5 technology bargains for 2013
Redbox's new streaming service, economically priced Ultrabooks, and slashed prices on HDTVs are expected at Consumer Electronics Show.
Mon, Jan 07, 2013 at 10:27 AM
As the Consumer Electronics Show prepares to open next week in Las Vegas, we've already heard about the $10,000 55-inch OLED TV from LG and a 100-inch laser TV projector with an as yet undisclosed price. But when the hoopla is over, you'll be able to count on some good deals in the coming year.
Here are five ways you can save money on technology in 2013.
DealNews.com, a site that tracks prices on all sorts of electronics, has said it expects continued price cuts on big-screen LCD TVs this year. One reason for the discounts may be that TV manufacturers invested in 3D technology, which has been largely shunned by shoppers, according to research firm NPD. Manufacturers may be eager to boost sales with less complex models. For instance, a 50-inch LED TV from LG is available from Walmart for $648 with free shipping — the lowest price for any 50-inch HDTV, according to DealNews.
2. Streaming Movies
Redbox Instant from Verizon is a soon-to-be-released streaming movie service that could be a better deal than Netflix. Redbox Instant will offer unlimited movie streaming along with four Redbox DVD rentals per month for $8, compared to $16 for a similar service from Netflix. At the onset, Redbox will only offer movies (no TV shows) but it will include a bigger streaming selection of blockbuster titles than Netflix.
Customers will be able to watch Redbox Instant on their phones, tablets and computers, as well as through Blu-ray players and smart TVs from Samsung and LG. To sign up for an invitation, visit the Redbox Instant website and submit your email.
In 2012, the U.S. Justice Department sued Apple and five major e-book publishers over allegations of price-fixing. Four of the publishers — Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster — agreed to settle and will no longer be able to prevent retailers from discounting their titles. Apple and Macmillan declined to settle, and a trial has been scheduled for June 2013. But the good news for readers is that Amazon has begun discounting e-books once again, and even Apple has followed suit to remain competitive.
Last year at CES, Ultrabooks were all the rage. Lightweight and thin with higher resolution displays than previous PC laptops, the new Intel-branded computers were almost as expensive as MacBook Air laptops, starting at around $800. However, a slew of "basic" Ultrabooks with prices starting around $500 is expected to debut at CES.
For the first time, new iPhones got a big discount. Walmart slashed the price of the iPhone 5 to $127 by offering a $60 in-store discount. A similar discount is available on the iPhone 4S. Both require the purchase of a new 2-year service contract along with the phone. The iPhone 4 has become free on contract with all service providers.
While CES won't be the place for major new phone announcements, which are traditionally reserved for Mobile World Congress in February, expect to see a bigger selection of Android smartphones on budget plans to compete with iPhones as the year progresses. Check back for CES 2013 coverage from Las Vegas beginning Jan. 6.
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