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Quick housekeeping note: I'll be on vacation next week! More details tomorrow, but just wanted you to give you a heads-up so you can figure out other ways to spend your money 😁.
A short while back I shared the Acer Swift 3 as a bonus deal, but it was available only for Costco members. Today's option has no such limitation -- but there is a caveat.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, Newegg has the refurbished Acer Swift 3 for $419.99 -- by far the lowest price I've seen anywhere. (Elsewhere, new, it's at least $100 more.)
I should add that Newegg also lists a non-refurbished Swift 3 for $424.88, but the product page is weirdly incomplete; it doesn't provide specifications or have any user reviews. It appears to be the same configuration as the aforementioned refurb, in which case I'd say by all means spend the extra $5.
The Acer Swift 3 first caught my attention earlier this year. It immediately struck me as "the cheapskate's ultraportable," offering lovely design and a solid mix of features for a reasonable price -- and that was based on the $799 price tag.
Granted, this is the entry-level configuration, which runs on an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. But you also get a 14-inch full-HD display, a fingerprint sensor, USB 3.0 and Type-C ports and a snazzy brushed-metal lid.
(Want a Core i5 with 8GB and 256GB? That refurb is $459.99. I didn't mention it initially because the user reviews suggest this particular batch has issues. On the other hand, those few reviews date back several months. Things might have improved since then?)
The Swift 3 measures just 18mm thick, though it's not super-light (3.5 pounds). But lighter ultraportables tend to have smaller screens; a 14-incher is kind of a rarity these days.
For more details, I'll turn you over to CNET's. Whether you go new or refurb, I'd say this is a pretty sweet deal, in part because you're getting something that looks like it cost a lot more.
Bonus deal: My last Bluetooth speaker deal of 2017! Couldn't pass this one up: For a limited time, Best Buy has the Insignia Portable Wireless Speaker for just $9.99 shipped. Reg. price: $40.
The speaker comes in your choice of four colors and can play for up to eight hours on a charge, according to Best Buy. Even more impressive, it has a 4.5-star review average from over 5,500 buyers.
Ten bucks! And if you can find it in your local Best Buy store, you've still got time to get it under the tree.
Bonus deal No. 2: If you need a laptop that's going to spend most of its time on a desk, get one with a bigger screen.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished HP 17-BS000 17.3-inch laptop for $369.99, plus $5 for shipping. (Ebates users can knock another 2 percent off in the form of cashback.) This model sells new for about $100 more.
Available in a wide assortment of colors, the HP has some notable specs: a 2TB hard drive, a backlit keyboard and one of those old-fangled DVD-burner things. It also has a touchscreen, and while some might ding the 1,600 x 900 resolution, I think it's sufficient for a screen of that size.
This being a refurb, it comes with only a 90-day warranty -- but it's an HP warranty, at least. I've seen (and shared) other big laptops in this price range, but this one does a little better on the spec front.
Bonus deal No. 3: Still shopping for the ultimate dashcam? For a limited time, and while supplies, grab the Vava Dash Cam for $99 when you apply promo code CHPSKATE at checkout. Reg. price: $149.
This car-DVR features a Sony image sensor behind a wide-angle lens. Its windshield mount allows it to rotate 360 degrees, meaning you can just as easily record what's going on inside the car (carpool-karaoke time!) as you can what's going on in front of it.
You also get a remote snapshot button that can instantly capture a still frame or 20-second video. The camera can pair with your phone or tablet for live-streaming video or recorded-video playback. It has a 3-axis sensor that can detect collisions (like when you're parked) and immediately save video. (You'll have to BYO microSD card.) Other notable specs: a built-in battery and built-in GPS.
Because of the obnoxious number of fake reviews attached to the Vava (according to both Fakespot and ReviewMeta), I asked to check one out for myself. Verdict: Works exactly as advertised, which is to say really well. I didn't do a "full" installation, but I appreciated the inclusion of a little pry-bar to help stuff the power cord into seams surrounding the dash and windshield.