Get a 50-inch Insignia HDTV for $499.99
It's about as bare-bones as a TV can get, but it also has stellar user ratings -- and ships for free.
Best Buy is having a fairly decent sale on Insignia TVs today, with just about every model in the lineup discounted by $30-100.
The top pick, IMHO: the Insignia NS-50L240A13 50-inch LCD HDTV for $499.99 shipped (plus sales tax in most states). That's one of the best prices I've ever seen on a TV of this size.
It is, to be fair, an entry-level model, with a non-LED LCD and 60Hz refresh rate. Of course, until a couple years ago, most HDTVs had the same specs.
The NS-50L240A13 features three HDMI inputs, along with the usual assortment of other connectors: VGA, component, composite, and coax digital audio. Its USB port supports firmware updates (not that it's likely to need any) and JPEG photo viewing. (Curiously, there's no mention of a tuner, but it must have one, right? There's a cable/antenna-in jack.)
Amazingly, the TV is new at this price, not refurbished. Best Buy backs it with a one-year warranty.
I think the most telling "feature" here is the user reviews: nearly 100 buyers rated the Insignia 4.7 stars out of 5 on average. That's a pretty rousing endorsement in my book.
Black Friday might bring an even lower price, but if you don't want to wait -- or you don't want to stand in a five-hour line -- this looks pretty appealing.
Bonus deal: These are likely to sell out before I finish typing this sentence, but today only, CowBoom has pre-owned Amazon Kindle Fire tablets for $89.99, plus $4.99 for shipping. These aren't your usual Kindle refurbs that look like new and have a full one-year warranty; they have "some scratches and/or signs of use." Also, no USB cable (though that's a $2 item just about anywhere), and no warranty save for CowBoom's 30-day return policy. Still: miiiighty tempting!
Bonus deal No. 2: If that doesn't pan out, you can score a refurbished Nook Color tablet for $99 shipped from Barnes & Noble via eBay. Here you do get the like-new treatment and one-year warranty. Plus, Root My Nook Color now has 8GB Android microSD cards on sale for $25. Pop one in and presto: you've got a full-blown Android tablet.
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
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