I'm traveling today, cheeps, but I'm excited to bring you a rerun of one of my favorite discoveries from earlier this year -- and at a Cheapskate-exclusive lower price!
In my tenure as the Cheapskate, I've seen a lot of Bluetooth speakers. Big ones, small ones, cute ones, stylish ones. But this one? This one makes my heart go pitter pat.
While supplies last (and they're limited, I'm told), StackSocial has the Lofree QTV portable wireless speaker in your choice of colors for $79.20 shipped with promo code CNETSPEAK20. Amazon charges $119. Take note that it may take up to two weeks to arrive.
I mean, look at it! It looks like a little vintage TV. And the screen actually lights up and does stuff, like show the time or, if you're listening to music, a record player. It even displays a quick blast of static when you switch modes!
The top dial is actually functional, too. It controls the volume, except when you're setting the time, a timer or an alarm, in which case it's used to adjust the numbers.
Speaking of that stuff, yep: You can set a timer if you want to use the QTV as, say, a kitchen companion, but it also has two customizable alarm options if it's headed to the bedroom. Customizable how? You can actually record your voice or a snippet of music or the like to use as the sound.
Perhaps my favorite thing of all: When a timer is active, you can press down the antenna to pause it. The antenna! (There's also another hidden feature, but I won't spoil that surprise.)
I recently got the chance to test-drive a QTV, and here's what I can tell you:
- It's surprisingly heavy, kind of like a real shrunken tube-TV would be. It feels substantial in the palm of your hand.
- It sounds surprisingly good -- way better than you'd expect for something so small, and it can get pretty loud, too.
- The controls aren't very intuitive (or labeled), but they're easy enough to master thanks to a clear instruction manual.
- The screen goes dark after a period of inactivity, no doubt to preserve battery life, but I wish it had an always-on option if you kept it plugged in.
- Maybe that's just as well, because the clock can display only 24-hour time. What! This is my only complaint with this otherwise delightful little gizmo.
That dumb issue aside, the QTV is unique, versatile and totally adorable. I'm giving it a permanent home on my desk, with occasional visits to the kitchen. Great gift item, too.
Originally published on Aug. 22, 2018.
Update, Oct. 1: Removed bonus deals and updated pricing and other information.
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