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Put this sweet remote-controlled robot under the tree for $39

The Sharper Image OP One will arrive in time for Christmas. Plus: An insanely good deal on a digital photo frame.

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
3 min read

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Sharper Image

I'm a sucker for robots. I'm also a sucker for anything remote-controlled. Put the two together and shut up and take my money! Needless to say, this deal has "Rick" written all over it.

Today only, and while supplies last, Meh has the Sharper Image OP One robot for $39, plus $5 for shipping. It originally sold for $80, and it's sold out pretty much everywhere else online.

The OP One looks like a cross between a Battlestar Galactica Cylon and a Segway. (Thankfully, it's probably less deadly than either one.) It can roll around on those wheels, of course, but also has arms that move and hands that grip. And don't overlook that cool, blue cyclops eye.

I'm particularly intrigued by the microphone built into the remote and speaker built into the 'bot. Talk into the former and your voice comes out of the latter -- modulated so it sounds robot-y. My family can look forward to countless moments of hearing, "Crush! Kill! Maim! Destroy!" This is as much a gift for them as it is for me!

The less said about dance mode, though, the better: Robots, in my humble opinion, should not be made to dance. I'm pretty sure that's when they'll decide to rise up and destroy us.

One important note: This thing requires a total of nine AA batteries, and they're not included. If you're in short supply, Amazon continues to offer pretty much the best deal anywhere: a 24-pack of alkalines for $9.

If there's a kid (young or old) in your life who might dig this, grab it quick. Meh promises delivery in time for Christmas, but supplies are limited.

Your thoughts?

Read more: CNET Holiday Gift Guide 2020

This 8-inch Brookstone smart digital photo frame is just $60


A digital photo frame like this one is an outright steal at $60.


Speaking of great gifts, you know I have mad love for digital photo frames -- smart ones, anyway, that can absorb new photos from email, app, Facebook and the like.

Bingo: For a limited time, and while supplies last, eBay seller Bluedealz has the Brookstone PhotoShare 8-inch digital photo frame for $60 -- by far the best deal I've seen. Price elsewhere: $80 to $100.

With a wide bezel that makes it look more like a traditional photo frame and less like something that's just a screen, the PhotoShare has nearly all the features I consider essential. As noted above, it's easy to add new photos using a variety of methods. The frame can also show a clock or calendar, play videos and automatically dim depending on room lighting. 

The only question mark: Is there a timer option to shut it off at night and not waste quite so much electricity? I'm not seeing that mentioned anywhere; if it doesn't have that feature, an inexpensive smart-plug would probably get the job done. (Update: I've been assured by Brookstone that the frame does indeed have an auto-off feature.) 

As gifts go, this is one of my all-time favorites. 

Watch this: The Cheapskate's 7 favorite holiday gifts

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