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Tablets

Get a 13.3-inch Android tablet and keyboard for $109.99

From the Cheapskate: It's a refurbished no-brand model, but with some surprisingly good specs -- including a 1080p IPS screen.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.


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A 13.3-inch tablet and keyboard for $109.99? Yes, please. NuVision

Some tablet deals can't wait for Tuesday, so I hereby give you Tablet Monday...

Ending Friday, and while supplies last, Staples has the refurbished NuVision TM1318 13.3-inch Android tablet for $109.99 shipped (plus tax). It's available in your choice of black, blue or pink, and it comes with a matching carrying case/stand and a Bluetooth keyboard.

Needless to say, this bundle was built for folks seeking a laptop alternative. Sure, you can pair nearly any Android or iOS tablet with a keyboard, but usually at the expense of screen size: most top out at 9 or 10 inches. That's not super-comfortable for things like word processing and spreadsheets.

Indeed, I've been trying to convince my mom to give up her slow, problem-ridden Windows laptop for an iPad, but she doesn't want a 9.7-inch screen. This would at least give her a display that's close to what she has now.

OK, NuVision? Obviously not a household name. But the TM1318 offers some pretty decent specs, starting with that big IPS screen: It runs at 1,920x1080 pixels, not the 1,366x768 you'd expect at this price. It also packs a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, though even NuVision's own product page doesn't specify which one.

The tablet runs Android 4.4 (no word on whether it will accommodate Lollipop, though I hardly think that's important) and includes dual cameras, Bluetooth and a microSD slot for expanding the 16GB of onboard storage.

Now for the wrinkle: There are no user reviews to be found on either Amazon or Staples. Over at HSN (where, incidentally, the bundle was priced at $399.95), there are nearly 300 reviews with an average of about 3 stars. The big issue seems to be with reliability: Some buyers reported their tablets wouldn't turn on after a few months.

These being refurbs, maybe that issue has been solved? The other wrinkle is that Staples doesn't mention a warranty. Usually refurbs are covered for 90 days, but I would definitely advise investigating first. Likewise, if you can, use a credit card that will extend your warranty.

If you're looking for a laptop alternative or just a really big tablet for watching movies and whatnot, this is an amazing deal. Thoughts?

Bonus deal: Blinkist is a seriously awesome service that provides mobile device-friendly summaries of great non-fiction books. Normally a 12-month Premium subscription would run you $79.99, but for a limited time, StackSocial is offering a year of Blinkist Premium for just $29.99. Your redemption code arrives immediately after purchase. (You still need to provide a credit card number to Blinkist when redeeming that code, however, so make sure you mark your calendar for a year from now so you don't get auto-renewed.) This is a great option for folks who don't have time to digest entire books but want the highlights.

Your turn: What's your single favorite tech purchase of the past 12 months? Chromebook? Fire TV Stick? Apple Watch? (Seems unlikely, but had to throw it in there.) Maybe you're head-over-heels for something as simple as a mobile charger (which would help validate the non-stop mobile charger deals I share). Believe it or not, the item I'm enjoying most is the recently updated Google Cardboard. I'm just blown away by what a $20 collection of cardboard and lenses can accomplish when paired with a smartphone.