Great discussion yesterday on the subject of CDs! Lots of you are still very passionate about them; others prefer modern streaming and download options. Thanks for weighing in!
Back to business. It was less than a year ago that Kodak unveiled the Playsport Zx5, its second-generation waterproof pocket camcorder.
A lot has changed since then. Main competitor Cisco pulled the plug on the Flip Video line, and Kodak itself just announced plans to exit the camera business. Sad.
The silver lining: cheap deals on Kodak goodies. For example, today only, and while supplies last, Bedeals has the refurbished Kodak Playsport Zx5 pocket camcorder for $79.99 shipped. It originally listed for $179.95 and still sells for $125 to $140 most places.
The Zx5 is noteworthy for a few reasons. First, it captures 1080p video and stores it on inexpensive SD cards (which I find a better solution than fixed storage). Here's an 8GB SDHC card for just $7.99 shipped.
Second, it has an autofocusing lens, one that automatically switches between macro and normal modes depending on the distance of your subject. Most other pocket camcorders rely on fixed-focus lenses.
Finally, the Zx5 is shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof up to 10 feet. That makes it an excellent companion for the pool, the beach, the hiking trail, etc.--unlike your pricey smartphone. Also, Kodak says the camera can withstand drops from as high as 5 feet, making it an excellent companion for your kids.
Indeed, my son and his friends love goofing around with pocket camcorders like these, and something like the Zx5 can take the pounding. Non-ruggedized models are more likely to meet a sudden and bitter end.
CNET hasn't reviewed the Zx5, but PC Magazine awarded it four stars, praised its video quality and easy sharing capabilities, and called it a "top pocket camcorder."
If you still think these gadgets have a place in the world, this is your chance to score a high-end model for a low-end price. Keep in mind, however, that because it's a refurb, it has a 90-day warranty. Fortunately, Kodak isn't ceasing camera operations until June, so your window is safe.
Bonus deal: Interestingly, Wal-Mart has the Kodak Playsport Zx3 for $69, plus sales tax and $4 for shipping (or get free site-to-store). It's new, not refurbished, but it has a fixed-focus lens and, according to reviews, shorter battery life and less-intuitive menus. (On the flipside, the battery is removable, unlike on the Zx5.) Decisions, decisions.
Bonus deal No. 2: Still using your Wii? Nothing, but nothing, beats an inductive charger for your controllers. Today only, 1SaleADay has the Memorex Quad Controller Charging Kit for Wii for $4.99, plus $4.99 for shipping. It comes with the charging base and four induction-friendly rechargeable battery packs. It's available in black or white.