This year, Amazon’s Prime Day Promotion is spanning two days – Monday and Tuesday. It includes the usual range of “loss leaders” (most of which have already disappeared) just like a Black Friday at Walmart, various short term deals that expire either when a certain number of units have been sold or after so many hours, and a range of offers that will last probably the entire two days.
If you don’t already have a Prime membership, this link gets you a 30 day free trial of Prime. You can cancel at the end of the trial, and not pay anything, while having enjoyed all the Prime benefits, including these deals, for a month.
We looked at some of the longer lived deals they are offering. Here are quick comments, some recommendations, and a warning.
Amazon Fire Tablets
Amazon are doing a “clever” thing this year. Rather than simply selling their lovely Fire tablets at discounted prices, they are bundling them together with massively overpriced accessories or warranties, such that you end up “saving” a lot of money but paying more than if you just bought the one thing you actually want and need (the tablet itself) at full price.
Our suggestion is to drill down and find the obscured listings for the tablets without the unneeded extra items. Better still, we’ve done it for you.
Amazon sells tablets with three screen sizes – 7″, 8″ and 10″. We have bought all three in the past. The 7″ tablet is priced during the Prime Days promotion at a throwaway level of $29.99, and sadly, that’s probably the best thing to do with it. We loved the 7″ Fire when it first came out, because it set an enormously appealing new value point, but that was some years ago and now the 8″ and 10″ units have become much more appealing after their own price drops and feature improvements. Don’t buy this unit any more unless you really do want an almost literal throw-away unit. But if you do want throwaway units, you probably want more than one, and the price drops to $24.99 if you buy two at a time!
We say that because the 8″ tablet is massively better than the 7″ tablet by every measure. A huge amount more screen and more pixel resolution in particular. During Monday and Tuesday, the Fire HD 8 is priced at $49.99, which makes it very appealing. And if you buy two, the price drops to $39.99 each.
However, we believe the 10″ unit is significantly better still. You can play full HD 1080×1920 video on it, and the screen size is significantly larger than the 8″ unit, making for a much more immersive video experience. The Fire HD 10 is selling for $99.99, and if you buy two, the price lowers to $89.99.
If you need to be very sensitive to your size requirements, eg in your airplane carry-on, the 8″ unit is the one to choose, but if you can handle the slight extra size of the 10″ unit, it is definitely the one to go for.
Amazon Kindle eReaders
Amazon’s Kindle eInk eBook eReaders (is that enough “e’s”!) have lost a lot of their allure, because their black and white eInk screens are not as appealing as the color screens of their Fire tablets, and of course, the Fire tablets can do so much more than “just” display eBooks.
But if all you want to do is read a book, why over-engineer the issue and add extra complications. If you read novels, then black and white for the type is all you need. If you read “picture books” – well, perhaps better to say, books with color illustrations – then maybe you should still consider a Fire tablet with its color screen, but for simply reading a novel or two on your next flight and lazy weekend afternoon, a Kindle reader is perfect. It is very compact, thin, and lightweight, and very easy to use.
Amazon have a range of different Kindle eReaders. Skipping to the bottom line, the Paperwhite is the sweet spot in their range. The back illumination is very helpful in low-light (or pretty much in any-light) situations, it has a nice high-resolution screen of sufficient size to make it easy to read the type (with our own ever weaker eye-sight, we find it so much easier these days to read eBooks than regular books, because you can dial up the font size as large as you like), and the higher priced Oasis units don’t really add much extra of value.
The Paperwhite is $84.99, and a previous generation Oasis is $174.99. Both have a $5 credit to be applied to eBook purchases. So, one Oasis or two Paperwhites? Or one Paperwhite, and a Kindle Fire HD 8, and some money left over to buy some eBooks that you can then load onto both devices to read as, when, and where you choose!
Alexa Echo Devices
We have a bit of a “complicated” relationship with our Echo devices, and we understand the privacy concerns some people have. But, on balance, we find it very hard to imagine life without them now. Having to return to the “old fashioned” way of actually turning light switches on and off! Having to manually set alarm clocks and worry if you did it right. And so on and so on.
If you want to simply try one and see if you like it or not, a current generation Echo Dot is a mere $22 at present. This is the lowest we’ve ever seen them priced. Perhaps more useful though, is this combination of an Echo Dot and one controllable plug as well for a mere $5 more (ie $26.99), so you can start to get a taste for the brilliant convenience of being able to turn things on and off by voice.
The new Echo Show unit is also for sale, at only $49.99. While we say in our Echo Show review that the screen is not taken full advantage of, that will hopefully change over time, and the small extra cost of the screen, even if imperfectly implemented, is definitely worth it in our opinion. We intend to start upgrading our Dot units to Show units over time, in places where we actually might look at the screen. For example, in the living room, we’ve got a unit in one corner that we would never look at – we just call out to it to ask things and to get it to do things. But in the kitchen, in the office, in the bedroom, in those sorts of places, a screen is helpful.
If you’re getting an Echo Show, this bundle for $54.98 includes a remote controllable plug, and so is the best way to buy one.
Amazon has some great deals on iPads, but beware. They seem to be all the previous generation of iPads, not the current ones.
We think the previous model iPads Amazon is selling were released just over two years ago. They are good, but not as good as the new ones. And we’re a bit dubious about their price claims, because can you fairly compare the price of an obsolete unit for sale now with what we guess was its original full list price when first offered for sale two years ago? Would an unsold 2017 car still be on the dealer’s lot with its original sticker price?
Both Apple’s current Series 4 and earlier Series 3 watches are on sale. (Update – possibly the Series 4 is no longer discounted.) Some of the savings appear enticing, but they’re not much better than seem to normally be available, so we don’t see that as a great reason to urgently rush to buy one now.
If you are considering buying one though, here’s our article that explains whether you should get a Series 3 or 4 watch.
Do Not Buy
We’ve encountered problems with Amazon not publishing negative reviews in the past, but, oh my goodness, they were very permissive with the reviews for this Ring video door bell/monitor. We were about to buy one due to the great price, and it includes an Echo Dot too, but after reading the first few reviews, you couldn’t pay us to accept one.
We also debated getting a pair of these Blink XT2 cameras, but after careful consideration of the reviews, decided to hold off on those as well.
Micro SD Cards, etc
You can never have too much portable storage, and there are lots of exciting deals on regular hard drives, flash/USB drives, and SD/Micro SD cards and more here. There is a heck of a deal on a San Disk 400GB Micro SD card for $45, and at that price, why even consider the 256GB card for $30 or the 512 GB for $100. We see they now have 1TB Micro SD cards ($341 instead of $450) but think we’ll hold off on those until the price goes down.
We are tempted with maybe getting a pressure cooker (classic example of “what is old is new again”) or maybe a sous vide heater. Sous vide cooking can be marvelous, and also is a great way to cook meals then store/freeze them for future fast easy reheating.
We hope you find something (or some things) that appeals to you. Here’s a link to everything they have.
And if that’s not enough to choose from, we note that Walmart is trying to steal some of Amazon’s thunder with what they are calling “The Big Save”, including free fast delivery, just like Prime, on most items.
And, truly lastly, Sophie (our lovely German Shepherd) insisted we include a link to this item.