Archives For Deals

There are a few fabulous Black Friday tech deals floating around the net. Amazon is gifting shoppers with an $89 offer on the Kindle 2 starting at Noon EST tomorrow. It’s the last-gen model of Amazon’s e-reader, but still gets a lot of usage from Dave, who picked up the same model this year for $139. More discerning digital readers might prefer the newer-version Kindle, however, with the E Ink Pearl display (same as the Nook) for a higher contrast screen and quicker page refresh.

If video is more your thing, check out Roku’s offer of 20% off the Roku XD. The deal starts tonight at 3 AM EST (Midnight PST), and runs through the end of Cyber Monday. You know how we feel about Roku here at ZNF, so obviously we recommend this one if you’re looking for an Internet video box this season. It’s got 1080p playback, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon video, and an 802.11n wireless connection. What more could you want?

Finally, if you’ve been thinking about trying out wireless charging, Powermat might just have the right deal to get you on board. While the company’s got a handful of offers, the most compelling is the charging system for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS at $40. This includes both the iPhone receiver case and a portable charging mat. For most compatible devices you have to buy the case separately from the charging mat, and that can add up quickly. A mere $40 for the whole system is a steal.

Happy Turkey Day! And happy shopping.

The TiVo Toaster Giveaway

Dave Zatz —  November 21, 2010

A few months back when TiVo was preparing to ship an accessory for review, I asked if they might also throw some schwag into the box – because we know how much you love giveaways. And they delivered! A toaster. But it ended up one box lost amongst many in my home office, rediscovered just yesterday as I was packing for an upcoming move.

Now this isn’t the first TiVo Toaster we’ve auctioned off. But, unlike last time, there’s no entry fee or sad occasion to memorialize. Entering this giveaway is as easy as it gets, simply leave a comment. (US residents in the lower 48 only, please.) We’ll choose one winner at random in a few days and he or she will be singing bread with outlines of the little TiVo guy in no time.

Roku’s giving away 25 of their higher end XD|S media streaming units along with a year of Hulu Plus service – a prize package worth $196/each. To enter the contest, you’re going to have to follow @RokuPlayer and @Hulu on Twitter and fire off this tweet:

Win a Roku XD|S and 1yr of Hulu Plus! Retweet this and follow @RokuPlayer and @Hulu to win. #HuluPlusRoku

5 winners are being picked each day through November 21st and complete details can be found here. Good luck!

It’s definitely that time of year… deals are coming (and going) at a fast and furious rate. The Canon Powershot S95 I bought just last week at full price, as there weren’t any discounted options, is currently marked down $50 on Amazon - $350 versus the $400 MSRP. Plus, they’re sweetening the deal with free shipping and a bonus 4GB SD card. While it’s too late for me, if you’re in the market for an extremely competent and pocketable digital camera, I suggest striking while the iron is hot.

We don’t generally cover cameras, but I’ll say this… I did my homework, plunked down my hard-earned cash and, though it’s still early, I’m quite pleased with the S95′s performance. It’s pretty rare that you find one product better than all others any given category, but the Canon S95 comes very highly regarded – primarily due to the manual controls (you can grow into) , f/2.0 lens, and CCD sensor. It also features a few nice upgrades over its predecessor like the ability to shoot 720p video. But don’t take my word for it, here’s some of the material I reviewed before making a purchase:

Again, I haven’t had the camera very long. But, if I had to complain about anything I can tell its battery life isn’t the greatest. Fortunately, Amazon’s selling a third party battery for a mere $10. So I ordered one today as a backup, thanks to a tip from Kevin Tofel – who is also a new S95 owner. Also, it doesn’t appear you can zoom while shooting HD video. But these are minor tradeoffs for perhaps close-to-dSLR photo capabilities without the bulk.

Lastly, the S95 obviously has an extremely fast lens… how else could I have captured these three competing devices peacefully lounging together?

Believe it or not, I’ve read each of the 22,896 comments (plus countless spam) left here on ZNF. And yesterday we got a great tip in response to the forthcoming iPad Slingplayer… that requires owners of earlier generation Slingbox placeshifters upgrade to the SOLO or PRO-HD. But wait, it’s not just the new iPad Slingbox client that requires newer hardware. It turns out I overlooked that same upgrade tidbit in relation to the new Windows Phone 7 software.

As we’ve previously discussed, I suspect this new line in the sand is both a technological and business decision. Regardless of how we got here, there’s probably a large number of disgruntled Slingbox owners exploring their upgrade options. So this $80 Slingbox SOLO deal from OfficeMax, with free shipping, is probably the best your going to get. In fact, I can’t recall seeing ever seeing new SOLO hardware listed under $110. For comparison purposes, Sling’s own upgrade program prices the SOLO at $130 and Gazelle.com will buy a brand new one from you for $82.

(Thanks, ScaryMike!)

TiVo has produced arguably the best dual purpose QWERTY-capable remote in the Slide. Granted, there’s not much competition (yet) in this burgeoning space. But TiVo has introduced something special — I expect its utility will only grow as they modernize and expand their online apps. Not only does the shrunken “peanut” allow you to type via Bluetooth (and bundled USB dongle), the Slide offers traditional IR support for basic universal and learning functions to control your television or accessories.

To expand upon my original coverage a bit, I’ve confirmed the TiVo Slide remote can be paired with hardware beyond the included Bluetooth accessory. By simultaneously holding down the TiVo and B buttons, the remote enters pairing mode. And I had no problem linking it to my Mac laptop. In theory, this process should also allow you to use the Slide with a PS3. However, to get a Slide going again with a Series3, TiVoHD, or Premiere, you’d have to re-pair it with the USB dongle by holding down it’s lone button and once again using the Slide process above.

I’ve seen quite a few comments concerning the Slide’s $90 price tag (along with disappointment in not being able to easily control multiple TiVo units). And, indeed, it doesn’t come cheap. So, fortunately for you, we’re giving away our review sample. But wait, there’s more. TiVo is also gifting a TiVo Slide… each and every day, for 30 days. Check out their details here.

Entering our TiVo Slide 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.

In honor of the 2010 edition of the Lollapalooza music festival, we’re giving away 5 one year subscriptions to Slacker Radio Plus.

I’m old enough to remember the early editions of Lolla and am bummed I can’t break free from my rusty cage to catch the (temporarily?) reunited Soundgarden in Chicago next week. However, attendees and non-attendees alike can keep up with the show via the official Lollapalooza iPhone app (pics below)… which just so happens to also feature Slacker Radio streaming.

Here at ZNF, Slacker is our preferred music streaming service – both Mari and I are paid subscribers. Anyone can listen free of charge via multiple platforms (PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc), but a paid subscription ($4/mo) upgrades you to a commercial-free experience, unlimited song skips, and mobile phone caching for offline playback (while on a plane, for example). It’s a great service, at a reasonable rate.

So if you want in on a free year of Slacker Radio Plus, simply leave a comment. We’ll choose FIVE winners at random in a few days thanks to generous music-loving folks at Slacker.