The other day I asked if it still made sense to buy a mammoth hard drive. For my money, the smarter buy is a compact, portable, smaller-capacity drive that's fast, affordable, and USB-powered.
Like this one: While supplies last, TigerDirect has the Western Digital Elements SE 1TB USB 3.0 hard drive for $59.99, plus around $4 for shipping. That's after redeeming a $10 mail-in rebate (PDF). It sells elsewhere (Newegg, Staples, etc.) for at least $80.
Compatible with Windows and Mac systems alike (though you'll need to reformat it for use with the latter), the Elements SE draws power from whatever USB port you plug it into. That, plus the fact that it measures just 4.4 inches by 3.1 inches by 0.75 inch and weighs 0.4 pound, makes it highly portable.
Because it supports USB 3.0 (as well as 2.0, natch), it's going to transfer files a helluva lot faster than any external drive you've used previously -- provided your PC has a USB 3.0 port, of course.
It doesn't come with any backup software, though, so if you're looking for a plug-and-play backup solution, consider another drive -- or just rely on Windows' built-in tools or any number of third-party backup utilities.
In an ideal world, the drive would have more than just a one-year warranty. But other than that, it's a pretty sweet deal. And check out the 160-plus user reviews, which average out to an amazing 4.7 stars out of 5. That's an endorsement along the lines of, to own this drive is to love this drive. And even without the rebate it's a bargain.
Bonus deal: Smartphone + car + Bluetooth = awesome. (There's no better way to enjoy Pandora, podcasts, etc.) No Bluetooth in your car? No awesome. Thankfully, for a limited time, Newegg has the GoGroove FlexSMART X2 Bluetooth FM transmitter for $34.99 shipped. This clever gizmo adds Bluetooth-powered hands-free calling and music streaming to any vehicle. (It also provides a USB charging port.) Last year I tried one in Mrs. Cheapskate's minivan, and it works quite well.
Bonus deal No. 2: Speaking of music, need a "throwaway" MP3 player for your gym bag or jogging shorts? DealFisher continues to rock the Sansa deals, this time with the refurbished SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8GB MP3 player for $21.99 shipped. This tiny clip-on blows the $49 iPod Shuffle out of the water, with four times the storage (plus an expansion slot), an FM radio, a voice recorder, and an actual screen.
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
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