The 7" to 8" tablet market has exploded in recent years, with many consumers preferring these portable slates over their bulkier brethren. As such, small tabs take center stage in this week's roundup of the best tablet deals. See the cheapest 64GB iPad mini yet, save $150 on the 2nd-gen Google Nexus 7, and grab a Toshiba Encore Mini for just $99.
Refurbished Apple iPad mini 64GB WiFi Tablet
Store: Apple Store
Price: $309 with free shipping
Lowest By: $76
Is It Worth It?: The 1st-gen iPad mini may not boast the Retina display of its successors, but there's a reason Apple is still directly selling this legacy device — it's the tiny tablet that made everyone fall in love with the form factor. Right now, you can grab this 64GB refurb for $309, which is $76 less than the price of a new unit and an easy Editors' Choice pick. (It's also tied as the best price we've seen for this model.)
The iPad mini weighs 0.7 lbs. and sports an A5 1GHz dual-core processor, a 7.9" 1024x768 multi-touch IPS display, 64GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM, a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD front camera with 720p video capture, a 5-megapixel iSight rear camera with 1080p video capture, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth, and iOS 6. A 1-year Apple warranty applies.
Refurbished ASUS Google Nexus 7 7" 32GB 4G LTE Android Tablet for Verizon
Price: $199.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $150
Is It Worth It?: Android fans can grab their own slice of tiny tablet perfection with the 2nd-generation Nexus 7. "The Nexus 7 (2013) easily supplants the original model as the small tablet of choice. It may not be quite as comfortable to hold, but its heavily increased performance, razor-sharp screen, [and] additional features ... more than make up for a harder, less grippy back," CNET concluded. Grab this 4G-capable refurb Nexus 7 for the Editors' Choice price of $200, which is a $150 price low.
Features include a 7" 1920x1200 touchscreen display, a Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.2-megapixel front camera, Verizon 4G LTE support (data plan required), 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, and Android 4.4 (KitKat). A 30-day USMP warranty applies.
Toshiba Encore Mini 7" 16GB Windows 8.1 Tablet
Store: Microsoft Store
Price: $99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $20
Is It Worth It?: Toshiba's surprisingly capable Encore line proved that budget tablets don't have to sacrifice performance. PC Mag was pleased with its initial impression of the line's smallest entry, saying "the Toshiba Encore Mini is small enough to use one-handed, but still delivers a Windows 8 experience." A $20 savings at $99, the Encore Mini delivers a price as diminutive as its name.
The Toshiba Encore Mini boasts an Intel Atom Z3735G 1.33GHz quad-core processor, a 7" 768x1280 touchscreen LCD, 1GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD, front and rear cameras, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, and Windows 8.1 32-bit.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" 8GB WiFi Tablet
Store: Office Depot and OfficeMax
$79.92 with free shippingEXPIRED
Lowest By: $39
Expires: November 30
Is It Worth It?: Although Amazon recently refreshed its tablet lineup, the Kindle Fire HD remains an excellent buy. At $80, you're getting this tablet for a full $39 less than what Amazon charges for a refurb — this one is new. Unique to the Kindle experience are features like Whispersync, X-Ray for books and movies, and FreeTime for kids, as well as Prime member bonuses like Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library.
The Kindle Fire HD sports a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 7" 1280x800 touchscreen LCD, 8GB of internal storage, a front-facing camera, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth, and Fire OS 3.0 (Mojito). Click here to see more tablets on sale at Office Depot and OfficeMax.
Refurbished BlackBerry PlayBook 7" 64GB Tablet
Store: Blutek via eBay
Price: $75.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $60
Is It Worth It?: With few apps and an uncertain future for the ecosystem, Blackberry isn't anyone's first choice in tablets these days. That's a shame, because this refurbished BlackBerry PlayBook offers a pleasant user experience at an impulse-buy price. Calling the PlayBook "a sure hit for the BlackBerry loyal," CNET also suggested it as "a tempting option for those who prefer an uncompromising Web experience to the allure of apps and games." This Editors' Choice tablet is currently available at the cheapest price we've ever seen, $76.
The 0.9-lb. PlayBook features a Cortex A9 1GHz dual-core processor, a 7" 1024x600 touchscreen LCD, 64GB of internal memory, a 3-megapixel front camera, a 5-megapixel rear camera, 1080p video recording, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, and BlackBerry Tablet OS (QNX). No warranty information is provided.