CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.
Desktop cord clutter is one reason I don't miss my desktop PC. Ah, but I do miss my speakers. I can tolerate the tinny, anemic sound that dribbles out of my laptop, but in my heart I know I'm cheating myself.
That's why I'm excited about today's deal, which I call Return of the Desktop Speakers! (Clever, right?) For a limited time, 2nd Street Electronics (via Amazon) has the GoGroove BassPulse 2.1-channel Bluetooth desktop speaker system for $49.99, shipped. That's after applying coupon code SAVEBP20 at checkout.
If that rings a bell, you might be thinking of the non-Bluetooth version of these speakers, which ran a year ago (on Black Friday) for the same price. In fact, they still sell for the same price.
But these? These have Bluetooth! That means you can pair them with your laptop (assuming it, too, has Bluetooth) for wireless 2.1-channel audio goodness. Because, seriously, are you really going to leave an audio cable sticking out of your laptop's headphone jack?
Of course, you could also pair these with a phone or tablet if you prefer. Either way, you'll enjoy big, bass-filled sound and super-cool glowing LEDs! (These score really high on my geek-appeal meter.)
So whether you use your PC for games, movies, Spotify or even just the occasional YouTube video, I highly recommend a set of desktop speakers. Bluetooth desktop speakers.
But these desktop speakers? Because they're brand new, buyers haven't weighed in with any reviews yet. However, you can check out reviews of the aforementioned wired version, which average out to 3.8 stars out of 5. Why not higher? My take: the satellites do look and feel a little cheap, and the promise of "pulsing" LEDs falls flat -- even with the bass cranked to maximum, the blue glow stayed mostly solid.
Still, they sound about a million times better than any built-in laptop speakers, and I truly love the Bluetooth option. Could you pair your laptop with any Bluetooth speaker? Sure, but you won't get anywhere near the separation and bass afforded by a 2.1 setup.
Bonus deal: I'm a sucker for anything multifunction that fits in my wallet. Like this: Citizen Goods has the Mota 18-in-1 Pocket Tool for $9.99, shipped. That's a couple bucks less than I've seen it elsewhere, and at this price it's the ideal Secret Santa/stocking-stuffer gizmo.
This MacGyver-caliber metal card features everything from bottle opener to ruler to flat-head screwdriver. Oh, and it has two "tech" features as well: a headphone cord-wrap and, when you slide in a credit card, a smartphone stand. Plus, look how cool it looks! Rowr!
Bonus deal No. 2: Rerun time! Whether you're creating a how-to video or a presentation, nothing beats a good screen-recording utility. Camtasia Studio is widely regarded as one of the best, but the $300 price tag? Ouch! Fortunately, for a limited time, AppSumo once again has Camtasia Studio (Win) for $149 -- by far the lowest price I've seen anywhere (save for the academic version, for which most of us don't qualify). The deal includes two licenses, and there's a 60-day (!) money-back guarantee. Oh, and Mac users can grab it for $49.