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Get a Flip SlideHD pocket camcorder for $70

The flagship of the Flip series originally sold for $280. It features a 3-inch touch screen and 16GB of storage--enough for four hours' worth of HD video.

The Cisco Flip SlideHD is a high-end pocket camcorder with a (now) low-end price.
The Cisco Flip SlideHD is a high-end pocket camcorder with a (now) low-end price.

When the Cisco Flip SlideHD made its debut a little over a year ago, it was the premium pocket camcorder in the illustrious Flip line. And it came with a premium price: $279.99.

Today, eCost has the refurbished Flip SlideHD 16GB pocket camcorder for $69.99, plus $6 for shipping. That's pretty amazing, especially when you consider that its tiny 4GB cousin, the Mino HD, sells for about the same.

The SlideHD is on the chunky side for a pocket cam, but that's because it sports a 3-inch touch screen that slides up at an angle for comfortable movie viewing.

Other than that, it's pure Flip, with ultrasimple controls, useful built-in software for sharing videos, and the ever-popular stowaway USB plug for quick and easy PC connections.

The camera records wide-screen video at 1,280 by 720 pixels, aka 720p. It can hold up to four hours' worth, which should be more than enough for any party, day trip, or the like. There's no way to expand the memory, but in my experience, 16GB is more than ample for the kind of shooting you're likely to do with a camcorder like this.

As I think I've mentioned before, my son and his buddies have been using a similar camcorder all summer long to make movies, and they're having a blast with it. If you're doing some early holiday shopping, looking for a birthday gift, or whatever, this would be pretty killer for a teen or tween.

That said, be sure to read CNET's review of the SlideHD. It's mostly positive (and you can ignore the complaints about the high price), though it does point out a couple minor annoyances (like the inability to use the entire viewscreen for recording).

What do you think of this deal? Do standalone camcorders like this still have a place in the world? (Cisco obviously doesn't think so, having discontinued the Flip line a few months ago.) Or can you satisfy most of your video-recording needs with your smartphone?

Bonus deal: has the Maxell 1TB external USB hard drive for $47.99 shipped. It's a 7,200 rpm drive in a rather sweet-looking enclosure. Thanks to reader Leon for sharing the deal!