Apps and touch screens are all the rage nowadays, but let us not forget the elegant simplicity--and revved-up feature set--of the iPod Nano. It's a pretty spectacular gizmo for folks who prize AV over apps.
Right now, the Apple refurb store has the 8GB iPod Nano for $99 shipped. This is the current model, the fifth-generation Nano, and it's available in your choice of colors: blue, silver, orange, purple, green, black, yellow, and pink.
For as long as I can remember, the most iPod you could get for $99 was the 4GB previous-gen model. So this is arguably the best iPod deal, well, ever.
The newest Nano is noteworthy for adding video recording, voice recording, FM radio, and a built-in speaker to the mix--all features that were MIA on previous models.
It also sports a 2.2-inch screen, a bit larger than the old 2-incher. That may not sound like a big increase, but I find it makes videos a lot easier on the eyes. I mean, I wouldn't watch "Avatar" on it, but episodes of "Friday Night Lights"? You bet.
I particularly like the addition of a pedometer, which records your steps, reports calories burned, and uploads the data to the Nike+iPod Web site.
In case you're new to refurbished Apple products, I can say from first-hand experience that they're literally as good as new. They look new, work like new, and come with the same one-year warranty as new units. Which begs the question: why buy new at all? Four of my last five Apple purchases (including an iPhone 3GS) have been refurbs, and I'm 100 percent satisfied with all of them.
Anyway, check out CNET's review of the fifth-generation Nano or watch the embedded video. Then riddle me this: does the Nano still have a place in the world, or does it make more sense to spend just $50 more on a refurbished 8GB iPod Touch (current-gen) for $149? (That's also a lowest-price-ever deal, by the way.) Tough call, no?
Bonus deal: In the market for a good-size HDTV? Wal-Mart has the Viore LC42GHZ55 42-inch LCD for $499 shipped (plus sales tax in most states). Amazingly, this is a 120Hz model, not 60Hz like you normally see at this price point. And the user reviews are overwhelmingly positive: 4.5 stars out of 5.