Cyber Monday 2013: Best tablet deals

The hysteria of Black Friday is past us now, which means the orgy of Cyber Monday is fast approaching. As you probably know already, tablets will be a particularly hot seller this holiday season, so let’s take a look at how online retailers will be discounting them for one of their biggest days of the year.

Unfortunately, some of the Black Friday deals that involved Apple’s iPad tablets don’t look like they will be available online for Cyber Monday. Right now, Target doesn’t have any iPads available on its website, and Best Buy doesn’t list any as part of its “cyber week deals.” Walmart does have an iPad sale going, but it’s for older models — you can grab a 32GB iPad with Retina display (or iPad 3) with an Ematic accessory/bluetooth speaker kit for $449, or you can get a 32GB iPad 4 for $549 instead of $599. It’s possible that Target’s specials (offering a store gift card with the purchase at regular price) will become available online at some point by Monday, but we’re not promising anything here.

Right now, Amazon hasn’t announced whether it will drop prices on its Kindle Fire tablets, but with the online retailing giant offering new deals every 10 minutes on Cyber Monday, a deal is certainly possible. Staples is continuing the store gift card trend, however, providing a $25 one with the purchase of a 7-inch Fire HD ($169) or 7-inch Fire HDX ($229).

You’ll have a little more luck with some Windows 8 tablets, as Dell will offer deals on its Venue Pro slates. The Venue Pro 8, which includes an Intel Atom Z3740D quad-core processor and Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, will feature the same special as for Black Friday: its regular $299.99 price, but with a free folio case and a year of accidental damage service included. In comparison, OfficeMax is selling it for $269.99, but without the extras. Meanwhile, the 64GB Venue Pro 11 also bundles a year of accidental damage service, and though Dell is acting like it’s slashing $49 off the price, it’s currently selling that model for the same $499.99 price.

Office Depot is advertising $50 off the Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Windows 8 “convertible” tablet with 64GB and 10.1-inch screen. Unfortunately, its $649 price tag is far higher than the current price on Amazon ($508.63) and through Microsoft’s store ($499). Speaking of Microsoft’s online deals, its Black Friday special on the first-generation Surface Pro tablet is still available: the 64GB version is $649 (previously $799) and the 128GB model is $749 (previously $899).

That leaves Android. There are plenty of third-tier dirt-cheap Android tablets available, but we won’t deal with them here — you’ll most likely get what you pay for. Even removing them from the equation, there are a massive amount of Android slates on sale for Cyber Monday. That includes Google’s own Nexus 7, which Staples is discounting to $199 for 16GB or $239 for 32GB, or $30 less than what Google is selling it for directly. Office Depot is trying to sell off the previous generation of Nexus 7 models, listing the 16GB version for $179.91 and the 32GB configuration with $199.91. With a better processor and higher-res screen, the new Nexus is worth the extra cash.

For a dirt-cheap Android tablet from a brand-name manufacturer, OfficeMax has the Lenovo Ideatab A1000L for $89.99, a mere $10 less than its regular price. Walmart continues to sell the HP 7 “Mesquite” tablet with Intel Atom Z2460 processor and 8GB of storage for $89. Office Depot is selling the HP Slate 7 for $139.99, though HP sells the Slate 7 Plus with Nvidia Tegra 3 processor instead of an ARM A9 CPU for just $10 more on its own site. (And that “special” price Office Depot is hyping has been around since the summer.) Also for $139.99, Office Depot is offering the 16GB Asus MeMO Pad HD 7, which is currently out of stock through Newegg and Amazon but is $10 more at Walmart. Dell has its own 7-inch Android tablet, the Venue 7 with Intel Atom Z2560 processor and 16GB of storage, for $149.99.

cyber-monday-gapSamsung is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Android tablet seller, which may be why it’s been able to keep an iron grip on its Galaxy prices across various retailers during Black Friday. It looks like Cyber Monday will be more of the same, with the 16GB Galaxy Tab 7, 8, and 10.1 costing $159.99, $249.99, and $299.99, respectively, on many sites and the 16GB Galaxy Note 8 and 10 priced at $349.99 and $399.99. (That includes Samsung’s own site.) One exception: Best Buy has the black version of the Tab 7 for $149.99 instead of $159.99. Oddly, however, OfficeMax is calling out Cyber Monday “deals” for the Galaxy Tab 3 versions that are $20, $50, or $60 more than the sale prices elsewhere.

Finally, Sony is joining the Cyber Monday parade with deals on its Xperia Tablet Z 10.1-inch Android slates. Three versions of the tablet are seeing their prices slashed by $50: the 16GB Wi-Fi version (now $449.99), the 32GB Wi-Fi version (now $549.99), and the 16GB unlocked 4G LTE flavor ($579.99). The special kitchen edition, which includes a water-resistant 32GB Xperia Tablet Z,  iGrill wireless digital thermometer, and foldable stand has received a $100 price reduction to $549.99. Note, however, that Best Buy matches these prices, and Amazon offers the base 16GB Xperia Tablet Z for $436.99 and the kitchen edition for the same $549.99 price.

A few deal did stand out, however. Here are the best laptop and tablet deals I’ve found for Cyber Monday. Your finds and suggestions are welcome in the comments section below.

Asus T100
This well-reviewed small-screen convertible is a good deal at its usual $349 price, but the Microsoft Store has it for $299 (currently showing as sold out online, but you may have better luck in physical stores).

Microsoft Surface RT
The original 32GB version of the Windows RT Surface tablet is a steal at $199 at BestBuy, even if you’re dubious of the entire Windows RT idea.

Dell XPS 12
This flip-screen convertible is one of the best ways to switch between a laptop and tablet on the fly. This $799 discounted version at Amazon has a last-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, so you give up some battery life, but the design is still great.

Acer Aspire E1
This was already the least-expensive laptop with a new fourth-generation Core i5 processor, at around $500. Now a handful of retailers, including Amazon and Newegg, now have it for $429. Just note that it lacks a touch screen.

Lenovo IdeaCentre Flex 20
This 20-inch tabletop PC is half an all-in-one desktop PC and half a mega-tablet. It’s part of the second wave of these systems, and is thankfully thinner and lighter than some of a back-breaking early versions. It’s currently $749, which is $100 off, at BestBuy, and that’s especially noteworthy as it’s a very recent release.

Dell Venue 8 Pro
It’s not much of a discount, but the new 8-inch Dell Venue Windows 8 tablet, which I liked a lot, is $30 off, down to $269, at OfficeMax.

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