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Announcements! First, here’s wishing you a safe and happy Thanksgiving! I’ll be back here on Friday with a roundup of my top Black Friday deals. Second, tune in Monday for the , in which yours truly will be slinging some exclusive deals!
For a limited time, Best Buy has the Roku Streaming Stick Plus for $48 shipped (plus tax). It normally runs $70 and is expected to be on sale for $50 during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday bonanza. (Amazon just matched the price. But, really, do we have to buy everything from Amazon?)
Here’s what’s interesting about the Streaming Stick Plus: It may just be the best Roku ever. CNET awarded it a very rare five stars. Some 60 Best Buy customers collectively rated it 4.8 stars. Seems like everybody loves this stick of streaming goodness.
With good reason: It supports both 4K and HDR video (never mind that there’s almost no 4K or HDR content to be had). It offers arguably the best UI of any streamer. It’s lightning-fast. And it has by far the best remote.
That remote is notable not just for its push-button voice control, but also its TV-power and volume buttons — meaning you can finally stop juggling two clickers. It also has shortcut buttons to take you directly to Netflix, Hulu, Sling and PlayStation Vue. (Sadly, the remote lacks a headphone jack, which only the Roku Ultra offers anymore.)
There’s not much more to say. If you’ve been looking for a Roku upgrade or just want more/better/faster smarts than what’s already built into your TV, the Streaming Stick Plus is a compelling buy at $48. It’s not likely to show up any cheaper this year.
Bonus deal: Game time! Get ready for a blast from the past: GOG is giving away copies of the classic third-person shooter MDK. (You’ll need a GOG account, also free.) Regular price: $10.
My word, can this game really be 20 years old? That makes me… uh, never mind. I just remember loving MDK’s freewheeling action and refreshing sense of humor. If you’re not sure whether it’s your cup of tea, check out GameSpot’s review of MDK. (TL;DR: It’s “frequently fun, sometimes frustrating, full of surprises, and visually stunning.”)
Bonus deal 2: Speaking of games, ever wish you could stream your PC’s library to your big-screen TV? You can, thanks to the Valve Steam Link, which GameStop has on sale for just $4.99. Originally $50(!), this little box works best when connected to your home network via Ethernet — but it does support wireless streaming as well. From there you can use just about any game-console controller.
Black Friday deals: See every Black Friday 2017 deal we’ve found so far.
Holiday Gift Guide: CNET’s full gift guide, including dozens of products priced under $25, $50 and $100.