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Groupon's tech deals: Are they really deals?

By Guest Blogger
at 8:50AM Tuesday July 30, 2013
under Money Saving Tips

I'm a big fan of Groupon, LivingSocial, and similar daily-deal sites, which I've used to score some solid bargains on restaurants, family outings, and even vacations.

But tech gear? Not so much.

If you're like me and get the usual deluge of e-mail from these services, you've probably seen offers for everything from laptops and TVs to mobile chargers and Apple accessories.
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Why you should buy the Google Chromecast

By Guest Blogger
at 11:30AM Thursday July 25, 2013
under Stuff We Like

Yesterday, Google introduced the Chromecast, an HDTV accessory that's kind of like a cross between an Apple TV and a Roku box. But here's the kicker: It's only $35.

The gizmo looks a lot like a USB flash drive, but instead of plugging into your PC, it plugs into one of your TV's available HDMI ports.
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Microsoft's awesome back-to-school laptop deal

By Guest Blogger
at 11:00AM Tuesday July 23, 2013
under Spotlight Deals

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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How to pick the perfect back-to-school laptop

By Guest Blogger
at 9:30AM Thursday July 18, 2013
under Money Saving Tips

With summer halfway over already, it's time to start shopping for the inevitable return to school. [Cue sound of kids everywhere screaming, "Noooooo!"] For a lot of students that means eyeballing a new laptop.

For a lot of parents that means dollar signs--and more than a little confusion. How much do you really need to spend on a school-minded PC? And how can you make sure you're getting a system that will go the distance? (Hopefully just four years, if you're packing a kid off to college.)

Have no fear: Even with a zillion models to choose from, picking the right laptop is easy if you follow a few simple guidelines.

1. Know your needs

When it comes to computing, different students have different needs.
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Tame your e-mail with free Alto service

By Guest Blogger
at 8:05AM Tuesday July 16, 2013
under Stuff We Like

E-mail can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing because, well, you know, it's e-mail. But a curse because there's too much of it.

Indeed, the modern inbox tends to be flooded with daily-deal promos (I'm looking at you, Groupon), social-network notifications, photos from friends, and other distracting clutter. The way this stuff snowballs, it's not long before you start missing the important stuff.

If only you had a personal e-mail valet, someone who would sort all your messages for you and separate the e-wheat from the e-chaff.

That's Alto in a nutshell.
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Get an HDMI cable for $1.96

By Guest Blogger
at 7:00AM Thursday July 11, 2013
under Money Saving Tips

Modern home theaters run on HDMI cables.

They're used for just about everything: game consoles, cable boxes, Roku boxes, Blu-ray players, Apple TVs, home-theater receivers, and on and on. Heck, if you run out of HDMI inputs on your TV, you need an HDMI switch--which itself requires an HDMI cable.

Unfortunately, many people make a mistake when the time comes to buy an HDMI cable: They venture down to the local big-box or electronics store and pay $20, $30, sometimes even $50 for one.
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Get a huge Mac software bundle for $49.99

By Guest Blogger
at 1:00PM Wednesday July 10, 2013
under Spotlight Deals

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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Sorry, Amazon, even a $169 Kindle Fire HD doesn't beat a $129 Nook HD

By Guest Blogger
at 12:30PM Friday July 5, 2013
under Stuff We Like

A couple weeks back I told you about the one tablet deal you don't want to miss: the 7-inch Barnes & Noble Nook HD for $129. (I also sang the praises of the 8.9-inch Nook HD+, which was slashed to $149, but that's a topic for another day.)

Even though Barnes & Noble has announced it will no longer be making its own color tablets (instead partnering with a third-party manufacturer), it was probably inevitable that Amazon would respond to such a huge pricing discrepancy.

And it has: the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD has been cut to $169 from $199, though this isn't necessarily permanent.
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Apple unveils back-to-school deals on Macs, iPhones ,and iPads

By Guest Blogger
at 7:19AM Tuesday July 2, 2013
under Spotlight Deals

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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Five tech freebies you shouldn't overlook

By Guest Blogger
at 10:36AM Thursday June 27, 2013
under Freebies

It's true: there's no such thing as a free lunch. (Well, not unless you have a sandwich-shop card with nine punches.)

But tech stuff? There's more "free" out there than you might think, including a few items that might surprise you. Below I've rounded up five of my favorite tech freebies, including phones, phone calls, and e-books.

Last year's hot smartphone
Not everybody needs all the bells and whistles afforded by the latest and greatest smartphone. Indeed, if you're willing to "settle" for one of last year's models, you can score a sweet deal--possibly even a free one.

For example, a year ago the phone to have was Samsung's Galaxy S III, but you'd have paid $199.99 for the privilege.
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The one tablet deal you don't want to miss

By Guest Blogger
at 8:01AM Tuesday June 25, 2013
under Spotlight Deals

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.

Wow.

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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The best new password manager is free

By Guest Blogger
at 8:17AM Thursday June 20, 2013
under Stuff We Like

We live in a password-powered world. You need one for everything nowadays: banking sites, shopping sites, e-mail services, social networks, Netflix, and on and on.

Needless to say, password management can be a major hassle. If you follow security experts' advice, you know that you should use a different password for each and every site and service.
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