Get a no-contract Moto X smartphone for $329.99 shipped

That's a savings of $70. And if you want the 32GB model, it's on sale as well. Either way, you get to customize the design.

Want your Moto X green with yellow accents? That's just one of hundreds of possible combinations.
Want your Moto X green with yellow accents? That's just one of hundreds of possible combinations. Motorola

It's no overstatement to say that the Motorola Moto X was among the best phones of 2013, offering lots of cool features and a customizable design. It won raves from critics and users alike.

And now it's on sale: You can get an unlocked, no-contract Moto X (16GB) for $329.99 shipped or the 32GB version for $379.99 -- a savings of $70. (Note that you won't see either price until you get to checkout and select the "GSM unlocked," Sprint, or Verizon option.)

The big fun of the Moto X, of course, is using Moto Maker to choose various design elements: the backplate, which comes in a variety of colors (including new wood grains, though those add $25); the front (black or white); and accent colors for the buttons and camera-lens ring. You can also engrave a name or message on the back.

Beyond that, you're getting a comfy, attractive Android phone with a spacious screen, amazing voice controls, and great battery life. Oh, and one that's assembled in the US, which I find admirable.

Because this is an unlocked GSM model, you can take it to AT&T or T-Mobile and choose the no-contract plan that suits you best. You could also pair it with a budget service like Straight Talk (which I've used successfully with my iPhone for the past two months). Update: You can also get a Sprint or Verizon version of the phone, the former potentially giving you more MNVO carrier options. Be sure to choose "no contract" during the checkout process.

I've actually been test-driving the Republic Wireless version of the Moto X during that same period. Although the phone itself is a bit cheaper at $299.99, you're limited to the 16GB model and don't get to choose your backplate or accent colors. What's more, it's effectively locked to Republic Wireless, so you can't take it elsewhere (not that you'd really need to). I still like iOS better than Android, but the Moto X itself is a terrific phone -- and I'm about to adopt one full-time.

That said, you probably don't need me to talk you into one. If you've been considering the Moto X and don't want to lock yourself into yet another two-year contract, here's your chance to get the phone for less.

One last note: If you're not wild about the limited storage, you can use USB-to-Go to expand it. Or pick up a wireless media hub.

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Bonus deal: For some folks (no judgment!), the only tablet worth owning is an iPad. Alas, they still cost a small fortune. Or not, if you don't mind an older closeout model: Today only, and while supplies last, DailySteals has the refurbished 1st-gen iPad 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G for $169 shipped. That's the lowest price I've seen on an iPad with 3G (service is optional via AT&T). Take note, however, that iOS 5.1 is as far as the 1st-gen iPad can go, software-wise. That may limit your ability to run certain apps. And unlike Apple-direct refurbs, this one comes with only a 90-day warranty.

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