Why I Returned My iPad, and How I Made Money Doing It

What's Hot

How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2017Family

8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon PrimeSave

8 Creative Ways to Clear ClutterAround The House

Study: People Who Curse Are More HonestFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

The 3 Golden Rules of Lending to Friends and FamilyBorrow

6 Reasons Why Savers Are Sexier Than SpendersCredit & Debt

Resolutions 2017: Save More Money Using 5 Simple TricksCredit & Debt

Porta-Potties for Presidential Inauguration Cause a StinkFamily

Protecting Trump Will Cost Taxpayers $35 MillionFamily

Tax Hacks 2017: Don’t Miss These 16 Often-Overlooked Tax BreaksTaxes

5 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Pay Off 10 Years From NowCollege

10 Simple Money Moves to Make Before the New YearFamily

The Apple iPad isn't the only tablet on the market. In fact, you can find an Android tablet with similar specs and a much lower price.

I received a 32 GB Apple iPad 2 as a gift. It was beautiful. But it cost $729 (with 3G service). Gift or no gift, I can’t justify owning anything that costs $729, especially when I could return it and get a comparable tablet for much, much less. So I did.

I took the iPad back to the Apple store and spent the money on an Android tablet.

Sounds simple, but it wasn’t. After reading CNET’s Best Android Tablets review, testing out several in person, and reading more consumer reviews than I can count, I narrowed it down to three choices: keep the iPad, get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, or buy a Sony Tablet S.

I went with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Here’s why…

1. Weight

  • Apple iPad 2: 1.33 pounds
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: 1.24 pounds
  • Sony Tablet S: 1.30 pounds

Size matters – especially if you’re planning to carry your tablet around with you. Ultimately, I picked these three devices as finalists because they were thin and lightweight. When choosing a tablet, look for one that weighs 2 pounds or less. Otherwise, you might as well drag around a full-sized laptop or netbook.

2. Screen size

  • iPad 2: 9.7 inches
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1: 10.1 inches
  • Tablet S: 9.4 inches

Screen size is a matter of preference, but I look for the biggest size I can find without increasing the weight too much. A bigger screen is easier to view and causes less eye strain over time.

3. Storage capacity

  • iPad 2: 16 GB to 64 GB
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1: 16 GB
  • Tablet S: 32 GB

When deciding on storage capacity, consider what you plan to store on the tablet. In my case, I knew I’d only store a few apps, TV shows, photos, and MP3s. So 16 GB is more than enough storage space for basic needs like those. But if you plan to use the tablet for work, go 32 GB or 64 GB.

4. Camera

  • iPad 2: The iPad 2 has both front-facing and rear-facing video recorders but shoots videos at 720p and lacks quality for still shots, according to Wired.
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1: 3 megapixel back, 2 megapixel front-facing
  • Tablet S: 5 megapixel back, no front-facing

Most tablets don’t have high-quality cameras, but they do have some differences worth considering. For example, if you want recording capabilities, look for a tablet with a camcorder. If you want to do video chat, look for one with a front-facing camera.

5. Battery life

Battery life is something you shouldn’t compromise on if you plan to travel with your tablet. I get about 8 hours with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is enough to work on throughout the day.

6. Price

  • iPad 2: ranges from $499 to $829, depending on size and 3G connection
  • Galaxy Tab 10.1: ranges from $430 to $526, according to CNET
  • Tablet S: ranges from $469 to $599, according to CNET

All things considered, price was the biggest factor in my decision. I got my tablet for $430, but you find can one from $99 to $900.

After some waffling and a lot of grueling research, I ended up with a new tablet and $300 left over – which I spent on a new iPod. Hey, I don’t always hate on Apple!

Bottom line: For most people, tablets are more of a toy or a convenience device. I use mine during commuting, at coffee shops, and when I’m too lazy to fire up my laptop at home. It’s far from necessary. And $729 is just too much money to spend on something you won’t use that much, especially when you can get an Android tablet for much less. I don’t regret going with Android on this one.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: How the Trump Tax Plan Will Affect You

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,827 more deals!