9to5Toys Daily Deals Tool, ‘Specials’ and Free Otterbox Armor iPhone cases contest

Screen Shot 2013-03-16 at 10.28.16 AMWe have some exciting 9to5Toys.com announcements for our US readers today.

1. We’ve teamed up with Stack Social to launch Specials.9to5toys.com which will feature new software and hardware specials for Apple ecosystem folks every day. Some examples:

2. Specials will headline our new 1 minute Daily Deals AggregatorThis is one of the tools the 9to5Toys Team uses to scout out the best deals on the web. Now we’re releasing it to the public.

Every Day, you get the best 36 retail Daily Deals on the net including: Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, MacMall, MacConnectionWoot, 1SaleaDay, Sears, NewEgg, eBay, Apple Refurbs and many others. The page gets updated every hour and is super-cached  for speedy browsing. Checking all 36 Daily Deals only takes a minute using the ^ and v arrow keys.

Bookmark the 1 Minute Daily Deals page now and you are guaranteed to save some money.

3. To celebrate the launch, we’re teaming up with AT&T to offer 3 of new $99 OtterBox Armor Series iPhone 5 cases in White, Black and Gray. We will award one on each of the three major social platforms: FACEBOOKTWITTER and GOOGLE+. Just Follow/Like/Circle 9to5Toys (if you haven’t already) and Tweet/Like/+1 this post to enter. We’ll pick winners on Monday.

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Speaking of contests, our $49.99 Parallels 8 Bundle (expires this weekend, details below) winners were picked; congrats to Robert, Tyler and TK! Read more

Weekend deals roundup: $899 13″ MacBook Air, $949 11″ MacBook Air, $19 Lightning adapter, $20 32Gb SDHC & more

From 9to5Toys.com:

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9to5Toys scours the net each day to bring our US readers the best deals in consumer electronics. Below are the absolute hottest deals going on right now. Most of these promotions are only available for a limited time, so be sure to lock in these savings if you see something you like.  Check back often as we are constantly posting new deals.

Also bookmark 9to5Toys.com/Daily-deals for 35+ of the top daily deals across most of the biggest shopping sites in the US including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and many more.

We’re also joining up with Stack Social to launch Specials.9to5Toys.com which is currently featuring $50 The Spring 2013 Mac Bundle that is headlined by normally $100 Roxio Toast 11.

Top deals of the weekend:

MacUpdate’s Parallels Desktop 8 bundle which effectively knocks $30 off the price of Parallels 8 and then hooks you up with 9 additional Mac applications for free (normally $618). A free demo is also available.

Directly from the Apple eBay store:

25% off an Apple certified refurbished Apple MacBook Air 13″ 1.8GHz i5 128GB (Apple certified refurb), only $899 (Reg. $1,199) BACK IN STOCK (As of 3/11 5:30PM)

Also, if a 256GB 11.6 inch Air is more your size you can grab a MacBook Air 11.6” 1.8GHz, 4GB/256GB for only $949 (Reg. $1059)

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The other deals: Read more

Apple’s eBay store offers significantly better deals on Apple.com refurbs (and that’s before tax+payment advantages)

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9to5Mac first broke the news that Apple sold refurbished merchandise through its own eBay store last year, equipped with the same price tags, full warranties, and approved inspections, and now the company has dropped prices on many of those items below what it offers at store.apple.com.

9to5Toys and eventually Dealnews recently noticed a $100 price cut for Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air with 1.8GHz i5 and 128GB of storage (now over). It costs $100 more at store.apple.com for the same refurbished unit.

An even better eBay deal has emerged today: Apple’s 11.6-inch MacBook Air with 1.8GHz, 4GB SDRAM and 256GB SSD is only $949. It’s certified refurbished unite, while the same refurb model goes for $1,059 on Apple.com, and the 256GB MacBook Airs start at $1,299 new. All items come with free standard shipping, and eBay adds sales tax for only a few states at purchase and allows folks to pay with PayPal and BillMeLater. Read more

Two great Mac Bundles headlined by Parallels 8 and Roxio Toast 11 for $50/ea

It’s Bundle Season at 9to5Toys.com again where there are currently 4 solid bundles happening simultaneously:

First up, we have MacUpdate’s Parallels Desktop 8 bundle which effectively knocks $30 off the price of Parallels 8 and then hooks you up with 9 additional Mac applications for free (normally $618). A free demo is also available.

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Not to be outdone, MacLegion/Stacksocial has their Spring 2013 Bundle which is headlined by the normally $100 Roxio Toast Pro 11 media creation software for $49.99 but also includes nine other great apps valued at over $390 below:

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Don’t forget the $45 Lifehacker bundle is still happening as well as the $50PickaBundle’ which allows you to choose 10 of 25 quality apps including a Mac Blu-ray player. Read more

Add a portable Blu-ray player to your Mac (including playback software) for less than a SuperDrive

tl;dr: Buy a $40 Portable USB Blu-ray/DVD-R drive and $30 Blu-ray player MacGo for $10 less than an Apple SuperDrive and you get to watch/rip Blu-ray movies as a bonus.

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With Apple having eliminated optical media from just about every product it makes, including the redesigned iMacs, Mac Minis, and Retina MacBook Pros, many readers will be considering whether they need to procure a separate external DVD reader for emergencies. Some folks store archives, have software installers, backups, or have vast movie collection on DVD – and then there is Blu-ray…

Apple’s remedy is the DVD SuperDrive that costs $79 (well, $70/$50 used if you know where to shop). The SuperDrive is an Apple-quality product and can be used as a boot drive for many Macs that need to be upgraded or repaired via DVD.

But perhaps we can get a little more for our $80?

Steve Jobs viewed Blu-ray as a “bag of hurt” from the “mafia,” and Apple would frankly rather you stick to the iTunes ecosystem for video watching. But there are many nice Blu-ray titles out there, and iTunes’ compressed 1080p content still doesn’t come close the video and sound quality of Blu-ray. So, for those thinking of dropping $80 on a SuperDrive, we think we have a better option:

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MacMall Special: Lowest prices on MacBook Airs plus Free Parallels & Free FedEx Overnight until Fri 9:15PM ET

From 9to5Toys.com and 9to5Mac Product Pages comes a special deal from MacMall for our readers who are looking for MacBook Airs at the lowest prices. Across the board, Macmall has the lowest prices when coupled with additional 3% off 9to5Mac promo code NTFMMWB38592 

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MacMall goes beyond lowest prices: Until Friday at 9:15PM ET, readers will get free overnight shipping and a free copy of Parallels Desktop with every order. MacMall also offers financing and/or no payments for 6 months and accepts payments with Paypal or Amazon as well as major credit cards. This week’s MacMall specials include half off Quickbooks 2013 for Mac, iPad  SmartCovers starting at $26.99 and other Blowout deals on peripherals.

MacMall has additional MacBook Air 8GB BTO configurations that knock an additional 3% off the already lowest prices we could find: Read more

On location at Macworld/iWorld 2013

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As per usual, 9to5mac is on the scene here in San Francisco for Macworld|iWorld 2013. We’ve got some exciting things lined up for this year and we’re looking forward to seeing what the Apple community has on offer. Our coverage starts tomorrow morning.

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A quick pre-setup run through video of the main exhibition hall is below: Read more

Apple Japan ‘Lucky Bag’ sale slated for Jan. 2 at 7 stores

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As we move past Christmas and into Boxing Day worldwide, Apple has confirmed its annual ‘Lucky Bag’ sale for Jan. 2 in Japan. The sale, which takes place in seven stores across the country, allows shoppers who get in line early to purchase a 33,000 yen ($390 USD) gift bag that includes the possibility of headphones, an iPod touch, cases, an Apple T-shirt, and other accessories. The real surprise is a few gift bags are loaded with special items like a MacBook Air or iPad that a few lucky people will receive.

Lucky Bags are a big tradition in Japan and other parts of Asia to bring in the New Year. Apple’s Lucky Bag event, much like Black Friday in the United States, brings out overnight campers who seek the silicon treasures. As one person noticed in 2011, getting in line at 5 a.m. still wasn’t early enough. Will any 9to5mac readers venture out? Check out a gift bag below: [Apple via Tech in Asia]

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27-inch iMac with 3TB Fusion Drive can’t yet do Boot Camp, early adopters frustrated

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As customers begin receiving the new iMac this month, business-end users and gamers may find one issue when booting up their new machine. As reader Michael Verde first shared with us, the built-to-order 27-inch iMac configuration with a 3TB Fusion Drive (an extra $400) will not allow any Boot Camp use. This essentially cuts off access to a full Windows experience that some Mac users may want to benefit from. Many might consider this a bummer, as a sizable amount of users turn to Boot Camp to access necessary Windows programs or just simply enjoy Windows paired with Mac hardware.

Apple highlighted the issue on both its iMac configuration and Fusion Drive explanation page. “Boot Camp Assistant is not supported at this time on 3TB hard drive configurations,” Apple said in buried text. “At this time,” could mean the feature is enabled down the road in a software update, but it is non-existent as of now.

There are virtualization solutions, such as Parelles and VM Ware, that provide a Windows experience, but they do not offer a full experience that many may want. Boot Camp users include gamers who want to run games at full settings and business users looking to use specific business apps in a full Windows environment.

Right now it is not clear what the cause is, or if it has anything to do with Apple’s new Fusion Drive technology, but it seems that Boot Camp is limited to hard drive with less than 2TB of space (PC World has a good explanation for this). Announced in October and shipping in the new Mac Mini and iMacs, the top Fusion Drive configuration provides 128GB of flash storage coupled with 3TB of HDD space. The cheaper configuration, 128GB Flash Storage + 1TB HDD, supports Boot Camp. So, we have to wonder: what is holding back the more expensive configuration? We reached out to Apple for comment.

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Apple seeds OS X 10.8.3 build 12D43 to developers

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 4.12.52 PMShortly after releasing iOS 6.0.2 to the masses this afternoon, Apple seeded build 12D43 of OS X 10.8.3 to developers. The folks in Cupertino have not listed any new features or known issues, but they asked developers to focus on AirPlay, AirPort, Game Center, Graphics Drivers, and Safari. The last pre-release build was released on Dec. 5. You can check today’s release out on the developer center, while the full release note is below:

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$100 iTunes gift cards for $85 at Best Buy, Sam’s Club

From 9to5Toys.com:

Update: You are too late for Best Buy but Walmart has that beat with 20% off $50 iTunes gift cards.

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Today only, Best Buy offers the $100 iTunes gift card for $85 with free shipping (which will arrive before Christmas) or in-store pickup.  iTunes gift cards are good for music, videos, movies, iBooks, Mac and iOS Apps and much more.

Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 2.21.17 AMNote: Sam’s Club has a $25 4-pack for $84.64 with free shipping for delivery before Christmas. Read more