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. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!
Does your car have a backup camera? It should -- using one can save not only rear fenders, but also lives.
And what about a dashcam? These can help provide evidence in accident situations, to say nothing of capturing the next meteor strike.
There are countless aftermarket options available, but some of them can get pretty pricey. Thankfully, I found one that's quite affordable: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the Vantrue N3 Dual Dash Cam for $84.99 when you apply promo code CHEPSKT3 at checkout. Reg. price: $129.99.
Unlike many dashcams, which are designed to sit atop your dashboard or stick to your windshield, the N3 actually clips to your rear-view mirror, effectively replacing it with something a lot more high-tech.
The front-facing camera can record 1080p video via a 170-degree lens -- wide enough to capture nearly everything that happens in front of your car. It has all the other desirable features as well, including night vision, looping recording and a gravity sensor that will auto-start recording with the detection of a bump.
The rear camera -- which is wired, alas, and will require a bit of installation -- has a 140-degree lens, VGA resolution and an IP67-rated waterproof housing.
What ties all this together is the rear-view mirror, which incorporates a 5-inch touchscreen that turns on or off with a gesture. (How cool is that?) That screen shows you what the front or rear camera is seeing, while also providing a full interface for accessing various features and settings.
One of my neighbors installed this very model; it's really cool, and he loves it. He also said the rear-camera installation was no sweat. Having seen the N3 firsthand, my sole complaint is with the power cord that necessarily runs from the mirror to your cigarette lighter. You may be able to work around that, but again it'll take some doing.
Bonus deal: Hey, did you know that in addition to The Cheapskate, I'm the Business Bargain Hunter? That's over at ZDNet, where I sling a few biz-friendly deals each week. (There's no newsletter for it at present, but you can subscribe to an Author Alert if you want to get notified of new posts.)
There's a deal running right now that, while great for business types, might interest you as well. In a nutshell: Add a second line to your phone for $30. That buys you a full year of unlimited second-line service from Hushed. Regular price: $60. That's a BBH-exclusive, my friends. Check it out!
Bonus deal No. 2: In my mind we're living in a post-physical-media world, but I know plenty of folks still like to own LPs, Blu-rays and the like.
It's for them, and because I'd rank the first season of Netflix's "Stranger Things" in my top 20 TV shows, that I bring you this: Today only, and while supplies last, Target has the "Stranger Things" Season 1 Blu-ray/DVD combo for $14.99. Reg. price: $24.99. Coolest thing about this, aside from the price: the genius packaging, which looks like a fairly worn VHS box.
Bonus deal No. 3: Earlier this year I shared a pretty sweet router deal: the. It was an open-box model -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but some folks definitely prefer new.
Ta-daa: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Tanga has the new Asus TM-AC1900 router for $59.99 shipped. You can find all the important details in my aforementioned original deal, so I won't repeat all that here. I will say this is a pretty powerful router for the price, and worth a look if your current model is more than 3-4 years old.
Bonus deal No. 4: If you have kids in the 7-10 age range, here's your chance to score a mountain of awesome ebooks for cheap: For a limited time, Amazon has "The Boxcar Children Mysteries: Books 1-12" for just 99 cents. (It's also available via iTunes for the same price.) This collection normally runs $40.
Both my kids loved this series, and I loved exposing them to great stories told in a simpler time. This is the best buck you'll spend all month!
Bonus deal No. 5: Game time! For a limited time, the Humble Store is offering The Bureau: Xcom Declassified (Win/Mac/Linux) for free! Reg. price: $19.99.
Reviews are mixed over at Steam, which is where you'll redeem your license, but so what? If you're a fan of all things Xcom and/or you like sci-fi, tactical squad games and/or third-person shooters, this is definitely worth a look. Because free!