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Quick housekeeping note: Don't forget to enter for your chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and an entire year of service! The giveaway ends Friday.
Just the other day I wrote about adding 128GB of storage to any PC for under $30. That's a great option for some, but there are a couple reasons you might want to spend a bit more: performance and versatility.
A solid-state drive (SSD), for example, is likely to offer considerably faster read/write speeds than your typical flash drive. And if it's wireless, you can connect multiple devices simultaneously -- not just PCs, but also phones and tablets.
Of course, a wireless SSD with any decent amount of space probably costs an arm and a leg, right? Wrong: For a limited time, you can get the iDrive One 128GB wireless SSD for $59.50 or the 256GB model for $89.50. Regular prices: $99.99 and $149.99.
Already that's a killer deal, but here's where it gets better: Both drives are bundled with a one-year subscription to iDrive's sync/backup cloud service, which affords 1TB of online storage. After that year is up, you can cancel the subscription or pay $59.50 for another year -- equivalent to about $5 per month, a very competitive rate.
In other words, the One provides both local and cloud backup. But it can also wirelessly stream media to your device of choice, making it a great expansion option for a phone or tablet with limited storage. And because you can connect up to five devices at a time, it's not just a one-person solution.
I haven't had any hands-on time with the drive myself, nor have I tested the iDrive cloud service (which, incidentally, is the company's primary focus). CNET hasn't reviewed them, either, so I recommend reading PC Mag's review of iDrive. Spoiler alert: it culminated in an Editors' Choice award.
And when you think about it, with the regular annual price of $59.50, it's like you're getting the SSD (the 128GB one, anyway) for free. A similar product, Toshiba's Canvio AeroMobile, sells for $95, no cloud storage included. To be fair, that model does include an SD slot, which offers a bit more versatility.
Alas, PC Mag's review covers only the service, not the drive. But an SSD has no moving parts, so it's not like there's anything that can really break. The only unknown is battery life; iDrive doesn't list it anywhere in the specs, which is annoying.
Even so, I'm loving this deal. The iDrive bundle covers not only your local and cloud backup needs, but also your media-hub and file-sync needs. Maybe this really is The One.
Bonus deal: Here's something a little different -- a nightstand LED lamp that's also a Bluetooth speaker and alarm clock. It normally sells for $49.99, but Cheapskate readers can get it for $32.99 by applying coupon code AG2NWUFS at checkout. I'm not entirely sold on this thing, because the display and controls are very small, but the multicolored LEDs are cool, and the speaker sounds surprisingly decent. Also, it's battery-powered, so you'll need to BYO AC adapter if you want it to have full-time power (which is kind of important for an alarm clock).
Bonus deal No. 2: Watermark Software is hosting a software giveaway with six Windows programs and utilities, including photo optimizer and editor Photory 8, system-performance tweaker WinOptimizer 11 and real-time backup tool Genie Timeline Home 2015. Combined value of all six tools: $233. You can pick and choose the ones you want.