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tabletbundleWell, sort of. There are at least a couple of catches.

Through March 31, TigerDirect is offering a 4 GB 7-inch Android 4.1 tablet bundled with an anti-virus software suite, Total Defense Premium Internet Security. The bundle costs $79.97, but includes a $60 rebate, effectively lowering the price to $20.

Of course, to obtain the rebate, you must first activate the antivirus software, which involves giving the antivirus software company your credit card. Your first year of anti-virus service is free and you may cancel at any time, but you have to activate it before you get that $60 back. And judging by the reviews on TigerDirect, the software is decidedly mediocre at best. (“This came bundled (free) and I’m glad I looked at the reviews before loading it,” one reviewer writes. “I am distrustful of ‘free’ stuff. Threw it out.”)

The tablet they’re offering is pretty low-end. 1.5 GHz single-core, 4 GB storage, 1 GB RAM, 800 x 480 display. It might be worth about $20 without all the hoop jumping of activating the anti-virus software and applying for a rebate (and then deactivating the software before it can renew). With that added rigamarole, for a tablet that lousy, I honestly can’t recommend it.

All the same, it’s interesting to see just how low the price of an Android tablet can dip. Within a few years, maybe they’ll be handing them out free as tzotzkes with no hoop-jumping required.

 
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