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Want an LG G3 smartphone? AT&T will sweeten the deal with a $1 tablet, but there’s a catch

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Here’s a deal if you’re looking for a new phone and a new tablet: If you buy an LG G3 (or a couple other LG phones) with a 2-year contract, you can grab a seven-inch LG G Pad 7.0 LTE — normally $250 — for just under a dollar. There’s a catch, though. In order to get the discounted price for the tablet, you’ll need to sign 2-year agreements for LTE data on both devices through AT&T(s t).

The LG G Pad LTE is a midrange tablet. For most people the disappointing spec will be its 1280 x 800 resolution screen, and its Snapdragon(s qcom) 400 processor, which is slower than the chips in most flagship phones. On the other hand, most reviews point to great build quality, an up-to-date version of Android(s goog), and a microSD card slot for storage. The G Pad also plays well with LG’s phones, which is one reason to bundle the two together. Both devices have the Q Pair app installed, which lets users pair an LG tablet with an LG phone for the purpose of making calls from your tablet.

The LG G Pad’s 2-year data agreement is not a free ride: You’ll need to add it to your phone’s shared data plan, which costs at least $10 a month and can end up costing more if you need additional data. Over the life of the contract, the total paid ends up being similar to the tablet’s upfront cost. In fact, AT&T’s Next device financing program, which lets users pay off the device in $12.50 increments, may figure to be a better deal overall especially if you don’t need a new phone.

That doesn’t mean this deal is not a smart move by AT&T. Tablet connections are quickly becoming a very important figure for postpaid carriers, as Verizon’s(s vz) and T-Mobile’s(s tmus) most recent earnings calls suggest. Tablets drive customers to more expensive data plans, and the more devices a customer has on a carrier’s postpaid plan, the more likely they are to stick around. I’m guessing you’re going to see a lot more subsidized tablets and tablet-phone bundles from the carriers in the near future.

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