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Retailers continue to liquidate older electronics from last year. The sales will continue throughout February. This week, we’ve got a treasure trove of unlocked smartphones and tablets, a Lenovo Yoga Ultrabook convertible and a large number of storage drives at amazing prices.
Tablet and Smartphone Users
Lots of older smartphones are getting cleared out by retailers this month and next. We’ve got several Android smartphones, a Windows Phone and the ultra-exotic FirefoxOS – all unlocked.
For those of you wanting a dirt-cheap unlockable phone, you’re in luck! The Optimus L9 is now selling for the low price of $19.99 (after a $70 mail in rebate). Its specs are quite reasonable: Android 4.1.2, Dual core 1GHZ CPU, 1.6GB of internal storage, 4.5-inch display and Gorilla Glass 2.
While it initially comes attached to the inexpensive MetroPCS, after fulfilling their terms the phone can be unlocked online and switched to another carrier. However, this phone is CDMA technology, meaning it can only be switched to another CDMA carrier, like Ting. The terms of the rebate require two-months of service.
Be aware that, despite the picture above, this is for the CDMA MetroPCS model. Not the GSM T-Mobile variant.
ZTE FireFoxOS Smartphone
- Price: $74.97
- Retailer: eBay – Buy it Now
I don’t want to oversell this phone – the specs are anemic and the phone isn’t that great. However, it’s the absolute cheapest route to picking up the exotic, open-source FirefoxOS operating system. The design of FirefoxOS is actually quite elegant as it uses HTML5 to run all its apps – similar to what Apple initially proposed doing when it began development of the iPhone.
Because it’s unlocked, you can throw in a SIM card from an MVNO (what’s an MVNO?) and save a great deal of money on your monthly cellular bill. This particular phone also operates extremely well as a burner – the open nature of its operating system makes it inherently more secure (although the hardware security is another matter).
Virgin Mobile Samsung Galaxy Reverb [No Longer Available]
- Price: $79.99; compare to MSRP of $199.99
- Retailer: Virgin Mobile – Buy it Now
The Samsung Galaxy Reverb’s single core 1.4GHz CPU won’t impress your friends, but for a prepaid Android smartphone, it offers excellent value. Virgin Mobile’s plans start at $35 a month and offer some of the best value for a Sprint-based MVNO (what’s an MVNO?) around. If you haven’t heard of an MVNO before, consider making the switch. MVNOs can save a lot of money.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 (Refurbished)
- Price: $274.99; compare to $399 MSRP
- Retailer: eBay – Buy it Now
This particular model (GT-P5210) comes with a 10.1-inch screen and 16GB of internal storage. The 1280 x 800 screen is good, although not amazing. It comes with Android 4.2.1 (firmware update unlikely), 1 GB of RAM and both front-facing (1.3MP) and rear-facing (3MP) cameras.
For refurbished models, I highly suggest stress-testing the unit for potential defects. The warranty period is 60-days, so if problems show up, it’s better that you find them earlier rather than later.
- 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (refurbished) for $170 with coupon code ‘WINTER10’.
- Verizon Nokia Lumia 928 Windows 8 Smartphone (refurbished) for $199.99
- Asus Memo Pad ME201 10.1-inch 16GB Tablet for $199.90
Get an Ultrabook that’s also a convertible tablet – for cheap!
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Convertible Ultrabook (Refurbished)
- Price: $601.22; compare to $1,100 brand new
- Retailer: Rakuten.com (formerly Buy.com) – Buy it Now
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 uses an Ultrabook form factor (what is an Ultrabook?) and can convert into a touchscreen tablet. It uses the last generation dual-core, Core i5 Ivy Bridge CPU and includes an 128GB SSD. For those looking for an Ultrabook or convertible tablet, this is very good deal. We’ve reviewed the IdeaPad Yoga 13 and it rocks. It also comes with 593 Rakuten points, which translate into $5.93 in Rakuten credit.
For those of you who love Linux, users are reporting that Ubuntu works well on the Yoga.
We’ve got two great complementary system components this week – an SSD and an HDD – for super cheap.
Western Digital drives tend to offer greater reliability than its competitors. They also tend to cost slightly more. For $38, this particular drive remains one of the cheapest hard drives you can find anywhere. If you elect to pick up at a Sears brick and mortar, shipping is free.
According to Sears, this is NOT a refurbished unit, despite the image watermark.
- Price: $119.99; compare to $179.99 MSRP
- Retailer: Newegg – Buy it Now
- Coupon code: EMCYTZT5636
The Crucial M500 SSD (what’s an SSD?) provides very good, although not cutting edge, performance along with excellent reliability. The drive consistently receives some of the best scores for SSDs and its current price (at $0.50 per gigabyte) is among the lowest I’ve seen for it.
If you do take the plunge, consider optimizing your system for SSD use (although this isn’t necessary with modern SSD drives, it will extend its lifespan).
- OCZ Vertex 450 (256GB) SSD for $149.99 with coupon code ‘AFNJ3191’
- Intel 320 Series (120GB) SSD for $99.99
This week is loaded with low priced electronics. It’s a tough choice, but out of the deals available today, I prefer the Western Digital 500GB storage drive and the MetroPCS LG Optimus L9 smartphone. The hard drive is priced low enough that you can just add an additional drive for peanuts. The smartphone is priced so low that one must wonder if it fell off the back of a truck.
That’s it for this week folks! Check back next week for other great deals on all kinds of goodies!