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Smart Home

Give your Amazon Echo or Dot a makeover for 30 percent off

If Alexa isn't fitting well with your decor, wrap her in a lovely sleeve of Toast. Plus: return of the $10 label-maker!

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!


toast-for-amazon-echo

These are real wood sleeves, not faux-wood plastic skins. And they're gorgeous.

Toast

Smart speakers are all kinds of awesome but, man, some of them are ugly. (I'm looking at you, Apple HomePod.) Indeed, I'd say most of them stick out: "I'm a piece of tech, not a part of your decor."

If you own a first-gen Amazon Echo or second-gen Echo Dot, the folks at Toast have a fix: real-wood sleeves that turn Alexa from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.

Interested? Today and tomorrow only, Cheapskate readers can save 30 percent on any Toast for Echo or Dot with coupon code CNETSK8TST18 -- and bag free shipping to boot!

That means a Dot sleeve will run you just $13.30, while the Echo sleeve drops to $23.80. Each one is available in four different grains: walnut, ash, bamboo and ebony. 

These are truly lovely. I got the chance to check out the bamboo version, and while I honestly had fairly low expectations, I have to say my Echo looks absolutely stunning. And the sound quality is unaffected -- the grille holes match up perfectly.

These laser-cut sleeves are crafted from real wood. They're made to order in the US and are beautifully packaged with clear application instructions. (Each piece is peel-and-stick. Even All-Thumbs Broida was able to apply the Toast correctly on the first try.)

The company earns another hat-tip for partnering with 1% for the Planet and donating 1 percent of its net sales to environmental non-profits. Toast also plants a seedling for each product made.

This is a total splurge item, no question. But I'm a big believer in aesthetics, and I didn't realize how much I disliked the looks of my Echo in my kitchen until I wrapped it in a Toast sleeve. Now it catches my eye and pleases it at the same time.

Your thoughts?

brother-p-touch-pt-d210

Brother

Bonus deal: Back in September I shared a $10-label-maker deal that sold out quickly. Great news: It's back!

Well, sort of. This one's the same price, but different brand. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Staples has the Brother P-Touch PT-D210 label maker for $9.99 (plus tax), with free in-store pickup. No Staples near you? Office Depot has it for the same price.

The labeler offers 14 fonts, 10 print styles, 97 frames and over 600 symbols. It also has a memory that can store up to 30 labels, a seriously handy feature.

I haven't used one myself, but the P-Touch has overwhelmingly positive reviews at both stores, where it normally sells for $30.