Miscellaneous Gizmos and GoPro Hero4 Black and Lenovo X1 Carbon

Well the summer is here so here are some of the best gizmos:

  • UE Boom ($170 from Best Buy and Amazon) is pretty cool and small. You can get 1.5% off via a Best Buy rebate and also they have a rewards program with an additional 2% off, so pennies, but they will add up! It is waterproof and lasts forever

  • Airplay for existing devices and Bluetooth with a dedicated AirEnabler. It does seem like every new stereo you buy should have Wifi, Airplay and Bluetooth. Certainly the HK Aura we have does and it is awesome particularly Airplay if you’ve got lots of iOS devices. But is there a cheaper and easier way to add airplay than the huge clunky and expensive Airport Express? You can get $25 dongles that are battery powered for your car that converts your ¼” mini plug into bluetooth or for $29 you can get a AC powered bluetooth dongle to ¼” plug. That’s nice as you don’t need a cable. I’m still looking 

  • Outdoor speaker systems. It is summer time and we got three out of our six old speaker connections working, but these outdoor speakers do die. Wonder if there is a truly waterproof speaker and whether it is time to switch to using wireless for them rather than trying to make buried cable work. You do need power is the thing so it is nice if we can get the low power audio speakers working.

  • DJI Phantom 3 Professional Drone. Wow this thing keeps racking up the rewards. $1259 from Amazon, but via Rakuten there is a 3% rebate to Adorama plus 1% from their rewards points (I just missed their 5% rewards, but oh well).

  • For cards, you need at least a U-3 microSDXC 64GB card. Amazon seems to have the lowest price for the Sandisk Extreme at $41 for this bad boy at 60MBps write which you need for 4K Video recording. These are incredibly cheap. $41 for 64GB?

  • Finally, you need a bag and an extra battery for these. I held off on this until I read more reviews, but Adorama has them for their nominal $149 value. If you buy through Rakuten, you can get a 3% vs 2% rebate. 

  • Now on to a GoPro Hero 4 Black for 4K video but without a screen on the back. Sigh vs a HD with a screen on the back. Those are some tough choices, because who doesn’t want a touchscreen and 4K video. Still the 4K is pretty cool if you can crop it and make it useful. The best deal seems ironically to be Walmart buying through Tigerdirect as this has a 1% shipping charge, but a 4% rebate while Tigerdirect is 2% rebate with now shipping, so about a % over the $479 special price. Rakuten has it from a third party seller for $450 and they have a 5% additional rewards points plus 2% rebate from shopping site, so a nice triple dip if you also use a rewards credit card (2-5% back). I tried to see if there is a Rakuten gift card as well but no go there.

  • Finally, I’ve been thinking I want to at least try Android and with Android M coming, it would be good to understand since ideally I want one with a great open camera, Android M and which can use Google Fi (to try to see if we can get off of Verizon!) What’s the best camera phone out there now Tom’s Guide is trying to answer this. The Samsung S6 is 16MP and faster at f/1.9 (vs f/2.2 in the S5) and has optical image stabilization. The CM1 is $1000 and the S6 is $650 unlocked.

  • The Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch seems like it is the best unibody laptop that is in the MacBook class. It has a core i7 and an m.2 PCI Express SSD so is decently fast. It is $1950 on Amazon but you can get it on Rakuten for about the same price at $2050 from something called Klick Digital which only has one review, so not good. Otherwise it is $2259 from PCRush so Amazon is a better deal right now.