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GasBuddy review

GasBuddy is a fully loaded application that assists you in finding inexpensive gas near you. Features like reporting gas prices and entering daily contests help create an active community of devotees.

Pros

Active members: GasBuddy relies on self-reporting to ensure its prices are accurate. Because you win prizes and awards by reporting this price information, it helps increase the amount of information you can find.

Correct prices: Our tests showed that almost all gas prices were accurate when compared to the stations, themselves, with most differences being only a tenth of a cent.

Total package: For a free application, GasBuddy … Read more

Can an audiophile find joy in an under $100 amplifier?

The Dayton Audio DTA-120 stereo integrated amp isn't very big, but for anyone searching for a decent amp that won't break the bank it's a real contender. First, let's look at the numbers: It's rated at 50 watts per channel for 8 ohm speakers; 60 watts per channel for 4 ohm speakers; the rear panel has stereo RCA inputs and speaker cable binding posts. The front panel has a 3.5 mm stereo minijack input, a 6.3 mm headphone jack, and a volume control. The DTA-120's extruded metal chassis feels solid, it's … Read more

Xiaomi said to be hawking $50 smartphones in the near future

Leave it to Xiaomi to come up with a $50 smartphone. The Chinese smartphone maker is said to be looking to bring uber-cheap phones to Japan in the near future, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Xiaomi is considered China's high-end smartphone maker that sells sleek devices at low prices. In 2012, the company sold more than 7 million handsets and generated more than $2 billion in revenue. In 2013, it sold about 19 million smartphones. For this year, the company's co-founder Lei Jun said he plans to supply 40 million phones.

High on the list of Xiaomi's … Read more

Acer FT200HQL Windows 8-ready monitor offers ergonomic design starting at $199.99

The Acer FT200HQL is an affordably priced Windows 8-compliant touch-screen monitor designed with an eye toward providing a comfortable experience. The 20-inch monitor starts at $199.99 and is available for purchase in stores now.

The 19.5-inch screen features an LED-backlit display with 10-point capacitive touch that recognizes common gestures, like pinch-to-zoom and swipes, and boasts a 5ms response time. The monitor's 1,600x900-pixel resolution is relatively low, but its 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio sounds promising for deep black levels and sharp contrast.

For the price, the FT200HQL packs plenty of ergonomic positions for comfortably using … Read more

The best tablets for under $250

These days, it's not too hard to find a good tablet under $250. It might not pack all of the latest bells and whistles, but for those on a budget, dealing with old hardware is part of the bargain.

Buying a relatively inexpensive tablet doesn't mean that you sacrifice a solid slate experience. There are quality tablets around $100, like the $139 Amazon Kindle Fire HD, but the sub-$250 tablet category is bursting with a bevy of budget options.

To that end, here are the best tablets currently available with prices under $250. If any of the products here interest you, be sure to read the full reviews for details on the quirks and idiosyncrasies of each. Also, check out our Tablets Buying Guide for an overview on tablet-buying best practices. … Read more

Sony's affordable tabletop 'hi-fi' system

Very few nonaudiophiles have hi-fis anymore, but if you would like to listen to music at home over something better than iffy computer speakers without breaking open your piggy bank, Sony's nifty little CMT-MX500i might be worth checking out.

The three-piece system comes with a pair of two-way bookshelf speakers mated to an attractively styled combo CD player/iPod dock/FM tuner/stereo amplifier. The speakers measure a tidy 5.5x9.4x7.9 inches, and the amp is 12x11x5 inches. The wood cabinet's speaker wire is permanently attached, and uses a proprietary plug that goes into the amp. … Read more

Can a $15 in-ear headphone sound better than good enough?

This blog is all about finding great-sounding audio products, in every price range. In June I reported on the best-sounding headphone I've ever heard, the Abyss AB-1266, but not long after that I was knocked out by Sony's MDR-V6, and now I'm auditioning these surprisingly decent $15 Audio Technica ATH-CLR100 in-ear headphones.

Introduced earlier this year, this all-plastic design is incredibly light, just 3.4 grams. It has 8.5mm drivers, sports small, medium, and large silicone eartips, and the headphone comes with a round plastic case. Amazon sells it for around $12, and even with that … Read more

Use CheapCast to turn your Android tablet into a Chromecast

Google's Chromecast dongle turns your HDTV into a smart TV, able to stream audio and video from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play (with more content providers to come).

The free CheapCast app (not made by Google) enables nearly any Android device to function as a Chromecast, effectively playing the role of the TV as you stream media from your other Android device.

Why would you want to do this? Well, if you have an Android tablet with an HDMI output, you could plug it into your HDTV, then use your smartphone to drive it. Voila: free … Read more

Can an audiophile find joy in a full-size $40 headphone?

I'm always on the lookout for great sounding products in all price ranges, so when an Audiophiliac reader suggested the almost too good to be true JVC HA-RX700 full-size headphones, I pulled the trigger. I'm glad I did, first the HA-RX700 doesn't look or feel like a cheap headphone. Better yet, it delivers a clear, highly articulate sound, with a wide stereo image, and it's the most comfortable budget headphone I've tried in years. Comfort is crucial, because even if a headphone is a top performer, but hurts your ears after a while, you're … Read more

Can Sony make a $15 full-size headphone an audiophile can love?

I'm always on the lookout for great cheap headphones, so when CNET's Matthew Moskovciak suggested I try Sony's MDR-ZX100 I jumped at the chance. We were both knocked out by Sony's MDR-V6 and MDR-7506 headphones, so I bought a pair of MDR-ZX100s on Amazon for $15. I had no expectations it would threaten those two amazing Sonys, but at less than 20 percent of those headphones' current prices I was curious to see how much of the magic trickled down to the MDR-ZX100. The MDR-V6 and MDR-7506 were both designed more than twenty years ago, when … Read more