Get an 8-inch Acer Iconia Android tablet for $99.99
It's no iPad Mini, but neither does it cost $400. Could this super-cheap slate fulfill your tablet needs? Plus: three bonus deals!
Well, cheeps, I must apologize. On Friday I told you about Best Buy's trade-in deal, which promised a minimum $100 credit when you surrendered your old Windows XP machine.
I first learned of this from the Los Angeles Times, then connected with a Best Buy PR rep to confirm the details. She said: "Customers who trade in their old XP computer will get a minimum $25 Best Buy gift card. They will also receive a coupon for $75 towards the purchase of a new Apple computer, Chromebook, or Windows PC."
Then, as promised, the deal kicked off on Sunday. Here's the promo page and this not-so-fine print: "...when you trade in a working Windows XP laptop" (emphasis mine). Um, what? That's a pretty key detail that wasn't mentioned, and I apologize profusely to anyone who tried to trade in a desktop and was denied.
On to business. Not everyone needs the thinnest, lightest, state-of-the-artiest tablet. Maybe you're in the market for something the kids can toss around in the backseat, or a full-time coffee-table tablet that's there mostly for second-screen duty. In cases like those, there's no sense spending $400 or more (cough, iPad Mini, cough).
Especially when there are deals like this: For a limited time, DealFisher has the refurbished Acer Iconia A1-810 8-inch Android tablet for $99.99 shipped. It's an 8-inch tablet with an MSRP of $199.99.
The specs on this model are what I'd call solid, not spectacular: quad-core processor, 16GB of storage, microSD expansion slot, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, dual cameras, microHDMI output, and Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2.
The A1 is black on the front and white on the back, calling to mind my favorite cookie. Everything you need to know about it can be found in Xiomara Blanco's review, which dings the Iconia's chunky design but praises its low price (back when it was $200) and expansion options.
Because it's a refurb, the usual 90-day warranty applies. I've asked this before, but I'm still curious: Has a tablet (new or refurbished) ever gone bad on you? If so, what happened, and after how long?
Though this is far from an iPad-killer, it's a pretty nice tablet for someone who wants a larger-than-average screen with a much smaller price.
Bonus deal: Last week I wrote about a refurbished Asus Transformer Book T100 for $299.99. Well, TigerDirect just knocked off another $20, meaning you can now buy it for $279.99 (plus shipping). If you pulled the trigger last week, you should absolutely follow up with the company to see about getting a credit. (TigerDirect's price-protection policy would seem to indicate this qualifies for one, though because these are refurbished products, different rules may apply. Also, keep in mind the credit will be good only toward future purchases; it won't be cash back.)
Bonus deal No. 2: In the market for some new Apple gear? For a very limited time, Ebates is offering 3% cash back on all new Macs, iPhones, iPads, and other Apple gear. That's three times the usual 1%, and although it may not seem like much, 3% back on, say, a $999 MacBook Air is $30 you wouldn't have saved otherwise. New to Ebates? Sign up here, then read this.
Bonus deal No. 3: Regular readers know that I'm a huge fan of Kingsoft Office 2013 Free. You know what's even better? Kingsoft Office 2013 Professional when it's also free. Today only, Glarysoft is offering a 1-year Office Pro license for $0. Truth be told, most users probably don't need anything more than the Free edition anyway, but why not try Pro for a year if you can?