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Consumer News: The Quest for a Defect-Free Microsoft Surface

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Plus, Amazon offers a student discount on its Kindle Fire HD.

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on consumer companies from around the Web.

The Consumerist
Link: My Quest for a Defect-Free Microsoft Surface Goes Surprisingly Poorly
"Being an early adopter can be difficult. Overall, Grady likes his new Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface tablet, but noticed some hardware issues, like light distortion and a power button that doesn't feel right. Those are relatively minor issues when the entire device is working well, but not what Grady expected when he laid out $600 for a new tablet. That's when he began his quest to return his Surface to Microsoft and obtain one with no defects, cosmetic or otherwise. This quest turned out to be more difficult than he had predicted."

Time
Link: Epic Retail Fail: Where Did the Target + Neiman Marcus Collection Go Wrong?
"Too weird, too pretentious, too expensive, and, in the end, too out of step with what today's arbiters of style deem cool. Those have been among the many critiques of Target's (NYSE:TGT) multi-designer collaboration with luxury retailer Neiman Marcus - a partnership that was hyped to the hilt, and wound up as a major bust.

"Target's collaboration with Isaac Mizrahi roughly a decade ago introduced the mashup of high fashion and cheap prices that endeared Target to fashion-forward frugal shoppers. Its partnership with Italian designer label Missoni was so popular it prompted long lines, sellouts within hours, and a surge of traffic so big it crashed Target's website."

Slash Gear
Link: Amazon Offering Students $50 Off a Kindle Fire HD 8.9 All Month Long
"Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire HD was the company's leading product throughout the holiday shopping season, and for good reason. The 8.9-inch version went on sale earlier last month, but if you happened to blink, the deal was gone. However, Amazon is offering the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 to students at $50 off all month long.

"Amazon Student Members with an active Prime account (free six-month or $39/year plan) are only eligible for the deal. However, the company is letting students who aren't Prime members sign up today to take advantage of the deal. In order to become an Amazon Student member, simply sign up using your .edu email address."

CNBC
Link: Fast Money Trades in Gap
"Fast-money traders went shopping in Gap (NYSE:GPS) on Monday morning.

"OptionMonster's tracking programs detected unusual activity in the Weekly 30.50 calls expiring this Friday, with early buying for $0.69 and $0.70. Some 1,300 contracts had traded in the first few minutes of the session, followed by another 1,300 throughout the rest of the day."

Forbes
Link: GameStop Dividend Yield Pushes Past 4%
"Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at Dividend Channel, in trading on Wednesday, shares of GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME) were yielding above the 4% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $1.00), with the stock changing hands as low as $24.62 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return…"
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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