Get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-inch tablet with 3G for $255

Sprint's 3G service is optional, but even without it, the Tab packs plenty of Android power.

Samsung

The other day I polled CNET Marketplace readers and asked them to name the "best" size for a tablet : 7-inch, 10-inch, or maybe something else.

This is an update of a deal I posted a couple months ago.

The results so far? Most users prefer the big 'uns. Of course, maybe that's because they haven't tried a 7-inch model yet.

Here's your chance to do that on the cheap.

Until 9 p.m. PT, and while supplies last, Yugster has the refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-inch Android tablet with Sprint 3G for $254.97, plus $5 for shipping. That's a few bucks more than the last time I wrote about it, but still a very solid deal.

(Too pricey? CowBoom has a limited supply of pre-owned Galaxy Tabs with Verizon 3G for $209.99 shipped, but these models may have physical blemishes and/or missing items. Still...)

Let's do a little comparison shopping. The Kindle Fire is priced at $199, while the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet runs $249. What does the Galaxy Tab offer that those models don't? In addition to a full, open Android OS, three key features: Bluetooth, front- and rear-facing cameras, and 3G.

Bluetooth is great if you want to stream audio to an external speaker or car stereo. You could even pair a headset if you wanted to use the Tab for Skype calls or the like.

Likewise, the front-facing camera enables video calling, while the rear-facing one (though a bit limited at 3 megapixels) is fun for casual snapshooting, moviemaking, and the like.

Finally, 3G. This is the Sprint version of the Tab, but there's no data plan included. That's a good thing: you can sign up for one if you want, but you're not locked into a two-year contract from the get-go. Sprint has plans that start at $19.99 per month.

The Galaxy Tab runs Android 2.2, but I'm sure it can be rooted to run other versions. I've got the Wi-Fi version of this tablet, and I like it a lot--everything except for battery life, which has been so so. (See how I improved it .)

Yugster's warranty is a mediocre 60 days, and I've never purchased a refurbished item from them, so I can't say whether this Tab will arrive looking brand new or somewhat used. Even so, you're looking at some considerable small-tablet power for $260 out the door. Not too shabby!

Bonus deal: If you can buy an 8GB flash drive for eight bucks, it stands to reason you should be able to get a 16GB drive for 16 bucks, right? Wrong: While supplies last, Buy.com has the Kingston DataTraveler Generation 3 16GB flash drive for just $13.95 shipped. Not wild about the easy-to-lose cap, but, hey, it's 14 bucks!

Bonus deal No. 2: Need some portable juice for your smartphone or, say, small tablet? Today only, Woot has a two-pack of Duracell rechargeable lithium ion battery packs for $14.99, plus $5 for shipping. They're compatible with USB, Micro-USB, and Mini-USB devices, and they recharge via your PC's own USB ports. Great little item to keep on hand in your car, purse, briefcase, etc.

Bonus deal No. 3: CNET has a pretty sweet exclusive that just kicked off: The Pogoplug Mobile and 30GB of cloud storage (for one year) for $49.95 shipped. The Mobile by itself normally sells for $79.95, and a 30GB cloud account would normally run you $4.95 per month. Killer deal!

 

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