This gravity-fed charcoal grill cooks with tons of barbecue flavor

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 cooks with regular charcoal but runs like a pellet grill.

Brian Bennett/CNET

As barbecue grills go, the $500 Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 is an outlier. It cooks with the big flavor of charcoal, yet offers the set-and-forget electronic temperature control of a pellet smoker. To get that combination you’d typically have to upgrade an ordinary charcoal grill or kamado with an aftermarket product. Examples are the Smartfire and popular DigiQ gadgets.


  • Burns lump or briquette charcoal
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Meat probe included (4 supported)
  • Smokes and sears food with plenty of flavor

Don’t Like

  • Could be more efficient
  • Not water resistant

Another upside to the Gravity Series is that it can burn either standard briquettes or lump charcoal. Both types of fuel are much easier to find at your local supermarket than proprietary wood pellets. This grill is versatile too, letting you smoke low and slow or sear at high heat.

That said, the Gravity Series 560 isn’t flawless. It’s not as fuel efficient as Traeger pellet smokers I’ve used. It also tends to consume more briquettes than my trusty Weber Classic kettle. You also can’t use the 560 in the rain since it

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Amazon Echo Show 8 review: The best Alexa smart display, period

It’s 2020 and the Echo Show 8 is a year old. But Amazon’s fourth Alexa-enabled smart display still stands apart from the competition as one of the best smart devices around. Squeezed between its high-end 10-inch and budget 5-inch siblings, the Show 8 offers the right mix of features and design perks to justify its middle-child existence — and it’s the best direct competitor to Google’s Nest Hub. Even a year out from its release, the Echo Show 8 still deserves its Editors’ Choice Award.


  • The Echo Show 8 has solid sound quality and a good screen resolution.
  • The $130 price tag makes the Show 8 one of the best midrange smart displays on the market.
  • The physical camera shutter is a small, smart addition to soothe privacy concerns.

Don’t Like

  • The interface isn’t as smooth or easy to use as the one on Google’s Nest Hubs.
  • You can’t call up YouTube videos by voice.

If you’re thinking of buying a smart display for your countertop, the Show 8 might just be the best product for the price. Its full $130 price tag is a solid deal, but the frequent discounts (the current US price is only $65;

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Stimulus checks and child support: Some parents may get a second $500 payment per dependent

Stimulus checks for dependents were rife with issues, with some parents receiving no payment while other parents each got $500 for the same child.

Angela Lang/CNET

Talks to pass a new economic relief package with a second stimulus payment won’t resume seriously until after Election Day, but we can help answer any questions you may have about the first stimulus check, such as how much money you could get for your child dependent as part of your larger payment.

Child support situations have their own eligibility rules that might affect parents on each side of that financial equation, and unpaid debts can lead to your state garnishing your stimulus check. On the other hand, some parents with joint custody who are divorced or separated may actually get two $500 checks per child; one for each parent. That isn’t an Internal Revenue Service error, it’s a result of the way the IRS defines eligibility (keep reading for an explanation). 

A second direct payment, whenever it happens, could be different from the first — here’s how. The rules on child

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Black Friday 2020: The Best Tech Deals

The holiday shopping season is approaching and many retailers will be participating in Black Friday sales. This guide can help you figure out where and how to shop to find the best bargains.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Many shoppers look forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday every year. After all, it’s one of the best times to get that holiday shopping list whittled down without breaking the bank. The 2020 holiday shopping season is likely to look a little different than previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In years past, many retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy started Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving evening, but that will not be the case this year as they will be closed for the holiday

Even though shopping this year might shift from in-store to online for many, there are still plenty of deals to take advantage of. This guide will walk you through major store closings, the best times to shop, and where to find great deals on smartwatches/fitness trackers, tablets, headphones, and more. Also, be sure to check out our holiday gift guides for more ideas and product information. TechRepublic will update this article as more information becomes

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Arlo Video Doorbell review: Arlo ousted Nest as my favorite video doorbell

Arlo made us wait a long time for its first video doorbell, but I’m happy to say it was worth it. The Netgear spinoff Arlo has essentially transformed its excellent Arlo Pro series of outdoor security cameras into a doorbell — a great doorbell — for just $150.


  • 180-degree viewing angle and 1:1 aspect ratio shows packages left by your door
  • Built-in siren makes it more like a home security camera than Nest and Ring

Don’t Like

  • No free cloud storage — you have to pay for the $3 per month Arlo Smart plan
  • Bigger than most of its competition, including the large Nest Hello

When you consider that the Nest Hello clocks in at $229, Arlo’s $150 Video Doorbell starts to sound like a pretty good value. While many of Arlo’s own cameras are expensive, if not overpriced, the company has made significant strides in the past year to introduce more affordable options, including the Arlo Video Doorbell.

It’s priced well, it performs well and the Arlo Smart cloud service is competitively priced, starting at $3 per month. With Arlo Smart, you get a ton of features, from advanced motion alerts to 30 days of cloud storage and

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9 facts about your first and second stimulus check to know with the election days away

When will the IRS send another stimulus check? Here are some possibilities.

Angela Lang/CNET

As negotiations devolve into blame over which side is holding up passage of the next stimulus bill, there’s no prospect of final legislation until after the Nov. 3 election. Still, evidence that the final bill will have a stimulus check is strong. Every major proposal we’ve seen, including presidential candidate (and former Vice President) Joe Biden’s, incorporates a second direct payment.

The next stimulus check, if approved, is expected to send up to $1,200 per individual and more for certain situations — here’s how the IRS determines your total stimulus check amount. We’ll explain all that, as well as how taxes affect your payment and why you might be owed more money from first round of direct payments. This story updates often.

Read more: Would you use your second check like these people?

A new check won’t come until after the election is over

Negotiators haven’t successfully narrowed their differences on a bill. Yet, both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remain hopeful that the final wording of a bill will be ready — one way

Read More View More 9 facts about your first and second stimulus check to know with the election days away