by Rick Broida @cheapskateblog
CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.
Hi, cheeps! Skip below if you want to read the latest about the ongoing RingPlus saga. In the meantime, here's a rerun with a slightly higher price than last time, but still a killer deal.
This may sound a little self-serving, but I want to keep you, dear reader, around as long as possible — and that means helping you stay safe behind the wheel.
How? By preventing you from juggling your phone while driving, and from taking your eyes off the road when you steal a glance at it.
What you need is a dashboard mount, something that keeps your phone at (or close to) eye level so your eyes stay closer to the road and your hands stay more attached to the steering wheel.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, iTechDeals has the iTD Gear universal dashboard magnetic car mount holder for $4.79 shipped when you apply promo code ITD360 at checkout.
This is no doubt a small distributor, and I have no idea how much inventory it has. If it sells out, you can find countless similar products elsewhere, though typically priced closer to $10. (Even then, I highly recommend getting one.)
This one uses a sticky-pad base to adhere to your dashboard, as opposed to some that clip into an air vent. You then stick a thin metal plate to the backside (or, preferably, inside) of your phone case. Now, when you get into your car, just plunk the phone onto the mount, easy-peasy.
I use something very similar to this in my car, and it's by far my favorite kind of mount. My iPhone 6S Plus never budges, even when I hit a bump. Your mileage may vary, of course, especially depending on the thickness of your case, though this isn't an issue if you stick the plate to the outside.
But, hang on: Aren't magnets bad for phones? Nope, that's a myth. Phones rely on flash storage, which isn't susceptible to magnetic interference. Same goes for the GPS. OK, a really big magnet might cause some issues, but the iTD Gear relies on a pretty small one.
I can't point to any user reviews of this product, but over at Amazon, a vent-clip version of the mount (priced at just $5.99) has a 4.3-star average.
So, hey. If you're going to use your phone in your car — and, let's face it, you are — do yourself and your fellow drivers a favor: Get that phone up out of the cupholder. Put it up on the dash where you can see it and tap it more easily. This is $4.79 very well spent, if you ask me.
Bonus deal: These won't last long, but Nomad is clearing out one of my favorite products: The Nomad Wallet for iPhone for $19.99 (with promo code SAVE75), plus $4 for shipping. Originally $100 (!), the Wallet features a 2,400mAh rechargeable battery and built-in Lightning cable. I carry one daily, and although it's a bulky thing, there are times when it proves incredibly handy. Quantities are very limited, and when they're gone, they're gone.
Bonus deal No. 2: Now that 24-inch monitors have started to dip close to the $100 mark (incredible!), sometimes even below (more incredible!), it's only natural that 27-inch displays would follow. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished AOC I2757FH 27-inch IPS LED monitor for $122.99, plus $5 for shipping. That's one of the lowest prices I've seen for a monitor of this size.
As it happens, I own one of these! Love the image quality and built-in speakers; don't love the touch-sensitive controls. What's more, this model isn't easily wall- or arm-mountable, if that's important; you need a special adapter for it. The I2757FH comes with a 90-day AOC warranty.
RingPlus update: Yesterday I mentioned that RingPlus — the Sprint-powered mobile carrier that, for nearly a year, had been offering some pretty sweet free service plans — was shutting down, or at least being cut off by Sprint. Later in the day I wrote about RingPlus alternatives, and shortly after that the company announced a migration option involving Ting.
Specifically, you can get your number and service ported to Ting, along with a $35 credit to get you started. If you have a RingPlus Top Up balance higher than $35, that balance will be "disbursed in $5 credit increments each month until the Top Up is exhausted."
Is it the best possible outcome? No, because you're still going to have to pay for service (which was probably inevitable anyway). But it's certainly better than, "Your service ends Saturday, sorry." Find out more at the newly created ringtoting.com.
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