electronics http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/937/all en-US 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://www.wisebread.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&#39;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&#39;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&#39;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&#39;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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-home-theater-projectors" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Home Theater Projectors" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide electronics home theater 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://www.wisebread.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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-led-monitors" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best LED Monitors" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guides electronics LED monitors 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://www.wisebread.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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-webcams" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Webcams" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> 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://www.wisebread.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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smartphones" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Smartphones" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/william-tran">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guides electronics 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://www.wisebread.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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-blu-ray-players" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Blu-ray Players" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/john-moffatt">John Moffatt</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> 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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-computer-keyboards" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Computer Keyboards" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> 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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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://www.wisebread.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><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-noise-canceling-headphones" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Noise Canceling Headphones" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/william-tran">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> 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://www.wisebread.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">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> 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://www.wisebread.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">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping bbq grills black friday electronics sales Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:24:17 +0000 Dealnews 938262 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best and Worst Things to Buy in June http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-june <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-june" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4131903993_9c32d66f9c_z.jpg" alt="kids in a pool" title="kids in a pool" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="154" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>June is the month with the longest daylight hours of the year, which for the deal-shopper means that you have even more time to shop! But before you let <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-ways-to-celebrate-father-s-day" title="Free Ways to Celebrate Father's Day">Father's Day</a> or the increasingly warm weather convince you to buy less-than-stellar deals, check out our latest buying guide. We searched through our extensive archives of sales, promotions, and coupons to sort the fact from fiction when it comes to getting the best deals in June. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" title="Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h3>Make Do With Last Year's Sandals</h3> <p>Much of your wardrobe can transcend a single season, but this is rarely the case with sandals. For most areas of the U.S., the summer months are the only time to let your toes breathe. And as such, you're unlikely to find any great discounts at the onset of the season. Although cheap <a href="http://dealnews.com/c280/Clothing-Accessories/Shoes?eref=wisebread" class="image_link" title="shoe deals">flip flops</a> and slip-ons are popular in promotional sales from the likes of Old Navy, you'll largely have to wait until at least mid- to late-July before seeing clearance-level deals on the informal footwear.</p> <h3>Cruises and Vacations to the Caribbean...During Hurricane Season</h3> <p>June is typically the beginning of the hurricane season in the Caribbean, which usually lasts through November. Because of the risk of tempestuous weather, prices on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c629/Travel-Entertainment/Cruises?eref=wisebread" title="cruise deals">cruises and vacations</a> to these regions are considerably less than during other seasons. We've already seen a plethora of above-average <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/Rough-Seas-for-the-Cruise-Industry-Drop-Prices-by-11-/554653.html?eref=wisebread" title="cruise price drops">deals on non-hurricane season cruises</a> this year due to the public relations disaster that was the cruise industry in the first few months of 2012, so it remains to be seen if &quot;hurricane&quot; packages will offer even steeper discounts. Either way, if you're willing to run the risk of a rainy tropical getaway, the Caribbean will certainly offer more bang for your buck than Europe, which has been seeing exorbitant prices as of late.</p> <h3>Book a Staycation Instead of Jumping the Pond</h3> <p>Speaking of <a href="http://dealnews.com/c206/Travel-Entertainment?eref=wisebread" title="travel deals">travel deals</a>, you might want to avoid booking a trip abroad, as the cost of flying is on the rise. According to <em>USA Today</em>, international airfare this summer will cost on average about <a title="summer airfare increase" href="http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/travel/story/2012-04-26/Airfares-up-for-summer-travel-likely-to-keep-climbing/54564890/1">20% more than it did in 2010</a>. This is essentially due to rising fuel costs. Moreover, many airlines are cutting down on the sheer volume of the flights they offer, creating greater demand for fewer seats.</p> <h3>Ladies Love Cool Lingerie (Deals)</h3> <p>It's usually this month that <a title="Victoria's Secret deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s747/Victorias-Secret?eref=wisebread">Victoria's Secret</a> unveils its famed Semi-Annual Sale, and last year we saw prices as low as $3 for panties and $12 for bras. Moreover, we saw excellent <a title="lingerie deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c488/Clothing-Accessories/Womens-Apparel/Intimates?eref=wisebread">lingerie deals</a> in June from aerie by American Eagle, <a title="Frederick's of Hollywood deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s714/Fredericks-of-Hollywood?eref=wisebread">Frederick's of Hollywood</a>, <a title="Macy's deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s288/macys?eref=wisebread">Macy's</a>, Soma Intimates, and Figleaves. That said, while summer deals entailed steep discounts last year, they paled in comparison to the October to December stretch, which saw more Editors' Choice offers from many of these same vendors.</p> <h3>Consider Putting off Tool Purchases Until July, or Later</h3> <p>You may feel compelled to buy dear old Dad a new tool set for <a title="Father's Day gifts" href="http://dealnews.com/fathers-day-gifts?eref=wisebread">Father's Day</a> later this month, but in fact, July (as well and November and December) offers the highest number of Editors' Choice <a title="tool deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c197/Home-Garden/Tools-And-Hardware?eref=wisebread">tool deals</a>. That means, if you want to pay close to the best (if not <em>the</em> best) price of the year, skip June and splurge in July. (But remember to at least get your Pops a card!)</p> <h3>Fire It Up! It's Almost Time to Buy a New Grill</h3> <p>Last year, we saw a slight uptick in Editors' Choice <a title="grill deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c529/Home-Garden/Garden/Grills-BBQs?eref=wisebread">grill deals</a> during the month of June, which means we will likely start seeing respectable cuts on grills in the coming weeks. However, as is the case with any seasonal item, you will absolutely start seeing incrementally steeper cuts on comparable models (if not the model of your choice itself) as the season progresses. So <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-bbq-grill" title="How to Buy a BBQ Grill">purchasing your grill</a> becomes a matter of deciding upon need; if you want a full season of use out of it, then June is the first month of the summer in which we see a notable decline in prices. Otherwise, wait for late-season sales instead.</p> <h3>Experience the Majesty of Our National Parks on Uncle Sam's Dime</h3> <p>While there are everyday ways to make a <a title="save money at national parks" href="http://dealnews.com/features/See-America-Right-and-Save-Money-While-Visiting-Our-National-Parks/545028.html?eref=wisebread">trip to a national park exceedingly affordable</a>, there are a handful of days each year in which more than 100 national parks offer free admittance. June 9 is one such occasion, as it celebrates Get Outdoors Day, an event that encourages &quot;<a title="National Outdoors Day" href="http://www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org/about/">healthy, active outdoor fun</a>.&quot; Notable natural wonders like Yosemite and Yellowstone will be <em>gratis</em> on this day.</p> <h3>Don't Expect Cheaper Cotton to Yield Better Prices</h3> <p>While the cotton industry is likely invigorated by reports that <a title="cotton prices decrease" href="http://dealnews.com/features/Cotton-Prices-Are-Down-Does-that-Mean-T-Shirts-Will-Cost-Less-Now-/577350.html?eref=wisebread">cotton prices are at a 2-year low</a>, consumers are unlikely to see a difference on price tags at the store. While fluctuations in food costs have a demonstrable effect on prices at the supermarket, apparel retailers have a larger profit margin to work with that allows them to absorb raw material cost increases. Many retailers thus have been absorbing the additional costs, while others adjusted the prices slightly but not enough to actually cover the total increased costs. Others still found workarounds, like using less of the material. Either way, dropping cotton prices will have little effect on the prices that consumers see in-store.</p> <h3>Keep an Eye Out for Refurbished or Used Tablets</h3> <p>Tablets continue to shine in the tech spotlight, and if you're looking to get in on the still-strong trend, consider shopping for a second-hand option. The majority of the top-shelf <a title="iPad deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c622/Computers/iPad-Tablet?eref=wisebread">iPad and tablet deals</a> we've seen recently have been on refurbished or used models. Last month saw Apple again cut prices on refurbished iPad 2 models, slashing its starting price to $319. Meanwhile, we saw all-time low prices on used and refurbished <a title="Motorola tablet deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c594/Computers/iPad-Tablet/Tablets/b604/Motorola?eref=wisebread">Motorola Xoom</a>, <a title="Samsung tablet deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c594/Computers/iPad-Tablet/Tablets/b28/Samsung?eref=wisebread">Samsung Galaxy Tab</a>, and <a title="BlackBerry tablet deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c622/Computers/iPad-Tablet/b1890/Black-Berry?eref=wisebread">BlackBerry PlayBook</a> models over just the past month. A word to the wise though, pay close attention to the warranty information for used and refurbished iPad and tablet deals; a 1-year warranty is ideal.</p> <h3>46&quot; HDTVs Hit New Lows</h3> <p>June isn't a big month for <a title="TV deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c159/Electronics/TVs?eref=wisebread">HDTV deals</a>, but if you're in need of a new set, we recommend looking at name-brand 46&quot; and 47&quot; LCD HDTVs. For the past two months, name-brand 46&quot; LCD HDTV deals have remained at an all-time low of $490. By comparison, they bottomed out at $598 and $549 during the months of November and December of 2011, respectively. (Those months are traditionally the best months for HDTV sales.) Look for models from Sharp or Toshiba priced at $490 or lower.</p> <h3>Ivy Bridge Debuts, Desktop Replacements Prices Continue to Drop</h3> <p>June has the potential to be a great month for bargain <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-laptop-computer" title="How to Buy a Laptop Computer">laptop shoppers</a>. On the one hand you have <a title="desktop replacement price drop" href="http://dealnews.com/features/dealnews-Price-Trends-Desktop-Replacements-Hit-All-Time-Lows/572709.html?eref=wisebread">Sandy Bridge Core i7 quad-core desktop replacements</a>, which have reached new price lows since the start of the year. We expect price tags on these laptops to drop even further, especially as we begin seeing new <a title="Ivy Bridge-based systems" href="http://dealnews.com/features/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-CPUs-Are-Here-But-Will-Sandy-Bridge-Deals-Offer-Better-Value-/569959.html?eref=wisebread">Ivy Bridge-based systems</a> enter the market.</p> <p>These Ivy Bridge laptops, which are packing Intel's latest CPUs, are pushing the price of Sandy Bridge systems even lower. Best of all, since their debut on April 30, 16&quot; <a title="Ivy Bridge price drop" href="http://dealnews.com/features/New-Ivy-Bridge-Laptops-Are-Falling-Fast-in-Price/578023.html?eref=wisebread">Ivy Bridge-based laptops have also dropped 31% in price</a> (falling from $1,010 to $689 in a span of weeks). These new systems are also boasting 8GB of RAM, dedicated 1GB video cards, 1TB hard drives, and in some instances built-in Blu-ray players. A 16&quot; system with the above specs went for $770 in late May, and we expect that price to repeat itself in June as manufacturers attempt to gain consumers' attention.</p> <p>Bottom line, if you're looking to purchase a <a title="laptop deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops?eref=wisebread">Windows laptop</a> that will last you the next few years, now's the perfect time. On the Sandy Bridge front, look for deals at $712 or below (that's been the average for 2012 so far). On the Ivy Bridge front you'll find plenty of deals, but $689 is the all-time low for a 16&quot; system as of late May.</p> <p>Ready to put this advice to use? Set up a customized <a title="dealnews email alert" href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread">email alert</a> to receive notification as soon as we see deals on the categories above.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a title="dealnews" 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"> Before you let Father&#039;s Day or the increasingly warm weather convince you to buy less-than-stellar deals, check out our latest buying guide for the best deals in June. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping affordable travel electronics Father's Day frugal summer trips sales Fri, 01 Jun 2012 10:36:10 +0000 Dealnews 932736 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best and Worst Things to Buy in April http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-april <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-april" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2967810431_c22eb32df8_z.jpg" alt="women on escalator" title="women on escalator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>April is here, and if you're stuck indoors waiting out showers that will bring May flowers, consider it a blessing: You'll have an excuse to devote more time to shopping around for deals! In an effort to guide you toward savvy purchases, we dug through the dealnews archives from years past to see what goods are, well, <a href="http://dealnews.com/editors-choice?eref=wisebread" title="dealnews Editors' Choice"><em>good</em> to buy in April</a>, and what you should hold off on. From early home improvement sales to aggressive tablet prices, here's what's in store this month for the smart shopper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" title="Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h3>Sail the Seas With Excellent Cruise Deals</h3> <p>Typically, April is a good month to book cruises. But we discovered last month that <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/Rough-Seas-for-the-Cruise-Industry-Drop-Prices-by-11-/554653.html?eref=wisebread" title="cruise price drops">cruise prices in general have been dropping</a> when compared to last year, likely due to the industry's tumultuous string of recent public disasters. In fact, when compared to similar cruise deals from this time last year, 2012's offers are as much as 11% less. And we have continued to see an increase in the sheer number of cruise deals as well, making it a good time (price-wise) to look into a vacation on the seas.</p> <h3>Keep an Eye on Spring Clothing Sales</h3> <p>The general rule of thumb is to wait about two months after a new line of apparel hits stores before you can cash in on sizable discounts. Many retailers began debuting their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe-for-spring" title="Frugal Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Spring">spring merchandise</a> in late January and February, so that places April at about the two-month mark for some. Look closely at the discounts, though. A spring <a href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories?eref=wisebread" title="clothing deals">clothing sale</a> that takes 30% to 40% off is still a mid-season promotion; you'll want a sale that takes at least 50% off or more, and if you can hold steady for a stacking coupon code, all the better. If you truly want the lowest prices &mdash; which of course comes with reduced selection &mdash; you'll likely want to wait until May.</p> <h3>Look to Non-Apple Tablets for Aggressive Deals</h3> <p>As most of the world expected, Apple announced its new iPad last month. What many didn't expect, however, was for Apple to then continue to manufacture and sell the <a href="http://dealnews.com/c568/Computers/iPad-Tablet/iPad?eref=wisebread" title="iPad deals">iPad 2 at a lower price</a>. This new price point from Apple &mdash; although just $100 lower &mdash; puts pressure on Apple competitors, especially since we've already seen deals that discount it to as low as $349. As we predicted, <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/The-Newly-Reduced-iPad-2-How-Low-Can-It-and-Competing-Tablets-Go-/556269.html?eref=wisebread" title="iPad 2 reduced price">non-Apple slate manufacturers will feel compelled to respond aggressively</a>, and as such we've already seen a new all-time low on the <a href="http://dealnews.com/b38106/Kindle?eref=wisebread" title="Kindle deals">Amazon Kindle Fire</a>. Could this be a sign of things to come from other tablets as well?</p> <h3>Get a Jump on Jewelry Deals for Mother's Day</h3> <p>If you're thinking about buying some baubles for Mother's Day, then start looking now. We still find and list <a href="http://dealnews.com/c227/Clothing-Accessories/Jewelry?eref=wisebread" title="jewelry deals">deals, coupons, and sales for jewelry</a> in May, but oftentimes we see slightly higher final prices on styles right before the holiday. This is especially true of online jewelry retailers.</p> <h3>Spring Home Improvement Sales Go National</h3> <p>For the past three years, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s958/Home-Depot?eref=wisebread" title="Home Depot coupons">Home Depot</a> has offered its &quot;Black Friday is Back&quot; spring sale, but this year, because of the mild winter weather, the store has not only started it early but &mdash; according to CNBC &mdash; the promotion has been <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/46878758" title="Home Depot Black Friday is Back">rolled out nationwide</a>, instead of as a staggered region-by-region schedule. Their spring sale began on March 29, whereas last year we listed it almost a week and a half later. While we wouldn't go so far as to say that the promotion is on par with the shopping holiday that shares its name, the Black Friday sale is a good opportunity to stock up on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c196/Home-Garden?eref=wisebread" title="home and garden deals">home improvement items</a> you'll inevitably need. And for once, the sales are available to everyone at the same time, ahead of schedule.</p> <h3>Hold Off on Office Furniture</h3> <p>Some sources praise April as the best month for <a href="http://dealnews.com/c184/Office-Supplies/Office-Furniture?eref=wisebread" title="office furniture deals">top office furniture deals</a>, but according to our archives, we've consistently seen either more or better-quality deals in both May and June. The latter, in particular, racks up more Editors' Choice caliber offers, meaning that the styles are at the lowest price point we've seen. Look to <a href="http://dealnews.com/s345/Office-Max?eref=wisebread" title="OfficeMax coupons">OfficeMax</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s424/Office-Depot?eref=wisebread" title="Office Depot coupons">Office Depot</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/s274/Staples?eref=wisebread" title="Staples coupons">Staples</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/s321/Walmart?eref=wisebread" title="Walmart coupons">Walmart</a> for these offers down the line.</p> <h3>Wait for It to Really Heat Up Before Buying a Grill</h3> <p>It's easy to start dreaming about backyard barbecues once the weather gets warmer, and although the promise of an upcoming season of grilling is enticing, don't jump the gun by purchasing a <a href="http://dealnews.com/c529/Home-Garden/Garden/Grills-BBQs?eref=wisebread" title="grill deals">new grill</a> just yet. Our deal archives suggest that June will see better-quality deals, while other sources promote post-Independence day sales as an excellent opportunity to get discounts on grills and the like.</p> <h3>Big Screen HDTVs Hold Steady, While 3D Trends Cheaper</h3> <p>Although April isn't a big month for <a href="http://dealnews.com/c159/Electronics/TVs?eref=wisebread" title="TV deals">TV deals</a>, we don't expect it to be a bad month either. Deals on brand-name 55&quot; TVs haven't changed since the holidays, coming in at exactly $800. Off-brand models on the other hand have actually dropped in price since December, and so far this year they're averaging $590 (which is 14% lower than the best price we saw in 2011). We expect this trend to continue in April, so if you're shopping for a 55&quot; TV, look for deals under $590 (for off-brand sets) and under $800 (for brand-name models). Likewise, name-brand 46&quot; LCD HDTVs were cheaper in February and March of 2012 than they were on Black Friday, with prices averaging $550. (The best deal in November was $598.)</p> <p>As far as 3D TVs are concerned, February's all-time low of $699 didn't repeat itself in March. But we do expect it to make a return before the summer, so keep a look out for deals on off-brand 55&quot; 3D TVs.</p> <h3>With Laptop Deals, Aim for Big Systems and Skinny Form Factors</h3> <p>Although February's stellar deal on a fully-equipped desktop replacement didn't make a re-appearance in March, average prices in 2012 are still at Black Friday levels. So if you're in need of a laptop, look for deals on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops?eref=wisebread" title="laptop deals">fully-loaded desktop replacements</a> (17&quot; or larger, with a minimum of 8GB RAM, a Core i7 CPU, and a 500GB hard drive) at or below $800.</p> <p>Last month we noticed an influx of deals on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops?eref=wisebread" title="laptop deals">ultrabooks</a> and we expect the same for April. In particular, look for deals on the ASUS Zenbook or the Acer Aspire S3 as those are the most discounted ultrabooks we've seen. Price-wise, the former has hit an all-time low of $849 whereas the S3 has reached a low of $749.</p> <p>Ready to put this information to use? Set up an <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread" title="dealnews email alerts">email alert</a> to know immediately when we list the items of your choice.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/The-Best-and-Worst-Things-to-Buy-in-April/562764.html">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From home-improvement supplies to vacations to aggressively priced tablets, discover the best and worst things to shop for this month. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping deals on spring clothes electronics finding deals Mother's day sales Tue, 03 Apr 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Dealnews 915106 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Deadly Energy Sinners: The Energy Hogs Hiding in Your Home http://www.wisebread.com/7-deadly-energy-sinners-the-energy-hogs-hiding-in-your-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-deadly-energy-sinners-the-energy-hogs-hiding-in-your-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5913845927_09e3e57209_z.jpg" alt="old TV" title="old TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A good number of Baby Boomers can recall conversations with their grandparents about a time before electricity, or when an &quot;icebox&quot; was literally a container that housed a block of ice that kept food inside cool. But my, how times have changed. We have gizmos and gadgets that didn't even exist a decade ago, and we consume energy at an alarming rate. Between 1949 and 2010, <a href="http://205.254.135.24/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/aer.pdf" title="Annual Energy Review 2010 (PDF)">domestic energy consumption has more than doubled to about 100 quadrillion BTUs</a> (PDF), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. During that same period, consumption of coal, petroleum, and natural gas have skyrocketed &mdash; yet energy use from renewable sources, such as the sun and wind, has remained surprisingly flat.</p> <p>Look around your own home, and you'll find power guzzlers in both likely and unlikely places. But by making some fairly painless changes, you can see big savings: in energy, cash, and yes, saving the planet by shrinking your carbon footprint. Here's a look at some of those power-hungry appliances, and what you can do to be more efficient and economical without backbreaking hassle. (See also: <a title="5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World in One Afternoon" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon">5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World in One Afternoon</a>)</p> <h3>Old Refrigerators</h3> <p>They sure don't build 'em like they used to, right? While older refrigerators may hold up better than their newer, more sleek-looking cousins, they also use up to three times more energy. Opting for a <a href="http://dealnews.com/c304/Home-Garden/Appliances?eref=wisebread" title="appliances deals">new EnergyStar-rated refrigerator</a> can save you significant cash in the long run. The <a href="http://www.searsoutlet.com/d/product_details.jsp?pid=43740" title="LG Electronics refrigerator">LG Electronics 25-Cu. Ft. French Door Refrigerator</a> is EnergyStar-certified and has a chic three French door design. Plus your savings don't stop there! First, you're eligible for EnergyStar tax credits for your purchase. And some electric utilities like <a href="https://www.comed.com/home-savings/rebates-incentives/pages/refrigerator-recycling.aspx" title="ComEd recycling">ComEd in Illinois will pick up your obsolete appliances</a> when you replace them &mdash; and give you cash to boot. Want to figure out your potential savings? The Environmental Protection Agency has this handy <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=refrig.calculator" title="savings calculator">refrigerator retirement savings calculator</a> where you can see how the savings add up.</p> <h3>Old Freezers</h3> <p>Every time frozen dinners go on sale, I wax nostalgic for the chest freezer my parents had at their house. But those <a href="http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/appliances/refrigerators.html" title="old freezers cost">older freezers cost about $120 a year to operate</a>, according to the California Energy Commission. Costs like that can easily wipe out any supermarket savings and can even put you in the hole. If your freezer's there for sentimental value, get rid of it &mdash; and consider replacing it with a more efficient EnergyStar model, or doing without one at all. Going the latter route will save you enough money in appliance and power costs that you can buy frozen dinners at full price and still come out ahead. (Of course, March being <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-march" title="The Best and Worst Things to Buy in March">National Frozen Foods Month</a>, you can stock up at a discount all the same.)</p> <h3>Clothes Dryers</h3> <p>While the whirring and chugging of your washer's spin cycle might suggest it uses lots of energy, the dryer is the real power hog of the pair. Figures from the U.S. Department of Energy show that <a href="http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/appliances/index.cfm/mytopic=10040" title="energy saver estimates">dryers consume between 1800 and 5000 watts of power</a>. So 200 hour-long drying cycles could run you as much as $85. Not only does investing in a clothesline and clothespins cost you mere pennies, but avoiding the dryer will also <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/How-to-Make-Your-Clothes-Last-Longer/554888.html?eref=wisebread" title="make clothes last longer">preserve the life of your clothes</a>, saving you money in other areas as well.</p> <h3>Space Heaters</h3> <p>Thank goodness we're getting out of winter, as <a href="http://dealnews.com/c610/Home-Garden/Appliances/Household-Items/Heaters?eref=wisebread" title="heater deals">space heaters</a> consume about as much power as a blow dryer (750 to 1500 watts), but stay on for much, <em>much</em> longer. One space heater might not consume a lot, but multiply that by three or four units, and you've got some real power guzzling going on. The obvious alternative &mdash; wearing thick sweaters or layers &mdash; really does work.</p> <h3>Televisions</h3> <p>It's common to use the TV as a white noise machine when we're not watching, but we might as well paper our walls with dollar bills. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates TV power consumption at between 110 and 170 watts, meaning that if you leave it on eight hours a day, you're consuming close to 1 kilowatt of energy. Over the course of a year that could add up to $30 per TV set you leave on. Just as you would with lights, <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/best-tv-deals.html?eref=wisebread" title="best TV deals">shut TVs off</a> when they're not in use. It's also wise to invest in a newer television set like the <a href="http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/TC-L42D30" title="VIERA deal">Panasonic VIERA 42&quot; 120Hz 1080p LED-Backlit Widescreen LCD Television</a>, which will only <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=most_efficient.me_tvs" title="most efficient TVs">cost you $10 per year to operate</a> (assuming it's on for five hours a day).</p> <h3>Personal Computers and Monitors</h3> <p>While many consumers now <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/best-laptop-deals.html?eref=wisebread" title="best laptop deals">favor laptops</a> for home and on-the-go use, it's not as if the tower computer with a separate monitor is a thing of the past. Taken together, a computer and its monitor eat up close to 300 watts of energy. Supposing you leave your computer on eight hours a day, you're now looking at more than $60 in energy usage over the course of a year. When you computer's not in use, power down. Put those extra savings toward some nifty <a href="http://dealnews.com/c124/Computers/Software?eref=wisebread" title="software deals">software</a> packages or a <a href="http://dealnews.com/c69/Computers/Peripherals?eref=wisebread" title="peripherals deals">wireless mouse</a>.</p> <h3>Swimming Pool Pumps</h3> <p>People who live in warmer climes might not think about their pool pumps, but the same device that circulates water also sucks wallets dry. Department of Energy statistics show that a <a href="http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13290" title="energy saver swimming pool pump">typical pool pump costs $240 a year to operate</a>. But in a study by the Center for Energy Conservation at Florida Atlantic University, pool owners saved as much as 75% when they used conservation measures such as downsizing their pump or running it less.</p> <p>When it comes to looking for power hogs around the house, you won't exactly have luck listening for a piggy squeal. But here's the next best thing &mdash; consider age. Simply put, old appliances, especially the large ones, don't run nearly as efficiently as newer ones from a power-consumption standpoint. Also, as a general rule, know that any appliance that has a huge power draw (such as a space heater) is going to sock your electric bill if you forget to power it off. Put these bits of wisdom to work, and chances are you'll save hundreds of dollars a year on your energy bills. Getting in the habit of shutting all your appliances and lights off when not in use is going to help that bottom line, too.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a title="dealnews" href="http://www.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"> You&#039;ll find power guzzlers in both likely and unlikely places around your home. But by making some fairly painless changes, you can see big savings. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living appliances cut energy costs electronics energy Tue, 13 Mar 2012 09:48:23 +0000 Dealnews 910996 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best and Worst Things to Buy in March http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-march <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-march" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1174282483_3a8886efeb_z.jpg" alt="black dog and basketball" title="black dog and basketball" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>March is here, and even though you may be planning to stay glued to the couch for all of March Madness, you'll also be doing a bit of spring shopping &mdash; especially if you're <a title="online shopping at work" href="http://dealnews.com/features/10-Reasons-Why-Its-OK-to-Shop-Online-at-Work/550039.html?eref=wisebread">fond of online retailers like us</a>! So we've mined the extensive dealnews archives for sales, coupons, and individual products from the past few years to guide you in your quest for the most savvy purchases this month. Here's what we found. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" title="Shopping Calendar">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h3>A Great Time for Winter Outdoors Gear</h3> <p>Last month, we mentioned what a great time it was to buy <a title="clothing deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories?eref=wisebread">winter apparel</a> because of the exceptionally mild season. This theme will continue into March. It also appears that the warmer winter has put a damper on sales at outdoor specialty shops as well &mdash; presumably effecting gear for cold weather activities in specific. As Leisure Trends puts it, &quot;outdoor retailers may need to <a title="discounts on winter gear" href="http://www.leisuretrends.com/ShowArticle.aspx?ID=834">plan for an early spring</a>,&quot; which means we may see stronger and earlier discounts on cold weather gear and accessories than usual. If you're looking to gear up for springtime activities though, keep in mind that traditionally, we've seen the highest number of top-shelf offers on outdoors gear in the months of May and June. In either case, look to stores like <a title="REI deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s549/REI?eref=wisebread">REI</a>, <a title="Altrec deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s624/Altrec?eref=wisebread">Altrec</a>, Backwoods, <a title="Backcountry deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s1389/Backcountry?eref=wisebread">Backcountry</a>, and <a title="EMS" href="http://www.ems.com/home/index.jsp">EMS</a> for sales.</p> <h3>Hold Off on Spring Apparel</h3> <p>It's common knowledge that the best time to buy <a title="clothing deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c202/Clothing-Accessories?eref=wisebread">current season apparel</a> is well after that season has begun. That's why cold weather apparel is such a hot buy right now. But how long should you wait to spring on short sleeves, shorts, and flirty dresses? A good rule of thumb is to wait at least two to three months in order to score the best discounts on seasonal apparel. In the meantime, if you simply must buy something, keep an eye out for a <a title="dealcoupon" href="http://dealcoupon.com/">coupon code</a> to at least get a small discount off full price.</p> <h3>Skip the Lingerie</h3> <p>You may think that immediately after the most romantic day of the year, you'll see massive <a title="lingerie deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c488/Clothing-Accessories/Womens-Apparel/Intimates?eref=wisebread">discounts on lingerie</a>. Although we do indeed see some price cuts, ladies would be better served by waiting until this summer to restock on their favorite styles. Around June is when <a title="Victoria's Secret deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s747/Victorias-Secret?eref=wisebread">Victoria's Secret</a> unveils its famed Semi-Annual Sale, and last year around that time we saw excellent markdowns from aerie by American Eagle, <a title="Frederick's of Hollywood deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s714/Fredericks-of-Hollywood?eref=wisebread">Frederick's of Hollywood</a>, <a title="Macy's deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s288/macys?eref=wisebread.com">Macy's</a>, <a title="Soma Intimates deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s3033/Soma-Intimates?eref=wisebread.com">Soma Intimates</a>, and <a title="Figleaves deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s1113/Figleaves?eref=wisebread">Figleaves</a>. That said, summer deals paled in comparison to the October to December stretch, which saw numerous Editors' Choice offers from many of these same vendors.</p> <h3>Treat Yourself With Chocolate</h3> <p>Again, after a holiday, it's only natural that themed sweets will go on sale. As such, Valentine's Day candy will continue to see discounts this month, if it hasn't already been all snatched up. But, since this holiday in particular puts emphasis on higher end sweets to impress your loved ones, you can especially look to stores like <a title="Godiva deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s951/Godiva?eref=wisebread">Godiva</a> for tasty ways to treat yourself on a budget.</p> <h3>Say Bon Voyage With Luggage</h3> <p>After a few months cooped up indoors, you may begin feeling the itch to get outside and take on an adventure of two. And if your travel gear is lacking, you're in luck! This time of year is a good time to buy new baggage. Last year, <a title="luggage deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c287/Clothing-Accessories/Luggage-Travel-Gear?eref=wisebread">luggage deals</a> began to pick up steam in March, with sales at <a title="Walmart deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s321/Walmart?eref=wisebread">Walmart</a>, <a title="eBags deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s291/eBags?eref=wisebread">eBags</a>, Macy's, and <a title="Sears deals" href="http://dealnews.com/s510/Sears?eref=wisebread">Sears</a>. Technically, we saw a larger spike in sales during the month of August last year, but there were still many notable offers in March.</p> <h3>Wait Until Black Friday to Upgrade Your Vacuum</h3> <p>While you may be in the mood to consider refreshing your living space with a little spring cleaning, March isn't the best time to go shopping for a new <a title="vacuum cleaner deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c612/Home-Garden/Appliances/Household-Items/Vacuum-Cleaners?eref=wisebread">vacuum cleaner</a>. Many resources will tell you that April is in fact the best time to shop for a vacuum, but actually, according to our deals, November is much stronger with numerous top deals available around the <a title="National Deal Week" href="http://dealnews.com/pages/nationaldealweek?eref=wisebread">Deal Week</a> time frame.</p> <h3>Stock Up on Frozen Foods</h3> <p>Were you aware that March is National Frozen Foods Month? No? Well, it is. And yes, this is largely a marketing ploy to draw attention to the frozen foods industry, but we could still very well see special promotions from different frozen food brands. So it may be time to go couponing! And if you come across a particularly hot deal, you can easily stock up on the long-lasting foodstuffs.</p> <h3>Get a Gym Membership When Temperatures Rise</h3> <p>During the month of March, you're stuck in limbo: It's after the wave of New Year's promos, and before the sales that try to entice you indoors when it's warm enough to exercise outside. Hold out just a little longer on getting a new membership, and you're more likely to encounter better promotions.</p> <h3>Make Way for the 2012 TVs</h3> <p>With the holidays and the Super Bowl now behind us, TV-buying season is officially over. March won't see the same head-turning price points we've been used to (we already saw some slight price upticks in February), but there is some good news at the end of the tunnel. <a title="Samsung prices leaked" href="http://hdguru.com/samsung-2012-hdtv-prices-leaked">HD Guru</a> reports that Samsung's 2012 CES TVs are slated to enter the market this month, which could mean some surprise discounts on older 2011 models.</p> <p>3D fans should also take note, last month we listed the first ever third-tier <a title="55 LCD TV deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c560/Electronics/TVs/LCD-TVs/55-LCD-TVs?eref=wisebread">55&quot; 3D LCD HDTV</a> courtesy of Sigmac. The $699 TV is to date the least-expensive 55&quot; 3D TV we've seen and could help pave the way for even lower-priced name-brand 3D TVs.</p> <h3>Keep Your Eye on Desktop Replacements and Ultrabooks</h3> <p>Last month we informed you of the stellar deals we've been seeing on fully equipped <a title="laptop deals" href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops?eref=wisebread">desktop replacements</a> (those with Core i7 CPUs and 8GB of RAM). Well, this month we're back with even better news. Last month we listed the least-expensive premium desktop replacement ever (an <a title="HP 17.5 notebook deal" href="http://dealnews.com/HP-dv7-tqe-Core-i7-Quad-2.2-GHz-17-Blu-ray-Laptop-for-800-free-shipping/555359.htm?eref=wisebread">HP Pavilion dv7t Quad-Edition Intel Core i7 Quad-Core 2.2GHz 17.3&quot; LED-Backlit Notebook</a>) for an astonishing $550 &mdash; the lowest we've seen for any top-of-the-line desktop replacement. The chances of seeing that deal again are slim, but the chances of seeing another great desktop replacement deal are very high. Look for deals at $800 or below.</p> <p>February also saw a small-but-impressive stream of deals on ultrabooks (we listed six in total) with deals on the ASUS Zenbook and Acer Aspire. Prices on the latter have finally reached the $749 mark, while the highly-coveted Zenbook hit an all-time low of $849.</p> <p>Ready to put this information to use? Set up an <a title="dealnews email alert" href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread">email alert</a> to know immediately when we list the items of your choice.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by <a href="http://dealnews.com/" title="dealnews">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Does &quot;in like a lion and out like a lamb&quot; apply to shopping? Discover the best and worst things to buy in March. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping electronics finding deals sales Wed, 07 Mar 2012 11:36:12 +0000 Dealnews 909758 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Things That Will Be Less Expensive in 2012 http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-that-will-be-less-expensive-in-2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-that-will-be-less-expensive-in-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6634503467_46497362ea_z.jpg" alt="2012" title="2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Does the sagging economy, national debt, and our previous list of the <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/11-Things-That-Will-Be-More-Expensive-in-2012/534358.html?eref=wisebread" title="11 things more expensive in 2012">11 things that will be more expensive in 2012</a> have ya feeling down? Well, here's something to look forward to &mdash; to help counteract some of that 2012 gloom, we've gathered 12 items we predict will cost <em>less</em> in the coming year. From TVs to laptops, cash-strapped shoppers should keep an eye on prices for these items; even wine might see notable discounts next year! So cheer up and read on for the good consumer news. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-discounts-on-schedule-the-best-days-to-shop" title="Deep Discounts on Schedule: The Best Days to Shop">Deep Discounts on Schedule: The Best Days to Shop</a>)</p> <h3>1. Apple iPad 2</h3> <p>The iPad 3 will not feature a significant price drop (if any at all), but one thing is guaranteed &mdash; Cupertino's forthcoming tablet will most certainly bring down the price of <a href="http://dealnews.com/c568/Computers/iPad-Tablet/iPad?eref=wisebread" title="iPad 2 deals">refurbished iPad 2s</a>. (As the iPad 2 did for its predecessor.) The iPad 3 may even cause resellers to offer more deals on <em>new</em> iPad 2 models as they try to move yesterday's tech to make room for Apple's latest and greatest.</p> <h3>2. Wine</h3> <p>Oenophiles, perk up! Wine connoisseur extraordinaire, Robert Parker, predicts the coming year to be the &quot;<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/20/uk-usa-wine-prices-idUSLNE7BJ01W20111220" title="falling wine prices">Age of the Buyer</a>&quot; &mdash; a prolonged period of time with stable or declining wine prices. With less disposable income, folks have left wines priced at $30 and above untouched on store shelves. So to move stock, retailers are expected to offer more <a href="http://dealnews.com/c216/Home-Garden/Food-Drink/Wines?eref=wisebread" title="wine deals">sales and even flash deals on wines</a>. Price is also affected by industry competition, as consumers note the quality-to-price ratio from wines originating in countries like Australia, Argentina, South Africa, and Chile. Aficionados should check out sites like <a href="http://www.lot18.com/" title="Lot 18">Lot 18</a> for their boozy offerings.</p> <h3>3. Desktop Replacement Laptops</h3> <p>Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs may be dominating the laptop landscape, but it's AMD's recession-friendly Fusion APUs that are driving prices down, particularly in the realm of desktop replacements. The star of the show is AMD's A Series APU, which promises better battery life, better video playback, and more affordable prices among <a href="http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops?eref=wisebread" title="laptop deals">desktop replacements</a>. Just last week we <a href="http://dealnews.com/Toshiba-Satellite-AMD-Dual-Core-1.9-GHz-17-LED-Laptop-for-350-free-shipping/530268.html?eref=wisebread" title="expired $350 deal">saw systems</a> plummet to $350, an unprecedented price low for any desktop replacement.</p> <h3>4. Android Tablets</h3> <p>The Kindle Fire has been Amazon's most <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1640193&amp;highlight=" title="Kindle purchase rate">successful product ever launched</a>. The release of this groundbreaking tablet has, a-hem, <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44712651/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/kindle-fire-may-force-android-tablet-makers-cut-prices" title="Kindle Fire may force cut prices">ignited a fire</a> among tablet manufacturers as they scramble to match Amazon's $199 price tag. For consumers, the competition translates to better <a href="http://dealnews.com/c594/Computers/iPad-Tablet/Tablets?eref=wisebread" title="tablet deals">tablet bargains</a> in 2012.</p> <h3>5. Solid State Drives (SSDs)</h3> <p>The floods that hit Thailand in 2011 created a shortage of hard drives and a subsequent spike in prices. <a href="http://dealnews.com/c625/Computers/Storage/SSDs?eref=wisebread" title="SSD deals">Solid state drives</a>, however, were not affected by the flooding and while their cost per gigabyte is still higher than that of a traditional hard drive, <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-57334159-64/micron-thailand-causing-demand-pick-up-for-ssds/" title=" greater demand for SSD drives">their demand</a> is now greater. In addition, dealnews data shows that <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/dealnews-Price-Trends-Is-Now-the-Right-Time-to-Invest-in-an-SSD-/495276.html?eref=wisebread" title="SSD price trend">SSD prices are steadily dropping</a>; in 2011 the price of a 64GB SSD drive dropped 33% while the price of a 128GB drive dropped 21% &mdash; a trend that we expect will continue in 2012 as more SSDs permeate the market in place of 2.5&quot; hard drives.</p> <h3>6. Car Rentals</h3> <p><a href="http://dealnews.com/features/11-Things-That-Will-Be-More-Expensive-in-2012/534358.html?eref=wisebread" title="things more expensive in 2012">Gas and airfare</a> may be going up in 2012, but car rental rates are expected to remain flat, as agencies across the country reportedly have excess cars available. More stock and subsequent competition is thus expected to keep rental rates low throughout the new year, and we anticipate to see an increase in the number of discounts on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c209/Travel-Entertainment/Car-Rentals?eref=wisebread" title="car rental deals">car and SUV rentals</a>.</p> <h3>7. eBook Readers</h3> <p>Each new generation of Amazon's Kindle reader has <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/The-Most-Discounted-eBook-Reader-Amazon-Kindle-vs-Barnes-Noble-NOOK/516814.html?eref=wisebread" title="discounted ebook readers">chipped away</a> at the eBook reader's price tag, sometimes by as much as 61%. Assuming there's a new Kindle in 2012 (rumor has it that an <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/03/e-ink-dashes-hopes-of-a-next-gen-display-in-2011-but-pencils-in/" title="e-Ink update">e-Ink update with video support</a> will debut), we expect to see continued price cuts on Amazon's popular eBook reader, sending <a href="http://dealnews.com/c551/Electronics/Ebook-Readers?eref=wisebread" title="ebook reader deals&gt;previous Kindle models&lt;/a&gt; into all-time low price territory.&lt;/p&gt;<br /> &lt;h3&gt;8. Apple MacBook Air Refurbs&lt;/h3&gt;<br /> &lt;p&gt;In 2011 the price of a refurbished 4th generation 11&quot; &lt;a href=" http:="" dealnews.com="" c514="" computers="" apple-computers="">MacBook Air</a> dropped from $849 to $699 (17%). Not bad for a notebook that's single-handedly changing the laptop industry. Apple is bound to refresh its <a href="http://store.apple.com/us" title="Apple store">MacBook Air</a> in 2012, and the new model (which would be the 6th generation) is guaranteed to drive refurb prices down even lower. Don't care for a refurb unit? In 2011 we also saw aggressive deals on new, current 5th generation MacBook Airs with prices dropping from $999 to $850 (14%).</p> <h3>9. Standalone GPS Units With Lifetime Maps</h3> <p>The smarter our phones get, the greater the number of gadgets they're capable of <a href="http://dealnews.com/features/The-One-Gadget-To-Rule-Them-All-5-Devices-that-Smartphones-Have-Replaced/476412.html?eref=wisebread" title="gadgets that smartphones replace">replacing</a>. And no gadget is as close to extinction as the GPS unit. So it comes as no surprise to see manufacturers slash prices on <a href="http://dealnews.com/c357/Home-Garden/Automotive/Automotive-GPSs?eref=wisebread" title="GPS deals">standalone GPS units</a> with lifetime / live maps. dealnews data shows that in 2011, units that were once fetching around $160 reached price-lows of just $70.</p> <h3>10. Media Streamers</h3> <p>We love <a href="http://dealnews.com/b1466/Roku?eref=wisebread" title="Roku deals">Roku</a>, but when Blu-ray players with built-in streaming start to cost less than the price of a Roku box, it's time for the latter to get aggressive. In order to remain relevant in 2012, media streamers (such as the Roku player and Boxee Box) must out-price Blu-ray players. We anticipate seeing more deals and lower prices on these electronics.</p> <h3>11. 3D HDTVs</h3> <p><a href="http://dealnews.com/c159/Electronics/TVs?eref=wisebread" title="TV deals">3D HDTVs</a> are a tough sell. Not only are they pricier than traditional CCFL-based LCDs and standalone LED-based sets, but they also require a bigger investment as you'll have to purchase 3D glasses, a 3D Blu-ray player, and 3D Blu-ray discs to get the most from your 3D TV. In 2011, we saw prices for 55&quot; 3D televisions drop 33% from $1,499 in January to $999 in December. The new year will bring an influx of new 3D TVs, which means vendors will try to combat <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/07/3dtv-sales-hollywood/" title="3D HDTV sales">lagging sales</a> with discounts on 2011 3D HDTV models.</p> <h3>12. Home Prices</h3> <p>Despite record-low mortgage interest rates, United States home prices are expected to limp their way into the coming year. In 2011, average <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-27/home-prices-in-u-s-cities-decline-more-than-forecast-case-shiller-says.html" title="falling home prices">home prices across the country</a> were down 3.4% (compared to the same period of August to October, 2010). And with unemployment expected to remain high, 2012 is looking like it will remain a buyer's market.</p> <p>Excited for these less-expensive items next year? Start preparing by setting up a dealnews <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread" title="dealnews email alert">email alert</a> now, so you'll receive a message as soon as we see a discount on the category or specific product of your choice. While we can't help you find a better price on a home, we can certainly point you toward cheaper electronics and other online goods.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a href="http://dealnews.com/" title="dealnews"><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"> From electronics to wine to even rental cars, savings-minded shoppers should keep an eye on prices for these items in 2012. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping car rental dealnews electronics home prices wine Mon, 16 Jan 2012 10:48:17 +0000 Dealnews 863117 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best and Worst Things to Buy in January http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-january <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-january" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girls_in_winter_coats_0.jpg" alt="Girls in winter coats" title="Girls in winter coats" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After all that shopping you likely did in December for the holidays, you may be looking forward to a month without having to whip out your credit card. But January is an excellent month to bag deals on select items, like <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913094">winter apparel</a> or a <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913115">relaxing vacation package</a>. So before you resign yourself to steering clear of stores all together this month, check out our list of the best and worst things to buy in January, which we compiled after poring over the extensive dealnews archives of sales, coupons, and individual products from years past. To the list! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-discounts-on-schedule-the-best-days-to-shop">The Best Days to&nbsp;Shop</a>)</p> <h3>Spring for Winter Apparel</h3> <p>Normally, it can be hard to hold out if you're actually lacking the appropriate apparel for the weather, but we've had such an unseasonably warm winter so far this year that you might only now be feeling the strain of waiting to buy new sweaters, coats, and the like. Many after-Christmas sales focused on <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913094">winter apparel discounts</a>, but many of those retailers will offer stronger sales and bigger coupons in January. Expect sales that take up to 80% off merchandise, and look for stacking coupons that slash up to an extra 50% off. Among the stronger sales we saw in January last year: a 50% off printable coupon from The North Face outlet stores, then Editors' Choice-caliber discounts from <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913097">French Connection</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913098">Express</a> (which progressively offered deeper discounts throughout the month), <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913099">Levi's</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913100">J.Crew</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913101">Aeropostale</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913102">Banana Republic</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913103">Barneys New York</a>.</p> <h3>Catch Electronics Clearance Sales</h3> <p>The end of January is when we start to see another wave of <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913104">major discounts on electronics</a>, including the higher-end items that were largely excluded from the Black Friday mayhem. As new HDTVs, home theater systems, and more are unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (<a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913105">CES</a>) mid-month, retailers will begin to put old stock on clearance in an attempt to make room for the incoming stock. Keep in mind though, that while we'll begin to see sales in January, discounts will also spill heavily into February.</p> <h3>Another Month for Furniture</h3> <p>While November sees the highest number of <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913106">furniture deals</a> of the year, January is a close second. Several manufacturers will release new styles in February, and retailers will begin clearing out old, bulky inventory. Last year, we saw such deals from <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913107">Sears</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913108">Pottery Barn</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913109">Home Depot</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913110">Amazon</a>.</p> <h3>Don't Buy the iPad 2</h3> <p>Now is probably a <em>terrible</em> time to buy an <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913111">iPad 2</a>, as Apple is rumored to be announcing the iPad 3 in <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913112">late February</a>. Last time the iPad was refreshed, we immediately saw discounts on the refurbished original iPad sold directly from <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913113">Apple</a>. Moreover, we saw a large number of resellers discount the tablet this holiday season, so expect more iPad 2 bargains once the next generation is made official.</p> <h3>Resolve to Buy Discounted Fitness Equipment</h3> <p>A popular New Year's resolution is to get in shape, and both gyms and <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913114">fitness gear</a> manufacturers aim to lure shoppers into using their products or services to accomplish this goal. As a result, we saw several special coupons and sales online in both January and February for equipment and training DVDs. We also saw another spike in top-shelf fitness deals again over the summer, likely another time when the seasonality spurs vows to lose weight.</p> <h3>Vacations With Quick Turnaround</h3> <p>Although <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913115">airfare</a> is likely to <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913116">increase in price</a> next year, due to carriers cutting back on routes and thus increasing demand for a smaller number of seats, this time of year is in fact a good time to get a deal on a vacation package &mdash; if you're willing to jet off sometime soon. Last January saw the highest number of Editors' Choice packages of any month, which means several fight and hotel combo deals where at their lowest price of the year. Top offers last year ran the gamut from south of the border locales (Cancun, Dominican Republic, Buenos Aires) to places further abroad (Egypt, Europe, and Australia). Just note that many of these prices will only be valid for trips through March and early April.</p> <h3>Stop at Travel Gear</h3> <p>It may be a good time to book a vacation, but don't think about shopping around for a new suitcase. Deals on <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913117">luggage</a> and other travel gear didn't pick up last year until around March, and they really came out in earnest in August. Make do with your old carryon, and hold out until at least March to see a better chance of getting a top-notch discount.</p> <h3>Hold Out for Bedding and Linens</h3> <p>Numerous stores will offer a &quot;White Sale&quot; in January, and we saw a slight uptick in the number of deals offered this time last year. However, the volume of discounts in June was actually much better. If you can't wait until spring to replace your linens, then look for bedding-specific sales from the likes of Sears, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913118">The W Store</a>, Designer Living, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913119">Walmart</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913120">SmartBargains</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913121">Overstock</a>, and <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913122">West Elm</a>.</p> <h3>Gear Up Later for the Outdoors</h3> <p>Although it might seem like retailers would need incentive like discounts to move <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913123">outdoors gear</a> in the middle of winter, items like hiking apparel and equipment aren't at their best prices of the year in January. According to our archives, we saw the highest number of top-shelf offers on outdoors gear in the months of May and June, not January. Since spring is generally when people begin to feel compelled to stretch their legs more and get outside, this seems like ideal timing anyway.</p> <h3>Expect New Price Points for Certain Laptops</h3> <p>Our archives indicate that January isn't the best month to purchase a <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913125">new laptop</a>, either. Those bargain-bin prices that tempted us throughout November and December are for the most part gone. But this year we're noticing a new trend: dual-core <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913125">desktop replacements</a> (those powered by a Pentium processor or AMD A series APU) are hitting rock-bottom never-before-seen prices. Since November, we've seen two Toshiba systems, a Dell, and an HP system plummet to $350, $350, and $300, respectively. All four deals were Editors' choice picks, and we wouldn't be surprised to spot another 17&quot; system at this price point again in January. To maximize your money, opt for a system with a Sandy Bridge Pentium processor or AMD A Series APU (instead of the Pentium P6200, which uses Intel's older Arrendale architecture).</p> <h3>High-End Scores in HDTVs</h3> <p>January typically doesn't include the variety of eye-bulging price lows we see during the Black Friday weekend. However, what you will find in January are deals on <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913126">name-brand HDTVs</a> from the likes of Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic. In the two months following November, we've seen the lowest prices all year on these sets, meaning the time is now to invest in a new, premium HDTV. If you want the latest tech, 55&quot; 3D TVs were 3% cheaper in January of 2011 than they were in November and December of 2010; they dropped from $1,550 to a new low of $1,499 in January.</p> <h3>Last, But Not Least: Christmas Treats</h3> <p>Who cares if it has a Santa Claus on the tin? Heavily discounted goodies abound this month from <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913127">Starbucks</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913128">Cheryl's</a>, Walmart, <a href="http://dealnews.com/lw/artclick.html?2,535781,1913129">Godiva</a>, and more. Start 2012 with something sweet, even if it temporarily interferes with your New Year's resolution to get in shape.</p> <p><em>This post is by <a title="Dealnews" 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"> December leaves many of us shopped out, but that also means that January has some great deals. Find out what to buy — and what to avoid. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping after holiday sales electronics winter clothes Tue, 03 Jan 2012 11:24:19 +0000 Dealnews 852969 at http://www.wisebread.com