Get a 13.3-inch Android tablet and keyboard for $109.99

From the Cheapskate: It's a refurbished no-brand model, but with some surprisingly good specs -- including a 1080p IPS screen.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

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.

A 13.3-inch tablet and keyboard for $109.99? Yes, please. NuVision

Some tablet deals can't wait for Tuesday, so I hereby give you Tablet Monday...

Ending Friday, and while supplies last, Staples has the refurbished NuVision TM1318 13.3-inch Android tablet for $109.99 shipped (plus tax). It's available in your choice of black, blue or pink, and it comes with a matching carrying case/stand and a Bluetooth keyboard.

Needless to say, this bundle was built for folks seeking a laptop alternative. Sure, you can pair nearly any Android or iOS tablet with a keyboard, but usually at the expense of screen size: most top out at 9 or 10 inches. That's not super-comfortable for things like word processing and spreadsheets.

Indeed, I've been trying to convince my mom to give up her slow, problem-ridden Windows laptop for an iPad, but she doesn't want a 9.7-inch screen. This would at least give her a display that's close to what she has now.

OK, NuVision? Obviously not a household name. But the TM1318 offers some pretty decent specs, starting with that big IPS screen: It runs at 1,920x1080 pixels, not the 1,366x768 you'd expect at this price. It also packs a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, though even NuVision's own product page doesn't specify which one.

The tablet runs Android 4.4 (no word on whether it will accommodate Lollipop, though I hardly think that's important) and includes dual cameras, Bluetooth and a microSD slot for expanding the 16GB of onboard storage.

Now for the wrinkle: There are no user reviews to be found on either Amazon or Staples. Over at HSN (where, incidentally, the bundle was priced at $399.95), there are nearly 300 reviews with an average of about 3 stars. The big issue seems to be with reliability: Some buyers reported their tablets wouldn't turn on after a few months.

These being refurbs, maybe that issue has been solved? The other wrinkle is that Staples doesn't mention a warranty. Usually refurbs are covered for 90 days, but I would definitely advise investigating first. Likewise, if you can, use a credit card that will extend your warranty.

If you're looking for a laptop alternative or just a really big tablet for watching movies and whatnot, this is an amazing deal. Thoughts?

Bonus deal: Blinkist is a seriously awesome service that provides mobile device-friendly summaries of great non-fiction books. Normally a 12-month Premium subscription would run you $79.99, but for a limited time, StackSocial is offering a year of Blinkist Premium for just $29.99. Your redemption code arrives immediately after purchase. (You still need to provide a credit card number to Blinkist when redeeming that code, however, so make sure you mark your calendar for a year from now so you don't get auto-renewed.) This is a great option for folks who don't have time to digest entire books but want the highlights.

Your turn: What's your single favorite tech purchase of the past 12 months? Chromebook? Fire TV Stick? Apple Watch? (Seems unlikely, but had to throw it in there.) Maybe you're head-over-heels for something as simple as a mobile charger (which would help validate the non-stop mobile charger deals I share). Believe it or not, the item I'm enjoying most is the recently updated Google Cardboard. I'm just blown away by what a $20 collection of cardboard and lenses can accomplish when paired with a smartphone.