Best tablet deals for Labor Day weekend: bargains on iPad mini, Lenovo Miix, and more
There's a tablet out there to fit just about every need and budget, and there are bargains to be had this labor Day weekend and beyond. Check out the best tablet deals this week, from iPad to Lenovo to Microsoft.
It's never been easier to find the exact tablet for your needs, thanks to an industry shift towards segmentation. According to Time, "We are starting to see tablets being built for kids, tablets being built just to consume content and media, tablets that can replace PCs, and ... tablets being specifically built for hardcore gamers."
As always, we're here to help you find the device you want at the price you need, so read on for this week's best tablet deals. Get the lowest price ever on an iPad mini with Retina Display, save $90 on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and score an entry-level Android for just $35.
Apple iPad mini with Retina Display 16GB WiFi Tablet
Store: Micro Center
Price: $299.99 with in-store pickup
Lowest By: $50
Is It Worth It?: Often described as a miniature iPad Air, the current-gen iPad mini remains one of the highest-rated small tablets on the market. "The iPad mini is exactly the type of product we expect from Apple," Wired said. "Stunning good looks, a display so high resolution it’d take a magnifying glass to pick out the pixels, and unparalleled performance." You can currently pick up this tablet from Micro Center at the Editors' Choice price of $300,which is the best deal we've ever seen.
The 2nd-gen iPad mini features a 7.9" 2048x1536 Retina display, an Apple A7 64-bit processor with an M7 motion coprocessor, 16GB of internal storage, a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD front camera, a 5-megapixel iSight rear camera, 1080p video capture, dual microphones, 802.11a/n wireless with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, and iOS 7.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 12" 64GB Windows 8.1 Tablet
Store: Microsoft Store
Price: $649 via valid .edu email address with free shipping
Lowest By: $90
Expires: September 3
Is It Worth It?: College students and faculty looking to trade in their laptops should really consider this ongoing offer from Microsoft: through September 3, anyone with a valid .edu email address can grab the Surface Pro 3 for just $649. That's a $90 price low and tied as the only big discount we've seen on this tablet since Microsoft was taking preorders for it in May.
The Surface Pro 3 boasts an Intel Haswell Core i3-4020Y 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 12" 2160x1440 multi-touch LCD, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal flash storage, front and rear 5-megapixel 1080p cameras, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, and Windows 8.1 Pro. A Surface Pen is also included.
Lenovo Miix 2 10.1" 128GB Windows 8.1 Tablet
Price: $469 with free shipping
Lowest By: $230
Is It Worth It?: If you don't have an .edu email account and are still looking for an impressive Windows tablet, Lenovo's Miix 2 should be on your radar. Coupon code "MIIX2DEAL" will save you $230 on this capable, convertible tablet, which includes a keyboard dock. Although CNET's reviewer stressed that the keyboard wasn't ideal for long typing sessions, he admitted that "it's a nice package that allows you to enjoy some of the portable and entertainment features of tablets, while still having the ability to set it up as a mini-desktop."
The Lenovo Miix 2 sports an Intel Atom Z3740 1.33GHz quad-core processor, a 10.1" 1920x1200 IPS LCD, 2GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 2-megapixel front camera, a 5-megapixel rear camera, 720p video capture, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, Office Home & Student 2013, and Windows 8.1 32-bit.
iRulu 4GB 7" Android Tablet
Store: Campus111 via eBay
Price: $34.59 with free shipping
Lowest By: $8
Is It Worth It?: For the folks who aren't looking for the latest and greatest, Android still rules in the budget tablet arena. At $35, this Editors' Choice iRulu tablet is at the lowest total price we've seen for a new 7" 4GB tablet. A microSD slot provides expandable storage up to 32GB, making this entry-level tab a great choice for media and apps.
Features include a 7" 800x480 touchscreen LCD, an Allwinner A13 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, front and rear cameras, 802.11g wireless, and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Although the listing discusses 3G compatibility, that's provided by a 3G dongle, which isn't included.
Is It Worth It?: If the tablet above is a little too barebones for your needs, then jump on this MSI Primo 81 offer. After coupon code "EMCPBHB233" and the rebate above, this Editors' Choice Android is $100 off list and within a buck of the best price we've seen for any quad-core tablet with 16GB of storage.
The MSI Primo 81 sports an Allwinner A31s 1GHz quad-core processor, a 7.85" 1024x768 IPS touchscreen, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, front and rear cameras, 802.11n wireless, and Android 4.2 OS (Jelly Bean).
Marcy Bonebright is a feature writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/best-tablet-deals/
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.