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Smart Thermostats

Grab the top-rated Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat for $89

It sells elsewhere for at least $115. Plus: The Eero three-node mesh Wi-Fi system drops to $319.

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The Emerson Sensi keeps things blissfully simple, with tactile buttons and a straightforward status screen.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

I'm a huge fan of smart thermostats -- but not a fan of the two biggest players in the market, Ecobee and Nest. I'll explain why by way of today's deal.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Newegg has the Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat for $89 shipped (plus tax in some states) when you apply promo code NEWEGGSENSI40 at checkout. (You must have and be signed into a Newegg account in order to use codes.) Cheapskate exclusive! It's normally $129, and the best price I've seen elsewhere is $115.

Right off the bat, the Sensi costs far less than either an Ecobee or a Nest. Granted, you can often defray the costs of any smart thermostat by way of rebates from your gas and/or electric companies. Here in Michigan, those two utilities each offer $50 on the purchase of any Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat -- meaning on this deal, I'd actually make $11.

But even the entry-level Nest costs $169, so I'd still be out of pocket for that. As for the Ecobee, which I actually own, I find the UI annoyingly complicated. There are buttons that don't look like buttons (and so you might never know to tap them), and the scheduling interface is just a mess.

I haven't used the Sensi myself, but I can tell you what I immediately like about it: It looks like a traditional thermostat, meaning the learning curve is lower, and it has actual buttons for accessing menus and raising/lowering the temperature. The LCD shows everything I need to see: the current or desired temp (in nice, large numbers) and the mode, fan and schedule settings. Simple. Effective.

Although the Sensi can be controlled via both smartphone apps and smart devices (including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant), it lacks a few advanced features, like learning and remote sensors. Thus, it won't automatically start to adjust temperatures based on the times of day you're gone, and it can't heat or cool based on the temps of individual rooms.

However, Emerson has added geofencing capabilities, meaning the system can automatically make adjustments when it detects that you've left home (or your phone has, anyway) and when you've returned. This is an improvement since CNET's Meg Wollerton penned her Emerson Sensi review a few years back.

There may be newer, fancier smart thermostats out there, but if you want something super-affordable (and potentially even free!) and super simple, this is a great option.

Bonus deal: Get an Eero Mesh Wi-Fi system for $319 (save $80)

If you've been thinking about a router upgrade, because performance isn't what you expect or your Wi-Fi signal doesn't reach all corners of your house, good news: My favorite solution is on sale.

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This kit comes with one Eero and two Beacons, enough to cover most two to four-bedroom homes.  

Josh Miller/CNET

Today only, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Eero Home WiFi System (three nodes) for $319 shipped. Regular price: $399. Sales are rare, and only once has this item been priced lower.

I own this exact configuration. The main node is plugged into my cable modem. The two Eero Beacons (which have night lights!) are on the other floors of my house. The best thing I can say about it is that once I installed it, I more or less forgot about it. That's because Wi-Fi has worked perfectly ever since. Your mileage may vary, of course, because lots of things can affect Wi-Fi performance. But compared with other routers I've used in the past, the Eero is pure pleasure. It's blissfully easy to set up and configure.

Oh, and don't worry about the optional Eero Plus subscription. It's totally unnecessary. Once you buy the kit, you're done.

If you live in a smaller house (with one or two bedrooms), consider grabbing the Eero Home two-node kit for $239, a savings of $60. Again, it's not the lowest price to date, but still a good deal on what I consider a great mesh-network system.


CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. 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!