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Best weekend deals at Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart


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There are some pretty sweet gadgets on sale this weekend — hurry while they’re still in stock! (Photo: Amazon)

Remember when weekend shopping meant trudging from one store to another? Now you can hit the best sales with just a few clicks, leaving more time for what matters: friends, family and trying new brownie recipes.

Below I’ve rounded up some of the best deals happening this weekend at Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart. (Spoiler alert: This is a great time to grab the entry-level Apple Watch.) Note that all pricing is accurate at the time of this writing and everything is in stock, one or both of those things could change.

Best weekend deals at Amazon

Before we dive in, a quick tip: Consider signing up for Amazon Prime, which nets you not only super-fast shipping (usually just two days, sometimes only one!) on most orders, but also a boatload of additional benefits: a huge library of movies and TV shows, discounts at Whole Foods, free music and e-books and lots more. Not convinced? You can get a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

Forget what you've heard; an air fryer can be used for way more than just French fries. (Photo: Amazon)

Forget what you’ve heard; an air fryer can be used for way more than just French fries. (Photo: Amazon)

If you’re still not sold on the idea of an air fryer, you need to start watching more TikTok videos (here’s a sampling of them on YouTube). Through them I’ve learned to make healthy zucchini “fries,” amazing chicken, easy fold-over tortillas and lots more — all of it varying degrees of awesome.

My advice: Get a big one, like this Innsky 55SA1US 5.8-quart air fryer for $82. It normally sells for around $96, though it started off at $160.

Even if you’re cooking for just one or two people, you’ll appreciate the extra space afforded by this model; it’s just easier to work with a larger basket.

The Innsky features digital controls, one-touch presets for a variety of foods and an unusually good warranty: 30 months. Equally impressive, it scored a 4.7-star average rating from over 7,100 Amazon customers.

Toshiba's C350 is smarter than the average TV thanks to its remote, which responds to voice commands. (Photo: Best Buy)

Toshiba’s C350 is smarter than the average TV thanks to its remote, which responds to voice commands. “Alexa, play Ted Lasso on Apple TV Plus.” (Photo: Best Buy)

This is the lowest price on record for Toshiba’s new-for-2021 smart TV, a 50-inch model that runs Amazon’s Fire TV operating system. That means you can not only stream the likes of Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Amazon (natch), but also play games — something Roku TVs don’t offer, by the way. (I’m a huge fan of Quiplash, a thoroughly entertaining party game. It’s $10.)

At this price, you might expect a fairly entry-level screen, but the 50C350KU boasts Dolby Vision HDR and HDR 10 for ultra-vibrant images and DTS Virtual: X technology for amazing audio. It also comes with four HDMI ports, more than enough to accommodate a cable box, game console and anything else you want to plug in.

Ironically, this is a Best Buy deal, but sold via Amazon. (At Best Buy proper, the TV is priced at $420. Go figure.) It earned a 4.3-star average rating from nearly 400 Amazon buyers and 4.8 stars from the Best Buy crowd.

"Honey, did you remember to close the garage door?" With the MyQ, just check your phone for the answer -- and close it remotely if need be. (Photo: Amazon)

“Honey, did you remember to close the garage door?” With the MyQ, just check your phone for the answer — and close it remotely if need be. (Photo: Amazon)

Wait, only a $3 discount? Hear me out: This is a fantastic tool that turns your garage door into a smart door, able to open and close via an app on your phone, notify you of openings and closings and even close automatically at a scheduled time of day.

So, yeah, even at $30 it’s a worthwhile purchase. But here’s where it can get even better: If you elect to connect the MyQ with Amazon’s Key In-Garage Delivery program, you can get a $40 credit with your first delivery. (See the product page for details.) That effectively makes the hardware free and puts $13 in your pocket.

I use both of these things, and while it’s a little weird at first to come home to packages in your garage, it definitely beats the very real risk of them getting stolen off your porch.

Best weekend deals at Best Buy

Wait, is Best Buy beating Amazon at its own game? It doesn’t happen often, but right now Best Buy has the best deals anywhere on a handful of Amazon Echo devices. Read on for more, and be sure to check out all of Best Buy’s weekend sale items.

The current-generation Amazon Echo offers big sound, making it a good choice for listening to music. (Photo: Amazon)

The current-generation Amazon Echo offers big sound, making it a good choice for listening to music. (Photo: Amazon)

If one Echo speaker is good, it stands to reason that two are better. Amazon’s current-generation Echo packs big sound and Alexa smarts into a mod-looking orb. Normally these sell for $100 apiece; Best Buy’s bundle drops the per-unit price to just $60.

Even if you use just a fraction of the Echo’s capabilities, I think you’ll find it a welcome addition to your home. I use mine for weather reports, music, timers and occasional kitchen-related questions (“Alexa, how many ounces in a cup?”). And guess what: You now have the option of using a male voice and wake-word name: Ziggy.

The Echo Dot smart speaker makes a great addition to any smart home. Right now you can get two for less than price of one. (Photo: Amazon)

The Echo Dot smart speaker makes a great addition to any smart home. Right now you can get two for less than price of one. (Photo: Amazon)

This is one of the best Dot deals I’ve ever seen, just $23 each when you buy a pair.

True to its name, the orb-shaped Dot is on the smaller side. Although it can do all the fabled “Alexa” things, like answering questions, telling you the weather and interacting with other smart-home devices (“Alexa, turn on the bedroom lamp”), it’s not the best choice if you plan to listen to music.

For that, consider the larger Echo model, above.

Amazon's first-gen smart display is a steal at $45. (Photo: Amazon)

Amazon’s first-gen smart display is a steal at $45. (Photo: Amazon)

Actually, this model originally sold for $90, making this deal all the more appealing. The Echo Show 5 adds a 5.5-inch screen to the Alexa-voice-commands mix, meaning you can not only, say, ask for the weather, but also see a weekly weather summary. You can also play YouTube videos, place video calls to other Echo Show owners and so on.

Yes, there’s a newer version of the Echo Show 5, but it’s priced at $85 and doesn’t really add much. The original was already a damn fine product, a great addition to your nightstand or anywhere else a smaller screen makes sense.

Best weekend deals at Walmart

In the market for a new laptop? There are about half a dozen HP models on sale at Walmart right now, with discounts as high as $130. I’ve spotlighted my top pick below, along with a couple other notable Walmart weekend deals.

This 15.6-inch HP laptop is

This 15.6-inch HP laptop is “Ryzen” to the occasion… of getting all your work done at a speedy clip. (Photo: HP)

If you plan to spend most of your computing time at a desk (as opposed to, say, on a plane or train), consider a model with a larger-than-average screen. What you give up in a bit of portability, you gain in a more comfortable workstation.

I like this HP model for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is its 15.6-inch, full-HD-resolution screen. It also has a wide keyboard that includes a dedicated numeric keypad, an essential feature for anyone who works in Excel or other numbers-heavy applications.

With its AMD Ryzen 5 processor and 8GB of RAM, it should run at a decent clip (though it would do better if it had 16GB). The 256GB solid-state drive offers enough storage for the basics, but you may end up needing an external drive for things like video libraries.

Overall, this is a pretty well-rounded system, definitely powerful enough for students but good for at-home, Zoom-centric workers as well.

On sale for just $169, this is one of the most affordable Apple Watches ever. (Photo: Apple)

On sale for just $169, this is one of the most affordable Apple Watches ever. (Photo: Apple)

If you’re an iPhone user, your best smartwatch option is an Apple Watch. I say that not as a gushing Apple fanboy but as someone who’s tried just about every wearable. Apple’s wrist-buddy is simply more capable, allowing you to do things like respond to text messages and even take calls, Dick Tracy-style. And that’s true even of the Series 3, despite it being a few generations behind.

Available in black or white, the watch has onboard GPS (for tracking your exercise even if you don’t have your phone with you), a swim-proof casing, a heart-rate monitor and more. I take advantage of most of those features, but the thing I like most is notifications: It alerts me to calls, texts, calendar events, Slack messages and so on.

There are less expensive smartwatches out there, but at $169 the Apple Watch Series 3 is that rare Apple item that doesn’t feel overpriced.

Unlike your household teenager, the Roborock S6 doesn't protest when you ask it to sweep -- or mop! (Photo: Walmart)

Unlike your household teenager, the Roborock S6 doesn’t protest when you ask it to sweep — or mop! (Photo: Walmart)

This vacuum really sucks, ha-ha. Actually, it’s really awesome, because it roves around your house, sweeping and mopping as it goes. (The mopping part is optional.) And it never complains.

To help prevent that from happening, the Roborock S6 employs laser-guided navigation. I own a previous-generation version of this vac, the S5, and I’m impressed at how well it’s able to avoid obstacles. That navigation system also lets you create virtual boundaries (via the Roborock app), meaning you can keep the ‘bot out of certain areas if you wish — or force it to clean just in one room.

If this model happens to sell out (which it often does when there’s a sale this good), consider the Roborock S6 Pure, which is virtually identical and priced at $380 right now.

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