Is now the right time to take a leap (because it's Leap Day, get it?) and buy a tablet? Surely the more curious crowd will wait to see.
On the other hand, a deal's a deal, and lately the tablet deals have been coming fast and furious. Like this one: today only, and while supplies last, 1SaleADay has the refurbished Toshiba Thrive 10.1-inch Android tablet for $259.99, plus $4.99 for shipping. Any way you slice it, that's a mighty attractive deal on a 10-inch tablet.
The Thrive is known for two things: its bulkier-than-most design, and its considerable Android-powered power. It sports a 1GHZ Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 16GB of SD-expandable storage, a 10.1-inch display running at 1,280 by 800 pixels, Bluetooth, HDMI and USB ports, GPS, stereo speakers, front- and rear-facing cameras, and Android 3.1 (aka Honeycomb). That is one seriously loaded tablet.
And seriously heavy. At 1.66 pounds and 0.63 inch thick, the Thrive is one of the biggest tablets in its class. Of course, the original iPad was 1.6 pounds, and the Thrive is still a lot more portable than even the lightest Netbook or Ultrabook.
Another nice perk you rarely see: a removable back panel that provides access to the battery (in case you want to swap in another one on long trips). And Toshiba offers a handful of replacement panels in different colors.
Want to learn more about the Thrive's pros and cons? Read CNET's in-depth review.
Recently I've been focusing my attention on 7-inch tablets: the Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Lenovo IdeaPad A1, and so on. But I know many of you prefer a bigger screen for Web browsing, movie watching, game playing, and so on.
Whatever happens on March 7, I don't think we'll see 10-inch tablets selling for much less than this. If you don't mind a little extra heft (and a 90-day warranty), this is definitely worth a look.
Bonus deal: Now this is interesting. The Official Acer eBay Outlet Store has the refurbished Acer Aspire 5733Z 15.6-inch laptop for $259.99 shipped--same price as the tablet! This is an awfully decent starter/student/grandma laptop, with a dual-core Pentium P6100, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.