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Apple’s iPad drops to $299, plus the rest of the week’s best tech deals

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Apple’s iPad drops to $299, plus the rest of the week’s best tech deals

Now’s a great time to pick up Apple’s iPad ahead of the upcoming school year. The base, 10.2-inch tablet is $30 off right now and down to $299, which is the best price we’ve seen it. It may not have all the bells and whistles that the iPad Air does, but it’s a solid, budget-friendly tablet that will likely be able to handle anything you throw at it. Elsewhere online, you can pick up the Chromecast with Google TV for only $40 and the Beats Studio Buds for $100. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still get today.

10.2-inch iPad

Apple iPad (2021) review photos

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Apple’s base iPad is on sale for $299, while the model with 256GB of storage is $80 off and down to $399. This is the most affordable iPad you can get, and we gave it a score of 86 for its strong performance, Center Stage cameras, first-generation Apple Pencil support and excellent battery life.

Buy iPad (64GB) at Amazon – $299
Buy iPad (256GB) at Amazon – $399

Apple TV 4K

The Apple TV 4K is back in stock at Amazon and on sale for $120. While not quite as cheap as it was on Prime Day last month ($109), this remains one of the best prices we’ve seen no our favorite high-end set-top box. We gave the device a score of 90 for its fast performance, Dolby Vision and Atmos support, HomeKit integration and much-improved Siri remote.

Buy Apple TV 4K at Amazon – $120

16-inch MacBook Pro

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is down to $2,199, or $300 off its usual price. We gave it a score of 92 for its powerful performance, lovely Liquid Retina XDR displays and new bevy of ports.

buy 16-inch MacBook Pro at Amazon – $2,199

Chromecast with Google TV

Chromecast with Google TV

Engadget

The Chromecast with Google TV is back on sale for $40, or $10 off its normal price and a record low. We gave the dongle a score of 86 for its 4K HDR content with Dolby Vision and Atmos, its handy integration with the Google Assistant and its easy to use remote.

Buy Chromecast with Google TV at Amazon – $40

Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Jabra

Jabra’s Elite 7 Pro earbuds are $70 off and down to a new low of $130. These buds are the successors to the excellent 85ts and they use bone conduction tech combined with microphones and algorithms to improve voice quality on calls, plus they have ANC and an 11-hour battery life.

Buy Jabra Elite Pro 7 at Amazon – $130

Blink Outdoor + Blink Mini

Amazon includes a free Blink Mini camera when you buy a Blink Outdoor kit, so you’ll save $35 in total on the bundle. Blink cameras are a relatively affordable way to outfit your home with security cameras — all of them record 1080p video and support two-way audio and motion alerts. The Outdoor cameras are wireless and weather-resistant, while the Blink Mini is a smaller, wired camera that’s designed to fit into tight spaces inside your home.

Buy Blink Outdoor + Blink Mini at Amazon – $100

Beats Studio Buds

Beats Studio Buds review

Billy Steele/Engadget

The Beats Studio Buds are back on sale for $100, or $50 off their usual rate. These are some of the best Beats earbuds for most people and we gave them a score of 84 for their comfortable design, good sound quality and ANC and fast pairing with both iOS and Android devices.

Buy Beats Studio Buds at Amazon – $100

Sony LinkBuds S

Sony LinkBuds S in black

Sony

Sony’s LinkBuds S are on sale for $148, which is 26 percent off and a new all-time low. These buds came out earlier this year and support smart playback, which lets them automatically play and pause music depending on what you’re doing.

Buy LinkBuds S at Amazon – $148

Samsung Freestyle projector

Samsung Freestyle

Samsung

Samsung’s Freestyle portable projector is $100 off and down to $798 at Amazon, and just about the same price form Samsung directly. The company debuted this projector at CES earlier this year as a 1.83-pound home theater device with auto focus and auto leveling features, along with a 1080p resolution and support for multiple voice assistants.

Buy Freestyle projector at Amazon – $798
Buy Freestyle projector at Samsung – $800

PNY XLR8 CS3040 SSD

Another one of our favorite PS5 SSDs, the PNY XLR8 CS3040, has dropped to $105. It’s an already affordable drive made even better by this sale, and we like its 5,600 MB/s read speeds and its five-year warranty.

Buy PNY XLR8 CS3040 (1TB) at Amazon – $105

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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5 reasons you should buy a cheap phone over an expensive one

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5 reasons you should buy a cheap phone over an expensive one
Moto G22 face down on top of a wall



The Moto G22 on a wall.
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re looking for a new phone, a key consideration is always budget – you want to buy the best phone you can afford. But maybe, even if you’ve got the money for a premium device, you should still opt for a cheap phone.

“Wait,” you’re probably thinking, “are you asking me to spend less than I’m able on my new phone?”  Yes, I am – you’re absolutely right.

You see, despite budget phones being weaker than premium ones in quite a few ways (obviously), there are a few departments in which they actually beat top-end models.

So we’re going to run through some different areas in which cheap phones actually trump their pricier rivals. 

1. It costs less money

Okay, we’ve got to start with the really, really obvious point. A cheap phone is – you guessed it – cheaper than an expensive one.

If you spend less on your phone, you’ve got more to spend on the best power banks, phone cases, charging cables, and so on. Plus, you’ve got extra for non-smartphone things. Y’know: bills, food, transport, and so on.

Smartphones operate on the rule of diminishing returns: a $400 smartphone is not twice as good as a $200 one, and a $1,200 phone isn’t twice as good as a $600 version or four times better in any way than a $300 one.

So if you want the best bang for your buck, a budget mobile will get you there.

Moto G9 Power

The Moto G9 Power has a massive battery. (Image credit: Future)

2. Much better battery life

Phones don’t have great battery life sometimes: when you factor in features like 5G, high refresh rates, top-end processors, and so on, a giant battery can get worn down incredibly quickly.

But you know what cheap phones don’t have? That’s right – any of those features. If a phone is 4G-only, has a low-res screen, and only runs with a middling chipset, it uses the battery at a much slower rate. All of the longest-lasting smartphones are budget ones.

That’s doubly the case when you consider that cheap phone makers like to use huge batteries in their phones – plenty have 5,000mAh power packs. Motorola has even used 6,000mAh ones in some phones, and certain Chinese rugged phone brands have gone even higher.

If you want a long-lasting phone, you’ve got to opt for a cheap handset with fewer features. It also makes such devices reliable for more extended periods.

3. Hardier designs

Glass has become one of the most commonly-used materials for smartphones – it adds to a premium-feeling build and looks good from all angles. 

But you know what glass isn’t? Durable. It can easily smash from an impact like a drop. It’s also slippery, making glass phones harder to hold. Because of this, mid-range and premium phones are more susceptible to damage, even if brands slap silly marketing terms on them like ‘Gorilla Glass Victus’ or ‘Ceramic Shield’.

Cheap phone makers generally stay away from glass. This is mainly because of cost, but it’s beneficial for affordable phone fans because plastic is hardier.

A plastic phone is much more likely to survive a drop or hard knock, letting you avoid the experience of having to get your device repaired as often (or ever, hopefully).

Realme 9 Pro Plus

The Realme 9 Pro Plus has a cool-looking, yet plastic, rear. (Image credit: Future)

4. Cooler chipsets

Cheap phones often have cooler chipsets. No, we don’t mean ‘sunglasses and Tommy Bahama shirt cool’ – we mean temperature-wise.

Premium phones get top-end chipsets, which provide loads of processing power for tasks like games. An annoying side-effect of loads of power, though, is that these chips can get incredibly hot if you use them for long periods.

Counter-intuitively, this means that mid-range chips can be better for gaming if you like playing for extended amounts of time, and don’t need the most top-end graphics available to you.

As you can imagine, budget phones often have weaker internals, so they generally don’t have overheating issues, and are fine for gaming. Plus, in this day and age, you rarely find phones that are slow, even in the lower-cost market.

5. A bigger range of fingerprint scanners

There’s a trend in the premium phone market towards in-screen fingerprint scanners, where the sensor for unlocking your phone is embedded under the display.

This is a fine way of unlocking your device for some, but if you prefer a back- or side-mounted scanner, you’re mostly out of luck at the top end of the market.

That’s not the case for cheap phones, though: you’ll find those digit sensors all over the place in the lower end of the market. Some phones have them in-screen, others have them on one or both sides of the phone, while plenty have the scanner on the back.

So if you like tapping the rear of your phone to unlock it, or caressing the side of the device, instead of just tapping the screen, budget devices are, in fact, the best phones for you.

Tom Bedford

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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We’re in love with this leaked Xbox Elite Series 2 controller design

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We’re in love with this leaked Xbox Elite Series 2 controller design
An Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 in white



(Image credit: Nicholas Lugo)

The Xbox Elite Series 2 wireless controller looks like it’s getting a brand new color variant with a White Edition.

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 has so far only been available in its default black color scheme. But a short clip shared on Twitter (opens in new tab) by leaker Rebs Gaming shows off a new white edition in the flesh.

The clip starts by showing the premium Xbox Series X|S controller’s box. Next, we’re given a look at the controller itself, which wears a clean white-on-black coat.

All the usual Elite Controller bells and whistles are accounted for. That includes the carry case, swappable analog sticks and customizable back paddle buttons. It looks like the genuine article, though we’ve heard nothing from Microsoft to confirm if or when the pad will actually be released.

A sign of pads to come?

Leak: I think this is our first footage of the Xbox Elite Series 2 White Edition controller. A leaked image of the controller was shown by @IdleSloth84 back in March. Source: https://t.co/WfMCEk3FQv#Xbox #XboxOne #XboxSeriesX pic.twitter.com/t97qbaNPCuAugust 8, 2022

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Okay, sure, the White Edition isn’t exactly the most daring design Microsoft could’ve chosen for its Elite pad. But it’s nonetheless eye-catching. I think that keeping certain parts of the controller black – like the sticks and grips – is a smart aesthetic choice. They contrast really nicely with the white center.

The Elite Series 2 is an excellent controller. But it’s lacking the one thing that the regular Xbox Wireless Controller has in abundance: color options. We’ve seen countless bold designs for the standard Xbox controller, including an eye-popping special edition for Forza Horizon 5 and a stunning hot pink design. But the Elite hasn’t really had the same treatment yet.

I hope that this new White Edition not only comes to market, but that it’s also a gateway for more ambitious designs for Xbox’s top pad. Seriously, a purple Elite pad would be an instant buy for me, and probably for many others, too.

Rhys Wood

Rhys is Hardware Writer for TechRadar Gaming, and while relatively fresh to the role, he’s been writing in a professional capacity for years. A Media, Writing and Production graduate, Rhys has prior experience creating written content for app developers, IT firms, toy sellers and the main TechRadar site. His true passions, though, lie in video games, TV, audio and home entertainment. When Rhys isn’t on the clock, you’ll usually find him logged into Final Fantasy 14, Halo Infinite or Sea of Thieves.

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Street Fighter 6 is bringing the ‘80s (and feet) back

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Street Fighter 6 is bringing the ‘80s (and feet) back

Here come some new challengers. At the end of EVO 2022’s Street Fighter V tournament, Capcom revealed two more characters coming to the roster of Street Fighter 6: Juri, the “I can fix her” returning fighter, and newcomer Kimberly, an ‘80s-obsessed teen.

Kimberly, the spunky new ninja, and Juri, the sadistic thrill-seeker, join #StreetFighter6 when it arrives in 2023! Spray cans, a portable cassette player, and motorcyles have never looked more fresh. ️ pic.twitter.com/Lnw87p27aP

— Street Fighter (@StreetFighter) August 8, 2022

Student of Guy and successor to the bushinryu tradition, Kimberly is spunky and colorful with an affinity for spray painting her enemies midmatch. Though Kimberly is a teenager and Street Fighter 6 seems to be set in the current day, she’s enamored with all things ‘80s, carrying around a cassette player that some younger players probably won’t even recognize.

It’s like Capcom is aware that, in addition to its younger audience, there’s a certain subset of older Street Fighter players rising from their creaking knees and aching back looking at the ‘80s with fondness. In that way, Kimberly is a send-up, a reminder of simpler times. In other ways, she’s a very rude reminder that those happy days are so far behind us now that current teenagers are adopting the aesthetic because it’s quaintly “retro.” Thanks, Capcom, for reminding me I’m old.

Accompanying Kimberly in the character reveal is Juri, a character first introduced in Street Fighter IV. Juri arrives in flashy style with an homage to the Akira slide that’s been having a moment lately, as it was also used to awesome effect in Jordan Peele’s Nope. Juri seems a bit edgier than Kimberly, stomping all over her enemies in bare feet emphasized in ways that would make Bob Odenkirk click “like.” It’s always neat when companies seemingly embrace the thirst players have for its characters.

We’ll get the chance to see more of Juri and Kimberly’s stories when Street Fighter 6 launches on Xbox, PC, and PlayStation in 2023.

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