With last week's unveiling of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, retailers have slashed prices on the previous-gen models. So naturally, iPads lead this week's roundup of Editors' Choice tablet deals. Read on to see the cheapest iPad Air ever, a $51 price low on the iPad mini 2, as well as $150 off the Google Nexus 7.
Open-Box Apple iPad Air 16GB WiFi Tablet
Store: Blutek via eBay
Price: $349.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $10
Is It Worth It?: Not convinced that it's a great time to buy an iPad? Here's all the proof you need: With this deal, we saw the iPad Air drop $10 in asingle day. At $350, this open-box model is the cheapest iPad Air we've seen in any condition. "Surprise: the iPad Air is the best iPad we've reviewed," Engadget's reviewer raved at the time of its release. "It's also the most comfortable 10" tablet we've ever tested. Not every manufacturer can produce a thin and light device without also making it feel cheap or flimsy, but Apple nailed it."
The iPad Air features a 9.7" 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, 802.11a/n wireless with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, and iOS 7. Of note, no warranty information is provided.
Refurbished Apple iPad mini 2 64GB WiFi Tablet
Store: Apple Store
Price: $349 with free shipping
Lowest By: $51
Is It Worth It?: We've already said the iPad mini 3 isn't worth upgrading to, and this factory-refurbished 64GB iPad mini 2 is an excellent plan B. Not only does it cost $150 less than the 64GB iPad mini 3, but it delivers almost all of the same specs and a full Apple warranty.
The iPad mini 2 weighs 0.7 lbs. and sports an Apple A7 64-bit processor with an M7 motion coprocessor, a 2048x1536 Retina display, 64GB of internal storage, a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD front camera with 720p video capture, a 5-megapixel iSight rear camera with 1080p video capture, 802.11a/n wireless with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, and iOS 7. A 1-year Apple warranty applies.
2nd-generation ASUS Google Nexus 7 7" 32GB 4G LTE Android Tablet for Verizon
Price: $199.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $150
Is It Worth It?: Considered by many tech critics to be one of the leading small Android tablets, the 2nd-gen Google Nexus 7 is nearly flawless. At $200, this refurb is $150 below the price of new unit and an easy buy. According to TechRadar, "if you're considering a tablet now and are already dabbling in the Android ecosystem, we see no reason why [you] shouldn't take the plunge with a Nexus 7. If you haven't invested at all with Android, you're still in a good place to start."
Features include a 7" 1920x1200 IPS LED touchscreen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of flash memory, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.2-megapixel front camera, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE (data plan required), 802.11n wireless, and Android 4.4 (KitKat). A 30-day USMP warranty applies.
Refurbished Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 32GB 4G LTE Android Tablet
Price: $159 with free shipping
Lowest By: $140
Is It Worth It?: Although Amazon recently refreshed its tablet lineup, this factory-refurbished Kindle Fire HD remains an excellent buy. Not only is it a $26 drop from our previous mention of a refurb, but it's $140 off and the lowest total price we've seen for this 4G model. Unique to the Kindle experience are features like Whispersync, X-Ray for books and movies, and FreeTime for kids, as well as Prime member bonuses like Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library.
The Kindle Fire HD also sports a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 8.9" 1920x1200 (1080p) IPS LCD, 32GB of internal storage, a front-facing camera, 4G LTE (data plan required), 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth, and Fire OS 3.0 (Mojito). A 1-year Amazon warranty applies.
Refurbished ASUS VivoTab 10.1" 32GB 4G LTE Windows RT Tablet for AT&T
Price: $149.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $83
Is It Worth It?: You're looking for a Windows tablet, but not interested in forking over the kind of money it takes to buy a Surface. At $150, this refurbished ASUS VivoTab is $83 below the price of a new unit and tied as the lowest price we've seen for the 4G-capable version. Although CNET decided the VivoTab was less thrilling than the Surface RT, the reviewer conceded that "with its vivid screen, sturdy build, and sleek user interface, the Asus VivoTab RT is an excellent tablet in its own right."
It features an NVIDIA Tegra3 1.3GHz quad-core processor, a 10.1" 1366x768 IPS LCD, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, 4G (data plan required), 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows RT. Of note, no warranty information is available.
Marcy Bonebright is a features writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/best-tablet-deals/