has been some speculation that Microsoft could be very aggressive and price the tablet at $200.

My advice? Wait.

I realize that technology is constantly evolving, and that no matter how long you wait or which device you choose it's bound to be "obsolete" within weeks of months of your purchase. That said, I would discourage anyone from buying a tablet until we see how much the Microsoft Surface RT will cost, and find out whether the Apple iPad Mini rumors are true.

There are some major tablets rumored or expected in the next couple months, and you could easily end up regretting your decision if you buy a tablet right now. The world is not going to stop spinning if you wait a month or two to see how the iPad Mini rumors and Microsoft Surface pricing pan out before weighing your options and buying a tablet.

 

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