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The best gaming deals you can get for Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 02:10 PM

When you’re a gamer, you’ve always got an eye out for good deals on your favorite titles. For hardware and accessories it’s a bit trickier though — they don’t go on sale as often, and it’s hard to tell what will serve your needs best. However, we’ve found a few intriguing picks worth checking out this Black Friday, either because you’re in the market to upgrade your battle station, or you just want to try something new but not spend a lot of money while doing so.

Razer Huntsman Mini

Razer Huntsman Mini in white
Engadget / Kris Naudus

60 percent keyboards are all the rage now, and the Huntsman Mini is one of the best. That’s all thanks to features like its super quick opto-mechanical keys, braided USB-C cord and brilliant RGB lighting. It’s great for people who don’t have a lot of space at their workstation, as well as anyone else who’d like to slim down their gaming space. Right now you can add this to your desk for only $80, so it won’t take up a lot of your space or money.

Buy Razer Huntsman Mini at Amazon - $80Buy Razer Huntsman Mini at GameStop - $80

Corsair HS60 Haptic

Corsair's HS60 Haptic in arctic camo
Engadget / Kris Naudus

I wasn’t entirely sold on haptics at first, but the HS60 won me over. The vibration actually ended up being a big boon during the stress of the last year, and the large, comfortable cups meant I never needed to take it off. The only real drawback was that this is a wired set of cans — but for $90 it’s still a steal for a high-quality gaming headset.

Buy Corsair HS60 Haptic at Amazon - $90

Elgato Streamdeck

Elgato Stream Deck for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

If you or someone who know wants to break into the game-streaming world, Elgato's Streamdeck is one of those gadgets that can make it much easier to do so. It's a small desktop controller with 15 LCD keys that you can customize to manage programs like OBS, Twitch and others. It makes multitasking while on stream much easier and it'll make your entire setup feel more professional, too. The Streamdeck is on sale right now for $100, or $50 off its normal price.

Buy Streamdeck at Amazon - $100

Razer Wolverine Ultimate

Razer Wolverine Ultimate
Razer

The controller that comes with your Xbox is pretty good, but sometimes you might need a little more features from your gamepad. The Wolverine Ultimate may be wired, but it also has interchangeable thumbtacks and d-pads, so you can actually tweak the controller’s layout according to the games you play and your own personal preferences. If you’re serious about your gaming it’s a good investment, made even easier by a price drop to $100.

Buy Razer Wolverine Ultimate at Amazon - $100Buy Razer Wolverine Ultimate at GameStop - $100

Razer Kishi

Razer Kishi in black on table
Engadget / Nick Summers

Touchscreens are fine for casual games, but when you’re tackling something a little more hardcore like Fortnite the Kishi is just the thing you need. It adds d-pads and shoulder buttons to your gaming experience, and folds up nicely when not in use. Since it connects to your device directly via Lightning port or USB-C and not via Bluetooth you don’t have to worry about keeping it charged, though you do need to make sure you buy the right one for your device. Right now it’s an affordable $45, a 44 percent discount, while a bunch of other Razer peripherals are on sale, too.

Buy Razer Kishi at Amazon - $45

Oculus Quest 2 + $50 gift card

Oculus Quest 2 in white, played by Devindra Hardawar
Engadget / Devindra Hardawar

The high price of many headsets plus the need for a computer that can run the programs has kept VR out of a lot of people’s reach. The all-in-one Oculus Quest 2 only needs a phone to set up an account with, and can give you plenty of excellent VR experiences for only $299. This week it becomes a whole lot more tempting with the addition of a $50 gift card from Amazon, Best Buy and Target, which can be used toward any product you want, though we’d recommend the Oculus Link cable so you can connect your headset to a computer.

Buy Oculus Quest 2 at Amazon - $299Buy Oculus Quest 2 at Best Buy - $299Buy Oculus Quest 2 at Target - $299

Google Stadia

Google Stadia with phone
Engadget / Jessica Conditt

Google’s Stadia service has seen a lot of upsand downs since its launch, but it still has a lot of promise. Right now you can grab yourself a Stadia Premiere Edition for only $22 over at the Google Store. The first month of the service is free so it’s not a lot of cash to drop to try it out, and even if you decide it’s not your cup of tea you’re still the proud owner of a Chromecast Ultra (normally $20 on its own), as well as a comfortable gamepad that can be used for PC games as well.

Buy Stadia Premiere Edition at Google - $22

PlayStation Plus

PlayStation Plus
Engadget / Sony

If you like to play online multiplayer on your PS4 or PS5, a PlayStation Plus is non-negotiable, but even if you’d rather go solo a subscription can be a big bonus. You get cloud backup for your saves, discounts on games from the PlayStation store, built-in game assistance for select PS5 games. But the best part of all has to be the roster of free games doled out monthly — November has Knockout City, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning and First Class Trouble, while previous months have seen AAA titles like Final Fantasy VII Remake and Mortal Kombat X. Usually a yearly subscription is $60, but right now you can sign up (or extend an existing plan) for only $40.

Buy PlayStation Plus (1 year) at Amazon - $40

Nintendo Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Nintendo

Toys that blend the real and virtual worlds are a dime a dozen lately, but this take on the legendary Mario Kart series is one that even adults can enjoy. You can build your own courses at home, and race against virtual opponents on the Switch. The normally high price point of $100 for a single cart has kept this out of a lot of gamers’ hands, but right now it’s a much friendlier $60 — so all you need to worry about having room for building your dream track.

Buy Home Circuit at Best Buy - $60Buy Home Circuit at Target - $60

Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure

Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure
Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

If you want to feel a bit better about the amount of time you spend gaming, consider adding the Ring Fit Adventure to your repertoire. The game has you exercising in order to progress through the story while the Switch's Joy-Cons, attached to the provided leg straps and ring, track your movements. You might be surprised by how quickly you break a sweat while fighting fantasy creatures and exploring the game's world. The ring Fit Adventure sold out numerous times over the past year or so — likely thanks to many trying to make working out at home more fun — and it's an even better buy at this $54 sale price.

Buy Ring Fit Adventure at Amazon - $54

Expired

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

The Razer Blade is one of our favorite gaming laptops thanks to its slick design, array of customization options and strong performance. Today only, you can grab the 2020 Razer Blade 15 Advanced for $1,400, or $1,200 off its normal price. This model has a Core i7 processor, RTX 2070 Super Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a 1080p 300Hz display.

8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+

8Bitdo has a reputation for making comfortable, affordable game controllers, and we thought the Sn30 Pro+ was its best yet for the Nintendo Switch when it first came out. The wireless accessory has a design based on the iconic SNES controller with a plethora of buttons and handles that rival the comfort provided by Nintendo's own Switch Pro controller. On top of that, it comes with a removable battery pack and it supports AA batteries as well. Today only, you can pick up the Sn30 Pro+ for only $40, or 20 percent off its normal price and a new record-low.

Blue Yeti microphone

Having a good microphone is essential if you're going to live stream, and Blue's Yeti is one of the best values out there. It's a USB mic, so you can simply plug it into your setup and start using it. It also has a special setting that's ideal for streaming. The mic's on sale for $90, or only a couple dollars shy of its all-time low, and the Blue Yeti Nano is also on sale for $80.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Anime film ‘Belle’ highlights when parasocial relationships aren’t enough (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 02:00 PM

For the past few decades it’s been de rigueur for science fiction stories to be set in virtual worlds, from the early neon-lined stylings of Tron to the hedonistic pop cultural temple of Ready Player One. The stories once treated these places like a fantasy world on par with Middle Earth or Hyrule, but as we’ve edged closer to them existing in reality they’ve gotten a lot more humdrum, maybe even ordinary. With this shift we’ve seen the real and virtual worlds increasingly collide, and it’s that interconnection between the two that forms the core of the new anime film Belle, arriving in US theaters in January.

Belle is the latest movie from Mamoru Hosoda, the director who brought us time-travel adventures like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Mirai. But he’s also known for Summer Wars, a movie that posited a world where everything is connected in the virtual sphere, not just for play but also work, finance and healthcare. Back in 2009, this seemed like a bit of a stretch, but as companies like Google, Apple and Amazon have expanded the concept has become eerily prescient. Now Hosoda is once again tackling the divide between the real and virtual worlds with Belle, a film that splits its time between rural Japan and the computerized world of “U.”

Belle is the story of Suzu Naito, a “country bumpkin” living alone with her dad and still dealing with the trauma of losing her mom several years before. When a friend sends her an invite to U she finds it to be an escape from her trauma, a place where she is beautiful and can sing. Her first performance quickly goes viral, with the clip spreading rapidly and her phone blowing up with notifications in a sappy Dear Evan Hansen sort of way. She becomes a sensation, but her newfound fame goes off the rails when one of her concerts is interrupted by a player known only as “The Dragon.” Suzu/Belle becomes intrigued by the Dragon and begins an investigation into his identity, even as self-appointed vigilantes are working to track and expel him from U.

Bell's account
Studio Chizu

The world and technology of U are interesting, with access gained via an app and a set of special earbuds. The earbuds can apparently overlay sight as well as sound, and they build a person’s avatar using their biometric data. It’s certainly a leap ahead of the bulky VR headsets seen in Ready Player One, or just the “theater of the imagination” that a lot of movies and TV employ, where the virtual as an actual “space” with rooms and buildings and so forth only exists in the minds of the user. Here, it’s more like entering the Metaverse of Persona 5, complete with avatars that reflect a person’s true self.

In U there’s no “if you die in the game you die in real life,” but the biggest threat is still treated as such: to be “unveiled” is to lose your anonymity and have your true form revealed to the world of U, upon which a user will literally fade away from the virtual arena. It’s weird to see this used as a plot hook when real-life social media is overly concerned with real names and verified accounts, but this is a fantasy story, after all.

Belle and the Dragon
Studio Chizu

As such, it takes influence from other fantasy works, most notably Disney’s classic animated feature Beauty and the Beast. Both main characters are named Belle, and the design and temperament of the Dragon is very similar to that of the Beast; the mix of animals blended into one hunched, brooding creature, the mysterious castle with a squad of cutesy servant-sidekicks. There’s even a damaged portrait over the fireplace mantle! After years of anime fans complaining about American films “stealing” from anime (Kimba the White Lion, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water and Perfect Blue), it’s funny to see an anime borrow so blatantly from the West. I can’t wait for the inevitable shot-by-shot comparison videos on YouTube; Belle even recreates the iconic ballroom dancing scene (notable at the time for its early use of CG).

There is nothing particularly groundbreaking about the animation in Belle, though it is certainly a gorgeous film. The world of U is shown as a city of sweeping towers populated by flying avatars. Animation allows the filmmakers to give each character a unique avatar, of whatever size or shape fits that person best. Suzu becomes a beautiful woman, but others are depicted as babies, fairies and cute animals. The Dragon stands out for being such a dark character, with bruises spread across his back like a fungus.

Belle goes missing

Where Belle really differentiates itself is how it melds our current internet reality with its future fantasy visions. In early depictions of virtual worlds they were always treated as a separate place that never interacted much with the real world, a “secret life” that users had so very different from their actual existence. As technology moves forward, we’ve largely found that to not be true; our virtual existence is dominated by social media and live-streaming and parasocial relationships, and all of these are generally accepted as part of our “real” lives these days.

So it is that social media is heavily entwined with spectacle in the world of U, with messages flying as fast and furious as their avatars fly through the computer-generated cities. It isn’t just a thing that “the kids” are into; the residents of U are seen to be an incredibly diverse mix of ages and races, as seen from their messages and videos. But there is still a sense that this space matters more to a particular generation: Context clues reveal that Suzu’s village is a victim of the demographic crisis in Japan, where the populace is aging up with not enough children being born to replace them. Suzu is very much alone a lot of the time in her village, with various chat rooms and the world of U serving as her one constant connection to other people.

Suzu and a friend
Studio Chizu

In the end, it will be the other people in her real life that will push her to do what she needs to do to save the Dragon.The fantasy elements take a back seat to the fact that there are real people behind each avatar, and just as the service creates a look for them based on their personality, so are their problems in U are just reflections of their real life situations. And in that case, it won’t be Belle who can save the day, but an ordinary girl named Suzu Naito.

All of the laptop and tablet deals worth your money on Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 09:20 AM

Whether you're on the lookout for a new laptop for a loved one or for yourself, Black Friday is a good time to pick one up. Like years past, this year you can find a bunch of laptops, tablets and 2-in-1s on sale for the holiday shopping season, allowing you to save sometimes hundreds on the latest machines. In general, we recommend going straight to manufacturers like Dell, HP, Microsoft and Razer if you're picky about which configuration you want. However, it can be simpler to go to retailers like Amazon and Best Buy and pick from the models they have in stock. Here are the best deals on laptops and tablets that we found for Black Friday.

HP Spectre x360 13

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

HP's Spectre x360 13 is on sale for $830. This particular model has an 11th-gen Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and 13.3-inch FHD touchscreen. It earned a score of 94 from us for its gorgeous design, thin-bezeled screen, powerful performance and comfortable keyboard and trackpad.

Buy Spectre x360 13 at HP - $830

Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air M1
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Apple's MacBook Air M1 is down to $900 right now, or $100 off its regular price. We consider this to be the best Apple laptop for most people, giving it a score of 94 for its blazing fast performance, great battery life and lack of fan noise.

Buy MacBook Air M1 at Amazon - $900

Apple MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch sitting on a table(2021)
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The latest MacBook Pro laptops are $50 cheaper than usual at Amazon. We gave them a score of 92 for their powerful performance, lovely Liquid Retina XDR displays and new bevy of ports.

Buy 14-inch MacBook Pro at Amazon - $1,950

Apple iPad Pro

The latest iPad Pros are on sale for Black Friday — the 11-inch model is down to $750 while the 12.9-inch tablet is down to $999. We gave the slab a score of 87 for its powerful performance thanks to the M1 chipset, lovely displays and Center Stage cameras.

Buy 11-inch iPad Pro at Amazon - $750Buy 12.9-inch iPad Pro at Amazon - $999

Razer Book

Razer Book (2021) with Windows 11
Razer

Razer's mainstream notebook, the Razer Book, has fallen to $1,500. The model on sale is specced out: it runs on an 11th-gen Core i7 processor, Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a 13.4-inch UHD+ touchscreen. This laptop includes a generous array of ports, eGPU compatibility and Chroma keyboard lighting.

Buy Razer Book at Amazon - $1,500

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7+

Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+
Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Both the Galaxy S7 and S7+ tablets have been discounted for Black Friday, down to $499 and $699, respectively. Either would be good options for Android lovers looking for a new tablet — we were impressed by their beautiful build, vibrant 120Hz displays, long battery lives and S Pen support.

Buy Tab S7 at Amazon - $499Buy Tab S7 at Samsung - $499Buy Tab S7+ at Amazon - $699Buy Tab S7+ at Samsung - $699

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

Surface Laptop Go
Microsoft

The Surface Laptop Go has dropped to $550, or $150 cheaper than usual. It earned a score of 81 from us for its attractive design, speedy CPU and excellent keyboard and trackpad.

Buy Surface Laptop Go at Best Buy - $550

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Surface Laptop 4
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Microsoft's Surface Laptop 4 is on sale for $900. We gave it a score of 87 for its fast performance, great keyboard and excellent battery life.

Buy Surface Laptop 4 at Best Buy - $900

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review pictures. Off-angle front view of the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 on a table in front of a brown couch.
Cherlynn Low / Engadget

The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 is $500 off right now, bringing it down to $900. We gave it a score of 82 for its thin and light design, colorful display and included S Pen.

Buy Galaxy Book Pro 360 at Best Buy - $900

Google Pixelbook Go

Google's Pixelbook Go is on sale for $599, or $50 off its normal price. It earned a score of 84 from us for its excellent keyboard, thin and light design, good performance and solid battery life.

Buy Pixelbook Go at Amazon - $599Buy Pixelbook Go at Best Buy - $599

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is down to $399, or $50 off its normal price. We gave the Chrome OS machine a score of 82 for its impressive screen, powerful performance, surprisingly loud speakers and eye-catching design.

Buy Galaxy Chromebook 2 at Samsung - $399

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436
ASUS

ASUS's capable Chromebook Flip C436 is on sale for $650 today only, which is $150 off its normal price. That gets you a 10th-gen Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 14-inch FHD touchscreen and a convertible design. With those specs, this Chromebook could easily be a daily driver for Chrome OS diehards.

Buy Chromebook Flip C436 at Amazon - $650

Amazon Fire 7 tablet

The Fire 7 tablet is on sale for $35. If you're looking for a cheap tablet to be a couch device, or to give your kid without worry, this is a good option. While it doesn't have the Google Play Store, you can still use it to check email, watch videos, play music and more.

Buy Fire 7 at Amazon - $35

Amazon Fire HD 8

The Fire HD 8 tablet is on sale for $45, or half off its normal price. We gave it a score of 79 for its decent performance, good battery life, wireless charging capabilities and USB-C port.

Buy Fire HD 8 at Amazon - $45

Amazon Fire HD 10

The biggest of Amazon's tablets, the Fire HD 10, is half off right now, bringing it down to $75. It's the best Fire tablet to get if you care at all about performance. We like its 1080p display, 12-hour battery life and its Show Mode feature.

Buy Fire HD 10 at Amazon - $75

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro

The 8-inch version of Amazon's kids tablet is half off and down to $70. This comes with a protective case, a two-year warranty and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+.

Bu Fire HD 8 Kids Pro at Amazon - $70

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro

The Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is 40 percent off, knocking it down to $120. You're getting the same thing in this bundle — a protective case, a two-year warranty and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ — along with a larger tablet.

Buy Fire HD 10 Kids Pro at Amazon - $120

Expired

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

Today only, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced is a whopping $1,200 off, bringing it down to $1,400. This is the 2020 model that has a Core i7 processor, RTX 2070 Super Max-Q graphics, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and a 1080p 300Hz display. The Blade is one of our favorite gaming laptops thanks to its slick design, array of customization options and strong performance.

Dell XPS 13

Dell's excellent XPS 13 laptop has dropped to $979. That's for the latest model with an 11th-gen Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, Intel Iris Xe graphics and a 13.3-inch FHD+ display. This has been one of our favorite laptops for a long time and we gave the 2020 version a score of 94 for its attractive design, speedy performance and lovely screen.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

3D-printed 'living ink' could lead to self-repairing buildings (www.engadget.com) 11/27/2021 02:10 PM

Never mind 3D-printing organs — eventually, the material could have a life of its own. Phys.orgreports scientists have developed a "living ink" you could use to print equally alive materials usable for creating 3D structures. The team genetically engineered cells for E. Coli and other microbes to create living nanofibers, bundled those fibers and added other materials to produce an ink you could use in a standard 3D printer.

Researchers have tried producing living material before, but it has been difficult to get those substances to fit intended 3D structures. That wasn't an issue here. The scientists created one material that released an anti-cancer drug when induced with chemicals, while another removed the toxin BPA from the environment. The designs can be tailored to other tasks, too.

Any practical uses could still be some ways off. It's not yet clear how you'd mass-produce the ink, for example. However, there's potential beyond the immediate medical and anti-pollution efforts. The creators envisioned buildings that repair themselves, or self-assembling materials for Moon and Mars buildings that could reduce the need for resources from Earth. The ink could even manufacture itself in the right circumstances — you might not need much more than a few basic resources to produce whatever you need.

The best deals on microSD cards, SSDs and other storage gadgets for Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 11:35 AM

Your friends and family may not have microSD cards and portable hard drives on their wish lists, but they are some of the most useful gadgets you can give someone. With so much of our lives stored on our devices, anyone could use a little more digital space for photos, documents, games and more. Black Friday has brought a ton of sales on storage devices, knocking hundreds off some of the most expensive models and bringing even the most budget-friendly accessories down to dirt-cheap prices. We gathered the best deals we could find here so you don't have to go searching for them.

Crucial MX500

One of our favorite SSDs, the Crucial MX500, is on sale for $85, or just a few dollars more than its record-low price. It’s a standard 2.5-inch drive that works with both laptops and desktops, making it a good option if you need more space or just want to upgrade from a slow HDD. It also has AES-256 bit hardware encryption and integrated power loss immunity.

Buy Crucial MX500 (1TB) at Amazon - $85

Samsung EVO Select microSD

Samsung’s EVO Select microSDXC card in 128GB is down to $16, or 20 percent off its normal price. This is the latest model and while you can find microSD cards for less, EVO is a reliable brand and you're getting a full-sized adapter with this one.

Buy EVO Select microSD (128GB) at Amazon - $16

Patriot Viper VP4300

Patriot Viper VP4300
Patriot

Patriot's Viper VP4300 internal SSD in 2TB is 14 percent off right now, knocking it down to $370. This is our favorite SSD for the PS5 thanks to its sequential read speeds of 7,400MB/s and preinstalled heatsink.

Buy Patriot Viper VP4300 (2TB) at Amazon - $370

Samsung T7 & T7 Touch

Samsung T7 Touch SSD in black and silver against a white background.
Samsung

The Samsung T7 SSD in 1TB is down to a record low of $110, which is 35 percent off and the best price we've seen. You can also get the 1TB T7 Touch with a built-in fingerprint reader for 21 percent off, or $150. It has reads speeds up to 1,050 MB/s and write speeds up to 1,000 MB/s, plus it has a shock-resistant unibody and support for Dynamic Thermal Guard to control heat levels.

Buy Samsung T7 (1TB) at Amazon - $110Buy Samsung T7 Touch (1TB) at Amazon - $150

Samsung 980 Pro SSD

Samsung 980 Pro
Samsung

Samsung's 980 Pro is one of the best internal SSDs you can get right now and it's on sale for $170. It has sequential read speeds up to 7,000MB/s and it'll work with the PS5 as long as you have a heatsink attached.

Buy Samsung 980 Pro SSD at Amazon - $170

SanDisk Extreme SSD

SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD
SanDisk / Weinberg-Clark Photography

SanDisk’s tough and tiny Extreme portable SSD in 1TB is half off for Black Friday, bringing it down to $120. This model remains a bit more expensive than others, but you’re paying for added physical protections. Not only is it small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but it’s also IP55 water- and dust-resistant and it can withstand drops from up to two meters. It also has password protection and 256‐bit AES hardware encryption.

Buy SanDisk Extreme (1TB) SSD at Amazon - $120

PNY XLR8 CS3040

PNY XLR8 CS3040
PNY

PNY's XLR8 CS3040 SSD in 1TB is 31 percent off, bringing it down to a record low of $125. It has sequential read speeds up to 5,600MB/s, and while it's compatible with the PS5, you will need to add your own cooling solution.

Buy PNY XLR8 CS3040 (1TB) at Amazon - $125

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

Sabrent Rocket Gen4 PCIe SSD
Sabrent

Sabrent's Rocket 4 Plus internal SSD has dropped to $160. In addition to already being more affordable than many competitors, it provides read speeds up to 7,000 MB/s and write speeds up to 5,300 MB/s when connected to a PCIe Gen4 motherboard.

Buy Rocket 4 Plus at Amazon - $160

Crucial P5

Crucial P5 1TB 3D NAND NVMe Internal SSD
Crucial

Crucial’s P5 NAND NVMe SSD in 1TB is on sale for $145 right now, or 19 percent off its regular rate. This drive can reach sequential read speeds of up to 3,400MB/s and its M.2 format makes it a good option for both desktop and laptop users.

Buy Crucial P5 (1TB) at Amazon - $145

Crucial X6

Crucial X6 portable SSD
Crucial

The Crucial X6 portable drive in 1TB is on sale for $80, or 38 percent off its normal price. We like it for its fast 540 MB/s read speeds, durable design that's shock, drop, vibration and temperature resistant and its compatibility with a wide range of devices — including the PS5.

Buy Crucial X6 (1TB) at Amazon - $80

Lexar Professional SD

Lexar Professional 2000x SDXC card
Lexar

Lexar's Professional SD cards are on sale for $60 for a 64GB card and $100 for a 128GB card. These are good options for photographers and videographers and most capacities have been discounted right now, so you should be able to find precisely the right model you need.

Buy Professional 2000x (64GB) at Amazon - $60Buy Professional 2000x (128GB) at Amazon - $100

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Amazon cuts prices on Anker charging products to an all-time low (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 10:31 AM

Earlier this year, Anker unveiled its second-gen gallium-nitride (GaN) chargers that are smaller than ever, but offer up to 65W of power — enough to charge an M1 MacBook Pro at full speed. Now, you can pick up the Nano II 65W charger today only for just $31.50, a savings of 43 percent over the regular $55 price. It's also selling the Nano II 45W model for $28, or $12 off the regular price. On top of the Nano II products, Anker has all-time low deals on its external battery chargers, too.

Buy Anker charging products at Amazon

Anker's next-gen GaN chargers are more efficient, smaller and better at regulating temperatures than the first generation of devices, thanks to a new design and chips. They come with a USB-C port and intelligently allocate the optimal wattage to whichever device is plugged in. If you don't need quite that much power, Anker is also selling the original Nano in a two-pack for $20.29, or 35 percent off the normal price. 

The company also has some stellar deals on its external batteries, for today only. The Anker Power Bank is a 10,000 mAh portabe USB-C charger with 20 watts of power delivery, letting you charge up your iOS or Android smartphone at a rapid rate. If the normal price of $35 gave you pause, you can now grab one in black for just $20. 

For more capacity and ports, Anker's PowerCore 268800 Portable Charger offers 26,800mAh with 20W charger, and three ports for iPhone, Android and other smart devices. It's now on sale for $40 instead of $66, for a savings of $26 or 39 percent. Again, the sale is on today only for Black Friday. 

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Spotify's simplified Car View mode is being 'retired' (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 10:26 PM

When Spotify announced its stripped down Car View mode in 2019, it seemed like a smart way to prevent drivers from being distracted on the road. Whenever you connected to your car over Bluetooth, it would remove extraneous elements like menu buttons and album art. Instead, it gave you large buttons to pause and play music; jump to the previous or next track; or like a specific song. Nifty! But hope you didn't get too attached, as Spotify has confirmed it's "retiring" the feature, according to a recent support thread (via Android Police).

A Spotify moderator, who was replying to a user who noticed the feature had disappeared from his Android app, noted that Spotify is "actively exploring a variety of new ways to deliver the best in-car listening experience." They added that removing car view is necessary to "make way for new innovations." That's reasonable enough, though it doesn't excuse dumping a genuinely useful safety feature without a clear replacement. 

The moderator suggested using Google Assistant (or Siri on iOS) to control Spotify hands-free, something that would also work while navigating with Google or Apple Maps. And, to be fair, that's how many people (including myself) end up controlling tunes on the road. 

It could be that Spotify is de-prioritizing Car View simply because there are so many other ways to handle music playback in cars. If you've got a modern car with CarPlay or Android Auto support, you'll only be interacting with your in-dash display and will never see Car View in action. Many vehicles made in the last decade also have some sort of media control on their steering wheels.  

Spotify Car Thing
Billy Steele/Engadget

Of course, there's a more nefarious objective, as some Spotify users mentioned in the forum thread. It could be that the company is trying to push people towards Car Thing, its $80 display accessory. We found it to be a useful upgrade for older cars, but it also seemed superfluous when you could just mount your phone and control Spotify directly. Without Car View mode, though, that strange gadget all of a sudden seems more helpful. In cases like this, though, the simplest explanation usually comes down to companies realizing certain features aren't being used much.

We've reached out to Spotify for a full explanation about Car View's retirement, and will update when we hear back.

Amazon knocks 21 percent off a GoPro Hero 10 Black bundle for today only (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 12:20 PM

We saw GoPro's Hero 10 Black drop in price on Amazon earlier this month, but for Black Friday, you can get the action cam with a number of accessories for less. The bundle is $450, the same price as the camera alone was at the beginning of November, but this time you're getting the Hero 10 Black along with an extra battery, a battery charger and a camera sleeve with a lanyard. This is a good deal if you don't want to bother with a GoPro subscription — the company has its own bundles available for even less, but all of them include a one-year Go Pro subscription.

Buy Hero 10 Black bundle at Amazon - $450

The Hero 10 Black doesn't look much different from its predecessor, but it has GoPro's new GP2 processor, which makes significant improvements. Not only does it double speeds, but it also enables features like HyperSmooth 4.0, which stabilizes footage, tone mapping, noise reduction and a 5.3K maximum resolution at up to 60fps. It can also shoot in 4K at 120fps and 2.7K at 240fps. Like the previous model, the Hero 10 Black has a front screen to make it easier for you to shoot video of yourself, and it supports new horizon leveling option and faster navigation.

We knocked the Hero 10 Black for its higher price tag when compared to the Hero 9 Black, but more seriously, the battery life has taken a hit thanks in part to all of the new features the camera supports. In our testing, the Hero 10 Black lasted about one hour and 15 minutes when shooting video at 4K/30fps, but the previous model lasted a full half hour more than that. If you opt for this bundle, though, you'll get a second battery and that will come in handy if you're shooting tons of video in one sitting.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Xiaomi's upcoming EV factory will make up to 300,000 cars per year (www.engadget.com) 11/27/2021 10:01 AM

Xiaomi only announced its electric car plans in March, but it already has grand ambitions. According to Reuters, the economic development agency Beijing E-Town has confirmed that Xiaomi will build an EV factory in the city capable of producing up to 300,000 vehicles per year. The plant will be built in two phases and should start mass production in 2024.

The company will also set up its EV headquarters, research and sales divisions in Beijing, the agency said. Xiaomi already plans to use its retail stores to help sell cars.

There are still many unknowns for Xiaomi's car strategy, including the initial models and international expansion. The successful tech brand expects to invest the equivalent of $10 billion in the EV division over 10 years, but hasn't shared much detail beyond that. The Beijing factory says more — it suggests Xiaomi intends to become a mainstream (if initially small) EV manufacturer that competes not just with Chinese rivals like Nio and Xpeng, but significant foreign automakers like Tesla.

Scientists used Mars' ambient noise to map the planet's subsurface layers (www.engadget.com) 11/27/2021 08:54 AM

NASA's Mars InSight lander provided researchers with the data needed to give us our first detailed look at the red planet's crust, mantle and core. That map doesn't include any information on the structures nearer its surface, however, and we need that to be able to get a more complete picture of how the planet was formed. Now, a team of scientists was able to create the first detailed image of what lies right underneath the planet's surface, showing three billion years of its history, by listening to Martian winds.

More precisely, they analyzed the ambient noise (in the absence of marsquakes) collected by the seismometer that was installed by the InSight lander. On Earth, that kind of ambient seismic noise is generated by the ocean, human activity and winds, but only the last one is present on Mars. The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) and ETH Zurich have been regularly analyzing data collected by the seismometer as part of the Marsquake Service. Over the past years, SED was able to develop ways to analyze ambient noise data to define geological structures here on Earth, and those are the techniques they used on the data from InSight.

Based on the data the tool gathered, the top three meters of InSight's landing site is made of sand, while the next 20 meters are loose material, particularly volcanic rock fissured by meteorite impacts. Underneath that sand and rock lie lava flows divided by sediments that formed when the planet experienced cold and dry conditions. Researchers believe the uppermost lava flows were deposited around 1.7 billion years ago, while the deepest ones were deposited as far back as 3.6 billion years ago at a time when there was a lot more volcanic activity on the planet. 

The researchers recently published their study in Nature, and one of the things they emphasized is that it proves techniques to investigate our planet can also work on Mars. Other methods used to know more about Earth could also give us more information about the red planet, which may one day become humanity's second home. 

Hitting the Books: How Amazon laundered the 'myth of the founder' into a business empire (www.engadget.com) 11/27/2021 11:30 AM

We've heard the fable of "the self-made billionaire" a thousand times: some unrecognized genius toiling away in a suburban garage stumbles upon The Next Big Thing, thereby single-handedly revolutionizing their industry and becoming insanely rich in the process — all while comfortably ignoring the fact that they'd received $300,000 in seed funding from their already rich, politically-connected parents to do so. 

In The Warehouse: Workers and Robots at Amazon, Alessandro Delfanti, associate professor at the University of Toronto and author of Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science, deftly examines the dichotomy between Amazon's public personas and its union-busting, worker-surveilling behavior in fulfillment centers around the world — and how it leverages cutting edge technologies to keep its employees' collective noses to the grindstone, pissing in water bottles. In the excerpt below, Delfanti examines the way in which our current batch of digital robber barons lean on the classic redemption myth to launder their images into that of wonderkids deserving of unabashed praise.

The Warehouse Cover
Pluto Press

This is an excerpt from The Warehouse: Workers and Robots at Amazon by Alessandro Delfanti, available now from Pluto Press.


Besides the jobs, trucks and concrete, what Amazon brought to Piacenza and to the dozens of other suburban areas which host its warehouses is a myth: a promise of modernization, economic development, and even individual emancipation that stems from the “disruptive” nature of a company heavily based on the application of new technology to both consumption and work. It is a promise that assumes that the society in question is willing to entrust such ambitions to the gigantic multinational corporations that design, implement, and possess technology. This myth of digital capitalism is based on a number of elements, including magical origins, heroes, and stories of redemption. Some are by now familiar to everyone: A couple of teenagers tinkering away in a garage can revolutionize or create from scratch an entire industry, generating billions in the process. The garage is an important component of this myth. Here we are not talking about the garages where MXP5 workers park their cars after a ten-hour shift in the warehouse, nor about the garages where Amazon Flex couriers store piles of boxes to be delivered. The innovation garage is the site where individuals unbounded by old habits and funded by venture capital turn simple ideas into marketable digital commodities. Nowhere does this myth run deeper than in California: William Hewlett and David Packard’s Palo Alto backyard shack is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places as “the birthplace of Silicon Valley,” while the garage of Steve Jobs’ parents’ house (where he and Steve Wozniak built the first batch of Apple computers) has been recently designated as a “historical site” by the city of Los Altos. These garages have even been turned into informal museums and receive thousands of visitors a year, some even arriving with organized tour buses. For Californian historian Mario Biagioli, the garage has become an important rhetorical device in contemporary discourses, helping mythify the origins of contemporary innovation. Masculine innovation in particular, since the garage is a strictly male space. Bezos himself started Amazon in a garage, albeit not in California—or so Amazon’s origin myth goes: in 1994 he left his lucrative but dull Wall Street hedge fund job and wrote a business plan while driving cross-country from New York to Seattle, where he used his and his family’s money to start the company.

The myth of the redemption and success of the hero entrepreneur trickles down to the warehouse, insofar as Amazon presents work to its employees through the frame of emancipation. The idea of redemption through work is nothing new. On the contrary, it is a damnation common to modern society. In the early 1960s, militant sociologist Romano Alquati pointed out that the culture of mid-20th century Italian factories included the construction of a “myth” or “cult” of emancipation. In this instance, it was directed at the masses of migrant workers who, following World War II, moved from the rural south to the north of the country to find manufacturing work with the flagship companies of the Italian postwar economic boom, such as FIAT or Olivetti. Redemption from the backwardness of rural life was ensured not only by steady paychecks and the prospect of a pension at the end of the line, but also by participation in technologically advanced production processes—the assembly line of industrial capitalism. Amazon simply repeats and updates such promises. In Italy, for example, Amazon positions itself as an employee-focused company that brings stable employment back to a precarized labor market—a boon to a labor market hit by financial crises, lackluster growth, and lack of opportunities for retraining and upskilling. So Amazon continues a historical trajectory of Italian capitalism, but imports onto the local context novel characteristics borrowed from the American digital corporation model.

Indeed, digital capitalism updates industrial capitalism’s promise of economic and social emancipation with some novel elements of its own. Rather than simply swapping out the assembly line with the robot or the algorithm, the culture of digital capitalism mixes libertarian ideology with entrepreneurial elements. At the core of this myth lies a form of individualism. The combination of new information technologies with free-market dynamics enables emancipatory potential for the entrepreneur. Furthermore, digital capitalist companies state that they exist to change the world, to make people happy, to create value for everyone and not just for investors—technological optimism at its apex. After all, how could you deliver a bad outcome when your first principle is don’t be evil, as Google’s old slogan famously put it.

Amazon extends this old myth to all its workers. Indeed, in corporate documents, the company goes so far as to state that everyone is an “owner” at Amazon. While this is quite literal in the case of engineers and executives who receive shares of the company, it can only be understood at the level of mythology for warehouse workers. A figurative or spiritual commitment to the company’s destiny. Managerial techniques used in the warehouse contribute to building this myth, as associates are asked to have fun at work and help Amazon make history, as one of its corporate slogans goes. The myth brings with it the idea that there is no alternative to digital capitalism. Only co-option, or failure for those who can’t keep up or won’t adapt or submit.

Myths are not just old stories or false beliefs. They are ideas that help us make sense of the world. The myth of digital capitalism itself is not simply fictitious, but instead has very concrete effects. For Big Tech corporations, this myth projects a positive contribution to the world, helping to attract workers and investment, and boost corporate value on financial markets. But it has other concrete effects as well. In different areas of the world, and in different communities, the myth of redemption stemming from participation in high-tech production has impacted economies and cultures. Feminist media studies scholar Lisa Nakamura recounted how, in the 1970s, electronics manufacturers operating on Navajo land in New Mexico justified the employment of Indigenous women. Labor in microchip production was presented as empowering for the crafty and docile Navajo women—assumptions derived from racist stereotyping. Italy is completely different from the Navajo Nation, and yet the idea that an imported version of American digital capitalism can be a force for collective modernization and individual emancipation is alive and well there too. Belief in this myth is evidenced in many different and even contrasting ways. Some bring resources, like the $1.5 billion state-owned venture capital fund launched in 2020 by the Italian government to support start-up companies in the hope they will foster economic growth. Others sell resources off, like when mayors of small towns with high unemployment compete to attract the next Amazon FC, offering the company both farmland newly opened up for development and a local workforce ready to staff the warehouse. Over the years, the mayors of Castel San Giovanni have described the presence of MXP5 as a force of “development” and a source of “pride” for the town. This is not unique to Italy. American mayors are routinely quoted praising the arrival of a new Amazon facility as a “wonderful” or “monumental” thing for their town.

Amazon’s corporate slogans also hedge up its myth. Central is the valorization of disruption—the idea of a hero entrepreneur defeating the gods of the past. Some of the slogans (the so-called Leadership Principles) are repeated time and again and painted everywhere in the warehouse. While Aboutamazon.com, the company’s corporate website, describes them as “more than inspirational wall hangings,” that is exactly what they sound like. Customer obsession is perhaps the most famous one, a slogan that captures the strategic goal of focusing on customers’ needs: the rest (profits, power) will follow. It also signals that workers are by design an afterthought. Other slogans are even more predictable, like Leaders are right a lot or Think big. Amazon’s myth trickles down to fulfillment centers like MXP5 in many ways. Amazon routinely conducts marketing operations aimed at finding new workers, not new customers. Billboards sporting smiling warehouse workers, recruitment events, and glowing articles commissioned by staffing agencies in the local newspaper are common sights in Piacenza, as in the areas surrounding other FCs. Social media multiplies the message. Amazon encourages employees to join its army of “ambassadors”—workers who plaster social media with positive stories about their job or videos in which they happily dance inside the warehouse. Like the FC’s walls, all these practices are soaked with the Leadership Principles: at a recruitment event near Toronto, slogans, such as Fulfilling the customer promise, were projected as part of a slideshow filled with smiling arrow logos, accompanying a presentation of more mundane details like job descriptions or benefits. “Every Amazonian who wants to be a leader,” we were told, should focus on “customer obsession” and “never settle,” and let’s not forget that Amazonians “are right a lot.” The event wrapped up with free pizza.

India tells Starlink to stop offering satellite internet without a license (www.engadget.com) 11/27/2021 11:47 AM

SpaceX doesn't always get a warm reception when it expands Starlink. Reutersreports the Indian government has told Starlink to immediately stop "booking/rendering" satellite internet service in the country until it has a license to operate. The SpaceX division registered as a business in India on November 1st and has started pre-orders, but doesn't yet have permission to run the service. Authorities have also discouraged would-be customers from signing up at this stage.

We've asked SpaceX for comment, although it initially declined Reuters' inquiries. The company hasn't set a firm date for Starlink's India debut, although it's aiming for 200,000 connections in the country by the end of 2022. There were over 5,000 pre-orders as of November 1st.

Starlink is currently available in 21 countries in mostly public beta tests. However, SpaceX has a particularly strong incentive to serve India as soon as possible. India has a very large rural population (over 898 million, according to World Bank data). It's a prime market for satellite broadband, and the Starlink team hopes 80 percent of devices sold in India by late 2022 will serve rural areas. However, it's now clear India's government doesn't share that same enthusiasm.

HBO Max uploaded the censored TV version of 'Birds of Prey' by mistake (www.engadget.com) 11/27/2021 12:55 PM

HBO Max has uploaded another alternative DC Comics movie cut, but it won't brag about this one. As CBR and The Verge note, WarnerMedia comms executive Johanna Fuentes has confirmed HBO Max accidentally uploaded the censored TV version of the 2020 movie Birds of Prey. While it's listed as the R-rated version from theaters, play it and you'll get the same 'family-friendly' edit you'd see on TNT.

Fuentes promised that HBO Max would upload the R-rated movie, although she didn't provide a timeline. That uncensored take will be the only version on the service, the exec added, and it has been available for about a year.

It's not clear how the slip-up occurred. We've asked WarnerMedia for comment. With that said, HBO Max certainly isn't averse to foul language or violence. This is an embarrassing moment for a streaming provider still in its early stages, but it doesn't represent a sudden change of heart.

Novation's Circuit Rhythm groovebox is $100 off for Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 01:25 PM

Novation has dropped the price of one of its most recent grooveboxes by 25 percent for Black Friday. Until December 6th, sampler enthusiasts and beatmakers can snag the Novation Circuit Rhythm for $300, a discount of $100.

Buy Novation Circuit Rhythm at Amazon - $300

Circuit Rhythm builds on the simple screen-free workflow that helped make the original Circuit such a hit. This groovebox is focused on sampling, and it seems Novation was inspired by the Roland SP series.

We gave the Circuit Rhythm a score of 87 in our review. Novation says the machine runs for up to four hours on a single charge, but in testing it typically operated for three to three and a half hours before requiring a recharge. We liked the sampling and slicing features and the simple, intuitive workflow. However, the more advanced features take some getting used to and, if you're not careful, it's easy to push an effect like delay, reverb or sidechain from barely noticeable to over the top.

Novation doesn't often run sales on its products. So, this is a good deal on an solid entry-level sampler.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The best deals on smartwatches, fitness trackers and wearables this Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 05:05 PM

Wearables are getting to be as ubiquitous as smartphones, but that also means companies like Apple and Samsung are making better and more expensive devices. Regardless of if you prefer a smartwatch, fitness tracker or another kind of wearable, it's best to wait until a big sale — like Black Friday — to get one for the best price possible. This year, a bunch of wearables have been discounted and we picked out the best ones here as you don't have to go searching for them.

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE has been knocked down to $219, which is $60 cheaper than usual. This is the best Watch for wearable newbies as well as those with tight budgets. We gave it a score of 88 for its responsive performance, comfortable design and solid feature set for the price.

Buy Apple Watch SE at Amazon - $219

Apple Watch Series 7

The latest Apple Watch Series 7 is $20 cheaper right now, bringing it down to $380. It's the most comprehensive wearable Apple makes and it earned a score of 90 from us for its larger screen, faster charging and handy features in watchOS 8.

Buy Series 7 at Amazon - $380

Apple Watch Series 6

The Apple Watch Series 6 with a Memoji watch face sitting on a wooden table.
Valentina Palladino / Engadget

The previous-gen Apple Watch is $50 off, bringing it down to $350. While it doesn't have the larger screen that the Series 7 does, this smartwatch is still a good choice thanks to its good performance, improved battery life and faster charging.

Buy Series 6 at Amazon - $350

Fitbit Charge 5

Fitbit Charge 5 fitness tracker
Valentina Palladino / Engadget

You can pick up the Fitbit Charge 5 for $130 right now, or $50 off its normal price. This is Fitbit's most comprehensive fitness band and it earned a score of 82 from us for its full-color touchscreen, built-in GPS, onboard EDA sensors for stress tracking and multi-day battery life.

Buy Charge 5 at Amazon - $130

Fitbit Inspire 2

Fitbit Inspire 2 fitness tracker
Fitbit

Fitbit's Inspire 2 tracker has dropped to $60 for Black Friday, or $40 off its normal price. This gives you all-day heart rate monitoring, up to 10 days of battery life, sleep stage tracking and more — plus it comes with one year of Fitbit Premium, too.

Buy Inspire 2 at Amazon - $60

Fitbit Luxe

Front view of the Fitbit Luxe with a light pink silicone band on a wrist against a dark brown background with some greenery. The screen shows the time is 6:30pm.
Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Fitbit's small and sleek Luxe tracker is on sale for $100 right now. We gave it a score of 82 for its comfortable design, good battery life and capable health tracking features.

Buy Fitbit Luxe at Amazon - $100

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense
Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Fitbit's high-end Sense smartwatch is $100 off, bringing it down to $200. It earned a score of 82 from us for its wide array of health tracking features plus its big, bright display.

Buy Fitbit Sense at Amazon - $200

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Samsung

Samsung's Galaxy Watch 4 has dropped to $200, or 20 percent off its normal price. It remains the best smartwatch for Android users and we gave it a score of 85 for its crisp display, comprehensive health tracking features and its improved third-party app support.

Buy Galaxy Watch 4 at Amazon - $200

Garmin Vivoactive 4

Garmin Vivoactive 4 smartwatch
Daniel Cooper / Engadget

Garmin's Vivoactive 4 has dropped to $190, or nearly $160 off its regular rate. One of Garmin's midrange smartwatches, this device tracks daily activity, sleep and workouts and it supports blood oxygen monitoring, onboard music storage, built-in GPS and an eight-day battery life.

Buy Vivoactive 4 at Amazon - $190

Withings Steel HR

Withings Steel HR smartwatch
Engadget

Withings' Steel HR smartwatch is $60 off right now, bringing it down to $120. It's one of the better options out there if you prefer the analog style but still want smart features like step, sleep and heart rate tracking. It also has connected GPS, a water-resistant design and a battery that will last up to 25 days on a single charge.

Buy Withings Steel HR at Amazon - $120

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

A bunch of robot vacuums and smart home gadgets are on sale for Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 01:05 PM

Black Friday typically presents lots of opportunities to smarten up your abode, with everything from connected bulbs to robot vacuums undergoing deep discounts for the holidays. We’ve already seen a few of these items go on sale as part of early Black Friday efforts, and we’ll definitely see more today and over the weekend. These devices include not just the aforementioned bulbs and robot vacuums but also sous vide machines, Instant Pots, Nest Hubs and more. To prevent you from sifting through all these sales yourself, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are some of the best ones we’ve seen so far.

iRobot Roomba 694

iRobot Roomba 694
iRobot

One of our favorite robot vacuums, the iRobot Roomba 694, is now $95 off, which brings its price down to $180. It does a great job cleaning both hard and carpeted surfaces, plus the app is easy to use. It has a three-stage cleaning system plus dirt detect sensors that will prompt it to clean high-traffic spots of your home more thoroughly. It navigates obstacles really well too. It’ll even suggest an extra clean during high pollen or pet shedding season. The Roomba 694 is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as well.

If you don’t mind spending more money, iRobot’s higher-end Roomba i3+ is on sale for $300 (down from $400). It’s a little more intelligent with personalized cleaning suggestions and it automatically recharges itself too. You can also get the i3+ with an automatic dirt disposal unit, where it’ll empty itself out so you don’t have to.

Buy Roomba 694 at Amazon - $179

Shark AI Self-Empty XL robot vacuum

Shark AI Robot Vacuum
Shark

The Shark AV2501 AI robot vacuum with the extra-large HEPA self-empty base is usually $650, but is now at an all-time low price of $450. Not only does it empty itself, but the base actually has a 60-day capacity. That means you can go two whole months before having to take it out. On top of that, the true HEPA filtration captures 99.97 percent of dust and allergens, it has LIDAR technology to accurately map out your home, and you can set up schedules, on-demand cleaning, UltraClean Mode and more via the app, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Buy Shark AV2501 at Amazon - $450

iRobot Roomba j7+

iRobot Roomba j7+
iRobot

iRobot's latest vacuum, the Roomba j7+, has dropped to $649 at Wellbots when you use the code ENGADGET200 at checkout for $200 off. This is one of the higher-end robo-vacs the company makes and it has new AI-driven computer vision technology that can detect objects and move around them as it cleans. That means it'll better avoid things like chairs and table legs, as well as unexpected obstacles like pet poop. It also comes with a clean base into which the robot will empty debris at the end of every cleaning job.

Buy Roomba j7+ at Wellbots - $649

Instant Pot Duo Plus

Instant Pot
Instant Pot

Black Friday is usually a great time for those looking to score a great deal on an Instant Pot, and this year is no different. Currently, the six-quart Instant Pot Duo Plus is half off, bringing it from $120 to just $60. It’s one we think works great for most people due to its simple design plus it has plenty of features. Not only is it an excellent pressure cooker, you can also use it for slow cooking, sautéing, cooking rice, making yogurt, steaming, sous vide cooking and sterilizing.

Other models are on sale too. The six-quart Duo Crisp is now $100 ($50 off) while the six-quart Pro is $80 ($50 off) and the eight-quart Pro Crisp is $170 ($80 off). The Duo Crisp has many of the same features as the Duo Plus, except it has an additional crisping lid that adds additional features such as broiling, dehydrating and air frying. The Pro adds a few extra features for advanced users, such as five programmable buttons for your own recipes, while the Pro Crisp has an additional air fryer lid.

Buy Instant Pot Duo Plus at Amazon - $60Buy Instant Pot Duo Crisp at Amazon - $100Buy Instant Pot Pro at Amazon - $80Buy Instant Pot Pro Crisp at Amazon - $170

Ninja Foodi 8 Quart 12-in-1 Deluxe XL pressure cooker

Ninja Foodi
Ninja

Another pressure cooker on sale is the Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL. The price has dropped from $250 to just $140, which is a 44 percent discount. The Ninja Foodi Deluxe XL has an 8 quart capacity plus a crisping air-frying technology built right in, so there’s no need to buy two separate appliances. It has 12 different functions: pressure cook, air fry, steam, slow cook, yogurt maker, sear, bake, roast, broil, dehydrate, sous vide and keep warm.

Buy Ninja Foodi 12-in-1 at Amazon - $140

August WiFi smart lock

August Smart Lock 4th gen
Engadget

August's WiFi smart lock is down to $180 at Amazon and $174 at Wellbots. It easily installs on any door and you can grant access to friends and family using the app. It has built-in WiFi so you don’t need an external WiFi hub, and it’ll work seamlessly with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Features like Auto-Unlock and DoorSense bring peace of mind, instantly opening the door when you’re nearby and alerting you when it’s locked safely behind you. We praised it in our review for its ease-of-use and security features.

Buy WiFi smart lock at Amazon - $170Buy August WiFi smart lock at Wellbots - $174

GE's CYNC Full Color Direct Connect

CYNC Full Color Smart Bulbs
GE

CYNC’s full color direct connect smart bulbs are discounted for Black Friday: the 4-pack is down from $45 to $35, while the 2-pack is down from $24 to just $17. These light bulbs are great because all you need to do is screw them in and connect them directly to GE's app; there’s no need for a separate WiFi hub. They can change to all kinds of different colors plus different color temperatures as well. The app lets you schedule the lights for certain times of day, and you can also use either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control your lights.

Buy CYNC Direct Connect (4 pack) at Best Buy - $35Buy CYNC Direct Connect (2 pack) at Best Buy - $17

Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 LED smart lights

Philips HUE bulbs
Philips

Philips’ Hue White & Color Ambiance A19 LED Starter Kit is down from $190 to $140 for Black Friday. This kit comes with three bulbs, a Hue Bridge to connect them to, plus an included dimmer switch just in case you prefer not to use your phone to control the lights. You can sync them with your movie, music or game for a custom mood lighting. The app also lets you schedule wake and sleep routines with the lights. Plus, you can control them with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit.

Philips is also selling a Bluetooth version of the A19 in a 3-pack for $100 (down from $135). They have the same color profiles and dimming capabilities, and you can connect them to your phone via Bluetooth for instant light control in one room. If you want the full set of smart lighting features however, you’ll still want the Hue bridge mentioned above. If you're more interested in Hue light strips, a starter pack that includes the Hue bridge is 55 percent off and down to $50.

Buy Hue starter pack at Best Buy - $140Buy Hue smart lights (3 pack) at Amazon - $100Buy Hue light strip starter pack - $50

Google Nest Hub Max

Google Nest Hub Max
Engadget

Google’s Nest Hub Max was originally priced at $230 but is now $180. The Nest Hub Max is basically Google Assistant housed inside a 10-inch display. It works as a digital photo frame and you can also use it to watch YouTube videos and step-by-step cooking instructions. There’s a built-in camera which can be used for facial recognition so that each family member can access their own notes and calendar. You can also use it for video calls via Google Duo, Meet or Zoom. It’s especially useful if you have Nest devices in the house, as you can use it to check out Nest cams and control various other smart home products.

If you’d rather have a smart display without a camera, then consider Google’s 2nd-gen Nest Hub. It is also deeply discounted for Black Friday, with a 50 percent discount that drops it from $100 to $50. It has all of the features of the Nest Hub Max but without the camera, which makes it more suitable for more intimate settings like the bedroom. In fact, the 2nd-gen Nest Hub even has a sleep sensor, which you can use to figure out your sleeping patterns.

Buy Nest Hub Max at Best Buy - $180Buy Nest Hub (2nd gen) at Best Buy - $50

Google Nest Audio

Google Nest Audio
Engadget

Google’s Nest Audio is the company’s best smart speaker to-date, and it’s currently down from $100 to just $60. The Nest Audio is attractive, minimalist and best of all, it has really great audio quality. The sound is even better if you have two paired in stereo mode, and since the Nest Audio is so affordable right now, you could afford to get two for not much more than the original price. Like other Google Assistant speakers, the Nest Audio lets you set reminders, ask various questions and control your smart home.

If you don’t care that much about audio quality and size is important to you, Google’s second-generation Nest Mini is on sale now too. Down from $50, it’s 50 percent off at just $25. The tiny hockey-puck like speaker might not sound as good as the Nest Audio but the audio is actually decent for its size. Of course, the main reason to get it is for Google Assistant, which will answer all your queries, let you set reminders and calendar appointments, and control your smart home too.

Buy Nest Audio at Best Buy - $60Buy Nest Mini at Best Buy - $25

Google Nest WiFi router

Google Nest WiFi
Engadget

Say goodbye to WiFi dead zones with this Google Nest WiFi router 3-pack, which is currently on sale for just $249 (originally $349). This bundle includes one mesh router along with two access points, which is ideal for those with mid- to large-sized homes. Not only does it have a simple installation process, but each access point comes with a built-in smart speaker. This means that you don’t need to purchase an additional smart speaker if you don’t want to; each will have Google Assistant’s smarts baked right in. Plus, the mesh WiFi network will improve your home internet considerably, making it faster and more reliable.

Buy Nest WiFi (3 pack) at Best Buy - $249

Google Nest Cam Battery

Google Nest Cam Battery
Google

Google’s outdoor Nest Cam Battery is down from $180 to $150, for a total savings of $30. This security camera is meant to be used outdoors due to its weather resistance, though you can use it indoors too if you like. As its name suggests, it’s entirely battery-powered so it doesn’t need to be hardwired into your house. You can have back-and-forth conversations with whoever’s on the other end of the camera and if you have a Nest Aware subscription, you’ll get 24/7 live view recording as well. It’ll even notify you if it sees a person, animal, or vehicle.

Buy Nest Cam Battery at Best Buy - $150

Google Nest Learning Smart Thermostat

Google Nest Learning Thermostat
Google

Google’s top-of-the-line smart thermostat is down from $250 to just $180 for Black Friday. As its name suggests, the Nest Learning Smart Thermostat will learn your home system over time. From there, it’ll change the temperature to make your home more energy efficient. So if you’re usually out of the house between 9AM and 5PM for example, it’ll automatically turn down the thermostat during those times without you having to prompt it. Plus, the Nest Learning Smart Thermostat looks quite sleek as well due to its metal trim.

The more affordable smart thermostat from Google is also on sale right now. The Nest Smart Thermostat has dropped from $130 to just $100 for Black Friday. You can get it in a few different colors — Snow, Charcoal, Fog and Sand. It’s slimmer than the higher-end Nest Thermostat, and it has a touch-sensitive edge and a mirrored display that looks great on the wall. It also has plenty of smarts, with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa controls, plus an Eco mode that’ll keep your home at a specified temperature when you’re out of the house.

Buy Nest Learning Thermostat at Best Buy - $180Buy Nest Learning Thermostat at Wellbots - $178Buy Nest Thermostat at Best Buy - $100

Amazon Echo Show 8

Amazon Echo Show 8
Engadget

The Echo Show 8 smart display is on sale for $90, or $40 off its normal rate. It earned a score of 87 from us for its attractive design, stellar audio quality and improved camera for video calls. This smart display has arguably the best sized display for anywhere in the home — its 8-inch screen could work well on nightstand, a kitchen counter, an entry table and many other places. Both the first- and second-gen Show 8s have discounted bundles that include a Blink Mini camera for only $5 extra, too.

If you prefer something a bit smaller, the Echo Show 5 has dropped to $45, or $40 off its normal price. This is the best Echo smart display if you want one as a smart alarm clock. We like its ambient light sensor, smart home controls and tap-to-snooze feature.

Buy Echo Show 8 (2nd gen) at Amazon - $90Buy Echo Show 5 (2nd gen) at Amazon - $45

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo 2020
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Amazon's Echo smart speaker is on sale for $60 right now. We gave it a score of 89 for its solid audio quality, attractive design and inclusion of a 3.5mm audio jack. Out of the popular $100 smart speakers, we think the Echo has the best audio quality of them all, and you'll only enhance the experience if you have two of them playing together in stereo mode.

For those more concerned about space than audio quality, the tiny Echo Dot has dropped to $30, and you can grab the Echo Dot with Clock for only $35. These are much better suited for small spaces like a home office or a nightstand. We gave the Dot a score of 88 for its good audio quality for the price, compact design and tap-to-snooze feature.

Buy Echo at Amazon - $60Buy Echo Dot at Amazon - $30Buy Echo Dot with Clock at Amazon - $35

Blink security cameras

Blink security cameras
Amazon / Blink

The Blink Indoor and Outdoor one-camera kits are on sale for $50 and $60, respectively. These cams are totally wireless, so you can place them almost anywhere. They supports 1080p recording, motion alerts, two-way audio and temperature monitoring, too. If you want something even more compact and don't mind dealing with a wire, the Blink Mini is also on sale for only $20.

Buy Blink Indoor at Amazon - $50Buy Blink Outdoor at Amazon - $60Buy Blink Mini at Amazon - $20

Lenovo Smart Clocks

Lenovo Smart Clock
Engadget

Lenovo’s Smart Clock is a few years old now, which is probably why it’s so deeply discounted; it’s down from $80 to just $35. It’s still a really solid alarm clock with plenty of Google Assistant smarts. You can use it to check the weather, stream your favorite tunes and control your smart home too. You can use it to check out compatible Nest cams around the house. It also has plenty of clock features such as different clock faces and the ability to set custom schedules, alarms and timers. You can also just yell “Stop” to shut off the alarm in the morning. There’s a USB port in the back that you can use to charge your mobile devices too.

Alternatively, you can get the newer Lenovo Smart Clock 2, which has dropped from $90 to $70 for Black Friday. It has essentially the same features as its predecessor, but it now has a wireless charging dock attached. That means you can charge a couple of devices at the same time; one on the Qi charging pad and one via a USB cable.

For something a little more basic, the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is down from $50 to $30. It’s a much simpler version of the two other Lenovo Smart Clocks. Instead of an LCD display, all it shows are big LED numbers. But it still has built-in Google Assistant and it has a nightlight as well.

Buy Lenovo Smart Clock at Best Buy - $35Buy Lenovo Smart Clock 2 at Best Buy - $70Buy Smart Clock Essential at Best Buy - $30

Facebook Portals

Facebook Portal
Facebook

Facebook’s Portal has dropped from $180 to just $80, making it a really good deal. The Portal is a smart display that’s mostly focused on video calls. It has a smart camera tech that can actually pan and zoom to keep you in frame as you move around the room. Plus, it supports a wide array of video call platforms including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Zoom, Webex and GoToMeeting. It has a lot of video call features as well such as AR effects, fun backgrounds, storytime animations and more. Built-in Alexa also gives it smart home controls and step-by-step cooking instructions as well.

Other Facebook Portal devices are on sale as well. The Portal+ is down from $350 to $300 while the Portal Go has dropped from $200 to $150. The Portal+ has the largest screen at around 14 inches, making it more suitable for larger spaces like a living room or a big kitchen. The Portal Go, on the other hand, is meant to be portable and carried from room to room; it even has a handle on the back.

Buy Portal at Amazon - $80Buy Portal+ at Facebook - $300Buy Portal Go at Facebook - $150

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

TP-Link Kasa Smart Mini Plug
TP-Link

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini has dropped from $18 to $13. It’s one of our favorite smart plugs due to its ease of use. It can turn any electronic item into a smart one, be it a simple lamp or a humidifier. When plugged into the Kasa, the devices can be controlled easily using the app. You can turn them on and off, create schedules and set timers using the app. If you want to use voice command, it works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant as well.

Buy Kasa Smart Plug Mini at Amazon - $13

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera Security bundle

Arlo Pro
Arlo

Arlo’s Pro 4 Spotlight Camera Security Bundle is down from $600 to $400 for Black Friday. It includes three wire-free cameras, all of which can be used either indoors or outdoors. They can capture 2K HDR footage in color night vision. There’s also a built-in spot light, two-way audio so you can communicate with anyone on the other side of the camera, plus a smart siren that can be triggered automatically or remotely. They’re battery-powered so you don’t need to hard-wire them in too, which is great. The Arlo Pro 4 cameras are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant plus the IFTTT protocol.

Buy Arlo Pro 4 bundle at Best Buy - $400

Netgear Orbi AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi system

Netgear Orbi
Netgear

Netgear has a few items on sale for Black Friday this year. One is its Orbi AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi System, which is down from $750 to $650. The company says it’ll cover up to 7,500 square feet with reliable WiFi. This bundle comes with three different Orbi units along with a built-in cable modem. It’s compatible with WiFi 6 and Netgear promises speeds of up to 4.2Gbps over 40 devices. The company is also offering the system in a pack with one router and three satellites for $550 (down from $650), which will cover up to 10,000 square feet instead.

Buy Orbi AX4200 (modem bundle) at Netgear - $650Buy Orbi AX400 (router + 3 satellites) at Netgear - $550

Eero 6 WiFi system

Eero 6 WiFi router
eero LLC

The Eero 6 dual-band mesh WiFi system is down to $77, or 40 percent off its normal price. One node can cover up to 1,500 square feet and it supports WiFi 6. The Eero Pro 6 is also on sale and it's a bit more advanced than the standard 6: it's a tri-band system that supports WiFi 6 and covers up to 2,000 square feet with just one node.

Buy Eero 6 at Amazon - $77Buy Eero Pro 6 at Amazon - $171

Breville Joule Sous Vide White

Breville Joule
Breville

The Breville Joule is one of our favorite sous vide cookers and its price has dropped by 20 percent; the white version is now $160 while the stainless steel option is $200. Sous vide cookers are wonderful because they’re able to cook foods at precise temperatures. This way you can get perfectly done meats every time, no guesswork required. The Joule is particularly impressive because it’s small, sleek and it fits perfectly inside the kitchen drawer. It works with WiFi and Bluetooth, and you can use the app to control the temperature from anywhere in the home.

Buy Joule (white) at Amazon - $160Buy Joule (stainless steel) at Amazon - $200

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The best deals on baby gadgets we found for Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 04:15 PM

Parenthood, while constantly entertaining, is also one of the most eye-ball meltingly frustrating experiences I’ve personally ever had. At the end of the day, I do not have patience for any additional extra hassles, be it an unresponsive device, lagging apps or diaper wipes that come out 15 at a time. There are some parenting gadgets that are actually worth your money because they can make life with new babies much more convenient, and some of our favorites are on sale for Black Friday. We’ve tried out nearly every product below so we can vouch for their advantages, functionality and what really counts as a good deal for the holiday shopping season. That way you can save all your patience for the toy cars, houses and high chairs you're going to have to build after Christmas. 

Nanit Pro baby monitor

Nanit Pro baby monitor
Nanit

Nanit earned a space in our best baby monitor guide because of the crisp, clear details provided by the 1080p birds-eye camera, day or night. The app provides detailed metrics about your child’s sleep habits, as well as video clips though some of that requires a subscription. And Nanit’s wearables — like the Breathing Wear or Smart sheets —measure additional data about your child like respiration rate and height, respectively. The Nanit Pro complete bundle, with the camera, wall mount, travel mount, Smart Sheet, Breathing Band and year of Nanit Insights, is 26 percent off, bringing it down to $280. The rest of Nanit’s products have been discounted as well, including smaller bundles and the wearable accessories.

Buy Nanit Pro bundle at Amazon - $280Shop Nanit Black Friday sales at Amazon

Eufy SpaceView Pro baby monitor

Eufy Spaceview
Amazon

Eufy makes reliable, uncomplicated baby monitors that use a wireless FHSS transmission to show a live feed of your kid’s room. Its lack of WiFi makes its feed more secure, though it does require you to carry around an external device. Eufy’s Spaceview Pro pans and tilts to show an entire room and the 5-inch display will last up to twelve continuous hours. The single camera package is $30 off with a coupon, knocking it down to $140, and a bundle that includes the camera, monitor and a crib mount is also discounted thanks to a $40 coupon, bringing it down to $155.

Buy SpaceView Pro monitor at Amazon - $140Buy SpaceView S monitor bundle at Amazon - $155

Cubo AI baby monitor

Cubo AI
Cubo AI

While we haven’t finished a formal review of the Cubo AI baby monitor, our initial testing went well: The cute bird-shaped camera can be mounted to a wall or crib and provides a detailed, clear 1080p view. The system uses AI to determine if your baby’s nose or mouth are covered and will send an alert; it can also be useful for older children where it can be set to alert you if they cross into prohibited areas. The feed runs to a companion app that works with Google Home or Alexa, provides two-way audio or enables the night light or lullaby features. Right now, the Cubo AI camera with the wall mount is $30 off with a coupon, making it $170.

Buy Cubo AI at Amazon - $170

Hatch Baby Rest

Hatch Rest
Amber Bouman/Engadget

Time and time again, I’ve recommended the Hatch Baby Rest because it’s a product I use every single day. The minimalist nightlight-slash-noise machine can display a variety of colors, and sounds, and is controllable from your smartphone or by using the physical buttons. Favorite combos can be saved and programmed, or you can select from presets. The Rest is helpful in sleep training kids, or keeping babies asleep, and can grow with kids by being used to signal awake times. The basic Rest is 40 percent off, so you can snag one for only $60.

Buy Hatch Baby Rest at Amazon - $60

Withings Thermo smart thermometer

Withings Thermo
Amazon

Another product that quickly won me over during testing is Withings Thermo smart thermometer. I know, a $100 temporal thermometer seems like an unnecessary extravagance. But it’s small and discrete enough to carry on trips, easy and painless to use on squirmy kiddos and the app makes it easy to track the readings from multiple family members. It’s also currently down to $64, only a few dollars shy of its lowest price ever, which makes it even easier to recommend.

Buy Withings Thermo at Amazon - $64

4moms mamaRoo 4 baby swing

4moms mamaroo4 infant seat
4moms

We put the mamaRoo 4 baby swing in our best baby gear guide thanks in part to its easy setup and the freedom it gives parents to entertain their kids without having them in their arms at all times. The swing mimics the things parents often do to soothe their kids with its five movement options, five speed settings and four built-in sounds. The best part? It's fully controllable via your smartphone, so you can easily change up the motion, speed or sound when your child gets bored and fussy. The mamaRoo 4 normally costs $250, but it's on sale for $200 for Black Friday.

Buy mamaRoo 4 at Amazon - $200

Miku baby monitor

Miku
Amazon

We haven’t reviewed the Miku yet, but it looks to offer many of the same advantages as the cameras we have spent hands-on time with: A birds-eye 1080p HD video stream of you child's crib that also measures respirations per minute, tracks sleep data, two-way audio, access from anywhere via the app and lullabies. The company is offering the camera with the wall mount for $300, which is $100 off.

Buy Miku baby monitor at Amazon - $300

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Tile trackers are up to 30 percent off in an Amazon one-day sale (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 12:00 PM

Tile trackers are among the many, many products that are on sale this Black Friday, and some of the bundles have hit all-time-low prices. The Performance Pack, which includes one Tile Pro and one Tile Slim (the credit-card sized one), has dropped from $60 to $42.

Buy Tile Performance Pack at Amazon - $42

The Pro Essentials bundle is also currently at the lowest price we've seen for it. For $70 (regularly $100), you'll get two Tile Pros, a Tile Slim and a Tile Sticker.

Buy Tile Pro Essentials at Amazon - $70

It's worth noting that the packs include the 2020 versions of the products, not the latest, more powerful versions Tile announced in October. The 2020 Sticker has a 150-foot range. Slim has a 200-foot range, and Pro has double that. Sticker and Slim are waterproof, and Pro is water resistant (and has the loudest ring). Each has a three-year battery life, though the Pro's battery is replaceable.

Some of the latest Tiles are on sale too. A two-pack of the 2022 Tile Mate is down from $48 to $35, while you can save $15 on a two-pack of the 2022 Tile Sticker. That bundle is currently $40.

Tile devices are Bluetooth trackers designed to help you find misplaced items. There's a crowdsourcing function that lets Tile other users ping the location of a tracker that's out of your own Bluetooth range, a setup that's become more commonplace in other trackers, like Apple AirTags.

If you're interested in picking up these products at these prices, you might need to move swiftly. These are one-day-only deals.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

LG appoints new CEO to lead its beleaguered electronics division (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 03:29 PM

LG has appointed a new CEO to lead its electronics business. Starting December 1st, current Chief Strategy Officer William Cho will take over for Bong-seok Kwon as the CEO of LG Electronics. Meanwhile, according to The Korea Herald, Kwon will head up LG’s main holding company. Cho has been with LG Electronics since 1987. Prior to his most recent role, he served as the president of LG Canada, and later had the same role at LG Australia and LG USA.

Cho is about to take the reins of LG Electronics at an inflection point for the company. It recently shut down its mobile division in July after the unit failed to make a profit in 23 consecutive quarters. At this point, LG Electronics is probably best known for its TVs and monitors, but there too it faces tough competition from Samsung and a variety of Chinese competitors. 

However, Cho will have help from a handful of executives the company has shuffled into new positions. Most notably, there’s Ik-hwan Jang who’s about to take up the top position at the company’s Business Solutions unit. Jang was most recently responsible for overseeing LG’s IT business portfolio where he helped LG become a powerhouse in the monitor space.

Amazon's Echo Show 8 drops to an all-time low of $90 for Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 11:17 AM

We've seen the second-gen Amazon Echo Show 8's price rise and fall over the past few months, but the e-commerce giant waited until Black Friday to list it for its lowest price yet. You can now get the smart display for $90, $40 less than its original price of $130. The Echo Show 8 listing that comes with six months of free Amazon Music Unlimited also costs $90 at the moment, while the Blink Mini camera bundle that was originally being sold for $165 now only costs $95.

Buy Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) at Amazon - $90

In addition, you can get the bundle that comes with a battery base for $40 less at $140, while the bundle with an adjustable stand now only costs $112. The latter is currently $43 less than its original price. We praised the second-gen Echo Show 8 for its minimalist design and features that make it great for video calls in our review. It has a digital pan-and-zoom face-tracking feature that can follow you while you move around and ensure you're in the frame. The tool works on every video calling platform available for the device, including Skype and Zoom. 

We also praised the device's beautiful display with a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels and its sound quality that's better than the Echo Show 5. Unlike its smaller sibling, the bigger device has two speakers instead of one, giving it the capability to deliver surprisingly powerful bass and an impressive volume. Amazon's Echo Show 8 can serve as a great digital photo frame, alarm clock and kitchen tool to display recipes while cooking. But in case you're looking for something else, a bunch of other Amazon Echo devices went on sale a few days ago. They include the Echo speaker at $60, the smaller Echo Show 5 at $45 and the 1st-gen Echo Show 8 for $65.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The best Black Friday tech deals you can get for under $50 (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 03:00 PM

Many people will be searching for discounts on big-ticket items this Black Friday — high-end headphones, game consoles, fancy smartwatches and the like. But there are plenty of tech deals out there today that won't burn a hole in your wallet — and not only can they make good gifts, but some are also solid purchases for yourself. If you're in need of a new charging cable, an extra SD card for your Nintendo Switch or an affordable streaming stick for that new TV you just bought, these are the deals to consider this Black Friday.

Samsung EVO Select microSD

Samsung’s EVO Select microSDXC card in 128GB is down to $16, or 20 percent off its normal price. This is the latest model and while you can find microSD cards for less, EVO is a reliable brand and you're getting a full-sized adapter with this one.

Buy EVO Select microSD (128GB) at Amazon - $16

Chromecast with Google TV

The Chromecast with Google TV has dropped to $40, which is $10 cheaper than usual. We gave the device a score of 86 for its 4K HDR streaming capabilities, Dolby Vision and Atmos support plus its much needed and very handy new remote.

Buy Chromecast with Google TV at Best Buy - $40

Echo Dot

The tiny Echo Dot has dropped to $20, and you can grab the Echo Dot with Clock for only $35. We gave it a score of 88 for its good audio quality for the price, compact design and tap-to-snooze feature.

Buy Echo Dot at Amazon - $20Buy Echo Dot with Clock at Amazon - $35

Google Nest Mini

The Nest Mini is down to $25. It's the affordable speaker to get if you want to put the Google Assistant in your home without dropping too much money, or taking up too much space.

Buy Nest Mini at Best Buy - $25

JLab Go Air Pop

JLab's already affordable Go Air Pop earbuds are down to only $13 right now. These colorful true wireless buds sport an eight-hour battery life, a small and comfortable design and touch controls.

Buy Go Air Pop at Best Buy - $13

Anker Soundcore Spirit Dot 2

Anker's impressive Soundcore Spirit Dot 2 earbuds have been discounted to $40. We consider them to be the best budget buds out there right now thanks in part to their punchy base, IPX7-rated design and affordable price.

Buy Spirit Dot 2 at Amazon - $40

Wacom Intuos drawing tablet

Wacom Intuos drawing tablet
Wacom

Wacom's compact Intuos drawing tablet is down to a new all-time low of $50, which is $30 off its normal price. Artists and doodlers are typically drawn to Wacom's tablets, but those who just want a bit more control over their computer may also like them. It comes with a 4k pressure-sensitive pen that's battery free, and the tablet itself has a few customizable shortcut keys. And since it plugs into your machine via a USB-A port, it will work with almost any computer, including Chromebooks.

Buy Intuos drawing tablet at Amazon - $50

Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Show 5 smart speaker
Nicole Lee / Engadget

The Echo Show 5 has dropped to $45, or $40 off its normal price. This is the best Echo smart display if you want one as a smart alarm clock. We like its ambient light sensor, smart home controls and tap-to-snooze feature.

Buy Echo Show 5 (2nd gen) at Amazon - $45

Kindle

Amazon Kindle
Engadget

Amazon's standard Kindle has been discounted to $50, which is its best price yet. We gave this e-reader a score of 91 for its improved contrast display, extra front lights and sleeker design.

Buy Kindle at Amazon - $50

Fire 7 tablet

The Fire 7 tablet is on sale for $35. If you're looking for a cheap tablet to be a couch device, or to give your kid without worry, this is a good option. While it doesn't have the Google Play Store, you can still use it to check email, watch videos, play music and more.

Buy Fire 7 at Amazon - $35

Fire HD 8

The Fire HD 8 tablet is on sale for $45, or half off its normal price. We gave it a score of 79 for its decent performance, good battery life, wireless charging capabilities and USB-C port.

Buy Fire HD 8 at Amazon - $45

Fire TV Stick 4K Max

The new Fire TV Stick 4K Max has dropped to $35. This has all of the features of the standard Fire TV Stick 4K plus support for WiFi 6 and picture-in-picture live view.

Buy Fire TV Stick 4K Max at Amazon - $35

Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K is on sale for $25 right now. It's one of the easiest ways to get 4K streaming TV into your TV, plus it supports Dolby Audio and Alexa voice commands.

Buy Fire TV Stick 4K at Amazon - $25

Fire TV Stick Lite

The Fire TV Stick Lite has dropped to $18. It provides 1080p streaming, access to services like Netflix and Prime Video and can stream music from services like Spotify and Pandora.

Buy Fire TV Stick Lite at Amazon - $18

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

The new Roku Streaming Stick 4K is on sale for $30, or $20 off its normal price. It builds upon the technology in the Streaming Stick+, supporting 4K HDR10+ content, Dolby Vision, long-range WiFi, voice search and TV controls with the included remote.

Buy Roku Streaming Stick 4K at Amazon - $30

Blink security cameras

The Blink Indoor one-camera kit is on sale for $50 and the cam itself is totally wireless, so you can place them almost anywhere. It supports 1080p recording, motion alerts, two-way audio and temperature monitoring. The Blink Mini wired camera is also on sale for only $20.

Buy Blink Indoor at Amazon - $50Buy Blink Mini at Amazon - $20

Expired

Anker charging gadgets

For Black Friday only, Anker charging devices are up to 56 percent off at Amazon. Not everything in this sale is under $50, but many accessories are — this includes a two-pack of the PowerPort Nano charger for $20, the new Nano II 65W GaN charger for $31 and the PowerCore Magnetic 5K for only $32.

8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+

Today only, you can pick up the 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ for only $40, or 20 percent off its normal price and a new record-low. 8Bitdo has a reputation for making comfortable, affordable game controllers, and we thought the Sn30 Pro+ was its best yet for the Nintendo Switch when it first came out. The wireless accessory has a design based on the iconic SNES controller with a plethora of buttons and handles that rival the comfort provided by Nintendo's own Switch Pro controller. On top of that, it comes with a removable battery pack and it supports AA batteries as well.

Tile trackers

Amazon's one-day sale on Tile devices knocks up to 30 percent off the Bluetooth trackers. All items except for one bundle are under $50, including the 2022 Tile Mate two-pack, which is down to $35, and the 2020 Tile Performance pack, which is on sale for $42.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

DJI's Mavic Mini drone combo pack is $200 off today only (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 09:50 AM

DJI's Mavic Mini drone is arguably the best model for most people in the company's lineup purely because it's small, easy to take with you and fairly simple to fly. At $500, the Mavic Mini is expensive for a high-tech toy, but much more affordable that full-sized drones. But for today only, you can get the Mini in a combo pack for $200 off, bringing it down to $300. The pack includes the drone, the remote control, three batteries, three pairs of spare propellers, a number of cables and extra control sticks and a carrying bag.

Buy Mavic Mini combo pack at Amazon - $300

DJI is known for making impressive drones, and the Mavic Mini is no exception. One of the biggest hurdles of flying a drone is deciding to take it with you, and that can be a difficult decision when you have a massive flying machine to consider. But the Mavic Mini is small enough that it can really come with you anywhere without inducing much anxiety. When folded up, it's roughly the size of a soda can and weighs about the same as a large smartphone, making it light and fairly discrete.

It's also pretty easy to fly, and you can do so with either your smartphone or the included remote. It holds up to wind decently, and although it doesn't have obstacle avoidance like DJI's larger drones, it does have GPS and a downward-facing sensor that helps it hold position even when you don't have satellite reception. The Mini shoots video in 2.7K/30fps or 1080p/60fps and it supports Dronie, Rocket, Circule and Helix QuickShots, which are automatic moves that the drone can perform to get some cool footage in a short amount of time. There's no ActiveTrack on the Mini, which is a bummer, but it's to be expected that DJI would save some advanced features for its higher-end models.

Our biggest gripes with the Mavic Mini are the fewer smart modes at its disposal, along with the core camera features it's missing and a slightly flakey video stream over WiFi connectivity. Otherwise, it's a solid, compact drone that's a great options for those eager to get their hands on one of these gadgets without dropping too much money.

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Bitwig Studio 4.1 adds powerful new Note FX for mangling MIDI (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 02:45 PM

Bitwig is still something of an upstart in the world of digital audio workstations (DAW), but the rate at which it keeps improving and expanding its powers is truly impressive. With the official release of Bitwig Studio 4.1 the company is leaning hard into the sort of unpredictable and generative musical ideas it already excels at.

The big news in 4.1 is a collection of eight new Note FX bringing the total to 23. These allow you to manipulate MIDI on a per-note basis, for example by using an arpeggiator. But the eight new additions get a little more experimental and some take inspiration from the world of physics to deliver semi-random results. Dribble, for example, triggers notes based simulating a bouncing ball, repeating them "until gravity wins." Ricochet is similar except notes careen around a "room", retriggering with each collision. 

Some of the new effects actually lean in the other direction and away from randomization. Quantize, for instance, is all about keeping your notes locked to the beat, though there is some leeway here via the "forgiveness" parameter. 

The new collection of Note FX is rounded out by Humanize, Randomize, Strum, Bend and Note Repeats. The power of these new effects really comes unlocked when you start combining them. Bitwig's modular nature is part of what makes it so unique, including The Grid, its built-in sound design environment that lets you create custom instruments and effects. 

Bitwig is also intruding a soundpack to take advantage of the added FX called Notes in Bloom. Inside are a collection of presets featuring the new Note FX, including some chained together that "make your played and held notes repeat, dance, bounce and create interesting rhythms in real time, so you can use them while playing live."

If you've been considering give Bitwig a try, now is a great time to do it. Both Studio and 16-Track are on sale until January 11th. The stripped back 16-track edition is marked down to $79, from $99. While the full-fledge Studio version is $100 off, bringing the price to just $299. While $299 isn't exactly impulse purchase territory, it's pretty inexpensive in the world of DAWs. Even with a pretty steep 25-percent discount for Black Friday Ableton's Live 11 suite is $562.

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced drops to $1,400 for Black Friday (www.engadget.com) 11/26/2021 08:45 AM

A number of Razer products are getting big discounts for Black Friday today, but the best deal might be on the Razer Blade 15 Advanced gaming laptop. It's on sale for just $1,400, or nearly half off (46 percent) the regular price. 

Buy Razer Blade 15 Advanced at Amazon - $1,400

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced is a highly-rated gaming laptop thanks to the premium build quality, 300 Hz FHD display, and components like the Core i7-10875H 8-core CPU and GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q graphics. The sale model also comes with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and more. Other features include that distinctive jet-black unibody aluminum case, tiny bezels, an excellent touchpad and a webcam that's mounted up top, where it belongs. 

It's not the latest model, of course, but it delivers plenty of gaming kick at a price that's hard to match. It's no slouch in terms of battery life, either, with an excellent 8:50 time in our rundown tests. The only major drawback is that it's not quite as light as some gaming laptops, though it's still relatively slim at 0.7 inches. In any case, if you've been looking at the Blade 15 Advanced for gaming or content creation — but waiting for the best sale — this is it. 

Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by visiting our deals homepage and following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

'Squeezed' light might produce breakthroughs in nano-sized electronics (www.engadget.com) 11/27/2021 04:44 PM

It's one thing to produce nanoscale devices, but it's another to study and improve on them — they're so small they can't reflect enough light to get a good look. A breakthrough might make that possible, however. UC Riverside researchers have built technology that squeezes tungsten lamp light into a 6-nanometer spot at the end of a silver nanowire. That lets scientists produce color imaging at an "unprecedented" level, rather than having to settle for molecular vibrations.

The developers modified an existing "superfocusing" tool (already used to measure vibrations) to detect signals across the entire visible spectrum. Light travels in a flashlight-like conical path. When the nanowire's tip passes over an object, the system records that item's influence on the beam shape and color (including through a spectrometer). With two pieces of specrtra for every 6nm pixel, the team can create color photos of carbon nanotubes that would otherwise appear gray.

This ability to compress light is notable by itself, but the inventors see it playing an important role in nanotechnology. Semiconductor producers could develop more uniform nanomaterials that find their way into chips and other densely-packed devices. The squeezed light could also improve humanity's understanding of nanoelectronics, quantum optics and other scientific fields where this resolution hasn't been available.

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