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Just the other day I wrote about free magazines for tablets, noting that the bigger the screen, the better the reading experience. During my testing of the Zinio for Libraries app, I pulled out my Kindle Fire HD 8.9, which, admittedly, had been collecting dust until then. That's only because I typically reach for my iPad. But I was quickly reminded what a great tablet it is: gorgeous screen, terrific speakers and seamless integration with Amazon's ecosystem.
I'm less enamored with Amazon's current tablet crop, which mostly delivers slow performance and low-resolution displays. Ah, but some of those earlier models? Yum.
Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G LTE for $69.99, plus $5 for shipping. That's for the 32GB model; it's also available with 64GB for $79.99. I'd say for the extra $10, doubling your storage is a no-brainer.
It's hard to believe this model is four years old. It's also hard to believe it once sold for $399.
Obviously tablets have become a commodity since then, but the Fire HD 8.9 offers a few key benefits. First, there's the 8.9-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel IPS screen -- as gorgeous as they come. The 1,280x800 screen in Amazon's current Fire HD 8 can't hold a candle to it.
Second, this is one of the few tablets of any stripe to offer a 4G LTE connectivity option. (It also does Wi-Fi, natch.) If you want service, you'll have to get it through AT&T. I don't know of any way to unlock it for use with other carriers. Even so, for folks who want to get online pretty much anywhere they go, this tablet can provide it.
I'll refer you to CNET's review of the Fire HD 8.9 if you want to learn more. Verdict: "The best Kindle Fire yet," though obviously that was a 2012 opinion.
I think this is a great price for a big, feature-packed tablet, one that remains an excellent pick for consuming all manner of media. Woot backs it with a 90-day warranty.
Bonus deal: Public service announcement of the day: You know those Qi wireless-charging pads and stands? It's pronounced "Chee." I dunno, that's like banging your hand down on the keyboard and saying the resulting "ygjhb" is pronounced "Potato." [Shakes fist at language.]
Anyway, if you have a Qi-compatible device, you probably can't have too many charging pads. Especially at this price: HaborDirect via Amazon has the Seneo Qi wireless charging pad for $5.99 when you apply promo code R7Z87BU5 at checkout. Regular price: $10.99!
Bonus deal No. 2: I've made no secret of my love for Amazon Prime. If you've never splurged on a subscription, today is the day: Ending tonight at midnight, newcomers to the service can get a one-year Prime membership for $79, a rare $20 off the regular price. Read my take on why it's a good deal even at $99. Then check out everything that's included with Prime.
Bonus deal No. 3: Planning to rent a movie this weekend? For a limited time, Google Play is offering 75 percent off any one movie rental. The only challenge: Finding a decent movie to rent. Looking at the titles on Google's promo page, it's one stinker after another. (Actually, the choices get better the further down you scroll. But some of the recent releases? Bleh. Have I mentioned I'm kind of a movie snob?) Fortunately, once you've redeemed the coupon, it's good for any movie in the Google Play library. "Cool Hand Luke" for $0.75, anyone?
Bonus deal No. 4: Game time! I can think of no more enjoyable gaming experience than climbing into the cockpit of a 20-foot mech and blasting everything in sight. That's Titanfall 2 in a nutshell, and although the game is brand new, there's a great sale: Best Buy has Titanfall 2 (for Windows) for $32.99, almost 50 percent off the list price. It's also available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the same price. Read GameSpot's glowing review if you want to know more.
Giveaway! Would you like a shot at winning a Sphero BB-8 and Force Band? Of course you would! All you have to do is visit the giveaway page and leave a comment (there, not here). Can't find the comments section? Yeah, I know -- they're working on it. If you're using a desktop browser, scroll down until the white toolbar appears up top, then click the "comment" icon that's roughly in the center. That should cause the comments section to pop out from the right.