If you’re looking for a wireless broadband tablet without the wireless contract, you’ve got to be prepared to pay the piper, at least in the US. But every once in a while one of these tablets (typically a less-popular device) will go on sale. So it is with the Pantech Element, AT&T’s odd combination of water/dust resistance and LTE speeds. A refurbished version of the Element is now on sale on eBay for $199.95 with free shipping.
The Element is a respectable tablet, though it doesn’t get a lot of attention. The screen is a non-standard 8-inch model with a resolution of 1024×768, giving it a 4:3 aspect ratio (kind of like a shrunken HP TouchPad). It runs on a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, with 16GB of internal storage and a rear camera rated for 5 megapixels. It’s also IP57 waterproof, which means it should be safe enough for light splashes and dust, but you shouldn’t try taking it into the tub.
At $200, this contract-free version of the tablet is $100 less than the on-contract version, and a whopping $250 less than the new and contract free version. Modders, you’ll be happy to know that the Honeycomb device already has root and a custom recovery, though ROMs are a bit thin on the ground. Still, for a device like this with an optional broadband connection to boot, you could do a lot worse.