4 things to do before buying a laptop or a smartwatch

Laptop / Desktop / PC

Asus ZenBook 13

12.3-inch display, Intel HD 620 graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD

It has a one-button fingerprint reader and is sealed with a spray-on lid.

Nvidia GeForce MX150 (2GB)


16-inch Display

Intel HD 620 graphics, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD

Elgato Eve Eye Drone $279.99 View

Pebble Time 2

6-inch display, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD

Every few weeks, the Apple Watch becomes the deadliest argument for why the company’s most competitive products are overpriced. But Apple now also has a watch that’s $349. And it has a watch that costs just $30 more than the cheapest laptop on the market.

That’s the real kicker here: the Kickstarter-born Pebble Time 2. Those on Apple’s watch may think they’re in the same price league, but that doesn’t mean they’re. And the $299 Pebble Time 2 is pretty much as much of a bargain as any laptop.

The Time 2 comes with a 6-inch display that not only provides clear, vibrant colors but is made from the same components as the MacBook Air. It can act as a power bank, plays podcasts on its screen and, thanks to 64GB of storage, can hold all your movies and music. Plus, a fingerprint reader on the back.

If you’re looking for something less expensive, check out the four-inch Alexa-enabled Dash.

In-Ear Headphones

Energi Headphones $99.99 View

Alexa-Enabled In-Ear Headphones $130.94 View

Polar Pro 400 In-Ear Headphones $69.99 View

Bluetooth Headphones

Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $129.95 View

Wireless Headphones

Punch Wireless Headphones $159.99 View

Vitality Bike Keychain Bangle Bar a Fitting Look for the Healthy Me

Though this jewelry accessory was originally sold at a couple of restaurant chains, find out why this Bali-themed trainer is now a favorite of D.C. fitness enthusiasts and Washington Post sportswriter Ezra Klein.

The Vitality Bike Keychain Bar is a durable piece of Americana, perfect for following your biking workout. Powered by Fitbit’s newest smartwatch, it measures a user’s training progress over time and alerts when they fall behind a training goal. Plus, it gives you notifications of incoming calls and texts. Available at Vitality with pre-order prices beginning Aug. 21 at https://www.vitality.co/bikernailbar.html.

Oculus Rift or Vive Pre

The online retailer PCMag put these two virtual reality systems — one for Rift, the other for Vive — through a rigorous 2D compatibility test. Call that a first. You can still pick up a Rift or Vive now, but PCMag’s analysis reveals there may be some margin for better deals at the latter’s launch. If you opt for Microsoft’s own headsets, check out Best Buy’s Kindle Exclusive Promotions page.

Google Home

This 360-degree, seven-inch device is your home’s most advanced smart speaker so far, and you can even use it to capture 360-degree video and listen to its Bluetooth speakers.

Google Home Mini

Comes with its own one-to-one-line local support phone call service.

Google Home Max

Reviews say this is an extremely powerful speaker with excellent music streaming and a range that rivals great-sounding stereo separates.


The free cloud-storage service combines photos, videos, documents and more into one app. It’s pretty useful and does come with free 2GB of storage.

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