This week we’ve got some great price drops on SSDs, primarily from Kingston. We’ve also got a ridiculously good deal on the Nexus 7 (2012 edition), a fantastic deal on a Nokia and Apple has restocked their refurbished products.
Tablet and Smartphone Users
Looking for a cheap Nexus 7 tablet or Windows Phone 8? Keeping reading, there are two deals you must see.
32GB Nexus 7, 2012 Edition (Refurbished)
- Price: $99 after $50 mail-in rebate; compare to $179.99
- Retailer: Newegg — Buy it Now
- Rebate: Download
The 2012 edition of the Nexus 7 still offers good performance, although it will no longer receive firmware updates as of February of 2014 – thanks to the Nexus series’ 18-months of support. That said, it still provides the cutting edge in Android design, being upgradeable to KitKat (Android 4.4). It also comes with a standard, for a refurb, 90-day warranty – I highly suggest stress-testing refurbished units within that time frame, to weed out potentially defective units.
We reviewed the Nexus 7 before and it’s a great tablet. For $99, it’s a killer deal.
Nokia Lumia 521 (Unlocked, T-Mobile)
- Price: $79.99; compare to $112.20 MSRP
- Retailer: Home Shopping Network — Buy it Now
The Nokia Lumia 521 offers good mid-range specifications: Dual Core 1 GHz CPU, 8GB internal memory and a 4-inch screen. It’s not exactly a barn-burner in performance – but its pricing is red hot. Our own Christian Cawley has written extensively about Windows Phone 8 apps. It’s a solid operating system, although with some issues.
- XtremeGuard 80% off sale on everything (code: ‘VALENTINE80′) and an additional 50% off Apple device protectors (code: ‘APPLE50′).
- Apple iPad 3rd Generation 16GB – $274.95 via eBay (seller refurbished)
MacBook Air users, rejoice. Apple recently restocked their supply of refurbished laptops. Currently, you can get good (for Apple products) deals on several of their laptops.
13.3-inch MacBook Air (Refurbished)
- Price: $1,019; 27% discount
- Retailer: Apple — Buy it Now
This particular model comes with a 27% discount, making it the most discounted refurbished model offered by Apple. It includes an Intel Core i5 1.8 GHz dual core CPU and an extremely thin profile. Like all of Apple’s refurbished products, it comes with a 1-year warranty (same as new models). On the downside, this particular model includes the older, Ivy Bridge CPU.
11.6-inch MacBook Air (Refurbished)
- Price: $849; 15% discount
- Retailer: Apple — Buy it Now
The MacBook Air 2013, 11.6-inch model includes an 128GB SSD, the latest Haswell CPU and outstanding 9-hour battery life. The all metal build also offers outstanding portability and design quality.
Upgrading to an SSD is a great idea for both custom built computes and laptops. Fortunately, February seems to be the month that prices are starting to crumble, particularly for Kingston SSDs.
- Price: $119.99; compare to $370 MSRP
- Retailer: Tiger Direct — Buy it Now
- Coupon: THH116959
The Kingston V300 at $0.50 per gigabyte offers excellent value for a lower performance solid state drive. It’s worth noting that Kingston V300 drives are getting dumped onto markets right now. Although Kingston recently switched NAND modules over from synchronous (the fastest modules for consumer quality drives) to asynchronous (slower and less reliable), the majority of users won’t notice the difference. However, for those concerned with SSD performance (and still want a deal) you would do better with the Seagate 600 series drives or the PNY drives, which include a 5-year warranty with registration, offered by Best Buy (see below).
- Price: $69.99; compare to $170 MSRP
- Retailer: Best Buy — Buy it Now
The PNY XLR8 series of drives offers very good performance along with high quality internal components, for a low price. It uses synchronous NAND and a three-year warranty. Synchronous NAND performs better and lasts longer than the asynchronous NAND used in cheaper drives. The XLR8 also offers encryption – in terms of its performance and additional features, the XLR8 is one of the best drives on the market. On the downside, PNY doesn’t offer any SSD toolkit and firmware updates aren’t in the pipeline.
I should also mention this drive is manufactured in the United States — an anomaly among electronics.
Note: Best Buy also offers 6% of this purchase in rewards.
It’s hard picking a favorite, but the Nokia Lumia 521 is a great acquisition. While you don’t get the deep app ecosystems of Android or iOS, you do get a decently specced smartphone that can be used as a burner or as a backup. On the other hand, for those of you with laptops or who may be building a computer, the various solid state drive deals this week are pretty spectacular. Although the Kingston drives currently offer the much-maligned asynchronous NAND, they will still offer solid performance for most mobile users.
That’s it for this week! Check back in next week for the same great prices!