iPad 3 is still only a rumor, but the Pantech Element got its unveiling Jan. 9 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it's an 8-inch Android tablet that is waterproof. It wasn't a complete unveiling, however, but what is known is that it and a companion smartphone will be offered by AT&T. They will both be LTE capable devices and cost $250 together if you buy separate data contracts for both. Pantech hasn't said what the off contract price will be, though. The Element is waterproof, has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and can get 100 Mbps download speeds (theoretical).
iPad 3 may debut with things like 4G, larger display, better camera optics and maybe even a QXGA 2048x1536p resolution display. Granted the Element is a smaller tablet than iPad, but the unique pricing could be what it takes to get people to try it out. That's especially true for people who are perhaps buying their first smartphone. The tablet and phone combo might be compelling for them. If iPad 3 doesn't come out with 4G (longer battery life), then Pantech Element could be even more of an appealing option. We have to wait to find out, but two data plans for anybody seems like overkill.
It might make more sense if we know the off contract price for Element, but as its only just been announced, it's a mystery. Pantech has the Breakout already on AT&T, and now the Burst. Burst is a 4-inch device that will be sold for $50 on contract, so that might give some insight into how much the Element would be off contract. Once the Element is ready for a hands on demonstration, it will be easier to tell if it's iPad killer quality, but that seems like a longshot. Tell us in the comments if you have a data plan for your tablet or if you think it's worth it.