It's a fine time to be a tablet shopper. Every day seems to bring another big price cut, like yesterday's(which is still available, FYI).
Today, Best Buy has one of the best deals to date on a 10-inch tablet: the Acer Iconia A500 for $229.99 shipped (plus sales tax in most states). Surprisingly, it's new, not refurbished.
The Iconia comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of storage, a 10.1-inch screen, and Android 3.2 (Honeycomb). It sports front- and rear-facing cameras (the latter capable of 5-megapixel snapshots and 720p video), Bluetooth, GPS, and an HDMI output. In other words, it's loaded. Like, Motorola Xoom loaded.
I haven't used an Iconia myself, but CNET awarded it four stars and called it "affordable, powerful, fluid, and free from contracts"--and that was back when it had a $449 price tag.
The chink in this tablet's armor is its size: it weighs 1.7 pounds and measures half an inch thick, making it the single beefiest 10-inch tablet on the market today. Of course, it's still a lot easier to tote around than a laptop or even a Netbook.
And come on: $229.99?! That's only $30 more than you'd pay for a 7-inch Kindle Fire. And it's $20 less than the Nook Tablet. If you're in the market for a 10-inch slate, this is without question the deal to beat.
As always, I don't know how long Best Buy will be offering this price, nor what kind of inventory is left. If you want in, act fast!
Bonus deal: If you couldn't find that $149.99 Xbox 360 at your local Kmart yesterday, buck up: the Microsoft Store has the Xbox 360 4GB console for $149.99 shipped--no trip to the store required. And if you can scrape together another 50 bucks, the Xbox 360 250GB Holiday Bundle is just $199.99 shipped. It comes with Fable 3, Halo Reach, a headset, and other goodies.
Update: I goofed on the bonus deal; apparently both these offers were available only on Black Friday. But here's a very decent alternative: Microsoft is now offering the Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect for $199.99 shipped. As of Monday morning, it's still available.