Tablet Tuesday: Get an 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet for $199.99
The Lenovo Miix 2 offers a nice mix of features and solid performance. It normally sells for $299.99.
I've been traveling a fair bit lately, both for business and pleasure, and on every trip I've packed a 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet and a 13.3-inch Samsung laptop -- the latter for work, the former for media consumption (movies, books, etc.).
But today's deal has me wondering: Could a single device take the place of those two?
For a limited time and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Lenovo Miix 2 (32GB) tablet for $199.99, shipped (plus sales tax). This 8-inch tablet runs Windows 8.1 and comes with Microsoft Office Home & Student. List price: $299.99.
The Miix's key specs include an Intel Bay Trail quad-core Atom processor, a 1,280x800-pixel IPS screen, and 32GB of SSD storage. Alas, installing Office leaves only about 9GB of that storage free, though you can expand it via microSD cards or USB drives (though the latter will require a USB-host-to-micro-USB adapter).
The tablet also sports front- and rear-facing cameras, Bluetooth, GPS, and a Micro-HDMI output. It weighs 12 ounces and measures just 0.3-inch thick -- a hair thicker than the first-gen iPad Mini. Update: Lenovo's specs don't mention an HDMI port, and the PC Mag review referenced below specifically mentions the lack of one. It is shown in Best Buy's product listing, but I suspect that's incorrect.
CNET hasn't reviewed the Miix 2, but PC Mag and Laptop Mag gave it high marks, commending its sleek, compact design and excellent battery life (around 8.5 hours, according to tests conducted by both mags). Around 50 Best Buy customers collectively rated the tablet 4.3 stars out of 5.
Because it runs Windows proper, the Miix would probably allow me to get my work done, as I rely primarily on browser-based blog tools -- and Chrome is my browser of choice. (That rules out a Windows RT tablet.) Of course, I'd need a keyboard, but Lenovo doesn't offer anything akin to Microsoft's Touch covers. And, let's face it, no keyboard designed to fit an 8-inch tablet would be roomy enough for touch-typing, so now I'm looking at bringing along some third-party Bluetooth product.
That's certainly an option, but for now I'm going to stick with my current travel-tech configuration. That said, this is a really attractive tablet for the price, especially for someone who needs (or even wants) Windows in a portable package. If you're planning to snatch one up, hit the comments and let me know how you plan to use it.
Bonus deal: Game time! For a limited time, Newegg has BioShock: Infinite (PC/Mac) for $7.99 when you apply coupon code EMCPGPF98 at checkout. This was widely regarded as one of the top games of 2013; GameSpot rated it a 9 out of 10 and called it "more than just a quality game: it's an important one." Although the product page says it's for Mac, the Steam code(s) you receive will work for Windows as well.
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
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