Dan’s Gift Guide: low cost tech accessories you may have overlooked

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My favorite gift picks for this year include a couple smaller items that’ll complement your Apple setup, one to help you cut the cord and one to make you fall deeper into Apple fandom. Only one of my picks is priced just slightly north of $50, so any of them should be good for Secret Santa or stuffing some stockings.

Rather than pointing out this year’s obvious tech gift wins, I’ve gone with a handful of items that you probably overlooked and were most likely omitted from other gift guides you’ve read so far this year… Read more

Logitech K830 illuminated wireless keyboard w/ touchpad: $60 shipped (Reg. $100)

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Best Buy offers the Logitech K830 illuminated living-room keyboard for $59.99 with free shipping. That’s 30% below the list price of $100 and the best deal we have ever seen by $10.

Released back in April, its illuminated keys make it easy to control wireless TV-connected Mac/PC or other USB-enabled TV/Media center wirelessly in dimly lit rooms. Other features include a built-in microUSB rechargeable battery, integrated touchpad, and customizable software. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars.

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Jared’s gift guide: The best media streamers to give for the holidays

Toys Guide 4Long gone are the days of a traditional movie renting experience. No longer do we have to travel for miles in the snow just to pick up a rental for movie night. Today we can scroll through the newest releases and watch them without leaving the couch. But if you’re like me, you still have people on your gift list stuck in the 1990’s, who are in desperate need of a digital wake up call.

Below, I have my favorite media streamers you still have time to give to people on your list.

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ASUS 13″ Chromebook HD w/Gigabit WiFi, 32GB Storage/4GB RAM: $229 ($100 off)

ASUS Chromebook 13-Inch sale

Amazon offers the ASUS Chromebook 13-Inch HD with Gigabit WiFi, 32GB Storage & 4GB RAM (Model B00JI9HISQ) for $229 with free shipping. That’s $100 off for this recently released double RAM and double local storage configuration. Features:

  • 10 Hours Incredible Battery Life.
  • Gigabit Dual-Band 802.11AC ultra-fast Wi-Fi.
  • Intel Dual-Core 2.16 GHz Processor with 4 GB RAM.
  • 13.3″ HD LED Display. HD Webcam.
  • USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, SD Card Reader, & Bluetooth 4.0.
  • 32 GB local flash storage, 1TB Google Drive storage for 2 years (with recent offer).

OK with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage and Green on White? $180 please.

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9to5 Guide: The best iPad stands, docks, and cases with built-in stands

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iPads need stands. Whether you’re watching videos, long-form typing, or making FaceTime calls, it’s a chore to hold the iPad upright for extended blocks of time. To address that need, Apple launched the first iPad with regular and keyboard docks, but quickly gave up on them in favor of simpler folding lids called Smart Covers.

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If you’re looking for an iPad stand or dock, you can do better than that. We know because we’ve tested lots of options for Apple’s tablets. Following up on our guide to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus docks, we’re looking today at the very best of what’s out there for every iPad, covering four broad categories: simple portable stands, simple desktop stands, cases with integrated stands, and charging docks. Read more

Put wireless anywhere for $35! TP-LINK Nano Powerline Adapter Kit: $20, Wireless N150 Portable Router: $15 shipped

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If you are looking to extend your wireless network to any part of your home including powered outstructures like barns, stables, pools, guesthouses, gates or even just easily improving your signal strength in your home far from your current router, we have a quick, easy and inexpensive solution:

Combining the TP-LINK  Nano Powerline Adapter Kit for $19.99 shipped (which we mentioned a few days ago) with the TP-Link Wireless N150 Portable Router: $14.99 shipped gives you up to 200Mbps of data speeds from your current router channelled through up to 300 meters of household/yard wiring to another outlet where you can connect to this Portable 150Mbps Wireless router.

Both of these are at lowest ever prices and get great (4.3+/5 star) reviews at Amazon.

 

TP-LINK TL-WR700N

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VIZIO 65-Inch 1080p 240Hz Smart LED HDTV: $1,000 shipped (Reg. $1,500)

vizio-65-inch-M652I-B2Update (12/ 18 8:40am): Now backordered at Amazon, but still available from Best Buy.

Amazon offers the VIZIO 65-Inch 1080p 240Hz Smart LED HDTV (model M652i-B2) for $999.99 with free scheduled delivery. Prime members will save an additional $10. This 2014 VIZIO M-Series HDTV carries a list price of $1,500, but generally sells for around $1,300. Today’s price matches Black Friday as the best price we’ve ever seen.

You can find similarly sized HDTVs for less, but they won’t match the picture quality this model puts out. Also available from Best Buy. Over 500 Amazon reviewers rate it 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Other features & specs Read more

Kitchen Tech: Sous Vide water baths turn plain meat into succulent, restaurant-caliber steaks, ribs, and more

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Last week, I debuted Kitchen Tech, a brand new 9to5Toys column designed to help you bring restaurant-quality dining into your own home. We were thrilled with the response to the first column on making magical ice balls for cocktails, so today’s column explores the opposite extreme: heating water in a precisely controlled way to get equally amazing results with vacuum-sealed bags of food.

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Some people call this sous vide (soo vee-d, “under vacuum”) cooking; others know it as cooking with an immersion circulator. Quietly used in restaurant kitchens for decades, sous vide cooking started to gain mainstream attention following the release of the avant-garde professional cookbook set Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. Author Nathan Myhrvold ranks sous vide gear as the #4 and #5 most important modernist cooking tools in the newer consumer version of the book, Modernist Cuisine at Home, just behind a digital scale, thermometer, and pressure cooker.

In any case, temperature-controlled water baths produce the juiciest, most succulent meats you’ll ever taste, and can perform other magic tricks… like making perfect eggs, just-right vegetables, and rich, creamy sauces. Below, we’ll explain how sous vide cooking works, and show you how to do it at home.

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PSA: Free Holiday shipping cutoffs start this week

Walmart's Black Friday Starts Strong in Bentonville
Trust me, you don’t want to get your Christmas shopping done at the mall or worse, Walmart. So listen carefully. For many stores, this week marks your last chance to place orders with free shipping and still get them in time for Christmas.

Luckily, Amazon has extended its holiday shipping cutoffs. The updated timeline is as follows:

Everyone can place orders with free shipping through December 19th and still expect to receive the items by December 25th. Otherwise, expedited shipping is going to cost you extra. Prime members (free trial available) can procrastinate up until December 22nd and their free 2-day shipping benefits will cover any additional fees. Starting Decemeber 23rd, all Amazon buyers will need to pay extra for one-day shipping. After that, your only options are same-day delivery or opt for a downloadable present like Prime or gift cards.

Head below for a lengthy list of holiday shipping cutoff dates and free shipping details for major online retailers: Read more

Google Chromecast + $40 Google Play credit, 3 months All Access Music, 2 months Hulu Plus: $30 shipped

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 8.55.05 PMUpdate: Amazon has matched

Best Buy offers the Google Chromecast Streamer for $29.99 with free shipping. When you add it to your cart, Best Buy adds a $20 Google Play credit. Additionally, once you get your Chromecast, you will also get another $20 Google Play credit along with 3 months of free All access Music from Google as well as 2 months of Free Hulu Plus for new users by connecting here.

You also get 3 months free of Drama Fever and a free original X-Men movie.

Update: Addressing comments below, you get a $20 Google Play discount emailled to you after purchase. (see graphic below). Then when you activate your Chromecast you get ANOTHER $20 Google Play credit (As long as it is your first Chromecast).  Read more

Gaming For Couples: The Peggle Family + The Beatles: Rock Band

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You love games, but your girlfriend or wife doesn’t. My goal is to change that. This week, 9to5Toys is debuting Gaming For Couples, a new weekly column looking at great games for couples to play together. We’re not necessarily going to pick the newest or hottest games for this column — instead, we’re going to suggest titles that are reasonably priced, made for both girls and guys, and widely available.

Our first edition looks at two picks just in time for the holidays: the Peggle franchise and The Beatles: Rock Band, both from Electronic Arts.

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Sony PlayStation TV game console and streamer: $70 shipped ($30 off)

Playstation-TV-deal-discountAmazon and Best Buy both offer the Sony Playstation TV for $69.99 shipped. That’s $30 off and an all time low on this Streamer and game console from Sony that has some great features:

  • Hundreds of PlayStation games to choose from: Including many PlayStation Vita games such as Killzone: Mercenary, God of War Collection, and Borderlands 2, classic games from PS One and PSP systems, and more.
  • Remote Play: Stream most of your PS4 games from your PS4 system to your PlayStation TV over local Wi-Fi (robust Wi-Fi or wired connection recommended).
  • Easy to Set up and Play: Plug in and play on any HDMI compatible TV in your home.
  • PlayStationNow READY: Available later this year, PlayStation Now will give access to an expanding library of PS3 games to stream directly to PlayStation TV.
  • Access to Entertainment: Games, movies, TV shows, and apps on PlayStation Store.

Grab a Dualshock game controller for $30 more. Read more