The best tech deals this Black Friday
Nov. 22, 2011 at 2:36 PM ET
Many Black Friday circular ads, such as Walmart's, can already be viewed online.
Whether you're already in line for a Black Friday sale or still figuring out what you'll do with Thursday's leftover turkey, now's a good time to review the best offers of this shopping season. We're here to help with handpicked tech deals.
A few things to note:
- These deals are Black Friday offers — promised for Friday, Nov. 25 — so don't panic if you don't see them in stores or on retailer's websites with the prices listed below right this minute.
- The deals in this list were selected by considering a combination of factors such as value, savings, product quality, features and brand reputation.
- Most offers are limited in quantity, so be quick if you've got your eye on something specific.
- The cellphone offers listed below typically require you to sign a two-year service agreement.
- You should read the detailed descriptions of each offer carefully before buying — msnbc.com is not responsible for the duration or integrity of individual deals, though we do our best to check the all.
- If you're looking for a gigantic list of Black Friday deals instead of some handpicked deals, take a peek at the Black Friday Cheat Sheet compiled by our friends at Gizmodo. If you prefer an alternative pile of hand-selected offers, then check out what the folks at Lifehacker picked out.
Got all that? Great! Here are some of our favorite deals for Black Friday 2011.
We will be updating this list in the days and hours before Black Friday, so feel free to check back often.
I aimed to pick a variety of size options here and definitely kept value in mind. Samsung came out as one of the best bets for this shopping season — as far as TVs go, at least.
- 22-in. Samsung LED HDTV (1080p) for $198 (Normally $250) — at Best Buy
- 32-in. Emerson LCD TV for $188 (Normally $300) — at Walmart
- 40-in. Samsung LED HDTV (1080p) for $497 (Normally $700) — at Best Buy
- 40-in. Samsung LED Smart HDTV (1080p) for $728 (Normally $1,100) — at Best Buy
- 47-in. LG LED (1080p) for $700 (Normally $1,000) — at Best Buy
- 60-in. Samsung LED Smart HDTV (1080p) for $1398 (Normally $2,800) — at Best Buy
- 60-in. Samsung 3D LED HDTV (1080p) for $3300 (Normally $4,200) — at Best Buy
If you're looking for a gaming console, you should probably make Walmart one of your stops on Black Friday. It's got some of the better overall deals.
- Xbox 360 4G console (with Kinect and "Kinect Adventures") for $200 (Normally $300) — at Walmart
- Xbox Kinect (with "Kinect Adventures") for $100 (Normally $175 — at Walmart
- PlayStation 3 160GB console (with "Little Big Planet 2" and "Rachet and Clank 4") for $200 (Normally $250) — at Walmart
- Nintendo Wii console (Limited Edition Blue) for $100 (Normally $150) — at Walmart
- Nintendo 3DS console with "Super Mario 3D Land" for $180 (normally $209) — at Target
- Xbox Live Gold (3-month membership) for $13 (Normally $24) — at GameStop
- Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360) for $40 (Normally $59) — at GameStop
- Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360) for $40 (Normally $59) — at GameStop
- Rage (Xbox 360) for $30 (Normally $59) — at GameStop
- LEGO Harry Potter (Nintendo 3DS) for $10 (Normally $19) — at GameStop
- FIFA Soccer 12 (Xbox 360/PS3) for $40 (Normally $59) — at GameStop
- Maden NFL 12 (Xbox 360/PS3) for $40 (Normally $59) — at GameStop
After carefully interrogating friends and colleagues about their monitor choices, I've realized that Acer's the crowd favorite due to its reputation and value. And there are definitely a handful of those monitors to be found on sale come Friday.
- 20-in. Acer LED widescreen monitor for $90 (Normally $130) — at Best Buy
- 20-in. LG LED widescreen monitor for $110 (Normally $160) — at Best Buy
- 21.5-in. Samsung LED monitor for $120 (Normally $169) — at Staples
- 23-in. Acer LED widescreen monitor for $160 (Normally $200) — at Best Buy
It's rough to make recommendations when it comes to desktops simply because individual priorities differ a great deal when it comes to these particular gadgets, so I went with a handful of decent deals for the average shopper.
- 18.5-in. HP AMD dual-core 3GB DDR3 500GB HD desktop for $298 (Normally $429) — at Walmart
- 20-in. HP 320-1034 AMD dual-core 4GB DDR3 1TB HDD all-in-one desktop for $400 (Normally $700) — at Best Buy
- 24-in. Dell XPS 8300 Core i7 16GB RAM 1.5TB HDD desktop for $1000 (Normally $1500) — at Costco
- 24-in. Sony Intel Core i3 4GB RAM 1TB HDD touch-screen desktop for $900 (Normally $1079) — Staples
Like desktops, laptops are a finicky topic when it comes to Black Friday shoppers. I decided to select a product I'd recommend personally — the MacBook Air — and two low cost solutions.
- 10.1-in. Gateway LT2811U netbook (1.66MHz/1GB RAM/250GB HDD) for $149 (Normally $450) — at Best Buy
- 13.3-in. MacBook Air (1.7GHz/4GB RAM/128 SSD) for $1099 (Normally $1299) — at Best Buy
- 15.6-in. HP 2000-329WM laptop (1.60GHz/3GB RAM/320 GB HDD) for $248 (Normally $400) — at Walmart
A DSLR and a low-cost point-and-shoot. What more could you ever want to pick up in the camera department on Black Friday?
- Nikon Coolpix S3100 camera (14MP/720p video) for $99 (Normally $139) — at Best Buy
- Canon Rebel T3 DSLR for $480 (Normally $550) — at Target
There's no getting around it — the tablet category was a popularity contest.
- Apple iPad 2 (16GB with Wi-Fi) for $455 (Normally $500) — at Best Buy
- Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G with "Special Offers" for $85 (Normally $99) — at Target
- Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch for $79 (Normally $99) — at Barnes & Noble
While some other options are listed, your best bet when it comes to cellphones on Black Friday is Amazon. Nearly every phone you can think of is available for just a penny — assuming you sign a two-year service agreement — and you get a bonus $100 gift card.
- AT&T Samsung Infuse for $0 (Normally $100) — at Best Buy
- AT&T LG Thrill for $0 (Normally $100) — at Best Buy
- Verizon Droid Incredible 2 for $0 (Normally $200) — at Best Buy
- Verizon HTC Thunderbolt for $0 (Normally $150) — at Best Buy
- Almost any phone you can think of (plus a $100 Amazon gift card) for $.01 (Normal prices vary) — at Amazon.com
A solid GPS device, a lifetime of maps, and a decent price? No brainer.
- 4.3-in. Magellan GPS device with lifetime maps and traffic updates for $99 (Normally $149) — at Best Buy
OfficeMax is one of the spots with the best software deals on Friday, so head there if you're looking to feed your computer some new apps.
- Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 for $55 (Normally $100) — at OfficeMax
- Dragon Naturally Speaking (Home Edition) for $45 (Normally $90) — at OfficeMax
- Microsoft Office Home for Mac for $80 (Normally $120) — at OfficeMax
Miscellaneous odds and ends:
Dyson products. On sale. This doesn't happen often, folks. Take advantage of it.
- Dyson DC 28 full-size bagless upright vaccuum for $479 (Normally $649) — on Dyson.com
- Dyson Hot fan/heater for $299 (Normally $399) — on Dyson.com
- Dyson Air Multiplier AM 03 fan for $349 (Normally $449) — on Dyson.com
- iCade iPad arcade cabinet for $60 (Normally $100) — on ThinkGeek.com
- HP C410a Color Inkjet Photosmart Premium wireless all-in-Oone printer/fax for $100 (Normally $300) — at OfficeMax
- Most items on Panasonic's website for whatever discounted price Panasonic employees would pay (Normal prices vary) — on Panasonic.com
- Seagate 3TB external HDD for $100 (Normally $175) — at Best Buy
- Targus compact laptop charger for $20 (Normally $80) — at Staples
- Targus leather iPad cover for $10 (Normally $50) — at Staples
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