Best Black Friday Google Deals: Chromecasts $24, 13″ Chromebooks: $150, Nest, Wear Watches and lots of Android

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9to5Toys is rustling up the best deals around the web for Black Friday and there are a lot of nice bargains for Google fans. Google Play’s Store deals are now live but they are matched and often surpassed by retailers such as Amazon and eBay…

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First up, you need to make sure every HDTV in your love ones house has a Chromecast. Currently $24 at Amazon and $23 at NewEgg, you can venture into a Staples and get one for $25 then use  with a 25% off printable coupon to get it to $18. Costco will also give you a $10 Google Play card and charge you $25. You’ll get 2 months of Hulu and 3 months of Google Play with every Chromecast purchased.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you have yourself a Chromebook and Google is hooking up all new Chromebook users with 1TB of Storage for 2 years ($240 value)

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 1.36.53 AMAdorama’s ebay store has the below Asus 13-inch Chromebook with Gigabit wifi for $150. Specs:

  • 10 Hours Incredible Battery Life.
  • Gigabit Dual-Band 802.11AC ultra-fast Wi-Fi.
  • Intel Dual-Core 2.16 GHz Processor with 2 GB RAM.
  • 13.3″ HD LED Display. HD Webcam.
  • USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, SD Card Reader, & Bluetooth 4.0.
  • 16 GB local flash storage, 100 GB Google Drive storage for 2 years.

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Amazon has the Haswell Acer Chromebook C720 for $149.99 shipped at Amazon or at Best Buy.  That is the best price we’ve seen on a new Chromebook.

Amazon also has an HP Chromebook for $149.99 shipped. This one comes with a USB charging and a nice slim design and a screen that gets great reviews. Specs:

  • Samsung Exynos 5 Processor 1.7 GHz
  • 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM 16 GB Solid-State Drive
  • 11.6-Inch Screen, Chrome OS, 6.25-hour battery life

Need something bigger?

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Acer’s new 13-inch Chromebooks are just $169.99 (an impressive $80 or 32% off). Available in 3 colors.

Need a Wear Watch? It will be hard to beat LG’s G Watch dropping down to $99 but all Google Play watches will get a $50 Google Play Credit when purchased from the Play Store today.

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Android and Nest deals are below:

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Take a look inside Google’s extremely clever 3D mapping phone

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Google let iFixit open up one of its 200 prototypes of the Project Tango phone, an Android phone that uses highly-sensitive 3D motion-tracking and measurement to create automatic maps of interior locations.

The device is a really neat piece of kit, and Google believes that developers will find plenty of uses for it. For example, use the phone to scan the interior of your home before you go furniture shopping, and it will create an accurate 3D model of your home complete with measurements. Take the phone to the store with you to see exactly how furniture might fit …  Read more

5.5-inch LG Optimus G Pro spy shot and specs leak

There have been rumors of an upcoming Optimus device from LG, dubbed the “Optimus G Pro”.

Official press material for the device leaked last month alongside some specs that included a 5-inch 1,920-by-1,080 display, 1.7Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor, and a 13-megapixel camera. Japanese carriers recently confirmed that device, but today PhoneArena posted images and specs for an Optimus G Pro variant with a 5.5-inch display.

Apart from the slightly larger display on the device pictured above, which could be headed to United States and European Union markets, the majority of the specs for the device are the same as previous leaks.

According to the report, the device will include a 5.5-inch 1,080-by-1,920 full HD IPS-LCD screen, LTE, 2GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel rear camera, 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor. Other specs include a 3,140-mAh battery, microSD card slot, 32GB of onboard storage, and slim port for HDMI out.

There’s a good chance we’ll get our first official look at the device next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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T-Mobile to offer Samsung Galaxy Note II this fall

T-Mobile USA just announced it would soon offer the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note II this fall with an exclusive, preloaded racing game.

Without actually naming the game, T-Mobile said it would include three free levels that are MOGA Mobile Gaming System-optimized. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note II boasts Samsung’s Exynos 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, which supports LTE networks; and it is the first Samsung smartphone to launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The device notably weighs less than the original Galaxy Note, features a narrower bezel, and it ships in Marble White or Titanium Gray flavors. T-Mobile said it will be available nationwide at its retail stores, select national retailers, and online in the coming weeks. The carrier neglected to provide pricing details, however.

Additional Note II specs include:

  • 2GB of internal RAM
  • 16 GB of onboard file storage with additional support up to 64GB via a microSD card
  • 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED touchscreen; larger and thinner than predecessor with 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 3,100 mAh battery, which is 24 percent larger than the original Galaxy Note
  • Redesigned S Pen with rubberized tip and textured grip

9to5Google gave a complete hands-on last month of the Galaxy Note II’s global version, but more information on T-Mobile’s variation is in the press release below.

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iFixit tears down the $99 Google TV-powered Vizio Co-Star

We knew from an announcement in January that the ARM-based Armada 1500 chipset from Marvell would be at the core of new Google TV products in 2012. Today, we see the chips inside of one of the latest Google TV streaming products that went on sale last month, the Vizio Co-Star. The guys and gals over at iFixit decided to make the Co-Star its latest teardown victim, revealing the $99 set top box is powered by Marvell’s Armada 1500 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor, 1GB of RAM, and various other Marvell components:

* Here’s the specs on the Co-Star:
        * Marvell Armada 1500 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor
        * Marvell 88DE2755 QDEO Video Processor
        * Nanya NT5CB256M8GN-DI 1 GB RAM
        * Samsung K9GBG08U0A-SCBO 4 GB NAND Flash
        * Marvell Avastar 88W8787 WLAN/Bluetooth/FM SoC 

iFixit provided some highlights after giving the Co-Star a respectable 8 out of 10 repairability score: Read more

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 gets high repairability score in iFixit teardown

The folks at iFixit are once again ripping apart the latest devices. This time Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1, officially launched just last week, gets the teardown treatment. It scored relatively high for repairability compared to the industry’s leading tablet, the iPad. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 came in at 8 out of 10—that is in comparison to the newest iPad’s 2 out of 10 score.

* Major players on the motherboard include the following:
        * Samsung Exynos 4 Quad 1.4 GHz processor with integrated 3D graphics
        * Wacom W8008 (we assume this is used for S Pen input)
        * Atmel mXT1664S touchscreen controller
        * Samsung KLMAG2GE4A NAND flash memory
        * Wolfson Audio WM1811AE audio codec
        * F0514A 430 1201KP411

iFixit shared a few of the highlights:

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T-Mobile USA announces Huawei myTouch and myTouch Q for August 8

T-Mobile USA made things official today for two new handsets coming to the carrier on Aug. 8. Both new additions are Huawei-made devices, including the myTouch and my Touch Q, which are essentially the same devices in terms of specs apart from the Q’s physical slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Both new phones will go for just $50 on the usual two-year agreement after $50 rebate, which is not too bad for 1.4GHz CPU, 4-inch display, 1500mAh battery, and a 5-megapixel main cam with LED flash. The biggest downside is that these things are still running Gingerbread, but they do include a decent custom UI and Swype built-in to the virtual keyboard. Both models will become available August 8. T-Mobile’s full press release is below.
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AT&T confirms Samsung Galaxy S III preorders for June 6, ‘exclusive red version’ to debut this summer

Red Samsung Galaxy S3

This red version above is a 9to5Google rendering.

AT&T just announced that its customers can begin placing preorders for the Samsung Galaxy S III on June 6 in both company-owned stores and online.

The company made sure to clarify in the official press release that only its 4G LTE-powered version is able to access “the nation’s largest 4G network.” Moreover, AT&T customers are privy to an exclusive red Galaxy S III that is due to launch this summer, where as the other U.S. carriers are limited to the standard pebble blue and white flavors.

The smartphone’s price tag starts at $199.99 for the 16 GB model after a two-year service agreement.

The full press release is below.

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Review: Virgin Mobile Triumph by Motorola (Video)


(Triumph on the left, Virgin Optimous Center and Samsung right)

Let’s get this out of the way first: I like Virgin Mobile.  The Sprint prepaid subsidiary offers plans that work well for me because I don’t use a lot of voice minutes – specifically, their Unlimited Data/Text Minutes plan which just unfortunately went up from $25/month to $35/month for 300 minutes of talk.  Virgin also doesn’t put too much trash on top of Android and the phones they sell don’t have manufacturer overlays on them either.  You almost get a Google phone, though one here that is left back on Froyo.

If anything slows Virgin down, my major gripe has been their lack of diversity in phones and specifically at the high end in Virgin’s lineup.  Until now, they’ve offered a small anemic Samsung Slider and a very solid but economical LG Optimus V (which I reviewed at Fortune).

That all changed today with the release of the Motorola Triumph (manual- PDF), a slim 4.1-inch screen candy bar with a 1-GHz Processor and front and back cameras.  The device is handsome and coated with a soft rubber feel that certainly improves the grip.  How does it perform?

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