Howdy, friends! A quick reminder that there's another way to get deals and money-saving tips from yours truly: Sign up for Cheapskate texts! Just use that link or shoot a text message directly to 415-878-5807. One text per weekday, opt out anytime. I've been having a blast interacting with subscribers; hope you'll check it out!
Late last year, Apple unveiled theover-the-ear headphones. I think it goes without saying that few folks are going to spend $549 when there are perfectly good alternatives for less.
In some cases, way less: Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the-- the lowest price on record. (Last time around, they were $150 -- and sold out pretty quickly.) You could literally buy five of them for the same price as one AirPods Max. (Here are some .)
Originally $350, the Surface Headphones aimed to compete with the likes of Bose and Sony models in that same range. How did they fare? According to CNET's David Carnoy, sound quality and battery life weren't quite on par, but overall he found them "almost great." Read histo learn more. (Also note that they've since been replaced by the slightly better, slightly cheaper .)
A few things to consider: These have touch controls, on-ear dials for adjusting volume and active noise-cancellation levels, an always-on voice assistant (Cortana), USB-C charging and automatic pause/resume when you take the headphones off and put them back on.
In other words, they're easy to use. All too many headphones seem to saddle you with hard-to-find or hard-to-operate controls. Auto-pause in particular is one of my favorite features.
So if you're shopping for a premium headphone and don't have hundreds of dollars to spare, give this a look.
Turn an old laptop into a new Chromebook
Can't find a good deal on a Chromebook? Consider repurposing that seemingly slow, seemingly useless old Windows laptop that's sitting in your closet. It's a free and fairly easy operation;.
CNET's Josh Goldman covered this about a year ago, when parents were scrambling to find Chromebooks for their newly housebound kids. I won't reinvent the wheel, other than to say I recently performed this resurrection on an old laptop of my own. (Crazy coincidence: It was the exact same HP model Josh wrote about.)
Anyway, it worked like a charm, and now that slow-booting Windows 7 machine from yesteryear feels like a fresh new Chromebook. I haven't fully kicked the tires on it, but there's no reason to think it won't get the job done -- especially for, say, an elementary- or middle-school student with modest needs. And I'm donating it to just such a kid.
All you need is a formatted USB flash drive (ideally not a SanDisk, because reasons) with at least 8GB of storage. On the off chance you don't have a drawerful, here's.
CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up for deal texts delivered right to your phone. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest Walmart discount codes, eBay coupons, Samsung promo codes and even more from hundreds of other online stores. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Answers live on our .