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Between spring break and the upcoming summer months, we are right in the middle of car trip season. For those long hours on the road, more parents are turning to mobile devices to keep kids entertained; one British study found that 80% of parents rely on tablets to occupy their offspring on the road. Because we here at DealNews all about increasing familial happiness, we've rounded up five road trip-ready Editors' Choice tablet deals. Save $130 on an iPad Air with 4G data, get a Samsung ATIV Windows tablet at $435 off, or grab the cheapest 4GB Android tablet we've seen.
Is It Worth It?: Keep your family connected to the Internet wherever you go with what is considered by many to be the best tablet on the market right now. T-Mobile customers can score the iPad Air bundled with 4G data for the rest of 2014 for just $499, a savings of $130. Calling this current-gen iPad's hardware "close to perfect," The Verge's reviewer said "the iPad Air represents a nearly ideal manifestation of what a large tablet can and should be." The iPad Air boasts a 9.7" 2048x1536 Retina display, an Apple A7 64-bit processor, an M7 motion coprocessor, 16GB of internal storage, a FaceTime HD front camera, dual microphones, a 5-megapixel iSight rear camera, 802.11a/n wireless with MIMO, Bluetooth, and iOS 7.
Not interested in an iPad? Right now T-Mobile customers can score a 1GB + 200MB 4G LTE data plan for the rest of the year for free when they add a tablet to their voice plan. (The data becomes free after a $10 credit.) You can bring a tablet in or buy one. If you choose to buy, T-Mobile has discounted a selection of 4G LTE tablets to the same price as their WiFi counterparts. With savings of up to $130 on the tablets alone, that's the best combo offer we've seen for tablets from T-Mobile.
Is It Worth It?: Should Mom or Dad need to get some work done on the road, a laptop replacement like Samsung's ATIV 700T is an excellent choice. "The Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T can perform productivity and entertainment tasks without breaking a sweat," reported Laptop Mag, concluding that the tablet is a "model of versatility." Available for $465 refurbished, this tablet is an incredible $435 under the price of a new unit.
The 1.9-lb. ATIV 700T tablet features an Intel Core i5-3317U 1.5GHz Ivy Bridge dual-core processor, an 11.6" 1920x1080 (1080p) touchscreen LCD, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, a front-facing 2-megapixel camera, a rear 5-megapixel camera, and Windows 8. Note that it's unclear if any warranty is included.
Is It Worth It?: On longer trips, you want a tablet that won't die after the first 50 miles. With its power-sipping design, the Asus VivoTab Smart ME400C will entertain for hours. "Battery life should always be a major consideration when buying a tablet," Tech Radar said, noting the VivoTab's ability to last up to 9.5 hours. "This is the best Windows 8 tablet we've yet seen in terms of power efficiency and capability." While this isn't as much of a powerhouse as the tablet above, this factory refurb does offer $174 in savings.
The 1.3-lb. VivoTab Smart has an Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz dual-core processor, a 10.1" 1366x768 multitouch IPS LCD, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a 2-megapixel front camera, an 8-megapixel rear camera, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 8. A 90-day ASUS warranty applies. Note that it's expected to ship on April 23.
Is It Worth It?: Tired of your kids stealing your Android smartphone? Lend them a tablet that's running an OS they're already familiar with, and they'll have a bigger screen to play on! You can score a factory-refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 in White for just $150, which is the lowest price we've ever seen for a refurb. When the Galaxy Tab 3 first came on the scene, Digital Trends said "the extra screen size is worth the premium, and the combination of long battery life and great design round out what we think is one of the best 8" tablets available."
The Galaxy Tab 3 has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 8" 1280x800 touchscreen LCD, 16GB of internal storage, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, a 5-megapixel rear camera, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, a microSD card slot, and Android 4.2 OS (Jelly Bean). A 90-day Samsung warranty applies.
Is It Worth It?: If you've got younger kids, you might be hesitant to let them play around with your high-end tablet for an extended period of time. The iView CyberPad is a solid mini-tablet that's available for the impulse-buy price of $30, which is a $17 price low. It's also the best price we've seen for any new 4GB Android tablet.
The iView has a 4.3" 480x272 touchscreen LCD, a Cortex A8 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, 802.11b/g wireless, webcam, and Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).