In the past, it wasn't very Apple-like for the Cupertino company to introduce cheaper models to its fleet of existing iDevices. But ever since March 2012, when the company kept the iPad 2 in rotation at a lower price point, it has seemed as if we're witnessing a shift in Apple's marketing strategy. In fact, just last week Apple announced a smaller 16GB version of its 5th-generation iPod touch priced at $229.
At $70 less than the 32GB model, the latest iteration also comes with some tradeoffs. While Apple did away with the much beloved 5MB back camera, this could be a smart move by the manufacturer, who hopes to grab first-time device users with a low price and hook them as future buyers. However, as many dealnews readers know, it may be smart to hold off on this Apple device; if history has taught us anything, it's that that $229 price tag could drop even further.
An iPod touch Priced to Sell ... with Some Exclusions
First off, for $70 less you should know what else Apple nixed from the iPod touch's features. Not only is there no 5MB rear-facing camera (which is found on the 32GB and 64GB models), but the photographer-friendly Loop hand strap device has been removed from the touch's design as well. Gone too are custom colors — the new 16GB model comes only in black and white.
Yet for $229, you still get an iPod touch with a front-facing Facetime HD camera, 4" retina display (something that was cut from the iPad mini to make it a cheaper alternative to the main tablet line), A5 chip, and Siri. Apple also reduced the new touch's weight slightly, making it 0.06 oz. lighter than other 5th-gen iPod touches. ( Continue… )
Many of us never lost our love for the two-wheeled bicycle adventures we first had as kids, and many folks have adopted biking as their major means of travel. If you have a yearning to pedal on in adulthood, you might start by buying a new bike that takes advantage of modern equipment which will allow you to go further and faster than the rusty beater buried somewhere in your garage.
There are two general categories of bicycles: the road bike, which is meant to be ridden on paved roads, and the mountain bike, which is designed for trails. A good road bike is the proper vehicle for commuting, touring, exercising, and racing. Road bikes come in several flavors, too: urban/commuting, touring, sport/racing/triathlon, and recumbent. Below, we've detailed the types and included some current bike deals to get you started.
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How to Buy a Road Bike: The Basics
Handlebars on a road bike come in a couple of styles. Dropped handlebars are curved below the middle, and straight towards the ends. Curved handlebars allow a rider to crouch in a more aerodynamic position, which is important when riding into the wind or attempting to maximize speed by cutting down on wind drag. However, straight handlebars are more common on commuting/urban bikes because they allow for a more comfortable upright position.
Road bikes typically come with narrower tires and lighter wheels than mountain bikes, as this cuts down on the friction with the road and makes travel easier. A racing bike can have tires as narrow as 20mm! Commuters usually choose a wider tire, however, because it offers greater puncture resistance and more cushioning, which translates into a smoother ride. ( Continue… )
A cheap television is often cheap in more ways than one, since TVs that consume less power can generate smaller electric bills over time. In fact, there are a number of variables that determine how energy efficiency impacts one's bottom line. To help consumers make sense of it all, the Enervee Blog put together a 2-page chart that lists the best-selling TVs on Amazon and the calculated cost of operating one based on number of years you have it and how many hours a day it's powered on. As it turns out though, buying one of the most energy efficient TVs doesn't necessarily mean huge savings on your electricity bills.
Technology and Size Impact HDTV Costs and Savings
The chart raises a number of questions, though. In an age when screen size is everything, how does one begin to compare the smaller televisions of a generation ago (which used cathode ray tube technology) to today's super-huge LED screens? As it turns out, while new HDTVs may be bigger, their power consumption remains smaller, says Enervee CEO Matthias Kurwig.
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"There is still a big opportunity to save a lot of energy by replacing older, less efficient TVs with newer models," Kurwig said. "For example, on average, a 65" LED TV today uses half the power compared to a 35" CRT TV from 10 years ago."
Let's next consider the question of whether buying an HDTV because of an anticipated energy savings justifies a higher price tag. Looking at this variable alone, we came to understand that superior energy efficiency, while making the cost of operating an HDTV more attractive, isn't necessarily a force behind price points. ( Continue… )
The outdoor cookout season is just about here; we can almost taste the flame-broiledness! But, if the warm spring has you drooling to buy a new grill, you may want to hold off just a bit longer as the best grill deals begin in June, and really start smoking in July.
Ideally though you should start doing your research now, so when the hottest grill deals do start rolling in, you'll be ready to pounce. To help you pick the perfect grill for your outdoor cooking needs, we'll explore the charcoal vs. gas grill debate, look at the cost of both, and weigh a number of other grilling variables.
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There's little doubt that a charcoal grill — which can be as simple as a cooking grate and a receptacle to hold the bricks — is an inexpensive outdoor grill. Of course, a high-end charcoal grill can cost upwards of $400, while the cheapest gas grills generally start at $100. But for the sake of comparison, we'll stick to typical, basic models for each; the timeless Weber 22.5" One-Touch Silver Charcoal Kettle Grill will cost you $99.99 (with free shipping, a low by $12) while the basic Char-Broil 48,000-BTU 4-Burner Gas Grill is instead $158 (with free shipping, a low by $42). The Char-Broil arguably offers a more advanced setup, but it is fairly standard for a gas grill nonetheless. ( Continue… )
If Amazon has its way, it won't just be the online retailer you use for everything from MP3s to small kitchen appliances; it will also be the producer of your new favorite TV show.
Earlier this year, Amazon had a pretty unique idea – produce TV pilots and let the viewers decide which ones would become the site's first original programming. Shows included Onion News Empire, a series that took a supposed "behind-the-scenes" look at the Onion News Network, Zombieland, a series based on the movie, and the kid's show Tumbleaf. Amazon streamed 14 pilots free, which proved to be a popular offer as thousands of people tuned in to review the pilots. According to Amazon, these TV pilots "comprised 8 of the 10 most streamed TV episodes on Amazon Instant Video" during that weekend.
And the Winners Are ...
Based on user ratings, Amazon has given the green light to five original series: three children's programs and two adult programs – Alpha House and Betas.
Alpha House, starring John Goodman, is a political comedy about four quirky U.S. senators who end up renting a house together in Washington D.C. The series was produced by Elliot Webb and Jonathan Alter and directed by Adam Bernstein. It received an average of four stars out of five from nearly 3,000 reviews. The Alpha House pilot is available free on Amazon. ( Continue… )
Microsoft's new Xbox will radically change your living room. Officially called the Xbox One, the new console comes with a built-in Blu-ray drive, extensive cloud capabilities, and the ability to pipe in live TV direct from cable providers and the Internet. In all, the new device is looking more like a premium home theater component than a gaming machine. So is the Xbox One the new must-have console or will its do-it-all personality have hardcore gamers flocking to the PS4?
Microsoft Wants Control of Your Living Room
First the good news. Previous rumors that the next-gen Xbox would require an always-on Internet connection and would stomp out the used games market were pretty much debunked at Tuesday's unveiling in Redmond. While it's true that the Xbox One will greatly benefit from an always-on connection (since many of the device's new features are cloud-based), playing games and watching Blu-ray movies don't necessarily require an Internet connection. Likewise, the rumor stating that gamers would not be able to trade-in and resell games was also squashed: Microsoft said there would be a market for trading in and playing used games, though the complete details of reselling used games weren't completely revealed. ( Continue… )
Unless I leave my wallet at home, I can never make a trip to Costco without spending $100. It's simply not possible. I may go there with a shopping list and be determined to stick to it, but every time I leave with more goods than I expected to buy.
What pull does Costco have over my wallet and how do wholesale warehouse clubs get shoppers to spend more than they've planned to? We uncovered a few factors that make up the allure of wholesale pricing — make yourself aware of them, and maybe you'll avoid buying more than you need.
Alluring Low Prices Add Up
People shop in bulk to save money, but low prices aren't the only way wholesale or warehouse stores entice shoppers to spend. Costco makes most of its money from annual membership fees, which help it maintain its low prices. Those low prices in turn make customers feel like they're getting a good deal upon just walking in the door; but lots of low prices add up and customers end up buying just a little bit more than they immediately need, says psychotherapist Judy Belmont. "It's unbelievable how low some of those prices are," Belmont says. "So people do end up spending a lot more."
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Shop at Your Own Pace
It probably hasn't occurred to many shoppers that there's no music playing in the background at many wholesale clubs. "They want you in that store forever," behavioral and marketing psychologist Elliott Jaffa says. There's no fast music to make you shop faster or slow music to encourage you to meander through the store." It's as if time becomes suspended in the endless aisles. ( Continue… )
May is National Moving Month! But despite the inherent excitement in setting up shop in a new, more suitable living space, 40% of Americans would rather go to the dentist than move, while 34% would rather do their own taxes.
It's no surprise we hate moving so much. It's not only a hassle but can be an extremely expensive endeavor: of people who paid professional movers more than their original quote, 57% paid as much as an additional $175 to $1,000. And on top of that, nearly 71% of people tip their movers, according to an Apartment Guide survey, which only adds to the total expense.
While we can't help you alleviate the burden of uprooting your possessions and starting anew somewhere else, there are some ways to lessen the financial strain of hiring movers. From ideal scheduling to scoring free materials, here are some ways to cut your moving costs.
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Save 20% by Moving in the Off-Season at Off-Times
The actual date in which you move plays a big factor in how much you'll pay. "A move on the last day of June will likely be 15% to 20% higher than a move on the last day of March," explains a representative from Unpakt. This holds true for any moves throughout the summer until early September. The price trend then shifts back to the lower price points in October through early May. ( Continue… )
In its fourth quarter earnings report, Amazon reported a net sales increase of 27%, raising its sales revenue to $61.09 billion. The retail giant's operational costs also went down by 22% to $676 million, but Amazon ended its year in the red with a net loss of $39 million, compared to its net income of $631 million in 2011.
The company's lack of profits in 2012 are mostly a result of Amazon's hefty investments and overall thin profit margins. And while no expert blames customers for not buying enough, it very well may be Amazon shoppers who will pay the price to make up for that revenue gap.
Consumers Could Be Paying for Amazon's Lack of Profits
These costly investments include developing 20 new fulfillment centers (making for a total of 89) and hiring 50,000 temporary workers during the holidays. Additionally, the Kindle and Amazon's video service are not very lucrative for the retail giant. According to Forbes, Amazon has been subsidizing the cost of the Kindle Fire in "order to gain a foothold in the market for tablets." Amazon also invested more in its video services last year: the company added 19 million pieces of digital media in 2011, all at no small price tag. ( Continue… )
We're sure all of our readers love and appreciate their moms, but we'd also bet that a good number of you still haven't bought her anything yet for Mother's Day — which is now just four days away. While that sort of procrastination can often times lead to overpaying ("I don't care what it costs, I just need something!"), there are still plenty of deals to be had for last-minute stragglers.
So instead of hastily buying the first overpriced trinket you see, or comically assembling something "homemade" when you haven't so much as held a glue stick since grade school, take a look at these Mother's Day deals that are still available.
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Go Fresh with Flowers
It's true that you're probably not going to find the best deals on flowers the week before Mother's Day, but there are at least a few promotions floating around that can save you a couple bucks or get you a little something extra for your money. Plus, flowers are an extremely easy last minute option. Currently you can snag a ProFlowers bouquet with chocolates and a vase for $39.99 (a low by $20, May 12 delivery adds $14.99), while 1-800-Flowers takes up to 40% off select items and an extra 25% off via coupon code "VME8" (when you checkout with V.me by Visa). You can purchase a credit for a florist, like this $40 FTD credit for $20, but keep in mind that they frequently won't stack with other promotions that the site is running, especially coupon codes. ( Continue… )