Smart buys: our favorite back to school tech essentials


These tech essentials will not only help you survive college life, but maybe even help you land a spot on the Dean’s list (no promises). Even though the majority of our top picks are geared towards college students living in a dorm, we think they can help students of all ages.

All of the recommendations below have been shaped by my experiences while attending a four-year private University.

Entertainment

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The fall is not only back to school season, but also home to the baseball playoffs and the start of the football season. MLB.TV is expensive and NFL Sunday Ticket is a hassle. We recommend a Sling Media Slingbox to keep tabs on your favorite sports teams while away from home. The all-new SlingBox M1 was just released and is the most affordable Slingbox ever at just $149.99.

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 may be the flashy options for dorm room gaming, but we recommend saving a few bucks and opting for an Xbox 360 or Wii U. The Xbox 360 has a huge back super-smash-bros-wii-ucatalog of awesome games that are now priced to move. Plus, some next-gen games (like Mortal Kombat X), will also be available on 360 and PS3. The Wii U has had a rough run, but party games like Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming Super Smash Brothers make it an excellent choice for dorm room hang sessions.

Skip Blu-ray and DVD. The players will take up prime TV stand real-estate and it’s a hassle to find the movie you’re looking for and then physically pop it in a player (I know, first world problems). Instead, go with a Roku 3/streaming stick or Apple TV to stream your media from Netflix (free trial), Hulu Plus (free trial), and iTunes.

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It’s perfectly OK that listening to Norah Jones Spotify radio (student discount) helps you study, but don’t be that guy and play it out loud. A nice pair of headphones are key for school. If your budget allows it, then definitely upgrade to a set of noise-cancelling cans, like the Bose QC15, to drown out any background noise. Bust out a larger portable Bluetooth speaker like the Logitech UE BOOM (review) or Jawbone’s Big JAMBOX (review) when it’s time to party.

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Father’s Day roundup: free $10 Amazon credit, Samsung 60-inch HDTV $680, Philips Sonicare toothbrush $30, more

It’s that time of the year again to get Dad something special. So we put together a list of highly rated and currently discounted tech, sports/outdoors, and clothing items so you can save a few bucks doing it:

Amazon Student members can get a free $10 promotional code to be used on eligible products sold by Amazon.com with the purchase of select $50 gift cards. Perfect for last minute gifts, these cards can be printed, emailed, or even shared on Facebook. Non-members can sign-up for a free Amazon Student trial to take advantage of this promotion today. Not eligible for Amazon student? Everyone can get at least $5 free.

Have the whole family pitch in and you can get dad a Samsung 60-inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV (model PN60F5300AFXZA) for $679.99 with free shipping from Sears. It retails for $950 and generally sells for around $800, which makes this deal a savings of at least $121. Hundreds of Best Buy reviewers rate it 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Give dad the gift of good dental hygiene by picking up this Philips Sonicare Essence rechargeable electric toothbrush (model HX5610/01) from Amazon for $29.95 after clipping the $10 coupon. That is the best price we have ever seen from this electric toothbrush that “features an angled neck, soft contoured bristles, and patented sonic technology to gently remove plaque in hard-to-reach areas.” Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars from 1,829 Amazon reviewers.

Head below for dozens of more deals including discounted iTunes gift cards, an iPad mini for $200, and free Brookstone credit…
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Celebrate #MayTheFourth with the best Star Wars deals: Lego, lightsabers, apps/games, freebies, more

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What is May the 4th be with you? It is the saying used by Star Wars fans to commemorate Star Wars day, May 4th. The idea for the day originated as a play on the cult Star Wars phrase, “may the force be with you,” which is said by multiple characters throughout the epic saga.

Star Wars Day is even bigger this year thanks to the impending release of the Disney-produced Episode VII and as a result deals are kicking off sooner than ever! We’re here to help you celebrate May the Fourth by rounding up the absolute best Star Wars sales from across the deal galaxy.

We will be making a special post on May The Fourth to cover all the last minute deals and exclusive merchandise. Amazon is planning an all-day Gold Box event  (click the upper May the Fourth banner to see only Star Wars lightning deals) so you know there are going to be some great deals to be had through Monday.

Head below to scope out today’s extensive list of deals on Star Wars apps/games, apparel, collectibles, lego, and more. Read more

GameStop 15% off games/accessories: MGS V: Ground Zeroes $25.50, Watch Dogs $51, PS Plus 1 yr. $42.50, more

GameStop is offering 15% off one item when you enter until promo code PAYPAL15 at checkout. You can even stack the promo code SAVER to get free shipping.

While we have a number of great console and iOS deals in our daily round up post, you can get a bit more creative using the aforementioned codes on random games, accessories, and even preorders. It’s our understanding that this coupon is only supposed to work if you checkout using PayPal, but as of right now it is working with any valid form of payment. Coupon excludes game consoles, tablets, phones, iPods, and others. It’s scheduled to expire on March 23rd but we wouldn’t be surprised if it gets squashed before then.

You’ll find titles like Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes for $24.50 (Reg. $30, released today), Watch Dogs preorder for $51 (Reg. $60) and even the rarely discounted PlayStation Plus is available is included for $42.50 (Reg. $50).

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Target Black Friday Ad: iPad Air w/ $100 gift card $479, iPad mini w/ $75 gc $299, Apple TV $89, HDTVs, games, more

Target-Black-Friday-2013-Apple-ipad-iphone-9to5toysInstead of falling victim to a leak, Target has posted its Black Friday ad almost 3 weeks before the yearly shopping holiday. It is loaded with hundreds of hot tech products, movies, music, home goods, and more.

Remember, ‘Red’ cardholders will save an extra 5% on top of the advertised specials. Target will open at 8PM on Thanksgiving. Check out the entire ad here. Our ‘best bets’ are as follows:

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NFL Sunday Ticket for $55 after early Madden 25 video game trade-in at Best Buy

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Amazon has been running an exclusive preorder bonus offer for Madden NFL (2014) Anniversary Edition with access to NFL Sunday Ticket for the entire 2013 NFL season for only $100. That is a great deal for gamers who want to play Madden and score NFL Sunday Ticket for free. Now if you aren’t interested in playing the game you can recoup a large sum of the initial cost through Best Buy’s recently announced early trade-in program. Until October 5th, Best Buy will give $45 gift cards for all copies of Madden 25 that are traded in.

Assuming you use the gift card, $55 nets you every NFL game streamed to your laptop, tablet or smartphone each Sunday. Some buyers may be able to take advantage of up to $400 in savings from this promotion. Please see below for more details. For even more information about this promotion please refer to this Amazon page.

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FIFA Soccer 13 (PS3): $18, Splashtop Remote Desktop for iPhone: Free, Dishonored (Xbox 360/PS3): $20, app/Blu-ray deals, more

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Amazon has just dropped the price of FIFA Soccer 13 for PS3 down to $18 with free standard shipping for all and free 2-day for Prime members. Today’s deal is $22 below the average cost and the lowest price ever offered for this fast-paced sports game.

FIFA 13 is the 2012 release in Electronic Arts’ long-running professional soccer game franchise. Based on the current real-life players, teams and leagues associated with the FIFA organization (Federation International de Football), the game aims to present the most realistic international soccer experience available in a video game to-date. Features include, gameplay mechanics improvements on both offense and defense, an extensive roster of players, teams and leagues, multiplayer play options both locally and online, and social network functionality through the EA Sports Football Club.

iPhone: Splashtop Remote Desktop Free (Reg. $3)
iPad: Splashtop Remote Desktop $1 (Reg. $7)
iOS Universal: PDF Max Pro: $1 (Reg. $8)

eBay via Newegg has a Microsoft Xbox LIVE 12 Month Gold Membership Card for just $38 Shipped, regular $60. One per customer.

Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition $40 (Reg. $60)
Xbox 360 / PS3
: Dishonored $20 (Reg. $30)
Xbox 360 / PS3: The Walking Dead $20 (Reg. $30)
Xbox 360 / PS3: DMC: Devil May Cry $30 (Reg. $40)
Xbox 360: Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition $15 (Reg. $30)
Xbox 360: Call of Duty: MW3 w/ DLC Collection 1 $20 (Reg. $30)
PlayStation 3: Medal of Honor: Warfighter $10 (Reg. $20)
PlayStation 3: God of War: Ascension $20 (Reg. $40)
Wii U: Nintendo Land $13 (Reg. $60)

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PlayStation 4 Launch Day bundles are back in stock at Amazon (starting at $460) featuring Battlefield 4, Killzone, Knack, or Watch Dogs and most importantly free guaranteed release day delivery. The Killzone and Battlefield bundles also include PS PLus with $10 savings.

Microsoft Xbox One controllers are now available for preorder for $60.

Blu-ray: The Amazing Spider-Man (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) $15 (Reg. $56)
Blu-ray: Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection (Blu-ray / DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) $210 (Reg. $500) – Lowest price ever
Blu-ray: ESPN 30 for 30 Collector’s Set $35 (Reg. $100) – Lowest price ever

Rayman Jungle Run (iOS) $.99, preorder Diablo III and save $10, Watch Dogs Limited Edition, more

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Put Rayman Jungle Run on your iPhone or iPad for just $.99. A total savings of 66% off the typical price of $3. This legendary platformer has received critical acclaim since launching on iOS, it was even dubbed “App Store Best of 2012.” The recently released Pacific Rim iOS game also dropped today to $1 (Reg.$5), head below for more iOS, Mac and console game deals.

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Ubisoft has officially unveiled the Limited Edition bundle for the upcoming Watch Dogs title. It will include the game, collectible steelbook, vigilante mask, 9-inch aiden pearce figure, soundtrack with original score, art book. We recommend not wearing the vigilante mask around town, as it may scare the public. But that’s entirely your call. This bundle is available for preorder on the PC, Xbox 360/One, PS3/4, and the Wii U.

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Blizzard announced today that pre-orders on the rapidly approaching Diablo 3 for consoles will see a limited time, $10 price drop on Amazon. You can pre-order Diablo 3 on PS3 and Xbox 360 for $49.99 right now. Along with the $10 off, the pre-order comes with the in-game “Infernal Helm,” an experience bonus and an exclusive Amazon digital wallpaper that will be emailed to you upon placing your pre-order. This offer applies to all existing pre-orders and will be available until July 27.

Valve has released the free-to-play Dota 2 for Mac and Linux today. Fresh out of beta “there may be a short wait for you to download the game,” according to Valve.

UPDATE: Sold Out. Ebay is offering a 12 month Xbox Live Gold membership for $38 shipped (Reg. $60). You can pick up Assassin’s Creed 2 for free right now as part of Microsoft’s new Games With Gold program. This is the first AAA title available through the program.

iOS Universal: Metronome: FREE (Reg. $2)
iOS Universal: Contacts XL + Facebook Sync: FREE (Reg. $1)
iOS Universal: Math Blaster HyperBlast 2 HD: FREE (Reg. $5)
iOS Universal: Pacific Rim: $1 (Reg. $5)
iOS Universal: Neuroshima Hex: $3 (Reg. $5)
iOS Universal: Hunters 2: $1 (Reg. $5)
iOS Universal: Worms 2: Armageddon $1 (Reg. $5)
iPhone: InstaPlace: FREE (Reg. $2)

Mac Download: Borderlands Game of The Year Edition: $10 (Reg. $30)
Mac Download: Assassin’s Creed 2 Deluxe: $10 (Reg. $20)
Mac Download: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Deluxe: $10 (Reg. $40)

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag limited edition bundle unveiled

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On October 29th, UBIsoft will be releasing Assassin’s Creed: IV Black Flag for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.  Next generation (Xbox One / PS4) copies will be released sometime after the consoles finally debut.  This iteration of Assassin’s Creed will take place during the 18th century when pirates ruled the Caribbean. To help you prepare for battle, UBIsoft is putting out a limited edition bundle chock full of pirate booty. This North American limited edition package includes a copy of the game, 18″ Assassin statue featuring Captain Edward Kenway, 28″x 48″ iconic Assassin’s Creed pirate flag with crest, 80-page art book, steelbook game case, and Epic game soundtrack.

Amazon is now accepting preorders of the limited edition bundle, including free release-day shipping.
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$20 Assassin’s Creed III, $20 The Walking Dead, app freebies, used game deals, more

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Gamefly pre-played game sale. Special pricing ends 7/22 or when supplies are exhausted:

Xbox 360: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance $20
Xbox 360: Assassin’s Creed III $15

PS3: XCOM Enemy Unknown $18
PS3: Dishonored $13
PS3: Hitman: Absolution $13
PS3: Ninja Gaiden 3 $13
PS3: Assassin’s Creed III $15
PS3: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance $20
…browse the rest of the  pre-played game deals here

Xbox 360 & PS3: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct $20 (Reg. $50)

Xbox 360 & PS3: Assassin’s Creed III $20 (Reg. $40)
Xbox 360 & PS3: Far Cry 3 $20 (Reg. $40)
PS3: Assassin’s Creed Ezio Trilogy $20 (Reg. $40)

Mac Dowload: Trine 2: $3 (Reg. $15)

iOS Universal: Grimm: FREE (Reg. $1)
iOS Universal: Goblin Defenders: FREE (Reg. $1)
iOS Universal: Sine Mora $6 (Just released) – “Perhaps the most visually stunning shooter ever made”

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Gamers’ Deals: Far Cry 3 (PS3/Xbox360/PC) $20, XCOM Enemy Unknown (Mac/PC) $20, iOS apps/freebies, more

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In today’s best gaming deals, Amazon has the critically acclaimed shooter, Far Cry 3, for just $20 on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. This matches the lowest price ever.  Check out the rest of Amazon’s best video game deals here.

Amazon has the 500GB PlayStation 3 Grand Theft Auto V bundle for just $270 with free shipping. A solid $30 discount on this soon to be released gta5-ps3-bundle-dealpackage. GTA5 is also available for preorder on all platforms.  Check out the most recent gameplay footage here.  GTA5 carries a release date of 9/17.

As part of its Summer Sale, Steam has XCOM Enemy Unknown for just $20 on Mac and PC. That is $30 off the Mac App Store price, $20 less than Amazon and other Mac game dealers. You can also grab the new Walking Dead DLC download: 400 Days for $2.50 at GameStop. That’s a 50% savings compared to Amazon’s $5 price tag.

iOS Universal: CarTunes FREE (Reg. $5)
iOS Universal: Call of Mini Zombies: FREE (Reg. $1)
iOS Universal: Table Top Racing: FREE (Reg. $3)
iOS Universal: Hoppetee!: FREE (Reg. $1)
iOS Universal: Pokedex for iOS: FREE (Reg. $2)
iOS Universal: King of Dragon Pass: $5 (Reg. $10)
iPhone: Prince of Persia Classic: $1 (Reg. $3)
iPhone: WeatherPro: $2 (Reg. $4)
iPad: Prince of Persia Classic HD: $1 (Reg. $3)
iPad: WeatherPro for iPad: $3 (Reg. $5)

PC/Mac Digital Download: The Walking Dead: 400 Days DLC $2.50 (Reg. $5)

Mac & PC Download: XCOM Enemy Unknown: $20 (Reg. $40)

Xbox 360 / PS3: Assassin’s Creed 3 $20 (Reg. $30)
Xbox 360 / PS3: BioShock Rapture Edition$20 (Reg. $30)
PS3: God of War: Ascension $30 (Reg. $60)

Blu-ray: The Dark Knight Trilogy $25 (Reg. $53) – Lowest price ever

  • Batman Begins
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises

Apple App Store 5th Anniversary Sale

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In celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the Apple App Store, several big-name developers are slashing prices on their most popular titles. We’ve scoured the net to bring you to most comprehensive list of current iPhone / iPad deals.

iOS Universal:

Infinity Blade $2.99 (Reg. $6)
Infinity Blade II FREE (Reg. $7)
Over FREE (Reg. $2)
Badland FREE (Reg. $4)
Where’s My Water FREE (Reg. $.99)
Knots 3D FREE (Reg. $2)
Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery FREE (Reg. $5)
Day One Journal FREE (Reg. $5)

iPad:

Traktor DJ FREE (Reg. $19)
Tiny Wings HD Free (Reg. $3)

iPhone:

Map My Ride + FREE (Reg. $.99)
Traktor DJ FREE (Reg. $19)

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Amazon has the Best of Warner Bros 50 Film Collection on Blu-ray and UltraViolet Digital Copy for just $185 with free shipping.  This deal marks the lowest price ever by over $100 and a whopping $413 below retail.  As a further pricing comparison, Best Buy currently charges $525 for this collection.  Please refer to the product page for the full list of movies included.
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