Update: This deal is done.
The ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide normally sells for $180 and right now it’s $150 for the CS20001 model on Amazon.
The model number is only important because the CS10001, which is selling at a more expensive $169, is the version that was reviewed by CNET, Serious Eats, and others. They all praised the Joule’s tiny size (most sous vide circulators are huge), heating power and the fact that it’s waterproof. Serious Eats also really loved the magnetic bottom, which works wonderfully when you’re using the Joule with a cast iron pot.
The biggest negative from most reviewers was the lack of display or controls on the device itself. It runs entirely through an included smartphone app. It can also be run by Amazon’s Alexa voice system, which is pretty cool. That lowers the barrier to entry for sous vide wannabes by quite a lot, I think.
The only difference between the two models seems to be cosmetic. The CS20001 that’s on sale is made entirely of polycarbonate. The original model is made of stainless steel with polycarbonate trimming. Functionally, there shouldn’t be any big difference.