Archives For Gadgets

Let the deals begin!

Dave Zatz —  November 26, 2015 — 9 Comments

I’m always on the hunt for a good deal, but this time of year is especially frenzied. So I’ve got my wishlist ready as I dutifully monitor my overflowing inbox and Slickdeals app while I access sites through ebates for some additional cash back. Some early catches…


Amazon Fire TV Stick @ $25 – Cheaper than the Roku stick and still preferable to the new Chromecast given a physical remote control. Provides many of the top streaming TV apps, plus a TiVo client, and supports guest/hotel WiFi connections. Great for yourself and also a nice stocking stuffer.

Amazon Fire Tablet @ $35 – Not a good tablet by any measure other than cost. Unless you’re a small child or senior citizen, at which point this 7″ 2015 model might be an interesting gift idea for casual web surfing, video playback, or Kindle reading.

32″ Roku TV @ $125 – Budget friendly, 720p television with Roku built right in. It’s a little chunkier than you might like and not the highest quality panel. But it’s dirt cheap and great for a kitchen or guest bedroom — where I keep the two I own.

ecobee3 + 3 sensors @ $250 – I’d have preferred a lower price of entry for this smart thermostat, but two free remote sensors provides solid savings if you can put them in use. On price alone, a better deal can be had on the 3rd gen Nest ($250 plus $50 gift card), but I prefer ecobee’s approach.

Ooma with wireless adapter @ $90 – Stick this on your home network, as I do, and plug your phones in for unlimited US calling. The bonus wireless adapter lets you place the VoIP box anywhere in your home and also lets you link your cellphone over Bluetooth.

30% off one Book – Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are offering 30% off any book via the linked coupon codes. I put the Amazon discount to work and discovered it’s limited paper books and maxes out at $10 of savings but does apply to pre-orders.

Find anything good? I know there are tons of big screen deals to be had…

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Internet giant Alphabet Inc <GOOGL.O>, the new holding company for Google, expects to begin delivering packages to consumers via drones sometime in 2017, the executive in charge of its drone effort said on Monday. David Vos, the leader for Alphabet’s Project Wing, said his company is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and other stakeholders about setting up an air traffic control system for drones that would use cellular and Internet technology to coordinate unmanned aerial vehicle flights at altitudes under 500 feet (152 meters).

Google's Project Wing drone makes a delivery in this undated demonstration video. REUTERS/Courtesy of Google

Google’s Project Wing drone makes a delivery in this undated demonstration video. REUTERS/Courtesy of Google

“Our goal is to have commercial business up and running in 2017,” he told an audience at an air traffic control convention near Washington. Continue Reading…

Philips Keeps Hue Going

Joel Ward —  September 29, 2015 — 22 Comments

I have been a fan of the Philips Hue wireless bulb system for a while now, including how to extend it using other brands of ZigBee bulbs and home automation hubs. So much so that I even did a presentation at my company’s Ideas Festival about how devices like Hue have enabled my son to break out of his shell and interact with his environment.

Philips Hue Go and Hue Disco

Over the summer, the Philips Hue Go portable lamp was added to the Hue lineup. I have to be honest: I didn’t even notice it at first. Which is odd because I love this stuff. A few weeks ago I had some Amazon gift card money burning a hole in my pocket so I was browsing for something interesting to buy when I came across the Hue Go lamp. It seemed totally frivolous so I had to order one! Continue Reading…

All the new goodies!

Dave Zatz —  September 28, 2015 — 5 Comments

‘Tis the season…

By way the FCC, I have a sneaking suspicion that Amazon is set to unveil a new Fire tablet. And, unlike prior models, this mystery device (SG98EG, 2ADU6-8274) lists microSD support. Whether or not the storage expansion slot can only be accessed during engineering testing and if this is really an Amazon product remain to be seen. But please enjoy this bit of gibberish (aka Jib Wresh LLC) while we await unveiling of the “Tablet PC” … and hopefully another Fire TV or two.



So the big news is that Amazon Echo is now available for all to purchase, with a July 14th ETA. And, instead of going mass market at $200 as originally presented, it arrives at an even more palatable $180 (having dropped the physical remote). Considering a decent Bluetooth speaker could run that much or more, the voice-controlled, multi-function Echo is really a fantabulous deal when you consider all it offers.

When originally introduced as an Amazon Prime exclusive in limited numbers for $99, I picked up two. Back then, it didn’t do a whole lot — it was largely a silo-ed experience that I mainly used as a voice-controlled alarm clock and iHeartRadio terminal. But the product team has been iterating at a furious pace, bringing native Pandora, Hue control (!), and Audible integration… with promises of more to come and a developer SDK.

Continue Reading…

Nest Updates Some Stuff

Dave Zatz —  June 18, 2015

Nest gathered the press yesterday to introduce a refreshed Nest Protect, Dropcam Nestcam, and mobile app. While it’s clear the Google subsidiary is starting to pull an ecosystem together as they refine their offerings, the pace isn’t exactly breathtaking and I’m not motivated to further open my wallet. In fact, given ecobee’s incoming support for Apple HomeKit and remote sensors, I might finally make good on promises to unload my Nest thermostat. You?


More thoughts on the announcements, in reverse chronological order… because Twitter: Continue Reading…

Beyond its premium construction and physical page turn nubs, the Kindle Voyage’s prime selling point has been its higher resolution display. Well, today, the dynamics have shifted … as Amazon has just introduced an “All-New” Kindle Paperwhite that features a 300ppi e-Ink screen, while retaining its $119 price point — $80 cheaper than Voyage. Along with the new Paperwhite, Amazon is also taking this opportunity to more formally introduce their new font and layout engine.


As for me, I got my pre-order in. Once I’m done checking out the upgraded Paperwhite when it releases June 30th, I’ll pass it on to Mom. All that’s really left for the Kindle line is waterproofing… and, until then, I’ll be sticking with Ziploc.