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 CNET Deals page.. And find more great buys on the
Big TVs are getting cheaper all the time, but once you get past around 65 inches, prices skyrocket. If you want to go big, and I mean big, you need a projector.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Vivitek H1186 1080p 3D projector for $499.99 shipped, not including sales tax. (If you care, it's also available via eBay for the same price.)
As the centerpiece of a home theater, a projector just can't be beat. This one has a practical image size of 236 inches in a theater-lighting environment and 129 inches under moderate ambient light. In other words, in your face, 65-inch TV!
Because it supports 1080p, it's suitable for everything from cable to game console to Blu-ray. And if you have a Blu-ray player that supports 3D, well, so does the projector. (Get yourself copies of "Despicable Me" and "Gravity." You won't be disappointed.) However, it's BYO glasses, and they'll need to be of the RF or DLP-Link variety. (Sorry, the ones you get at the movie theater won't work.)
The projector also has a built-in speaker, which means you can take it to just about any room for insta-theater goodness. Plug a streaming stick into one of the two HDMI inputs and you're good to go.
CNET hasn't reviewed this model, but the nine user reviews on Best Buy's site average out to 4.8 stars (out of 5). And PC Mag rated it "excellent" just two months ago, when it was selling at the $999 list price. Of particular note, they called out its short lag time, which makes it great for gaming. Nothing, but nothing, beats wall-size "Call of Duty."
I'd be very surprised to see a better projector deal on Black Friday. If you're in the market, jump on this.
Contest! I have some pretty cool toys, but I'm still waiting to get my hands (or, more accurately, feet) on one of those two-wheeled scooters. Too bad I can't enter this. But you can! All it takes is an email address -- and a desire to glide around on magical motion-controlled wheels. But, please: don't call it a hoverboard. The board doesn't hover. You don't hover. This product category needs a new name. I suppose "Broidaboard" is out of the question?
Bonus deal: Flash storage is so cheap. When I first started writing the Cheapskate blog (eight years ago!), it was a big deal to find an 8GB USB 2.0 flash drive for under $10. Today, MacMall has a PNY 32GB USB 3.0 drive for $10.99 shipped. I don't know if anyone is actually still using these things (let me know!), but that's an amazing amount of speedy storage for the price.
Bonus deal No. 2: The Sony SmartWatch 3 didn't exactly set the world on fire when it debuted last year --its poor screen and dull design -- but its built-in GPS made it a popular choice among runners.
So how low does the price have to get before you're willing to overlook its flaws? This low? Secondipity (via eBay) has the refurbished Sony SmartWatch 3 for $99.99 shipped. Along with GPS, this Android Wear watch is notable for its waterproof band and housing.