Spotlight Deals

Spotlight Deals

Get A Philips Fidelio HTL7180/F7 Sound Bar For $439.99

Fidelio Scratch

Can we talk high-end audio for a sec?

See, here’s the deal: The speakers in your HDTV totally suck. I don’t mean they’re weak and tinny and facing the wrong the way (which they are); I mean they’re just terrible. It’s like owning a Ferrari that tops out at 15 mph.

In other words, your eyes have it made, but your ears are getting robbed. That’s why I always advise HDTV owners to invest in a sound bar, which will vastly improve your TV audio. Of course, as a massive cheapskate, I usually recommend a low-end, sub-$100 model.

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Amazon’s best freakin’ tablet ever is on sale


I tend to reserve hyperbole for things like food and movies. “Gravity”? Best film of 2013, if not the entire decade. The drunken noodles at Wazuzu in Las Vegas? Best Thai dish that’s ever passed through my pie hole.

So when I say the Kindle Fire HDX is the single best tablet you can buy, believe it. And I say this as someone who has owned or used just about every other tablet on the planet.

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Read unlimited e-books for $9.95 per month


I love books, especially e-books, which I can read on my phone, tablet, e-reader, or even laptop.

But e-book prices? Those I don’t love so much. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for ways to save.

For example, the library is a great source for e-books that don’t cost a dime, but the selection tends to be limited, and often you have to wait a long time for popular titles.

That’s why I’m gobbling up Oyster, an e-book subscription service that works a lot like Netflix: pay a flat monthly rate for unlimited access to a large e-book library.

How large? Oyster boasts a catalog of over 100,000 titles across categories ranging from business and biography to science fiction and true crime. You’ll find authors like Pearl S.

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Cyber Monday steal: Get a no-contract iPhone 5 for $359.99 (or less)


Conventional wisdom holds that if you want an iPhone, you have no choice but to get it from a big carrier, lock into a two-year contract, and pay a minimum of $70 per month for service–usually closer to $80 by the time you get hit with all those taxes and fees.

Not today. In honor of Cyber Monday, Virgin Mobile has the iPhone 5 (16GB) for $359.99 shipped, with no activation charge and, more important, no contract.

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Is now the time to buy a 4K TV?


Sometimes I’m tempted to buy things I don’t need, even when I know full well they’re not practical.

For example, TigerDirect is currently offering the Seiki SE39UY04 39-inch 4K Ultra HDTV for $499.99 shipped when you apply coupon code NFF106630 at checkout. That’s the lowest price I’ve ever seen on a 4K TV, and therefore I must have it.

Well, okay, quick reality check. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons here.

In case the terminology is unfamiliar, “4K” refers to ultra high-definition television, also known as Ultra HD. The number derives from the screen resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, which is four times greater than standard HDTV (which runs at 1,920 by 1,080).

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Get a Roku 3 streaming media player for $84.99


Back in March, I called the Roku 3 the “best streaming box you can buy, period!” Here in October, nothing has changed: There’s no better way to bring Netflix, Pandora, and oodles of other online content to your TV.

Of course, the $99.99 list price can be a bit tough to swallow. That’s why I’m excited about this deal: Amazon has the Roku 3 streaming media box for $84.99 shipped. It’s new, not refurbished, and the lowest price I’ve seen on this, Roku’s top-end model.
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Get a 24-inch LCD monitor for $109.99


Big monitors rock.

Not just for everyday computing tasks like Web browsing and word processing, though obviously a spacious screen is great for that stuff.
No, the real value lies in computer-powered entertainment: movies, games, photo slideshows, and so on. For tasks like these, nothing beats a big monitor.
For a long while, a 22-inch display represented the price/performance sweet spot. Anything bigger and you’d pay a premium. But not today: TigerDirect has the UpStar M240A1 24-inch LED monitor for $109.99, plus around $9 for shipping.
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Get a $412 Mac software bundle for whatever price you want


Everyone knows there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But a dirt-cheap deal on a really expensive lunch? Yeah, that’s a thing.

It is today, anyway, and for the next couple weeks. StackSocial’s Name Your Own Price Mac Bundle 3.0 comes with 10 Mac apps that have a combined value of $412. Your price: whatever you want to pay.
No, really. It says so right there in the name. Ah, but there’s an asterisk missing: Unless you pay at least the average purchase price, which is currently $12.53, you get just three programs: YouTube downloader Airy, home-inventory manager Compartments, and desktop animator My Living Desktop.
Those alone are worth $60, and if you’re feeling especially cheap, you can walk away with them for as little as a penny.
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Add Bluetooth to any stereo for just 12 bucks


I’m a huge fan of Sonos audio gear, which lets you stream all your favorite music (playlists, Pandora, Spotify, etc.) to wireless standalone speakers.

But, ho, it’s some expensive gear, with even the most basic package starting at $300. My cheapskate nature won’t allow me to spend that kind of money on what is essentially a fancy stereo.
Especially when there are such inexpensive alternatives. For example, with my smartphone or tablet and a simple Bluetooth receiver, which can plug into any stereo or speaker I already own, I can fashion a system that’s nearly identical to a Sonos–for a fraction of the price.
The key ingredient: the Bluetooth receiver.
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The best PC game bundle I’ve ever seen


Cancel your weekend plans. Come to think of it, cancel next weekend’s plans, too. You’re about to score a boatload of top-rated (and genuinely great) games for an embarrassingly low price. Your free time is no more.

For a limited time, the Humble Origin Bundle offers six top-rated Electronic Arts games for whatever price you want to pay. (Well, there’s a $1 minimum.) And if you beat the average (currently a mere $4.74), you get two additional titles.

The vast majority of bundles I see are for indie games — many of which are great, yes, but there’s a reason games like Battlefield 3 sell a gazillion copies. And there are times when you want to know exactly what you’re getting, which can be difficult with the indie stuff.

Speaking of which, that’s one of the bonus items.

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Get a 2-year RoboForm Everywhere license for $15

Password management, am I right?
If you’re anything like the members of my family, you have a few weak passwords you use for various Web sites and services, and you can never remember which one goes where.
Maybe you write them down, but then invariably the Post-It note goes missing.
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Microsoft’s awesome back-to-school laptop deal


Last week I offered suggestions on how to pick the perfect back-to-school laptop. Today let’s look at a specific laptop that’s perfect for anyone heading back to school.

More accurately, this deal is one of the best I’ve seen for a student starting a four-year college program.
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Get a huge Mac software bundle for $49.99


If you’re a Mac user, you already paid a fairly high price for your hardware, and you’ve probably discovered that Mac software tends to be pricey as well.

Every so often, though, you can score a great deal on a software bundle. Like this one: For a limited time, StackSocial has the Summer 2013 Mac Bundle for $49.99. It includes 10 programs that would cost $482 (!) if purchased separately.
The undeniable highlight of the bundle is Parallels Desktop 8, a hugely popular utility that allows you to run Windows on your Mac–without having to reboot.
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Apple unveils back-to-school deals on Macs, iPhones ,and iPads


The calendar has barely struck July, but Apple is already giving students some incentive to start their back-to-school shopping.

Most college students know that Apple offers discounts on the iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro via the Apple Store for Education.
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The one tablet deal you don’t want to miss


It seems like every other day there’s another incredible tablet deal, but trust me when I say this is the most incredible tablet deal I’ve seen in 2013–maybe ever.

For a limited time, Barnes & Noble is offering the Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets for $129 and $149, respectively. These models usually sell for $199 and $269.
These are new units, not the refurbished ones you’d expect at such discounted prices. What’s more, they’re among the top-rated tablets in their class, with ultra-high-resolution screens and a few features you won’t find in competing models from Amazon and even Google.
In case you’re not familiar with them, the Nooks run a specialized version of the Android operating system, one that’s custom-tailored to Barnes & Noble’s media store.
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