electronics http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/937/all en-US 8 Tech Gadgets With the Best Resale Value http://www.wisebread.com/8-tech-gadgets-with-the-best-resale-value <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-tech-gadgets-with-the-best-resale-value" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beats_by_dre_000017638811.jpg" alt="Finding tech gadgets with the best resale value" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know the story with technology. By the time you've opened the box, it's already out of date. As advances quickly move the latest and greatest tech gadgets into the &quot;out of date&quot; category, it's hard to know what to buy, and how much to spend.</p> <p>But, some tech gadgets are a better investment than others, holding their value well. So when the time does come to upgrade, these eight gadgets will still be worth a tidy sum.</p> <h2>1. Beats by Dre</h2> <p>They are not the best headphones on the market. To be honest, they're not even close to being the best, as far as technical specs are concerned. But when it comes to holding their value, <a href="http://amzn.to/1MrHlDg">Beats</a> are up there with the biggest and best studio headphones on the market. The reason is simple &mdash; people want them. They have a certain &quot;street cred&quot; that seems to be bullet-proof, and they also look pretty cool.</p> <p>You could pay up to $300 for a pair of <a href="http://amzn.to/1psUuGO">Beats Studio Wireless</a> headphones, brand new. The same make and model, used, will sell for close to the same price on eBay. That's not a big depreciation at all, especially for tech you actually wear. And if you buy limited edition models, they can actually go up in value.</p> <p>But to be clear, if you want a pair of <em>good </em>headphones that also hold their value, choose <a href="http://amzn.to/1S8jywz">Sennheiser</a>.</p> <h2>2. Apple iPad</h2> <p>It was the first tablet to take the gadget world by storm. It's still the tablet most people gravitate to, and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon. The <a href="http://amzn.to/1S8jDAo">Apple iPad</a> came along in April of 2010, and after a small adjustment period (what is that thing and what does it do?), everyone was hooked. There have been many different types of iPad and competitor tablets released since, but it's the iPad that holds its value well.</p> <p>Now, if you have one of the first 2010 models, it won't get you much money used, as the tech is too dated. But more recent ones, you'll have no trouble reselling them for a good chunk of money. For example, a new iPad Air 2 with 64GB is over $600 after tax. The same one, used, is going for over $500 on eBay. Just remember, condition is everything, and original packaging makes a world of difference.</p> <h2>3. Game Consoles (Newer Models)</h2> <p>I was in the market for a Playstation 3 recently, and I figured I would be able to pick up a used one for $50 on Craigslist. Nope. A used one, with just one controller, was $100. Throw in more controllers and games, and you can expect to pay almost as much as a new one. Likewise, the Xbox 360, used, was fetching a tidy sum on Craigslist and eBay as well.</p> <p>If you take care of your consoles, keep the original box, and keep the games in great condition, you can expect the value of your gaming console to hold for quite a while. What's more, older consoles are making a comeback. An original NES system can easily fetch over $100, and some of the games are worth thousands.</p> <h2>3. Apple iPhone</h2> <p>Another one for Apple, and not surprisingly it's their flagship product. The iPhone is not even 10 years old yet (it was launched in 2007), but it has absolutely changed the way we all interact with the online world. And although Android phones are now surpassing iPhones in sales, they are not touching them when it comes to resale values. Do a quick search on eBay for completed listings and you'll see most iPhone 5 models are selling for around $200 (that's around half the price of a new 5s). If it's gold, quadruple that price. Even the original, clunky iPhone has value. In its box, you can get $80&ndash;$100 for it. If it's factory sealed&hellip;thousands.</p> <h2>4. Vintage Audio Equipment</h2> <p>If you want to get a tech gadget that will really hold its value well, don't buy new. Buy vintage. Right now, the comeback of vinyl means that a good record player (think Technics, NAD, Thoren) will not only be worth every penny, it will also hold its value for years. Or, in the case of designer models, rise significantly.</p> <p>What's more, you can still pick up great amplifiers, tape decks, turntables, and speakers for pennies on the dollar; especially if you know just what to look for in the thrift stores and garage sales. I recently picked up a Technics turntable for $15, in the original box, which is already worth over $100 on eBay. Not that I'm selling it! And after Eminem announced the re-release of his Slim Shady album on cassette, you can guarantee tape decks will be next to rocket in value. Grab one cheap while you can.</p> <h2>5. Fitbit Surge</h2> <p>Actually, a lot of wearable tech is holding its value well, including smartwatches and fitness trackers. The Fitbit Surge is definitely up there as one of the best for holding value. Right now, a new <a href="http://amzn.to/1MrIdHS">FitBit Surge</a> can set you back between $220&ndash;$250, while used ones are coming in at around the $150 mark. The reason, other than the sleek design and usability, is the onboard GPS tracking software. Not only can you chart distance and pace, but even elevation.</p> <h2>6. Google Chromecast</h2> <p>This is a no-brainer, as it's so affordable to begin with. But if you like buying products that hold their value, this is up there with Apple products. A new Chromecast will cost you $35 from most online retailers, and often it comes with Google Play credits. If you look up used ones on eBay or Craigslist, you'll see them priced between $20&ndash;$25, depending on condition, original box, and so on. It's an incredible useful little piece of tech, and the simplicity it takes to set up and use makes it an easy item to resell later.</p> <h2>7. Apple Watch</h2> <p>Third time's a charm for Apple, who continue to have a massive fanbase despite not producing a significant innovation for years. But whatever the current state of Apple's product line, its products continue to hold their value, and the <a href="http://amzn.to/1UmEuDj">Apple Watch</a> (shouldn't that be iWatch, or it that way too creepy?) is no exception.</p> <p>A new Apple Watch will cost you anywhere from $350&ndash;$12,000 (that's the 18K gold edition), while a used Apple Watch will sell for anywhere from to $130 to $15,000! Clearly some people have money to burn.</p> <p><em>Recognize any of your gadgets in this list?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tech-gadgets-with-the-best-resale-value">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/longtime-mac-users-punished-for-loyalty">Longtime Mac Users Punished for Loyalty</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret">5 Ways to Avoid Buying Electronics You&#039;ll Regret</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tech-life-8-reasons-why-you-shouldn-t-be-an-early-adopter">Tech Life: 8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be an Early Adopter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology apple watch beats by dre electronics fitbit gadgets ipads smart tech Tue, 29 Mar 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Paul Michael 1678002 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Purchases With Financing Options That Depreciate Fast http://www.wisebread.com/4-purchases-with-financing-options-that-depreciate-fast <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-purchases-with-financing-options-that-depreciate-fast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_gift_diamond_000015409595.jpg" alt="Woman finding purchases with financing options that depreciate" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's refund season. Unfortunately, the first thing most people do when they receive their tax refund is purchase big ticket items that often depreciate in value. Far worse, sometimes the refund is used as a down payment, and the purchase still requires financing. Or, it's bought before the money actually arrives and carried as a credit card balance &mdash; believing you'll use your refund to pay it off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-tax-refund?ref=seealso">8 Smart Things to Do With Your Tax Refund</a>)</p> <p>Investing your tax refund in smart, long-lasting purchases you really need is one thing. But using the money on big-ticket items that are certain to depreciate is a losing financial proposition. Consider avoiding these depreciating purchases:</p> <h2>1. Jewelry</h2> <p>Suze Orman likes to point out that she always <a href="http://business.inquirer.net/47387/before-buying-anything-read-this-first">wears the same jewelry</a>. I'm the same way. Unless it's for a truly special occasion &mdash; such as an engagement ring, wedding band, or anniversary gift &mdash; jewelry isn't something you should buy often. Precious stones, in particular, tend to depreciate hard and fast. Ira Weissman, a 10-year veteran in the diamond business, says diamonds are a terrible waste of your money because <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ira-weissman/7-reasons-why-you-shouldn_b_1720870.html">their value often drops</a> to less than half after your purchase.</p> <h2>2. Automobiles</h2> <p>You've heard that cars lose their value the moment you drive off the lot. So, why pump so much money into something that will never appreciate in value, will only cost more money over time, and ultimately need to be replaced? And worse, why would you finance a new vehicle &mdash; taking on additional debt on top of a depreciating asset &mdash; if you don't really <em>need </em>a new car?</p> <p>The good news is, consumers have wised up to the truth about auto financing. And the automobile industry has caught on to the fact they can no longer convince people to run out and buy new cars every two to three years. But they still want your money. So, they've created an alternative scheme to traditional three to five year financing. It's an auto lease, where if you use the car for work (individual or business), you can deduct up to as much as 100% of monthly payments and other expenses. While it's not right for everyone, in some situations, it's a good alternative to taking on new car debt. Of course, the best option is still to pay for cars in cash, buying a vehicle only when you really need it.</p> <h2>3. Electronics</h2> <p>In our nation's consumer-driven economy, the sale of goods is the backbone of business. So, some businesses no longer have an incentive to make quality products that last, because consumers want the latest release with updated features. Since electronics are a necessary &mdash; and rapidly depreciating &mdash; evil, your best bet is to buy only what you need, get an extended warranty on it (if possible), insure it, and hang onto it for years to come. Help drive down the excessive costs of these expensive gadgets by simply refusing to trade them in every year.</p> <h2>4. Furniture</h2> <p>Used furniture is only as valuable as what someone is willing pay, and that's often far less than what you paid originally. Even designer furniture in good condition only fetches a small fraction of its original price. If you're in the market for furniture, buy high-quality, durable pieces if you can. Budget and plan for their purchase and acquire them over time. If you can't quite afford those high-quality items yet, consider buying them used and let someone else take the depreciation hit, instead.</p> <p><em>Are there other quickly depreciating buys we've missed? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-purchases-with-financing-options-that-depreciate-fast">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/longtime-mac-users-punished-for-loyalty">Longtime Mac Users Punished for Loyalty</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys">Never Borrow Money for These 5 Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it">4 Warranties That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping bad investments Cars depreciation electronics furniture jewelry spending value Wed, 02 Mar 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1664147 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_bags_000084069437.jpg" alt="Woman working at company with best employee benefits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Only 29% of U.S. workers are <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2013/10/10/only-13-percent-of-people-worldwide-actually-like-going-to-work/">engaged and emotionally invested</a> in their work and focused on helping their organizations improve. Given that most employers are only planning to raise wages by an <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/26/pf/best-cities-for-pay-raise/">average 3% in 2016</a>, consider companies that provide other ways to make your dollars go further.</p> <p>Here are eight companies with some of the best employee discounts.</p> <h2>1. American Apparel</h2> <p>If your friends look to you for advice on the latest fashion trends, and choosing your wardrobe is one of the most important parts of your day, consider looking for a job at American Apparel. Its store managers even pay attention to what applicants wear during interviews.</p> <p>Buzzfeed reported that employees working at American Apparel receive a cool <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/which-retail-chains-have-the-best-employee-discoun#.ycwYEN6ezd">50% off on all store items</a>, no exceptions. Since it's company policy that you wear only American Apparel clothes to work, you also receive a $200 stipend to buy their clothes when you first start.</p> <h2>2. Apple Store</h2> <p>Receiving a discount at an Apple store is really hard. The only two common ways to get a discount are either through the <a href="http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/campaigns/education_pricing">Apple Education Pricing</a> program &mdash; which allows students, parents of students, and teachers to save up to $200 on a new Mac, and up to $20 on a new iPad &mdash; and the Black Friday sales event.</p> <p>On the other hand, Apple Store employees are eligible for a 25% discount on the iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro on their first day of employment. Additionally, you can receive a 25% discount on each purchase of one item from the iPod, iPad, Airport base station, and Apple Display models, provide your friends and relatives a 15% discount on up to three products, save 50% on software and 10% on third-party accessories, and receive an additional $250 off an iPad or $500 off any Mac computer every three years.</p> <h2>3. Bed Bath &amp; Beyond</h2> <p>The 20% off coupon from Bed Bath &amp; Beyond is so legendary that even actress <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/zooey-deschanel-never-pays-late-fees-and-5-other-smart-money-lessons-from-celebrities">Kristen Bell is a fan</a> of it. Imagine if there was a way to get that discount every day without having to wait to find a coupon in a magazine or an email &mdash; there is! Bed Bath &amp; Beyond associates receive a straightforward 20% discount on all purchases and a 30% discount once a year during Christmas. Associates can also choose from a monthly list of random items that are priced at cost.</p> <h2>4. Best Buy</h2> <p>After a three-month period, employee are eligible to buy a wide selection of items sold at Best Buy stores at wholesale cost, plus a 5% to 10% markup, depending on item. Former Best Buy employees report on Reddit that you can make substantial savings on batteries and tech accessories. For example, the black housing for a GoPro H4 camera retails for $50 and an employee was able to <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/gopro/comments/3fmhnb/best_buy_employees_what_do_the_accessories/ctpxvcn">purchase it for $15 to $20</a>.</p> <h2>5. Brooks Brothers</h2> <p>Clothing retailer Brooks Brothers offers a great 60% employee discount on all merchandise with no cap on items of dollar amount, according to a reddit poster. At Brooks Brothers you can shop clothes for kids, men, and women so you won't have a hard time finding gifts for friends and family. This employee discount is perfect for those looking to start building or completely revamping their entire wardrobe.</p> <h2>6. J. Crew</h2> <p>Just like at American Apparel, employees at J. Crew stores receive an employee discount on items for their work wardrobe. Every month you can receive a 50% employee discount on five items that you plan to wear at work, so outerwear isn't eligible for this discount. However, you can receive a storewide 30% employee discount on all full-priced merchandise. J. Crew also provides a list of slow-selling or overstock items each week that employees can get 60% off the retail price on.</p> <h2>7. Whole Foods</h2> <p>All Whole Foods employees are eligible for a default <a href="http://fortune.com/2011/05/18/5-reasons-why-its-great-to-work-at-whole-foods/">20% discount</a> on all store purchases. By meeting certain ranges for blood pressure, BMI, and total cholesterol, and not using nicotine products, Whole Foods employees are able to pump up their employee discount from 20% up to 30% through the <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/careers/about-our-benefits">Team Member Healthy Discount Incentive Program</a>. Spouses and eligible domestic partners of Whole Foods employees are also eligible for the employee discount. Given that there are some foods that are actually <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-that-are-actually-cheaper-at-whole-foods">cheaper at Whole Foods</a>, employees are able to save on organic and socially responsible food items even more.</p> <h2>8. Zappos</h2> <p>Known as one of the companies with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-companies-with-the-best-customer-service">best customer service</a>, Zappos aims to please its employees as well. Among the many employee benefits that the company offers, Zappos provides a <a href="http://about.zappos.com/jobs/why-work-zappos/our-benefits">40% employee discount</a> on the Zappos.com website and several discounts with local businesses. Another employee perk worth mentioning is that Zappos covers 100% of an <a href="http://fortune.com/2015/03/11/companies-offer-all-healthcare-coverage/">employee's health care premiums</a> and 71% of his or her dependents' health care premiums.</p> <p><em>What are other companies that offer excellent employee discounts?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/part-time-jobs-that-can-get-you-serious-discounts">Part-Time Jobs That Can Get You Serious Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting Shopping benefits electronics employee discounts perks retail savings Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:00:07 +0000 Damian Davila 1653343 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_iron_000018734916.jpg" alt="Woman with home good she didn&#039;t skimp on" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are some everyday items I personally <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-never-skimp-on">never skimp on</a>, like toilet paper, kitchen knives, bed sheets, and small appliances. But what about larger items for the home? These are often even more important, as the difference between the cheap stuff and pricier counterparts can have a profound impact on your quality of life and even your safety. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Exterior Door Locks</h2> <p>Be honest &mdash; when you read the title of this post, did you immediately think of door locks? Probably not, and neither did I. It wasn't until veteran handyman Marcus L. Horner mentioned exterior locks that I gave them a second thought. Ironic, because a strong door lock is perhaps the most important thing you should never skimp on.</p> <p>&quot;Among the most important things in a home are the front and back doors. You should never skimp on these two items,&quot; Horner says. &quot;You would not believe how many people I see almost on a daily basis who replace doors with the cheapest they can find &mdash; and this is after they have already been broken into!&quot;</p> <p>This is your family's safety and sense of security we're dealing with here, people!</p> <h2>2. Mattresses</h2> <p>I don't think you need the King Midas of mattresses to enjoy a restful, comfortable night's sleep. In fact, the comfort factor of mattresses is really quite relative, depending on each person's preference (I can speak from experience that IKEA and West Elm sell decent mattresses, with the former being very affordable and the latter being perfectly midrange). It goes without saying, however, that the higher in price you go, the plusher and more luxurious the mattress will be. Above all, make sure it comes brand new from a reputable dealer and manufacturer. Because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-that-youre-sleep-deprived">sleep deprivation</a> is a serious thing.</p> <h2>3. Major Appliances</h2> <p>You'll really have to search hard for off-brand appliances; even the low-priced options come from well-known brand names. But don't let that fool you in this case. Unlike other items, I stand by my position that the price of electronic items directly correlates to their quality with a few exceptions (I'm looking at you, Beats headphones), so it's worth spending the extra money. Besides, this is a long-term investment &mdash; many appliances last 10 years or more before needing to be repaired or replaced &mdash; so if it helps, think about the cost versus the lifetime of the product to soften the financial blow.</p> <p>Financing is usually available as well to reduce the immediate burden. If that doesn't help, think of it this way: Do you really want to keep dragging refrigerators and washing machines in and out of the house every few years because you wanted to save a few bucks? I didn't think so.</p> <h2>4. Fire Extinguishers</h2> <p>Unless you have children, you probably don't spend too much time thinking of worst-case scenarios. But a house fire is definitely a Code WTF emergency, and it's important to be as prepared as possible. One of the components in your disaster preparedness kit should be a fire extinguisher. There are several options from which to choose, according to Consumer Reports, which asks the question: &quot;When the kitchen's on fire, do you want a $7 aerosol can or a real extinguisher?&quot; Spring for the tried-and-true traditional red bottles, which cost about $25 more.</p> <h2>5. Blu-ray Players</h2> <p>Consumer Reports also weighs in on cheap DVD players, particularly Blu-ray players for less than $20. Common sense should warn you that a Blu-ray that cheap is probably too good to be true, with CR warning that you should expect to have to replace it every year. Heck, even pricier Blu-ray players don't last terribly long. I have a Samsung Blu-ray player that's about four years old that will only play standard DVDs now, and it's annoying as all get out.</p> <h2>6. Vacuum Cleaners</h2> <p>According to Consumer Reports magazine's Shop Smart section, a &quot;$50 vacuum cleans like a $50 vacuum.&quot; Considering that well-reviewed vacuums like Dyson and Kirby run in the $400 to $800, you can deduce then that your $50 won't get you much. Personally I have a Shark vacuum that I purchased at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond in the $120 range that works perfectly well for me. I also have a relatively small home. Your home may require a heavier-duty vacuum, and in that case you may want to start looking in the higher-end section. Kind of like buying a new car, actually.</p> <h2>7. Computers</h2> <p>I'm an Apple guy. It's not cheap, but these products of superior quality are well worth the money I shell out &mdash; especially my laptop.</p> <p>Before I switched to Mac, I worked from PCs and Windows laptops. I was just out of college with minimal disposable income, so I jumped at the chance to buy a laptop for $200 from Circuit City. Of course it worked well straight out of the box, but just a few months in the speed slowed down, I had to wait a good couple minutes for everything to boot up and get started, and it was prone to viruses. This scenario is rather common with PCs, and the cheaper you go the more often you'll have to replace it. There's actually a name for this retail practice &mdash; it's called intentional obsolescence, which means that the product is designed to have a limited lifespan, forcing you to replace it sooner than you would a quality product. That's not to say that you should switch to Apple, but my Macs last many years longer than any PC I've ever owned.</p> <h2>8. Irons</h2> <p>There are $20 irons on the market, and there are $90 irons on the market. While I don't think you need a professional-grade iron, I do recommend irons in the $40 to $60 range to ensure that you're getting a quality product.</p> <p>The one problem I seem to consistently find with cheaper irons is that they don't get hot enough to steam out wrinkles efficiently, and often hot water drips out of the iron itself causing a mess on your clothes and ironing board. I've been burned quite badly from faulty irons, actually. Save yourself the blisters and spend a bit more on a decent iron that will do the job it's supposed to do.</p> <p><em>Do you have things to add that we should never skimp on in the home? I'd love to hear your suggestions. Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kitchen-dish-towels">The 5 Best Kitchen Dish Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-spoons">The 5 Best Measuring Spoons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-cups">The 5 Best Measuring Cups</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">How to Clean Your Dishwasher</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-humidifiers">The 5 Best Humidifiers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping appliances cleaning electronics home goods Mon, 11 May 2015 13:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1415532 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Power Banks http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-power-banks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tablet_phone_000035376192.jpg" alt="Woman happy she used her power bank to recharge her tablet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A portable power bank can save your phone when you&rsquo;re down to your last bit of battery. And let&rsquo;s face it, nobody wants to be stranded without their cell phone. Fortunately, power banks are small, affordable, and easy to use, so you won&rsquo;t ever have to panic when your phone or tablet is running low on battery juice ever again. With the small external chargers, you won&rsquo;t ever have to worry about your battery running out in the middle of a call. You can talk to your friends, play games, listen to music, or surf the internet for as long as you want, without having to worry about finding a nearby charging station.</p> <p>In fact, some power banks can charge your smartphone more than four times under one full charge. To get the most from your investment, it&rsquo;s important to choose a power bank that best fits your lifestyle and budget.</p> <h2>What is a Power Bank?</h2> <p>A power bank is a portable battery charger that can recharge your battery whenever you&rsquo;re running low on power. This will make it more convenient to use your phone or tablet whenever you need to, without having to search for an available wall charger. All you need to do is plug your phone into the portable charger and continue on your day. The phone will charge with enough power to get you through your day and you can easily recharge the power bank from any USB port once you get home. These are ideal for when you are traveling, on business, or just to keep in your car or bag for a quick emergency charge. At some point in time, you&rsquo;ll find yourself on low battery power, and will be glad you have the portable power you need.</p> <h2>Top 5 Power Banks</h2> <h3>EasyAcc 10000mAh Brilliant Ultra Slim Dual USB Portable Power Bank External Battery Charger</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H9BEC8E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00H9BEC8E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AEKPXOLHVQOT446S"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/EasyAcc%20Classic%2010000mAh%20Power%20Bank.jpg" width="250" height="171" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H9BEC8E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00H9BEC8E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AEKPXOLHVQOT446S">EasyAcc Brilliant Ultra Slim Dual USB Portable Power Bank</a> is one of the bestselling battery chargers in the world. With dual USB output, you can simultaneously charge two devices to save even more time. While it is compact, ultra slim, and super portable, it is powered with an impressive 10000mAh rechargeable power capacity (USB Output 1: 5V 2.1A, USB Output 2: 5V 1.5A), providing enough power for 5-6 full charges to your iPhone 5 or 2.5-3.5 charges for Samsung Galaxy S4, S3. The reliable charger has a matte surface, is fingerprint-resistant, and available in black and orange, black and green, black and purple, black and silver, white and green, white and orange, and white and purple, so you can find the perfect colorful power bank to express your style.</p> <p>You can use it everyday, or in emergency situations only, and with standby time of up to six months once fully charged, you won&rsquo;t have to worry about it losing power anytime soon. Your purchase will include an EasyAcc power bank, a Micro USB Charging Cable (20 CM), a Micro USB Charging Cable (60 CM), and a User Manual.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H9BEC8E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00H9BEC8E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AEKPXOLHVQOT446S"><em>Currently $21.49 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>RAVPower Luster 3000mAh Mini Portable Charger (2nd Gen External Power Bank With iSmart Technology)</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNAWMHE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MNAWMHE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DRLM4ZOB3336AF5B"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/RAVPower%20Luster%203000mAh%20Mini%20Portable%20Charger%20.jpg" width="250" height="248" align="right" alt="" /></a>As the #1 Best Seller of all Amazon&rsquo;s MP3 battery packs, the lipstick-shaped, lightweight <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNAWMHE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MNAWMHE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DRLM4ZOB3336AF5B">RAVPower Luster Mini Portable Charger</a> can fit into any pocket or bag. With 3000 mAh of juice (Input: DC 5V / 1A Output: DC 5V / 1A), it&rsquo;s powerful enough to provide nine hours of additional talk time or 90 hours of music playback from your cell phone. Equipped with iSmart technology to charge your device smarter and faster than standard USB, it automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for the fastest charge possible. The external power bank provides enough power for a full charge for iPhone 6, 5, 4, and most smartphones.</p> <p>Built with premium grade A+ battery cells, you can enjoy over 500 recharge cycles with this mini charger. Available in black, silver, gold, pink, and blue, and no larger than a pack of mints, you can choose what best suits your personal style. Your purchase will include a RAVPower power bank, a USB Charging Cable, and a User Manual.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNAWMHE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MNAWMHE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DRLM4ZOB3336AF5B"><em>Currently $12.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Anker&reg; 2nd Gen Astro E3 Ultra Compact 10000mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank With PowerIQ Technology</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009USAJCC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B009USAJCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VIWVJUTNDIDVT2WU"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Anker%C2%AE%202nd%20Gen%20Astro%20E3%20Ultra%20Compact%2010000mAh%20Portable%20Charger.jpg" width="250" height="235" align="right" alt="" /></a>As the #1 Best Seller of all Amazon&rsquo;s portable power banks, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009USAJCC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B009USAJCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VIWVJUTNDIDVT2WU">Anker 2nd Gen Astro E3 Ultra Compact Portable Charger</a> has the highest average review rating of any charging brand, resulting in 10 million+ satisfied customers. One in three chargers sold on Amazon is an Anker charger, making them Amazon&rsquo;s #1 charging brand. With 10000 mAh of juice, this ultra compact portable charger can charge your phone, tablet, and more, whenever you need it most. It charges most tablets almost once, the Galaxy S5 two and a half times, the iPhone 5s four and a half times and other smartphones multiple times, all on just one charge of the portable power bank. Available in black and white, this reliable compact charger has the size and feel of a smartphone. It is made of industry grade materials, premium circuitry and a 92% efficient battery cell (up to 10% above the industry average).</p> <p>It is unobtrusive, lightweight, and equipped with PowerIQ technology, which detects your device to deliver the fastest charge possible. Your purchase will include the Anker Astro E3 Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank, Micro USB cable, travel pouch, welcome guide, and their world famous 18-month warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009USAJCC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B009USAJCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VIWVJUTNDIDVT2WU"><em>Currently $22.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>ZILU Smart Battery 13000mAh Backup Power Bank</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K64WR9C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00K64WR9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHWW7IP5NEWSG3GN"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ZILU%20Smart%20Battery%2013000mAh%20Portable%20Charger%20.jpg" width="250" height="163" align="right" alt="" /></a>ZILU is the trusted brand that created the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K64WR9C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00K64WR9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHWW7IP5NEWSG3GN">ZILU Smart Battery</a> and the only supplier on Amazon that offers 1,000 Cycles (double the market standard). Made of high quality Samsung 18650 Lithium Lion Battery Cells, the ZILU smart battery is durable, reliable, and small enough to fit in your pocket or bag, but powerful enough to contain 13000mAh energy. It is compatible with most of the smartphones and tablets on the market and equipped with SmartSwitch technology, allowing it to charge any of your mobile devices in the correct way. With 3A output and 2A input, the charging speed is 50% faster than most battery packs on the market and boasts up to 93% energy conversion rate.</p> <p>The small, compact charger offers nine levels of protection and passed the most strict safety certification, UL 1624. With two outlets, it can simultaneously charge two devices at the same time. It can charge the iPhone eight times, Samsung Galaxy S5 four times, Galaxy Note III nearly three imes, and iPad more than one time. It is also equipped with a flashlight function for emergency situations and four LED lights to show the battery capacity. Your purchase will also include an impressive 2-Year Limited Warranty.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K64WR9C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00K64WR9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHWW7IP5NEWSG3GN">Currently $27.90 on Amazon</a></em></p> <h3>K2R-803 Cell Phone Portable Charger With Flashlight</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LADNVB6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LADNVB6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QGOSHEJIIGCT5AM6"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/K2R-803%20Cell%20Phone%20Portable%20Charger.jpg" width="250" height="185" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LADNVB6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LADNVB6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QGOSHEJIIGCT5AM6">K2R-803 Cell Phone Portable Charger</a>, or &ldquo;As Seen On TV&rdquo; item, really does hold up to its word and can quickly charge your iPhone, iPad, Samsung, smartphones, and tablets. It is beautiful, lightweight, and holds an incredible 7,800mAh, enough to fully charge your iPhone Battery almost four times. Only top grade Lithium Ion Battery Cells are used and multiple levels of protection are built into the charger to keep your phone battery healthy. You can also rely on the intelligent K2R monitoring system with overcharge, over-discharge, over-current, over-voltage, short-circuit and over-load safety protections. With two USB ports, you can simultaneously charge two devices to save even more time.</p> <p>The charger is equipped with a flashlight for emergency situations, as well as four LED light indicators to show the remaining charge. Your purchase includes a K2R-803 Portable Charger, a user manual, an Intelligent LED Micro USB Cable, an Intelligent LED iPhone 5 Lightning USB Cable (the LED on the cables displays a red light when the device is charging and a blue light once it is charged), and an exclusive Battery Boost Bonus Guide Ebook. You can take comfort in the 100% customer satisfaction guarantee and incredible 3-year warranty.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LADNVB6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LADNVB6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QGOSHEJIIGCT5AM6">Currently $29.99 on Amazon</a></em></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best power banks. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-power-banks">The 5 Best Solar Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-waterproof-laptop-cases">The 5 Best Waterproof Laptop Cases</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-ups-backup-batteries">The 5 Best UPS Backup Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-9-volt-batteries">The 5 Best 9 Volt Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tech-gadgets-with-the-best-resale-value">8 Tech Gadgets With the Best Resale Value</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology electronics portable chargers power banks product reviews Fri, 01 May 2015 09:00:25 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1386471 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Warranties That Aren't Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000019329937.jpg" alt="Woman shopping and learning which warranties aren&#039;t worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us believe that it's better to be safe than sorry.</p> <p>However, when it comes to buying warranties, you may be acting on emotion. It's time to step back and take a closer look at those extended warranties &mdash; your extra peace of mind may be coming with a hidden high cost. Here are four warranties that aren't worth it.</p> <h2>1. Warranties That Are Too Expensive</h2> <p>According to the Service Contract Industry Council, most <a href="http://www.bbb.org/phoenix/news-events/consumer-tips/2014/12/be-in-the-know-before-buying-extended-warranties/">extended warranty costs</a> are 10% to 20% of the sales price. Anything above that 20% benchmark may be too much, particularly for small ticket items. For example, a $20 extended warranty on a $55 panini press is a waste of money.</p> <p>On the other hand, buying a $150 warranty on a $2,000 computer is a more sensible purchase. Not only is that warranty just 7.5% of the total price, but it'd also cover the high cost of replacing parts.</p> <h2>2. Warranties Shorter Than Those From Your Credit Card</h2> <p>There is no need to pay twice for coverage that you may already have. As long as you complete the entire purchase on a single credit card, most major credit card companies will extend the original manufacturer's warranty up to one additional year.</p> <p>Review the fine print on your credit card's extended warranty for other applicable limits, such as the maximum purchase price and maximum dollar value of claims within the same year. As long as you're aware of applicable exclusions and requirements, having a credit card with an excellent extended warranty can be a lifesaver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=seealso">How to Take Advantage of the Free Extended Warranty From Your Credit Card Issuer</a>)</p> <h2>3. Warranties for Products With Low Repair Rates</h2> <p>Some people claim that things aren't built to last anymore. However, surveys from Consumer Reports seem to indicate that it may all just be in our heads. The <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm">repair rates</a> for several items are going down.</p> <ul> <li>Laptops had a repair rate of 36% in 2010, and 24% in 2013.</li> <li>LCD TVs had a repair rate of 15% in 2010, and 7% in 2013.</li> <li>Dishwashers already had a <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/warranties.asp">low repair rate</a> of 13% back in 2004.</li> </ul> <p>Consumer Reports found that appliances usually don't break during the extended warranty period. Even when breakdowns occur, the median cost of a repair ($152) isn't that much more than the median price of a warranty ($136).</p> <p>A great alternative to extended warranties for products with low repair rates is to put the money you would have spent on the warranty in a savings account, instead. By &quot;self-insuring,&quot; you're keeping the money and gaining interest on your rainy day fund.</p> <h2>4. Unsolicited Car Warranties</h2> <p>There are warranties that aren't worth the money, and then there are warranty scams.</p> <p>For several decades, the FCC has been warning consumers about <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/guides/auto-warranty-scams">auto warranty scams</a>. Malicious companies prey on consumers whose auto warranties are about to expire &mdash; or in some cases, they may not even be close to expiration. Back in 2008, the Better Business Bureau received more than <a href="http://www.bbb.org/central-illinois/migration/other-news/2009/02/bbb-warns-deceptive-auto-warranty-solicitations-plague-consumers-nationwide/">140,000 consumer calls</a> to confirm the legitimacy of companies claiming to sell auto warranties.</p> <p>For example, in the year that the basic warranty of my 2012 Volkswagen Passat was set to expire, I started receiving unsolicited mail with warnings in big, bold letters; &quot;Final Notice: Expiring Auto Warranty.&quot; After ignoring a couple of these mailers, additional ones started pouring in with labels such as &quot;<a href="http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/28440855-e863-431f-9e60-c46e13226298/Warranty-mailer.aspx">2nd Attempt</a>,&quot; &quot;Time Sensitive,&quot; or &quot;<a href="http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/9c4deb4f-8f10-4206-bd5b-2ab75bf70bcc/Warranty-Mailer-2.aspx">Vehicle Alert Notice</a>.&quot; Then, the calls started coming in every single week. It was all from unscrupulous car warranty salespeople.</p> <p>Don't cave in to the pressure and protect yourself against potential car warranty fraud:</p> <ul> <li>Don't provide any personal or financial information over the phone to unsolicited telemarketers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Resist high-pressure pitches from salespeople or mailers that urge you to act now. Those &quot;final deadlines&quot; extend for several months over and over.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>These car warranties rarely pay claims. The BBB reports that <a href="http://stlouis.bbb.org/storage/142/documents/vehicleservicecontractstudy2011.pdf">93% of vehicle service claims</a> are denied under these warranties.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Never agree to any contract without having a physical copy of the contract and an appropriate timeframe to review the fine print.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A major red flag is the requirement of a down payment to view a contract. Don't agree to pay over the phone.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search online for the name of the company offering the auto warranty (such as <a href="http://www.ncdoj.com/getdoc/221259f6-b0a2-40aa-801c-f76835f31be2/AG-Cooper-gives-auto-warranty-sellers-the-boot.aspx">U.S. Fidelis</a>), since some of those companies are often in trouble with the law. Or, check the company with your <a href="http://www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/">state and local consumer agencies</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>File a complaint with the FCC by visiting <a href="http://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov">consumercomplaints.fcc.gov</a>, calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322), or writing to Federal Communications Commission, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Place your phone number on the <a href="http://www.donotcall.gov">National Do Not Call Registry</a>.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are some warranties that you wished you never paid for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gift-card-scam-of-2011-don-t-be-a-victim">The Gift Card Scam of 2011: Don’t Be a Victim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-purchases-with-financing-options-that-depreciate-fast">4 Purchases With Financing Options That Depreciate Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-something-breaks-should-you-repair-or-replace">When Something Breaks, Should You Repair or Replace?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping appliances Cars electronics repairs scams warranties Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:00:11 +0000 Damian Davila 1360904 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Home Theater Projectors http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-theater-projectors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-home-theater-projectors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-118465481.jpg" alt="home theater" title="home theater" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For those who are a bit more ambitious in setting up their home entertainment systems, a television might not be large enough. If you're looking to maximize the size of your screen, a home theater projector might be the right machine for you. Projectors have gotten less expensive while their image quality has steadily grown higher. Projectors that can project a screen size of over 100 inches are no longer a rarity.</p> <h2>What Is a Home Theater Projector?</h2> <p>A home theater projector is an image projector that takes a video signal and projects the image onto a screen using some type of lens system. While most projectors will still work best in dark rooms, newer, higher-quality devices are versatile enough to handle decently lit rooms as well. Higher resolution, better brightness range, and a higher contrast ratio will ensure that the image quality of your project will be at its best.</p> <h2>Best 5 Home Theater Projectors</h2> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0044UF0PM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0044UF0PM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/proj-mitsubishi.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 197px; float: right;" /></a>Mitsubishi HC4000</h3> <p>A Best Buy from Consumer Reports, this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0044UF0PM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0044UF0PM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">front projector from Mitsubishi</a> projects in high-definition 1080p and brings great picture quality with a reasonable price. On top of the high level of picture detail and color, this projector comes with a 12-month lamp warranty (which is longer than most), as well as in-home service. However, its lack of a lens shift function means that it could potentially be difficult to place. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0044UF0PM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0044UF0PM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $1,035.56 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E4JEDWE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00E4JEDWE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/proj-optoma.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 197px; float: right;" /></a>Optoma HD131Xe</h3> <p>Well-reviewed by users, folks love the high image quality delivered by this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E4JEDWE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00E4JEDWE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Optoma home theater projector</a> coupled with a very low price tag. Aside from a high brightness setting that clocks in at 2500 lumens, great colors, and a high contrast ratio, this projector also delivers full 3D capability. Placement flexibility is also the main issue with this projector, and it may be a challenge to find the perfect spot. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E4JEDWE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00E4JEDWE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $775.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A2T6X0K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A2T6X0K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/proj-benq.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 197px; float: right;" /></a>BenQ W1070</h3> <p>Another favorite amongst users, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A2T6X0K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A2T6X0K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">BenQ W1070</a> brings sharp picture quality, great contrast and the ability to project in just about any lighting situation. In addition to the top-notch image quality, this BenQ projector also broadcasts 3D. Users can't stop raving about the price-to-quality ratio, and many claim it to be the best projector in its price range. This projector also features SmartEco Mode, which adjusts the lamp brightness in order to maximize power saving. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A2T6X0K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A2T6X0K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $898.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Epson-V11H501020-PowerLite-Theater-Projector/dp/B009EPSJXM"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/proj-epson.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 197px;" /></a>Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020</h3> <p>On the list of recommended projectors at Consumer Search, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Epson-V11H501020-PowerLite-Theater-Projector/dp/B009EPSJXM">Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020</a> brings great color performance, 3D image quality and extremely high brightness, making this a great projector to use in ambient lighting. Also, while it doesn't have lens shift capability, its 1.6x zoom still gives it good flexibility in terms of placement distance. Purists might be slightly disappointed in the depths of its blacks, but users can't seem to tell the difference. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Epson-V11H501020-PowerLite-Theater-Projector/dp/B009EPSJXM">Currently $1,569.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009GG08KQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009GG08KQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/proj-sony.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 197px; float: right;" /></a>Sony VPL-HW50ES</h3> <p>For those that are willing to pull out all the stops for their home entertainment system, this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009GG08KQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009GG08KQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Sony projector</a> is the one for you. Both experts and users agree that this is one of the best projectors available on the market. Image quality is superb with sharp pictures, balanced colors, high contrast, and deep blacks. 3D performance is nearly as good as 2D image quality and set-up is a breeze. Just be aware that you get what you pay for, and this premium projector comes with a premium price tag. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009GG08KQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009GG08KQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $3,999.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-theater-projectors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smartphones">The 5 Best Smartphones</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-led-monitors">The 5 Best LED Monitors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-swiss-army-knives">The 5 Best Swiss Army Knives</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Buying Guides electronics home theater product reviews projectors Thu, 12 Dec 2013 09:01:22 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1099971 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best LED Monitors http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-led-monitors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-led-monitors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/desk-179208947.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the past, we&rsquo;ve covered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-keyboards">keyboards</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-mice">mice</a>, accessories that allow you to input and be productive on computers. This time around, we will be covering another crucial component of the basic computer system: the monitor. Instead of directly allowing us to input data into a computer, monitors give us the ability to see what we are doing and interact with the computer&rsquo;s graphical user interface.</p> <h2>What Is an LED Monitor?</h2> <p>A mistake that is commonly made is to believe that LED and LCD computer monitors are made of two different types of materials. In fact, LED monitors are a specific type of LCD monitor that use light-emitting diodes to serve as the backlight to the liquid crystal display as opposed to cold cathode fluorescent tubes used by most LCD monitors. LEDs provide truer color quality, require less power and are easier on the eyes than most LCDs, making them the monitor-type of choice for most users.</p> <h2>The Best 5 LED Monitors</h2> <h3>HP Envy 27</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AYA7NBA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AYA7NBA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="width: 235px; height: 180px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LED-hpenvy.jpg" alt="" /></a>Highly recommended by Consumer Reports, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AYA7NBA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AYA7NBA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">27-inch HP Envy</a> display is lauded for its high image quality, wide viewing angles, and 1920x1080 resolution. Built-in speakers by Beats Audio also provide quality sound for you to enjoy your entertainment. Finally, for a screen of this size, the price tag isn&rsquo;t unreasonable either. <em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AYA7NBA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AYA7NBA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $384.12 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3>Samsung S23C350H</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C18YRSA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C18YRSA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="width: 221px; height: 180px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LED-samsung.jpg" alt="" /></a>This <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C18YRSA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C18YRSA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">23-inch monitor from Samsung</a> is well-reviewed by users who praise its color, image quality, and resolution. On top of its performance, its high Energy Star rating means that it uses less energy overall, saving you even more than its low price tag. Finally, its minimalist design and ease-of-use were also favorites among users. <em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C18YRSA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C18YRSA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $189.99 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3>Viewsonic VG2236WM-LED</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Y3BJ8C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003Y3BJ8C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="width: 214px; height: 180px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LED-viewsonic.jpg" alt="" /></a>Another recommended monitor from Consumer Reports, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Y3BJ8C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003Y3BJ8C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">22-inch Viewsonic</a> performs well with good picture quality and versatility. It is remarkably ergonomic, with height adjustability as well as the ability to swivel, tilt and rotate. Users agree that images are clear and crisp and that colors are vivid. <em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003Y3BJ8C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003Y3BJ8C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $479.59 on the Amazon Marketplace.</a></em></p> <h3>Asus PA249Q</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CMHQOJU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CMHQOJU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="width: 230px; height: 180px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LED-asuspa.jpg" alt="" /></a>Among one of the best monitors tested at Consumer Reports, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CMHQOJU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CMHQOJU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">24-inch Asus LED monitor</a> is a solid performer. With extremely high color accuracy and coverage, this monitor delivers fantastic image quality as well as an exceptionally high viewing angle of 178 degrees. Additional features include 3 USB ports, as well as ruler ticks around the bezel, which makes for a nice tool for graphic artists. <em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CMHQOJU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CMHQOJU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $467.99 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3>Asus VS247H-P</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BZNDS0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005BZNDS0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="width: 235px; height: 180px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LED-asusvs.jpg" alt="" /></a>Our list for best LED monitors is rounded out by this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BZNDS0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005BZNDS0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">23.6-inch Asus monitor</a>. Users agree that this monitor performs great at an extremely reasonable price. Image quality is high and colors come out clear and vivid on this LED display. Its 2ms response time means that motion won&rsquo;t be blurred when shown on the monitor and users appreciate its matte, as opposed to glossy, finish.<em> <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005BZNDS0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005BZNDS0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $149.99 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-led-monitors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-theater-projectors">The 5 Best Home Theater Projectors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smartphones">The 5 Best Smartphones</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-swiss-army-knives">The 5 Best Swiss Army Knives</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Buying Guides electronics LED monitors product reviews Wed, 04 Dec 2013 10:31:03 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1083470 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Webcams http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-webcams <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-webcams" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/webcam-1865838-medium.jpg" alt="webcam" title="webcam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dedicated webcams are becoming increasingly rare as they become incorporated into many other electronic devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. However, modern standalone webcams typically feature high definition and advanced lenses for greater video quality than your normal integrated webcams. So if you frequently make video calls, a dedicated webcam could be a worthy investment.</p> <h2>What Is a Webcam?</h2> <p>A webcam is a video recording camera that directly feeds the image it captures to a computer. Webcams are most widely used as a means of establishing a video link, allowing computers to act as videophones or conference stations. This association with video communications through the Internet gives it its name.</p> <h2>Best 5 Webcams</h2> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JH8T3S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B006JH8T3S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/webc-logiC920.jpg" alt="" /></a>Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920</h3> <p>The high-end product of this list, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JH8T3S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B006JH8T3S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920</a> comes with full HD 1080p video resolution, 15 megapixels, and a robust autofocus system. Users applaud the excellent sound and video quality of this webcam. Additional features include built-in dual stereo microphone, noise filtering to improve audio quality, and the ability to upload to major social networking sites with just one click. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JH8T3S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B006JH8T3S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $74.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009CPC6QA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009CPC6QA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/webc-microsoft.jpg" alt="" /></a>Microsoft LifeCam Cinema Webcam</h3> <p>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009CPC6QA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009CPC6QA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Microsoft LifeCam Cinema Webcam</a> is praised by both professionals and users for its stellar video quality. This Microsoft webcam is capable of producing HD video with a resolution of 720p. Additionally, the microphone on the webcam contains noise-reduction features to enhance its audio quality. Aside from the audio and video quality, users also appreciate its ease-of-use and the fact that there&rsquo;s no software to install &mdash; all you need to do is plug in it to begin using the webcam. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009CPC6QA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009CPC6QA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $39.97 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO8S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003LVZO8S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/webc-logiC310.jpg" alt="" /></a>Logitech HD Webcam C310</h3> <p>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO8S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003LVZO8S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Logitech HD Webcam C310</a> is an affordable webcam that still performs very strongly. With a resolution of 720p and 5 megapixels, this webcam produces quality high definition video. And with a noise-canceling microphone, it records great audio as well. One downside, however, is that some report that video quality may get choppy at higher resolutions. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO8S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003LVZO8S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $29.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004431UBM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004431UBM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/webc-creative.jpg" alt="" /></a>Creative Live! Cam Chat HD</h3> <p>Another solid-performing webcam, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004431UBM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004431UBM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Creative Live! Cam Chat HD</a> is also well-reviewed by users. This webcam carries HD 720p resolution with a 5.7 megapixel video camera. A built-in noise-canceling microphone allows you to enjoy clear audio and one-click upload to Facebook, YouTube and Photobucket lets you quickly upload your photos or videos to your favorite social media sites. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004431UBM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004431UBM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $19.99 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO88/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003LVZO88&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:240px; width:240px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/webc-logiC210.jpg" alt="" /></a>Logitech Webcam C210</h3> <p>One of the more affordable cameras on this list, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO88/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003LVZO88&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Logitech Webcam C210</a> is also the only one here that doesn&rsquo;t record in high definition. However, users agree that for the price tag, you still get great video and audio quality, and for making video calls, it gets the job done. Mac users beware &mdash; this webcam is only compatible with Microsoft PCs. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO88/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003LVZO88&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $26.98 on Amazon.</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-webcams">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-mice">The 5 Best Computer Mice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-keyboards">The 5 Best Computer Keyboards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blu-ray-players">The 5 Best Blu-ray Players</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-a-lightweight-electric-lawn-mower">Stuff We Love: A Lightweight Electric Lawn Mower</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guides computer accessories electronics product reviews webcams Fri, 29 Nov 2013 10:31:17 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1059760 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Smartphones http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smartphones <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-smartphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/phone-147514538.jpg" alt="man using smartphone" title="man using smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nothing captures the essence of modern technology quite like a smartphone. The convenience of having a portable computer always in reach has allowed us to connect to the world in ways we previously never thought possible. It has become the one gadget that most of us cannot live without. Love it or hate it, the smartphone is here to stay.</p> <p>But with its booming popularity comes the onslaught of multiple varieties of smartphones, each with their own unique shapes, sizes, and operating systems. Wise Bread is here to help you find the phone that's right for you with our list of the top five smartphones available today.</p> <h2>What Is a Smartphone?</h2> <p>A smartphone is an advanced cell phone with a built-in mobile operating system that allows it to perform many of the tasks and functions that a regular computer can do. Modern smartphones utilize a touchscreen interface and a vast ecosystem of mobile apps to perform an almost endless list of functions, from taking photos and recording HD videos to providing GPS navigation to even managing your finances and business, all while embracing incredibly slim and minimalistic designs that fit comfortably in your pocket or hand. Smartphones nowadays are also all-in-one multimedia devices, capable of playing your favorite music and movies and displaying your books to read. Their sheer power and convenience are what make them so popular and useful.</p> <p>Please note that smartphone prices and availability may vary depending on your cellular provider. Prices will also be higher if you're buying a smartphone that is factory unlocked.</p> <h2>Best 5 Smartphones</h2> <h3>Apple iPhone 5s</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://store.apple.com/us/buy-iphone/iphone5s"><img style="height: 300px; width: 225px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smtphn-apple.jpg" alt="" /></a>With a top recommendation from Consumer Reports, the new <a href="http://store.apple.com/us/buy-iphone/iphone5s">Apple iPhone 5s</a>, which marks the seventh iteration of the popular iPhone line, is still one of the best smartphones available in the market.</p> <p>The iPhone 5s contains a bunch of new exclusive features, including a top-notch 64-bit A7 processor that allows for a lag-free experience when using graphics-intensive apps and a Touch ID fingerprint reader that enables faster and safer access to your iPhone. There's also an improved rear-facing iSight camera that has a host of new features of its own, including auto-stabilization, a new True Tone flash, continuous burst mode, and slow-motion video capabilities. The new iOS 7 operating system adds a brand new look and new level of functionality to the iPhone 5s while still being easy to use and learn.</p> <p>Despite all the added new features, the iPhone 5s' physical design remains unchanged from the iPhone 5 for better or for worse, and there are still no expandable storage capabilities and no NFC capabilities. But with access to the largest marketplace of apps available, these are merely small grievances when compared to the incredible package that the iPhone 5s delivers overall.</p> <p><em><a href="http://store.apple.com/us/buy-iphone/iphone5s">Currently $199.99 on Apple.com for the 16GB version with a two-year contract.</a></em></p> <h3>Samsung Galaxy S4</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E6FGSHY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00E6FGSHY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="width: 225px; height: 300px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smtphn-samsungs4.jpg" alt="" /></a>Another Consumer Reports top pick, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E6FGSHY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00E6FGSHY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Samsung Galaxy S4</a>, which is the fourth iteration in the popular Galaxy S line, is part of the Android family of smartphones and is definitely one of the best Android phones you can buy.</p> <p>To start, it has a large, yet gorgeous 5-inch Super AMOLED HD touchscreen display with 441 pixels-per-inch, which is a great deal more than the iPhone's 326 ppi. It has a 1.9GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, which makes loading and running apps a breeze. The S4 also has the ability to add up to 64GB of additional memory via its micro-SD slot. On top of that, the S4 also packs a 13-megapixel camera with a ton of cool features, including the ability to take pictures from both the front and rear-facing camera simultaneously.</p> <p>While the S4's plastic-build quality and incredibly large screen may not be to everyone's liking, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is still a beast of smartphone that leaves very little to complain about.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E6FGSHY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00E6FGSHY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $138.00 on Amazon for the 16GB version with a two-year contract.</a></em></p> <h3>Nokia Lumia 1020</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVRJ3WA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DVRJ3WA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="width: 225px; height: 300px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smtphn-nokia.jpg" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVRJ3WA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DVRJ3WA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Nokia Lumia 1020</a> is a Consumer Reports recommended choice that presents a strong alternative for those interested in a smartphone that's outside of the Apple and Android masses.</p> <p>The Lumia 1020 is part of a new line of &ldquo;Windows Phones&rdquo; that utilize the brand-new Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system developed by Microsoft. The interface is composed of customizable Live Tiles that display the information of apps in real time without the need to open them, which provide a fresh user experience overall. The Lumia 1020's most notable feature is its incredible 41-megapixel camera &mdash; the highest resolution in any smartphone available now. It allows for stunning detail and clarity to be retained in both normal and zoomed-in photos. Images and videos look brilliant on the Lumia 1020's 4.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen display.</p> <p>Beyond that, there's actually not that much else that it offers in the way of features. The Lumia 1020 is also much thicker and heavier than most other smartphones, and its app selection is really limited due to its new OS. But if you strongly desire to stand out from the pack or have an amazing camera, then the Nokia Lumia is the phone for you.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVRJ3WA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DVRJ3WA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $149.99 on Amazon for the 16GB version with a two-year contract.</a></em></p> <h3>HTC One</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EKT26AE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EKT26AE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="width: 225px; height: 300px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smtphn-htcone.png" alt="" /></a>As both a Consumer Search and a Consumer Reports best reviewed pick, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EKT26AE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EKT26AE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">HTC One</a> is the biggest competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S4 in the race for the best Android smartphone title, and there are many ways that the HTC One tries to best its Samsung rival.</p> <p>Its 4.7-inch Super LCD touchscreen display packs in a whopping 468 pixels-per-inch, which results in sharp details and vibrant colors. Users have reported that the super-slim aluminum body of the HTC One feels especially light and resilient. The HTC One's UltraPixel Camera is one of its most noteworthy special features. While the camera offers only 4 megapixels, each of those pixels takes in much more light, which allows for outstanding pictures to be taken in low-light conditions. The HTC Blinkfeed is another special feature that allows you to open your favorite apps right from the lock screen for quick and easy access.</p> <p>The HTC One isn't without its share of flaws, however. Some users have reported that the HTC Sense interface isn't as intuitive as other Android smartphones and that the battery life is particularly poor. Still, users generally agree that the HTC One shines quite brightly above the rest.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EKT26AE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00EKT26AE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $49.99 on Amazon for the 16GB version with a two-year contract.</a></em></p> <h3>Samsung Galaxy S3</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00894K248/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00894K248&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="height: 300px; width: 225px; float: right;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/smtphn-samsungs3.jpg" alt="" /></a>Despite being over a year old, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00894K248/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00894K248&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Samsung Galaxy S3</a> is still a top-performing contender in the smartphone market and easily takes the title of best value smartphone on our list. Being the predecessor to the S4 isn't a sign of weakness for this phone, but rather, it's what makes it stand out.</p> <p>This Consumer Reports and Consumer Search top pick has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor underneath a beautiful 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD touchscreen display. It packs an 8-megapixel camera with a continuous burst mode and 1080p HD video recording. It has expandable memory capabilities via its micro SD slot as well as a surprisingly long battery life. Users have even reported that the call quality on the S3 is superb and crisp. However, what's most impressive about the S3 is that its specifications still hold their ground today and even beat several smartphones that are priced above it.</p> <p>The only downsides seem to be the plastic build quality and the shaky TouchWiz interface. But all can be forgiven once you realize that you can get this phone now for close to nothing. It's practically a steal.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00894K248/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00894K248&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $0.01 on Amazon for the 16GB version with a two-year contract.</a></em></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best smartphones!&nbsp;As always, be sure to check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread Shopping Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/william-tran">William Tran</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smartphones">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-theater-projectors">The 5 Best Home Theater Projectors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-led-monitors">The 5 Best LED Monitors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-swiss-army-knives">The 5 Best Swiss Army Knives</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Buying Guides electronics product reviews smartphones Tue, 19 Nov 2013 10:30:43 +0000 William Tran 1085849 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Blu-ray Players http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blu-ray-players <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-blu-ray-players" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tv-1177570-small.jpg" alt="man watching TV" title="man watching TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since officially winning the &quot;format war&quot; against HD DVD in February 2008, Blu-ray Discs have become the industry standard for high-density optical discs. Despite facing competition from video on demand services, a Blu-ray Disc player is now considered a staple of home theater, with the technology expected to completely supplant that of standard DVD within a few years.</p> <h2>What Is a Blu-ray Player?</h2> <p>A Blu-ray player is a machine that plays Blu-ray Discs, currently the highest-quality home video format available to consumers. Because Blu-ray players can also play DVDs, there's no reason to toss your DVD collection if you upgrade to one of these machines. As the technology has been around for a few years now, prices have dropped to reasonable levels, making now a good time to invest in a Blu-ray player. Most newer models now allow you to play 3D Blu-ray Discs as well. Although these only work if used with a 3D TV, the difference in price between a 3D player and a standard player is slight enough that it's worth the investment in order to get the most current technology available. Here are the five best Blu-ray players on the market.</p> <h2>Best 5 Blu-ray Players</h2> <h3>Sony BDP-S5100 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Wi-Fi</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AWKC0JM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AWKC0JM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:150px; width:300px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/blu-sony.jpg" alt="" /></a>A Consumer Reports Best Buy, this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AWKC0JM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AWKC0JM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Sony 3D Blu-ray player</a> offers an optimal balance between performance and value. Featuring the excellent picture quality consumers have come to expect from Sony home video products, the unit retails for under $100. With its built-in Wi-Fi, users can stream movies and TV shows from most of the major services, including Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu Plus; Netflix even has its own button on the remote for ultra-easy access. The S5100 is quick, with a startup time of five seconds (four with its quick-start feature enabled), and is one of the few Blu-ray players capable of playing SACDs (CDs that offer longer playing times than regular ones).</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AWKC0JM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AWKC0JM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $89.99 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3>Vizio VBR337 3D Blu-ray Player with Wireless Internet Application</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007WF1IMK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007WF1IMK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:150px; width:300px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/blu-vizio.jpg" alt="" /></a>This <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007WF1IMK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007WF1IMK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Vizio 3D Blu-ray player</a> is another great deal. Consensus among consumers is its 3D performance is top-notch, especially when used with a Vizio 3D TV. It comes with unique features like an enhanced two-sided remote with a full keyboard on one side, and a tray-less design that makes the simple act of inserting and ejecting a Blu-ray Disc even simpler. The VBR337 supports up to up to 7.1 channels of digital audio output via HDMI, and can stream content from Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, VUDU, and YouTube, among others.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007WF1IMK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007WF1IMK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $159.99 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <h3>Samsung BD-F7500 4K Upscaling 3D Wi-Fi Blu-ray Disc Player</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BFRKYVM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BFRKYVM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:150px; width:300px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/blu-samsung.jpg" alt="" /></a>If you're willing to invest a little more in a Blu-ray player, you can't go wrong with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BFRKYVM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BFRKYVM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">this Samsung model</a>, which isn't likely to become obsolete anytime soon. It employs 4K Ultra HD technology, which allows for four times the number of pixels in your image as the next-highest-definition resolution on the market, Full HD. Although you'll need a 4K TV to enjoy the results, the F7500 will &quot;upscale&quot; any Blu-ray or DVD to its highest possible quality. Another feature that accounts for the F7500's higher price tag is its dual-core processor, rare for Blu-ray players, which permits it to run extremely fast. The CD Ripping option allows you to play and convert your music CDs into MP3s. As is becoming standard for most Blu-ray players, this one lets you access the Internet, including Samsung's own Smart Hub suite, where you can stream videos on demand.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BFRKYVM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BFRKYVM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $207.99 on Amazon. </a></em></p> <h3>Panasonic DMP-BDT500 Integrated Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray DVD Player</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00752R4QO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00752R4QO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:150px; width:300px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/blu-panasonic.jpg" alt="" /></a>Panasonic has been a major player in Blu-ray technology and the higher-priced <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00752R4QO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00752R4QO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">BDT500 model</a> is one to consider, along with Samsung's BD-F7500. Audiophiles seem to particularly enjoy the BDT500's sound quality. Its integrated Wi-Fi offers the same level of internet access as other players in its class, though some users report it's less reliable than other brands when it comes to streaming. Other neat features include a touchpad remote control and a multi-user mode that allows you to register four users, each with individual favorite settings.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00752R4QO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00752R4QO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $199.00 on Amazon. </a></em></p> <h3>LG Electronics BP530 Blu-ray Disc Player With Wi-Fi</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BD7UVKI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BD7UVKI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:150px; width:300px" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/blu-LG.jpg" alt="" /></a>The main reason to buy the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BD7UVKI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BD7UVKI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">LG BP30</a> player is its ability to play Region 2/B Blu-ray Discs &mdash; discs that have been specially coded for consumers in Europe, which won't play on most North American players. This feature makes the BP530 ideal for foreign film and TV buffs. It's a solid overall player as well, especially for the price. Users report that discs play smoothly, with no skipping or pauses. If you want to watch TV without disturbing your roommate, LG's remote app allows you to wirelessly send audio to your smartphone, so you can listen to your program with headphones. One drawback is the player currently does not stream content from Amazon.</p> <p><em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BD7UVKI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BD7UVKI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $109.00 on Amazon.</a></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/john-moffatt">John Moffatt</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blu-ray-players">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-keyboards">The 5 Best Computer Keyboards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-webcams">The 5 Best Webcams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-mice">The 5 Best Computer Mice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-a-lightweight-electric-lawn-mower">Stuff We Love: A Lightweight Electric Lawn Mower</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Blu-Ray buying guides electronics product reviews Mon, 04 Nov 2013 09:24:03 +0000 John Moffatt 1065033 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Computer Keyboards http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-keyboards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-computer-keyboards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/keyboard-4233930-small.jpg" alt="man holding keyboard" title="man holding keyboard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As key component of your computer system, the keyboard that you use can either increase your productivity or dramatically slow you down. Poor typing habits on a bad keyboard can also lead to repetitive stress injuries, so picking the right keyboard can have an impact on both your work and your health. To narrow down your options from all of the choices that are out there, here is Wise Bread's pick of the top 5 keyboards.</p> <h2>What Is a Keyboard?</h2> <p>A keyboard is a device that uses an arrangement of keys and serves as one of the primary input devices for computers. The most common use for a keyboard is to input text and symbols into a word processor, but they can also be used for computer gaming and programming. Since the first computer keyboards, they've come a long way in terms of ease-of-use features and design, so it's a good idea to have an idea of what you're looking for when you buy.</p> <h2>Best 5 Keyboards</h2> <h3>Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MF11MU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004MF11MU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:111px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/kbd-logitechK750.jpg" alt="" /></a>Highly reviewed among users, the most prominent feature of the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MF11MU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004MF11MU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Logitech K750</a> is the strip of solar panels that serve as its power source. This means that this wireless keyboard can run without the use of batteries, which requires periodic replacement. The solar power feature is no toy either. Reviewers say that it works even in dim office light and is able to function for an extended period in darkness. The downside is that this keyboard is not particularly ergonomic, so folks looking for a keyboard that will stave off repetitive stress injuries might want to look elsewhere. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MF11MU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004MF11MU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $49.98 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VAGXWK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VAGXWK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:141px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/kbd-logitechK800.jpg" alt="" /></a>With over a thousand reviews and an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VAGXWK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VAGXWK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Logitech K800</a> is another favorite amongst users. An adjustable backlight allows for typing in the dark, and it runs on a set of rechargeable batteries that can be charged via USB through your computer or an adapter. Finally, users claim that the typing is extremely comfortable with Logitech's PerfectStroke key system that evenly distributes force along the key surface. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VAGXWK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VAGXWK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $77.99 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <h3>Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A6PPOK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000A6PPOK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:183px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/kbd-microsoft.jpg" alt="" /></a>For those looking for a keyboard that is going to help prevent carpel tunnel or other repetitive stress injuries, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A6PPOK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000A6PPOK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard</a> is the one to get. This keyboard is designed to keep your hands in the most natural position possible in order to reduce the stress on your hands and wrists. Most of the appeal of this keyboard is in its ergonomic design, but it also carries some additional features such as customizable hot keys. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A6PPOK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000A6PPOK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $34.58 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NXDBI6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NXDBI6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:173px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/kbd-logitechG19.jpg" alt="" /></a>For serious gamers or tech-enthusiasts, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NXDBI6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NXDBI6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Logitech G19</a> comes with a higher pricetag than any other keyboard on this list, but also features the greatest number of bells and whistles. Most notably, this keyboard includes a 320-by-240 pixel LCD screen that can display photos, videos, and statistics for over 60 computer games, including some of the most popular online games. Twelve programmable keys also allow for up to 36 programmable macro inputs granting a huge amount of customization. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NXDBI6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NXDBI6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $114.95 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <h3>Anker Ultra Slim Mini Bluetooth 3.0 Wireless Keyboard</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ONMDYE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005ONMDYE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img style="float:right; height:167px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/kbd-Anker.jpg" alt="" /></a>Probably the most understated keyboard on this list, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ONMDYE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005ONMDYE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Anker Ultra Slim Wireless Keyboard</a> is still held in high regard among users. Well-crafted keys and a sleek design make this a highly functional and aesthetic keyboard, and it is compatible with just about any device that utilizes Bluetooth 3.0. This means that it'll run on computers, but also on many tablets and smartphones. Keep in mind that this runs on two AAA batteries that are not included in the package. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ONMDYE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005ONMDYE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><em>Currently $19.99 on Amazon.</em></a></p> <p>These are Wise Bread's choices for the best 5 keyboards. Make sure to head on over to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Shopping Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-keyboards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blu-ray-players">The 5 Best Blu-ray Players</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-webcams">The 5 Best Webcams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-we-love-a-lightweight-electric-lawn-mower">Stuff We Love: A Lightweight Electric Lawn Mower</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-mice">The 5 Best Computer Mice</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guides electronics ergonomics product reviews Wed, 09 Oct 2013 09:36:04 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 989800 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Noise Canceling Headphones http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-noise-canceling-headphones <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-noise-canceling-headphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tablet-4489852-small.jpg" alt="woman wearing headphones" title="woman wearing headphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking for some peaceful salvation from the loud, bustling world around you? Want to listen to your music and <em>just</em> your music? Need to concentrate on your work without being disturbed by the activities of others? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then a pair of noise-canceling headphones may be an invaluable piece of gear to add to your daily arsenal. While noise-canceling headphones are generally more expensive than a set of regular headphones, their unique ability to eliminate external noises while also delivering great sound quality are worth the premium, especially if you need the extra quiet space to be more productive or more relaxed.</p> <h2>What Are Noise-Canceling Headphones?</h2> <p>While most normal headphones just deliver audio to your ears, noise-canceling headphones use different technologies to block out external sounds so that you hear only what you want to hear. Most noise-canceling headphones use passive noise cancellation, also known as noise isolation, to accomplish this task. By creating a tight seal around or within your ears, these snug-fitting headphones dramatically reduce the amount of noise you hear while wearing them. Higher-end models of noise-canceling headphones utilize active noise cancellation via digital signal processing (DSP) technology to reduce ambient noise. These types of headphones possess an internal microphone that listens to the sounds around you, and then they emit their own frequency to counter the external noise.</p> <h2>Top 5 Noise-Canceling Headphones</h2> <p>The key factors that differentiate noise-canceling headphones are sound quality, noise reduction capabilities, and comfort. With that in mind, here are our top 5 recommendations for noise-canceling headphones:</p> <h3>Bose Quietcomfort 15</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054JJ0QW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0054JJ0QW&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="210" height="210" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/hdph-Bose.jpg" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054JJ0QW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0054JJ0QW&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20">Bose Quietcomfort 15</a> headphones are widely regarded as one of the best pairs of noise-canceling headphones available today, garnering high recommendations from Consumer Reports, Consumer Search, and Good Housekeeping. These Bose headphones utilize a closed, around-the-ear design along with both passive and active noise cancellation technologies for effective noise reduction and sound leakage prevention, all while delivering a very comfortable fit for its users. Sound quality isn't perfect, but unless you're an audiophile, you'll still get very good, clean sound. These headphones also come with a nifty carrying case that may help remedy their bulky size. The main downside to the Bose Quietcomfort 15 is its hefty price tag. But if that doesn't bother you, then you'll find these Bose headphones to be the perfect companion for when you want to listen to your music in peace. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054JJ0QW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0054JJ0QW&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $299.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Sony MDR-NC500D</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001786D5A/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001786D5A&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="210" height="210" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/hdph-Sony.jpg" alt="" /></a>Another top choice from Consumer Reports, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001786D5A/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001786D5A&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20">Sony MDR-NC500D</a> headphones are an excellent option if you're serious about owning a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. These Sony headphones have a couple of special features, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that provides three different noise-canceling options that the headphones automatically determine based on your current environment as well as a built-in monitoring function that allows you to hear important external sounds such as announcements without the need to remove the headphones. Users have reported the bass being too soft and the fit being a little too tight for their liking, but overall, the sound and build quality are still very good. While these headphones are one of the more expensive options, it does come with a slew of accessories, including a rechargeable battery, a wide variety of adapters, and a carrying case. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001786D5A/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001786D5A&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $189.34 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Audio-Technica ATH-M50</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ULAP4U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000ULAP4U&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="210" height="210" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/hdph-Audio-Tech-M50.jpg" alt="" /></a>If you're in the market for a pair of noise-canceling headphones in the sub-$200 range, then you'll be hard-pressed to find ones better than the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ULAP4U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000ULAP4U&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20">Audio-Technica ATH-M50</a>. While they don't have the active noise-canceling technology found in higher-end models, the closed-back, around-the-ear design creates a tight enough seal that does manage to keep a majority of external noises out, and the cushioned earcups allow them to be worn comfortably for extended periods at a time. Many users have praised these headphones for their incredible sound quality, with some users going as far as to claim that they even best some higher-end models in sound clarity. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones are also collapsible and very durable, making it easy to store and ideal for traveling. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ULAP4U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000ULAP4U&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $149.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Phiaton PS 20 NC Earphones</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00456V6WQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00456V6WQ&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidewid-20"><img width="210" height="210" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/hdph-Phiaton.jpeg" alt="" /></a>If you're always on the go and you value durability and portability over bulk, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00456V6WQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00456V6WQ&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidewid-20">Phiaton PS 20 NC</a> earphones (well recommended by Good Housekeeping) are made just for you. Since these are in-ear headphones, they lack the passive noise cancellation found in around-the-ear headphones. However, these earphones do have active noise-canceling technology which filters out a majority of external noise, and the in-ear design decently limits sound leakage as well. The sound quality of these earphones is pretty good, but its bass depth wasn't as strong as other headphones. The Phiaton PS 20 NC earphones may also be uncomfortable for some due to their irregular design. However, the earphones do come with four different-sized ear tips to ensure the best fit. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00456V6WQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00456V6WQ&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidewid-20">Currently $98.98 on Amazon.</a></p> <h3>Audio-Technica ATH-M30</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00007E7C8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00007E7C8&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="210" height="210" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/hdph-Audio-Tech-M30.jpg" alt="" /></a>The most budget-friendly option on this list, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00007E7C8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00007E7C8&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20">Audio-Technica ATH-M30</a> headphones deliver the most bang for your buck. These headphones share a lot of the same features with their bigger brother, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50, such as the closed-back design and passive noise cancellation technology. There's actually not a lot of difference between the two, despite the $100 difference in price, which can actually be seen as an advantage for the ATH-M30. With a 4½ star rating on Amazon and many users reporting excellent sound quality and great durability and comfort, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30 proves that a lower price tag doesn't necessarily equal lower quality. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00007E7C8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00007E7C8&linkCode=as2&tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $59.00 on Amazon.</a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best noise-canceling headphones. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread Shopping Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/william-tran">William Tran</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-noise-canceling-headphones">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-water-filters">The 5 Best Water Filters</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying guide earphones electronics headphones product reviews Wed, 02 Oct 2013 09:48:03 +0000 William Tran 987836 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best and Worst Things to Buy in October 2012 http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october-2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6336996727_7541702eda_z.jpg" alt="Halloween decorations" title="Halloween decorations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>October is a strange month for shopping, since we're now within a stone's throw of the biggest shopping event of the year: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-about-black-friday">Black Friday</a>. It's smart to to put off most purchases until the attention-grabbing deals start flowing in next month.(See also: Shopping Calendar: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <p>But there are still notable sales that are unique to this fall month. And in between sipping pumpkin-flavored drinks and carefully planning the perfect costume for an upcoming Halloween party, consumers are likely to do a bit of shopping. So we've mined the extensive <strong>dealnews</strong> archives of sales, coupons, and individual products from the past few seasons to guide you in your quest for the most savvy purchases in October. Here's what we found.</p> <h3>Modest Costume Deals Before Halloween</h3> <p>Sure, the best time to buy a Halloween costume starts November 1. But you'll still see decent sales on costumes the week before the holiday, with numerous stores also offering stacking coupons to sweeten the deal. For example, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s932/Buy-Costumes?eref=wisebread">BuyCostumes</a> offered a coupon that took an extra 20% off items early in October last year, but mid-month (as well as the week before the holiday), the store increased that discount to an extra 30% off, which applied to a sale that took up to 85% off. Look to <a href="http://dealnews.com/s774/The-Childrens-Place?eref=wisebread">The Children's Place</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2414/Diapers?eref=wisebread">Diapers.com</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1365/Hot-Topic?eref=wisebread">Hot Topic</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/s469/Joann.com?eref=wisebread">Joann Fabric</a>, among others, for pre-holiday discounts. Of course, don't wait too long, otherwise you'll have to deal with expensive expedited shipping in order to receive your getup in time.</p> <p>After the holiday, shoppers can go pretty much anywhere and find clearance sales that discount both costumes and decorations. Unless you fear that you'll grow sick of the standard witches and broomsticks, stock up on cheap decorations post-holiday and can store them for next year. Expect discounts of 50% to 90% on themed items.</p> <h3>No Hot Deals on Cold Weather Apparel</h3> <p>Although chilly weather has started to blanket some of the country making winter apparel seems like a savvy investment, the sharpest discounts on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories?eref=wisebread">cold weather apparel and accessories</a> won't come until January. If you just can't wait until after the New Year, you should at least try holding out until November for the best deals. Around Black Friday a wealth of apparel retailers will offer their best coupon of the year, which may take a full 50% off or more &mdash; an excellent discount on current-season items. Expect to see such a coupon from retailers like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s777/American-Eagle-Outfitters?eref=wisebread">American Eagle</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s636/Aeropostale?eref=wisebread">Aeropostale</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s3153/Nautica?eref=wisebread">Nautica</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2012/Abercrombie-Fitch?eref=wisebread">Abercrombie &amp; Fitch</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s273/Express?eref=wisebread">Express</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1715/Lands-End?eref=wisebread">Lands' End</a>, Dockers, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s756/Ann-Taylor?eref=wisebread">Ann Taylor</a>, and more.</p> <h3>Deep Discounts on Denim</h3> <p>While September is a good time to find denim deals, so too is October, as retailers continue to try to move the styles they'd hoped to sell during Back to School season. Last year, we saw Editors' Choice worthy discounts from <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1491/Levi?eref=wisebread">Levi's</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2509/Lee-Jeans?eref=wisebread">Lee Jeans</a>, Target via its <a href="http://dealnews.com/b1554/Mossimo?eref=wisebread">Mossimo</a> line, <a href="http://dealnews.com/b34511/MNRKY?eref=wisebread">MNRKY</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/s461/Armani-Exchange?eref=wisebread">Armani Exchange</a>. We also saw moderate sales on jeans from retailers like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1887/Lucky-Brand-Jeans?eref=wisebread">Lucky Brand</a>, Express, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1758/New-York-Company?eref=wisebread">New York &amp; Company</a>, American Eagle, and more. Just keep in mind that you could potentially get as good or a better discount on remaining denim styles by waiting for that aforementioned Black Friday coupon.</p> <h3>Hold Off on New Electronics</h3> <p>We're so close to Black Friday that, if you can help it, you should avoid buying electronics and new devices. There's of course no guarantee that <a href="http://dealnews.com/c142/Electronics?eref=wisebread">wish-listed electronics</a> will see those famed rock-bottom prices during Black Friday weekend, but across many electronics categories, we see the best prices of the year in November and especially around Black Friday weekend.</p> <p>Most people are aware that this is a trend for TVs and budget laptops, but select digital cameras, media players, and home theater components could also see their best prices of the year in just a few short weeks &mdash; before they're replaced by newer models next year. We also recommend holding off on most <a href="http://dealnews.com/b13/Apple?eref=wisebread">Apple products</a> too; although the brand doesn't exactly see &quot;fire sale&quot; prices on new items at any point during the year, Black Friday weekend is a chance for resellers to make some of their largest discounts on current-generation Apple products.</p> <h3>No Hot Cookware Deals</h3> <p>In preparation for the biggest cooking holiday of the year, you might want to round out the items missing from your cookware collection. But wait until November and you could see about 25% more <a href="http://dealnews.com/c201/Home-Garden/Kitchen?eref=wisebread">cookware and appliance deals</a> overall. Even better, there will be double the number of Editors' Choice offers as well, which of course means some of the best prices of the year. In years past, you could get your mitts on discount cookware, cutlery sets, bakeware, and small appliances from stores like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s288/macys?eref=wisebread">Macy's</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s313/Amazon?eref=wisebread">Amazon</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s510/Sears?eref=wisebread">Sears</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s2334/Oneida?eref=wisebread">Oneida</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/b9406/Williams-Sonoma?eref=wisebread">Williams Sonoma</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1009/Kohls?eref=wisebread">Kohl's</a>, and more. This uptick in high-caliber deals will continue into December, albeit with a slight drop off.</p> <h3>End of Season Sales for Garden Plants</h3> <p>While dealnews tends to specialize in the things that make your garden grow, rather than the things that are actually growing in it, our research shows that October is a good month for investing in shrubbery, floral bulbs, and other plants that have a shelf life. According to LifeHacker, &quot;If you have a cellar or other area to store plants over the winter, you can <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5736625/the-best-times-to-buy-anything-in-2011">jump in now and get these items very cheaply</a>.&quot;</p> <h3>Get Auto Deals on Last Year's Models</h3> <p>Likewise, we certainly don't list cars on our site, but many reliable sources state that October is a good month to get a discount on a new car. New models are released in September, and dealerships begin to get anxious to move cumbersome stock items throughout September and October. According to Forbes, you can <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/12/shopping-discounts-fall-lifestyle-style-sales_slide_5.html">save 10% to 20% or more this month</a> on a new-to-you car. The car experts at Edmunds.com also suggest <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/best-new-car-leftovers-for-2012.html">buying a model that's &quot;about to be discontinued or redesigned.&quot;</a> They warn though that these cars will depreciate much faster than those that are newly released, so this tactic is best suited to people looking for a long-haul purchase.</p> <h3>No Power Savings on Big Appliances Yet</h3> <p>Conventional wisdom says to buy large appliances in September and October, because this is when manufacturers like <a href="http://dealnews.com/b410/LG?eref=wisebread">LG</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/b422/Maytag?eref=wisebread">Maytag</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/b2120/Whirlpool?eref=wisebread">Whirlpool</a> debut their new models. However, according to our archives, you'll see at least double the number of Editors' Choice deals on these items in November. Moreover, there will be more than twice as many deals in November that discounting <a href="http://dealnews.com/c304/Home-Garden/Appliances?eref=wisebread">washers, dryers, vacuums, and the like</a> from department and home improvement stores.</p> <h3>HDTV Deals on High and Low End Sets Begin to Ramp Up</h3> <p>Traditionally, Black Friday is the best time to get an <a href="http://dealnews.com/c159/Electronics/TVs?eref=wisebread">HDTV deal</a>, whether you're in the market for a main set for your living room or an additional set for the bedroom. That said, we're still a few weeks away from the main event and if you simply can't wait, there are some deals to be had today.</p> <p>On the high-end side, we have seen <a href="http://dealnews.com/c560/Electronics/TVs/LCD-TVs/55-LCD-TVs?eref=wisebread">55&quot; 3D LCD HDTVs</a> hit a rock bottom price of $949. Although it was a one-time deal in August, we wouldn't be surprised to see this price-low again. Overall, for high-end 3D 55&quot; TVs, look for prices between $949 and $999. If 3D is still too expensive for your blood, <a href="http://dealnews.com/c504/Electronics/TVs/LCD-TVs/42-LCD-TVs?eref=wisebread">off-brand 42&quot; sets</a> have been seeing impressive lows as well. All summer we've seen prices on these sets comfortably under $300. This includes sets from manufacturers like Westinghouse, Seiki, and TLC. Rule of thumb &mdash; look for deals from $230 to $290.</p> <h3>Prices on Ivy Bridge Systems Continue to Drop; Windows 8 on the Horizon</h3> <p>October promises to a be an interesting month for <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops?eref=wisebread">laptop deals</a>. We predict an abundance of deals on mainstream <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops/f15/Core-i5?eref=wisebread">15&quot; Core i5 Ivy Bridge systems</a>, which had already hit an astonishingly low price of $400 in September. Though with the release of Windows 8 in late October there's a chance we'll see an <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/myriad-of-windows-8-hybrid-devices-revealed-at-ifa/">uptick in prices</a> as new <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/Readers-Declare-They-Want-Hybrid-Windows-Tablets-But-at-What-Cost-/572039.html?eref=wisebread">hybrid laptop/tablet</a> models are released.</p> <p>As tempting as they may seem, we recommend avoiding these hybrids as they'll demand a premium price. In addition, many of them could potentially suffer from first generation problems as they are a new breed of laptops whose hardware mixes the ultrabook with a tablet. Instead, we recommend looking for deals on Ivy Bridge systems with very-capable 15&quot; Core i5-based system with prices ranging from $400 to about $450.</p> <p>Set up dealnews <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread">email alert</a> now to keep abreast of any and all of these best buys in October. And for more price trend information, check out dealnews' <a href="http://dealnews.com/pages/resources/consumer-research?eref=wisebread">consumer shopping research page</a>.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a href="http://dealnews.com"><em>Dealnews</em></a><em>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Can&#039;t wait for Black Friday? Check out the best and worst things to buy in October! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october-2012">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/last-minute-diy-halloween-costumes">Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/halloween-is-over-now-go-and-buy-your-costume">Halloween Is Over. Now, Go and Buy Your Costume.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-were-spending-more-on-halloween-costumes-this-year">5 Reasons We’re Spending MORE on Halloween Costumes This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-sites-to-find-your-halloween-costume-cheap">13 Sites to Find Your Halloween Costume Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying cars costumes electronics Halloween jeans Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:00:42 +0000 Dealnews 954831 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best and Worst Things to Buy in July 2012 http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-july-2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-july-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/733955024_1c020cdb73_z_0.jpg" alt="fireworks" title="fireworks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The dealnews staff published more than 6,000 deals last July, which we've analyzed so that we can offer our readers a bit of advice while planning purchases this month. And it's a particularly important month to do so, since a number of sales will appear to be better than they are. So in order to protect your wallet and spend your money wisely, be sure to read through our July buying guide below for everything you need to know to shop smart this month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h3>Black Friday in July</h3> <p>Beginning in July, we start to see Black Friday-labeled sales. While this trend appeared to have lessened in 2011, as compared to 2010, there were still a few offenders. <a href="http://dealnews.com/s318/Target/?eref=wisebread">Target</a> once again offered its &quot;Back in Black Friday&quot; sale in the middle of July, with other retailers following suit later in the summer. While enticing, be leery of the labeling; few of these Black Friday sales actually feature the rock-bottom pricing consumers come to expect from the &quot;darkest&quot; of shopping days.</p> <h3>A Few Choice Sales Bursting With Savings on the 4th</h3> <p>During <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/What-to-Expect-from-2012-Independence-Day-Sales/588812.html?eref=wisebread">Independence Day weekend</a> last year, some vendors like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s990/Saks-Fifth-Avenue/?eref=wisebread">Saks Fifth Avenue</a> and <a href="http://dealnews.com/b30780/Bebe/?eref=wisebread">bebe</a> offered their best sales of the year so far, while most stores (like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s288/macys/?eref=wisebread">Macy's</a>) mainly peddled middle of the road discounts. As usual, a discount is still money saved, but don't be tricked into thinking these are fleeting offers; many will reappear, or could potentially get better if you carefully keep an eye out for a <a href="http://dealcoupon.com/">coupon</a>.</p> <h3>First Chance for Sizable Sandal Sales Mid-Season</h3> <p>As per usual with seasonal <a href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories/?eref=wisebread">apparel items</a>, the longer you wait this summer to buy sandals, the better the price you're likely to get. However, mid to late July is when we start to see some notable discounts on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c280/Clothing-Accessories/Shoes/?eref=wisebread">footwear</a>. Look for flip flops for under $5 and sales on popular brands like <a href="http://dealnews.com/b2107/Steve-Madden/?eref=wisebread">Steve Madden</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/b485/Ralph-Lauren/?eref=wisebread">Polo Ralph Lauren</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/b1201/Crocs/?eref=wisebread">Crocs</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/b1713/Teva/?eref=wisebread">Teva</a>.</p> <h3>Mixed Messages on Sunglasses</h3> <p>Many people crave a new pair of <a href="http://dealnews.com/c454/Clothing-Accessories/Apparel-Accessories/Sunglasses/?eref=wisebread">sunglasses</a> in the middle of summer, but according to our deals last year, the best storewide sales (from retailers like <a href="http://dealnews.com/s3164/Sunglass-Hut/?eref=wisebread">Sunglass Hut</a> and <a href="http://dealnews.com/s1460/6-pm/?eref=wisebread">6pm</a>) popped up in September, November, and December. That said, as far as individual shades styles go, we fairly consistently see Editors' Choice deals from <a href="http://dealnews.com/b1070/Oakley/?eref=wisebread">Oakley</a> and <a href="http://dealnews.com/b486/Ray-Ban/?eref=wisebread">Ray-Ban</a> throughout the year. So, if you're not picky about the style and you just want a great price on one of these top two sunglasses brands, set up an <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread">email alert</a> and wait for an Editors' Choice deal to roll in at any time.</p> <h3>Grill Deals Slowly Sizzle</h3> <p>Post Independence Day sales at department and hardware stores tend to discount summer-friendly purchases, like <a href="http://dealnews.com/c529/Home-Garden/Garden/Grills-BBQs/?eref=wisebread">grills</a>. However, if you can wait until August, you will likely see a greater selection of appealingly priced options; there were 30% more deals in August of last year than there were for July. That said, June this year already saw a greater number of grill deals compared to last year, and hopefully that trend will continue throughout July and into August.</p> <h3>Wait Until September or October for Patio Sets</h3> <p>We saw a large spike in <a href="http://dealnews.com/c198/Home-Garden/Garden/?eref=wisebread">patio and garden items</a> in September of last year, but October brought the best markdowns. Several patio sets and gardening items from <a href="http://dealnews.com/s510/Sears/?eref=wisebread">Sears</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s313/Amazon/?eref=wisebread">Amazon</a>, and other merchants hit their lowest prices in October, as they were available for significantly less than we had seen them at over the summer. If you can wait to replace your existing patio set, cooler months will offer better deals on outdoor goods than July.</p> <h3>Digital SLRs Are Trending Hot</h3> <p>Typically, we see a huge spike in the number of Editors' Choice <a href="http://dealnews.com/c528/Electronics/Cameras/Digital-Cameras/Digital-SLR-Cameras?eref=wisebread">DSLR camera deals</a> during November and December, as well as new markdowns on old models once new cameras are released in the first quarter of the year. But lately we've been seeing a surprising number of all-time low deals on consumer DSLRs. For example, May saw more than twice the number of Editors' Choice deals, and June has continued to pump out a slightly above-average number for this time of year. <a href="http://dealnews.com/c168/Electronics/Cameras/Digital-Cameras/?eref=wisebread">Digital cameras</a> are a good category to keep an eye on for belated graduation gifts.</p> <h3>A Month to Tinker With Tool Deals</h3> <p>Does your arsenal of DIY tools need a few new items? Or do you need to tend to repairs while the weather is warm and relatively manageable &mdash; heat excluded? July happens to be one of the best months of the year for top-shelf <a href="http://dealnews.com/c197/Home-Garden/Tools-And-Hardware/?eref=wisebread">tool deals</a>, matched only by November and December. Look for sales on tools sets, accessories, and tool storage units.</p> <h3>Retina Display Takes the Spotlight, But the MacBook Air Brings the Deals</h3> <p>Throughout the month of June, no laptop received as much media attention as Apple's new <a href="http://dealnews.com/search.html?search=MacBook+Pro+Retina?eref=wisebread">MacBook Pro Retina</a>. And while we did see one deal shave $105 off the Retina's list price, chances are any deals we see in July will be modest. But fear not Apple fans, for July is bound to ring in an abundance of <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops/?eref=wisebread">laptop deals</a> on Apple's much-loved <a href="http://dealnews.com/c514/Computers/Apple-Computers/Mac-Book-Air/?eref=wisebread">MacBook Air</a>. We've already seen Sandy Bridge-based MacBook Airs hit new lows with prices starting at $740. So if you don't mind having a generation-old MacBook Air (which is still just one year old!), July is your month to buy.</p> <p>On the Windows front, <a href="http://dealnews.com/search.html?search=Ivy+Bridge?eref=wisebread">Ivy Bridge-based systems</a> will continue to see new lows as 15&quot; Ivy Bridge systems continue to flirt with the $600 mark (as they did in late June). So $600 is the price to beat if you want an Ivy Bridge Windows machine. Meanwhile, desktop replacements continue their plateau at $800, so any deals you see under that price will offer the most savings.</p> <h3>46&quot; HDTVs Are the Ones to Watch</h3> <p>HDTV prices have generally remained the same for the past few months and we predict we'll see little to no price differences in <a href="http://dealnews.com/c159/Electronics/TVs/?eref=wisebread">TV deals</a> throughout July. However, not all news is bleak. Last month we mentioned brand-name <a href="http://dealnews.com/c505/Electronics/TVs/LCD-TVs/46-LCD-TVs/?eref=wisebread">46&quot; HDTVs</a> hit new lows, and we expect those lows to remain through July. So if you're in the market for a new HDTV, we recommend looking at 46&quot; to 47&quot; brand-name models and to look for prices in the $500 range. Anything at or below $490 is an all-time low for this category.</p> <p>Set up an <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread">email alert</a> now to keep abreast of any and all of these best buys in July. And for more price trend information, check out the <a href="http://dealnews.com/pages/resources/consumer-research/?eref=wisebread">consumer shopping research page</a> at dealnews.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by <a href="http://dealnews.com">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Potect your wallet and spend your money wisely in July! Read through for the best and worst things to buy this month. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-july-2012">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-discount-shopping-days-of-the-year">7 Best Discount Shopping Days of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stampede-death-walmart-black-friday">How many human lives is a flat panel TV worth?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-the-best-deals-of-the-year-shop-labor-day-and-skip-black-friday">For the Best Deals of the Year, Shop Labor Day and Skip Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-june">The Best and Worst Things to Buy in June</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bbq grills black friday electronics sales Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:24:17 +0000 Dealnews 938262 at http://www.wisebread.com