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!
Why pack three important travel accessories when you can pack just one?
For a limited time, you can get the RavPower FileHub Plus for $31.99 via Amazon when you apply promo code cnethube at checkout. This super-handy gadget performs three key functions and regularly sells for $39.99.
Function 1: It's a 6,000mAh mobile charger. That's enough to fully charge most phones at least once, and probably closer to twice. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the FileHub is actually quite compact -- no larger than other chargers of this capacity (and actually smaller than some).
Function 2: It's a media hub, the kind of thing that can wirelessly stream music and movies to your phone or tablet. That's a great option when you want to bring, say, an entire season of "" on a long trip, but don't have space to spare on your device.
The FileHub has no onboard storage of its own, but rather offers both an SD slot and a USB port; you can add your own storage to either one. (Admirably, an SD card disappears all the way inside the unit, leaving nothing protruding.) This option also allows you to offload photos, videos and the like from your device, a good way to free up space if needed.
I did some quick and informal testing, connecting both an iPhone and iPad (the FileHub supports up to five simultaneous connections) and streaming two different MP4 videos at the same time. It worked flawlessly. Your mileage may vary, of course, and I'll note that I played the videos for only a few minutes.
Finally, function 3: It's a travel router, able to connect to any wired network and make it wireless. (Example: You're in a hotel where they charge for Wi-Fi, but you can connect via Ethernet free of charge.) It can also function as a Wi-Fi extender, nice if the aforementioned hotel allows only one device per room to connect to Wi-Fi; now all your devices can.
All this stuff can be a little confusing, but RavPower supplies a clear, if slightly brief, instruction manual to get you going on basic operations. (Not mentioned: Setting up pass-through so your device can continue to access a Wi-Fi network while still connected to the FileHub. Thankfully, it's easy to do.)
Even at the regular price of $40, this is a very worthwhile travel companion. For just $32 out the door, I'm liking it even more.
Bonus deal: Speaking of three-in-one gadgets, here's another one -- this time for the car. As you know, I'm a big believer in mounting your phone at (or close to) eye level when you drive.
Depending on the where the cigarette lighter is located in your vehicle, this might be the perfect option: For a limited time, Amazon has the Vansky 3-in-1 gooseneck car mount for $15.19 when you apply promo code 3ZVKF3SA at checkout.
In addition to the aforementioned mount, you get two 2.4-amp USB charging ports and a pass-through port for plugging in your cigarette lighter or anything else that might need it. The mount itself is the fairly common adjustable clamping kind, able to hold just about any size phone.
Bonus deal No. 2: Game time! Like platformers? Then get thee to Origin's latest On The House offer: SteamWorld Dig (for Windows) for free! Normally priced at $10, this 2013 platforming adventure earned mostly positive reviews from players and critics alike.
As with all of Origin's giveaways, you'll need an Origin account and the Origin software client (both of which are also free).
Bonus deal No. 3: I rank "The West Wing" as one of my all-time favorite TV shows -- in fact, it's squarely in the top three -- so when I saw the words "Martin Sheen narrates" and "free audiobook," I was overjoyed to say the least.
Even better: It's a book about World War II, a subject I've always found fascinating. For a limited time, Audible is offering "The Home Front: Life in America During World War II" narrated by Martin Sheen for free. It normally sells for $24.95, or will when it actually goes on sale in November.
And that's the meaning of "for a limited time" in this instance: You've got until mid-November to listen to this Audible Original series. The runtime for the entire thing is about 8 hours, so you should have no trouble finishing it.
Personally, I could listen to Sheen narrate the phone book.