For some of us, the rush of adrenaline that comes with beating the rest of the Black Friday crowd to a good deal is enough to motivate us to get out of bed at 4:00 a.m. For others of us, however, there's nothing short of virtual insanity that could make us wake up early to go shopping--even if there is a 42" Plasma HDTV for $448 waiting for us at the other end.
When thinking about the madness that surrounds Black Friday, two questions come to mind:
1.) Are the products on sale worth the extra effort it takes to purchase them?
2.) Are there similar online deals that can be snagged without leaving the comfort of your home?
This article (which is by no means comprehensive in its list of sales) will look at some of the tech gadgets up for grabs in the stores and online on Black Friday, list their prices and discuss some of their features. Links will be provided for each deal so that you can take a closer look and judge for yourself whether the product is worth purchasing. So sit back and start shopping!
Don't Wait Till Friday
Many stores, like Amazon.com
and Best Buy
, are offering Black Friday discounts all week long. Amazon's Lightning Deals
compare Black Friday bargains from other retailers and meet or beat other stores' prices. New deals are posted every few hours from now until Friday, but act fast: supplies are limited, so Amazon only offers certain deals for a few hours at a time.
Bing For Cash
Microsoft is giving online shoppers a reason to Bing this season with their cashback program
. Simply register for a cashback account
(those of you with a Hotmail or Windows Live ID are already set) and earn a percentage of your purchase as cash back. Take the virtual tour
for more information on Bing's cashback program.
Laptops and Netbooks
eMachines 15.6" Notebook w/Intel Processor
, 2GB Memory, 160GB Hard Drive (Model #EME627) Walmart; Price: $198. This is one of Walmart's doorbuster deals--meaning there's limited quantity and you'll need to be in the front of the line when the store opens at 5 a.m. to get it;but it's worth the early morning wake-up call if you're looking to give (or get) a basic, inexpensive notebook this holiday season.
Acer Aspire One
AOD250 10.1 Netbook PC-Sapphire Blue (Item #21903460), Office Max; Price $149.99. Having paid full price ($299.99) for one of these myself, I can attest to the fact that this is a bargain! As everyone knows, Netbooks are not meant for power users; but this one performs well with multiple browser tabs open and one additional program running. Plus, the Acer Blue is extremely light and has good battery life, making it the perfect holiday travel companion.
Toshiba- Satellite Laptop with Intel Core 2 Duo Processor-Midnight Breeze (Item #L505-S5984), Best Buy; Price $599. This does not appear to be an exclusive Black Friday deal, but rumor has it that Best Buy is throwing in a free printer and case for those of you who purchase this one in store. (Rumor courtesy of BlackFriday.net
) Regardless of whether the printer and case are included, the computer comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 Premium Home Edition, which is between a $75-100 value in and of itself.
Desktops and Monitors
It looks like Best Buy has the corner on the computer monitor market, offering an Acer 20" HD LCD widescreen monitor for $79.99 and a Dell 20" HD LCD widescreen monitor for $99.99. That's about $20 less than anything I've seen elsewhere. Neither of these offers are currently online but are in the Black Friday ad
If you're looking for a complete desktop with all the accessories, I'd go to Best Buy once again (these guys are good). Their ad shows an all-in-one HP AMD Athlon 11 x 4 Quad Core Processor Computer with 20" HD LCD 16:9 Widescreen Monitor and HP Deskjet D1520 Color Printer package for $499.97--a total savings of $330.
The words sale and Mac aren't exactly synonymous, but there are some discounts to be found if you know the right places to look. Take MacMall
, for instance: The store is a virtual cornucopia of discounted Apple products. Apple deals from MacMall and other retailers include:
Apple 13.3" MacBook
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, 2GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, SuperDrive- White Polycarbonate Shell (Item # MC207LL/A) Price $934. Whew! That was a mouth full! But, if that wasn't enough detail, check out the full list of specs by clicking the link above.
Best Buy is offering a similar Macbook
as the one above for $999.99 The bonus? Best Buy throws in a $150 gift card.
iPod Touch- MacMall
is offering 12% off the iPod Touch 8 GB , 2nd generation, dropping the price from $199.99 to $174.99. Walmart is offering the 3G version
of the Touch for $188.
And speaking of iPods, Target
is reportedly offering a $25 iTunes gift card for $20, though I am unable to confirm this online. If you're already planning to visit Target this Friday and you're an avid iTunes user, that's a deal worth purchasing--and $5 in your pocket!
Philips GoGear 4GB ViBE MP3 Video Player
; Walmart, Price $29. For those of you who haven't sold out to Apple(yet), there's a number of MP3 players on sale this week, including the aforementioned Phillips MP3 players at Walmart. The price tag doesn't exactly scream quality (though Phillips is a fairly reputable name in electronics); but if you're looking for an inexpensive gift that's sure to excite the pre-teen in your household, I'd say this is a fairly safe bet. Bonus: It comes in a variety of fun colors!
Pretty much any store you visit on foot or on the web is offering a smart phone for around $50--as long as you sign up for a one to two year service contract with Provider X, that is. That being said, if you're looking to switch your wireless plan or upgrade your phone, now is a good time to do it. Best Buy has the widest variety of in-store offers
, including the Motorola Droid
for $199.99 with a new Verizon Wireless account. However, Amazon
seems to have Best Buy beat, not only with the variety of phones offered but also with the price of the Droid
--$149.99 with a new service plan.
Samsung ToC 46" Class 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV, Best Buy, Price $1599.99- This is one of Best Buy's "doorbuster" deals. The fine print on Best Buy's Black Friday ad
says that the deal will run from November 27-28 but that Best Buy will be passing out tickets for their doorbuster deals up to two hours before their 5 a.m. opening on Friday morning. Basically, this means you're gonna need to get up early if you want to cash in on the $1000 savings on this TV. (The original price is $2599.99! THIS really is a deal!)
are all offering good deals on every different kind of television imaginable; but none of them compare to the aforementioned offering from Best Buy.
Xbox 360- Target is offering the Holiday Elite Console
for $299.99 with a $50 gift card. For $100 more, you can get the Call of Duty Modern Warfare
2 Limited Edition console is currently available online for the aforementioned price, but you'll have to visit the store if you want the gift card.
120GB PlayStation 3 Package
, Best Buy, price $299.99- Best Buy is offering the console plus two video games (a $429 value) as another one of their doorbuster deals.
After visiting a number of retail sites and Black Friday sites as well as looking at a number of in-store ads, I've decided that there's not many deals worth getting up early and heading to a store for--except the Acer Inspire One from Office Max and Samsung LED TV from Best Buy. Everything else is a bargain that will probably stick around until Christmas. That's great news for those of us who need our beauty rest!
Other than the aforementioned retailers, the following sites were referenced for this article:
If you've got a steal or deal to add to this list, please post a comment and let us know!
Or, if you've already purchased one of these products--or another hot tech gadget this holiday season--write a review
and let the EE Community know your thoughts on how it works!
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!