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Sunday, May 12, 2024

14 Deals on Screens, Speakers, and Smarts for Your Home

This is a great time of year to pick up tech on sale. Spring is when companies start clearing out old stock to launch newer products, but last year's versions are still perfectly good. There are powerful laptops on sale just because newer ones are going to add an inch to their screens; headphones on sale so manufacturers can come out with even longer and more incomprehensible alphanumeric product names; and smart-home hubs on sale because, well, it's really fun to order a pallet of toilet paper or season 3 of Breaking Bad on a whim by shouting into your living room. Take advantage and stock up on almost-new tech that will work fine for years to come.

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Computer Deals

  • Google Pixel Slate w/ Free Keyboard and Pixelbook Pen for $599 ($ 698off): This is a steal. There are a few configurations for slightly different prices, but we're homing in on the one with the eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage. The Brydge keyboard is sold out, so you get a Pixel Slate Keyboard ($199 value) and Google Pixelbook Pen ($99) included. Senior writer Lauren Goode reviewed it when it launched a little over a year ago.

  • AOC 27-inch 27B1H 1080p IPS Monitor for $95 ($105 off): Screen specs are a 16:9 aspect ratio, 1080p resolution, a contrast ratio of 1000:1, and a response time of 6-9.9 ms. It's not great for gaming or working on, say, professional photography or videography projects, but it's perfectly adequate for watching (most) YouTube videos, cruising the internet, and handling office suite programs.

  • Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch – 8 GB – 256 GB SSD – for $1,500 ($300 off): We expect Apple to supplant this version with a 14-inch MacBook Pro later this year, but the 13-inch MBP is a strong laptop that won't become obsolete anytime soon. MacBooks don't often go on sale, so if you want to save a big chunk of change on a powerful computer, now's your chance.

  • HP Pavilion x360 Laptop – 15t touch – Core i7 – 16 GB – 512 GB – for $650 ($600 off): This is a killer deal on the top-of-the-line configuration for the Pavilion x360 convertible laptop, which has a 1080p touchscreen display. You can fold the keyboard all the way back to use the Pavilion as a tablet, or partially back to stand it up on a desk. It comes with a 512-GB solid state drive and a quick 65-W power adapter that charges the Pavilion to 50 percent in 45 minutes.

  • Anker PowerCore Lite 10,000-mAh Portable Charger for $16 ($18 off): Anker battery banks are a favorite among WIRED's gear team. It'll hold enough energy for 2.6 full charges of an iPhone X or Galaxy S9, but you have to buy a Lightning cable or USB-C cable if you don't want to use the included Micro-USB cord that comes with it.

Audio Deals

Smart-Home Deals

  • Amazon Echo Show Two-Pack for $200 ($60 off): You have to add two Echo Shows to your cart and use the promo code SHOW82PK to get the discount. These are the 8-inch-screen versions. Amazon's Echos will still annoy you with constant pop-ups that nag you to try out new features, which you still can't fully turn off, but unlike on Google's Nest Hubs, you can integrate some of Apple's ecosystem, such as Apple Music and Calendar, into the Echo Show.

  • Eufy Security Wi-Fi Video Doorbell for $108 ($52 off): Unlike Nest and Ring, there's no monthly fee to use all the features of Eufy's smart doorbell, and Eufy hasn't taken up Ring's Orwellian practices. There's 2560 x 1900 resolution (2K) for better clarity than the 1080p cameras common to cheaper smart doorbells, and it's able to distinguish people from objects and animals, so you won't be bothered with notifications of a stray cat on your lawn. You need existing doorbell wires to connect this one, though.

  • Philips Hue White and Color Starter Kit for $120 + $50 Dell Gift Card: The starter kit comes with three bulbs capable of displaying 16 million shades of white and colored light, a bridge hub to connect them, and a mountable dimmer switch. Like all of Philips' smart bulbs, you can control them from your devices and smart hubs, and you can set routines so that they turn on and off at certain times or when you arrive and leave your home. You can connect up to 50 smart bulbs and related accessories to a single bridge.

  • Apple HomePod for $200 ($100 off): Criticism of Apple's HomePod has centered on its high price and Apple's baffling decision not to offer a cheaper HomePod, but everyone agrees it sounds great for a smart speaker. You've got to be deep into the Apple ecosystem to justify one, especially as Alexa and Google Assistant have run away with the smart-home segment, but if you're an Apple devotee, the HomePod will sync up with your Apple Calendar, Reminders, and Music better than the rest.

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