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.
Greetings from Chicago, quite possibly my single favorite city in these United States. It's where I first experienced Trapped in a Room with a Zombie (resulting in me bringing the escape room to Detroit), and it's home to Cafecito, the best Cuban coffee and sandwiches I've ever had.
I mention this because today's deal has a travel component. And I'm traveling!
For a limited time, and while supplies last, Groupon has the refurbished Google Chromecast for $25
shipped. Granted, a new one will run you only $10 more, but I'm pretty sure you can put that money to better use elsewhere. Update: Curses! This does not include free shipping. Rather, it adds $3.99, and there's likely to be sales tax on top of that -- at which point you're clearly better off getting a new one for $35. Guess I need more of the aforementioned coffee!
What's more, Ebates is currently offering a 9-percent cashback bonus on Groupon purchases, so your effective total could be $22.75.
The Chromecast is Google's answer to Amazon and Roku streaming devices. What separates it is the lack of a remote -- your phone or tablet does all the heavy lifting in that department.
When I'm in couch mode, I definitely prefer a remote. But when I'm traveling? App control is much more convenient, if only because there's one less thing to remember to bring along -- and potentially forget to bring home. Also, if you like streaming from the likes of YouTube, it's way easier to look up and choose videos using your mobile device than it is to use a remote.
If there's a downside to traveling with a Chromecast, it's the difficulty in connecting to some hotel networks -- specifically those that use a special sign-in page or portal. There are workarounds, the best being to use your laptop as a hotspot, but it's still not ideal.
That said, you probably already know whether you want a Chromecast. (Still not decided? Read CNET's review.) And if you do, here's your chance to save $10, or possibly $12.25, on one.
Bonus deal: Calling all budding filmmakers! If you've ever looked at a quadcopter's gimbal-stabilized HD camera and thought, "Why can't I have that for my ground shooting?" this might be your lucky day. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Woot has the Yuneec Action Cam 4K with SteadyGrip for $219.99, plus $5 for shipping. Price elsewhere: At least $290.
This hand-held Steadicam-style rig lets you shoot rock-steady 4K video thanks to a built-in gimbal, the angle of which you can adjust using a dial on the grip. The camera pairs with your phone so you can get a live preview, adjust settings, etc. Interestingly, the camera and gimbal are compatible with Yuneec's Q500 Typhoon G drone, should you want to get airborne with your moviemaking.
Bonus deal 2: It's not quite Tablet Tuesday, but this is worth mentioning: Amazon, Best Buy and Target are all selling the Amazon Fire tablet for $39.99 plus tax in most places.
Despite being a slowpoke with a comparatively low-resolution screen, Amazon's entry-level tablet is an amazing value. It's especially good for kids, who won't really care about speed or resolution, but who can consume virtually endless books, games, educational apps, videos and so on. And if they break it, well, it was only $40. (That's still money, of course, but not iPad-level money. Imagine if your rugrat dropped a $300 Mini. Ouch!)
Bonus deal 3: I loved the original Doom games. So I've been eager to get my hands on last year's reboot, though obviously I wasn't going to pay $60 for the privilege. My patience has paid off: For a limited time, Cdkeys has Doom (Windows) for $11.29. That nets you a download key you'll redeem on Steam. Not sure this first-person shooter is your cup of tea? Read Gamespot's review.