ET Deals: Echo Show 8 + Echo Dot $80, $150 off Inspiron 3670, Roomba 675 $200


If you’ve been holding off on buying a smart home device, wait no longer. Today, Amazon is offering its Echo Show 8 with an Echo Dot for $79.99, which is an even better deal than we saw on the Echo Show 8 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Echo Show 8 and Echo Dot Combo Deal ($79.99)

Amazon’s Echo Show 8 and Echo Dot are versatile smart home devices that have numerous functions. These devices accept voice commands and can supply you with a wide range of information on topics ranging from the weather to cooking recipes. They can control a wide range of other Alexa-enabled devices. Right now you can get both from Amazon for just $79.99, which is the best deal we’ve seen on the Echo Show 8 this year.

Dell Inspiron 3670 Intel Core i5-9400 Desktop w/ 8GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB 7,200RPM HDD ($449.99)

This computer was designed to be a well-rounded home computer with a reasonably fast Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. It’s certainly not the fastest system on the market today, but it has plenty of performance for heavy web browsing and other tasks like editing photos. You can get it now from Dell reduced from $599.99 to $449.99.

iRobot Roomba 675 Wi-Fi Robot Vacuum w/ Alexa Support ($199.00)

The Roomba 675 offers solid performance at a price that won’t break the bank. It utilizes a three-stage cleaning system to thoroughly clean your floors as it navigates your home. It also has a battery that can last up to 90 minutes, after which the robot returns to its charging station automatically. You can get one now from Amazon marked down from $299.99 to $199.99.

Featured Deals

Check out more Cyber Monday Sales from TechBargains.

Apple Devices

  • Apple Watch Series 5 44mm GPS Smartwatch for $384.99 at Amazon (Discount seen at checkout – list price $429)
  • Apple MacBook Air 13.3″ Intel 8th-Gen Core i5 Laptop with 128GB SSD (Current Gen) for $899.99 at Amazon (list price $1099)
  • Apple MacBook Air 13.3″ Intel Core i5 Laptop with 128GB SSD (Prev gen) for $699.99 at Amazon (Discount seen at checkout – list price $999)
  • Apple MacBook Pro 15″ Intel 9th-Gen Core i9 8-core Laptop with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $2299 at Amazon (list price $2799)

More Apple Deals here.

Amazon Devices and Services

  • Save $5 when you spend $20 Print Books at Amazon
  • Echo Show 8 8″ HD Smart Display + Echo Dot for $79.99 at Amazon (list price $129.99)
  • Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit Home Security System + Echo Dot for $139 (8 Piece for $169) at Amazon (list price $199)
  • Blink XT2 2-Camera Wirefree Outdoor Smart Security Camera with Free Echo Dot for $134.99 at Amazon (list price $229.98)
  • Echo Dot 3rd Gen Smart Speaker for $24.99 at Amazon (list price $49.99)
  • Echo Dot with Clock Smart Speaker for $34.99 at Amazon (list price $59.99)
  • Echo Show 5 5.5″ Smart Display for $59.99 at Amazon (list price $89.99)

More Amazon Device Deals here.

Smart Home Devices

  • iRobot Roomba 675 WiFi Robot Vacuum for $199.99 at Amazon (list price $269)
  • iRobot Roomba 960 WiFi Robot Vacuum for $399 at Amazon (list price $649.99)
  • iRobot Roomba i7 (7150) WiFi Robot Vacuum for $499 at Amazon (list price $799)
  • Roborock S6 2000Pa Robot Vacuum and Mop with Selective Room Cleaning for $449.99 at Amazon (list price $649.99)
  • Roborock S5 2000Pa Smart Robot Vacuum and Mop for $359.99 at Amazon (Clip Coupon – list price $599.99)
  • ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner for $118.99 at Amazon (list price $159.99)
  • eufy RoboVac 11S 1300Pa Suction Robot Vacuum for $150.39 at Amazon (Clip Coupon – list price $229.99)
  • eufy Security eufyCam E 1080p Wireless Security Camera System 1-Cam Kit for $119.99 at Amazon (Clip Coupon – list price $229.99)
  • Chamberlain MYQ Smart WiFi Garage Door Opener for $19.98 at Amazon (list price $49.99)
  • TP-Link HS200 Kasa Smart WiFi Light Switch for $19.34 at Amazon (list price $22.49)

More Smart Home Deals here.

Laptops

  • Dell Vostro 15 5590 Intel 10th-Gen Core i7-10510U 15.6″ 1080p Laptop for $709 at Dell (list price $1427.14)
  • Dell Vostro 13 5000 Intel 10th-Gen Core i5-10210U 13.3″ 1080p Laptop for $599 at Dell (list price $1212.86)
  • Dell Vostro 14 3000 Intel Core i5-10510U 14″ 1080p Laptop for $519 at Dell (list price $1041.43)
  • ASUS Chromebook C425 Intel Core M3-8100Y 14″ 1080p Laptop for $329.99 at Amazon (list price $499.99)

More Laptop Deals here.

Desktop Computers

  • Dell Inspiron 3670 Intel Core i5-9400 6-core Desktop for $449.99 at Dell (list price $599.99)
  • Dell PowerEdge T40 Intel Xeon E-2224G Quad-core Tower Server for $349 at Dell (use code: CyberServer – list price $864)
  • Dell XPS 8930 Intel Core i7-9700 8-core Tower Desktop with 16GB RAM for $799.99 at Dell (use code: 50OFF699 – list price $999.99)
  • Dell PowerEdge T30 Intel Xeon E3-1225v5 Quad-core Mini Tower Server for $299 at Dell (list price $778)
  • Alienware Aurora R8 Intel Core i5-9400 6-core Gaming Desktop with GTX 1660 Ti, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $899.99 at Dell (use code: 50OFF699 – list price $1399.99)
  • Dell OptiPlex 3070 SFF Intel Core i5-9500 6-core Compact Desktop for $679 at Dell (list price $1127.14)
  • Dell Precision 3431 SFF Workstation Intel Core i5-9400 6-core Win10 Pro Desktop for $669 at Dell (list price $1159.34)
  • Dell Vostro 5000 Intel Core i7-9700 8-core Desktop with GTX 1660Ti, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM for $1199 at Dell (list price $2070)

More Desktop PC Deals here.

Monitors and PC Accessories

  • Alienware AW3418DW 34″ 3440×1440 GSYNC Curved IPS Gaming Monitor for $599.99 at Dell (list price $1349.99)
  • Samsung CF39M 32″ 1080p Curved LED Monitor for $149.99 at Walmart (list price $249)
  • LG 34GL750-B 34″ 2560×1080 144Hz Ultragear Curved IPS Gaming Monitor for $379.99 at Amazon (list price $549.99)
  • Dell S2719DGF 27″ 2560×1440 1ms FreeSync Gaming Monitor for $289.99 at Dell (list price $509.99)
  • Dell U2717D UltraSharp 27″ 2560×1440 QHD IPS InfinityEdge Monitor for $269.99 at Dell (list price $599.99)
  • Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam with Privacy Shutter for $49.99 at Amazon (list price $69.99)
  • Dell TB16 Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C Universal Docking Station for $145.99 at Dell (list price $319.99)
  • Canon imageCLASS MF741Cdw Wireless Color All-in-One Laser Printer for $249 at Amazon (list price $309.99)

More Monitor Deals here.

TVs & Home Entertainment

More TV Deals here.

Storage, Networking, and Components

  • Samsung EVO Select 256GB MicroSDXC Card for $27.99 (512GB for $65) at Amazon (list price $49.99)
  • Seagate FireCuda Gaming 2TB 2.5″ SATA SSHD for $59.99 at Amazon (list price $94.99)
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5″ SSD for $59.99 (1TB for $110) at Amazon (list price $109.99)
  • Samsung 970 EVO 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD for $149.99 at Amazon (list price $169.99)
  • Netgear Nighthawk R6700 AC1750 Dual-band Smart WiFi Router (Up to 1500 sq ft Coverage) for $62.19 at Amazon (list price $89.99)
  • Netgear Orbi RBK23 AC2200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi System (3-Pack) for $194.99 at Amazon (list price $299.99)
  • Netgear Orbi RBK33 AC2200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi System with Router and 2 Wall Plugs for $189.99 at Amazon (list price $299.99)
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3400G Desktop Processor with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics for $129.99 at Walmart (list price $149.99)

More StorageNetworking, and Components Deals.

Electronics

  • LG G8X ThinQ 128GB 6.4″ Dual Screen FHD+ OLED Unlocked Smartphone for $699.99 at Amazon (list price $949.99)
  • Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones for $278 at Amazon (list price $349.99)
  • Beats Studio3 Noise Cancelling Wireless Over-Ear Headphones for $279.95 at Amazon (list price $349.99)
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for $299 at Amazon (list price $349)
  • Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo Bluetooth 5.0 True Wireless Earbuds for $34.99 at Amazon (Clip Coupon – list price $49.99)
  • Sony Alpha a7IIK Mirrorless Digital Camera with 28-70mm Lens for $998 at Amazon (list price $1740.78)
  • Sony Alpha a7 III 24.2MP 4K Mirrorless Full-Frame Digital Camera Body for $1798 at Amazon (list price $1998)
  • Sabrent AX-LPD5 114W USB PD Smart Charger Charging Station (4x USB-A, 1x USB-C) for $29.99 at Amazon (use code: 40LIC6FW – list price $69.99)

More Electronics & Tech Deals here.

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Buick Throws in the Towel on Cars in the US

2019 Buick Regal GS

Sedans are out at Buick in the United States as it shifts to an all-SUV lineup in 2020. The final sedan in the US lineup, the Regal (main photo), will sell off what remains in stock. That also includes the well-regarded and soft-selling Buick Regal Tour X, a European-style sporty station wagon. Buick will end the year selling about 15,000 Regals, or one of every 14 Buicks sold and one of ever 70 GM vehicles sold.

This continues the transition of Buick from upper-echelon sedan from and for North America, below only Cadillac, to a brand with as much as 80 percent of sales coming from China in recent years. The Buick branding and tri-shield logo now cover a range of vehicles designed, built and/or sold in China and Europe. With the focus on so-called badge-engineering, Buick has little technology it can point to as exclusively Buick.

Buick.com’s new car lineup as of December shows 10 vehicles. The three Regals and two LaCrosses are gone or going.

In the past year, GM axed its other two sedans, the Buick LaCrosse and the short-lived Buick Cascada convertible. Its lineup going forward will be, from smaller to larger, Encore, Encore GX, Enclave, and Enclave Avenir. The Encore GX is not a trim line (model variant) but a separate model, based on the recently announced Chevrolet Trailblazer. See, more badge-engineering.

Buick beefs up the 2020 lineup with the Encore GX, derived from the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

For years, Buick was the next-to-last step up the General Motors ladder of success. A proper executive in the gray flannel suit followed this progression:

  • Chevrolet
  • Pontiac
  • Oldsmobile
  • Buick
  • Cadillac

Now, Pontiac (2009) and Oldsmobile (2004) are gone. So is Saturn (2009), GM’s attempt to think different. The GM ladder to success also didn’t include GMC, which provides upscale SUVs and pickups, and outsells Buick by almost 3-1. Buick added the Avenir sub-brand to three models and there has been talk that Avenir might one day replace Buick as the middle brand. As of 2019, the Buick nameplate has been dropped from the trunk or tailgate, although that’s not uncommon among car brands. Many just go with the car’s emblem, the model name, and sometimes a designator for all-wheel-drive or a sport version.

Sedans are selling well for some automakers. Among the top 10 sellers in 2018, there were three sedans. The Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla each sold at least 300,000 units. And the just-shipping 2020 Hyundai Sonata is one of the leading contenders for some of the car of the year awards, even if it doesn’t have the sex appeal of the 2020 Corvette.

Buick currently is in the middle of GM sales in the US. Through three quarters of 2019, they are:

Chevrolet, 1,444,539, 68 percent of GM sales.

GMC, 418,070, 20 percent

Buick, 157,852, 7 percent

Cadillac, 115,697, 5 percent

While Cadillac has fewer sales, the brand has more upscale cachet. People still say (mostly old people still say), “That’s the Cadillac of blenders [or motor homes, or tennis rackets].” Also, it was Cadillac, not Buick, that was chosen to spearhead General Motors’ push into the premium end of vehicle electrification, while Chevrolet is the standard-bearer for the mainstream. It’s Cadillac also that has led the way with GM technologies such as capacitive touch screens and the innovative (if not well-received initially) Cadillac User Experience (CUE). The best thing Buick had going was the funky “That’s Not a Buick” campaign showing hip millennials and cute old people who couldn’t believe the fab-looking car that just pulled up was … a Buick.

Now one clue will be: If it’s a sedan pulling up, it’s not a Buick.

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New Robot With ‘Emotional Intelligence’ Arrives at Space Station


The population of the International Space Station (ISS) is about to go up by one, but it won’t be another human occupant. It’ll be an AI-powered flying robot called CIMON-2, a followup to the experimental CIMON robot that debuted last year. The ISS’ newest AI bot should reach the station in a few days, and its designers hope CIMON-2 can prove even more useful to the crew than its predecessor. 

The CIMON project is a collaboration between German Aerospace Center (DLR), Airbus, and IBM that aims to design a robotic assistant that can save astronauts time on the ISS. Every minute on the station is valuable, and some of the research carried out there cannot be done anywhere else. CIMON can read experimental procedures, record video, and even have simple conversations with astronauts. Astronauts can even tell CIMON to go snap a photo of something on the station and report back. 

CIMON-2 and the original CIMON robot look like floating spheres with one flattened side. There’s a screen on the flat side that can display images or data, but it has a humanoid face at rest. IBM seems to want to avoid any HAL 9000 comparisons by making CIMON look extra friendly. 

The original CIMON debuted in mid-2018 and operated on the ISS for 14 months. Now, CIMON-2 is on its way to the station after launching aboard a SpaceX resupply mission on December 4th. While the new CIMON looks like the old one, IBM says it has improved the robot’s spatial awareness with ultrasonic sensors. It can also respond to human emotions thanks to IBM’s Watson Tone Analyzer. 

Non-robots holding CIMON-2 before its launch.

CIMON-1 proved that an AI-powered robot could operate on the ISS and understand commands given to it by the crew. The emotional angle for CIMON-2 could give the robot more context when interacting with humans. For example, CIMON-2 might be able to understand when a person is in a good mood, causing it to be extra chatty. If its humanoid partner is frustrated or preoccupied, it could change its behavior to be less distracting. IBM even sees a day when CIMON could detect group-think in a conversation and combat it by acting as a devil’s advocate. 

Airbus predicts that CIMON-2 will remain active on the ISS for at least three years. In the future, the companies want to export the Watson AI on robots that will travel to the Moon and Mars to aid astronauts.

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Analyst: Apple Could Remove Charging Port from 2021 iPhone


Apple has always tried to forge its own path and develop many of the technologies it incorporates into its products, but that sometimes means ignoring existing standards. The company adopted its custom Lightning connector on mobile devices in 2012, and the industry has come a long way since then. While Apple has moved to USB Type-C on some devices, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple won’t do that with the iPhone. Instead, it will just remove the port altogether

Lightning was a major step forward for Apple back in 2012. It replaced the ancient 30-pin dock connector, which was huge, ugly, and charged slowly. Lightning supported faster charging, and it was fully reversible. It’s getting to be time for another change, though. Lightning is getting long in the tooth now, and USB-C has it beat in every way. That connector is more durable, supports extremely high charging speeds, and it’s a universal standard. 

Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will drop Lightning in 2021, and he doesn’t rule out some mobile devices moving to USB-C. However, the “high-end” iPhones will allegedly become entirely wireless. That means you’d have to use a wireless charger all the time. That’s already an option on Apple’s phones, but does it make sense for wireless to be the only option?

This all sounds a bit crazy when you first hear it, but many people thought the same thing a few years ago when analysts speculated that Apple could drop Touch ID or the headphone jack. However, those moves worked because there were ways to provide the same functionality with limited compromises. AirPods (and other Bluetooth devices) are a good alternative to the headphone jack, and Face ID has ably replaced Touch ID. 

568806-iphone-x

So, this may be something Apple would consider, but even Apple will find it a challenge to get users to accept wireless-only charging. For one, it’s harder to use the phone while it’s charging wirelessly. Wireless charging is slow, too. Apple’s implementation of the Qi standard currently tops out at 7.5W, slower than the 10W you get with the stock charging cable. Even if Apple devised a custom wireless charging standard, it couldn’t match the ever-higher USB-C charging speeds offered on other devices. 

Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the fully wireless iPhone would improve sales, but that seems like something of a stretch. Killing the charging port will be a harder sell than doing away with the headphone jack.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 2 Might Be Much Cheaper


Samsung revealed the Galaxy Fold in early 2019, but it didn’t launch until just a few weeks ago. It turns out foldable phones are hard to get right, and the Fold wasn’t exactly inexpensive even when it did launch. Samsung wanted almost $2,000 for this first-of-its-kind smartphone. A new report from South Korea suggests the Galaxy Fold 2 may be here soon, and it could be much cheaper than the first-gen device

The Galaxy Fold was the first consumer-ready foldable phone to market, even after the months-long delay. Samsung initially wanted to launch the phone in spring 2019, but the first handful of review units began failing after just a few days. Samsung recalled all the samples and set to work revamping the Fold to make the hinge and screen more robust and able to keep particulates from creeping inside. 

Samsung released the Galaxy Fold last month for the same $1,980 price it announced in February. It hasn’t made much of an effort to sell the phones — most units are sold at retail by AT&T and Best Buy. It’s not hard to see why with that exorbitant price tag. 

The Korean Herald claims that Samsung will take a much different approach with the Galaxy Fold 2. The site predicts a price of 1,000,000 KRW, with works out to just $837. That would make it slightly less expensive than recent non-foldable phones like the Note 10. The Herald also believes Samsung could unveil the Fold 2 at Mobile World Congress in early 2020. 

fold-1

The hinge on the Galaxy Fold is a complex piece of engineering, and Samsung had to redesign it to make the phone more durable.

The first Galaxy Fold had some of the same specs as the Note 10, including a Snapdragon 855 and 12GB of RAM. That alone isn’t enough to make a phone obscenely expensive, though. OnePlus manages to offer similar specs for much less. It was the Fold’s 7.3-inch folding internal display that boosted the price into the stratosphere. It’s hard to see how Samsung could cut the price of the sequel by more than half while still offering a large foldable screen. 

Samsung may also be looking at stiffer foldable competition in 2020. While the Galaxy Fold attracted mostly skeptical feedback from buyers, the recently announced Moto Razr foldable has people more excited. That phone will launch in early 2020, but it’ll cost around $1,500.

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