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61 Best Cyber Monday 2020 deals for working from home

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Enlarge / Your home office can always use some sprucing up, especially when it’s your main place of work.

Corey Gaskin

By Cyber Monday, most of us have been through the home-office setup phase of working from home but, with lengthening timelines to return to the office, Cyber Monday might be a good time to grab some of the essentials or upgrades you’ve been eyeing. Maybe the time has come to finally get the office chair that makes you feel like you’re floating or the desk that floats, er, stands up with you. Or perhaps you’re starting to run out of desk space or disk space and need something to organize or offload the clutter.

Whatever the case, we’ve found deals on some of our top picks for work-from-home gear, as well as a few high-value deals on Macs, Surface devices, iPads, noise-canceling headphones, and much more.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Best Cyber Monday office chair deals

Steelcase's gesture offers serious comfort at a serious price.

Steelcase’s gesture offers serious comfort at a serious price.

Steelcase

Steelcase’s Gesture made our top pick for office chairs for offering serious comfort and adjustability at a similarly serious price. It’s not the type of comfort you melt into, but rather the kind that keeps you feeling comfortable and supported while effortlessly avoiding fatigue, thanks to it’s wide-ranging adjustability which works well with different body types and your various posturers and positions throughout the day. If that all sounds nice, but you just can’t justify the price, Fully’s Desk Chair gets all the basics done well, while the company’s Tic Toc chair provides an outlet for bored or nervous energy while working thanks to its balanced “rocking stool” construction.

Best Cyber Monday standing desk deals

The Fully Jarvis standing desk has a solid build and tons of accessories.
Enlarge / The Fully Jarvis standing desk has a solid build and tons of accessories.

Corey Gaskin

Standing desks can make work, at home or elsewhere, a much more comfortable and less fatiguing experience. We put Fully at the top of our picks for standing desks thanks to the desk’s solid build, wide-ranging customizability, and dearth of accessories that make working from home easier. If you already have a desk that doesn’t elevate, you can top it with one of Fully’s standing desk converters with keyboard and mouse trays.

  • Fully Jarvis bamboo standing desk for $475.15 at Fully (normally $559).
  • Fully Cooper standing desk converter for $254.15 at Fully (normally $299).
  • Fully Cora standing desk converter for $126.65 at Fully (normally $149).

Best Cyber Monday laptop deals

The M1 MacBook Air.
Enlarge / The M1 MacBook Air.

Lee Hutchinson

Perhaps the pièce de résistance of your WFH setup (if not already provided for you) is the computer you’re working on. Whether you’re in the market for one of the impressive new M1 Macs seeing modest $50 discounts or a Surface device with a few hundred dollars of savings there’s plenty to choose from this Cyber Monday.

The MacBook Air and Surface Book 3, discounted by $100 and $300, respectively, both earned our recommendations for working from home in our home office setup guide. These are the biggest savings you can expect throughout the year on Surfaces, and likely MacBooks, as well. If gaming-level power is something you need Razer’s 15-inch Blade ($300 off), HP’s Omen 15 ($350 off), and Dell’s G5 15 SE ($200 off) represent some of the best grabs currently available.

Apple computer deals

Microsoft laptop deals

  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 laptop—Intel Core i5-1035G7, 13.5-inch 2256×1504, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $979.99 at Microsoft and Amazon (normally $1,300).
  • Microsoft Surface Book 3 2-in-1 laptop—Intel Core i5-1035-G7, 13.5-inch 3000×2000, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $1,299.99 at Microsoft (normally $1,600).

Windows laptop deals

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th gen) laptop—Intel Core i5-10210U, 14-inch 1080p, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $999.99 at Lenovo (use code: THINKBF2—normally $1,500).
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (8th gen) laptop—Intel Core i7-10510U, 14-inch 1080p, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD for $1,199.99 at Lenovo (use code: THINKSGIVING2—normally $1,800).
  • Lenovo Yoga C940 2-in-1 laptop—Intel Core i7-1065G7, 14-inch 1080p, 12GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $999.99 at Microsoft (normally $1,200).
  • HP Spectre x360 13t 2-in-1 laptop—Intel Core i7-1165G7, 13.3-inch 1080p, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $883.49 at HP (use code: 5STACKBFCM21—normally $1,100).
  • HP Envy x360 15 2-in-1 laptop—AMD Ryzen 7 4700U, 15.6-inch 1080p, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $788.49 at HP (configure specs at checkout, select Intel AX 200, and use code: 5STACKBFCM21—normally $1,000).
  • HP EliteBook 840 G7 laptop—Intel Core i5-10210U, 14-inch 1080p, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $716.80 at HP (configure specs at checkout, select backlit keyboard, 720p webcam, and 65W adapter—normally $1,200).
  • HP Omen 15 (15-EN0013DX) gaming laptop—AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, 15.6-inch 1080p 144Hz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB for $849.99 at Best Buy (normally $1,200).
  • Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop—AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, 15.6-inch 1080p 144Hz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Radeon RX 5600M 6GB for $849.99 at Best Buy (normally $1,050).
  • Razer Blade 15 (2020) laptop—Intel Core i7-10750H, 15.6-inch 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, GTX 1660 Ti GPU for $1,299.99 at Amazon (normally $1,600).

Best Cyber Monday monitor deals

Dell's 27-inch 4K monitor.
Enlarge / Dell’s 27-inch 4K monitor.

Corey Gaskin

We rated a number of Dell monitors highly in our home office setup guide thanks to their ease of use, solid detail and color representation, and wide-ranging adjustability for different lighting situations and visual needs. If you don’t require super high refresh rates for gaming, the deals below look to be great value in the 24- and 27-inch category. Upping refresh rates a bit, you can snag a 144Hz IPS gaming monitor from LG with more than a $50 discount.

  • 27-inch Dell UltraSharp 27 (U2719D) monitor—2560×1440, 60Hz, IPS + $150 Dell e-gift card for $359.99 at Dell (GC good for 90 days—normally $540).
  • 24-inch Dell P2421 monitor—1920×1200, 60Hz, IPS for $149.99 at Dell (normally $260).
  • 24-inch Dell UltraSharp 24 (U2417H) monitor—1080p, 60Hz, IPS for $159 at Amazon (normally $230).
  • 27-inch LG 27GL850-B gaming monitor—2560×1440, 144Hz, IPS, FreeSync for $446.99 at Adorama and B&H (normally $500).
  • 23-inch Lenovo L23i-18 monitor—1920×1080, 60Hz, IPS for $99.99 at Lenovo (normally $130).

Best Cyber Monday storage deals

The Samsung T5 portable SSD is one of our top picks for a portable drive.
Enlarge / The Samsung T5 portable SSD is one of our top picks for a portable drive.

Valentina Palladino

Often times, employer-provided computers don’t come with a ton of storage. Adding a fast backup solution or external storage drive saves you from having to mix up your personal drives with your work ones and, particularly In the case of the Samsung T5 SSD, it can probably do it a lot faster than the drives you have now. If speed isn’t as important as vast amounts of storage, Western Digital’s 6TB external HDDs provide great value, and even more with $20 off.

Best Cyber Monday dock and adapter deals

CalDigit's TS3 Plus is our favorite Thunderbolt 3 dock, but the CalDigit Pro can offer wider compatibility with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.
Enlarge / CalDigit’s TS3 Plus is our favorite Thunderbolt 3 dock, but the CalDigit Pro can offer wider compatibility with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.

Corey Gaskin

Whether you’re juggling multiple computers, monitors, or other peripherals, a great dock can help keep things in order. Instead of having to plug in multiple cables each time you need to swap computers or use an external hard drive, just use one of these port-heavy alternatives. While CalDigit’s TS3 Plus dock retains its top sport for our favorite docks, the CalDigit Pro UCB-C dock is a bit more universal since it can work on either Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C through the same cable. If you need a smaller or more portable option you can hook up two displays with the Thunderbolt Mini dock or ethernet, USB-A, HDMI, and more with Anker’s 7-in-2 MacBook-specific adapter.

  • CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 dock—2x Thunderbolt 3, 5x USB-A, USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, USB-C 3.1 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.2, Ethernet, SD for $199.99 at Amazon (clip $20 coupon—normally $245).
  • CalDigit Pro USB-C dock—1x Thunderbolt (backwards compatible with USB-C), 3x USB-A, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 2x DisplayPort 1.2, Ethernet, SD for $179.99 (normally $200).
  • CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 mini dock—dual DisplayPort 1.2, ethernet, USB-A 3.0 for $79.99 at CalDigit and $119.99 at Amazon (normally $150).
  • Anker 7-in-2 USB-C adapter for MacBooks—1x USB-C data port, 2x USB-A ports, HDMI, SD, and microSD card at Amazon for $39.99 (normally $59.99).

Best Cyber Monday iPad deals

An iPad with the right peripherals can offer a nice escape from your desk.
Enlarge / An iPad with the right peripherals can offer a nice escape from your desk.

When you’re working from home, sometimes you just need to change up the monotony of sitting (or standing) at your desk. iPads are often well-supported for use within organizations, so you may be able to get away with lying down and tapping through some work tasks. Alternatively, iPads make an excellent wireless secondary display for MacBooks through Apple’s Sidecar feature, so there’s more than one way for an iPad to make work easier.

You can still grab the latest generation 11-inch iPad Pro for $569.99 for pro-level tasks, down from it’s usual $600 price tag or the previous generation iPad Air for a nice balance of lightness and heavy work. Add a keyboard folio case for protection or a detachable bluetooth keyboard with trackpad for laptop usability.

  • Apple iPad Air (64GB, latest generation) 10.9-inch tablet for $569.99 at Amazon (normally $599).
  • Apple iPad Air (64GB, previous generation) 10.5-inch tablet for $429.99 at Best Buy (normally $500).
  • $100 Apple gift card with purchase of an iPad Pro.

iPad Accessories

  • Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for 12.9-inch iPad Pro (4th gen) for $120 at Amazon (normally $189).
  • Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for 11-inch iPad Pro (2nd gen) and iPad Air (4th gen) for $129 at Best Buy (normally $170).
  • Brydge 7.9 Bluetooth keyboard for Apple iPad Mini for $79.99 at Amazon (normally $100).
  • Brydge 10.2 Bluetooth keyboard for Apple iPad for $79.99 at Amazon (normally $130).
  • Brydge 10.5 Bluetooth keyboard for Apple iPad Air (2019) for $59.99 at Amazon (normally $90).
  • Brydge 11.0 Pro Bluetooth keyboard for 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and iPad Air (2020) for $99.99 at Amazon (normally $130).
  • Brydge 11.0 Pro+ Bluetooth keyboard with trackpad for 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and iPad Air (2020) for $139.99 at Amazon (normally $200).
  • Brydge 12.9 Pro Bluetooth keyboard for 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro for $99.99 at Amazon (normally $170).
  • Brydge 12.9 Pro+ Bluetooth keyboard with trackpad for 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro for $159.99 at Amazon (normally $230).

Best Cyber Monday noise-canceling headphone deals

Sony's WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones.
Enlarge / Sony’s WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones.

Jeff Dunn

Silence is golden, especially when you’re trying to focus. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones can drown out erroneous noises like construction or kids, allowing you to work in peace. If you can still hear them, you can try playing some lo-fi ambient music to focus since these headphones sound pretty good too. The Sony WH-1000XM4, Apple AirPods Pro, and Jabra Elite 75t all made our top picks for WFH gear in our complete guide.

Best Cyber Monday accessory and PC component deals

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LG says it might quit the smartphone market

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As usual, things are not looking good for LG’s phone division. As reported by The Korea Herald, LG Electronics CEO Kwon Bong-Seok sent out a staff-wide memo that the company was considering making major changes to its smartphone division, including possibly quitting the smartphone business.

Last week, Korean news outlet TheElec also wrote about this memo in a now-deleted post. The post was deleted because LG brutally debunked the report, calling it “completely false and without merit.” This week, LG is confirming basically the same memo report from the Korea Herald, complete with comments from LG. The Verge also got a thumbs-up from LG about the report.

“Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” an LG official told the Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal, and downsizing of the smartphone business.”

LG’s smartphone business has been suffering for a while. As the report points out, LG’s smartphone division lost about 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) over the past five years. The official earnings count has the division at 22 consecutive money-losing quarters. Today you won’t find LG on a “Global smartphone market share” chart; instead, it will be buried down in the “other” category. In the US, Counterpoint has LG at 13 percent of the market, due mostly to pre-paid sales.

LG Electronics’ CEO only landed the position 13 months ago and has undoubtedly been evaluating LG’s only money-losing division over the past year. In an interview in January 2020, shortly after being appointed CEO, Kwon promised “LG Electronics’ mobile business is going to be profitable by 2021.” It’s still not clear if that’s considered a reasonable goal for the company.

TheElec’s original scoop is backed up and translated here. You should definitely take it with a grain of salt since the outlet deleted the post and isn’t standing behind it, but so far, it seems to be correct. It contains an interesting tidbit that’s not in the other report: that LG will announce a direction for its mobile unit on January 26. TheElec also claimed that LG sent out a directive to “stop all developments except for the i project,” with “i project” being a code name for LG’s flexible-display LG Rollable smartphone. The last bit of the report sounds very plausible in raising the possibility that the LG brand will never truly leave the smartphone market and will instead farm out the logo to various white-label ODM companies.

Why would anyone buy an LG phone?

LG has never had a solid sales pitch for the smartphone wars. At the high end of the market, LG has always seemed to be overshadowed by its bigger Korean rival, Samsung. It shipped high-spec phones with heavy Android skins and a bad update plan, and when Samsung offers the same thing with bigger brand recognition, why would anyone pick LG? At the low end of the market, especially in the US, the company has reliably shoveled cheap, anonymous phones into carrier stores and the pre-paid market. This is something that needs to be done, but again, there’s nothing here that would make LG stand out from the crowd.

If anything, LG has a pretty bad reputation when it comes to building smartphones. The company’s phones are known for dying early and going into “boot looping,” an unusable Android failure state where the phone reboots repeatedly due to bad flash memory. LG was sued over boot loops in 2017, with the lawsuit naming every high-profile LG device released in 2015 and 2016. LG ended up settling. I know I’ve personally laid four LG-made Google Nexus 5Xs to rest over boot loop issues.

When the company wasn’t occupying the same lane as Samsung, it was trotting out ridiculous gimmicks that would be forgotten a year or two later: there was the LG G5 with its modular accessories, like a clip-on camera grip; the inexplicably banana-shaped LG G Flex; and an obsession with various “dual screen” designs like the LG V10’s notification display, the LG V50’s clip-on second screen, and the LG Wing’s “T” shaped design. You can see the company trying to do something different to stand out, but none of these ideas was good, or at least they weren’t a hit with consumers.

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CBS All Access is dead, long live Paramount+: “New” streaming service launches March 4

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Enlarge / Star Trek: Picard will be offered on the new/old streaming service.

It’s time for yet another streaming service—sort of. ViacomCBS has announced that Paramount+ will launch on March 4, but it’s more of an evolution than a wholly new service, as it replaces and expands upon the company’s previous service, CBS All Access.

The move to replace CBS All Access was announced several months ago. It’s in large part a result of the completion of the merger between CBS and Viacom, as CBS All Access launched before that merger, but the merger greatly increased the content library that could be put on a streaming service run by the company.

In addition to shows associated with the CBS TV network, Paramount+ will include content from properties Viacom brought to the mix, including MTV, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, and Nickelodeon, as well as theatrically released films from Paramount Pictures.

Beyond the myriad Star Trek shows that CBS All Access has already offered, planned original series for Paramount+ include a series based on The Godfather as well as a revival of VH1’s Behind the Music.

The sizzle trailer for Paramount+.

March 4 is the planned launch day in the US and Latin America, and a launch is planned in Nordic countries on March 25, as well as Australia around the middle of the year. Canada will also receive the service sometime this year, but a date has not been named—however, CBS All Access will be rebranded to Paramount+ right away in that country even before new content is introduced.

Before this point, CBS All Access was arguably best known for its various Star Trek programs; it included all the Star Trek TV series that aired on broadcast TV in the past, plus new Trek series like DiscoveryPicard, and Lower Decks. It did not, however, have the Star Trek movies at first, as those were owned by Paramount. The merger brought all Star Trek TV and movie content under one corporate roof.

CBS All Access also aired live TV, sports programming, and some additional shows like the critically acclaimed The Good Fight. Those will continue under Paramount+.

The past year and a half has seen numerous new streaming networks launch, including Peacock (NBC Universal), Disney+, and HBO Max, among others.

The onslaught has disappointed those who expected a service like Netflix or Hulu to offer virtually all content for a flat $10-per-month fee, but that was never going to be economically viable, especially as production costs for TV series have risen in recent years as viewers have responded to more lavishly produced shows—something the industry refers to as “prestige TV.”

The new normal for TV appears to be similar in some respects to cable, with each media company delivering a channel that primarily consists of the company’s own content, plus small amounts of licensed content.

Still, there are some significant differences in the new normal as compared to how TV used to work, even beyond the fact that the content is now delivered over the Internet. For example, the services aren’t bundled, so viewers can pick and choose which channels to pay for, and there are far fewer (and in some cases, no) commercials.

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CentOS is gone—but RHEL is now free for up to 16 production servers

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Enlarge / CentOS used to be the preferred way to get RHEL compatibility at no cost. CentOS is gone now—but Red Hat is extending no-cost options for RHEL further than ever before.

Last month, Red Hat caused a lot of consternation in the enthusiast and small business Linux world when it announced the discontinuation of CentOS Linux.

Long-standing tradition—and ambiguity in Red Hat’s posted terms—led users to believe that CentOS 8 would be available until 2029, just like the RHEL 8 it was based on. Red Hat’s early termination of CentOS 8 in 2021 cut eight of those 10 years away, leaving thousands of users stranded.

CentOS Stream

Red Hat’s December announcement of CentOS Stream—which it initially billed as a “replacement” for CentOS Linux—left many users confused about its role in the updated Red Hat ecosystem. This week, Red Hat clarifies the broad strokes as follows:

To summarize: we’re making CentOS Stream the collaboration hub for RHEL, with the landscape looking like this:

  • Fedora Linux is the place for major new operating system innovations, thoughts, and ideas—essentially, this is where the next major version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is
    born.
  • CentOS Stream is the continuously delivered platform that becomes the next minor version of RHEL.
  • RHEL is the intelligent operating system for production workloads, used in nearly every industry in the world, from cloud-scale deployments in mission-critical data centers and localized server rooms to public clouds and out to far-flung edges of enterprise networks.

Although CentOS Stream could be considered appropriate and perfectly adequate for enthusiasts and home-labbers, the lack of a long, well-defined life cycle made it inappropriate for most production use and, especially, production use by shops that chose a RHEL-compatible distribution in the first place.

New no-cost, low-cost, and simplified RHEL access

As of February 1, 2021, Red Hat will make RHEL available at no cost for small-production workloads—with “small” defined as 16 systems or fewer. This access to no-cost production RHEL is by way of the newly expanded Red Hat Developer Subscription program, and it comes with no strings—in Red Hat’s words, “this isn’t a sales program, and no sales representative will follow up.”

Red Hat is also expanding the availability of developer subscriptions to teams, as well as individual users. Moving forward, subscribing RHEL customers can add entire dev teams to the developer subscription program at no cost. This allows the entire team to use Red Hat Cloud Access for simplified deployment and maintenance of RHEL on well-known cloud providers, including AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Considering the previous public outrage about CentOS 8’s early demise, we reached out to Red Hat for clarification regarding availability guarantees—specifically, whether any guarantee was given that the terms of the free small-production use will stay valid for the length of general support for the RHEL version they cover. After some deliberation, this was the official answer:

A Red Hat subscription gives you access to all available versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux except for those in extended support. This access ends when the subscription ends, as does access to all related documentation, support, services, patches, etc., so it’s important to think about the subscription separately from the platform.

The Red Hat Developer program isn’t a fly-by-night or quickly-produced program; it has existed since early 2015 with multi-system deployments supported from 2018. The big change today is that now a small number of production systems can now be included under the subscription for individuals, but the program itself is tried and true. We’ve never removed anything from the program, only added to it, highlighted by today’s announcement.

The Individual Developer subscription is currently set up as a one year subscription. Renewals will be a simple process as close to “clicking a button” as possible. We have no intent to end this program and we’ve set it up to be sustainable—we want to keep giving the users that want to use RHEL access to it. The primary reason we need a subscription term is because it is legally difficult to offer unlimited terms globally and as new laws come into effect, for example GDPR, we need to be able to update the terms and conditions. This is similar to how our customers buy Red Hat subscriptions for fixed terms, not in perpetuity.

Our intent is to keep small-production use cases as a key part of the Red Hat Developer program and the Individual Developer subscription to help bring enterprise-grade Linux to more users.

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