There are all sorts of deals this holiday season for tech, but here are a few of my favorites and ones I recommend. Surprisingly, there are a lot of new Surface products here (and even a bargain older one) plus you can get the phone I still use daily and recommend to everyone.
- Change your reality: Samsung HMD Odyssey
- Bargain phone: OnePlus 6
- Get fit now: Fitbit Versa
- Best deal: Surface Pro 6 + Type Cover Bundle
- Nicest laptop around: Surface Laptop 2 Core i5
- Bargain Surface: Surface Pro (5th Gen) + Type Cover Bundle
If you have wanted to get into Windows Mixed Reality, the Samsung HMD Odyssey is the best of the bunch. Samsung just refreshed it with the slightly newer HMD+, but it's also $500. You can get most of the same experience for only $400 with this kit which includes two controllers, built-in AKG headphones, and a microphone making this a true all-in-one experience.
Don't spend $800 on a smartphone. I've owned a few OnePlus phones over the years and consider them the overall best value smartphone on the market. The new OnePlus 6 is still one of the best value phones around with a good camera and excellent display. Sure, the newer 6T is out, but it's a marginal upgrade at best. Just as importantly you can save yourself $100 on the older version, which is even better.
The Fitbit Versa is still the best health tracker around for most people. Sure, it lacks integrated GPS, but that helps keep the price to just $200. It is water resistant with the best health and sleep-tracking around, plus your friends are likely using a Fitbit product already. The smartwatch apps are subpar but being able to store your music on the watch makes up for it - besides, it's less distraction at the gym.
Besides being in optional black this year, the new Surface Pro 6 seemed to be more of the same. That new quad-core processor though – especially the fanless Core i5 model – is outstanding with excellent performance and more efficient battery life. Combine it with the best on-device cameras around, a 165-degree articulating kickstand and the optional Surface Pen ($99) and Surface Type Cover ($129) and the Surface Pro 6 is still one of the most attractive and extremely portable PCs on the market in 2018. This special Black Friday deal saves you $260, which ain't bad.
The Surface Laptop 2 is arguably the nicest-looking laptop on the market – and also the nicest to use too. While it's still brand new, you can save $300 on the Core i5 version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage in black or platinum. That's the configuration I run and is the sweet spot for most users. That's also $400 cheaper than a similarly configured new MacBook Air, and you get a beefy processor, less fan noise, and a touchscreen here. What's not to love?
This deal on the Surface Pro is for last year's 5th generation model, and it uses a fanless Intel Core m3 processor, which is quite good. But what makes this deal great is you can get a Surface Pro plus the Signature Type Cover for just $600. It's a great a way to get into the Surface line without breaking the bank. While you can use this as your primary laptop, it makes an excellent secondary device for the couch, coffee shop, or weekend trip. Plus, if you pick up a Surface Pen, you'll have a perfect drawing device too.
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