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If I'm being honest, I'm already a little sick of-- and it doesn't even start until Monday evening.
But, hey, the Cheapskate's gotta skate to where the deals are, and right now the deals are at Amazon.
To wit: Today only, as part of the run-up to Prime Day, you can score a certified-refurbished Amazon Tap for $69.99 shipped. New, it's never dipped below $90 (so far), and this is quite literally good as new, so I'm calling it the "lowest price to date." (Will Prime Day proper bring an even lower price? The Cheapskate's crystal ball is foggy, but I don't think you'll regret jumping on this.)
Alexa, meet Jan
Those of you old enough to remember "The Brady Bunch" will understand me when I say that if there's a "Jan" in Amazon's smart-speaker lineup, it's the Tap. It's always been the oddball, the middle child not as capable as big sis Marsha (the Echo) or as cute as little sis Cindy (Echo Dot).
Tap's main shortcoming was that you had to, well, tap it to invoke Alexa; it wasn't a truly hands-free device. But thanks to, the Tap can now work just like the Echo and Echo Dot. Jan, you're moving in with Marsha!
What remains, then, is a portable, voice-activated speaker that can do everything an Echo can do, and sounds, well, pretty good. I definitely recommend reading, which found its audio quality to be solid, if not exemplary.
Of course, as I've said before, it's easier to overlook "not exemplary" when you're getting a great deal. The Tap originally sold for $129 and currently lists for $109, so getting out the door for $70 is pretty tempting.
And because it's Amazon-certified, you get a one-year warranty, same as you would with a new Tap.
One parting thought: To use Alexa "in the wild" (meaning in the backyard, at the beach, or anywhere outside your home or office), she needs internet connectivity -- meaning a mobile hotspot. I suspect a lot of buyers don't realize this, and then return the product thinking it's defective. Without a hotspot, you can still use the Tap as a portable Bluetooth speaker -- you just can't do all the cool Alexa stuff.
Bonus deal: Game time! One of my favorites is on sale for the lowest price I can recall seeing: The Humble Store has Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (for Windows and Mac) for just $4.94. Designed for two to six players, all of whom gather around a laptop, this is a seriously fun and original party game. One person describes various aspects of a bomb they're seeing on the screen; the other players have to feed instructions (from a manual) on what wire to cut, button to push and so on. It normally sells for $15.
You can redeem your purchase as a DRM-free download, or get a Steam (or Oculus!) key. I think this is the best $5 you'll spend all month.