Archives For Deals

Early Deals We’re Tracking

Dave Zatz —  November 13, 2018 — 11 Comments

Black Friday “the day” appears to have morphed into Black Friday “the month” and, as such, some deals are already flowing. Remember to get your ebates account going and let’s start shopping!

$100 Smart Displays

The 8″ Lenovo Google Smart Display, 7″ Google Home Hub, and 8″ Amazon Echo Show will all be $100 from various retailers at various moments this holiday season. Both platforms are compelling in their own right (and frustrating in others). For example, Google provides superior photo frame functionality and is quite versatile as a (somewhat neutered) Chromecast endpoint. By comparison, Amazon provides exceptional audio and is the sole solution for Ring doorbell video. If choosing between the Google models, Lenovo has the larger display and more powerful speaker, whereas the Home Hub takes up less counter space and is Audrey-cute while provided enhanced visual presentation by adjusting photo color based on ambient lighting.

Deeply Discounted Televisions & Streamers

While the LG OLEDs aren’t quite the deal they were last year, there will be many good options, in various sizes and quality levels and below are a couple of good values worth considering. Pro-tip: Best Buy will bring 55″ and larger sets into your home for free and take away your old projection or plasma for $20.

Smarter Home

You’re home’s not just smart, it’s highly intelligent since you’ve found all sorts of good deals – right?

Prepping For Black Friday

Dave Zatz —  November 2, 2018 — 4 Comments

With Black Friday rapidly approaching, it’s time to begin preparations. And, while BF is often associated with holiday shopping, it’s also an ideal time to stock up on just about everything your household may need, from power tools to hiking boots. Heck, I even ordered a high chair about 50% off a few years back… before my daughter was born. As such, you need to create a wishlist – to scan deals efficiently and to avoid impulse purchases. Which ties into monitoring tools. I rely on the Slick Deals app for smartphone alerts (based on products in the aforementioned laundry list) and Wirecutter’s Twitter deals feed. Lastly, you need an ebates account for decent cash back from retailers (other than Amazon).

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The new Amazon Echo Dot is out. And Alexa’s reviews have been exceedingly positive. From The Verge:

I’m going to cut right to the chase: the new Echo Dot smart speaker is so much better than its predecessor that it would not be totally out of line to replace a whole houseful of old Echo Dots with new ones. The new Echo Dot looks better, works better, and, most importantly, sounds much better than the prior model. And it still costs the same $49.99.

Beyond the 3rd generation Dot’s vastly superior audio (including stereo pairing), Amazon also up the style quotient with a (larger, but) more refined presentation, including Google-esque fabric-covered speakers… that I’m a-OK with.

While I frequently vacillate between Alexa, Google Assistant, and nothing at all (stop listening to us!)… prior gen Dot audio quality is atrocious and, lately, has only been used to entertain my daughter. Fortunately, Amazon is running a nice Echo upgrade program: get some cash by trading in your prior devices plus 25% off any future Echo device purchase – including these low ticket Dots ($50) and even the new Echo Show ($230). Amazon also covers the return shipping, so it’s a pretty pain-free transaction. As such, I pocketed a whopping $10 Amazon credit by offloading two unused 2nd gen Dots and will hang onto my 25% discount until the inevitable Echo device sale.

TiVo’s got a great offer for those of you still rocking legacy DVRs with Lifetime service. Active* Series 2, Series 3, TiVo HD, and Premiere units can have their Lifetime service transferred to a new TiVo Bolt Vox under the equivalent All-In plan for just $99. As to the fine print, this promotion is only applicable to set-tops that, “have connected to a TiVo service between July 25, 2017 and July 25, 2018. Your current box will be deactivated on September 7, 2018.” So while our moth-balled units can’t partake, active users get a real nice hardware upgrade at a great price – including a month of service overlap to transfer Season/One Passes and recordings.

(Thanks Daniel T!)

Don’t know what sort of stockings you’re sporting this time of year, but here are a few decent deals on some low ticket items that might interest you.

Aukey USB Charger – $6
I replaced an older, bulkier two-port Anker model with this little guy back in February and have been pleased. It’s unobtrusive in the kitchen, travels well, and simply does what it’s supposed to do. Use code FORMOM32 to knock $2 off and it’s shipped free via Prime. If you need more power (for iPads) or faster charging, this somewhat larger Anker is also on sale for $9.

Anker SoundBuds Slim – $20
I’ve been rocking these since December and use them more frequently than my Apple AirPods (for music) given the customizable fit (see the multiple options above) and comparatively superior blockage of ambient noise. Decent sound, decent battery life, and fairly quick recharging. I also appreciate the

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The 4K TiVo Mini Vox Giveaway

Dave Zatz —  January 23, 2018

TiVo VP Ted Malone kindly provided a TiVo Mini Vox ($180) for evaluation, which I’m now happy to pass along a member of the community.

As you likely know, the TiVo Mini line of small form factor set-tops extend your core TiVo DVR experience to additional rooms and televisions within the home. The newly released Mini Vox features a similar footprint as its predecessors and, beyond more agreeable styling, also brings superior processing power and 4K along for the ride to stream that ultra HD Netflix and Amazon. It’s snappy! The Mini Vox also sports TiVo’s new Hydra interface, for better or worse, which in turn enables TiVo’s highly capable native voice capabilities – triggered via the bundled voice remote.

The giveaway is a fairly simple and standard affair, although not entirely free… as the cost of entry is your social media soul. For reference, a YouTube subscription carries double the weight of a Twitter follow and 4x the value of a Facebook look-see. But, hey, feel free to stack the odds in your favor by taking all available actions. One winner will be selected at random next week and, should the response be favorable, I’ve got some other goodies (eero) waiting in the wings.

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Best Black Friday Deals

Dave Zatz —  November 24, 2017

Some of the best deals I’ve come across on products I own or otherwise endorse, but certainly not all-encompassing – so share your good finds in the comments!

Cord Cutting & Streaming

Smart Home 

Connected Health & Fitness