Greetings, Arsians! Your friendly neighborhood Dealmaster is back and reporting for bargain-hunting duty—and boy, is he going to need some extra coffee. That’s because today marks the start of Amazon Prime Day 2019, the increasingly misnamed sales event that sees the nation’s largest online retailer discount products beyond number to Black Friday-level prices midsummer. This year’s Prime Day lasts 48 hours from July 15-16, because time is a social construct and trillion-dollar companies can pretty much do whatever they want.
Before we dig in to our deals roundup, a disclaimer: as is often the case with big sales events like this, most of this year’s Prime Day deals aren’t really deals at all. Amazon will promote thousands of “discounts” over the next two days, but with that much volume, the majority of those offers will naturally have less-than-special prices or apply to less-than-desirable products.
Many “deal prices” are relative to MSRPs that products have not sold at for months, for instance, and some companies artificially raise product prices before the event starts. (As always, price checker sites are a handy tool for verifying good deals.) Prime Day is not a “holiday” for Amazon Prime users—the only people who can take part in the event—so much as a multibillion-dollar business for a retailer looking to gin up sales during a typically slow shopping period. It’s also a way for Amazon to convert more shoppers into Prime members, who are estimated to spend twice as much on the site than non-Prime users.
That said, there are some genuinely great deals for those in need of a particular device—you just have to know where to look. That’s where the Dealmaster comes in: he’s spent the past several days gathering up and verifying tech deals in preparation for the event. Below, you’ll find a smorgasbord of Prime Day 2019 deals we approve of, including discounts on smartphones, PCs, monitors, headphones, laptops, and much more. You can click through the table of contents below to get to a specific sect of deals, and we’ll be highlighting especially good deals toward the top of our rundown. The Dealmaster will be updating this list frequently over the next two days, so if you don’t see anything you like now, be sure to check back as more worthwhile deals roll in.
Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.
Table of Contents
Top 10 deals of Amazon Prime Day 2019 (for now)
This is a new low price for Amazon’s 4K- and HDR-ready media streamer, which goes for $50 but is typically discounted to $40 every few weeks. Its previous low came over the holiday season last year, when it briefly went for $35. The Fire TV Stick is more or less neck-and-neck with Roku’s Streaming Stick+ when it comes to 4K streaming dongles—the latter has a simpler UI, the former has better voice search and Dolby Vision HDR. At $25, though, this is fantastic value.
- Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (8GB, Ads) e-reader + $5 e-book credit + Kindle Unlimited subscription (3-month) for $84.99 (normally $129.99).
Amazon’s best value e-reader returns to its lowest price of $90 for Prime Day, but here you get more than the e-reader. Included in the sale price is a $5 ebook credit along with three free months of Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s reading subscription service. Amazon upgraded the Paperwhite, normally priced at $130, late last year with a new waterproof design and Audible audiobook integration, two of many features that make it our favorite e-reader.
It may not be the most recent model, but the Apple Watch Series 3 remains a solid smartwatch, and it’s rare to see any Apple Watch with cellular go down to this price. The Series 3 can still make and receive calls even when your iPhone is not with you or off. It can also send and receive text messages and receive regular app updates anywhere you have a reliable cellular connection. That, along with the regular Watch capabilities—daily activity and workout tracking, heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and on-watch apps—make this a good buy at $229. And if you don’t need cell service, the GPS-only model is down to $169, which is also a new low.
The 128GB variant of Apple’s most recent 9.7-inch iPad has dropped to $329 every so often in recent weeks, but now it’s at a new low of $299. It remains the gold standard for general purpose tablets, with a still-fast A10 Fusion chip, a great display, Apple Pencil compatibility, and a solid 8-10 hours of battery life. It also has a Home button and a headphone jack! It’s not as powerful as Apple’s iPad Pro lineup, but it’s the best iPad for most people.
Normally retailing between $60-70, Cooler Master’s MH751 gaming headset is down to a new low of $43. That’s $17 off its previous best. While not a super well-known headset, the MH751 is excellent value even at its usual going rate. It sounds great, with solid imaging for a closed-back headphone, and it’s supremely comfortable. Its detachable mic and not-garish look mean it can double as a pair of normal wired headphones, too. Though we haven’t covered it on Ars just yet, a little birdie has told the Dealmaster to expect more in the coming weeks.
This is a new low price for our favorite Chromebook. Asus’ Chromebook Flip normally sits in the $470 range, and we’d recommend it over most Chromebooks even at that price. With its Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash storage (albeit eMMC), it has the right specs to run Chrome OS well for most. Its convertible design and 12.5-inch touchscreen are well-made, too. We’ll note that Asus recently updated this machine: the new C434 Chromebook Flip has a larger 14-inch display in a similarly sized chassis, and it promises better performance and a tad longer battery life. However, since the new model costs $549, we think the C302 is still a great deal.
The DeathAdder Elite isn’t the most well-suited gaming mouse for the smallest hands, and its companion software can be a pain, but it still performs smoothly, has all the necessary customization options, and should be plenty comfortable for most grips. It doesn’t look out of place in an office, either, provided you turn off that glowing Razer logo on its front. It’s down to $35 for Prime Day, $10 off its usual price and $5 less than its previous low price.
- Jabra Elite 85h Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones for $249.99 (normally $299.99).
From a pure active noise-cancelling perspective, Jabra’s Elite 85h not as capable as Sony’s WH-1000XM3, but as a pair of premium Bluetooth headphones, they’re commendable. Their clear and smooth sound is nice for most—even without support for higher-quality codecs like aptX or even AAC— but the two big selling points are their superb 30- to 35-hour battery life and their ultra-intuitive physical control system. And while their ANC isn’t class-leading, it’s still strong enough to be useful. They’re $50 off for Prime Day, their first major discount from their usual $300.
One of the most popular kitchen electronics in recent memory, the Instant Pot, is on sale for $56 for Prime Day. That a new low and well off its usual sale price of $90. We think the 6-quart size and the 9-mode functionality of this Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 model makes it good for most people—it’s just the right size to make food for a small crowd, and in many different ways. (Other Instant Pots in various sizes are on sale, though, if you prefer something smaller or larger). Kitchen equipment isn’t exactly our forte at Ars, but the Dealmaster can’t deny the popularity and practicality of these things.
- Nintendo Switch + $35 Nintendo eShop gift card for $299.99 (normally $334.99).
While not a huge savings, straight discounts on the Nintendo Switch are still relatively rare. This bundle is a rehash of one Nintendo rolled out earlier this year, but it’s effectively good for a digital game or two of your choosing. The console itself normally retails for $300 on its own. Just note that, if you don’t plan to use the console with your TV, the newly announced Switch Lite will arrive later this year for $200.
- 20% off Ars Pro and Ars Pro++ subscriptions (use code: “DIES PRIMUS MMIX” – normally $25/year and $50/year).
Finally, because the Dealmaster is a company man, we’ve got a special 11th deal for our “top 10” list today: discounted subscriptions to our Ars Pro and Ars Pro++ services. Both Ars Pro and Ars Pro++ offer an ad-free reading experience that is also 100% free of trackers, Classic View (a throwback to the old-school Ars experience), full-text RSS feeds, premium forum access, and PDFs of all our stories.
Beyond that, Ars Pro++ subscribers also get a gift—currently a Yubikey 4 two-factor authentication device—and a special clean-reading mode that optimizes page layout for the ad-free experience. You’ll also get some coupons for additional Yubikey devices so you can help family and friends keep their logins locked down. Just enter the coupon code “DIES PRIMUS MMIX” at checkout for 20% off.
Amazon device deals
- Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K media streamer for $24.99 (normally $44.99).
- Amazon Fire TV Stick 1080p media streamer for $14.99 (normally $34.99).
- Amazon Fire TV Recast (500GB) over-the-air DVR for $129.99 (normally $209.99).
- Amazon Kindle (4GB, ads) e-reader + $5 eBook credit + 3-month Kindle Unlimited for $59.99 (normally $89.99).
- Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (8GB, ads) e-reader + $5 eBook credit + 3-month Kindle Unlimited for $84.99 (normally $129.99).
- Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet (16GB, ads) for $49.99 (normally $79.99).
- Amazon Fire 7 tablet (16GB, ads) for $29.99 (normally $49.99).
- Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet (32GB, ads) for $99.99 (normally $149.99).
- Amazon Echo (2nd gen) + 6-month Amazon Music Unlimited (w/ auto-renew) for $49.99 (normally $117.93).
- Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) for $22 (normally $34.99).
- Amazon Echo Dot (2nd gen) + Philips Hue White and Color smart bulb (2-pack) for $62 (normally $114.98).
- Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) + Amazon Smart Plug for $26.99 (normally $44.99).
- Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) + 6-month Amazon Music Unlimited (w/ auto-renew) for $22 (normally $77.93).
- Amazon Echo (2nd gen) for $49.99 (normally $79.99).
- Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) for $109.99 (normally $149.99).
- Amazon Echo Show 5 + 6-month Amazon Music Unlimited (w/ auto-renew) for $49.99 (normally $137.93).
- Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) + 6-month Amazon Music Unlimited (w/ auto-renew) for $109.99 (normally $209.93).
- Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen) for $159.99 (normally $229.99).
- Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen) + Philips Hue White smart light bulb for $159.99 (normally $244.98).
- Amazon Audible subscription (3-month) – new subs only for $4.95/month (normally $14.95/month).
- Amazon Music Unlimited subscription (4-month) – new subs only for $0.99 (normally $7.99/month).
- Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 – Intel Core m3-6Y30, 12.5-inch 1080p, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD for $399.99 (normally $469.99).
- Acer Chromebook Spin 13 laptop – Intel Core i5-8250U, 13.5-inch 1504p touchscreen, 8GB RAM, 128GB eMMC for $599.99 (normally $809.99).
- Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 – Intel Celeron 3965Y, 12.2-inch 1920×1200, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC for $379.99 (normally $439.99).
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S gaming laptop – Intel Core i7-8750H, 15.6-inch 1080p, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GTX 1070 for $1,249.99 (normally $1,399.99).
- MSI GV62 8RD-276 gaming laptop – Intel Core i7-8750H, 15.6-inch 1080p, 16GB, 128GB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD, 4GB GTX 1050Ti for $799 (normally $999.99).
- Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop – Intel Core i7-8750H, 15.6-inch 1080p 60Hz, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD, GTX 1060 Max-Q for $1,099.99 (normally $1,499).
Desktop PC deals
- Acer Aspire TC-885-ACCFLi30 desktop – Intel Core i3-8100, 8GB RAM + 16GB Optane, 1TB HDD for $299.99 (normally $399.99).
- HP Pavilion 690-0020 desktop – AMD Ryzen 5 2400G, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, AMD Radeon RX 580 for $479.99 (normally $749.99).
- iBuyPower Pro Gaming PC gaming desktop – Intel Core i7-9700K, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 240GB SSD, 8GB RTX 2070 for $1,199.99 (normally $1,449).
- 24-inch ViewSonic XG2402 monitor – 1080p, TN, 144Hz, FreeSync for $199.99 (normally $229.99).
- 27-inch ViewSonic XG2702 monitor – 1080p, TN, 144Hz, FreeSync for $179.99 (normally $289.99).
- 27-inch LG 27UD68-W monitor – 3840×2160, IPS, 60Hz, FreeSync for $299.99 (normally $449.99).
- 27-inch LG 27GL650F-B monitor – 1080p, IPS, 144Hz, FreeSync for $249.99 (normally $349.99).
- 34-inch LG 34GL750-B monitor – 2560×1080, IPS, 144Hz, G-Sync for $379.99 (normally $549.99).
- 23.6-inch Acer KG241Q Pbiip monitor – 1080p, TN, 144Hz, FreeSync for $149.99 (normally $189.99).
- 34-inch Alienware AW3418DW monitor – 3440×1440, IPS, 120Hz, G-Sync for $719.99 (normally $849.99).
- 23.8-inch HP VH240a monitor – 1080p, IPS, 60Hz for $99.99 (normally $109.99).
Video game deals
TV and home entertainment deals
- Google Pixel 3a XL (64GB, unlocked) + $100 Amazon gift card for $479 (normally $579).
- Google Pixel 3 (64GB, unlocked) for $539 (normally $664.99).
- Google Pixel 3 XL (64GB, unlocked) for $639 (normally $719.99).
- Samsung Galaxy S10e (128GB, unlocked) for $549.99 (normally $699.99).
- Samsung Galaxy S10 (128GB, unlocked) for $599.99 (normally $799.99).
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ (128GB, unlocked) for $699.99 (normally $899.99).
- Motorola Moto G7 (64GB, unlocked) for $229.99 (normally $299.99).
- LG G8 ThinQ with Alexa (128GB, unlocked) for $499.99 (normally $849.99).
- Razer Phone 2 (64GB, unlocked) for $399.99 (normally $499.99).
- Samsung Note 9 (64GB, unlocked) for $649.99 (normally $799.99).
- Samsung Galaxy S9 (64GB, unlocked) for $349.99 (normally $479.99).
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ (128GB, unlocked) for $449.99 (normally $599.99).
Smart home deals
Listing image by Ars Technica