January 28, 2021
6 Friday deals that also make great gifts, starting at $8.49

6 Friday deals that also make great gifts, starting at $8.49

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Here’s something you’re going to be hearing a lot from me in the coming days: Get your holiday gift shopping done soon. We can no longer rely on one- and two-day shipping — these days, deliveries can take up to a week or even longer.

Thus, as much as possible over the next couple weeks, I’m going to be sharing as many gift ideas as I can. Today I bring you six of them! As always, they’re available for a limited time and while supplies last. Everything is accurate as of this writing, but codes and coupons often change or expire without warning.


Amazon seller: Patozon

Price: $8.68 with on-page 30%-off coupon and promo code VNBH338AD

The R4 has been around awhile; it always sells out quickly when there’s a deal like this, and people always seem pretty happy with it. I can see why: It’s a splash-proof, Bluetooth 5.0 speaker that promises up to 24 hours of uninterrupted play time. 

And, remember, not every situation demands premium audio. If you just want to, say, listen to a podcast while gardening or have a bit of music in the background while you work, this is eight measly dollars and change well-spent.

By the way, you can also get this in black for $8.49 with promo code VNBH338AC. There’s way more blue inventory, though, which is why I made that the “primary” color.


Amazon seller: SOAIY Direct

Price: $21.67 with on-page 15%-off coupon

This is one of those products I don’t own and have never tried, but suddenly want very much. It strikes me as “white noise for the eyes,” a colorful Northern Lights-style animated projection for the bedroom. Could be fun for kids, could be soothing for adults looking to chill out.

It has eight different modes, three brightness settings, three auto-off timers, a remote and even a built-in speaker (though it’s not Bluetooth, so you’ll have to actually plug something in).

If you’ve tried one of these, or something like it, hit the comments and let me know what you think!


Amazon seller: EasyAcc.A.Store

Price: $13.97 with promo code 403FMS3K

Hands-free reading. TikTok recording. Video viewing in bed. There are countless applications for a device-holder like this, which has a 1-meter flexible arm and a mount that can hold anything from a phone on up to a 10.5-inch iPad. The padded clamp should be able to hook onto just about any desk, table, headboard or the like.

Based on some of the reviews, it seems the arm might not have quite the holding power for bigger tablets, like if you’re trying to extend it horizontally. I’m going to grab one of these and give it a try, the better to give you some hands-on feedback next time around.


I don’t know. Better safe than sorry? I’ve seen lots of studies that show our phones are germ-infested deathtraps, and others that prove the benefits of bathing them in UV light. That’s the idea behind PhoneSoap: Just park your phone inside this little coffin for a few minutes and, presto, no more bacteria. What about COVID-19? No conclusive data on that yet, other than PhoneSoap is “99.99% effective against flu, and COVID is a kind of flu.” (Technically it’s not, but they’re both caused by viruses, and UV light has been shown to destroy the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.)

This is one of the best PhoneSoap deals I’ve seen since the pandemic started, when supplies were almost zero and prices were sky-high. Your thoughts?


Suitable for gaming PCs and consoles alike, this curved monitor features a 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, a height-adjustable stand, two HDMI inputs and a three-year warranty. It has a 4.5-star average rating from around 70 Office Depot customers.


Amazon seller: QKK Direct

Price: $100 with on-page $50-off coupon

A lot of low-price projectors list “1080p” in their specs, but in many cases that means they support 1080p sources (which is just about anything you’d be plugging in these days). What you want is native 1080p resolution, which this QKK model has.

It also comes with a 100-inch portable screen and an HDMI cable, nice extras given the price.

Although it has built-in speakers, this isn’t a “true” portable projector because it needs power. It also needs a pretty dark room and some kind of video source: Roku Stick, game console, flash drive, even SD card. Assuming you can find just the right spot for placement (which is the challenge with most projectors), this looks like a pretty sweet deal on a 1080p model.

So? What looks good?

CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up for deal texts delivered right to your phone. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest Walmart discount codeseBay couponsSamsung promo codes and even more from hundreds of other online stores. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Answers live on our FAQ page.

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