Google just announced the $199 Nexus 7. It's got a 7" 1280x800 display, Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core processor, 1.2MP front-facing camera (no rear facing one), 1GB of RAM and either 8 ($199) or 16GB ($249) of storage. At 340g it's pretty light (the Blackberry Playbook weighs 425g while the original Galaxy Tab, 380g) plus at 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm it's pretty thin. Other specs include scratch-resistant glass from Corning, a 4325mAh battery (the original Galaxy Tab had a 4000mAh) and WiFi and NFC
It also sports the latest version of Android 4.1 AKA Jellybean.
While a $199 tablet is not news you're getting a lot of hardware for your money.
Another thing to point out is that while Android is doing extremely well on the Phone side it lags a bit on the Tablet side. While Samsung is able to sell a ton of Galaxy S II's at close-to-iPhone prices, for the most part Android tablets sell because they're cheap.
While the Nexus 7's $199 price is very affordable the real story is that it has the potential to really shake things up in the Tablet space. While the iPad is an expensive device it suddenly seems even more expensive when you compare it with the Nexus 7. Sure, they're different sizes but anyone who's going to spend $499 or more on an iPad is going to take a long hard look at the Nexus 7. Apple is still going to sell millions of iPads but the Nexus 7 will really give the Android tablet market some much needed momentum.
Looking elsewhere the Nexus 7 is another nail in RIM's coffin. No one's going to buy a Playbook now unless RIM cuts the price again. The Amazon Kindle Fire's main selling point - it's low price suddenly doesn't seem that low.
Finally things suddenly got a lot more difficult for Microsoft. While the Nexus and Surface occupy 2 different segments of the market they're both still tablets. If you're thinking of buying a Surface you're going to take a long hard look at the Nexus and wonder whether you need to spend the extra money.
All in all the Tablet market suddenly became a lot more interesting.
If I am not mistaken, the other GSM carrier that you are speaking of is At&t. Given that your daughter will only be gone for a week, you can buy an At&t GoPhone from Walmart and then return it before...