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Smart Home

Make your garage door smart for $55

The Chamberlain MyQ is compatible with most modern garage-door openers and originally sold for $130. Plus: a modern take on the Game Boy Pocket for just $17!

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The MyQ Garage works with most modern garage-door openers.

Sarah Tew / CNET

I can't tell you how many times I've had this conversation while lying in bed:

"Did you shut the garage door?"

"I don't remember. Did you?"

"No."

And guess who ends up getting out of bed to go check?

That's why I had zero qualms about spending $55 to make my garage door smart. I wanted to be able to check its status with just one tap and, if necessary, open or close it the same way.

Today I bring that option to you. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the Chamberlain MyQ Garage G0201 universal smartphone garage-door control for $55 shipped. That's after applying promo code RICK15 at checkout. Reg. price: $70, already a big improvement over the original $130 list price. 

Update: Aargh. Sorry to say this is already sold out. A Daily Steals rep informed me the company's trying to secure some additional inventory, so stay tuned.

Door goes up, door goes down. Door goes up, door goes down. 

It took me about 20 minutes to successfully install the MyQ, which I paired with a fairly new Chamberlain opener. But the gizmo is "designed to work with most major brands of garage door openers manufactured after 1993 and that use safety reversing sensors."

My advice: Watch the installation video on YouTube and read the instructions. I stumbled a couple times during app setup because it wasn't especially intuitive, but the instructions got me back on track.

Arguably the biggest factor here is whether you've got a decent enough Wi-Fi signal in your garage. That depends, of course, on the size of your house, the location and power of your router and other factors. My advice: Go stand in your garage and check your phone to see if you still have Wi-Fi. Even better, use an app like SpeedTest to check the performance and make sure it's a consistent signal.

Beyond that, here are a few things to note:

  • In addition to being able to control your door from the app, you can get notifications when the door is opened or closed.
  • Although the MyQ supports integration with Nest and Comcast Xfinity Home, it doesn't work with Alexa.  
  • There's a newer version of this, the G0301. According to a Chamberlain rep, that model features "improved communication between the hub and garage door sensor, and enhanced sensor battery monitoring." Functionally, though, they appear to be the same.
  • The G0201 has a 3.6-star average rating from over 1,500 Amazon customers -- not the most encouraging score. It's worth perusing some of the negative reviews to see what potential problems you might encounter.

I can only speak from about four days' worth of personal experience, but so far the MyQ is working as advertised. In fact, just two nights ago I found myself in bed wondering if my daughter had shut the door when she arrived home. (She's notorious for forgetting to do so.) I checked the app and, yep, she had. But this time I didn't have to get out of bed to find out.

You can also read CNET's review of the MyQ Garage for a more in-depth look at its features. Verdict: "Chamberlain's MyQ Garage should be the first on your list if you want to add some smarts to your garage door."

Your thoughts?

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Tomtop

Bonus deal: Game time! If you're a fan of old-school videogames -- the 8-bit arcade kind -- here's something you might like. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Tomtop has the Coolbaby Pocket Handheld Video Game Console for $16.99 shipped. That's after applying promo code LCX1440 at checkout.

The spitting image of Nintendo's classic Game Boy Pocket, the Coolbaby is a self-contained system with a whopping 129 games. It features a 2.2-inch color screen that's surprisingly bright and vibrant, a built-in speaker that's surprisingly loud (but no headphone jack, alas) and a rechargeable battery.

My $.02: This is a fun little novelty, with some old (think: mid-80s) but beloved games. You get Double Dragon 1 to 4, Ninja Gaiden 1 to 3, a couple Super Mario Bros. and a whole bunch of others I've never heard of. They're mostly platform and fighting games, but with some sports and shooter titles mixed in for good measure.

If you're into this kind of retro gaming, this is a pretty amazing gizmo for just $17. Be prepared to wait 2 to 4 weeks for it to arrive, though, as it'll be coming from China.