Get a Google Chromecast for $25 shipped
It's a refurb, but so what? You still get a one-year warranty. Adding smarts to your TV has never been cheaper.
Every TV should be "smart," able to stream stuff from the likes of Netflix and Pandora and YouTube. Thankfully, it's a simple matter to add this kind of intelligence to just about any TV, without venturing into murky "Flowers for Algernon" territory.
And today, while supplies last, the science is cheap: Groupon has the refurbished Google Chromecast for just $25, shipped. Sure, it sells new for a mere $35 and routinely goes on sale for around $30, but there's something a bit magical about a $25 price tag -- especially for a gizmo as good as this.
In the unlikely event you're unfamiliar with it, here's a primer: Plug the Chromecast into an HDMI port, then use your smartphone or tablet to sling Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, and loads of other stuff -- including Web pages from a laptop.
Now, that smartphone/tablet/laptop requirement (there's no remote included with the device) is something of a downside, at least if you're old-school like me. I must admit to preferring Roku's nice little handheld remote.
Speaking of which, the Chromecast's direct competitor is the Roku Streaming Stick, a nearly identical dongle that also plugs directly into an HDMI port -- no box or HDMI cable required. But it's literally twice the price.
Oh, and don't worry about this being a refurb: It comes with a one-year warranty, same as new Chromecasts. (Little-known fact: All Rokus are backed for just 90 days.)
If you're seriously trying to decide between one and the other, check out CNET's recent Chromecast vs. Streaming Stick Prizefight. (Spoiler: Roku wins by a nose, but both products rank as "awesome.")
My take: For $25 out the door, the Chromecast is a flat-out unbeatable deal. Grab one for yourself, another for your favorite blogger -- maybe even get a little holiday shopping done early.
Bonus deal: So you've been wanting to get in on this fitness-band craze, but not if it's going to cost you $150. Today only, and while supplies last, Yugster has the refurbished Nike+ FuelBand fitness tracker for $54.97, plus $5 for shipping. It had a list price of $149 when it debuted a couple years back. You'll want to check out CNET's review before pulling the trigger -- and maybe wait to hear what your fellow cheeps think of the FuelBand, too. (I haven't tried one myself.)