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Features Archives for 2012

A Techie's Top 5: iFixit's Kyle Wiens's Favorite Gadgets

As a guy who spends his days breaking down gadgets galore, Kyle Wiens of iFixit has seen the good, the bad, and the unrepairable. But he somehow managed to decide upon five favorite consumer electronics and gadgets amongst all the techie toys that vie for his affections.

The Year in Consumer News: The Best and Worst of 2012

It was a crazy year for consumers. We got not just one, but three new iPads, a new iPhone, tablets galore, and all kinds of other goodies. So, come, take a trip down consumer news lane with us as we investigate The Year In Consumer News 2012.

The Nest Learning Thermostat: A High Tech Way to Save on Heating Costs

As winter settles over much of the country, some folks may find themselves wincing every time the furnace kicks on. That's because for many homes, the cost of heating and cooling is a major monthly expense. To combat these costs, energy experts recommend a programmable thermostat, like the Nest Learning Thermostat, which can make almost every home more energy efficient and thus save money.

Rumor Roundup: Apple iWatch? Another New iPad? Ben Affleck?

Are you tired of reading rumors about the latest technology? Sick of hearing insane rumors about Apple, Android, Ben Affleck, and more? Well, neither are we! Hooray! That's why we put all the latest biz-buzz from the internet into one place, the Rumor Roundup!

What You Need to Know When Buying Refurbished Electronics

Anyone on the hunt for cheap consumer electronics will have come across refurbished devices at some point. Available at knock-down prices, "refurbs" are often stigmatized as merely faulty rejects. But in fact, many devices are repaired, reconditioned, and retested, to be as good as new. Yet, beyond checking for dents and functionality, how can consumers know a refurb won't fail a second time?

Out with the Old, In with the New: Reuse, Recycle, and Cash-in Old Electronics

How many of you got a new iPad or the Wii U this Christmas, or some other fancy new device? Are you now faced with the predicament of what to do with your old electronics? How about donating, recycling, or even exchanging your old tech for some cold hard cash?

The Best Time to Spend Your Christmas Gift Card, Depending on What You Want

As you bask in the glory that is your stash of gifts from Christmas, you may be pawing over a gift card or two. And today's After Christmas Sales might seem like an extremely tempting place to start redeeming them. But depending on what you're looking for, you might get the most value out of your gift card if you wait to shop.

So, You've Dropped the Ball This Christmas: VERY Last-Last-Minute Ideas

Is your favorite Christmas tradition forgetting to buy gifts for people? Do you find yourself without a single present for anyone you care about? Fear not! We've compiled a list of last-LAST-minute gifts you can give to save your skin. Barely.

Consumer Reports' Tod Marks Dishes on the Naughty & Nice List

It seems that this time of year, some companies' policies and practices are especially aggravating. But when it comes to spotlighting those "hidden" pesky fees, analyzing the fine print, and noting unfriendly practices, Consumer Reports's Naughty & Nice List can help consumers avoid pitfalls and make more educated decisions in the new year.

The New York Times' Best Books of 2012 and Deals to Get Them for Less

The New York Times has announced its list of the 10 Best Books of 2012. Knowing what to read is good; knowing how to get it for cheap is better! Inside, check out the list and where to find the best books of 2012 for the best prices.

Rumor Roundup: The Next iPad mini? Galaxy Note III to be Even Bigger? More?

Are you tired of reading rumors about the latest technology? Sick of hearing insane rumors about Apple, Facebook, Polaroid, and more? Well, neither are we! Hooray! That's why we put all the latest biz-buzz from the internet into one place, the Rumor Roundup!

UPS Suspends Guaranteed Christmas Delivery for Ground Orders

This is a busy week for UPS, but it appears as if the shipping giant isn't up to the task. When entering an order number on the UPS tracking page, a message is displayed that says UPS Ground delivery guarantees are suspended until December 26. Are any of your orders affected by this delay?

Recent Price Cuts Make the iPhone 5 the Most Discounted Apple Phone Yet

Recent price-drops on the iPhone 5 have made it the most highly-discounted current-generation iPhone. Typically, Apple isn't known for unusual price drops, so why is this happening and what does it all mean?

12 Things That Will Be More Expensive in 2013

Every day we compile deals on the lowest priced goods we can find. But there comes a time when we must acknowledge that there are just some things that continue to get more expensive. Whether it be a gradual increase in price due to supply and demand, or a noticeable spike in costs as a result of a change in inventory, these are 12 things that will cost more in 2013.

dealnews Podcast - Episode 240: Last-Minute Shopping (Possibly Literally!)

The dealnews Podcast Episode 240 is all about the end. (Of the world and the holiday season.) The panel discusses holiday shipping deadlines, last-minute expedited shipping deals, Instagram's new policies, Facebook gifts, Amazon's Gifting Tool, holiday stresses, and more.

Here's the Hidden Subtext Behind Everything You Already Bought for Christmas

Think Christmas is simple? Think again! Each gift you receive brings with it a mess of subtext. Before you accidentally offend someone this year with a misguided present, read through our list of the hidden meanings behind some of the most popular Christmas gifts.

After Christmas Sales: What to Expect in 2012

December 26 is a busy day for shoppers. Whether you're using your new gift card or secretly making a gift exchange, retailers tend to bombard shoppers with after-Christmas sales. But what can you expect from sales in 2012? We analyzed our deals to find out.

Compare Prices on the Fly with Price Checking Apps

Nowadays, lots of consumers are up on the latest gadgets, but remain committed to getting the latest tech for less via price comparisons. While some will prefer to shop online, there are many that still want the in-store experience. For those folks, we've looked at some of the most popular price-checking apps, so you can still come ready to do your research.

Bing Fails to Top Google Shopping, And Neither Includes Amazon in Results

According to Bing, consumers are getting "scroogled" by Google Shopping's pay-for-play product search engine. But is Bing really any better? Inside, we compare Google and Bing's price comparison engines and find that Google still leads with accurate results — even if it refuses to include Amazon.

How Good Is the Amazon Gifting Tool? We Assess Our Personalized Lists

Just in time for the holidays, Amazon has launched its Friends & Family Gifting tool, which curates gift ideas based on Facebook "Likes." But does it really churn out good suggestions? We showed dealnews employees the items that Amazon selected for them, and asked: do you even want this? The results were sometimes pretty amusing.

Find Ways to Cut Back on Electricity Bills With This New CEA Energy Calculator

Today's electronics have transformed our lives in countless ways, but their ubiquitousness has driven many consumers' electric bills sky-high. To help keep energy costs manageable, the Consumer Electronics Association developed an energy calculator that aims to inform us just how much energy we're using.

Rumor Roundup: Flexible iPhone? Google Buys Groupon? More?

Are you tired of reading rumors about the latest technology? Sick of hearing insane rumors about Microsoft, Apple, Google, and more? Well, neither are we! Hooray! That's why we put all the latest biz-buzz from the internet into one place, the Rumor Roundup!

Will There Be More Free Expedited Shipping Upgrades This Year?

The pressure is on to get all of your online shopping done in time for Christmas, but what happens if you miss all the standard shipping deadlines? Our deal archives show that soon enough, many online retailers will begin to offer discounted expedited shipping. But when can you expect these promotions, and from what stores?

T-Mobile Will End Phone Subsidies, But You'll Save Money in the Long Run

Earlier this month, T-Mobile announced that it will cease offering subsidies for cell phones. On the surface, it may seem as if its customers will no longer be able to get a deal on the latest smartphones, but when coupled with budget-friendly service plans, T-Mobile users actually stand to gain. Would you be willing to pay full-price for your phone, in exchange for long-term savings?

Free Shipping Day Is a Bust

While the idea behind Free Shipping Day might seem enticing, our data shows that the offers aren't as good as they seem. Moreover, waiting until December 17 to place a holiday order isn't smart, when so many retailers are already offering free shipping on deals.

dealnews Podcast - Episode 239: Man Town Candles (And Other Holiday News)

The dealnews Podcast Episode 239 gets into the holiday spirit with talks about coffee, holiday shipping deadlines, the best time to buy toys, store tactics that manipulate you into buying more during the holidays, snow globes, Man Town candles, and more.

A Buyer's Guide to Extended Holiday Returns for Christmas 2012

The great season of giving always brings with it the added challenge eventually returning unwanted presents. On account of many gifts having been bought weeks earlier, recipients may encounter snags with the typical 30-day return policies. But we've found stores that offer customer-friendly extended holiday return policies.

Brand-Name HDTVs Will See Black Friday Prices by the End of the Year

While most HDTVs on sale during Black Friday don't last long, our research shows that the same deep discounts on big-brand names are beginning to crop up again. If you hold your horses remote and wait it out, you'll see those same deep discounts return. But how long should you wait?

Is the Daily Deal Site on Its Death Bed?

The concept of the daily deal appeared seemingly out of nowhere, and in a (ahem) flash, it became the hottest thing in retail. But the market is now crowded, and there seems to be daily reports of bad news for sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. This prompts us to ask: Is the daily deal dead?

Will the Microsoft Surface Tablet Go the Way of the BlackBerry PlayBook?

Microsoft is in trouble. Despite its aggressive marketing campaign, sales of its new Surface RT tablet are well below expectations. However, Microsoft's troubles could spell good news for consumers as high inventory of an ailing Surface RT could spark a flurry of deals — just like it did for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

When Amazon's Comment Section Gets Hijacked: The Best Joke Reviews

Amazon has established itself as the go-to source for everything from entertainment to the less-everyday items, like novelty signs, questionably legal consumables, and cat appeasing pheromones. As such, users have come to rely on reviews from fellow online shoppers to separate the crème from the crap. But inevitably, Amazon's customer reviews are on occasion hijacked by smartasses. What these reviews lack in helpfulness, they make up for in gleeful goofiness, and these are some of our favorites.

The Hottest Toys of the Season, as Selected by dealnews Readers

We've raked through our data from November to determine what toys people are buying, to see which will be the hottest toys of the 2012 holiday season. From LEGOs to LeapFrog, click through to check out our top 10.

Free Shipping Wars Rage as UPS and FedEx Announce Increased Rates for 2013

Savvy shoppers have come to expect free delivery from merchants, but both UPS and FedEx announced that they will increase their shipping rates for 2013. Will this make it more difficult for retailers to offer the free shipping that consumers now crave?

Rumor Roundup: More Resident Evil Games? AppleTV? More?

Are you tired of reading rumors about the latest technology? Sick of hearing insane rumors about Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and more? Well, neither are we! Hooray! That's why we put all the latest biz-buzz from the internet into one place, the Rumor Roundup!

Notoriously Slow Shippers: Avoid These Stores for Last-Minute Gifts

Shopping online can make buying gifts for the holidays much easier, but it also requires some advance planning to account for shipping times. As we near Christmas, you should start taking into consideration the potential risks that come along with online shopping for the holidays. Inside, we've got a list of stores to avoid if you're looking for a 100% risk-free Christmas purchase.

The Cheapest Places to Fly to for Christmas

There's no place quite like home for the holidays ... but we can think of a dozen or so places that might be more fun than celebrating Festivus with the family. You don't necessarily need a passport or a fortune to give yourself a holiday reprieve either, since the cheapest places to fly to for Christmas aren't that far away.

dealnews Podcast - Episode 238: Santa, Baby!

The dealnews Podcast Episode 238 is like Janus, looking forward towards the holidays, while looking backwards at Black Friday. This week, the panel talks about Redbox Instant pricing, more Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales numbers, the "True Cost of Christmas," better gifts to buy people who don't really understand what they want, and more.

In Case You Missed Them: Recent dealnews Features

Since there's so much news to cover as we head full-swing into the holiday season, you may have overlooked some important information to guide your purchases. Here are some recent features you might have missed: ... and more!

Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance: Helping Safe and Savvy Drivers Save Money

We hear you're a safe driver, but you're probably paying too much for car insurance. But that may soon change, as the industry is dipping its toe into the water of pay-as-you-drive insurance, also known as usage-based insurance. So what's it all about?

Wine Accessories: Worth Pouring Your Money In To?

Whether for gifting to friends this holiday or sipping a celebratory glass post-holiday shopping, having wine around is essential this time of year. But having the wine on hand is only the first step in presenting it with the dignity it deserves. There are a number of gadgets and wine-related devices on the market today that serve the purposes of uncorking, aerating, and chilling wine — but which are worth your money?

The Most Dangerous Toys of 2012: What to Get for the Kids You Hate

The holidays should be fun, not hazardous. However, there are always toys just waiting to harm your kids. That's why W.A.T.C.H. puts together its list of the "10 Worst Toys" every year, in the hopes of saving your children from horrible, strangulated, punctured visits to the doctor and hospital. Here are the big 10 for 2012!

A Techie's Top 5: Jon Mitchell of ReadWrite Calls Out His Favorite Gadgets

The folks at ReadWrite cover breaking technology news with ample zest and zeal, and their San Fran-based writer, Jon Mitchell is our latest gadget guy to talk about his five favorite gadgets.

Phablet Comparison: Samsung Galaxy Note II vs HTC Droid DNA vs LG Intuition

As phones receive bigger and bigger touchscreens, we've been wondering where the line between smartphone and tablet actually lies. As it turns out, there's not a line, but a whole new product category. "Phablets" are hybrid devices with at least a 5" screen that are fully functional as both a phone and a tablet. But are they worth adding to your wishlist this holiday season? We scanned the reviews to find out.

The Best and Worst Things to Buy in December

December is a month when you almost can't avoid shopping, but to help keep your spirits up, you'll want to shop wisely and read our December buying guide. We've pored over the extensive dealnews archives of sales, coupons, and daily deals from years past to guide you in your quest for December's most savvy purchases.

Black Friday Accounted for 70% of Cancelled Orders from the Past 2 Weeks

Although it was an excellent year for e-commerce growth on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we have heard many unpleasant stories from readers that had their orders cancelled. As it turns out, the majority of these cancellations stemmed from Black Friday week purchases, which speaks to the difference between the two shopping holidays.

Rumor Roundup: New Xbox Controller? Xbox Set-Top Box? More?

Are you tired of reading rumors about the latest technology? Sick of hearing insane rumors about Microsoft, Google, and more? Well, neither are we! Hooray! That's why we put all the latest biz-buzz from the internet into one place, the Rumor Roundup!

Did You Have a Black Friday or Cyber Monday Order Cancelled?

Black Friday was never meant to be a dark and dour affair, but several merchants have once again begun canceling already-placed Black Friday and Cyber Monday orders. While this reminds us of Best Buy's Christmas 2011 debacle, should shoppers come to accept this as part of the risk to the biggest shopping days of the year?

Google Nexus 4 Review: The Nexus Smartphone Gets an Improved Build and OS

The Nexus 4 is essentially the lovechild of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and an LG Optimus G, and it comes close to what we imagine Google wanted its original smartphone to be like all along. But how well does this 4.7" quad-core smartphone meet the public's needs?

dealnews Podcast - Episode 237: Black Friday Retrospective

The dealnews Podcast Episode 237 fondly looks back at this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The panel talks about our experiences during on those days, how much the average American spent, what it means for the holiday season, who the best and worst merchants were, and other holiday shopping topics.
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