Microsoft has long billed its Surface tablet as "the tablet that can replace your laptop." Just one problem: keyboard not included. Oh, you want a keyboard? Plan on spending another $130-$200. Barf.
Yeah, I'm a little bitter about this; always have been. It feels like a colossal bait-and-switch, because a Surface can't replace my laptop unless it has a keyboard. And another thing: Get off my lawn, you darn kids!
End of rant. And start of healing: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Groupon has the Surface Pro 2 and Surface Power Keyboard for $699.99 shipped. That's at least $130 less than you'll find them elsewhere; the keyboard alone normally retails for $200.
Although it's the Surface Pro 3 that's a hot property right now, the Pro 2 has considerable merits. And this particular configuration should satisfy most users, as it's well past the base model that originally sold for $899 (sans keyboard).
The key specs include a Core i5-4200u Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, and a generous 256GB SSD. If you want to shoot the moon, you can get the 512GB version for just $100 more.
Either way, you also get a high-resolution (1,920x1,080-pixel), 10.6-inch touchscreen display and a battery that's good for at least seven hours of activity, at least according to CNET's rundown test. But then you add the Power Keyboard, and now you're looking at 70 percent more runtime. That's what I'm talking 'bout!
Cons? The Pro 2 is not the sexiest tablet/laptop/Ultrabook/whatever, and not the lightest at 2 pounds (plus another 1.1 pounds for the keyboard). On the other hand, even at 3 pounds it's a lighter travel companion than any traditional laptop.
I definitely recommend readingif you want to learn more, keeping in mind it's based around the 64GB keyboard-not-included model. But if you're looking for a powerful laptop replacement that can also pull tablet duty, this is a pretty sweet option.
Bonus deal: Calling all parents! For a limited time, you can stock up on some excellent Dr. Seuss e-books for just 99 cents apiece. (Most of them normally run $3-$4, and the print versions will typically run you double.) They're available on both Google Play and iTunes; just search for Oceanhouse Media and look for the 99-cent titles. They include "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham" and "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" These are fantastic apps, and a steal at a buck apiece.