Back in the old days of desktop PCs, external speakers were a necessity if you wanted sound. Today, most of us have moved on to laptops, which have built-in speakers. They're not great, of course, but maybe you figure they're good enough.
Wrong! Games, movies, YouTube videos, your favorite Pandora playlists -- stuff like this demands to be heard big and loud, not small and tinny. So it's time to consider a set of desktop speakers you can plug in when you're sitting at your favorite desk.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, DailySteals has the refurbished Logitech Z313 2.1-channel speaker system for $29 shipped.
For those unfamiliar with the terminology, 2.1-channel means the setup has two satellite speakers and one subwoofer. The latter, well, it makes all the difference. Let me put it this way: It's all about the bass, 'bout the bass, not the treble.
And are you thinking what I'm thinking? (No, not this.) This set of speakers might make for an ideal addition to a smaller TV, which, like your laptop, has wussy built-ins. Just plug them into the headphone jack (or get an adapter for the audio-out plugs) and you're golden. I did something similar for my bedroom TV, and the difference was a-maze-ing.
All for just 29 bucks. I should note, however, that over at Amazon (where some 900 buyers rated the Z313 4.2 stars on average), the system sells new for $39.99 shipped. That's a perfectly fine deal, but why not save $11 if you can?
One reason: the warranty. New, it's two years. Refurb, 90 days. The former is probably worth an extra $11. But if you're really a cheapskate... well, you know what to do.
Bonus deal: In honor of iOS 8 launch day, here's a sweet freebie: Top-rated tower-defense game Fieldrunners 2 and Fieldrunners 2 HD (for iPad) are free for a limited time. Regular price: $2.99 and $4.99, respectively. If you're not sure it's worth your time, check out this gushing review. Then make sure to clear your schedule, as tower-defense games can be mighty addicting.
Bonus deal No. 2: Speaking of games, I always felt the Archos GamePad was an underrated tablet. Yeah, it's a little long in the tooth now, with so-so screen resolution and battery life that was never all that great. But check this out: For a limited time, Adorama has the Archos GamePad for $79.99 shipped. It's a 7-inch Android tablet with game controllers embedded on either side (and along the top). And it sold for $180 when it debuted in early 2013. Might be the perfect option for kids who are just getting into gaming, or tablets, or tablet gaming.
Bonus deal No. 3: Speaking of games (again), EA's latest on-the-house offer just went live: It's Bejeweled 3 for PC/Mac. Regular price: $4.99. Strings attached: zero, save perhaps for the need to have an Origin account and install the Origin client software. With those things done, just grab the game and enjoy it for life.