Bargain basement: an Intel 660p 2 TB for $191, a Core i7 Surface Laptop for $780, and more

G'afternoon. Yesterday I scratched a very minor item off my bucket list—I took a short ferry ride from São Jacinto to Gafanha da Nazaré, except I took the car into the water. The trip was quite short but it was loads of fun and a little surreal to just drive a car right onto a boat, no fuss, no muss. The 15-minute journey was uneventful save for a little choppy water that made it more fun. Today, however, there's no time for fun and games—it's all about them hardware deals. Here they are.

  • Cheap NAND! Get yer cheap NAND here! Prices for flash chips are a-tumblin', like in the Intel 660p 2 TB NVMe drive. This super-capacious gumstick can push 1800 MB/s sequentially in either direction, and can clock 220K random IOPS either way. You can get one of these for $191.24 from Rakuten with the checkout code MN33.

  • If your needs for both speed and capacity are a little more modest, then you'll be happy with the Crucial MX500 1 TB M.2 drive. This SATA affair is one of the best around, thanks to its rated speed of up to 560 MB/s in sequential reads and 510 MB/s for writes. Newegg will let you have it for $109.03 if you use the cart code EMCTYUB48.

  • We have a couple extra-large LG displays today. The first is the LG 32QK500-W, a 32" affair bearing an IPS panel with a resolution of 2560×1440. The refresh rate can hit 75 Hz, and there's FreeSync (G-Sync compatible) support on tap. The static contrast ratio is 1000:1, and the brightness should hit 300 cd/m². This unit's selling super-cheap today: only $219.99 at Amazon.

  • Need to go even bigger, and much sharper? Right this way. The LG 43UD79-B almost doesn't qualify as a monitor, for the best of reasons. Its 43" IPS panel has a resolution of 3840×2160 and should cover close to 100% of the sRGB color space. The maximum brightness is 350 cd/m²—an impressive amount for a display this large. Signals can go into the monitor via HDMI, DisplayPort, or USB Type-C connectors. Newegg wants but $529.99 for this vast expanse of pixels, provided you input the cart code EMCTYUB33.

  • I'll admit, I have a particular weak spot for HP's Spectre x360 convertible laptops. We have one of those today, and it's stuff with fancy hardware, to boot. Outside, there's a super-sharp 13.3" touch display with a resolution of 3840×2160, USB Type-A ports and two Thunderbolt 3 connectors, and an active pen. Inside sit a Core i7-8565U processor coupled with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB NVMe solid-state drive. This sleek machine weighs just 2.8 lb (1.26 kg) and is 0.5" (12.7 mm) thick. Drooling yet? Grab one of these from Best Buy for just $1049.99.

  • The Microsoft Surface Laptop is also one of the handiest machines around, thanks to its compact format, well-thought-out ergonomics, and quality display. The model on sale has a Core i7-7660U processor with Iris Pro graphics, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB NVMe SSD. The 2256×1504 3:2 touchscreen has great color reproduction, and the battery should be good for 14 hours of usage. Newegg is selling this machine for $779.99 while stocks last.

  • Speaking of colorful displays, the one atop the Apple iPad Pro 11" with Wi-Fi and 64 GB of storage (2018) is one of the finest on any mobile device. The MTXN2LL/A model on hand is the latest version of the high-end tablet, powered by an A12X Bionic chip, and with 4 GB of RAM on tap. The 12" 2388×1668 display has a 120 Hz refresh rate. Best Buy will hand you one for just $674.99. The good folks at Amazon, too, are selling this for $674.99.

That's all for today, folks! There's a chance you're looking for something we haven't covered. If that's the case, you can help The Tech Report by using the following referral links when you're out shopping: not only do we have a partnership with Newegg and Amazon, but we also work with Best Buy, Adorama, RakutenWalmart, and Sam's Club. For more specific needs, you can also shop with our links at Das Keyboard's shop.

Comments closed
    • Voldenuit
    • 7 months ago

    [url=https://www.storagereview.com/intel_ssd_660p_series_review<]Storagereview on the 660p[/url<]: [quote<]...the 660p is designed specifically to replace HDDs and SATA SSDs as the most viable and least expensive option for client-based systems. With its current price point, it certainly makes this case, though the 660p’s performance is low enough to cater to only those looking for a minimal upgrade from an HDD-based workstation.[/quote<] Meh.

      • Spunjji
      • 7 months ago

      I’d say that’s a bit of a misleading perspective. For a start, the SSD’s “current price point” when they reviewed it was double what it is now. It’s also only a “minimal upgrade from an HDD” if your use-case involves regularly filling the drive and/or thrashing your way through the SLC cache like their tests did.

        • DavidC1
        • 7 months ago

        Exactly. At the price they are selling at, its hard to resist. The endurance claims are overblown too. 75TB for the 512GB version will last 10-20 years for most people.

        Endurance per cell might be worse nowadays than it used to be in the MLC days, but the absolute level has not changed because capacity increases has made up for it. An article mentioned that manufacturers used to focus on endurance ratings in the beginning only to realize that consumers didn’t need anywhere near that much and they preferred cheaper drives.

        On a side note: The 660p SSDs have been on the deal list for so long, I have to believe Intel is aggressively undercutting to move them. 512GB version’s RCP may be $99, but you can get the 1TB version for $109 for quite some time now. Certainly by that aspect QLC is delivering, because its significantly cheaper than TLC SSDs.

          • Hinton
          • 7 months ago

          I have 95TB of writes to my OCZ Vertex 2 drive.

          In fairness, it is 8 years old, so more or less in line with your statement.

          However, it being an OS drive, I used it to for Windows, and my library of programs. Games, torrents, etc. went to my spinning HD.

          Maybe I am abnormal user? Though with 2TB, I expect users to use the SSD for everything, and unless Intel has changed their ways, the SSD will simply shut down at a specified amount written, regardless (as per Techreports review of the durability of SSD drives).

          Where as my OCZ Vertex 2 can probably outlast me. The 120GB it offers is still plenty to have a Windows install + all your programs + 20% empty space to keep the controller happy.

          That said, just make sure to backup your SSD, as you should with any HD. So if its done in 5 years, well, something better and cheaper will have come along.

        • Voldenuit
        • 7 months ago

        It’s also dead last in sequential read, sequential write, random read, random write, boot and login (the last two being something normal users will notice, and probably a decent proxy for application load times).

        Some of the other drives it was tested against also use SLC caching, yet they are far ahead of the 660p both before and after the cache gets filled.

        If I’m going to burn a M.2 slot on a SSD, I’d rather spend the extra $50-100 on an actual fast drive, because the OS drive is the most bothersome to upgrade, so I’d want one that’s a keeper.

          • Goty
          • 7 months ago

          Based on the single mention of queue depth in the entire review, I’m willing to bet that these tests were performed at higher queue depths and are in no way indicative of the relative performance that should be expected by a typical consumer where queue depths very rarely exceed QD1. Due to their admittedly lower overall performance, the 660p and other QLC SSDs do not scale with QD like drives using TLC or MLC NAND, but this means that their performance also doesn’t tank at low queue depths like other drives, and performance is much closer than the figures presented would indicate.

          Also, I don’t have a lot of faith in the analysis performed by a site that can’t make a simple line plot.

          *EDIT* If you’d like an in-depth review by someone with a proven detailed knowledge of storage devices and of their testing, see here: [url<]https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Storage/Intel-SSD-660p-1TB-SSD-Review-QLC-Goes-Mainstream[/url<]

    • duke_sandman
    • 7 months ago

    I’m in for the MX500 m.2 SATA SSD. $110 for 1TB is close enough for me to the magical barrier of a dime a GB, and my laptop has 2 empty m.2 slots (2 m.2’s and a SATA already filled). Moving the spinning platter to the Synology and life is good.

    Thanks, mates, for the link.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 months ago

    I was seriously looking at that LG 32QK500-W, but then it’s 400 in Canada.

    • emorgoch
    • 7 months ago

    If only Microsoft hadn’t cheaped out/gone for simplicity, and put a Thunderbolt 3 port on the Surface Laptops to allow eGPUs, then you’d have really had something. But for now, they are a hard pass.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 7 months ago

      eGPUs are only barely worth using anyway, at least for gaming. [url=https://techreport.com/review/32914/gigabyte-aorus-gtx-1070-gaming-box-external-graphics-card-reviewed<]See here.[/url<]

        • emorgoch
        • 7 months ago

        That had as much to do with the fact that it was a cut-down version of the 1070 that ran a little slower vs. regular one then the fact that that it was running over TB. I remember the TB tradeoff when doing an apples-to-apples comparison was around 5%. But that also doesn’t include the convenience of having a “proper” dock that’s not held back by USB’s 10Gb limit (I can’t imagine driving multiple displays over those USB docks…), and the ability to have a nice long battery when you’re away from the desk vs. having 90%+ of your game performance when docked.

        Don’t need it personally, but I’ve definitely recommended the setup to some family members.

        • leor
        • 7 months ago

        I used an eGPU on a razer blade stealth and it was fine. The hard pass for me is any laptop with 8gb/256gb in 2019.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 months ago

          I’m only using like 35gb on my surface pro. Not sure what else I’d install. All my files are on OneDrive. Don’t game on it.

          • Goty
          • 7 months ago

          I’m less concerned with the fact that it only has 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD than the fact that you can’t upgrade either of them. I could even give the RAM a pass for that sort of system, but I can’t imagine having a removable m.2 device has such a great an impact on packaging that they couldn’t have used one instead.

      • qmacpoint
      • 7 months ago

      Depends on your use case – I do use an eGPU as a docking station, not only for gaming, but extending laptops to different screens, connecting to speakers and etc, it’s quite a nifty solution – it does come with limitations sure, but I don’t think they’re a hard pass – specially when you consider that alternatives such as displaylink docks may cost pretty high, and run off your CPU and make your laptop sound like it would like to take off.

      • Thresher
      • 7 months ago

      Biggest drawbacks for me is that putting 8GB of RAM or 256GB of storage in a modern computer should be criminal.

        • Spunjji
        • 7 months ago

        It’s only running a dual-core CPU, though, so you’re not going to be doing a whole lot of anything very fast no matter how much RAM they put in.

          • havanu
          • 7 months ago

          They’re all quad core since the last refresh, I think. I’m typing this one a Surface Pro 6 I5 and I have four cores and eight threads going on.

    • euricog
    • 7 months ago

    Hey Bruno! Speaking (writing) for myself, it would be great to have a small space with deals on the EU zone.

    Doesn’t TR have enough EU viewership to justify it? Would be greatly appreciated.

      • morphine
      • 7 months ago

      That’s an idea we’ve considered in the past, but there are a few problems.

      If you’re in the US, you can get stuff shipped to you from pretty anywhere in the country. So if you see a deal online, you just click buy and don’t worry much from that point.

      If you’re in Europe, the best you can do is post Amazon deals, because most everything else you’ll find will be in country-specific stores. Some of those stores do ship internationally, but overall the whole market simply isn’t “universal” enough across the EU countries.

      Another problem is actually finding those deals. Most price comparison sites and things like Slickdeals, once again, don’t really exist in the Europe space, or, again, they’re country-specific like Kuatokusta.pt, Kelkoo.co.uk, and so on and so forth.

        • euricog
        • 7 months ago

        Gotcha, it’s unfortunate but understandable.

        • havanu
        • 7 months ago

        Hi there. Because of EU regulations, International shipping within the Union really isn’t an issue anymore. It might take an extra day or two, but that’s it. Even the VAT excluded stuff B2B works flawlessly. This last month I bought stuff from German, Dutch and French retailers. I occasionally even order things from Iam8bit in the UK. (Let’s hope the Brexit doesn’t mess that up…)
        Amazon deals are also awesome because they differ so much from country to country that it really pays off to compare the German next to the French etc…

        • GrimDanfango
        • 7 months ago

        It is considerably more “universal” than I think most people realise. From the UK, I regularly order kit from Germany as it often clocks in cheaper than I can find it here, especially server kit. Delivery is often as fast, occasionally even faster, than many UK-based companies.
        I’ve even bulk-ordered erythritol sweetener from a food wholesaler in Germany, which undercut anything I could find here.

        Of course, brexit is probably about to screw that up for us (and the resulting economic decline will likely make everything here cost more too)… but I certainly think such a thing could be viable for the rest of Europe.

        Admittedly, I don’t have suggestions on price-search websites that cover more than individual countries.

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