Woot’s multi-day deals store, moofi, is offering several deals on open-box or refurbished Android tablets right now, ranging from the ultra-cheap to the potentially-interesting.
At the low end, we have the refurbished 7” or 8” Polaroid tablet, sporting Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, for $50 or $60 respectively plus $5 shipping. With an 800×480 capacitive touchscreen, a 1GHz Cortex processor, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal storage, and 32 GB SD card slot, a front-facing camera, and Wi-Fi (of course), the specs are basically identical to the $90 ZeePad I used to have; I expect Polaroid probably got them from the same Chinese OEM and rebadged them.
So don’t expect too much, performance-wise. This is basically an oversized smartphone without the phone. Still, that’s a great price for a “beater” tablet to give your kids, or a spare tablet to throw in your briefcase, backpack, or purse when you don’t want to risk losing or damaging your more expensive one.
The next step up is an open-box ProScan 7” for $59 + $5 shipping that is basically the same tablet, with just a little better specs. Same display, same RAM, same camera, et cetera, but with a 1.2 GHz Cortex processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, plus a case with built-in keyboard. Again, smells like a rebadged ZeePad to me. Not a great tablet, but better than none at all, great for clumsy kids, and a cheap way to learn Android if you’re interested. The bump over the Polaroid specs might be worth the extra $9.
And at the top of the bargain-bin pyramid is an open-box Dell Streak 7 tablet for $120 + $5 shipping. The display is also 800×480, but at least it’s Gorilla Glass. It’s got a Tegra 2 processor, which is basically a dual-core version of the Cortex CPU that the above two tablets have (and one step behind the Tegra 3 that last year’s Nexus 7 used), 16 GB of internal storage, front and rear cameras, and T-Mobile-only 3G/4G capability. And it runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb, the early tablet version of Android that barely lasted six months before Google hastily released 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to replace it. (Fortunately, it can be rooted to Jelly Bean with CyanogenMod.)
This one really isn’t as good of a deal from a tablet capacity standpoint. After all, I got my much-higher-resolution Nook HD for $90 from Woot, and it’ll probably show up that cheaply again somewhere else sooner or later. If you want an 800×400 tablet, save a few bucks and buy the Polaroid or ProScan, which come with a better version of Android to boot. The only reason you might want this one is if you’re on T-Mobile already and would like to have a cellular tablet, in which case it might be a bargain.
These deals just last five more days, or until they sell out, so if you want ‘em, go buy ‘em.