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!
Today is all about rare discounts on premium items.
First up: the Apple TV. The fourth-gen model starts at $149, and pretty much always starts at $149.
But eagle-eyed reader Barron spotted this: For a limited time, and while supplies last, IBM (IBM?!) has the certified preowned Apple TV (32GB) MGY52LLA for $104.55 -- and when you add it to your cart, the price drops to $84.55.
What the heck is IBM doing selling the Apple TV? This particular store appears to be part of the IBM Employee Purchase Program -- but there's no evidence you need to be an IBM employee. I had no problem adding the Apple TV to my cart and getting most of the way through the checkout process.
The aforementioned reader, meanwhile, reported that he successfully placed an order. Your mileage may vary, of course -- this is one of those deals that maybe wasn't intended to be made public, so there's always the chance orders might get cancelled.
Incidentally, while poking around, I also found an iPad Pro 9.7 (32GB) for $399.15 -- again after an in-cart discount -- and it's new, not refurbished. I probably would have led with that deal, but even at $400, the iPad feels way overpriced compared with the $150 Amazon Fire HD 10.
Similarly, even at $84, the Apple TV might seem a little hard to justify. It's not the Amazon Fire TV and Roku sticks/boxes offering comparable features for less. Indeed, the current-gen Fire TV box supports 4K and HDR and includes an HDMI output -- all for $70. (With the Apple TV, it's BYO HDMI cable.) Similarly, the $70 Roku Streaming Stick Plus plugs right into an HDMI port and also provides 4K/HDR support., and there are various
But I suspect that anyone who wants an Apple TV, well, wants an Apple TV. And this is your chance to get one at a substantial discount. (Oh! And for what it's worth, if you buy at least two items from this IBM shop, you get an additional 5 percent off!)
Bonus deal: If you like the idea of Sonos gear but not the premium pricing, here's some good news: Spring has the Sonos Play:1 speaker for $119.20 when you apply promo code JUSTINCASE20 at checkout. Price just about everywhere else: $149. (Alas, you may be on the hook for sales tax as well, though that's true with most places you'd normally buy a Sonos.)
(Update: As many readers reported, this code does not appear to be working. I did test it before writing about the deal, and the discount definitely was applied -- though I didn't go all the way through the checkout process. Now there's no longer a discount in my cart. Not sure what happened, here, but I apologize for the sudden change.)
An oldie but goodie, the Sonos Play:1 is "a stylish and exceptionally well-made wireless speaker, especially for the price," according to CNET's review. (And that price was $199 back when the product debuted.)
It's the original multiroom speaker system, but once upon a time it would have cost you a small fortune to outfit just a few rooms.
I definitely recommend readingif you want to learn more. Just take note that this is not to be confused with the newer, Alexa-capable .