Normally I’m all about saving money, which is why my curiosity was piqued when I heard that AT&T is giving a $100 credit to anyone who buys an ASUS Nexus 7 and signs up for service with the carrier. Unfortunately, this is one of those deals that’s just not really worth your time.
First of all, the Nexus 7 is half a year old – in other words, in tech time, it’s about to sprout some grey hairs. That’s not to say it still isn’t a great tablet (and my favorite at this particular price point and screen size), but rumor has it Google will announce a new Nexus tablet at Google I/O, a mere four months away.
Second, you have to sign up for a two-year contract with AT&T. Don’t get me wrong – AT&T’s HSPA+ coverage is decent, and speeds are great. But with a tablet as awesome as the Nexus 7, you’ll want at least 3GB/month of data, and that will cost you $30/month. So, you’ll still end up paying $300 for the 3G version of the tablet, you’ll get just over 3 months of free service from AT&T, and then you’ll be stuck paying $30/month for 21 more months – a grand total of $920, plus taxes and fees. If you choose to get a measly 250MB/month instead, you’ll still end up spending $560 total, plus you’ll always be hesitant to use 3G data due to the ever-present constant risk of inadvertent overages.
Honestly, you’re better off buying a WiFi version of the tablet, and taking advantage of free WiFi hotspots where ever you go. You could also tether the Nexus 7 to your phone, if you really need data away from home. Nice try, AT&T, but we know better.