Retailers continue to dump last year’s products – which is great news for deal hunters. This week, we’ve got several inexpensive tablets, cheap motherboard and CPU combo deals, a Chromebook and an offer from FreedomPop for a Galaxy SII along with “free” cellular service.
This week, we’ve got a Samsung Galaxy 8 tablet for cheap and a special deal from an MVNO that offers “free” cellular service.
- Price: $159.99; compare to $279.99
- Retailer: FreedomPop — Buy it Now
FreedomPop made a name for itself originally as a mobile hotspot MVNO (what’s an MVNO?). They have since graduated to offering free cellular plans. There’s some complaint over how free their “free” plans really are – but a Samsung Galaxy SII for $159.99 is a good deal. And if you can manage their limited minutes and data plan, you might be able to get a cheap phone without paying a monthly rate.
Note: FreedomPop will want your location before they’ll give you the discounted phone.
Samsung Galaxy 8 Tablet 16GB (Refurbished)
- Price: $239.98; compare to $299.99 next lowest price
- Retailer: Walmart – Buy it Now
The Samsung Galaxy 8 tablet gets great reviews. This particular model offers excellent battery life and performance. It includes a quad core 1.6GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM and 1280 x 900 screen. Unfortunately it only has Android 4.1. While I don’t think its hardware compares favorably with a Nexus 7 (read our review of the Nexus 7), it does offer a larger screen.
- Seller Refurbished ASUS Transformer TF300 – $179.95
- FreedomPop HTC Evo 4G – $119.99 (find it on the same page)
- Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 – $229.99
Ever wanted a 3G Chromebook? This week you’re in luck!
Samsung Series 5 Chromebook (Seller Refurbished)
- Price: $179.99; compare to $249.99 brand new
- Retailer: eBay – Buy it Now
This particular Chromebook (what’s a Chromebook?) includes a 16GB SSD. The specs are reported to include an Atom dual core CPU, although it’s more likely a dual core Celeron 867 CPU. It also includes a 3G cellular modem from Verizon. It has been “seller refurbished” which means that it has been inspected, cleaned and repaired to full working order by the seller, but may not be approved by the manufacturer. It’s eligible for a 6 month warranty from the seller.
We’ve got CPU-motherboard combo deals, an ultra-cheap Haswell motherboard and an even cheaper AMD CPU motherboard-APU combo.
As far as LGA1150 (Haswell) boards go, this motherboard is a great deal. Unfortunately, it lacks HDMI ports, but it does include DVI. It’s a full-sized ATX motherboard with a PCIe 2.0 x16 port, so it would function quite well for gaming – the video adapter would supply the HDMI port.
I’ve used the ECS KBN-I/2100 motherboard before to build a passively cooled, eco-friendly computer. My build uses between 15-18 watts while in use. Most builds using similar specifications should perform on the same level. I found that it manages to play 1080p in Windows 8.1 and it also functions quite well using the latest nightly build of Ubuntu, although with difficulties playing 1080p video. However, AMD should soon release an update that fixes the issue.
On the downside, it won’t play high end games and the single channel memory limitation of the motherboard will handicap frame rates on more recent 3D games.
- Logitech MK270 wireless keyboard and mouse – $19.99
- Intel Core i3-4130 bundled with GIGABYTE GA-H81M-HD2 motherboard – $149.78
- A6-5400K APU bundled with GIGABYTE GA-F2A55M-HD2 motherboard – $94.98
I haven’t yet evaluated FreedomPop’s free plan, but it may be worth trying out. Some reviews, although not all, have highly praised the service. I may be buying it for my parents, who rarely use their phones. I’m also fond of the ECS KBN-I/2100 motherboard for a streaming media center. Because it combines a CPU, GPU and a motherboard, it’s extremely cheap to base a system on it.
That’s it for this week folks! Check back next week for the same great deals!