Dan DeSilva

Twitter: @iDannyOcean
LinkedIn: Public profile
Email: dan@9to5mac.com

Dan DeSilva's Recommended Gear

Today

Philips is expanding its Hue family of connected lighting products with the new Lightstrip Plus. This two meter parade of LEDs can produce millions of colors, which is nothing new for Hue products, but it also glows in different shades of white light — a huge feature its predecessor lacked. Philips also made it possible for you to extend these lightstrips to a length of up to 10-meters. Continue on for more launch details and a promo video: expand full story

Best Buy is throwing a 4-day Memorial Day sale that includes deep discounts on iPads, Macs, HDTVs, and various other gadgets. This sale doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow, but My Best Buy Members can access all of the deals right now. Anyone who’s not a member can create an account for free to take advantage of this sale a day early. You must be logged in to see the sale and special prices during the Early Access period.

The most dramatic and noteworthy deals have been handed out to more than a dozen MacBook and iMac computers. All eligible models have been discounted by $150Here are our top Mac deals:

Select iPad mini 3 models are $100 off with prices starting at just $299.99 shipped for the 16GB Wi-Fi model.

Add some extra storage to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with the SanDisk iXpand 32GB USB 2.0/Lightning Flash Drive. It’s on sale for $49.99 with free shipping (Reg. $80). expand full story

JBL’s most playful Bluetooth speaker is getting upgraded today. The JBL Pulse caught everyone’s attention a few years back when it arrived complete with a full-on LED lightshow. Now, Harman is announcing the JBL Pulse 2 today that looks to be even more fun. expand full story

Walmart is offering Apple’s iPad Air 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular (AT&T or Verizon) for $299.99 with free shipping. As a pricing comparison, Apple is currently charging $529 for it new and $439 for it in refurbished condition. Today’s deal is one of the best iPad Air deals we’ve ever seen. Both models are available in Silver or Space Gray.

This iPad features a 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 Retina display, 64-bit A7 chip with M7 motion coprocessor, Bluetooth 4.0, 5MP iSight Camera, and 1.2MP FaceTime HD Camera. expand full story

Yesterday

Labor Day fashion deals are starting to pop up at various retailers. We’ve found three sales worth your time ahead of the holiday weekend.

First, J. Crew Factory is taking 50% off everything across women’s, men’s, and kids’ items. One of your best bets is to go with the Factory 11-inch Lightweight Rivington Short for $19.50. It’s available in multiple colors including classic Navy Blue and British Khaki. Factory Washed Pique Polos are just $18 and are also available in a range of colors. J. Crew Factory adds $5 flat rate shipping or waives shipping fees on orders of at least $100.

timex-toms-fashion-9to5toys

Next, Amazon is offering a 20% discount on already-reduced clothing, shoes and more with coupon code LABORDAY20. What’s more, you can save an extra 25% on jewelry and watches with coupon code EXTRA25OFF. Our favorite pick from this sale is the Timex Unisex Weekender Silver-Tone Watch with Blue and Yellow Nylon Band for $19.25. Coupon code EXTRA25OFF drops your final price down to $14.44 Prime shipped, which is a savings of more than $10 off its regular price and the best deal we’ve ever seen. It’s rated 4.4 out of 5 stars from 581 Amazon reviewers.

Lastly, Toms Surprise Sale extends discounts of 40-70% to select women’s, men’s and youth items. This discount yields a pair of Olive Canvas Men’s Classics for just $28.80 with free shipping, which is $19.20 below the regular price of $48. The $30-$40 price range also has many different style shoes to choose from. All orders of $25 or more ship free and all sales are final. expand full story

Nest made a splash yesterday with the announcement of its third generation Learning Thermostat. But despite its larger screen and new Farsight feature, the second generation model is the better buy for most people at its new, lower price of $199 (Orig. $249).

Nest did a great job of talking up how its third generation screen is a big deal, but in practice it probably won’t improve your life that much. Farsight sounds like it would be helpful, but how often do you really want to check in on your thermostat from 3-ft or more away or don’t have access to clock? Most thermostats live in hallways anyways, where you’re never more than a few feet away from its display. The other big improvement is Furnace Heads-Up that analyzes your furnace’s shutoff patterns, but that feature will also be rolling out to all previous generation Nest Thermostats later this year.

At the end of the day, it feels like Nest didn’t do enough to make the third generation Thermostat worth the extra $50 over its predecessor. That being said, you won’t always have this option since the second generation’s discounted price of $199 is only going to be around “while supplies last.” expand full story

Incase is discounting a pair of its popular backpacks by 50% when you enter promo code SC50 at checkout: Cargo Backpack drops from $79.95 to $39.97 and the Staple Backpack goes from $59.95 to $29.97.  Shipping is free and all color combinations are eligible for this promo. Both backpacks feature padded shoulder straps and ample compartments for all of your gear including a MacBook (up to 15″).

Cargo Backpack
A large media pocket with a cable port provides on-the-go access to portable power or audio. Durable yet lightweight and comfortable with padded shoulder straps and a sternum strap, our Cargo Laptop Backpack is designed for the modern world.

Incase Staple Backpack
Slim, modern, simple. Staple Laptop Backpack easy access main compartment offers a generous carrying capacity for your everyday needs. Fits up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro, and features adjustable padded shoulder straps for optimal comfort.

expand full story

September 1

Next week marks Pandora’s 10th anniversary and as a thank you to its millions of listeners it’s going to turn off ads for all of September 9th. This benefit is usually limited to just Pandora One subscribers ($4.99 per month), but during this 24-hour period every listener will be able to enjoy ad-free music.

And for those of you who are feeling nostalgic, Pandora has crafted a special mixtape that includes the 10 most Thumbed Up songs of each year for the past decade.

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August 31

Best Buy offers Apple’s AirPort Express Dual-Band 802.11n Wireless Router in refurbished condition for $49.99 with free shipping. As a pricing comparison, it’s regularly $99 brand new (but can be found as low as $89), $65 refurbished from Apple, and normally $70 refurbished from Best Buy.

The AirPort Express can be setup and managed from your iPhone or iPad with the AirPort iOS app and features a 3.5mm audio jack to add AirPlay streaming to your current speakers, a USB 2.0 port to take advantage of AirPrint, and can create a completely separate guest network. You can also use it to extend your current wireless network, improving overall signal strength and reliability. More information regarding Best Buy Geek Squad Refurbished items can be found here. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars from 1,100 Amazon reviewers.

If you need faster 802.11ac wireless then you’ll have to go with Apple’s AirPort Extreme, which is $119.99 refurbished from Best Buy, $129 refurbished from Apple, or $179.99 new from Amazon (Orig. $200). expand full story

REI offers the GoPro HERO4 Silver waterproof action camera for $399.95, but the price automatically drops to $318.99 shipped once it’s added to your shopping cart. That’s $81 (20%) below msrp and the best current deal we can find.

This GoPro camera features a built-in touch display that allows users to adjust settings and frame shots, it can also playback videos and photos as well. The HERO4 Silver captures 1080p and takes 12MP photos. Additionally, it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for pairing with the GoPro app or a smart remote. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars from 885 Amazon reviewers.

Use your savings to buy some killer add-ons for your new GoPro. expand full story

ElectronicsValley (Top Rated Plus seller w/ 99.1% feedback rating from 20,724 buyers) via eBay Daily Deals offers Apple’s 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB (model MF840LL/A) for $1,279.99 shipped. That’s $219.01 below its regular price and a match for the best deal we’ve seen.

If you’re thinking about going with a 128GB MacBook Pro or even Air, I’d recommend stepping up to at least 256GB (like this model) so you don’t feel cramped for space. And with a beautiful Retina display (2560 x 1600) plus a slew of extra connectivity options (including HDMI!), this Mac is the best pick for most people.

  • 2.7GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
  • 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
  • 256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
  • Intel Iris Graphics 6100
  • Force Touch trackpad

Use your savings to add three years of protection to your new Mac with AppleCare: $189 shipped (Reg. $249) via Amazon. expand full story

August 28

REI is taking an additional 20% off already discounted outlet items when you enter coupon code OUT20 during checkout. Orders of at least $50 ship free (including skis and snowboards) and on smaller orders you can opt for free in-store pickup. The coupon code will only work on a single REI-Outlet item and is set to expire 9/7/15 at 11:59pm pst.

Use this sale to gear up for a fall hiking excursion, winter snowboard/ski trip, or just grab some active gear for your daily workouts. Our favorite deals are as follows: expand full story

August 27

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