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Features Archives for 2011

Digital Textbooks Offer Big Savings for Students — If You Can Find Them

Amazon's new textbook rental service offers an opportunity for students to save big bucks on college books, but that's only if they can find the titles they need. Laura Heller searched for books from three actual reading lists for this fall, and the results were not good. So before you snatch up an eBook reader thinking it'll save you money in the long run on discounted titles, read on.

The Top 5 iPad Alternatives: Cheaper, and Several at Recent All-Time Lows

There's no arguing that Apple's iPad is the most desirable Internet tablet on the market right now (if you exclude the recent rush to snag a cheap HP TouchPad), but just because everyone wants one doesn't mean everyone is happy to shell out the cash. We've got the top five iPad alternatives, and, conveniently, most of them have been available at all-time lows recently. So it just might be a good time to go alternative.

Rumor Roundup: LTE iPhone? iPad Retina Displays?

Once a week, we scour the Internet looking for the latest rumors about consumer technology. (You know, iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple ... oh, and one or two other companies, too!) The results of this search are compiled in our Rumor Roundup, where we make fun of them with extreme snark. It's the kind of thing you've come to expect of us. Enjoy!

When Can You Expect the Best Deals on the Newly Discontinued HP TouchPad?

The HP TouchPad is no more. That's bad news for the webOS-based Internet tablet, but good news for bargain hunters, who are licking their lips at the chance to score an aggressive deal on an iPad alternative. But what kind of discount can you expect and how soon?

8 Simple Ways to Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient

There are many ways to make a refrigerator (including an EnergyStar model) more energy efficient, which means saving more green for your wallet. Lou Carlozo gives us eight easy tips to help you cut back on the juice.

Friday Funnies: We Make A Mockery of the Deals From the Past Week

Happy people like to tell you that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to laugh. So why not relax your face by reading our Friday Funnies? It's a collection of our deals from the past week that include a joke or humorous element. We do it all for you! Enjoy!

GPS Buying Guide: Premium Features Worth Paying For

While a smartphone can easily be used for navigational purposes, many people still desire one of today's stand-alone GPS devices, which are jam-packed with features. But which ones do you really need? Inside, we list what premiums you should consider springing for when making a purchase.

dealnews Podcast - Episode 174: Who is Demi Lovato?

The dealnews Podcast proudly presents Episode 174. Our panel discusses Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Netflix "Just For Kids", Kindle Cloud Reader, eBook price-fixing, extreme couponing, and more.

Choose your favorite way to listen:
Subscribe via iTunes
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Direct download it

(And don't forget to check out our Shownotes for links to the topics discussed in this week's show.)

Listen Up: The Pros and Cons to 5 of Our Headphone Deals

If you need a new pair of headphones, but you can't tell the difference between your Sennheisers and your Shures, then check out our inside look at five headphone deals recently listed on the site. Audio and recording junkie Lou Carlozo details what about each pair should make you sit up and listen.

dealnews Staffers Gush About Their Proudest Purchases

The dealnews staff writers and editors are among the site's biggest fans. (For proof, just count how many of us "like" dealnews on Facebook.) That's because we're constantly getting good deals while we work, and as a result, each of us has made at least one purchase that was so spectacular, we wanted to scream it from the rooftops. But in lieu of rooftop-hopping, we've opted to share the stories of our proudest purchases here. Got one of your own?

How Long Does It Take Until Top Smartphones Become Free?

Buying a new smartphone shouldn't be a major expense. In fact, it shouldn't be an expense at all. Our dealnews archives show that months after a phone's release, you can snag that same handset for free (contract and data plans required). But which smartphones hit the $0 mark the fastest, and is it ever possible to get an iPhone for free? We tracked past deals on popular handsets to predict how long before some of today's hottest models are handed out for free.

Rumor Roundup: Android Ice Cream? Free iPhone?

Once a week, we scour the Internet looking for the latest rumors about consumer technology. (You know, iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple ... oh, and one or two other companies, too!) The results of this search are compiled in our Rumor Roundup and made fun of with extreme snark. It's the kind of thing you've come to expect of us. Enjoy!

Do These 5 Energy-Saving Products Save You Money in the Long Run?

You want to be environmentally-savvy, but you also want to be smart with your green — the stuff in your wallet, that is. Our Green Dad columnist Lou Carlozo takes a look at five energy-saving products and determines whether they'll actually save you money in the long run.

Friday Funnies: We Laugh With (not at) The Deals From The Past Week

There are two things that separate us from the animals: Opposable thumbs and the ability to laugh. (Though several times when we've visited the zoo we could swear the penguins were laughing at us.) Show your superiority to the lower beasts by reading our Friday Funnies! It's a collection of the deals from this week which we've added a dash of humor to. Enjoy!

What Back-to-School Laptop Provides the Best Value for Your Student?

When it comes to buying a back-to-school laptop for a college-bound kid, naturally you'll want to choose a model that will last all four years. But does splurging on a high-end system ensure that they'll have a working laptop through graduation, or can a budget option provide the same guarantee? We explore the various factors to consider when walking the delicate balance between budget-friendly deals and lasting value.

How Our Favorite Tech Editors Save Money on Gadgets

Shiny gadgets and affordable pricing rarely go hand-in-hand, which is why dealnews leaves no stone unturned in search of a great deal. But ever wonder how the Internet's tech elite find their deals? We asked some of our favorite tech editors — from Engadget, CNET, and more — to share their money-saving strategies with us.

Get the Best Back-to-School Furniture Deals for Your College-Bound Kid

College students are perpetually strapped for cash, but that doesn't mean your kids need to become schooled in Dumpster Diving 101 just to furnish their apartment. We've rounded up some of the best budget-friendly furniture deals from our site to keep them comfortable in their campus abodes.

With the Next Generation Around the Corner, is it a Bad Time to Buy a Kindle?

Amazon just dropped the price on its refurbished Kindle 3 eBook reader, and TechCrunch believes this signals the impending release of the next generation. So should you cancel your plans for the Kindle 3 and wait for the upgraded model?

Rumor Roundup: World of Warcraft Expansion? iTunes Replay?

Once a week, we scour the Internet looking for the latest rumors about consumer technology. The results of that search are rounded up here, in our Rumor Roundup. To make them palatable, we throw in a dash of humor and a handful of snark. Enjoy!

It's Sales Tax Holiday Weekend. Everybody Celebrate By Buying Stuff!

This weekend, shoppers in 11 different states will have the opportunity to pay zero sales tax on select items. If you're one of those lucky consumers, are you planning on making any special purchases to take advantage of the discount?

Don't Buy That, Get This: 6 Eco-Friendly Swaps That Save

Cultivating an eco-friendly life can be a massive undertaking, but sometimes it's the small improvements in our daily lives that make the greatest difference. dealnews Green Dad columnist Lou Carlozo offers six simple ways to help the environment (while saving money) by saying: Don't buy that, get this!

Friday Funnies: We Kid Around In The Deals From The Past Week

Some say that laughter is the best medicine. Others say that penicillin is. Who's right? The world may never know. But one thing is for certain: It doesn't hurt to laugh — except if you have Snarfitis, a rare but serious disease in which laughing causes milk to come out your nose. For the rest of you, enjoy our Friday Funnies. It's like 100cc's of fun, injected right into your eyeballs!

Back-to-School Laptops: What's the Best Deal You Can Get?

August marks the start of back-to-school season, and with it come dozens of sales. But when it comes to laptops — one of the most coveted back-to-school items — what sort of deals can you expect this month? dealnews broke it down by category to make your shopping experience a little easier (and less expensive).

Top 10 Consumer Complaints and Tips on Keeping Yourself Safe

Nobody wants bad service or (even worse) to become the victim of scammers or fraud. Sometimes it's impossible to avoid, but shoppers can always try to learn from the frustrations of others.

dealnews readers can start by reading Mitch Lipka's report on a recently-released list of the top 10 consumer complaints for 2010. And as an added bonus, Lipka details some tips on how to avoid looking like that angry gentleman to the left.

How to Survive the aPORKalypse of 2011

Experts are predicting that bacon prices will reach all-time highs this month, which is great for pigs — but terrible for pig-eaters. So, with tongue planted firmly in our bacon-packed cheek (jowl?), we present items to get you through the great bacon recession of 2011.

Save Money On Car Maintenance With These 5 Do-It-Yourself Tips

Ever feel like you're being taken for a ride whenever you hand over a large sum of cash for a car maintenance procedure that takes a matter of minutes? Tom Barlow details five simple car repairs that even a novice can do at home with just a little time and a few specialized tools.

The Best and Worst Things to Buy in August

Each month, we analyze the dealnews archives from the past few years to glean information that might arm readers with useful advice on how to shop in the coming weeks. From swimwear and shoes to back-to-school deals galore, here's our guide on the best and worst things to buy in August.

Rumor Roundup: Is This a Photo of the iPhone 5?

We serve our readers cold, hard facts all day, so wouldn't it be nice to delve into a bit of uncertainty? (We're pretty sure we would, but we're a bit uncertain ourselves.) Well, we found a mess 'o rumors scattered throughout the Internet for just this purpose. Read our Rumor Roundup and enjoy the uncertainty of the future.

Cool Deals: 7 Great Ways To Stay Chill When Summer's a Pill

The heat can sometimes make us do illogical things, like stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open until the machinery overheats.

But instead of losing your head, check out our Green Dad columnist Lou Carlozo's list of seven eco-friendly ways to keep your cool during this endless summer. Many of his tips will save you money and give your air conditioner a much-needed rest.

Friday Funnies: Our Fun-full-est (Not a Real Word) Deals From The Past Week

From time to time, we slip a little gag, joke, or off-beat reference into our deals. (After all, all work and no play made that guy in that movie go crazy*.) Maybe you've seen one or two, but did you see them all? Double check by reading our weekly Friday Funnies!

*"Mary Poppins"

What's the Best Price You Can Expect for a Blu-ray or 3D Blu-ray Disc Player?

Prices on Blu-ray disc players have dropped significantly since their debut, but what's the magic price point you should look for when shopping around? We looked at every Blu-ray disc player deal we've listed in the past year to find out.

Deals To Keep Your Dog Safe While Driving

There are few things more delightful than seeing your dog's response to the question, "Wanna go for a ride?" (Said in a very high-pitched voice of course.) But an unrestrained pet in the car can be dangerous, so Tom Barlow has some tips and deals to keep Fido (or Severus, or Chewbacca... we're all nerds here, right?) safe on the road.

19 Out of 25 Items Increased In Price During the Borders Liquidation Sale

Last week, we adamantly advised against shopping the Borders liquidation sales, and this week we have proof that the store-closing discounts are not only mediocre — but 76% of the items we checked are priced higher than last week. Plus, we found better deals online for almost every title.

Rumor Roundup: iPhone 5 in September? Replacing Steve Jobs?

We serve our readers cold, hard facts all day, so wouldn't it be nice to delve into a bit of uncertainty? (We're pretty sure we would, but we're a bit uncertain ourselves.) Well, we found a mess 'o rumors scattered throughout the Internet for just this purpose. Read our Rumor Roundup and enjoy the uncertainty of the future.

The Borders CEO Bids Adieu to Customers As Liquidation Begins

The Borders CEO sent out a farewell to its customers last night, citing the reasons for the bookseller's demise. The note came just in time for today's liquidation sales, which take up to 40% off in-store — just as we predicted, although that's not a good thing in terms of deals. Click here to read more about the sales, as well as the CEO's email in its entirety.

8 Tips For Getting the Best Deal on a Used Small Appliance

In today's disposable society, it's all too easy to toss a small appliance once it's past its prime. But many of those dejected items often still have life in them! In this week's Green Dad column, Lou Carlozo gives you eight tips for finding the best deals on used small appliances.

Dear Steve Jobs: The Mac mini Is Crap

This week, Apple set the world aflame when it released its latest Sandy Bridge–equipped Mac mini.

OK, not really. Because, honestly, who knows what to do with a mini anyway? Inside, we cast a critical eye on the tiny system, as well as posit some potential uses. (Don't read the title though if you want to be surprised by our findings.)

Friday Funnies: We Wrote Some Funny Things. Read Them and Laugh!

Throughout the week we try to sprinkle a bit of humor among our usually-serious deals. (It's like adding spice to a soup ... or fairy dust to an animated british child.) Did you see all the jokes we posted this week? If not, we've collected them all in our Friday Funnies roundup!

Ultraportable Laptop Battle: Apple MacBook Air vs. Samsung Series 9

Apple's just-released MacBook Air and the forthcoming Samsung Series 9 Laptop are two of the sharpest-looking ultraportable notebooks around. Yet despite their similar profiles and price points, they're sporting completely different innards. Or are they? We list both systems side-by-side to find out which laptop is more deserving of your hard-earned cash.

Battle: Is the New Apple MacBook Air Worth the Upgrade?

The MacBook Air, Apple's sexiest system, has figuratively received a fresh new coat of paint. But are the spec bumps and new operating system enough to justify an upgrade? We compare last year's entry-level model with today's to find out.

Commodity Prices on the Rise, and Target Set to Follow?

Commodity prices for key items, including food, are on the rise due to increased operating expenses; Target, for example, raised prices on apparel in the spring and is set to do the same this fall. (All the more reason to turn to dealnews, eh?) Laura Heller details what consumers can expect from retailers in the coming months.

Why You Should Skip This Weekend's Liquidation Sales at Borders

When news spread that Borders was shuttering its remaining 399 stores, opportunist shoppers likely began rubbing their hands together in eager anticipation for liquidation sales. But even though "liquidation" implies rock-bottom prices, dealnews research shows that the discounts you'll eventually see probably won't be worth your time — and in some cases, they may be higher than what Borders offered just weeks before.

Deals for the Great Outdoors: Choosing the Perfect Family-Size Tent

There's a lot you can't control during a family camping vacation — the weather, your child's temperament — but you can certainly ensure that you have with you the ideal tent for your needs. Tom Barlow details the features you should consider when buying a family-size tent, and we've sprinkled his tips with our own deals so that you save money in the process.

How Does LED Backlighting Affect LCD HDTV Image Quality (and Your Wallet)?

LEDs have taken over as backlights for notebooks and other mobile devices, and they’re now found in many LCD HDTVs. But what effect does the technology have on picture quality, energy performance, and your budget? Alfred Poor explains what the benefits are to paying for LED backlights.

Rumor Roundup: iPhone 6? Facebook Music? Zune Movie Streaming?

We deal with cold, hard facts all day. Wouldn't it be nice to delve into uncertainty? We think so! That's why we scour the Internet for the wildest tech rumors we can find. Then we package them together and present them to you as our Rumor Roundup. So, c'mon in and leave credibility at the door!

8 Expert Tips For Finding a Good Deal On a Used Large Appliance

Time for a new refrigerator? Think again before you buy brand-new. Many appliances are built to stand the test of time, so you can find yourself a bargain if you opt for used. Our Green Dad columnist Lou Carlozo talks to an expert and gives us eight tips on how to find a great deal on used large appliances.

Friday Funnies: Jokes Are Made, Laughs Are Had

As that guy in that movie* sang, "Make 'em laugh! Make 'em Laugh!" Well, throughout the week we try to do just that. Did you see all the jokes we posted this week in our usually serious deals? If not, we've put them all in our Friday Funnies roundup!

*The Joker in "The Dark Knight"

How to Deal with Bad Customer Service

Many companies are quick to respond when a customer's shopping experience goes awry, but occasionally you may encounter a particularly difficult vendor. Mitch Lipka outlines the steps you need to take to escalate your customer service complaint when you're facing a merchant that's unwilling to help.

Gone Fishin': Assembling Your First Freshwater Tackle Box

You may be tempted to spend these summer days fishing by the water, peacefully waiting to reel in a hard-earned catch. But if you aren't equipped for it, where to begin? Tom Barlow details how to assemble a basic tackle box for freshwater fishing. And being dealnews, we grabbed a few selections at lowest-we-could-find prices to get your started.

A Primer on HDTV Refresh Rates: Is the Bigger Number Always Better?

If you've ever wondered whether 240Hz is all that much better than 60Hz or 120Hz — or if you bashfully live unaware of what a Hertz is at all — then it's time you read our primer on refresh rates. Alfred Poor breaks down the technology so you know exactly what you're buying, and whether faster is always worth the extra money.
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