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The week's best tablet deals include Editors' Choice sales on Apple-, Windows-, and Android-based tablets. Included in our roundup is Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2, discounts on the previous- and current-generation iPads, and a sitewide sale on Dell Venue tablets at Dell Outlet.
Is It Worth It?:"The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is the best low-powered hybrid you can buy," says Engadget. Although it was designed primarily for business use, Engadget recommends it to anyone "who's been looking for a Windows 8 tablet with great battery life."
The 1.2-lb. tablet features an Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz dual-core processor, 10.1" 1366x768 multi-touch IPS LCD, 2GB RAM, 64GB flash memory, 2-megapixel front camera, 8-megapixel rear camera, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, microSD card slot, mini HDMI, 2-cell battery, Windows Office Home Student 2013, and Windows 8. It also includes Windows Office Home Student 2013 and Lenovo's Digitizer Pen, which lets you make annotations directly on the tablet's screen.
Is It Worth It?: Finding iPad deals is easy if you know where to look, but if you don't mind owning last year's tech, the Apple Store offers some of the best prices on iPads via its refurb center. As part of this week's sale, it's discounted various refurbished iPads, each of which is backed by Apple's rock-solid 1-year warranty.
A best bet is the Apple iPad 2 16GB WiFi + 3G for AT&T in White for $289, which offers a savings of $240. Originally released in March 2011, the iPad 2 16GB WiFi + 3G features a 9.7" 1024x768 display, an Apple A5 dual-core processor, 16GB of internal storage, a VGA-quality camera, 720p video capture, 802.11a/n wireless, and Bluetooth 2.1. Click here to see Apple's full selection of refurbished iPads.
Is It Worth It?: Love the iPad, but need something on the lighter side? Look no further than the iPad mini Retina, a $29 savings at $330. Calling the 2nd-gen iPad mini "the perfect smaller tablet," CNET says "the new iPad mini somehow shrinks down the iPad Air into an even more compact package, sacrificing nearly nothing."
The 2nd-gen iPad mini sports a 7.9" 2048x1536 Retina display, an Apple A7 64-bit processor with an M7 motion coprocessor, 16GB of internal storage, a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD front camera, a 5-megapixel iSight rear camera, 1080p video capture, dual microphones, 802.11a/n wireless with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.0, and iOS 7.
Is It Worth It?: Rarely do we see sales as straightforward as this Editors' Choice deal. Just activate coupon code "4NJHH1N8JCKLLR" during checkout and take 30% off all Dell Venue tablets. That's the best flat discount we've seen for these tablets this year.
Is It Worth It?: The previous-gen Microsoft Surface Pro may be a less complete laptop replacement than its latest iteration, the Surface Pro 3, but this Windows tablet is also significantly cheaper than its successor. At $400, it's the cheapest price we could find for refurbs of this tablet by $30. While Engadget was less than thrilled with the Surface Pro's short battery life and weight, the reviewer was pleased with this tablet's performance capabilities: "A cold boot is completed in eight seconds or less, and apps launched snappily and reacted well."
The 1.5-lb. Surface Pro features an Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz dual-core processor, a 10.6" 1920x1080 (1080p) multitouch LCD, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, front- and rear-facing 720p cameras, and Windows 8 Pro. A 90-day A4C warranty applies.