Samsung tablet for $50 and other tablet steals

Is your smart phone too small and lap top too big? Good news for you: technology companies are churning out more tablets than ever before with great prices to match. Check out this list of tablet deals.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet.

Whether you're looking for a tablet on a shoestring budget or dying to replace your laptop, today you're in luck. We've rounded up five Editors' Choice tablet deals to help you make the right choice. Opt for the cheapest Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 we've seen, score a $30 price low on a Kindle Fire HD, or save $381 on a Microsoft Surface Pro.

  1. Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 16GB 7" Android Tablet
    Store: Sprint
    Price: $49.99 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $216

    Is It Worth It?: If always having Internet access on your tablet is priority number one, you could do a lot worse than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 from Sprint. Available for just $50 when you sign up for a 2-year contract, this tablet offers 4G LTE connectivity for $216 less than you'd pay without a contract, making it the cheapest 16GB 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab we've ever seen. Plus, it's a solid tablet for the casual user; Gadget Review said "it’s a great little slab for watching movies, listening to music, streaming either, or browsing the internet and/or conducting a little business." The Galaxy tab 3 features a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, a 7" 1024x600 touchscreen LCD, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3-megapixel rear camera, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, and Android 4.2 OS (Jelly Bean).

  2. Kindle Fire HD 8GB 7" Tablet
    Store: B&H Photo Video
    Price: $109 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $30
    Expires: January 18

    Is It Worth It?: Amazon Prime members in the market for a tablet would be remiss if they didn't at least consider this Kindle Fire HD from B&H. At $109, it's tied with last week's mention as a $30 savings. (Note that Best Buy charges a buck more.) Prime members will get the best experience from this tablet, having access to Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library. That said, the Kindle Fire HD also features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 7" 1280x800 IPS LCD, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, Dolby Digital Plus audio, and Fire OS 3.0 (Mojito).

    If you've gotta have more storage, B&H Photo Video also offers the Kindle Fire HD 16GB 7" Tablet for$139 with free shipping. It's also a $30 price low.

  3. Lenovo Miix 2 8" 32GB Windows 8.1 Tablet bundled with Webroot Secure Anywhere Internet Security 3-Device for Windows
    Store: Best Buy
    Price: $249.99 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $50

    Is It Worth It?: A great small tablet choice for Windows aficionados, the Lenovo Miix 2 packs a lot of performance into its 0.8-lb. shell. Laptop Mag called it "the best entry yet in the still-young market of smaller Windows 8 tablets," although the reviewer said you'll want to look elsewhere if you're planning to use it as a PC replacement. This tablet features an Intel Atom Z3740 1.33GHz quad-core processor, a 8" 1280x800 multi-touch LCD, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 2-megapixel front camera, an 8-megapixel rear camera, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 8.1 32-bit.

  4. Microsoft Surface 10.6" 64GB Windows RT Tablet bundled with Webroot Secure Anywhere Internet Security 3-Device for Windows
    Store: Best Buy
    Price: $299.99 in-cart with free shipping
    Lowest By: $29

    Is It Worth It?: For Windows users looking for a tablet they can work on, the Microsoft Surface RT is a good option. Although the tablet's OS takes some getting used to and you'll need the separately-sold touch cover to get the best experience, CNET's reviewer said "the Surface is an excellent Office productivity tool (the best in tablet form) and if your entertainment needs don't go far beyond movies, TV shows, music, and the occasional simple game, you're covered there as well." The Surface RT features an NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30 1.4GHz quad-core processor, a 10.6" 1366x768 multitouch LCD, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, and front-facing and rear 720p cameras.

  5. Microsoft Surface Pro 10.6" 128GB Windows 8 Tablet
    Store: Microsoft Store
    Price: $599 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $381

    Is It Worth It?: A true PC replacement, the Microsoft Surface Pro is a steal at$599, saving you $381. (Best Buy offers it for a buck more.) Weighing in at 1.5 lbs., the Surface Pro is more ultrabook than tablet. Like the Surface RT above, this tablet is best used with the aforementioned separate touch cover keyboard, but Tech Republic's review lauded the Surface Pro as a productivity tablet: "Once you dig in to do some work, that's where Surface Pro really shines." It boasts an Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz dual-core processor, a 10.6" 1920x1080 (1080p) multi-touch LCD, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, front-facing and rear 720p HD cameras, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 8 Pro.

Marcy Bonebright is a features writer for, where this article first appeared:

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to