Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Want to save money on a MacBook Pro?

refurbed-mbp.jpgWith new MacBook Pros (& MacBooks) released yesterday you can save some serious cash on the previous generation models. As I’m writing this I see the following in the refurbished section of the online Apple store:

  • MacBook Pro 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,449
  • MacBook Pro 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo (matte or glossy display): $1,649

These laptops were originally selling for $1,999 and $2,499 so these are some steep savings…especially on the 2.4Ghz model.

If you’re looking at buying a MacBook you should seriously consider the 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro at this price. I say this because the Intel Penryn processor in the MacBook (& low-end MBP) only has 3MB of L2 cache whereas the previous Core 2 Duo chip (aka Merom) has 4MB. To be honest, I’m not sure if the additional 1MB of L2 cache cache will net any noticeable performance gains but the option to get a MBP for less than the black MacBook ($1,500) it’s definitely worth considering.

There are some additional benefits to Penryn: supposed better battery life (reportedly by 8 – 10%)  and the SSE4 instruction set (this will make application run much faster provided they are designed to utilize it).

Personally, if I were in the market for a high-end MacBook, I would seriously consider getting the 2.2Ghz MBP. In fact, if a friend was going to spend $1,300 or $1,500 on a MacBook, I would most likely recommend getting the refurbished MBP.


Filed under: Apple, Bargains, Deals, Laptop, MacBook Pro, Mobile Computing, Notebook

Blu-ray Deal: Buy 2 get 1 free

Amazon is having a buy 2 get 1 free deal on select Blu-ray titles. There are approximately 180 titles that qualify – just make sure you view each genre (action & adventure, drama & family friendly, etc.) by clicking on the tabs on top of the page.

I bought Black Hawk Down, House of Flying Daggers, & Underworld: Evolution for $38 ($12.66/title) – a pretty darn good deal.

The price varies so if you’re buying a lot of discs make sure you divide your purchase into separate orders. For example, all $15.95 discs in one order and all $23.95 discs in another because Amazon gives the cheapest disc to you for free.
Not sure how long this deal will last so buy ’em if you can!

Filed under: Amazon, Blu-ray, Deals, Home Theater, Movies

HD-DVD & Blu-ray: Buy 1 Get 1 Free at Best Buy

hd-dvd_logo_resized.jpgBest Buy is offering a buy 1 get 1 free deal on HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs. And, yes, there are some good movies that qualify for this offer.

FYI, I was in a Best Buy store yesterday (Watertown, MA) and there were no advertisements for this offer so this offer may be online only. If you need the discs before Christmas, just buy online with in-store pickup – that’s what I just did.


  • 300 ($34.99)
  • Arctic Tale ($34.99)
  • Blades Of Glory ($29.99)
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The Departed HD-DVD ($34.99)
  • Disturbia ($29.99)
  • Evan Almighty ($19.99)
  • Harry Potter & Order Of The Phoenix ($32.99)
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry ($29.99)
  • Knocked Up: Unrated ($19.99)
  • Mr. Bean’s Holiday ($29.99)
  • Ocean’s Thirteen ($34.99)
  • Shooter ($34.99)
  • Shrek The Third ($29.99)
  • Transformers ($29.99)


  • 28 Weeks Later ($29.99)
  • 300 ($29.99)
  • Are We Done Yet? ($29.99)
  • The Condemned ($29.99)

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Filed under: Bargains, Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies

Get $600 worth of Mac software for $50

macupdate.jpgMacUpdate has another software bundle for sale and there are some really awesome applications in the bundle. In short, you get 10 applications for $50…but it’s offered for a limited time and expires in 7 days. I bought the bundle and would highly recommend them. So far, my favorites are Yep and RapidWeaver.

Here’s the skinny on the applications included in the bundle:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Apple, Deals, MacOSX, Software

Bargain: Toshiba HD-DVD Player for $100

Looks like Wal-Mart will be selling the Toshiba HD-DVD player (HD-A2) for $100 this Friday, November 2 and Best Buy is already selling it for $100 (sold out on their website, though).

Not good enough?  Well, rumor is Sears will be selling the newer HD-A3 Toshiba HD-DVD player for $169 on Black Friday (compare that to Best Buy’s current price of $249).

If you’re thinking about buying an HD-DVD player now is the time!

[via Engadget]

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies

Toshiba HD-DVD player for $200

toshiba-hd-a2.jpgHave you been waiting for a cheap but good quality HD-DVD player? Well, your wait is now over. You can now buy Toshiba’s 2nd generation HD-DVD player (HD-A2) for $200 at Circuit City and, starting next week, at Wal-Mart and most likely Best Buy.

I was an early adopter and own the 1st gen Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player and love it. The picture and sound quality is amazing…assuming you have a calibrated HDTV and a good surround sound system.

FYI, the latest HD-DVD player is the HD-A3 and HD-A35 (3rd gen). You can check out the specs of the HD-A2 and the rest of the HD-DVD players on Toshiba’s site.

[via ArsTechnica]

Filed under: Deals, HD DVD, HDTV, Home Theater, Movies, Surround Sound, Video

Get a $50 iTunes gift card for $45

iTunes Gift Card Image_smallI was at my local Costco the other weekend and noticed that they sell $50 iTunes gift cards for $44.99. Getting a 10% discount on these gift cards ain’t a bad deal.

This would be perfect for a friend/relative/someone special that loves buying stuff from the iTunes Music Store.

Filed under: Apple, Bargains, Costco, Deals, iPhone, iPod, iTunes

Use your Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupons at Linens ‘N Things

linens-n-things.gifFor those of you who may not know, you can use Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupons at Linens ‘N Things. It’s extremely simple to do: all you have to do is go to the customer service counter to checkout and present the Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupon. The customer service person will apply the coupon to your purchase with no questions asked. Sweet, eh?bed-bath-and-beyond.jpg

I was a bit skeptical when my girlfriend told me about this but, this past Saturday, I used a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath, & Beyond to buy a Dyson Root 6 handheld vacuum from Linens ‘N Things. It saved me a cool $30 beans. 😀

Btw, I originally bought a Dyson Root 6 (and wrote a review) from Best Buy on March 23rd but returned the one I bought from Linens ‘N Things to Best Buy because they don’t accept competitor coupons.

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, Retail, Shopping

Deal: Western Digital Passport 160GB for $120

western-digital-passport.jpgIf you’re in the market for an external hard disk drive, you should take a look at the slick looking Western Digital Passport portable drives. They come in 60, 80, 120, and 160GB versions. Costco is selling the 160GB version for $120 (in-store) and $130 on their website, which is $60 cheaper than MSRP and cheaper than you can find on the web (e.g., NewEgg.com).

I just bought the 160GB version for $120 at the Everett, MA location.

It’s a very sweet portable drive that does not require a separate power adapter (it’s usb-powered)…assuming your USB ports are 1000 mAH.  Some USB ports top out at 500 mAH, which isn’t enough juice to power this drive (more on that in a future post).

Filed under: Bargains, Computers, Deals, Hard Drive, Storage, Technology

Deal: Xbox HD-DVD player for $131

Xbox HD-DVD add-onSam’s Club is selling the Xbox HD-DVD add-on player for $131 (a full $59 lower than MSRP). Note: some Sam’s Club locations are selling it for $150, which is still a good deal.

Btw, this deal is in-store only.

[via TechBargains]

Filed under: Deals, HD DVD, Xbox 360

Deal: Get $60 worth of iTunes gift cards for $45

itunes-free-gift-card.jpgBest Buy has a pretty sweet deal: buy 3 $15 iTunes gift cards and get 1 $15 gift card for free. This deal is valid through this Saturday, April 7.

BestBuy.com was offering this deal but ‘sold out’ so you’ll have to go to the brick and mortar store if you want to get this deal…I know I will. 🙂

Btw, this deal is also in this week’s flyer.

[via BensBargains.net]

Update (4/4/2007) Sweet – I just got 8 $15 gift cards for the price of 6 at my local Best Buy (Watertown, MA). The cashier told me that a lot of people have been taking advantage of this buy 3, get 1 free deal (there was still a lot of gift cards available). Also, there’s a sign near the gift cards that says it’s limited to one per customer but I was able to buy two but your mileage may vary.

Filed under: Deals, iTunes

NewsBreak: a Windows Mobile RSS reader for $8 (limited time)

newsbreak.gifIf you’ve been looking for a great RSS reader or news aggregator for your Windows Mobile Smartphone/Pocket PC, look no further. I’ve been using NewsBreak for about 3 months on my T-Mobile Dash and it rocks.

IliumSoft – the makers of NewsBreak – just released version 2.0 and is selling it for a limited time price of $8. That’s a 60% discount since it retails for $20.

If you bought NewsBreak after December 6, 2006 (like I did), then the upgrade is free (woot!). If you bought NewsBreak before December 6, you can upgrade for $8.

Update:  Btw, NewsBreak v2.0 allows you to download and listen to podcasts and search for new feeds via Microsoft’s Live Search.  Geek.com has a positive review, too.

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, Mobile Software, Smartphone, Windows Mobile

Bargain: Logitech VX Revolution Notebook Mouse for $35

logitech-vx-revolution.jpgLooking for a wireless notebook mouse? Well, here’s the deal for you: Buy.com has the Logitech VX Revolution for $35 ($55 – $20 mail-in rebate). MSRP is $80 so this is a steal.

Specs for the VX Revolution can be found here.

If I didn’t own the Logitech V500, I’d jump all over this.

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, Logitech, Mouse

Bargain: Arc’Teryx Bora 65 Backpack for $252

arcteryx-bora-65.jpgI’ve been helping my girlfriend look for good deals on camping gear (we’re doing a rim-to-rim hike through the Grand Canyon in May) and we came across this phenomenal deal on Arc’Teryx Bora backpacks at a local outdoor store (Hilton’s Tent City). So, if you’re shopping for a Bora backpack, look no further and head over to their website or, if you’re in Boston, stop by their store (272 Friend St., Boston) to buy this pack. They also offer free shipping on orders over $50.

I have personally bought a few things from Hilton’s Tent City and wholeheartedly recommend them. Every item I’ve looked at is at least 10% below MSRP. Yes, some online or brick and mortar stores may sell an item for less but it’s usually during ‘end of season’ or ‘garage’ sales. At Hilton’s Tent City, their prices are always below MSRP and, when they have a sale, the prices are much lower than MSRP (like these ArcTeryx packs).

Here are their prices vs. MSRP:

  • Bora 50: $171.50 / $245
  • Bora 62 (women’s): $252 / $350
  • Bora 65: $252 / $350
  • Bora 75 (women’s): $267 / $375
  • Bora 80: $267 / $375
  • Bora 95: $305 / $435

Note: I have no affiliation with Hilton’s Tent City…just a happy customer! 😀

Filed under: ArcTeryx, Backpacking, Backpacks, Bargains, Camping, Deals

Sandisk Ultra II (2GB) CF – $50 after rebate

Need a 2GB Compact Flash card? Best Buy (Boston-area) has a really good deal on the Sandisk Ultra II 2GB from January 21 – 27, 2007. Don’t live in the Boston-area? Check your local Best Buy flyers online. $119 (MSRP) – $50 (instant savings) – $20 (mail-in rebate) = $49.99.

I use these cards in my Canon Digital Rebel XT D-SLR and they’re awesome – very fast read/write speeds (10MB/s read, 9MB/s write).

Update: (2/12/2007) This deal was only good during that week in January but you can get this card at NewEgg.com for $62.

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, Memory Card, Storage

Buying an Xbox 360?

I’ve come across the following deals on an Xbox 360 so, if you’re planning on buying one, stop by one of these stores:

  • MicroCenter:
    • Xbox 360 Premium: $349 (after a $50 gift card)
    • Xbox 360 Core: $249 (after a $50 gift card)
    • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller: $39 (after a $10 gift card)
    • Use the gift card to get an extra wireless controller (MSRP $50), a game (Gears of War??), an extra battery for the wireless controller, etc.
    • The Catch: the deal is for in-store purchases, only. Check the MicroCenter locations.
    • Expiration: not sure. So, get to your nearest MicroCenter if you’re planning on buying one!
  • Costco:
    • If you’re a member, they offer theXbox 360 Premium bundle for $475. The bundle includes:
      • Xbox 360 Premium
      • 1 Extra wireless controller
      • 1 Play-and-Charge kit
      • 1 game (you can choose from Project Gotham Racing or Xbox Live Arcade gamepack)
      • The total MSRP value if purchased separately: $510 (w/Live Arcade) or $500 (w/PGR)
    • Plus, don’t forget about Costco’s unconditional return policy. If theXbox 360 fails at anytime in the future, you can always exchange it or get a store credit at Costco.

I’ve had my Xbox 360 since February, 2006 and LOVE it.  The Xbox Live service is great and the way in which the Xbox 360 is constantly connected to Xbox Live is brilliant.

Filed under: Bargains, Deals, Gaming, Xbox 360