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.
Well! Looks like the ol' Cheapskate page got a little redesign! I didn't get the memo, but I like the look. I know, I know: too many ads. The thing is, ads pay for me to be here. (Indirectly, but still.) So I hope you'll continue to put up with them, keeping in mind all this great content costs you nothing. (Pro tip: Try the mobile app.) Thank you!
As you probably know, I love drones. Big drones, small drones, drones that look like the Millennium Falcon. But you know what they're all missing? Weapons! Where's the pew-pew?
Right here. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Dell has the Parrot Mambo mini-drone for $99.99 shipped, a price that includes a $50 Dell e-gift card. That's pretty sweet considering the Mambo sells elsewhere for $120.
Let me note straight away that Dell has a rather unfortunate reputation for pulling these kinds of sales very quickly, and even cancelling orders after the fact. Hopefully that won't happen today; just giving you a heads-up.
The Mambo is part of Parrot's latest line of flying machines, similar in design to one of the earlier mini models, but with a cool addition: weapons! Specifically, it has a built-in pea shooter that really begs for a second Mambo so you can have proper air-battles.
There's also a grabber claw that can pick up (very) light objects. I'm thinking the Mambo could play a very prominent (and cool) role in your kids' plastic army-men battles.
I don't have any hands-on experience with the drone, so check out CNET's preview. Key takeaways: It's very easy to learn to fly (which you do via phone or tablet or an optional $39.99 controller), but the 8-minute flight time is kind of a bummer. Spare batteries cost about $15 each from Parrot; I haven't found any third-party options, most likely because this model is so new. (Give it a month or so.)
The e-gift card will arrive in a couple weeks -- just in time to maybe grab another gift-y item from Dell.
Bonus deal: Normally I advise against buying refurbished TVs, but if you can get it from a local store, that's a different kettle of fish. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Walmart has the refurbished TCL 32S3750 32-inch Roku TV for $109.99. Shipping is free, but you're better off opting for in-store pickup. That way you can inspect the unit for physical damage. Either way, if you have a problem, bam: back to the store, no shipping hassles. This is by far the best deal I've seen on a TV with built-in Roku -- and it would be a solid deal for even a non-smart TV of this size. And check out the overwhelmingly positive user reviews.