It’s a refurb, but it ticks all the important Chromebook boxes. Plus: Two bonus deals!
In the market for a new laptop? This might be the ideal time to see if a Chromebook is the right option for you.
The price is certainly right: Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished HP Chromebook 14-ca043cl for $199.99, with free shipping for Prime subscribers. (Amazon owns Woot.) Elsewhere, I’m seeing it new for $325.
Available in your choice of Chalkboard Gray or Snow White, the HP is a 3.4-pound laptop with a 14-inch Full HD screen. That means it runs at 1,920×1,080 resolution, higher than what you see in a lot of budget Chromebooks. Just as important, it’s an anti-glare IPS screen, so it should look sharp from all viewing angles.
The dual-core Intel processor is no powerhouse, but it doesn’t need to be: Chrome OS requires considerably less horsepower than Windows. Similarly, the system has just 32GB of onboard storage, but most people are likely to keep their data in the cloud, in which case local storage is less crucial.
If you need more, you can pop in a microSD card or leverage one of the system’s four USB ports: two USB-C, two USB 3.1.
This should also be a pretty decent multimedia machine, as it incorporates a B&O Play sound system and dual speakers.
Two caveats: This being Chrome OS, printer setup can be a hassle — and that’s assuming your printer is indeed Google Cloud Print-compatible. And, this being a refurb, the warranty is just 90 days.
CNET hasn’t reviewed this model, but some 80-plus Google reviews average out to a respectable 4.2 stars. At $200, I’m liking this laptop option.
Remote-controlled boat: $55
“Spring is coming,” I tell myself as I look out at the layer of snow Michigan dumped on us last night. “Spring is coming.”
That means someday, maybe, it’ll be time to jump back into lakes, rivers, pools and the like. And I can think of no better toy to bring along than a remote-controlled boat.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last. Cheapskate readers can get the Force1 H102 Velocity RC boat for $54.99 with promo code CNETBOAT. Price elsewhere: at least $66.
I haven’t tried this myself, but it looks pretty slick. It’s speedy, able to hit 20 mph. It can automatically recover from capsizing, making it good for younger captains. And it comes with two batteries, each good for about 10 minutes.
There may be better or cheaper options out there, I really don’t know. But this looks like fun, no question.
5-port desktop USB charging station: $15
So many devices that require USB charging, so few powered ports available.
If that’s your situation, check this out: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Jarv 40W five-port Desktop Charger is just $14.97 with promo code CNET40WPWR. Regular price: $24.95. That’s another Cheapskate exclusive, amigos.
I haven’t shared one of these in a while, which is too bad because they’re super useful. Basically, you get four “smart” standard USB ports, each able to charge at 1.2 or 2.4 amps, depending on what’s connected. There’s also a USB-C port for charging your Nintendo Switch or what have you.
There are tons of these floating around, some with six ports, some with QC 3.0 ports (for fast-charging compatible phones) and so on. If you need one that includes USB-C, this is a good choice.