Archives For Deals

The magicJack Giveaway

Dave Zatz —  May 9, 2010

After CES I was pretty fired up about the possibility of a femtocell magicJack – a gadget to potentially route some of our cellular voice commutations over the Internet, thereby saving carrier minutes. The technical details were murky, but the concept seemed compelling. So I reached out to magicJack’s PR team and insisted they get one out to me, even if only in prototype form, to dig deeper. As it turns out, we experienced a bit of  miscommunication and I ened up in possession of the traditional magicJack. Our goof is your gain.

As a refresher… MagicJack is a small USB doohickey, which works with both Windows and OS X, that allows you to make unlimited calls to the US and Canada. You’ll also be issued a phone number, with an area code of your choosing, to receive calls. A typical/traditional phone can be plugged directly into the magicJack (get it? magic jack) or the software can be used Skype-like with a headset. $40 gets you magicJack and a year of service; additional years of connectivity run $20/each. (Of course, this particular unit will cost one lucky ZNF reader nothing.) The company seems to be on a tear – the PC Mag Editors’ Choice has moved over 5 million units. Although, not without experiencing some growing pains.

Entering the giveaway is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) We’ll choose the winner at random in a few days.

TiVo kindly overnighted the new Wireless N Network Adapter ($90) for a ZNF unboxing and giveaway.

Unlike their 802.11g USB TiVo adapter, this is more of a “network bridge” in a pretty sleek package. Other than the serious cable clutter, which won’t fly in my household. As a wireless bridge, the adapter connects to a TiVo (Premiere, Series3, TiVoHD, S2 DT) via Ethernet rather than USB — and needs to be configured beyond the DVR. WPS-enabled wireless routers should provide two click configuration with the adapter in client mode. However, I got this unit going in bridge mode simply by connecting it to my laptop via Ethernet and browsing to 192.168.10.1, where I provided my network details. As I utilize a hidden SSID, of limited security benefit, I jumped out of the wizard and into the manual configuration area. However, setup is quite straightforward and presented much more clearly than my ASUS bridge. (Find TiVo’s adapter manual here.) Those with more than one device to wire and some network savvy may prefer buying or building an access point for the same money. Although you won’t be treated to the TiVo branding seen on the Wireless N Network adapter, splitter cable, and power adapter.

Entering the TiVo Wireless N Network Adapter giveaway is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment below. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) I’ll choose one winner at random in a few days.

Click to enlarge:

Woot‘s got the Samsung BD-P1590 up today for a low $85 shipped. I can’t say it’s the best Blu-ray player, or even very good. In fact, one of the top ZNF posts of all time is our coverage of Samsung’s sister unit, the BD-P1600. Because it’s got problems. Amazon commentary of the 1590 isn’t very flattering either.

However, if you’re willing to accept slower boot times, run of the mill picture quality, and that “Wireless Ready” does not equal wireless… $85 is a pretty good deal. Because, in addition to Blu-ray playback, you’ll have access to Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and Blockbuster VOD.

I wouldn’t recommend this Samsung for your living room, but it might make a nice addition to the den or kid’s room. Assuming you can hardwire it.

The GelaSkins Giveaway

Dave Zatz —  March 12, 2010

In honor of GelaSkins new Marvel lineup, and my longstanding appreciation of their licensed artwork, I approached them about a giveaway. And, given this post, they’re obviously game.

I was previously a satisfied GelaSkins customer, sporting this 3M sticker on the back of my first gen iPhone for about a year. While the skin offered little protection, it definitely jazzed up my handset and prevented surface scuffs (which has been even more of a problem on the 3GS plastic back). GelaSkins also provides free phone wallpaper, and I helped myself to this whimsical beaut several months ago. Which is still in effect.

If you’d like a GelaSkin for your phone (iPhone, Blackberry, Nexus One, etc) or iPod, simply leave a comment letting us know which design (Marvel or otherwise) suits your fancy. We’ll randomly choose one winner to receive a coupon code in a few days.

Woot: TiVo Series 3 @ $175

Dave Zatz —  March 10, 2010

With the introduction of the TiVo Premiere ($300), it’s no surprise that they’re blowing out excess inventory of prior models. And Woot’s got a decent deal today on the Series3: $169.99 + $5 shipping.

It’s a refurbished unit, but the enclosure will still look better than your Premiere or TiVoHD… with that OLED front panel display. The S3 also includes the higher end Glo remote and provides the freedom to add an eSATA hard drive of your choosing for increased recording capacity. Unfortunately, the Series 3 consumes more power and will require two CableCARDs for dual tuning digital cable. Depending upon your provider, that could result in multiple phone calls and additional fees. Beyond your TiVo subscription, of course. The Premiere, hitting next month, features significantly faster hardware and a new UI. But it’s not yet known how the experience compares.

As for me, I’m hanging on to my original Series3, purchased after review. And intend to swap my TiVo HD for a Lifetimed Premiere when the time is right. Unless I blow it all up for a $1000 3-room Moxi bundle. Or Ceton Media Center solution. Hm.

Thanks for the tip, Jon!

skooba-proporta-ipod-cases

Skooba, venerable maker of Checkpoint-friendly laptop bags and other sturdy computer cases (and CES CtrStg sponsor), has started selling Proporta-brand cases for portable gear as of today. Normally I wouldn’t bother reporting on reseller news, even a US exclusive, but 1. I like Skooba, and 2. Proporta has some nice-looking stuff. I’ve found it oddly difficult to find nice cases for some of my gadgets, so any new supplier is welcome.

The full Proporta line-up includes everything from drawstring, to leather, to neoprene, and outfits itsy bitsy devices like the iPod Shuffle (all versions) all the way up to 10″ netbooks and full-size laptops. I had hoped the netbook cases would include include handles (I’m ready to replace my fashionable-but-rapidly-soiled Golla bag freebie), but like most on the market, they’re only netbook sleeves with no easy carrying attachment. On the other hand, the Proporta selection of iPod and other MP3 player cases is quite impressive. Fashion and function are both well represented.

No word on how wide a range of products Skooba will sell from the Proporta line (iPod cases now, but more products coming soon), but Skooba did send us a coupon for our readers if you want to do some shopping. You can get 15% off any Proporta items through the end of May. Use discount code PROPORTA.

The TiVo Schwag Giveaway

Dave Zatz —  May 16, 2009

tivo-ball

I realize I’ve been a bit critical of TiVo lately and they’ve got a fine, new retail competitor in Moxi. But we want TiVo fans to know ZNF still has love for you. This TiVo schwag prize package I’ve collected over the last couple months consists of a window cling 3-pack for your car(s), a deck of Comcast TiVo playing cards, and a basketball with TiVo logos (bring your own pump). Entering the contest is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) We’ll choose the winner at random in a few days.