Archives For Deals

gamestop creditAs my most recent Xbox 360 (4GB model) has been collecting dust, given its noise pollution and annual tax, I’ve been contemplating switching the hardware up for another PS3 or handheld PS Vista ($250). And that was my plan when I arrived at Gamestop to redeem their $50 PS3 or Xbox 360 console credit bonus. While Gamestop rarely offers great trade-in values, it’s always extremely efficient. But the extra 50 bucks brought my $200 console up to $125 — which is quite reasonable considering how long I’ve had it, including the last year it’s been banished to storage. Yet, before the helpful clerk could bring my new PS Vita Assassin’s Creed bundle out from the back, I noticed Gamestop now offers a healthy selection of tablets including the 32GB Nexus 7 and entire range of Kindle Fires.

amazon kindle fire hd

My current iPad 3 hasn’t been able to replace a laptop and I find it too bulky to comfortably use on the couch, so my plan has been Continue Reading…

Cyber Monday Streaming Deals

Dave Zatz —  November 26, 2012

streaming-boxes

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again where we give thanks for deeply discounted gear. Fortunately, Cyber Monday online sales provide relief from the Black Friday mall riots and we’ve spotted bargains on some of our favorite streaming boxes.

Roku HD
Roku, one of our perennial favorites in this category, sees a $10-$20 discount across its line. Despite a much-needed UI refresh and lack of YouTube, Roku retains the broadest selection of streaming content  -including staples such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Pandora. I’d say the best bang for the buck is the Roku HD, which caps out at 720p but clocks in at a mere $40. For comparison, the competing Apple TV runs $99 and adding streaming services to an Xbox runs $60/year.

Refurbished Apple TV
Let’s say you’re deep into Apple’s ecosystem and would appreciate streaming your iTunes collection and beaming content from your iPhone to your television. And maybe you’d like one of the more polished appearing interfaces and YouTube to go along with Netflix and movie rentals. Well, the refurbished 1080p Apple TV is 15% off list at $85. Gifting a refurb might be a bit tacky, despite Apple’s full warranty and pristine hardware, so this would be best for close relatives… or yourself. Continue Reading…

tivo-sale2

‘Tis the season… for great gadget discounts. And TiVo intends to goose holiday sales by providing three months of free service to new TiVo Premiere DVR customers. This works out to a savings of $45 for new customers, or $39 if adding an additional unit to your account. However, should you choose to partake, it does require a one year commitment. Assuming TiVo has new DVR hardware in development and you wouldn’t hang on long enough for Lifetime service to be beneficial, by going with the base Premiere this works out to roughly $22/month over a one year period — about the same as what your cable company will charge for an inferior set-top box. Then again, it’s generally no muss, no fuss. Compared to the sometimes flakey CableCARD and SDV integration you might find on your hands with TiVo. Continue Reading…

For the first time in recent memory, Sling Media is running a sale on their mobile apps – that enable you to watch your home video service while on the road (or, perhaps, in other areas of your house) via smartphone or tablet. The SlingPlayer apps are a hefty 50% off through July 22, and I’m told the promotion is available worldwide. So if you were holding back on a purchase due to the steep $30 (US) fee, now may be a good time to get your placeshifting fix for a reasonable $15. FYI most current apps require Slingbox SOLO or PRO-HD hardware, versus prior generation devices.

The four tuner, 2TB TiVo Premiere Elite is on sale today for a low $350. To sweeten the deal TiVo is offering free shipping and a free 6 months of Hulu Plus (which we’ve been using to watch three seasons of Community). Of course, TiVo DVRs also require a service subscription that runs $13-$15/month or $400-$500 for lifetime access. We assume the price cut is designed to not only goose sales after perhaps a lackluster retail quarter, but also as TiVo clears inventory of “Elite” hardware as they migrate to “XL4″ branding.

Two notes: 1) The TiVo Premiere Elite is only compatible with digital cable, over-the-air and satellite customers need not apply. 2) If you’re contemplating a whole-home DVR solution utilizing the upcoming TiVo IP-STB extenders, remember they will only be compatible with an Elite/XL4 (at launch) as your hub – versus the standard Premiere. Making this is fairly compelling deal for those looking to upgrade (which I am) and when you consider the Premiere Elite ran $500 less than 90 days ago.

The second best 10″ tablet on the planet has just dropped in price… assuming you’re OK with refurbished hardware. The iPad 2 is now available starting at a low of $319, shipped free, direct from Apple. Unlike many remanufactured products, Apple provides a full-on warranty (of 1 year) and even replaces both the battery and rear casing for a mightily pristine experience. In fact, I ordered my mother a refurb iPad 2 back when they were $349 back in March — it both looked and functioned as one would expect of brand new hardware.

The primary difference between the “new” iPad ($500 and up) and the prior generation iPad 2 is, of course, the “Retina” display (with associated slight increase in girth and weight due to the requisite larger battery). The iPad 3 also brings voice dictation, improved camera optics, and optional LTE wireless capabilities. Yet, many won’t appreciate or utilize these additional features (at additional expense), making the iPad 2 a solid value even if purchased new ($400).

Save Some Money On Roku

Dave Zatz —  March 26, 2012

roku2-sale

In the market for a Roku streaming box? If so, you’ve got a few deals to choose from today… At the high end, the “flagship” Roku 2 XS is 20% off as Amazon’s Deal of the Day. Instead of $99.99, you’ll only be paying $79.99. Beyond providing access to a variety of “channels” including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Pandora this model also features a Wii-esque motion control remote that enables gaming — think Angry Birds. Possibly more practical is the inclusion of USB and Ethernet jacks that its lower end brethren lack. If, by chance, Amazon sells out or you miss this opportunity, Best Buy is offering the same model for a slightly lesser $10 discount — clocking in at $89.99.

If these features don’t appeal or the Roku 2 XS is still more than you’re prepared to invest in a streamer, Woot is offering two different prior generation Roku boxes for $49.99. However, I’d urge folks to consider the similarly priced Roku LT instead – it may cap out at 720p, versus the 1080p found on several other Roku models, yet that higher definition streaming content is hard to come by. More importantly, this model features Roku’s current hardware and software platform. Meaning it’s more likely to see updates and new features… including Netflix captions and BBC iPlayer.

roku-display2

In other Roku sales and marketing news, it appears they’ve recently invested in a Best Buy endcap (pics below). It’ll be a reasonably attractive and informative advertisement once Best Buy powers on the TV, removes those “do not inventory” stickers from the streamers, and come up with a better way to secure the remotes to the display.