Telstra Tablet plans: Are they worth it?

You won't save any money getting a tablet on a plan through Telstra but there's a good selection of iPads and Samsung tablets you can pay off over time.

While interest in tablets isn’t quite as strong as it once was, the call for smaller smartphones (like the iPhone 12 mini) and the growing interest in old school feature-light mobile phones means there’s still a case for tablets; a midway point between your phone and home computer.

If your interest in tablets has been reinvigorated of late, you’ll be happy to hear that there are some phenomenal options on the market. Both Apple and Samsung are still churning out iPads and Galaxy Tabs and they’ve come a long way; now offering power closer to that of a premium laptop, rather than a smartphone.

If you’re on the hunt to fill the gap between your smartphone and laptop, you might not be aware that you can get a tablet on a plan through providers like Telstra and Optus, just like you would a smartphone, and with 5G slowly becoming more ubiquitous (in availability and hardware options), it could be high time to consider your options for getting a tablet on a plan.

Below you’ll find tablets offered by Telstra but if you want to check out your options through Optus, we’ve got a guide for that too.

Tablets offered by Telstra

All up, Telstra has a healthy lineup of 11 tablets on offer from Apple and Samsung. Much like smartphones sold through Telstra, tablets can be paid off over 12, 24 or 36 months or purchased outright. If purchased on a plan, you pay the total cost of the tablet over your chosen plan duration as well the monthly cost of the data plan you attach it to (starting at $15 for 5GB per month). Here’s the list of tablets currently sold through Telstra.

All tablets offered by Telstra
BrandTabletStorageMinimum device payment (36mths)Total cost over 36 months (including data plan)Outright
TelstraTelstra Enhanced Tab 232GB$6.66 per month$780$240
SamsungGalaxy Tab A 10.132GB$14 per month$1,044$504
SamsungGalaxy Tab A732GB$14.69 per month$1,069$529
AppleiPad 10.2 8th Gen32GB/128GB$19.33 per month$1,236$696
AppleiPad Mini 564GB/256GB$22.66 per month$1,356$816
SamsungTab Active364GB$23.58 per month$1,389$849
AppleiPad Air 464GB$30 per month$1,620$1,080
SamsungGalaxy Tab Active Pro64GB$32.75 per month$1,719$1,179
SamsungGalaxy Tab S7128GB$34.69 per month$1,789$1,249
AppleiPad Pro 11 2nd Gen128GB/256GB$43.86 per month$2,119$1,579
AppleiPad Pro 12.9 4th Gen128GB/256GB$52.75 per month$2,439$1,899
SamsungGalaxy Tab S7+ 5G256GB$54 per month$2,484$1,944

Apple iPads available through Telstra

Telstra stocks a good selection of iPads, starting at $19.33 per month for the 8th generation 10.2-inch iPad. Here’s every iPad offered by Telstra.

Samsung Galaxy Tablets available through Telstra

Telstra also offers Samsung Galaxy tablets on a plan. At the time of writing, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is the only model offered by Telstra that has 5G connectivity.

The cheapest tablet available through Telstra

Telstra also offers its own branded Android tablet, the Telstra Enhanced Tab 2. The Enhanced Tab 2 also happens to be the cheapest tablet available through Telstra, starting at $6.66 per month on a 36-month plan (or $240 outright). It sports a 10.1-inch display, 32GB of internal storage and a 5,500 mAh battery. It runs Android 10 but its biggest drawback is its 5MP camera and MT8765B Quad-core 1.28GHz chipset.

The Telstra Enhanced Tab 2 is available to bundle with any data plan.

Are tablets sold through Telstra network-locked?

Like smartphones, tablets purchased on a postpaid plan through Telstra aren’t locked to the Telstra network. While subsidised prepaid handsets sold through Telstra are still network locked, there are no comparable prepaid tablets currently sold through Telstra. So no Apple or Samsung tablets currently sold through Telstra will be locked to the network, meaning you should be able to switch providers or travel internationally without the risk of locking yourself to Telstra.

Is it cheaper to get a tablet on a plan with Telstra?

It’s not cheaper to purchase a tablet on a plan with Telstra. Again, just like smartphones, Telstra doesn’t subsidise the cost of tablets on a 12, 24 or 36-month plan. You’re simply paying the total cost of the device over your preferred payment period in addition to any data plan charges you incur (a tablet purchased on plan needs to be tied to a data plan).

For example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 has an RRP of $849 if you purchase it outright. If you want the Tab Active3 on a 36-month plan, you will pay $23.58 per month for the device ($849 all up), plus $15 per month for the cheapest Telstra data plan. That brings the total minimum cost of the Galaxy Tab Active3 to $1389 over 36 months.

Still, for many people, the option to pay a tablet off over time, rather than all at once, is still a valuable proposition.