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Car Tech

Get an Auto-Vox M6 backup camera and dashcam for $76.99

Normally $110, this interesting kit fits over your rear-view mirror and employs a touchscreen interface. Plus: The smart way to buy an iPad.

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!


auto-vox-m6-touchscreen

The M6 combines a touchscreen-powered dashcam with a wired backup camera. Pretty amazing combo for $77.

Auto-Vox

Does your car have a backup camera? It should -- using one can save not only rear fenders, but also lives.

Likewise, a dashcam can help you with insurance claims in the event of an accident, to say nothing of capturing countless examples of horrific driving. (Seriously, I'm never getting in a car again.)

If your car lacks both items, I've got just the two-fer you need. It's a repeat of a deal from last year, but with the always-welcome lower price.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the Auto-Vox M6 backup camera kit for $76.99 shipped when you apply promo code XKB3W8V8 at checkout. Regular price: $109.99. (Note: Make sure the listed seller is Auto-Vox. If the company runs out of inventory, the link may take you to the same product from a different seller -- but the code won't work.)

The rear camera attaches to the upper edge of your license plate via a simple bracket. A wire then runs from the camera all the way to your existing rear-view mirror. How hard is it to install that wire? That's going to vary from person to person and car to car. I watched one review on YouTube in which the user was able to easily stuff the cord into panel seams all the way from trunk to dashboard. Your mileage may vary, of course.

If you want the backup camera to engage when you put the car in reverse (and, trust me, you do), there's some additional wiring required.

The other component is the "mirror-cam," which clips to your existing rear-view mirror using a set of rubber straps. It has an embedded touchscreen that shows you what the rear camera is seeing, but also provides a full interface for accessing various features and settings.

What features? The M6 is also a front-facing dashcam, one that can save 1080p video to a microSD card (not included). It offers motion detection, parked-car monitoring and looping video recording.

I think the only real downside here is the power cord that runs from the mirror down to your cigarette lighter -- but, again, you may be able to route it around the windshield so it's not all dangly.

If you happened to grab one of these last time around, please hit the comments and share your experiences with it!

apple-ipad-pro-2017-002

If you're going to buy a fancy new iPad, don't pay fancy new prices. Get a refurb instead and sacrifice nothing.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bonus deal: If you're going to buy Apple gear -- and, let's face it, some of you are -- buy it refurbished whenever possible. Apple's best-kept secret is a rotating selection of discounted, refurbished products that are quite literally good as new.

To wit: You can now get a current-gen Apple iPad Pro 10.5 starting at $549 -- a full $100 off the price of its new counterpart. (Yes, that's still crazy-expensive. I'm not here to argue in favor of the product itself, merely to highlight an option to save money on it.)

So what's the catch? There ain't none: refurbished iPads come with a new case, new battery and one-year warranty. People are always skeptical when I recommend this option, but if you pay full price for an Apple product when there's a refurb available, you're loco.

Take note, however, that refurbs from third-party sellers will probably not have the new case and battery, and are more likely to come with a 90-day warranty. You'll probably get an even lower price, just not the good-as-new guarantee.