10 Windows Tablets, Laptops Under $200: Holiday Steals - InformationWeek

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10 Windows Tablets, Laptops Under $200: Holiday Steals
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Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 10:18:15 AM
tablets
I'm very tempted to buy one, but I'm certainly not going to enter a store on Black Friday in order to get a special price.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 10:32:57 AM
Beware ...
Before buying an inexpensive tablet, check out this testing Bluebox did: https://bluebox.com/blog/business/santa-or-the-grinch-android-tablet-analysis-2014/

They found malware, including backdoors, on many sub-$100 tabs. Very much worth a look.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 10:52:18 AM
Exploit the moment
Sweet deals here, although it feels strange to buy a laptop/ultrabook for $200, like there's a catch, like you'll get what you pay for. Reminds me of the "netbook" days of 2008-2010. But if you're on a tight budget and just need to do basic computing, it doesn't get better than this. Microsoft is at a vulnerable point where they really need to get some Windows 8 laptops and tablets out the door. Might as well take advantage of it.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 11:42:18 AM
Re: tablets
Some of the best deals are door busters that require you to purchase in-store, but others are available online at Amazon, Microsoft.com, and some others-- so even if you don't want to brave the Black Friday madness in person (and who could blame you?), you can still get some of the deals.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 11:46:14 AM
Re: Beware ...
@Lorna thanks for that. I'll have to do my homework before falling for a bargain.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 11:49:14 AM
Re: tablets
@Michael, thanks. Though my own area is really trying to push the madness on the local stores, I prefer to stay out of it. I also dread the traffic jams that will ensue.  I'll have to look into online order options and check Lorna's link to skip over the models that bring trouble with them. 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 12:14:33 PM
Re: Beware ...
Interesting link, Lorna, thanks for that. I notice that the "trustworthy" Android devices in that suvey came from big manufacturers (e.g. Samsung) whereas the less trustworthy ones were often from smaller or lesser-known OEMs. I know big manufacturers sometimes load crapware on their devices, but still, seems like the most malware-susceptible of these Android tablets came from the fringes, rather than the center, of the market.


In any case, it goes to show you that it's always good to check out a device in person before buying. Perhaps you can buy sight-unseen if it's a device that's been reviewed to death (e.g. Surface Pro or iPad), but if it's a device that's less known, like some of these Windows tablets that are either suspiciously cheap or from relatively unknown OEMs, it's best to exercise caution. A $100 tablet might seem like a great deal at the time, but was the purchase really worth it if, a year later, the tablet's spent 95% of the time in a desk drawer?
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 12:17:12 PM
Re: tablets
I hear you. In San Francisco on an average day, it takes me at least two hours roundtrip to go to Best Buy. When it's that bad on a typical day, there's no way I'm going to deal with all the traffic and crowds on Black Friday. Maybe I'd save $10 here or there, but the costs to my sanity would be much higher!
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 12:25:38 PM
Re: tablets
@Michael Exactly, the frustration outweighs the savings!
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2014 | 12:28:52 PM
Re: Exploit the moment
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft's budget craze helps it to invest readers in its touch UI. A lot of these cheap notebooks are non-touch. Windows 8.1's market share has been way up over the last six weeks, as these cheap devices have begun to hit the market, but some surveys indicate that a lot of the purchases are non-tiouch. Microsoft needs more users, and it seems to be achieving that goal. But it also needs people to invest in its new app model and UI, and it's not as clear if there's any headway there.
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