CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.
Well, folks, as I bid you goodbye until Friday, let me wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. It may sound silly, but I'm thankful that this year has brought us such amazing technology at such affordable prices. We're living in an age of minor miracles, and all too often we take them for granted.
Of course, I'm equally thankful for you, the best bunch of readers a blogger could have. And I'll see you back here on Friday with a massive list of hand-picked deals!
In the meantime, I bring you a rerun. Chromebooks have soared in popularity this year, but usually the best deals are reserved for smaller, lower-powered models. Not this time.
Today only, and while supplies last, Woot once again has the refurbished Toshiba Chromebook 2 for $189.99, plus $5 for shipping. This model debuted about a year ago at $319.99 and currently sells elsewhere for $299.
As I said, there have been other Chromebook deals for less. But the Chromebook 2 packs considerably more power, starting with its 13.3-inch IPS screen, which has a native resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. I could argue that that's overkill for a display of this size, but once you get a look at it, you'll be hard-pressed to go back to 1,366x768.
The Toshiba also sports a dual-core Intel 2.16GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and a somewhat paltry 16GB solid-state drive. But it's easy enough to add more storage: just pop in an SD card.
I'll turn you over to CNET's review for more details about the machine, the key takeaways being the "fantastic" screen, "great-sounding" speakers and "fast" 802.11ac wireless. Build quality, on the other hand, was noted to be "a bit flimsy."
Here's what I love about all Chromebooks: They boot and shut down in seconds, don't require antivirus protection and don't bog down over time (like certain other operating systems I know). Here's what I don't love: setting up Google Cloud Print. Depending on the kind of printer you have, this may be a piece of cake or it may be a huge pain. In my experience, it's usually the latter.
If you scooped one up last time, hit the comments and share a review with your fellow cheeps.
Bonus deal 1: We're 10 versions into Windows and you still can't do something as simple as change the color of folders? Phbbblllttt. Thankfully, there are utilities that can perform that handy function. Like this one: Today only, Giveaway of the Day has Folder Marker Home 4.2 for free. Normally $25, this program lets you change folder colors, icons and priority levels.
Bonus deal 2: If your car stereo doesn't have Bluetooth or a line-in jack, how can you listen to your favorite podcasts and playlists? An FM transmitter is your best bet. For a limited time, you can get the Aukey FM Transmitter for $8.99 (shipped free with Prime) when you apply the coupon code W9ZSOJFB at checkout. The regular price is $16.99. This highly rated gadget plugs into your phone or tablet and "broadcasts" audio to an unused frequency on your FM radio.
Bonus deal 3: Time to splurge on a big monitor! Adorama has the LG 27MP36HQ 27-inch desktop monitor for $169 shipped -- but a mail-in rebate brings your final price down to $134. That's one of the lowest prices I've ever seen for such a big display. The specs are pretty standard, but include a special "reader mode" designed to reduce eye fatigue.
Bonus deal 4: Freebie time! For a limited time, Amazon is offering both the SD and HD versions of "Adele: Live at the Royal Albert Hall," "Divergent" and "Odd Thomas" for free. (You do need to have an Amazon account, natch.) These digital goodies can be streamed or downloaded to your compatible device of choice.