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Get a Lenovo IdeaPad 7-inch tablet for $169.99

That's an incredible price for one of the most versatile Android tablets in its class.


Quick housekeeping note: Tomorrow, May 26, at 4 p.m. ET, you can hear me on WJR Radio's Internet Advisor show, where I'll be discussing cheap deals (natch) and the ever-popular topic of cord-cutting. Hope you'll tune in! (You can listen live online or via the WJR app.)

Back in January, Lenovo offered its IdeaPad A1 7-inch Android tablet for a little under $170. It sold out very quickly.

Today, while supplies last, Newegg has the IdeaPad A1 for $169.99 shipped. It's new, not refurbished.

If you want to talk apples and apples, that's the same price as a refurbished Kindle Fire. What does this tablet offer that that one doesn't? Plenty. (And I say that as someone who really likes his Kindle Fire.)

The IdeaPad A1 features a 1GHz processor, 16GB of storage, front- and rear-facing cameras (0.3 and 3.0 megapixels, respectively), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, offline GPS, and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

The Fire, by comparison, has 8GB of storage (and no expansion slot), no cameras, no Bluetooth, no GPS, and a "closed" version of Android.

Indeed, it's because the IdeaPad runs Gingerbread that I give it higher marks than, say, the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet -- both of which have nice media-centric ecosystems, but impose some limits on what you can do, app-wise.

I haven't had any hands-on time with this particular model, but having read the comments from my previous posts about it, it seems most buyers truly love it. Also, the user reviews at Newegg are overwhelmingly positive. If you're looking for a seriously versatile 7-inch tablet, this is probably the best $170 you can spend.

Bonus deal: If you're looking for the best $140 you can spend, try this: Today only, Best Buy has the refurbished 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook for $139.99 shipped (plus sales tax in most states). RIM's recent 2.0 OS update brought a lot of improvements, including Android app support. Your thoughts?

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

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