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Get a refurbished Apple HomePod for $260

My first HomePod deal ever saves you a solid $89. Plus: Amazon's Kindle Voyage has never been this cheap.

Stool not included.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET

As a general rule, Apple products and "Cheapskate" don't belong in the same sentence. But obviously zillions of people love Apple gear, price be damned.

I like Apple gear, too, but damned if I'm going to pay full retail for it. That's why I always advise people to choose refurbished hardware whenever possible. It's usually good as new or darn close to it.

Case in point: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the refurbished Apple HomePod smart speaker for $259.99 shipped (plus tax).

Yes, even at $260, the HomePod is crazy-expensive for what it is: A Siri-powered answer to the Amazon Echo, though the latter rarely scores accolades for its sound quality. The HomePod, on the other hand, offers "excellent bass and consistently superior sound quality across a wide variety of music genres."

That's according to CNET's HomePod review, which praised not only the sound quality but also the across-the-room Siri recognition. However, this smart speaker is definitely less smart than competing models from Amazon and Google, and of course it's limited to iOS.

The only $.02 I can add (because I haven't used one) is that I consider the HomePod one of the uglier products Apple has designed. Did this really come from the same company that gave us the iPhone and MacBook Air?

None of that matters. Some folks just want the Apple HomePod because it's the Apple HomePod, and that's okay. But there's no need to pay $349 when a perfectly good refurb is $260. And although this isn't sold by Apple proper, it comes with a one-year warranty, same as Apple's own refurbs.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: I love me a Kindle, but couldn't see paying $200 for the Kindle Voyage -- not when the nearly-as-good Paperwhite is $120.

Ah, but $150? Now I'd have to think about it. And for a limited time, Amazon is indeed offering the Kindle Voyage ereader for $149.99 shipped. That's a historic low; it's never been below $170.

It's hard to believe Amazon hasn't updated this since 2014, but why mess with nearly perfect? Read CNET's Kindle Voyage review if you want to learn more.

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

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