— $280, was $330
The standard iPad’s bezels are still obscenely large (slimming them down would have made it look a tad more contemporary), but this tablet now boasts a bigger 10.2-inch screen compared to the previous model’s 9.7-inch display. In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S5e’s trimmed bezels look fetchingly modern, and so do those of the iPad Pro. None of this means that the iPad feels cheap, though. It has a nice substantial weight to it, plus it sports a 100% recycled aluminum enclosure. Instead of Face ID, which remains exclusive to the iPad Pro and the latest iPhones, you get Touch ID, although that’s not exactly a deal-breaker for most users. What sets this apart from the older iPad 9.7 is support for the Smart Connector so you can use it with Apple’s Smart Keyboard (sold separately).
As mentioned earlier, this device offers a slight increase in screen size. The LCD panel’s pixel density is the same at 264 pixels per inch, although it looks sharp, and is colorful and very bright. Thankfully, the headphone jack has not been removed, unlike the iPad Pro. You don’t have to go hunting for a 3.5mm-to-Lightning jack once your Bluetooth headphones lose power.
Strangely, the iPad 10.2 didn’t get a processor upgrade, unlike the rest of the iPad line that now boasts the A12 Bionic chipset. However, this tablet’s A10 Fusion processor still packs plenty of power. Multitasking with several apps open won’t be an issue, and navigating the new iPadOS is buttery smooth. The previous iPads ran with just a slightly altered version of the iOS, but the iPadOS is an entirely different beast. You’ve got the ability to use multiple apps in the Slide Over menu, a revamped home screen layout that includes the Today View widgets, desktop-grade Safari, and multi-window apps. You can now even use Split View on the same app, like having two Google Docs open side-by-side.
The first-gen Apple Pencil is compatible with this iPad, and it remains an excellent and responsive tool. There’s still no way of storing it, though, unlike the second-gen Apple Pencil which magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro, and it’s still in danger of snapping in half every time you charge it through the Lightning port. Finally, the battery life was pretty good. You’d be able to use the iPad for a maximum of three days with intermittent use, or a full workday if you’re going to use it as your primary device.
Despite its shortcomings, the iPad 10.2 is an excellent tablet that’s powerful, has a fantastic operating system, and serves up solid battery life. At $280 on Best Buy, $50 less than its original price of $330, this is the best tablet that you can buy on a limited budget.
— $200, was $350
Recently, Apple-owned Beats has been receiving a lot of flak from audiophiles, claiming that the company’s headphones are all style and no substance. While we can agree to a certain extent that Dr. Dre’s headphones’ build quality is a bit questionable, we can’t deny the fact that they do sound great. Case in point: The Beats Studio 3. There are a lot to love about these wireless headphones, including outstanding iOS connectivity, fantastic noise-canceling, and phenomenal battery life. We even have little to complain in terms of audio quality, although as most Beats headphones the Studio 3 can get excessively bass-heavy. Right now, you can score them on Best Buy for $200 instead of $350 — a massive $150 off.
The Beats Studio 3 look perfectly well-built even though they are made almost entirely of plastic. For the price, most people would expect real leather, aluminum, or Alcantara, but Beat’s choice of materials is fine, albeit far from luxurious. These headphones have a beautiful matte coating that’s fingerprint- and dirt-resistant. Best of all, they don’t dig into your skull even with prolonged use, unlike the ill-fitting Solo3. This is due to the earcups’ uber-soft cushioning, pivoting action, and advanced venting, which makes for a secure but super comfortable fit.
Thanks to Apple’s W1 wireless chip (the same one found inside the AirPods), all you need to do is to turn these headphones on and if they’re in close proximity to your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook, a nice little pop-up will appear for immediate pairing. All you need to do is hit “yes.” Aside from the seamless pairing, another benefit of the W1 chip is the tremendous battery life. These headphones can last up to 22 hours and even longer with active noise cancellation off.
Speaking of noise-canceling, Studio 3 boasts one of the best ambient sounds eliminating tech in the business. Called Pure ANC, there are the two onboard microphones inside the earcups that monitor and adapt to environmental sounds many thousands of times per second. A lot of noise-canceling headphones noticeably distort audio or have a faint hum to them, but we didn’t notice any of that with the Studio 3.
As mentioned, Beats put a tad too much emphasis on the bass with the Studio 3. While this would definitely make pop songs and other beats-laden music sound toe-tappingly good, it does tend to drag down mid-frequency sounds (mostly vocals and instrumentation) a bit. Still, we think many would appreciate this kind of sound, especially young people. Get the Beats Studio 3 noise-canceling headphones on Best Buy for $200 instead of $350 today.
— $500, was $700
The TCL 65S517, or the TCL 5-Series, has an understated and basic design. Its bezels are nicely trim, keeping up with the latest TV design trend, which is almost unnoticeable when you’re watching something. It’s made of durable plastic in a matte-black finish that looks decent but is nowhere near luxurious. Despite its humdrum appearance, what really matters is the 5-Series’ excellent display.
This TV boasts a 65-inch vertical alignment (VA) panel with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. A VA panel is a type of LED screen that offers the best contrasts and image depth. Its picture quality is quite beautiful, with sharp details, vibrant colors, and deep blacks. This TV supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, so expect a delightfully wide spectrum of colors and details in gorgeous high definition. Its brightness level could use a little work, but you honestly get the best value out of every dollar spent in terms of image quality.
At the back of the TV, you’ll find the connection ports, including HDMI ports, RCA jacks, optical, USB, Ethernet, and even a 3.5mm audio jack. This TV only has three HDMI ports (normally one for a cable box, one for a soundbar, and one for a game console). Fortunately, you won’t be needing a slot for a digital streaming stick, since it already has a built-in Roku TV.
One of the best TV platforms on the market, Roku offers a simple and intuitive way to navigate various streaming apps and channels. Watching TV shows and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and YouTube was an overall pleasant experience, and you get access to a broad range of free content via Roku TV’s Featured Free program.
The TCL 5-Series is a fantastic pick for a budget-friendly 4K TV. Its picture quality is amazing for the price, and the built-in Roku TV is a huge plus factor. However, you must brace yourself for a barrage of ads, which is the reason why this 4K TV is cheap. Other than that, this is a great TV that we fully recommend. Get it for just $500 instead of $700 on Best Buy today, a huge $200 off.
— $900, was $1,100
The MacBook Air is now thinner and lighter than ever, yet still possesses the same power and solid build quality typical of Apple devices. The latest version of the MacBook Air normally retails for $1,100, but right now you can purchase it on Best Buy for $900 — a huge $200 off.
The latest version of the MacBook Air looks almost exactly like the previous one, with a few significant hardware and software upgrades. The older version is outfitted with a single Thunderbolt 2 port and two USB 3 ports; the latest one has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports instead. Although both models have a 13-inch LED-backlit screen, the newer MacBook Air’s display is made better thanks to Apple’s True Tone technology. The screen now has the power to adapt to your environment’s ambient light to make images appear more natural, with accurate colors that aren’t oversaturated.
Working alongside an Intel i5 processor, this MacBook Air has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory. It proved speedy and performed well when tasked with normal daily workflow, like streaming videos, working in Photoshop, word processing, and web browsing. We did, however, notice a bit of a slowdown when we had multiple browsers, apps, and programs open simultaneously, but not enough to raise concern.
The MacBook Air can last up to eight hours with light web browsing. While not exactly a bad number, that falls well short of Huawei’s MateBook X Pro, which managed 9.5 hours in our test.
If you’re determined to buy a MacBook but don’t want to shell out too much money, then the MacBook Air is for you. It’s a well-rounded portable laptop that boasts a solid performance and premium build quality. Get the latest version of the MacBook Air for $900.
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