Groupon Android Deal Reminds Us Group Deals Aren't Always Great

Group deal provider Groupon has an Android tablet offer today, with prices starting from $149 for a 7-inch model. That's certainly a lot cheaper than an iPad, but you can actually get similar Android devices for less and make a more informed purchase.

For $149, you get a 7" tablet, two styluses, headphones and a leather case, which the site values at $288. The price includes postage.

Groupon itself doesn't offer detailed specs for the tablet, which in itself raises a red flag; it's very hard to compare tablets without knowing their specs, and I'm very wary of buying anything like this without knowing what I'm getting. A quick check on the site of the provider Android Tablets Australia shows what looks like the same model for $189, running Android 2.2 and with a 1.3 megapixel camera. That's obviously more expensive than the $149 model -- if they're the same, which we don't know for certain.

It's certainly the case that there are other alternatives at similar or lower prices. Dick Smith is still selling the Optus MyTab for $129, though that has Android 2.1. (Again, though, the Groupon deal might be the same -- I'm being generous in assuming it has 2.2). Kogan's 7" model has a faster processor (1GHz vs 600MHz) and runs Android 2.3, and is going for $161 plus delivery. And those were just the first two I thought of -- more searching would reveal other alternatives.

Ultimately, whether this deal makes sense depends on whether you think getting (at best) a free case is worth the risk of buying a tablet which you don't know very much about. For some people, that may well be a worthwhile decision, but it's hard to make a worthwhile decision when you're being pressured to buy in a limited time frame. The lesson is one we harp on a lot about here at Lifehacker: before you buy anything that's on "special", search around a bit and find out just how special it is. (If anyone wants to make a more confident identification of the tablet on sale, tell us in the comments).

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Comments

    Agree entirely. I was very suspicious of this offer and found your post through Google.

      Here's the spec Living Social Australia just advertised. Is that any good?

      •Screen: 7" capacitive touch screen
      •Resolution: 800 x 480 pixels
      •System: Android 4
      •Hard drive: 4GB (8G optional)
      •Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g
      •RAM: 512M (DDRIII)/4GB
      •Camera: 1.3MP
      •CPU: Allwinner A10, 1.5GHz
      •Memory: DDR3 512MB
      •Interface: DC IN, TF card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, mini 5-pin USB, mini HDMI
      •Video decoding: Full HD: 2160P, 1080P, 720P, 480P
      •Support: G-sensor, TF Card, mini HDMI output
      •Video file formats: AVI, WMV, RM, RMVB, MKV, 3GP, MP4, ASF, VOB, PG, TS, TP, DIVX, MOV
      •Audio file formats: MP3, WMA, MP2, OGG, AAC, M4A, MA4, FLAC, APE, WAV
      •Image file formats: JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG
      •Supported e-book formats: TXT, HTML, WORD, EXCEL, PPT, PDF
      •Power adapter: 100-240V input, DC 5V, 2A output
      •Battery: Lithium: 5V/2400mAh
      •Dimensions: 269mm L x 171mm W x 11.4mm D
      •Weight: 380g (including battery)
      •Language support: Simple Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, German, Italian, Portuguese, French, Spanish, Turkish, Japanese, Russian, Turkish, Korean, Greek, Polish and Hebrew.
      •Other: 360-degree menu rotate
      •Colour: Black
      Package includes:

      •7" Android Tablet
      •USB Cable
      •OTG USB cable
      •User Manual
      •AC Charger

    Are they even allowed to put such deals with hardly any technical specs ? Shouldn't the buyers have the right to know what they are buying ?

    Groupon is pretty shit. Most of their "deals" have so many T&C's attached you can hardly use them, and when they actually go about selling physical good they use deceptive marketing and hide facts (such as here).

      Agree thoroughly. These group buy sites are shite. They should be shut down for deceptive selling techniques.

        Rubbish, you just need to learn how to play the game, my friend.

          These companies aren't doing it for fun, they don't think it's a game at all, they're in it to make money, they do so by hoping that people will be deceived by the small print and hidden details.

          There is no "Play the game" here. If you get a good deal, nobody "wins", all you're doing is propping up these rip-off merchants, allowing them to continue exploiting other people.

    Lol group buying is there to introduce subscribers to a business service or product that they might not normally come across. Their prices are always excellent.

    In the android case, those who don't care about technical mumbo jumbo, can feel safe with a 1 year warranty and the fact that Groupon is the only one of those websites with a customer service team and refund policy.

    Quit ranting.

    While the article and the title are sort of agreeable to, the comments of users seem a tad "biased".

    To Cameron and Brett,
    Stick with Groupon and its clones (Spreets, scoopon, cudo) and you will have decent deals and no "deceptions".

    Group buying benefits both buyers and sellers, you just need to know what you are signing up for. Most people crying "shit deal, deception etc" are those that didnt do their homework.

    Bottom line, if it was all deception it wouldnt be a multi-million dollar industry.

    I bought the $149 voucher and redeemed it the next day September 10, I've been waiting almost two months for delivery. I have asked for a refund from Groupon but their policy is, once the voucher been redeemed you have to ask the vendor for a refund...I've learnt my lesson...
    I just bought a beautiful Acer Iconica a500 on special at a brick and mortar store for $250.

      Hi Smitts did u rcv the tablet from them????

    I too have bought Google android tablet from the Groupon star deals but have not received it yet :( doubt whether its a fake company????

    wondering if either Smitt or Wani have received there tablet yet?

    Hey I bought this tablet, It doesn't work. Now all I have to do is work out how to get my $200 back.

    I bought one of these deals a while ago. It took 8 weeks to arrive after constant emailing to both Groupon and Android Tablets Australia. ATA do not respond to emails. The tablet I received is useless. It is slow, the touchscreen is unresponsive, it freezes up and cannot be viewed in daylight. I emailed both Groupon and ATA to arrange returning the tablet and getting a refund. ATA still have not replied but Groupon did eventually refund my money and I still have the piece of shit tablet.

    Yep, I got sucked in to buying the deal. Hope this note may help others.
    The specs for the Android Google 7' Tablet are available on the Group Deals Sale page, via a small link on left of page 'More About the Deal' website | Dino Direct. And we all knoe Dino's credibility is crap!
    GrouDeals offer a 7 day no questions asked refund, have sent emails to GroupDeals, been 3 days and no reply. Might be too late for me, the bastards!
    Once I receive the Android Tablet, or if, I will return with an update.

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