Optus Tablet plans: Compare before you sign up

Optus stocks a small selection of Samsung and Apple tablets but sometimes you'll actually pay more through Optus than you would purchasing outright.

With iPhones sporting massive 6.68-inch screens these days and hybrid 2-in-1 laptops growing in popularity, the gap that tablets once filled is now just a tight squeeze. Still, there are plenty of personal and professional use cases for the trusty tablet (like students and designers) keeping the super-sized touchscreen devices relevant.

If you’re in the market for a new tablet, you’ve got two options in Australia: purchase one outright or put it on a payment plan, just like you would with a smartphone through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Buying a tablet on a plan is much more straightforward these days as you simply pay the outright price of the device over 12, 24 or 36 months. That’s true in most cases but strangely, you’ll pay more for the iPad Pro through Optus. More on that below.

If you’ve arrived here, it’s because you want to suss out the latest tablet plans from Optus. There aren’t quite as many options through Optus as there are through Telstra and the tablets that are stocked are available exclusively on a plan (with no outright purchasing options) but you’ll still find all the major players in the tablet space from Apple and Samsung. Here’s everything you need to know about Optus tablet plans.

Tablets offered by Optus

At the time of writing, there are six tablets available on a plan through Optus, all from Apple and Samsung, available on 12, 24 and 36-month plans. Here’s how much they’ll cost you on a plan.

All Optus Tablets
TabletStorageMinimum monthly device payment (36mths)Total minimum costOutrightTotal cost over 36 months (including data plan)
Apple iPad (8th gen)32GB or 128GB$19.40$698.40$699$1,238
Apple iPad Air (4th gen)64GB$30.52$1,098.72$1,099$1,639
Apple iPad Pro (11-inch)128GB, 256GB or 512GB$43.86$1,578.96$1,449$2,119
Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch)128GB, 256GB or 512GB$52.74$1,898.64$1,649$2,439
Samsung Galaxy S7+ 5G256GB$54.12$1,948.32$1,949$2,488
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7128GB$34.68$1,248.48$1,249$1,788

Apple iPad Optus plans

Note: The new 5G iPad Pro with WiFi 6 is arriving at Optus in late May 2021.

Optus currently stocks the 8th generation Apple iPad (2020), 4th generation Apple iPad Air (2020), and the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models (2020).

Although most of the iPads sold through Optus cost the same as they do outright (with payments spread across your plan period) there are two odd exceptions to the rule. Both iPad Pro models (11-inch and 12.9-inch) work out more expensive on an Optus plan than they do outright. You’ll pay roughly $130 more for the 11-inch iPad Pro and roughly $250 more for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro if you get them on a plan.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Optus plans

Optus doesn’t stock nearly as many Samsung Galaxy tablets as Telstra does but it does offer the most popular flagship models, including the latest 5G variant of the Galaxy Tab S7+ and the standard Galaxy Tab S7 128GB model.

Optus BYO tablet plans

As we’ve discussed, getting a tablet on an Optus plan isn’t always the most economical choice. When it is, spreading out your device payments across 12, 24 or 36 months is a manageable way to pay off expensive hardware but when it’s cheaper to buy outright, you can save some money in the long run. If you do decide to purchase a tablet outright, you can always opt for a BYO data plan for tablets.

Here are the most popular tablet plans from Optus:

And here are the most popular BYO tablet/data plans in Australia this week.

Is it cheaper to buy a tablet outright or get it on a plan with Optus?

In no situation is it cheaper to take out a tablet plan with Optus. Most of the models offered simply have their outright cost spread out in monthly payments across 12, 24 or 36 months (whatever your preference). Though, as we pointed out above, there are a few edge cases where it’s actually more expensive to get a tablet on a plan through Optus, rather than purchase it outright and use a BYO SIM. That’s the case with the two iPad Pro models offered by Optus, which work out at roughly $130 (11-inch) and $250 (12.1-inch) more expensive on a plan than if they were purchased outright. It goes without saying that even though telcos have mostly moved to more simple plan structures, it’s always good to do the math and double-check the price before signing up.

Can I share my data with my tablet?

While Optus no longer offers specific data share SIMs on its phone plans (SIMs that only used the data from your phone plan), it does offer Family Sharing across devices under the same bill. That means you can get a cheap phone or tablet plan and rely on your other device’s allotted monthly data to get you by.

For example, if you sign up for an 80GB mobile plan through Optus and a 5GB data plan for your tablet, your tablet will use leftover data from the 80GB pool before exceeding your cap and throttling your speeds.

What happens when I exceed my data limit on Optus?

Just like Telstra and Vodafone, Optus has moved away from excess data charges and towards the speed-capped endless data model. Instead of charging you for every excess GB or MB you use, your data speeds will be capped to 1.5Mbps. It’s good because you won’t be left out for dry if you go over your monthly allowance but you can still opt for full-speed data top-ups.