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Technology Futures

Commentaries on Directions That Will Impact the Future of Technology

Top Ten Electronic Gadget Deals


This is my Top Ten list of the best deals in electronic gadgets.  I either own all of these gadgets or comparable units, and I assure you that they are great products to have.  In each case, I looked up either the MSRP or the average retail selling price and then shopped extensively online for the best price I could find.  Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that you will find these same prices as some are limited offers, but since these things change daily, you might find even better deals than I did.   The list is in random order.

1.      Jabra Cruiser Bluetooth Speakerphone Car Kit

If you live in states like California and New York, you know that you have to use your cellphone hands-free while driving.  If you are like me, you can’t stand wearing an earbud.  The solution is a hands-free Bluetooth car kit.  The Jabra Cruiser is the best one out there.

Retail = $70   Great Deal = $20

2.      URC R50 Universal Remote Control

If you have a bunch of remote controls for your home entertainment system, you will be much happier to get rid of them and use a single universal remote control.  In the under $200 category, the URC R50 is the class act of the bunch.  The documentation that comes with the unit is terrible, and URC’s customer support is non-existent, so you need to be a confirmed DIYer to take advantage of all its features.

Retail = $150    Great Deal = $60

3.      Garmin NUVI 200 GPS $420 – $100

While GPS devices are becoming more and more popular in cellphones, there is still a place for standalone units.  The Garmin NUVI 200 is small enough to be carried in a pocket and has a very readable display.

Retail = $420   Great Deal = $100

4.      iRoomba 530 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

The ultimate gift for a couch potato, the iRoomba vacuums your floors and rugs by itself.  The model 530 is not the top of the line, but it does everything you want it to.

Retail = $300   Great Deal = $175

5.      Microlife Blood Pressure Kit with Arm Cuff

Everyone over the age of 40 should have a blood pressure monitor.  The Microlife kit is rated tops in home monitors by many testing agencies.  You can hook it up to your computer and download your readings.  Included software will track those readings and plot them.  You can even email the results to your Doctor.

Retail = $80   Great Deal = $30

6.      Kodak EasyShare 8” Wireless Picture Frame 820 Series

There are lots of digital picture frames out there, but Kodak’s are rated tops by many reviewers.  The 820 series has all the bells and whistles including wireless.

Retail = $140   Great Deal = $50

7.       All-Well Home Thermostat with Remote Control

Here is another toy for the couch potato – a remote controlled home thermostat.  Raise or lower the temperature without moving from your spot!  There are many competing models, most of them well over $100.  The All-Well thermostat does the same thing for much less.

Retail = $150   Great Deal = $50

8.      Brother MFC-9120CN All-in-one Color Laser Printer

Color laser printers are a lot cheaper and faster than inkjets, especially if you buy the toner separately and refill the cartridges yourself.  This Brother unit includes fax, copy and scanning functions in addition to printing.  The Inkowl company sells the toner at a fraction of the factory replacement cartridge cost, and has great customer support if you need it.

Retail = $450   Great Deal = $300         Brother Cartridge Set = $289   Inkowl Toner = $70

9.      Sony MDR-DS7100 7.1 Channel Surround Sound Wireless Headphone System

So you just spent a lot of money on a home entertainment system with 7-channel surround sound and a big screen TV.  Now your significant other says she’s trying to sleep and it is keeping him/her awake.  The 7.1 channel Sony Wireless Headphone system is the solution.  The sound is so good you might want to get rid of your regular speakers!

Retail = $450  Great Deal = $250

10.  Pair of 200 mbps Ethernet Powerline Adaptors

You just bought a new whiz-bang tablet only to discover the WiFi connection is not strong enough when you are upstairs.  You could install a WiFi repeater, or, for a lot less, you can plug a Powerline Ethernet adaptor into a wall-socket and transmit at Ethernet speeds over your AC power lines.  There are many brands available and they are virtually all the same.  You need two of them, one to attach to your wireless router, and one to attach to your tablet.  You can have as many adaptors as you want, so it is a cheap and easy way to turn your whole house into an Ethernet LAN.

Retail = $70   Great Deal = $30

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