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Looking for a super cheap iPhone 5s? Virgin Mobile this week finally introduced an iPhone 5s to their lineup, discounted by more than $200. We’ve also dug up deals on a Nexus 7, an iPad Mini, a motherboard, an SSD and more!

Tablet and Smartphone Users

This week, the iPhone 5s receives a substantial discount at Virgin Mobile. And we’ve got a refurbished Nexus 7 along with an iPad Mini for rock bottom prices.

Virgin Mobile 16GB iPhone 5s

iPhone 5S 32GB

  • Price: $439.99; compare to $649.00 MSRP
  • Retailer: Virgin Mobile – Buy it Now

This offer is by far the lowest price I’ve seen offered on a contract-free iPhone 5s, which normally retails for over $200 more than Virgin Mobile’s offer. While it’s locked to Virgin Mobile, it comes without a contract. For those wanting a steeply discounted iPhone 5s, without a contract, this is a killer deal. It comes in all available iPhone colors and in 32 and 64GB sizes.

Virgin Mobile’s lowest priced plan (and my favorite) costs $35 per month and comes with 300 minutes of talk time, unlimited data (throttled after 2.5GB) and SMS. It’s among the best MVNOs (what’s an MVNO? What Is an MVNO and How Does It Save Money on Your Cellular Bill? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is an MVNO and How Does It Save Money on Your Cellular Bill? [MakeUseOf Explains] In the US and Canada, we're taught that we need to sign contracts because cell phones and cellular service are so pricey. That's a bald-faced lie. Read More ) in terms of data pricing and overall value, on the Sprint network.

16GB Asus Nexus 7 2013 Edition (Refurbished)

nexus 7 FHD 2013

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  • Price: $143.99 after $50 MIR; compare to $299.99 MSRP
  • Retailer: Newegg – Buy it Now
  • Rebate: Download

This offer remains among the cheapest I’ve seen for the 2013 Nexus 7. It includes one of the highest resolution screens you can buy on a 7-inch tablet (1920×1200 pixels, 323 ppi) along with an underclocked (1.5GHz) Snapdragon 600 chipset (renamed as the Snapdragon S4 Pro).

If you do buy, make sure you get the rebate paid Sick Of Rebates Not Paying? Use The Web To Get Your Money With 6 Easy Rules Sick Of Rebates Not Paying? Use The Web To Get Your Money With 6 Easy Rules Using rebates can frustrate even the most patient of buyers. While a deal-hunting customer may not encounter any difficulty at the register, collecting the rebate can cause staggering complications. Rather than risk such difficulty, following... Read More .

32GB Apple iPad Mini with Cellular Radio (3G, 4G & LTE)

ipad mini 32gb

  • Price: $389.99; compare to $559 MSRP
  • Retailer: eBay – Buy it Now

This deal comes brand new, in the original packaging. Note: This is not the Retina display iPad Mini. Furthermore, it comes without a contract. Like most brand-new electronics, this includes the standard one-year warranty. We reviewed it and the Mini is great! Apple iPad Mini Review and Giveaway Apple iPad Mini Review and Giveaway This is a much overdue review, I'll admit, but instead of publishing a breezy overview of the iPad mini, I wanted to experience and integrate it in my daily life in order to truly tell... Read More

If you do take the plunge, I highly recommend purchasing data services from an MVNO (what’s an MVNO? What Is an MVNO and How Does It Save Money on Your Cellular Bill? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is an MVNO and How Does It Save Money on Your Cellular Bill? [MakeUseOf Explains] In the US and Canada, we're taught that we need to sign contracts because cell phones and cellular service are so pricey. That's a bald-faced lie. Read More ) rather than signing a contract with a carrier. You can save substantial amounts of money each year by doing so.

Also see:

  • Staples $30 off all tablets $150 and over – coupon code: ‘58129’ via Staples

Laptop Users

Want a super cheap Windows 8.1 touchscreen laptop? We’ve got what you need.

Lenovo IdeaPad S400 14-inch Touchscreen Laptop

ideapad s400 touchscreen

  • Price: $329.99; compare to $429.99 MSRP
  • Retailer: Newegg on eBay – Buy it Now

This particular Lenovo IdeaPad includes a low voltage, dual-core Pentium 2127U (Haswell) clocked at 1.9GHz. It comes with 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a 1366 x 768 resolution touch-enabled WXGA screen. For $329.99, brand new, it’s a reasonably good deal. According to some reports, it’s compatible with Ubuntu – but your mileage with Linux may vary.

Although it is Haswell, it’s the lowest, entry-level processor in that family of CPUs. So while it’s perfect for general use, such as browsing or word processing, you won’t be able to play a lot of newer games on this unit.

System Builders

This week we’ve got a motherboard and a heavily discounted SSD.

ASRock B85M-ITX mini-ITX Motherboard

ASRock motherboard

  • Price: $66.99; compare to $74.99
  • Retailer: Newegg – Buy it now

This particular motherboard supports Haswell CPUs (LGA 1150), along with VGA, HDMI and DVI. It’s a perfect motherboard for creating an HTPC. Haswell Celeron CPUs sell for around $45 online, meaning you could easily build a complete system for around $250.

ECS KBN-I/2100 with AMD E1-2100 APU mini-ITX Motherboard/CPU/GPU Combo (Out of Stock)

  • Price: $31.99; compare to 83.99 MSRP after $24 MIR
  • Retailer: Newegg – Buy it Now
  • Rebate: Download

Update: This motherboard just went out of stock, but Newegg is providing auto-notifications of restock.

This motherboard includes a soldered on AMD APU (what’s an APU? What Is An APU? [Technology Explained] What Is An APU? [Technology Explained] Read More ), which combines both a CPU with a GPU. These function extremely well as home media centers. The E1-2100 APU cans stream 1080p in Windows 8 (requires Windows 8). It functions quite well for day-to-day computing tasks, but won’t play newer games at anything other than console resolutions with graphics set to low detail. However, the fact that it will play a lot of games is hardly trivial.

It’s also compatible with many nightly builds of Linux out-the-box – keep in mind that the LTS version of Trusty Tahr Ubuntu is set to release in a matter of weeks. However, it has experienced some difficulty streaming 1080p (it streams lower resolutions fine) in Linux. AMD recently began pumping out drivers Open Source AMD Graphics Are Now Awesome, Here's How To Get Them Open Source AMD Graphics Are Now Awesome, Here's How To Get Them The AMD proprietary driver on Linux is fast but buggy, and the open source driver has now become awesome Read More , which dramatically improved performance, though. So if 1080p doesn’t fully work right now, it will in the very near future. I put together a sample computer Can You Really Save Money By Building A Green PC? Can You Really Save Money By Building A Green PC? Read More using the KBN-I/2100 and it’s extremely low wattage.

Part of the reason for its recent price drop is the impending release of the AM1 socket, which allows for replaceable APUs. Unfortunately, the KBN-I/2100’s APU is soldered to the motherboard. However, for the price, this is an absolute steal if you’re building an HTPC or passively cooled low-wattage desktop. Just make sure you get the rebate paid.

PNY XLR8 PRO 120GB Solid State Drive

PNY XLR8 PRO

  • Price: $69.99 after $10 MIR; compare to $129.99 MSRP
  • Retailer: Newegg – Buy it Now
  • Rebate: Download

The PNY XLR8 PRO includes a 5-year warranty (3-years without registration) and relatively good performance. It uses the tried and tested Sandforce 2281 controller and offers up to 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds. According to Tech Radar, it offers 20MB/s for random reads and 62MB/s for random writes. It features synchronous NAND, which lasts longer and performs better than the more common asynchronous NAND used in many low-end SSDs (how do SSDs work? How Do Solid-State Drives Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] How Do Solid-State Drives Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] Over the past few decades, there has been a considerable amount of work in the field of computer hardware. While computer technology is constantly improving and evolving, rarely do we experience moments where we simply... Read More ).

PNY also offers a firmware update kit, which can greatly help your drive’s long-run performance and longevity. There are, literally, no better SSDs in the same price-range. You can find the firmware update here.

If you do buy one, make sure you optimize your operating system for use with an SSD How To Optimize SSD Speed & Performance How To Optimize SSD Speed & Performance Although Solid State Drives can deliver break-neck computing speeds, most users don’t know a nasty secret - your drive might not be properly configured. The reason is that SSDs don’t come optimized out of the... Read More (this is becoming less necessary over time, but it’s still a good step).

Also see:

  • Intel 530 series 120GB SSD – $89.99 via Amazon
  • Crucial M500 240GB SSD — $129.99 + $2.99 shipping via Superbiiz

Conclusion

My favorite deal today is the iPhone 5s, discounted by more than $200. With this particular iPhone 5s, you may not move the phone onto another network, but you can always resell it, if you end up changing services. I’ve found that reselling old Virgin Mobile phones to be extremely easy. Overall, for those who want to save on their cellular bill and get a heavily discounted iPhone 5s, now is the time to buy. Just make sure you are within Sprint’s coverage.

That’s it for this week! Check in next week for the next low prices!

  1. Patrick C
    March 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    "I’ve found that reselling old Virgin Mobile phones to be extremely easy. "

    Any service you favor? Glyde e.g. does not even list Virgin Mobile as an option, the only site I found so far (besides eBay) would be Swappa.

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