The streaming world may be consolidating faster than anticipated, but it’s pretty clear that cable TV isn’t likely to stage a comeback anytime soon. Fortunately, if you’re looking to pick up a new streaming device to make the most of Netflix and other services, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is on sale at Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo starting at $39.98 ($10 off), nearly matching its lowest price to date.
Despite having launched at the tail end of 2020, Google’s 4K-ready Chromecast remains one of our top picks when it comes to streaming devices. It features many of the hallmarks we expect in a modern streamer, including support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, along with a comfortable remote that can control your TV over both IR and HDMI-CEC. Said remote also touts dedicated buttons for YouTube and Google Assistant, while allowing you to effortlessly cruise all your favorite streaming apps. Google’s thoughtful approach to aggregation is the real sell here, though, as it recommends shows and movies across a wide range of services, with Rotten Tomatoes ratings and other helpful tidbits at the ready.
The Chromecast with Google TV (4K) introduces a dedicated remote and new software. It brings together recommendations from all of your streaming services and supports 4K HDR content with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10 Plus.
Not long ago, Amazon’s fifth-gen Echo Dot was our go-to rec if you wanted an entry-level Alexa speaker for your guest room, bathroom, or one of the smaller rooms in your home. Things have changed with the introduction of the Echo Pop, however, which is currently on sale at Amazon along with a Sengled smart bulb for just $24.99 ($35 off).
Much like the latest Echo Dot, the Pop is a relatively cheap way to build upon your existing Alexa setup or simply add smarts to a room lacking them. The semicircular smart speaker isn’t quite as capable as its globe-like brethren — it lacks temperature sensors and doesn’t sound nearly as good — but it packs the same speedy AZ2 Neural Edge processor and conveniently doubles as an extender for an Eero mesh Wi-Fi system. As expected, it also supports Amazon’s digital assistant, which means you can use it to control smart home devices, set timers, stream music, trigger Alexa Routines, and carry out a host of other voice-activated tasks. The fact that it’s available in fun colors like purple and teal is just a plus.
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Other midweek deals and discounts
- The Bose QuietComfort 45 headphones have returned to an all-time low of $199 ($130 off) at Best Buy. The newer QuietComfort Ultra have essentially replaced the former flagships, yes, but the last-gen noise-canceling headphones remain an extremely comfortable pair with good ANC, solid battery life, and a useful transparency mode that lets you easily tune into your surroundings. That ain’t bad for $180 less. Read our review.
- As a search and rescue volunteer, I’ve long been enamored with Garmin’s InReach Mini 2, which is on sale in refurbished condition at Wellbots for $299.99 ($100 off) when you use Verge promo code VERGEREACH100. Although it requires a monthly subscription, the second-gen satellite communicator is a great tool for texting, checking the weather, and sharing your location with loved ones when you’re in the backcountry. You can also use the waterproof safety gadget to trigger an SOS alert, providing you with some added peace of mind if you’re an avid hiker or backpacker.
- Make no mistake, Apple’s accessory ecosystem is an absolute mess right now. If you want a stylus for your 10th-gen iPad or the latest iPad Mini, however, the latest Apple Pencil with USB-C is currently on sale at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target starting at $69 ($10 off). It’s an odd duck in Apple’s lineup given it doesn’t support pressure sensitivity or wireless charging and pairing, but it can magnetically dock to the side of your tablet when you want to stow it.
- If you really want to keep abreast of what’s going on around you — perhaps while biking or running — Shokz OpenRun Pro bone conduction sport headphones are down to around $139.94 ($40 off) at Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy. We dubbed their predecessor, the AfterShokz Aeropex, one of the best pairs of open-ear headphones you could get for biking, and the OpenRun Pro have only built upon that excellent foundation, with better sound, improved battery life, and a comfier design.
- You can grab a physical copy of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 at Amazon for just $52.49 (about $18 off) when you clip the on-page coupon. I could wax poetic about Insomniac’s latest open-world romp for the PS5, which is a direct sequel to the 2018 hit, but just know that it’s more of the same — only with more baddies, better visuals, and the ability to play as two (count ’em, two) spider-men. Read our review.