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Tablets

Get a Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 for $159.99

From the Cheapskate: This 8-inch tablet is a far better deal than Amazon's new Fire HD 8. Here's why.

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.


First up, sorry for the rapid sellouts the last couple days. Whenever a vendor approaches me with a deal, I ask how much inventory is available. If it's not enough, I pass. But when I spot a deal "in the wild" and don't have a relationship with the vendor, I'll post it and hope for the best. (Time simply doesn't permit me to reach out to each and every seller and wait on a response.)

Sometimes this works out, and sometimes the deal is gone five minutes after I post it. If you feel this is cause to get angry, there's an app you might want to consider. ;)

Lenovo

And, anyway, there's almost always a similar -- or even better -- deal just around the corner. Like this one: Newegg has the refurbished Samsung 11.6-inch Chromebook for $104.99 shipped. It's a little smaller and slower than Monday's Chromebook, but also a lot cheaper. Just take note that this one falls under the "scratch and dent" heading, so it may not be as pristine as some other refurbs.

But that's not the main deal today. This is: the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8 for $159.99 shipped. Stop! Before you click through, let me explain a couple things.

First, the regular price is $169.99. How do you get $10 off? By sitting on that product page and waiting for a pop-up offering "$100 off your next purchase" when you provide your email address. Wait, $100 off? Sorry, that's only for purchases over $2,000. But the code does knock $10 off, which makes a good deal even better.

Second, my promo e-mail took a good 20 minutes to arrive, so be patient.

What's the big deal about $10 off? This is a brand-new model -- so new, in fact, that CNET hasn't reviewed it. But I have, and I'm here to tell you it's a terrific 8-inch tablet -- better, in fact, than Amazon's new Fire HD 8 . So I wanted to put this on your radar in case you're in the market for a midsize tablet.

What's so special about the Yoga Tab 3 8, aside from the fact it has a weird name? Mainly it's the cylindrical bottom (or side, depending on your use) edge. Although it kills the traditional tablet aesthetic, it adds considerable value.

For starters, it supplies a multiangle kickstand, one that affords a wealth of hands-free landscape viewing options. There's even a hole in the kickstand so you can hang the tablet on a wall -- kind of a neat perk.

That cylinder is also home to a rotating 8MP camera, meaning you get high-resolution snapshots for forward- and rear-facing photos alike. (Most tablets have pitiable selfie cameras.)

Finally, there's a big, fat battery in there, one that allows the Yoga Tab 3 8 to run for a whopping 20 hours on a charge.

You don't get all the Amazon ecosystem goodies, of course, but you do get straight-up Google Play. You also get 16GB of storage, a microSD slot and a really cool feature called AnyPen, which allows you to use any metallic object (and some non-metallic ones, like pencils) as a stylus. I can't wrap my brain around that, but it works!

Performance is decent -- better than the Fire HD 8, to be sure -- and the screen is bright and readable -- also better than the Fire's. Bonus points for the front-facing speakers, which sound pretty good. (The Fire's are slightly better, but they face sideways.)

Anyway, if you're looking for a leading-edge but also dirt-cheap tablet, one that's a bit larger than the average budget model, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8 is a winner. I'm sorry to see my loaner unit go.

Bonus deal: Been hoping to score a OnePlus 2 smartphone? It's still by invitation only, but somehow GearBest has the unlocked OnePlus 2 (64GB) for $338 shipped when you apply coupon code PLUSGB at checkout. (Be sure to choose the USA warehouse option.) That model normally runs about $390. This seems almost too good to be true, but the product page says it'll ship within 3-5 business days. Update: Although it was successful when I tried it earlier, apparently the code will not, in fact, work with the USA warehouse option. Readers have reported success only when choosing the China warehouse.