Microsoft's original Surface tablets? Meh. I thought they were chunky and overpriced. Same with the Surface 2 series.
But with the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft crafted a pretty sweet portable PC. Too bad you still had to pay extra (a lot extra) for a keyboard, which is why I got angry every time an ad proclaimed it, "The tablet that can replace your laptop."
Thankfully, refurb deals come to those who wait. And today, while supplies last, Microsoft (via eBay for some reason) has the refurbished Surface Pro 3 and Type Keyboard for $849.99 shipped. Alas, you may be on the hook for sales tax as well.
Let me note straight away that although this is a refurb, it comes with a full one-year warranty, same as new Pros. It should emerge from the box in good-as-new condition.
(Side note: Amazon lists it for the same price, and in fact if you poke around you can find it with different color keyboards, but there's almost no configuration information provided. But it's sold by Microsoft proper, so it stands to reason it's the same loadout with the same warranty.)
This is, thankfully, not the bottom-level Surface Pro 3, the one with the Core i3 processor and only 64GB of storage. Instead, you get a Core i5 and 128GB, along with the lovely 12-inch display, touch stylus, nifty multi-position kickstand and other Pro 3 goodies. If you were to buy it and the keyboard new, you'd be looking at a price tag of around $1,130.
I'll turn you over to CNET'sif you want to learn more. Suffice it to say, this is a seriously popular tablet, laptop, ultrabook or whatever you want to call it. Still a little pricey for me, but hard to pass up if you're in the market.
Bonus deal: Game time! GameStop has one of the all-time great real-time strategy games, Command & Conquer Generals, for $4.99. Oh, also 16 other Command & Conquer titles. Yep, it's a 17-game collection for just five bucks. You may have to do a little hoop-jumping to get these to run in modern Windows, but it's well worth the effort, IMHO.
Bonus deal No. 2: I'm increasingly partial to multi-function devices, like, oh, I don't know, portable speakers that double as mobile chargers. Like this one: LuguLake has the LuguLake II portable speaker for $39.99 shipped when you apply coupon code LUGU9999 at checkout. This barrel-shaped Bluetooth speaker is kind of cool in that it incorporates a stand for propping up your phone or tablet, and its 5,000mAh battery can be used to top off your device while it plays.
Bonus deal No. 3: If, on the other hand, you just want a mobile charger, you can get the Intocircuit Power Castle 11,200mAh dual-port power bank for $18.99 (shipped free with Amazon Prime) when you apply coupon code BETTER17 at checkout. (The code works with both the gray and silver versions.) This nifty brick features 1- and 2.1-amp charging ports, a handy LED flashlight and an LCD status display. And the reviews are just plain ga-ga.