By Noah Henry • June 16, 2014
There is one thing these products all have in common: they are all black. But another thing they have in common is that the world unanimously chose them as the most popular products in all of 2013.
The world turns pretty quickly so it’s wise to get a move on buying these gizmos before they go out of style. Whether you want an efficient way to access your favorite streaming services or you want to save yourself from high utility prices, these are the hottest products online, as well the locations for the lowest prices for each.
So before the earth moves on its axis and brings a new lineup of culture-changing tech, buy proof you lived during the dawn of PlayStation 4, Google Chromecast and other game changers.
Hottest Products Online
1. Google Chromecast
Although Google refuses to release the exact number of Google Chromecast devices sold, they’ve acknowledged it is a success story. This tiny, unobtrusive dongle does big things: it syncs up all the media you have on your computer—Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, etc.—to your TV. This works wonders if you have grown tired of high cable costs, and it effectively turns any basic television into a thriving entertainment center.
The introductory price for the Google Chromecast was $35. One seller on Amazon is currently offering the Google Chromecast for $27.99; combine free shipping on orders over $35 (purchase something else to reach this requirement) and you’ll acquire this device for the lowest price on the market. eBay has bids priced at $17.50 and $20.19 at the moment, but these prices will rise.
2. Mini Cree LED Flashlight
Imported from China, this brand of flashlight makes an excellent addition to your keychain. It is only 2.1 ounces. A simple explanation for its popularity is its affordably, at less than $5 in most cases. You can light up the dark and save energy with this palm-sized mini torch.
While prices for the Mini Cree LED Flashlight fall below $4 on Amazon, you will have to bring in shipping costs to the equation. Your best bet would be to visit Mini In The Box and buy it for $6.26 and receive free shipping.
3. Roku 2
Set-top boxes are the new ubiquity, being an addition or a preferred alternative to cable. The Roku 2 supports on-demand content and live streaming; both free and paid channels that are available include Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video and other streaming services. Many prefer the Roku 2 to the Roku 3, as the Roku 2 has nearly all the same functionality while $20 less.
Best Buy has the Roku 2 available for $69.99 with free shipping. Newegg offers a price of $59 with free shipping. These are the lowest prices if you want to buy new. Otherwise, you can buy a refurbished Roku 2 direct from the manufacturer on Amazon for $39.95 with free shipping.
4. PlayStation 4
There have been 7 million sold from November 2003 to April 2014. As the eighth generation of video game consoles, the PS4 competes with Nintendo’s Wii U and Microsoft’s Xbox One. With advanced architecture and enhanced graphics technology, the PlayStation 4 goes higher in terms of horsepower, storage, memory and faster load times. If you’re a true fan, it might be better to wait till the next generation comes out, but because the former generation is usually cheaper, here is how to find a PS4 for less than the introductory price of $399.99:
CowBoom.com is selling a fully functional, pre-owned PS4 starting at $349.99, including free shipping. Although these refurbished sets may have dents or scratches, are you really planning on paying attention to the aesthetics of it when you’re four hours deep in Call of Duty? You might also want to try Amazon for comparable prices that don’t have tax tags on them.
5. Nest Learning Thermostat
A product that may come of use for summer cooling, the Nest Learning Thermostat actually knows when you’ll be home and when you’re away. After a few days of tinkering with the temperatures, it will adjust to your schedule and change accordingly. Those who are concerned with energy consumption or simply want to pay less each month, the Nest Learning Thermostat is one product that’ll make your home a little bit smarter.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is originally priced at $250. It is available at Target, Nest.com and Best Buy. While it’s $188.99 used on Amazon and in some cases $219.99 used, you can get 5 percent off at Target if you’re a RedCard loyalist.
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!