Ready for Spring Cleaning? Neato's Latest Robotic Vacuum Is $230 Off Today

Neato
Neato

If you've been hankering for a robotic cleaning assistant, today is your day. Best Buy is offering a great deal on Neato’s Botvac D4 Connected, the company’s well-reviewed, mid-range robot vacuum.

The vacuum, which normally retails for $529, is selling for $299 today as part of Best Buy’s limited-time daily deals. In other words, you can save $230—an almost 43 percent reduction.

That’s a pretty good deal for a gadget that Wired called “one of the best robot vacuums in terms of value” in a 2018 review. It’s got 75 minutes of battery life, a unique D-shape design made to help it wedge into any corner of your living room, and the ability to tackle carpet, hardwood, and tile floors.

The Neato Botvac D4 Connected vacuum
Neato

The Botvac D4 Connected also has some of the high-end features more often available in pricier vacuums, like laser floor-mapping technology and the ability to draw “no-go” boundaries around your home within the accompanying app. It also works with Alexa, Google Home, and other smart home assistants—you can even start and stop it using your Apple Watch.

Like many robot vacuums, the Botvac D4 Connected usually runs for a little cheaper on Amazon—it’s currently listed at $496—but this is one of those rare instances when another retailer has dropped its prices even lower. The deal ends at 11:59 p.m. Central Time on March 16, so get it while you can.

Buy it at Best Buy, then check out our list of some of the other smart tech you can use around the house during spring cleaning this year.

And if you missed the deal window for Best Buy, you can still get a good price elsewhere. The model is currently available for $429 from Walmart.

9 Enlightening Courses You Can Take Online in March 2019

iStock.com/damircudic
iStock.com/damircudic

These days, you can learn just about anything online, whether it's through YouTube videos, independent research, or Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). Websites like Coursera, edX, and Udemy offer a wealth of classes that will teach you everything you didn't have the chance to learn in school, whether it's practical kitchen skills, esoteric historical information, or off-beat science. There’s no shortage of unique courses to dive into, and many of them are free—or at least much cheaper than their offline equivalents. Here are some of the most intriguing ones you can take in March 2019.

1. Bake Artisan Sourdough Bread Like a Professional

Baking your own bread is trendier than ever, but that doesn't mean it's easy. From making a sourdough starter from scratch to mixing, shaping, and baking loaves, this course will teach you how to make bread the Old World way. Instructor Teresa L. Greenway will walk you through the process of making your own crispy, chewy bread at home through four hours of video, 28 articles, and 33 downloadable resources you can review at your own pace. Along the way, you'll learn about the basics of fermentation, gluten formation, hydration, and more, including a crash course in the long history of bread-making. While this is one of the pricier online class options, its price tag pales in comparison to what you'd pay for in-person classes somewhere like King Arthur Flour's baking school. (And if you find the class doesn't quite rise to the occasion, Udemy has a 30-day money-back guarantee.)

Sign up on Udemy for $100.

2. The Truth About Cats and Dogs

If you've ever wondered why dogs love to dig or cats love cardboard boxes, this class offered by the University of Edinburgh is for you. The nine-hour course promises to give you scientific insights into these two species’s behavior, exploring how dogs and cats see the world, how they communicate, and how you can improve their lives. Though it's designed to be completed in five weeks, the flexible deadlines can fit whatever your personal schedule allows.

Sign up on Coursera for free. The optional certificate costs $49.

3. Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology

Since it first premiered as an NBC television series in 1966, Star Trek has spawned multiple television series, films, comic books, and novels, becoming a juggernaut of nerd culture like no other. It has had such a big impact on American society, in fact, that you can take a course dedicated to its influence, from fandom phenomena to how it shaped the television we watch today. It's offered by SmithsonianX, the Smithsonian Institution's free course program.

Sign up on edX for free. The optional certificate, which includes bonus course content, costs $40.

4. Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction

Perfect for fans of historical tales like The Favourite (2018), this online class taught by University of Virginia English professor Bruce Holsinger details the rise of historical fiction from the 18th century to today. You'll discuss what exactly makes a work of historical fiction, read classics of the form by writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Charles Dickens, and hear from a modern author.

Sign up on Coursera for free. The optional certificate costs $49.

5. The Science of Happiness

Since it first launched in 2014, this class from the University of California, Berkley's Greater Good Science Center has consistently been one of the most popular MOOCs out there. It provides scientific insight into what it takes to live a fruitful life, all backed by psychological research. Previous participants have reported feeling a boost in positive feelings for months after taking the eight-week class.

Sign up on edX for free. The optional certificate costs $49.

6. Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones

You can learn a surprising amount of information about a person just from studying their bones. This course offered by Universiteit Leiden in The Netherlands examines everything we can learn just from looking at skeletal remains, from information about that person's health and diet to where they migrated and the kind of activities they performed when they were alive.

Sign up on Coursera for free. The optional certificate costs $49.

7. Mix World-Class Cocktails: Secrets of a Champion Mixologist

If you've always wanted to be able to get behind a bar and whip up incredibly creative cocktails, award-winning mixologist Paul Martin's course is for you. You'll get 2.5 hours of video instruction plus 16 downloadable resources to help make you the best bartender you can be, whether you're a complete newbie or an established professional. "You will learn key mixing techniques, how to produce the finest examples of the great classic cocktails, the secrets and methods for producing the most popular contemporary cocktails perfectly, and finally how to produce some show-stopping cocktail garnishes to give your cocktails that 'rock-star' presentation," Martin promises. By the end of the course, you'll have mastered 16 different classic cocktail preparations, including the perfect martini, a "sublime" cosmopolitan, and more. The course is expensive for an online class, but it's much cheaper than your standard in-person bartending school.

Sign up on Udemy for $200.

8. Pixel Art for Video Games

Video games have come a long way since the 16-bit era, but there is a unique beauty to pixel art that still makes it appealing today. This course taught by game artist Marco Vale will teach you how to make your own, professional-level pixel art. You'll learn how to draw and animate characters from different perspectives, bringing your bite-sized imaginations to life.

Sign up on Udemy for $70.

9. History of Rock Music I: From the Early Blues to the 1960s

For all those folks that love to rock and roll all night, this introductory course takes you through some of the highlights of rock music history. Taught by Vasilis Kallis, an associate professor of music theory at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, the class looks at rock 'n' roll through theory, composition, and cultural history. Not only will you learn about some of the genre’s most prominent artists and styles, but you will also explore the cultural and economic factors that contributed to the impact these artists had on society at large.

Sign up on Udemy for $60.

Need to Pack Light for a Long Trip? These Compression Bags Convert Into Day Packs

Packing for a long trip can be quite the puzzle. Even once you figure out what you'll need to bring clothing-wise, the bags you carry through the airport might not be the best option for carrying the necessities around the city once you arrive at your destination, and vice versa. But there's no need to stuff an extra backpack, tote, or fanny pack into your already-loaded carry-on. A new storage solution designed by Revelar Workshop adds room to your suitcase while also converting into a bag you can carry around during shorter trips.

Cubepacks are multi-use travel bags that feature hidden straps that turn them into convertible day packs. You can stuff them with socks, shirts, and other clothing items while packing, zipping the cubes tight to shrink them to a fraction of their original size. Then, once you arrive at your destination, you can unpack your clothes and use the bags as convenient carry-alls.

The three available Cubepack sizes turn into into a backpack, a shoulder pack, and a hip bag (also known as a fanny pack). The large bag has a capacity of about 4.7 gallons, the medium pack about 2.6 gallons, and the small about 1.3 gallons. Each has zip compression, reinforced seams, and mesh for breathability, as well as backpack straps, top carrying handles, and magnetic closures for when you're using them around town.

Cubepacks might useful for all getaways, but could be a major space saver on long journeys, especially if you plan on doing any outdoor activities. They're perfect for any trip where you might end up on a short hike (including week-long backpacking trips when you might not want to lug your full pack around on every outing) or at the beach for the day, as well as for long vacations where you might take a quick overnight trip to another city.

Buy a Cubepack (or several) on Kickstarter starting at $29 for the small size, $39 for the medium size, $49 for the large size, or $89 for all three. They're due to ship in September 2019.

And if you're looking for even more ways to squish as many items into your suitcase as possible, we also recommend Pacum, a travel-sized compression vacuum that promises to double your suitcase space.

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