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Wirecutter's best deals: Save $50 on a Philips Hue starter kit

Other picks include the ASUS ZenBook 13 and Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD.
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This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read Wirecutter's continuously updated list of deals here.

Samsung 860 EVO 1 TB SSD

samsung

Street price: $160; deal price: $128

The Samsung 860 EVO, formerly our runner-up pick, is now the top pick in our guide to the best SSDs. This 1 TB drive on sale now costs less than what a 500 GB 860 EVO SSD cost at the beginning of the year. This reflects the steep decline in SSD prices over that period and ongoing coupon code deals we've seen at select retailers continue to drive the downward trend. We expect to continue seeing this pricing or better, with stock being the only concern this holiday season.

The Samsung 860 EVO is the top pick in our guide to the best SSDs. Andrew Cunningham wrote, "If we were upgrading a laptop or buying the primary drive for a desktop, we'd buy Samsung's 860 Evo. It's as good as or better than the Crucial MX500 in almost every metric: It's a little faster, it consumes less power, it has much higher endurance, it comes in 2.5-inch, mSATA, and M.2 versions, and it has the same five-year warranty and encryption support—it's your best option (and one of your only modern options) if you need an mSATA SSD. Most people won't notice the differences between the 860 Evo and the MX500, and people who need something faster or with greater endurance should be looking at PCI Express SSDs like our upgrade pick. But the 860 Evo still offers an outstanding combination of performance, capacity, endurance, and price."

Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UA

asus

Street price: $800; deal price: $706

Down to $706, this is only $6 more than the drop to $700 we saw for this laptop on Cyber Monday, and while we don't know how long this deal will last, it's unlikely to drop too much lower. The price of the ZenBook 13 UX331UA had stubbornly hovered around $800 much of this year, and while this drop could be reflective of a new gen on the horizon, the ZenBook 13 still has one of the best combinations of specs and build quality available at this price.

The Asus Zenbook 13 UX331UA is the top Windows pick in our guide to the best laptops for college students. Justin Krajeski wrote, "The ZenBook is also amazingly well-made for the price, with a powerful processor, a 1920×1080-pixel display, and a decent webcam—we recommend the UX331UA-AS51 configuration with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8 GB of memory, and a 256 GB solid-state drive. But compared to the Dell XPS 13, its keyboard is less enjoyable to type on and its battery life is about two hours less. It also lacks a fast, versatile Thunderbolt 3 port, which will become more useful over the next few years as more accessories support the standard. But for around $800, it's the best option for college students."

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 60W 2-Bulb Starter Kit

philips

Street price: $130; deal price: $80

Aside from a rare, short-lived drop to $60 on Prime Day with Alexa voice-ordering, this is the lowest price we've seen for this set. With the approaching holiday season, this deal is a great chance to pick up a cool gift. We originally saw this kit at a full price of $150, which is still a price it hits with some regularity, but we've seen enough dips to $100 and $80 on sale in recent months to lower the street price to reflect the regular sales.

This kit is a two-bulb variant of the top pick in our guide to the best smart LED light bulbs. The Philips Hue Colored Smart Bulbs are also the instant ambience pick in our guide to our favorite gifts for 6- to 10-year olds. In our LED bulb guide, Grant Clauser wrote, "The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 bulbs are the best all-around smart bulbs you can buy. The Hue bulbs do everything their competitors do, but their wider product and app ecosystem allows for more flexibility and creativity than any other smart bulb. The third-generation Hue produces richer colors than the previous model, so reds will be a truer red, not just a deep pink. This means they've caught up with LIFX in terms of color accuracy, making them an even clearer choice."

Harmony 650 Universal Remote

logitech

Street price: $39; deal price: $33

Down to $33 from a typical street price just under $40, while we've posted this remote a few times at this price, this is the first such deal we've seen for a few months. This is still the lowest price we've seen for the Harmony 650 new, so this is a solid time to grab this remote if you have infrared devices you want to control. Most of the $33 deals we've posted so far have been relatively short-lived, but hopefully this one will stick around for a bit.

The Harmony 650 is the top pick in our guide to the best universal remote control. Darryl Wilkinson and Grant Clauser wrote, "The Logitech Harmony 650 is the best universal remote for most people because it can coordinate the functions of up to eight components, is relatively simple to program with its MyHarmony software, and uses a smart, activity-based interface that simplifies control of your whole home theater. It can only control IR (infrared) devices—that's most audio, video, and home theater gear—but it can't communicate over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, so it isn't compatible with some recent devices (Logitech's Hub-based devices, which we'll discuss below, are a better option if you need more than IR control)."

Because great deals don't just happen on Thursday, sign up for our daily deals email and we'll send you the best deals we find every weekday. Also, deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go here.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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