Get an Asus Transformer Book T100 for $299.99

If you're willing to go refurbished, you can save about $100 on this popular Windows 8 tablet, which includes a keyboard dock!

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Part laptop, part tablet, all Windows 8.1. Sarah Tew/CNET

When it comes to Windows 8, I'm not sure which laptop form-factor makes more sense: a convertible or a hybrid. The latter offers full separation of keyboard and screen, while the former keeps the two hinged but flexible, allowing for a greater variety of viewing modes.

If you've tried either one or both, hit the comments and share your thoughts.

In the meantime, TigerDirect has the refurbished Asus Transformer Book T100TA for $299.99, plus around $7 for shipping. That's $50 off the regular price and $100 less than list.

The T100TA is a hybrid, meaning it's essentially a tablet with a keyboard dock. Or maybe it's a Netbook with a removable screen? However you describe it, it's two, two, two machines in one.

At the core of both lies a quad-core Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen. All this powers Windows 8.1 -- the full Monty, not limited old Windows RT.

Even so, temper your expectations a bit. In his review of the Transformer Book T100, CNET's Scott Stein noted that it had the cheap, plastic feel of a Netbook and the cramped keys of an iPad keyboard case. So it's debatable whether you'd want to use this as a full-time laptop replacement.

Of course, it's probably fine for students or anyone with smallish hands, and it's certainly the kind of machine you might use around the house to dash off a quick email. (Check Amazon's plentiful user reviews for more insights.) When you consider what you'd pay for, say, a Surface RT tablet without a keyboard ($349 at last check), this seems like quite the value-win.

My son is headed off to sixth grade in the fall, and he'll need a laptop. I'm mighty tempted to grab this for him, as it seems like a pretty ideal solution. Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Time for spring cleaning! If you're looking to recover some shelf space, consider ripping that big DVD library so you can stow those discs away in a box. While the licenses last, you can get WonderFox DVD Video Converter (Win) absolutely free. It's good for not only DVD ripping, but also DVD copying, video downloading, video editing, and more. The license expires after a year, but by then all your DVDs will be ripped anyway, right? Oh, and if you're looking to create DVDs, here's another freebie: Aimersoft DVD Creator.

 

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