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Add a MacBook-style Touch Bar to your PC for $50

Great for gaming, video production and productivity, this super-cool gizmo gives you six programmable buttons. Plus: Three bonus deals you need to check out.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
4 min read

Say hello to the Stream Deck Mini, the programmable shortcut-button gadget you didn't know you needed.


I know zilch about MacBooks , but I know people really like that Touch Bar thing that comes on some models. It's basically a row of shortcut buttons for things like apps and settings. If you're a Windows user, perhaps you've wished for a Touch Bar of your own? Today I bring you something, well, similar, but also different -- and very cool, and arguably even better.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Elgato Stream Deck Mini programmable 6-button controller for $49.99. That's an all-time low price; it normally sells for $100. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. (Update: It's now sold out at Amazon, but Best Buy appears to still have it in stock at $49.99.)

The Stream Deck Mini provides six customizable LCD buttons you can use for a wide variety of functions. Although it was ostensibly made with video production in mind -- you can program it to, say, quickly switch from one video feed to another -- the device is just as useful for gaming and productivity purposes.

For example, you could make one of the buttons your "morning startup" key: A single press would launch your browser, mail client, VPN utility and so on. (One button can perform multiple actions.) Meanwhile, gamers can use the Stream Deck to quickly access weapons, key-combos and such.

The coolest part is that each button can show a different image -- even an animated image if you're so inclined. The accompanying software appears to give you a ton of control over button design and configuration, but also operates with drag-and-drop simplicity.

I've never tried one of these, but the reviews I've seen (at Amazon and elsewhere) are overwhelmingly enthusiastic. People thought this was a steal at $100. So 50% off? If you have even the slightest interest, I say grab one. 

Bonus deal: Clean like you mean it with the Dyson Ball upright vacuum for $199.99 (save $200)

I've owned a Dyson Ball vacuum for close to 10 years, and the sucker is still going strong. In fact, we often marvel at the colossal amount of dust and debris that ends up in its clear, easy-to-empty canister. (Either we're pigs or that's just how good these cleaners are. Maybe both.)

Want one? For a limited time, Best Buy has the Dyson Ball Multi Floor Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner for $199.99. That's $200 off the list price, though it's worth noting that Best Buy runs this sale pretty often. If you miss it, well, it'll come around again.

The product name tells you pretty much everything you need to know: Ball (for very easy steering), Multi Floor (so, carpet and hard floors alike), upright (as opposed to one of the canister types) and bagless (best innovation ever). Not mentioned in the name: It has a built-in stair tool that can also be used to clean curtains, couches and hard-to-reach areas. Oh, yeah: You get a 5-year warranty.

A Dyson is an investment, but right now less so than usual. I wouldn't trade mine for anything; it was so worth it. 

Bonus deal No. 2: Also $199.99: This 50-inch Sharp Roku TV

Surprise! A brand other than TCL makes Roku TVs. And such a deal on it right now: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Sharp LC-50LB601U 50-inch Roku TV for $199.99, the lowest price to date.

It's a 1080p model, something to consider if you're hoping to make the leap into 4K -- though I'd argue that at this size, 4K is overkill. (Plus, there's still just not a ton of 4K content!)

CNET hasn't reviewed this model, but it has a 4.6-star average rating from around 860 Best Buy customers.

Bonus deal No. 3: Save your marriage with these Sharper Image wireless TV headphones for $28.99

As you may know, Roku streaming sticks and TVs allow for a feature called Private Listening. It's really handy, but not ideal for every person and situation. (It's also no good for non-Roku content.) 


A simple an affordable way to keep TV audio private.

Sharper Image

Here's another solution: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Cheapskate readers can get the Sharper Image Own Zone Wireless TV Headphones for $28.99. That's after applying promo code CHEAPZONE at checkout. Original price: $60.

Just plug the base station into any of your TV's audio-out ports, then turn on the headphones. This setup doesn't rely on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, so there's no phone or tablet in the mix.

Sharper Image promises a 100-foot range and allows for multiple sets of 'phones to be paired to the same TV. Take it from experience: Something like this is fantastic for, say, an aging dad who can't hear the TV well, but doesn't want to disturb the rest of the house with blaring volume.

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