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The Wirecutter’s best deals: Save $30 on a UE Roll 2 Bluetooth speaker

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. When readers choose to buy The Wirecutter‘s independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot — some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Honeywell HCM-350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Street price: $70; MSRP: $70; Deal price: $50

This deal matches the previous lowest price we’ve seen on the Honeywell HCM-350, and is the best price we’ve seen in quite some time. Coming in at $20 under the street price, it’s a solid discount. This deal is only available in black.

The Honeywell HCM-350 is our top pick in our guide to the best humidifier. Tim Heffernan wrote, “The Honeywell’s evaporative technology (as opposed to ultrasonic or warm mist), avoids problems common to the other methods, like overhumidification, pools of condensed water around the base, and white mineral dust building up on nearby surfaces. The HCM-350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier is easier to keep clean than nearly every other humidifier we’ve tested, because every part that touches water is free of electronic components and lacks the sharp angles that harbor buildup. And the HCM-350 is the only humidifier we’ve found that has a seamless, molded reservoir, which eliminates a problem common in inferior models: leaks. Evaporative humidifiers like this are not the most powerful type, but in less than two hours, the Honeywell reaches and maintains a comfortable level of humidity in a room up to about 400 square feet.”

Fitbit Charge 2

Street price: $150; MSRP: $150; Deal price: $130

We’ve seen the Fitbit Charge 2 at $130 before, but the key to this deal is in using Visa Checkout. By using Visa Checkout, you can get $25 off on purchases over $100. That drops the price of this Fitbit Charge 2 down to $105 which is a new low price and an incredible deal. Make sure you sign up for a separate Visa Checkout account and that your credit card and address info is correct, then select it during the checkout process and you should see the discount automatically apply.

The Fitbit Charge 2 is our social support pick in our guide to the best fitness trackers. Amy Roberts wrote, “Fitbit has a lock on social support features thanks to its multiyear head start in building its user base. While its trackers aren’t quite as accurate as other makers’, it’s hard to discount the motivation that comes with friendly competition. So if you have friends who already use Fitbit, there’s a benefit to also getting one. The Charge 2, with its trim size, move alerts, and automatic activity tracking (they call it SmartTrack), is our pick for social support. However, heart-rate tracking is where most Fitbits fall short, including the Charge 2. In our tests, its readings were all over the place, so if your exercise program follows strict heart-rate zones, this Fitbit isn’t for you. Also, the Charge 2 (like all Fitbits) is not fully waterproof and merely “sweat, rain and splash proof.” So take it off when you shower or swim. Overall, it’s a user-friendly device for people who prefer to stay in the Fitbit ecosystem, but our other picks are more capable if you’re starting out on your own.”

Canon EOS 80D EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Kit Refurbished

Street price: $1,080 (new); MSRP: $1,250 (new); Deal price: $850

We posted the camera body alone at $800 new late last year, so to get the lens as well for just $50 more is an excellent bonus. While refurbished, the items in this bundle are covered by the standard one year Canon warranty. Shipping is free.

The Canon EOS 80D is our runner-up in our best midrange DSLR guide. Amadou Diallo wrote, “If you plan to shoot video on a regular basis, or if you already have several Canon lenses you don’t want to replace, we recommend the Canon EOS 80D, which is a significant improvement over its predecessor (the EOS 70D, our previous runner-up). The image quality of this 24-megapixel DSLR isn’t quite as stellar as that of our top pick.”

UE Roll 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Street price: $100; MSRP: $100; Deal price: $69

This is a great deal on our top pick for portable Bluetooth speaker, just matching the previous low we’ve seen it at once before. We normally see this Bluetooth speaker only go on sale for $80, and at over $10 below that, this is a great deal on the UE Roll 2.

The UE Roll 2 is our top pick in our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers. Brent Butterworth wrote, “The original UE Roll was our unanimous pick for the best portable speaker when we tested 30 new models last year, and we feel just as strongly about its replacement, the UE Roll 2. Like the original, the UE Roll 2 sounds full, with smooth reproduction of everything from bass notes to cymbals, and it plays loud enough to fill a hotel room or a spot at the beach with sound. It’s so watertight, it will survive being dunked 1 meter underwater for 30 minutes. Seven months of worldwide traveling with the original Roll have only confirmed our love of this design. The only real downside is that it lacks a speakerphone function.”

Because great deals don’t just happen on Thursdays, 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 to The Wirecutter.com.

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Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick