A failing battery is a miserable reason to replace a laptop, but here we are. On a recent flight, I got all of 90 minutes before my system crapped out -- and the plane had no outlets, so I couldn't plug in. Ugh.
Here's the replacement I'm seriously eyeballing: The Lenovo IdeaPad 720S 13-inch (Platinum) for $494.99 with promo code THINKQUICK. That's $100 off the regular price.
Pro tip: Knock another 3 percent off -- in the form of cash-back savings -- via Rakuten (formerly Ebates). That's about $15 you'll get back.
To my thinking, the IdeaPad is just about perfectly equipped. It has an AMD Ryzen 5 processor -- roughly equivalent to an Intel Core i5, which is plenty for my mainstream computing needs -- 8GB of RAM, a 13.3-inch screen and a 512GB solid-state drive. This last really seals the deal for me. I won't buy a laptop (or any computer) that doesn't have an SSD.
Why? Because SSDs are approximately a zillion times faster than traditional hard drives. They also run cooler and quieter and consume less power. Of course, they cost more as well, which is why you're often lucky to find a 256GB drive in a machine costing hundreds more. It's rare to see a 512GB SSD in a laptop under $500.
Beyond that, I like the fingerprint reader, anti-glare screen and USB-C power port -- features my current laptop lacks. And it's about 2.5 pounds and just 13.6mm thick, so it's easy to travel with. Better still, Lenovo promises up to nine hours of battery life. Even if I get half that, I'll be overjoyed.
CNET hasn't reviewed this model, but the 123 user reviews on Lenovo's site average out to 4.3 stars. So, yeah, I might just pull the trigger. If you happen to own one of these already, please share what you like and don't like.
Read more: The best budget laptops for 2019
Roborock S5 robot vacuum and mop: $445.59 (save $125)
Until the inevitable robot uprising, we might as well get the little buggers to clean our houses. (Unless that's what leads to the... eh, I'll risk it.)
For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Roborock S5 Robotic Vacuum and Mop Cleaner is $444.59 with promo code ROCKROBOS51. That's a hefty $125 off the regular price.
Robot vacuums are everywhere these days, but not many of them add a mop function to the mix. If you use that mode, obviously it means a bit more work: You have to install the mop pad, pour water in, wash the pad later and so on.
But the companion app appears far more sophisticated than the one used by Ecovacs (which makes the robo-vac I have), because it lets you get much more detailed with maps, virtual barriers and the like.
Particularly impressive, the S5 has a 4.6-star review average from 140 buyers, and those reviews are nearly all legit, according to both Fakespot and ReviewMeta. So there's a good chance that if you buy this robo-servant, you'll really like it.
Read more: The best robot vacuum cleaners for 2019
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