Pre-order Season 2 of Shannara Chronicles for $10 in HD

For a limited time only, you can pre-order Season 2 of The Shannara Chronicles in HD and without ads, for just $10 at Amazon Instant Video. That’s the whole season. You will get the episodes as they become available. Season 2 has not began yet.

Season 2 of the TV series, based on the Terry Brooks long-standing book series, will begin October 11 in 2017 according to epguides.

One unusual thing about this TV show is that season 1 was running on MTV, but for season 2, the TV show is moving to Spike TV, which has been making some noise about moving towards more scifi and fantasy type of content.

This is a limited time promotion, but I do not know when it expires. It may be an introductory offer because of the potential confusion created with the transition from MTV to Spike.

Pre-order new Alcatel Idol 5S Unlocked for $200 with Prime Lockscreen Offers

If you don’t like contracts, but do not object to seeing ads and sponsored screensavers on your phone, and if you are a Prime member (or do not object to becoming one), you can get an $80 discount on the brand new Alcatel Idol 5S, unlocked and without contractual obligations!

Prime members can get this in the Prime Lockscreen Edition for $200, versus $280 for the standard version. It is the same phone, except for the ads. It is up to you to decide whether a $80 discount is an acceptable trade-off to seeing ads. Check reviews of previous phones Amazon offered in this fashion to see if this is something you can live with.

Certainly $80 is a bigger discount than some of the other phones Amazon offers in this program that range from $30 to $50. Trying to capitalize on the success of the Idol 4S, they pick up a well-received Snapdragon for this model, the 625 Octa-Core, with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and a microSD slot that can take up to 512GB cards, which is nice.

You get a 5.2-inch 1080p touchscreen, a very fresh Android 7.1 (compared to the fast majority of other Android phones out there). It supports T-Mobile and AT&T out of the box, and per the description over there, support for Sprint and Verizon is coming later in the summer.

The Snapdragon 625 is used in other “all carrier” phones like the Motorola Moto G5, so it is certainly capable for supporting Sprint and Verizon.

Both the Standard and the Lockscreen Ads versions of the phone are expected to be released on July 10 in 2017. So many phone choices, so little time 🙂

IF you are not a Prime member, but you want to get the discounted version, you’ll have to buy it at full price ($280) but after you become a paid Prime member, in other words after the 30-day free trial ends and you pay for the Prime membership, Amazon will give you an $80 gift card, the difference between the lockscreen and non-lockscreen version. There are some conditions in place to make sure people don’t try to cheat on this, so check the terms/conditions.

Two free Star Wars digital comic books with Rogue One digital pre-order

If you place a pre-order for the Star Wars Rogue One movie in digital HD at Amazon Instant Video, you are entitled to receive two free digital comic books at Comixology. They are two specific #1s, of Star Wars (2015-) and Darth Vader (2015-). Amazon owns Comixology so you can just login with your regular Amazon account there, you don’t need to create a new one.

The promotion runs until April 30, in 2017, so it will also be good after the movie gets released (purchases instead of pre-orders). Here are the terms of this promotion.

Pre-order new convertible Acer Chromebook R11 for $300

Chromebooks continue to grow in the market, and with the upcoming Google Play app support on ChromeOS, this is a good time to consider getting a new model or your first model. The feature is just launching, so it’s a good idea to buy a model with 4GB RAM and a touch-screen since Google Play apps are touch-optimized. There are a handful of compatible models already, but if you prefer a “latest model”, there will be a few coming out in the run-up to the 2016 holiday shopping season.

Which brings us to the brand new Acer Chromebook R11 with a pre-order price of $300 at The release date is not yet known. It has 4GB RAM, an 11.6-inch touch-screen but unfortunately with a 1366×768 resolution, and it is powered by Celery 🙂 Okay, the Celeron N3150 quad-core processor which currently ranks #1249 at

Acer wisely resisted the temptation to just stick a USB-C port. Instead you get one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 full size ports, along with HDMI output. Storage is 32GB on-board, along with an SD card reader (and of course the two USB ports and anything else you can connect via Wifi or Bluetooth or Ethernet-over-USB).

But that’s not all, part of the reason for the $300 starting price is that this is a convertible. The screen has a 360-degree rotation, so you can do the classic “tent” and “netflix and chill” angles, or fold the keyboard under the screen and turn it into a big tablet. Which would be even more handy when the Google Play apps come in!

Pre-order 14-inch HP 14-an013nr for $220 [Win10; SSD]

ChromeOS put the fear of R’hllor in Windows, so Microsoft and its trusted OEMs have been on a steady barrage of budget SSD-based “cloud books” trying to compete on specs and price ranges with ChromeOS.

A brand new volley in this War Without End comes from HP in a typically under-represented screen-size, at 14-inches. It is the unsexily named “HP 14-an013nr” coming with 4GB RAM and a 32GB SSD but with a 1920×1080 IPS non-touchscreen display. That’s a plus considering the starting price of this Windows 10 laptop is $220.

The processor is on the low end of things, the AMD E2-7110 QC but it’s not as bad as some other models, it currently ranks #1104 at Some of them in this price range rank outside the Top 1500. Still the usual caveats apply if you are planning to do heavy multi-tasking or use multiple apps in parallel.

The specs mention 802.11ac and Bluetooth but no mention of USB ports or memory card slot. It does NOT have a DVD burner. This was just added, so I’m sure the listing or at least customer reviews will give more info.

Keep in mind, the web itself is getting more bloated, especially the big popular websites as they add more and more widgets and clickbait content and ever-scrolling features. Which is why I now recommend 4GB RAM even for Chromebooks if you planning multi-tasking.

This new laptop is, as of the time of writing, available for pre-order for $220 at Amazon by Amazon actual.

Pre-order 15.6″ Acer Aspire E (i5U, 8GB, 256GB SSD, 2GB Nvidia, 1080p) for $550

Things are getting competitive in the world of laptops once again. If you like to be among the first to try new models as they roll out, Acer has a new power-value model coming up soon with a starting price of $550, the E5-575G-53VG, part of the Aspire E line-up.

For that, you get a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 display with a dedicated graphics card, the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAM. It has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD if you are no longer fond of churning hard disks. The processor is the Intel Core i5-6200U which currently ranks #588 at

The lower performance is because this is a “U” processor, which in turn promises up to 12 hours of battery life on a 6-cell battery running the included Windows 10 Home.

Creature comforts include an 8X super-multi-format DVD burner, 802.11ac Wifi, HDMI out, the new USB triumvirate (USB 3.1 Type C, along with two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports), Bluetooth 4.1, Gigabit Ethernet, and such.

NOTE: as far as I can tell from the specs and pictures this does NOT have a touch-screen.

As of the time of writing, this is available for pre-order at Amazon by Amazon actual for $550. There is no shipment estimate at the moment.

PS: as usual with new releases, there is always a risk since a product is an unknown, so if you hate this “boldly going” type of thing, you may want to wait until reviews come out or go for one of the laptops that has already been released and has been “vetted” by shoppers and reviewers alike.

Pre-order new semi-premium 14″ Acer Chromebook for $300

Chromebooks have certainly come a long way since the early days when Samsung’s goofy model (with the ports on the back) became the first “blockbuster” Chromebook, topping the best selling charts at Amazon for a long time. Since then, many and more models and manufacturers jumped right in, trying all kinds of different things to differentiate themselves.

Which brings us to today, Acer has a new semi-luxury 14-inch Chromebook, the awkwardly named CB3-431-C5XK, with an aluminum chassis, a 1080p display and 4GB of RAM (the web is getting more and more bloated, my 2GB Chromebook sometimes has a hard time keeping up with some of the bloated big media websites). It has 32GB on-board storage, and loves to eat celery (aka a Celeron processor, the N3060 which is apparently new enough that is not listed yet at

It also has two USB 3.1 ports and the latest Bluetooth (4.2 or so). However, some compromises had to be made: no touchscreen!

It is now available for pre-order for $300 at (no date provided yet).

New $150 Chromebook from Haier with 11.6″ screen

Chromebooks are striking back in the laptop price wars! Available right now for pre-order at for $150 is a new 11.6-inch Chromebook from Haier, model HR-116R.

The specs are familiar, 2GB RAM, 16GB on-board, microSD slot, two USB ports, HDMI, headphone jack, 2.4 lbs weight, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 2×2 (MIMO) a/b/g/n/ac, etc. The battery life estimate is up to ten hours. The processor is the Rockchip RK3288 1.8 GHz (Cortex A17).

It looks like this does not have a touch-screen, which is not a surprise considering the price. I could not find the actual screen resolution other than “HD” mentioned in the description. As usual, it comes with two years of 100GB Google Drive cloud storage.