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Quick housekeeping note: If you purchased a VR headset from Gearbest back in December and haven't received your product (or a refund), please let me know by clicking my name over on the left, then the e-mail icon. A company rep assured me she will personally handle any unresolved issues.
Onward. Because it's that special March Madness time of year (oh, MSU... you bracket-killer, you), big stores have trotted out some big savings on big TVs.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Walmart has the Seiki SE50FR 50-inch HDTV for $279.99, including free shipping or in-store pickup. (Not free: sales tax.) That's some Black Friday-level pricing right there.
Seriously, I can't recall ever seeing a 50-inch TV priced that low. Which begs the question: Can it possibly be any good?
I honestly have no idea. If there's a Walmart near you and they have it on display, you can go check it out for yourself. Even better, you can return it within 90 days (!) and get a refund. That's an unusually generous policy, and it's one I wasn't aware of until I did a little digging.
I mention that because I can't find a single review of this TV, which appears to be a pretty new model. I did find loads of reviews of a Seiki model with similar specs, and they averaged out to 4.1 stars. So that's encouraging.
Speaking of specs, the SE50FR is about as no-frills as they come: 3 HDMI inputs (which is better than two, admittedly) and 60Hz refresh rate, which, as we all know, eliminates the dreaded soap-opera effect.
Beyond that, well, it's a 50-inch screen. And it comes with a remote. Woo! Remote!
Your thoughts? Is it a mistake to go super-cheap on a TV? Or do these off-brand models deliver the goods just as well as their big-name counterparts?
Bonus deal: Game time! If anyone in your house likes Lego, The Avengers or both, Green Man Gaming has Lego Marvel's Avengers (for Mac and PC) at just $8 when you apply coupon code HURRIC-ANESAM-YSAVES at checkout. I'm a huge, huge fan of the Lego games, and this one sells elsewhere for $40. GameSpot reviewed the PS4 version and called it "charming and fun."
Bonus deal 2: Sitting on a pile of old vinyl? Show the kids what music used to look (and sound) like: Meh.com has the Ion Audio portable suitcase turntable for $34, plus $5 for shipping. Built-in speakers and a rechargeable battery mean you can take this over to a friend's house after school and totally listen to records and everything. Anyway, it's a today-only and while-supplies-last kind of thing, as usual.
Bonus deal 3: Doing any Amazon shopping today? Why not toss the Poweradd Pilot A1 2,500maH mobile charger into your cart? Because it's currently on sale for just $3.99. However, it's an "add-on item," meaning you can't get it unless you spend at least $25. Also required: a love of polka-dots. This cute little charger features a 1A USB output and four-LED status display.
Bonus deal 4: You know those decorative Edison bulbs that are all the rage? They now come in long-lasting LED flavors! And here's your chance to get a deal on them: Volare-HK (via Amazon) has a 4-pack of bullet-top or bent-tip candelabra-base LED bulbs for $27.99 shipped when you apply coupon code SHGR3BUS at checkout. Or, get a 6-pack of bullet-top or bent-tip bulbs for $39.99 shipped when you use that same code. These are 40-watt-equivalent bulbs. I tested a few samples and they look surprisingly good.