With numerous 7" tablets now under $200, I found the Maylong M250 on special at Retrevo for $100, I think that Tablets could soon bcomee disposable items.
No doubt the cheaper devices are not up to iPad standards but they do provide email, web browsing, contacts, calendar etc. Most are Android based so all vital information can be safely stored in a Google account.
With the more expensive tablets (iPad and big name Android), a moment's carelessness (dropping the device) can cost you $600 and more. With the cheaper devices you could just shrug it off and buy another one.
The smaller size also appeals to me.