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Get an Acer Iconia 8-inch tablet for $59.99

Though it's a refurb, it's indistinguishable from new and far better than most tablets in this price range.


It's not Tuesday, but when a good tablet deal comes around, alliteration be damned! (Sorry, "Tablet Tuesday"...)

Continuing the discussion from earlier this month -- can a $37.99 tablet possibly be any good? -- Acer's eBay outlet store is offering the refurbished Acer Iconia Tab A1-840-131U 8-inch tablet for $59.99 shipped. It normally runs $89.99 -- already a pretty solid deal for a tablet of this size.

Indeed, the aforementioned $37.99 tablet has a 7-inch screen, as do most models in that price range. For just about $20 more, the Iconia gets you closer to iPad Mini territory, at the same time offering better overall specs than the no-brand, yes-compromises 7-incher.

When an Acer rep reached out to let me know this deal was coming, I asked if I could have a look. With refurbs, especially dirt-cheap refurbs, you don't always know what you're getting. Here's what I got: a no-frills cardboard box with a tablet that, at first glance, could be mistaken for a first-gen iPad Mini. It's white in front, silver in back and indistinguishable from new. Darn pretty, too.

Just as important, it blows my $37.99 cheapie out of the water. It's fast and responsive, with a crisp 1,280x800-pixel display, 16GB of storage, decent dual cameras, a quad-core Atom processor and Bluetooth. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat.

The Iconia Tab does come with some Acer shovelware preinstalled, and many of those apps can't be uninstalled. Also, the microSD slot is exposed and therefore subject to dust and detritus getting in.

But I'm not able to find much else to complain about. For under $60, you get a quick, pretty, like-new 8-inch tablet that's comparable in many respects to the original iPad Mini. And way, way better than the no-name tablets you'd be lucky to find at this price point.

Bonus deal: Speaking of sweet refurbs, DealFisher (via Amazon) has the refurbished Roku Streaming Stick for $29.99 shipped (via Prime). That's $10 off the current (sale) price of a new one. Given the choice between this and a Google Chromecast, I'd definitely go Roku -- if for no other reason than I like having a remote. Especially this one, with its shortcut buttons for Amazon Instant Video and Netflix. The only downside is the 90-day warranty, though, ironically, previous-generation Roku products were covered for 90 days even when they were new.