By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After tucking into turkey, many people are looking to dip into their wallets. That’s what retailers hope happens, anyway, as some stores are opening their doors with Black Friday deals well before the clock strikes midnight.
You could part with less than $100 for a 32″ Proscan LCD TV at Kmart. Or you could stay home, pay the same price, and get the same size screen in a Haier LCD at Amazon.
Walmart has a 60″ Vizio smart LED for under $700; Amazon is rumored to have similar pricing.
Darren Murph, managing editor at Engadget.com, says he sees fewer discounts worth cutting short your turkey dinner:
“That has to deal with most of these deals even in the stores can also be had online. My personal preference is to keep your pajamas on, load up the Internet browser, and look for the deals you want online,” Murph says.
“One deal that did catch my eye: Best Buy has a 15″ Lenovo laptop for $187,” Murph says. “It’s not the best laptop — it’s pretty thick and chunky, doesn’t have the best battery life. But it’s a Windows laptop for $187. If you just need to do the bare minimum — office chores, keeping up with Facebook — that’s a pretty astounding deal.
Due to demand, it’s tough to find big breaks on tablets, but look for a deal like Walmart and Target have, tossing in a $60 or greater gift card when you buy an iPad.
“There are also a lot of discounts on video game consoles because the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 and the Wii — they’re all sort of nearing the end of their life cycle,” says Dan Ackerman, senior editor at CNET.com. Look for prices under $200 with bundled equipment like Kinect or games.
“At Walmart, they very rarely discount new games: they’re usually $59 and that’s it,” Ackerman explains. “But on Black Friday, they have a whole stack of them — really recent stuff — like Dishonored, XCOM, Borderlands II for $25. I can’t remember the last time I saw brand-new games cut by more than half.”
Ackerman doesn’t like the idea of a sub-$200 laptop; spend a little more, he says, and get a more durable device.
“Specifically at Sam’s Club, they have an HP Pavilion 14″ sleekbook — a really nice laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor for $399, which is probably about half what I would normally expect to pay for something like that. If you’re interested in Windows 8, at Best Buy they have an Acer Aspire V5 for about $500 with a touchscreen.”
For $700, Staples has a touchscreen Lenovo ThinkPad Twist that runs Microsoft’s newest operating system.
To capture better pictures than that puny point-and-shoot, Target is offering a Canon Rebel T3 bundle with lenses, camera card, and carrying case for $500.
Murph says keep in mind that your mileage may vary.
“If it’s something you genuinely need and were genuinely looking to get to begin with, then using Black Friday to save a few dollars is not such a bad deal,” he says. “But to go out and blow a lot of money on stuff you didn’t really need to begin with, you might regret that when the credit card statement comes a month from now.”
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