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The best non-Amazon Prime Day sales that are still happening

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Amazon Prime Day was on October 13 and 14, but just because it’s over doesn’t mean the deals have disappeared. Dozens of retailers are still offering steep discounts of their own to compete with Amazon’s big event this year, effectively turning mid-October into the new start of the holiday shopping season.

With everything from big box stores like Walmart and Target to smaller retailers like Allswell slashing prices, it’s an excellent time to scoop up comfy clothes for fall, fresh furniture for every room in the house, kitchen gadgets, new tech and more.

To help you get started, take a look at our round up of the biggest Prime Day deals not happening on Amazon, below.

Walmart

Walmart
PHOTO: Walmart

Walmart’s Big Save Event is still going on, but ends today, October 15. You’ll find markdowns on thousands of items across home, electronics, toys, beauty, fashion and more. Spend $35 to get free two-day shipping on eligible purchases, with some products even available for NextDay delivery.

Top deals include $60 off the Vizio 65-inch Class 4k UHD LED SmartCast Smart TV ($468, originally $528; walmart.com), perfect for cozy movie nights at home as the weather cools. Avoid the social distancing blues with Super Mario Party for Nintendo Switch ($39.99, originally $59.88; walmart.com) and keep the kids entertained for hours with the highly-rated Best Choice Products’$2 250-Piece 3D Magnetic Building Blocks Play Set ($64.99, originally $114.99; walmart.com), designed as a fun way to help with problem solving and motor skills. For more on Walmart’s Big Save Event, click here.

Target

Target
PHOTO: Target

Target Deal Days are officially over, but there are still a handful of items on sale. Some of the best deals include the Anker Dufy RobboVac 35C ($219.99, originally $249.99; target.com) and the Oster Digital 9-Function Countertop Air Fryer Oven ($99.99, originally $149.99; target.com).

Members of Target’s free loyalty program, Target Circle, can snag hundreds of special online discounts as well, while current early bird savings include 25% off wall art from Society6, up to 30% off graphic sweatshirts and 10% off laptops.

Brooklinen

Brooklinen sheets
Brooklinen sheets
PHOTO: Brooklinen

Today only, you can get 10% off sitewide at Brooklinen with an automatic code that generates at checkout.

Treat yourself to a better night’s sleep this fall with the customer-favorite Luxe Hardcore Bundle (starting at $216; brooklinen.com), which comes with flat and fitted sheets, four pillowcases and a duvet cover all in a buttery sateen weave. Top things off with the highly-rated, all-season Down Comforter (starting at $224.10, originally $249; brooklinen.com), designed to be warm enough for the winter chill without making you sweat.

Though famous for its sheets, Brooklinen has also branched into loungewear, towels and accessories. If you want to feel like you’re at the spa at home, check out the Super-Plush Robe ($88.20, originally $98; brooklinen.com) and Towel Bundle ($103.08, originally $138; brooklinen.com), both made from thick, luxurious Turkish cotton.

Best Buy

Best Buy
PHOTO: Best Buy

Best Buy is celebrating Black Friday early this year by launching fresh deals, some of which are still live right now at its Prep for the Holidays Event.

Savings are limited to electronics, but right now you can snag this Sony 65-inch Class A9G OLED 4K UHD TV for $1,000 off ($2,499.99, originally $3,499.99; bestbuy.com). Earbud cords getting tangled in your mask? Now’s a great time to pick up Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ for $30 off ($119.99, originally $149.99; bestbuy.com). Laptops, cell phones, appliances and much more are marked down as well.

Adidas

Adidas
PHOTO: Adidas

Snag up to 33% off sitewide from October 12 through 20 with the code CREATE at checkout. You have to be a member of the Creators Club, Adidas’s loyalty program, to get the savings, but it’s free to join!

Markdowns include customer faves like the Alphaskin Cold.Rdy Long Tights ($80; adidas.com), so you can keep running through the winter, and the NMD_R1 Shoes ($140; adidas.com), which offer responsive cushioning and an ultra comfy fit. All set on workout gear? Scoop up a fresh pair of Stan Smiths ($80; adidas.com) instead.

Wayfair

Wayfair
PHOTO: Wayfair

Get up to 60% off across the site with Head Start Holiday Sale. Freshen up the house with up to 60% off tv stands and living room tables and office furniture from $99. It’s never too early to start decorating for the holidays either, with up to 50% off Christmas trees and decor.

The Home Depot

The Home Depot
The Home Depot
PHOTO: The Home Depot

From October 13 to 15 get up to 50% off select furniture, decor and kitchenware.

Use those savings for a fall refresh throughout the house with pieces like the Home Decorators Collection Garrison Brown Bonded Leather Arm Chair ($311.88, originally $623.75; homedepot.com), featuring the perfect mix of sophisticated style and plush comfort. Those looking to reduce clutter should check out the Martin Ivory Built-In Storage Coffee Table ($149.38, originally $298.75; homedepot.com), whose sleek drawers are perfect for hiding remotes and magazines. Finally, take your home cooking up a notch with the Cuisinart Elemental 11-Cup Food Processor ($99, originally $149.95; homedepot.com), which features three speeds that chop, slice and shred with ease.

Woot!

Woot!
PHOTO: Woot!

Woot! will be celebrating Amazon Prime Day all week long starting on October 11 and ending on October 17.

Among the offers: Buy a shirt and save 30% on accessories. Trick-or-treating might be out of the question this year, but you can still celebrate with a spooky Halloween tee, like this Coffee Vampire (from $15; shirt.woot.com) or positively chilling Halloween Unicorns (from $15; shirt.woot.com). We’re also fans of this clever Knock Knock tee ($19; shirt.woot.com) from Strange Planet creator Nathan W. Pyle.

Chewy

Chewy
PHOTO: Chewy

Take up to 30% off essentials for pets sitewide during Chewy’s Blue Box Event. Additional deals include 40% off your first autoship purchase, 25% off when you buy two personalized products and buy three, get one free in toys, treats and apparel.

Cat parents will love the MidWest Feline Nuvo Grand Forte 41-in Cat Scratching Post ($56.69, originally $68.61; chewy.com), which is tall enough to help cats stretch while they scratch and chic enough to blend in with your home’s decor. The K&H Pet Products Bolster Cat & Dog Bed ($47.81, originally $59.76; chewy.com) is another great bet, thanks to plush cushioning made from recycled plastic bottles and a machine-washable microsuede liner. We also recommend K&H’s highly-rated EZ Mount Window Scratcher Kitty Sill Cradle ($31.75, originally $49.99; chewy.com), which gives cats and other small pets the perfect perch for lounging in the sun. Whether your best bud is a dog, a cat or a hamster, Chewy’s got something for you.

Allswell

Allswell
PHOTO: Allswell

Use code FALLFAVES for 30% off items from the mattress and decor brand’s “Fall Favorites Collection,” as well as 15% off Luxe and Supreme mattress. Deals are live now through October 16.

Grab a chic, snuggle-friendly Stonewashed Cotton Throw ($48; allswellhome.com), made in Portugal from soft, yarn-dyed fabric. Bedroom need an upgrade? Customers love the cool, crisp Organic Garment Wash Percale Duvet Cover Set ($98; allswellhome.com), which comes in five muted colors, and the stylish Organic Matelasse Feather Stripe Duvet Cover Set ($155; allswellhome.com).

Bear Mattress

Bear
PHOTO: Bear

The Fall Weekend Flash Sale, which began October 8, has been extended through October 15. Use the code FALL20 at checkout for 20% off the entire site, plus two free cloud pillows with a mattress or bundle purchase.

That means savings of up to $180 on the Original Bear Mattress (from $400, originally $500; bearmattress.com), featuring cooling graphite memory foam designed to disperse heat while you sleep. Add an extra layer of comfort with the copper-infused BearPro (starting at $752, originally $940; bearmattress.com), or test out the goldilocks of mattresses with a Bear Hybrid (from $872, originally $1090; bearmattress.com), crafted from a mixture of coils and foam for comfort and support. All Bear mattresses come with a 100-night trial period as well.

Old Navy

Old Navy
PHOTO: Old Navy

The affordable clothing company is offering up to 75% off in its clearance section, plus you can get an extra 30% off sitewide (including sale items) today only. Snag free shipping on orders of $50 or more, too.

Women in need of some snuggle-worthy loungewear should check out the best-selling Cozy Sherpa Zip-Front Jacket ($30, originally $39; oldnavy.com) and the Vintage Pullover Hoodie ($20, originally; $34.99 oldnavy.com). The men’s Water-Resistant Narrow-Channel Puffer Jacket ($50, originally $59.99; oldnavy.com) is another great bet that’ll look polished while keeping you warm.

GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA
GlassesUSA
PHOTO: GlassesUSA

Now through October 21, customers will get up 65% off eyeglass and sunglass frames with basic prescription lenses using code PRIME65. Looking to stock up on a few pairs? Use code BOGO to get a second pair totally free. GlassesUSA also offers free shipping and returns, so you can make sure a frame is right for you.

Those looking for something classic should shop the Eliot ($32.90, originally $94; glassesusa.com), a 1950s Browline-style frame made from a mixture of acetate and metal. Embrace your inner Harry Potter with the oversized, fine-wire metal Ottoto Waterloo ($30.80, originally $88; glassesusa.com), or grab the universally-flattering, all acetate Weston frames ($32.90; originally $94; glassesusa.com), which come in eight colors.

shopDisney

shopDisney
shopDisney
PHOTO: shopDisney

The two-day Magical Rush runs from October 13 to 14 and will feature a series of rotating deals, so check the site often for updates.

Grab a discounted costume favorite like this Buzz Lightyear Light-Up Costumes for Kids ($38.49, originally $54.99; shopdisney.com) or another Buzz option for babies ($24.49, originally $34.99; shopdisney.com). And get ready for night time snuggles with adorable sleepwear marked down to $20 and fleece throws for just $14.

The Container Store

The Container Store
The Container Store
PHOTO: The Container Store

Get your house in order with limited-time deals on organization essentials from The Container Store. Snag a discount on new hangers, shoe boxes and jewelry storage for your latest fall fashion hauls, and pick up garment storage and stacking drawers to help you put away the summer styles you no longer need.

Backcountry

Backcountry
Backcountry
PHOTO: Backcountry

You’ll find everything you need to head outdoors in cold weather at Backcountry’s Winter Clearance Sale. More than 2,700 items are included in the promo, including apparel and winter boots from brands like The North Face, Patagonia, Columbia and Mountain Hardwear. Plus, snow sport aficionados can save on tons of new gear.

Sorel

Sorel
PHOTO: Sorel

Get your winter boots for less at Sorel’s Exclusives Sale. Right now, online exclusive styles, which rarely see price drops, are 25% off. Among the deals are fall-ready wedge booties, waterproof boots, duck boots, sneakers and even a few slip-ons and sandals.

Jachs

Jachs New York
Jachs New York
PHOTO: Jachs New York

Jachs’ Prime Day flash sale is still going on, which means you can still take up to 90% off more than 200 styles for guys, many of which are ideal for fall. Prices start at just $8, so it’s extra affordable to stock up for the season.

Madewell

Madewell
PHOTO: Madewell

The more you spend, the more you can save at Madewell through October 19. Take 20% off orders under $200, and 30% off orders of $200 or more with code SPREETIME. The discount even applies to new arrivals, so you can score the brand’s new fall styles for much less than usual.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters
PHOTO: Urban Outfitters

Fall apparel, accessories and decor is 50% off for a limited time at Urban Outfitters. Fill your cart with cold weather accessories like beanies, scarves and boots, or opt to update your home for the season with a new throw or a cozy candle.

Macy’s

Macy
PHOTO: Macy’ss

There’s still one day left to save at Macy’s three-day sale, which features up to 30% off select departments. Use code THANKYOU to save on apparel, shoes, accessories and home items from top brands. It’s the perfect time to pick up everything from this set of Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron Cookware to a new fall coat.

For more great deals, check out CNN Coupons.

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All the products we found to be the best during our testing this year

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(CNN) —  

Throughout the year, CNN Underscored is constantly testing products — be it coffee makers or headphones — to find the absolute best in each respective category.

Our testing process is rigorous, consisting of hours of research (consulting experts, reading editorial reviews and perusing user ratings) to find the top products in each category. Once we settle on a testing pool, we spend weeks — if not months — testing and retesting each product multiple times in real-world settings. All this in an effort to settle on the absolute best products.

So, as we enter peak gifting season, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift, we know you’ll find something on this list that they (or you!) will absolutely love.

Coffee

Best burr coffee grinder: Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder With Digital Timer Display ($249; amazon.com or walmart.com)

Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder
Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder

Beginner baristas and coffee connoisseurs alike will be pleased with the Baratza Virtuoso+, a conical burr grinder with 40 settings for grind size, from super fine (espresso) to super coarse (French press). The best coffee grinder we tested, this sleek look and simple, intuitive controls, including a digital timer, allow for a consistent grind every time — as well as optimal convenience.

Read more from our testing of coffee grinders here.

Best drip coffee maker: Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker ($79.95; amazon.com)

Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker
Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker

During our testing of drip coffee makers, we found the Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker made a consistently delicious, hot cup of coffee, brewed efficiently and cleanly, from sleek, relatively compact hardware that is turnkey to operate, and all for a reasonable price.

Read more from our testing of drip coffee makers here.

Best single-serve coffee maker: Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus ($165; originally $179.95; amazon.com)

Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus
Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus

Among all single-serve coffee makers we tested, the Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus, which uses pods that deliver both espresso and “regular” coffee, could simply not be beat for its convenience. Intuitive and a snap to use right out of the box, it looks sleek on the counter, contains a detached 60-ounce water reservoir so you don’t have to refill it with each use and delivers perfectly hot, delicious coffee with a simple tap of a lever and press of a button.

Read more from our testing of single-serve coffee makers here.

Best coffee subscription: Blue Bottle (starting at $11 per shipment; bluebottlecoffee.com)

Blue Bottle coffee subscription
Blue Bottle coffee subscription

Blue Bottle’s coffee subscription won us over with its balance of variety, customizability and, most importantly, taste. We sampled both the single-origin and blend assortments and loved the flavor of nearly every single cup we made. The flavors are complex and bold but unmistakably delicious. Beyond its coffee, Blue Bottle’s subscription is simple and easy to use, with tons of options to tailor to your caffeine needs.

Read more from our testing of coffee subscriptions here.

Best cold brewer coffee maker: Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot ($25; amazon.com)

Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot
Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot

This sleek, sophisticated and streamlined carafe produces 1 liter (about 4 1/4 cups) of rich, robust brew in just eight hours. It was among the simplest to assemble, it executed an exemplary brew in about the shortest time span, and it looked snazzy doing it. Plus, it rang up as the second-most affordable of our inventory.

Read more from our testing of cold brew makers here.

Kitchen essentials

Best nonstick pan: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid ($39.97; amazon.com)

T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid
T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid

If you’re a minimalist and prefer to have just a single pan in your kitchen, you’d be set with the T-fal E76597. This pan’s depth gives it multipurpose functionality: It cooks standard frying-pan foods like eggs and meats, and its 2 1/2-inch sides are tall enough to prepare recipes you’d usually reserve for pots, like rices and stews. It’s a high-quality and affordable pan that outperformed some of the more expensive ones in our testing field.

Read more from our testing of nonstick pans here.

Best blender: Breville Super Q ($499.95; breville.com)

Breville Super Q
Breville Super Q

With 1,800 watts of motor power, the Breville Super Q features a slew of preset buttons, comes in multiple colors, includes key accessories and is touted for being quieter than other models. At $500, it does carry a steep price tag, but for those who can’t imagine a smoothie-less morning, what breaks down to about $1.30 a day over a year seems like a bargain.

Read more from our testing of blenders here.

Best knife set: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set ($119.74; amazon.com)

Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set
Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set

The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set sets you up to easily take on almost any cutting job and is a heck of a steal at just $119.97. Not only did the core knives included (chef’s, paring, utility and serrated) perform admirably, but the set included a bevy of extras, including a full set of steak knives. We were blown away by their solid construction and reliable execution for such an incredible value. The knives stayed sharp through our multitude of tests, and we were big fans of the cushion-grip handles that kept them from slipping, as well as the classic look of the chestnut-stained wood block. If you’re looking for a complete knife set you’ll be proud of at a price that won’t put a dent in your savings account, this is the clear winner.

Read more from our testing of knife sets here.

Audio

Best true wireless earbuds: AirPods Pro ($199, originally $249; amazon.com)

Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro

Apple’s AirPods Pro hit all the marks. They deliver a wide soundstage, thanks to on-the-fly equalizing tech that produces playback that seemingly brings you inside the studio with the artist. They have the best noise-canceling ability of all the earbuds we tested, which, aside from stiff-arming distractions, creates a truly immersive experience. To sum it up, you’re getting a comfortable design, a wide soundstage, easy connectivity and long battery life.

Read more from our testing of true wireless earbuds here.

Best noise-canceling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 ($278, originally $349.99; amazon.com)

Sony WH-1000XM4
Sony WH-1000XM4

Not only do the WH-1000XM4s boast class-leading sound, but phenomenal noise-canceling ability. So much so that they ousted our former top overall pick, the Beats Solo Pros, in terms of ANC quality, as the over-ear XM4s better seal the ear from outside noise. Whether it was a noise from a dryer, loud neighbors down the hall or high-pitched sirens, the XM4s proved impenetrable. This is a feat that other headphones, notably the Solo Pros, could not compete with — which is to be expected considering their $348 price tag.

Read more from our testing of noise-canceling headphones here.

Best on-ear headphones: Beats Solo 3 ($119.95, originally $199.95; amazon.com)

Beats Solo 3
Beats Solo 3

The Beats Solo 3s are a phenomenal pair of on-ear headphones. Their sound quality was among the top of those we tested, pumping out particularly clear vocals and instrumentals alike. We enjoyed the control scheme too, taking the form of buttons in a circular configuration that blend seamlessly into the left ear cup design. They are also light, comfortable and are no slouch in the looks department — more than you’d expect given their reasonable $199.95 price tag.

Read more from our testing of on-ear headphones here.

Beauty

Best matte lipstick: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick ($11, originally $22; amazon.com or $22; nordstrom.com and stilacosmetics.com)

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

The Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick has thousands of 5-star ratings across the internet, and it’s easy to see why. True to its name, this product clings to your lips for hours upon hours, burritos and messy breakfast sandwiches be damned. It’s also surprisingly moisturizing for such a superior stay-put formula, a combo that’s rare to come by.

Read more from our testing of matte lipsticks here.

Best everyday liquid liner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($22; stilacosmetics.com or macys.com)

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a longtime customer favorite — hence its nearly 7,500 5-star reviews on Sephora — and for good reason. We found it requires little to no effort to create a precise wing, the liner has superior staying power and it didn’t irritate those of us with sensitive skin after full days of wear. As an added bonus, it’s available in a whopping 12 shades.

Read more from our testing of liquid eyeliners here.

Work-from-home essentials

Best office chair: Steelcase Series 1 (starting at $381.60; amazon.com or $415, wayfair.com)

Steelcase Series 1
Steelcase Series 1

The Steelcase Series 1 scored among the highest overall, standing out as one of the most customizable, high-quality, comfortable office chairs on the market. At $415, the Steelcase Series 1 beat out most of its pricier competitors across testing categories, scoring less than a single point lower than our highest-rated chair, the $1,036 Steelcase Leap, easily making it the best bang for the buck and a clear winner for our best office chair overall.

Read more from our testing of office chairs here.

Best ergonomic keyboard: Logitech Ergo K860 ($129.99; logitech.com)

Logitech Ergo K860
Logitech Ergo K860

We found the Logitech Ergo K860 to be a phenomenally comfortable keyboard. Its build, featuring a split keyboard (meaning there’s a triangular gap down the middle) coupled with a wave-like curvature across the body, allows both your shoulders and hands to rest in a more natural position that eases the tension that can often accompany hours spent in front of a regular keyboard. Add the cozy palm rest along the bottom edge and you’ll find yourself sitting pretty comfortably.

Read more from our testing of ergonomic keyboards here.

Best ergonomic mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 ($99.99; logitech.com)

Logitech MX Master 3
Logitech MX Master 3

The Logitech MX Master 3 is an unequivocally comfortable mouse. It’s shaped to perfection, with special attention to the fingers that do the clicking. Using it felt like our fingers were lounging — with a sculpted ergonomic groove for nearly every finger.

Read more from our testing of ergonomic mice here.

Best ring light: Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light ($25.99; amazon.com)

Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light
Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light

The Emart 10-Inch Standing Ring Light comes with a tripod that’s fully adjustable — from 19 inches to 50 inches — making it a great option whether you’re setting it atop your desk for video calls or need some overhead lighting so no weird shadows creep into your photos. Its three light modes (warm, cool and a nice mix of the two), along with 11 brightness levels (among the most settings on any of the lights we tested), ensure you’re always framed in the right light. And at a relatively cheap $35.40, this light combines usability and affordability better than any of the other options we tested.

Read more from our testing of ring lights here.

Home

Best linen sheets: Parachute Linen Sheet Set (starting at $149; parachute.com)

Parachute Linen Sheets
Parachute Linen Sheets

Well made, luxurious to the touch and with the most versatile shopping options (six sizes, nine colors and the ability to order individual sheets), the linen sheets from Parachute were, by a narrow margin, our favorite set. From the satisfying unboxing to a sumptuous sleep, with a la carte availability, Parachute set the gold standard in linen luxury.

Read more from our testing of linen sheets here.

Best shower head: Kohler Forte Shower Head (starting at $74.44; amazon.com)

Kohler Forte Shower Head
Kohler Forte Shower Head

Hands down, the Kohler Forte Shower Head provides the best overall shower experience, offering three distinct settings. Backstory: Lots of shower heads out there feature myriad “settings” that, when tested, are pretty much indecipherable. The Forte’s three sprays, however, are each incredibly different and equally successful. There’s the drenching, full-coverage rain shower, the pulsating massage and the “silk spray” setting that is basically a super-dense mist. The Forte manages to achieve all of this while using only 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM), making it a great option for those looking to conserve water.

Read more from our testing of shower heads here.

Best humidifier: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier (starting at $49.99; amazon.com)

TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier
TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier

The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier ramped up the humidity in a room in about an hour, which was quicker than most of the options we tested. More importantly, though, it sustained those humidity levels over the longest period of time — 24 hours, to be exact. The levels were easy to check with the built-in reader (and we cross-checked that reading with an external reader to confirm accuracy). We also loved how easy this humidifier was to clean, and the nighttime mode for the LED reader eliminated any bright lights in the bedroom.

Read more from our testing of humidifiers here.

Video

Best TV: TCL 6-Series (starting at $579.99; bestbuy.com)

TCL 6-Series
TCL 6-Series

With models starting at $599.99 for a 55-inch, the TCL 6-Series might give you reverse sticker shock considering everything you get for that relatively small price tag. But can a 4K smart TV with so many specification standards really deliver a good picture for $500? The short answer: a resounding yes. The TCL 6-Series produces a vibrant picture with flexible customization options and handles both HDR and Dolby Vision, optimization standards that improve the content you’re watching by adding depth to details and expanding the color spectrum.

Read more from our testing of TVs here.

Best streaming device: Roku Ultra ($99.99; amazon.com)

Roku Ultra
Roku Ultra

Roku recently updated its Ultra streaming box and the 2020 version is faster, thanks to a new quad-core processor. The newest Ultra retains all of the features we loved and enjoyed about the 2019 model, like almost zero lag time between waking it up and streaming content, leading to a hiccup-free streaming experience. On top of that, the Roku Ultra can upscale content to deliver the best picture possible on your TV — even on older-model TVs that don’t offer the latest and greatest picture quality — and supports everything from HD to 4K.

Read more from our testing of streaming devices here.

Travel

Best carry-on luggage: Away Carry-On ($225; away.com)

Away Carry-On
Away Carry-On

The Away Carry-On scored high marks across all our tests and has the best combination of features for the average traveler. Compared with higher-end brands like Rimowa, which retail for hundreds more, you’re getting the same durable materials, an excellent internal compression system and eye-catching style. Add in smart charging capabilities and a lifetime warranty, and this was the bag to beat.

Read more from our testing of carry-on luggage here.

Best portable charger: Anker PowerCore 13000 (starting at $31.99; amazon.com)

Anker PowerCore 13000
Anker PowerCore 13000

The Anker PowerCore 13000 shone most was in terms of charging capacity. It boasts 13,000 mAh (maH is a measure of how much power a device puts out over time), which is enough to fully charge an iPhone 11 two and a half times. Plus, it has two fast-charging USB Type-A ports so you can juice a pair of devices simultaneously. While not at the peak in terms of charging capacity, at just $31.99, it’s a serious bargain for so many mAhs.

Read more from our testing of portable chargers here.

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Trump’s misleading tweet about changing your vote, briefly explained

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Open Sourced logo

Searches for changing one’s vote did not trend following the recent presidential debate, and just a few states appear to have processes for changing an early vote. But that didn’t stop President Trump from wrongly saying otherwise on Tuesday.

In early morning posts, the president falsely claimed on Twitter and Facebook that many people had Googled “Can I change my vote?” after the second presidential debate and said those searching wanted to change their vote over to him. Trump also wrongly claimed that most states have a mechanism for changing one’s vote. Actually, just a few states appear to have the ability, and it’s rarely used.

Twitter did not attach a label to Trump’s recent tweet.
Twitter

Trump’s claim about what was trending on Google after the debate doesn’t hold up. Searches for changing one’s vote were not among Google’s top trending searches for the day of the debate (October 22) or the day after. Searches for “Can I change my vote?” did increase slightly around the time of the debate, but there is no way to know whether the bump was related to the debate or whether the people searching were doing so in support of Trump.

It was only after Trump’s posts that searches about changing your vote spiked significantly. It’s worth noting that people were also searching for “Can I change my vote?” during a similar period before the 2016 presidential election.

Google declined to comment on the accuracy of Trump’s post.

Trump also claimed that these results indicate that most of the people who were searching for how to change their vote support him. But the Google Trends tool for the searches he mentioned does not provide that specific information.

Perhaps the most egregiously false claim in Trump’s recent posts is about “most states” having processes for changing your early vote. In fact, only a few states have such processes, and they can come with certain conditions. For instance, in Michigan, voters who vote absentee can ask for a new ballot by mail or in person until the day before the election.

The Center for Election Innovation’s David Becker told the Associated Press that changing one’s vote is “extremely rare.” Becker explained, “It’s hard enough to get people to vote once — it’s highly unlikely anybody will go through this process twice.”

Trump’s post on Facebook was accompanied by a link to Facebook’s Voting Information Center.
Facebook

At the time of publication, Trump’s false claims had drawn about 84,000 and 187,000 “Likes” on Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Trump’s posts accelerated searches about changing your vote in places like the swing state of Florida, where changing one’s vote after casting it is not possible. Those numbers are a reminder of the president’s capacity to spread misinformation quickly.

On Facebook, the president’s post came with a label directing people to Facebook’s Voting Information Center, but no fact-checking label. Twitter had no annotation on the president’s post. Neither company responded to a request for comment.

That Trump is willing to spread misinformation to benefit himself and his campaign isn’t a surprise. He does that a lot. Still, just days before a presidential election in which millions have already voted, this latest episode demonstrates that the president has no qualms about using false claims about voting to cause confusion and sow doubt in the electoral process.

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Nearly 6,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan so far this year

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From January to September, 5,939 civilians – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded – were casualties of the fighting, the UN says.

Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of the year as heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban fighters rages on despite efforts to find peace, the United Nations has said.

From January to September, there were 5,939 civilian casualties in the fighting – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a quarterly report on Tuesday.

“High levels of violence continue with a devastating impact on civilians, with Afghanistan remaining among the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian,” the report said.

Civilian casualties were 30 percent lower than in the same period last year but UNAMA said violence has failed to slow since the beginning of talks between government negotiators and the Taliban that began in Qatar’s capital, Doha, last month.

An injured girl receives treatment at a hospital after an attack in Khost province [Anwarullah/Reuters]

The Taliban was responsible for 45 percent of civilian casualties while government troops caused 23 percent, it said. United States-led international forces were responsible for two percent.

Most of the remainder occurred in crossfire, or were caused by ISIL (ISIS) or “undetermined” anti-government or pro-government elements, according to the report.

Ground fighting caused the most casualties followed by suicide and roadside bomb attacks, targeted killings by the Taliban and air raids by Afghan troops, the UN mission said.

Fighting has sharply increased in several parts of the country in recent weeks as government negotiators and the Taliban have failed to make progress in the peace talks.

At least 24 people , mostly teens, were killed in a suicide bomb attack at an education centre in Kabul [Mohammad Ismail/Reuters]

The Taliban has been fighting the Afghan government since it was toppled from power in a US-led invasion in 2001.

Washington blamed the then-Taliban rulers for harbouring al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda was accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.

Calls for urgent reduction of violence

Meanwhile, the US envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Tuesday that the level of violence in the country was still too high and the Kabul government and Taliban fighters must work harder towards forging a ceasefire at the Doha talks.

Khalilzad made the comments before heading to the Qatari capital to hold meetings with the two sides.

“I return to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened. The window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever,” he said in a tweet.

There needs to be “an agreement on a reduction of violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”, added Khalilzad.

A deal in February between the US and the Taliban paved the way for foreign forces to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to sit with the Afghan government to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula.

But progress at the intra-Afghan talks has been slow since their start in mid-September and diplomats and officials have warned that rising violence back home is sapping trust.

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