The Bestologist's BFFs (Black Friday Favorites)

After looking through many Black Friday ads, here's a brief list of some of the more compelling values that I've found.

I-Inc 28" LCD Monitor.  $249 at TigerDirect shipped.  This I-Inc is a 28" 1920x1200 LCD monitor with HDMI (and VGA) connections.  Most 1920x1200 monitors are 24", so relatively speaking, everything on this 28" monitor will appear a bit bigger.  The larger size is great if you want to use the monitor occasionally to watch movies, or if you're finding your eyes are helped by slightly larger text.  It may be an "off brand", but the I-Inc monitor has been consistently well-reviewed by end users -- there are many hundreds of positive reviews on TigerDirect's website.  The I-Inc is nearly identical to the similarly well-regarded Hanns-G 28" monitor, which gets the same good reviews.  One of the few obvious differences is that I-Inc monitor has a matte black finish, whereas the Hanns-G has a glossy black finish (NewEgg had a Black Friday special on the Hanns-G for $259, but it's now sold out).  It's worth noting that most "HD" monitors these days use a cheaper 16:9 1920x1080 aspect ratio LCD panel.  Personally, I appreciate the extra bit of vertical resolution that this 16:10 1920x1200 I-Inc monitor affords you, particularly when working in a word processor.

Deal of the Day: A bargain paper shredder ($9.99)

Staples OmniTech 6-Sheet (OT-EXC6A) Cross Cut Shredder -- $9.99 after rebate!

Paper shredders don't get much cheaper than this.  I don't recall ever seeing a less expensive one.  This Staples unit is a cross-cut model, and can handle 6 sheets at a time, and can handle credit cards and staples without a problem.  It's on the small side, but it's larger than a unit meant to be placed on yoStaples OmniTech 6-Sheet (OT-EXC6A) Cross Cut Shredderur desktop (you'll want to keep this under your desk, not only because of its size, but also because it's not particularly attractive).

There are 333 reviews on for this product, and the average rating is 3.9 stars (out of 5 stars), which seems quite good if you consider that many probably wrote their reviews after paying  the full $49.99 list price.  There's a $20 discount applied at the time of purchase, and a $20 rebate.  You'll probably have to pick one up at your local Staples store, since it appears the shredder is currently sold out on line.  I was able to pick one up today locally without a problem.

Hot Holiday Toy Lists for 2009

It's already time to start thinking about the holidays. Not sure what hot toy to get for the special children in your life? Well, you're not alone. Here are some places to find hot toys for this Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Festivus (for Seinfeld fans :).

Best Network Attached Storage (NAS)

My PC's hard drive was almost full so I needed to get a new hard drive. There are lots of hard drive options available like buying a larger internal hard drive, an external USB drive, or a network attached drive. I opted for the latter, also called the NAS or network attached storage, because I wanted all my PCs to share the NAS. Which is the best to buy? I had no idea but here's what I found out.

Windows Home Server or Linux OS?

A friend recommended I look at Windows Home Server (WHS) so I tried to find out what that was. At first, I thought WHS was just Microsoft's version of a NAS. I kept trying to compare features between WHS and NAS systems. Then I realized I was asking the wrong question. NAS is the umbrella term for ALL network attached storage and WHS is simply one of the operating systems that a NAS can run. Most NAS systems run either Linux or WHS.

50 Best Places Ever to Visit

National Geographic Traveler Magazine is known for its "Places of a Lifetime" list first published in October, 1999 that lists 50 places you should visit in your lifetime. For the 10-year anniversary of this article, the magazine has republished the original 50 places plus added an additional 50 new places. Take a look and count how many you've already been to.

World's Best Beer by Imbibe Magazine

Did someone say beer? Not just any beer...the best beer!

This month's Imbibe Magazine article titled "99 Bottles" lists the world's best beer. That's a lot of beer to sample but it looks like the Imbibe staff was up to the challenge . What I like about this list of the world's 99 best beers is that it combines the opinions of the Imbibe staff, outside beer experts, and readers to produce a balanced list with something sure to get any beer lover "hopped up".

Also nice about this list is they grouped the beers into useful categories like "Beers to Drink with a Burger", "Different but Good", and "Beers to Serve to Your Friend Who Claims to be a Beer Snob".

The "best" 3-hole puncher?! OXO moves out of the kitchen and into the office.

Ok, hole punchers aren't the sort of item that we usually get excited about, but as far as mundane office desktop equipment goes, the OXO 3-hole punch is one impressive piece of kit:  


What's so great about it?

Bestville Begins

Wow, this is the inaugural blog of Expect new content and features to come!

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