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Tablet Tuesday: Get a Google Nexus 9 for $287.40

One of the "best tablets of 2014" is finally on sale -- but not for long. Plus, yesterday's movie-freebie deal: not dead yet?

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.


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About yesterday...

At around 8 a.m. PT, I snagged four free via a Paramount promotion and wrote about it here. Roughly 90 minutes later, readers started reporting issues. Some folks were able to get the freebies, others weren't. I'm not sure whether Paramount pulled the plug or heavy traffic snarled its servers. Either way, it was frustrating for many a free-movie seeker.

First things first: The giveaway may not be dead yet. If you've already signed up for a free Paramount Movies account and linked it to your Ultraviolet account, try these direct links to snag M:I, M:I-2, M:I-3 and M:I-4. (Huge thanks to reader JoshFofer for sharing those!)

I actually didn't bother with M:I-2 yesterday because I had no desire to see it again, but I used that link just now and it worked! Your mileage may vary, of course.

Second, you want to talk frustration? I thought I'd finally found a bulletproof freebie for my cheeps. No risk of sellout, no sudden expiration of a coupon code. No subscribers-only requirement. After the recent Prime Day debacle and a couple other great deals that evaporated like dew on a hot sidewalk, I so wanted a win for all of you. And yet the giveaway seemed to vanish mere minutes after the e-ink hit the e-page.

But, hey, these things happen. No one's out to scam you; not me, not Paramount, not the small vendor selling on Amazon who didn't have enough stock to satisfy demand. It's just the nature of the flash-deal world in which we live. So, you know: deal.

Speaking of which, let's move on to today's: While supplies last, HTC has the Google Nexus 9 (32GB) in black or white for $287.40 shipped, the lowest price I've seen since it debuted back in November. Regular price: $479.

Update: Aaaaand, because the universe loves to jerk me around, it's already sold out. Sigh.7-inch Kindle Fire HDX for $179, anyone?

When it comes to tablets, I tend to covet iPads, enthusiastically recommend Kindle Fires and occasionally buy dirt-cheap ones just to see if they're decent. Google's Nexus line has always left me feeling a little meh.

But there's no question the Nexus 9 is a premium device, offering a spacious screen, blazing processor and, unlike most competing Android tablets, the Android 5.0 (Lollipop) OS.

Everything else you could possibly want to know about it can be found in CNET's review , which concludes thusly: "The Google Nexus 9's premium build, speedy performance and consistent updates render it one of the best high-end Android tablets." And that was based on its $479 price tag.

I should note that the 16GB model is already out of stock, so this one is probably headed that way too. If you miss out, don't despair: I guarantee another Nexus 9 deal will happen down the road.

Bonus deal: As a general rule I despise inkjet printers, mostly because of how much ink cartridges cost and how often they need replacing. Lasers FTW! Like this one: Best Buy has the Dell C1760nw color laser printer for $99.99 shipped (plus tax). Regular price: $150. Connectivity options: Ethernet, USB and Wi-Fi. Replacement toner: an entire set of compatible high-yield cartridges can be found for as little as $40-45. Very, very tempted to grab one of these -- if only it had a scanner, too!