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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.

Tablet Users

This week, we’ve got a Samsung Galaxy 8 tablet for cheap and a special deal from an MVNO that offers “free” cellular service.

FreedomPop Samsung Galaxy SII

galaxy sii freedompop

  • 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? 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 ). 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)

galaxy tab 8

  • 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 Google Nexus 7 (16GB) Android Tablet Review and Giveaway Google Nexus 7 (16GB) Android Tablet Review and Giveaway We purchased a 16GB Nexus 7 for $249 which I've been reviewing for a week or so now, and I've really grown to love the little thing. We'll be giving it away at the end... Read More ), it does offer a larger screen.

Also see:

  • 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

Laptop Users

Ever wanted a 3G Chromebook? This week you’re in luck!

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook (Seller Refurbished)

series 5 chromebook

  • Price: $179.99; compare to $249.99 brand new
  • Retailer: eBay – Buy it Now

This particular Chromebook (what’s a Chromebook? What Is A Chromebook? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is A Chromebook? [MakeUseOf Explains] Everything is moving towards the web, which is now more commonly being dubbed “the cloud”. As such, your devices should probably be ready and well equipped to make full use of cloud services for your... Read More ) 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.

Here’s everything you need to know about switching to a Chromebook Everything You Need To Know About Switching To A Chromebook Everything You Need To Know About Switching To A Chromebook Chromebooks run a slimmed-down operating system optimized for getting on the web with just the Chrome browser and Chrome apps. Can you switch to a Chromebook? Read More .

System Builders

We’ve got CPU-motherboard combo deals, an ultra-cheap Haswell motherboard and an even cheaper AMD CPU motherboard-APU combo.

MSI H81M-P33 Intel H81 Socket 1150 Motherboard

msi motherboard

  • Price: $35 after $10 MIR
  • Retailer: Fry’s – Buy it Now
  • Rebate: $10

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.

ECS KBN-I/2100 Motherboard with Integrated Kabini APU


I’ve used the ECS KBN-I/2100 motherboard before to build a passively cooled, eco-friendly computer Can You Really Save Money By Building A Green PC? Can You Really Save Money By Building A Green PC? Read More . 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.

Also see:

  • 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!

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  1. Dalsan M
    February 17, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Compared to the options with prepaid or post-paid (especially AT&T's pricing for data plans), one cannot complain about receiving 500MB of data per month for free. AT&T charges about $20 for 200MB per month, or so I've heard.

    The phone service that FreedomPop offers is actually VOIP over their data services, which is part of Sprint's service. While not the best service for many people outside the city limits, it is a great deal and offering for people that do not need to talk for more than 300 minutes per month or use more than 500MB of data per month outside of Wi-Fi access areas. I'd be happy with it if I could use my older LG G2X phone with this plan so my daughter can have a decent phone and no monthly charges, but the phones must be CDMA Sprint compatible, though some Verizon phones could work. For anyone that wishes to use more minutes and data, there are other options, which include unlimited everything for around $15 or so per month. That is well worth looking into for cheap service.

  2. AriesWarlock
    February 14, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Do those motherboards support UEFI?

    • Kannon Y
      February 15, 2014 at 1:20 am

      I'm pretty sure that both boards have UEFI instead of BIOS. Well, I know that the KBN-I/2100 has a UEFI preboot environment. But that's not the performance-oriented system. Are you looking to overclock?