Another massive Black Friday shopping event is upon us. Each year, the breadth and reach of this Thanksgiving-adjacent sales event seems to huff and puff and grow ever larger.
As BETTER reported this week, the National Retail Federation found that more than 165 million people plan to shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday in 2019. And new research from RetailMeNot found 85 percent of consumers plan to shop this weekend — up from 78 percent in 2018. They also found that 76 percent of the retailers they surveyed “plan to offer more deals and discounts in 2019 vs. 2018.”
This year, there are a few important things you’ll want to keep in mind regarding the shopping extravaganza:
- You’ve got less time to finish your holiday shopping. In 2019, there’s nearly an entire week’s worth of time less than there was in 2018 between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- So retailers are upping the ante to entice more business, faster. As a result of the time change, retailers are bumping up their incentives, sales, and deals to ramp up sales in a shorter period of time.
And research shows that not only is online shopping during Black Friday more sensible than heading to the store, but it’s also what consumers want.
“According to our research, 67 percent of consumers say it’s become more important to avoid crowds while shopping over Black Friday weekend,” Michelle Skupin, a retail expert at RetailMeNot, told BETTER, adding that “there’s more excitement around Black Friday this year compared to last.”
EarlyBlackFriday.com Founder Jon Vincent further explained that “almost every Black Friday deal will be available online. Plus, retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy will be offering online-only deals that you can’t get in the stores.”
Best Black Friday tech and electronics sales and deals
We’ve taken a look at those retailers and their deals and found some of the best tech sales you should consider during your shopping. To help winnow things down, we’re focusing on the highest-rated and most popular items.
It’s a good time, for example, to invest in a new laptop and in a new TV — both of which fall into categories that will be seeing deep discounts over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Best Black Friday Laptop Deals
Laptops are described using specs terms that might be unfamiliar to you, from GHz to SSD. If you want a primer, our guide breaks down each important concept into simple terms.
If you’re in the market for an affordable Mac, consider this 2017 version. The MacBook Air is Apple’s entry-level laptop for mainstream consumers. It offers the same power, battery life and smooth keyboard as the newer models. Want the newest model? You can get the latest Macbook Air on Best Buy and on Amazon for $900.
This lightweight and slim HP laptop is a solid travel partner, and is equipped with Intel’s 10th Gen i7 processor, 12GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It has a 4.5-star rating on HP.com and reviewers celebrate its portability and sleek design. To note: “Sometimes it can be a little noisy when running some programs that require a little more performance. But it’s nothing major – I’m just nitpicking at this point,” one reviewer said.
This low-cost laptop is one of the only models you’ll find under $300. Users like it because it’s thin and lightweight, and is plenty powerful for everyday use.
With a seven-hour battery life and 8GB of RAM, this 15-inch laptop will carry you through the day’s work — or classes. The powerful Ryzen 5 quad-core processor and 256GB SSD storage should you moving fast through apps and tabs alike.
Chromebooks are essentially more affordable PCs that run on Google’s Chrome OS — essentially a web browser that has the ability to install Android apps like Photoshop Express and VLC, not to mention games like Minecraft. Samsung’s highly-rated take on the Chromebook at this price is worth considering for anyone looking for an everyday laptop considering its price and features.
Best Black Friday TV Deals
Before grabbing a TV this weekend or next week, be sure you understand what you need and what these TVs can give you with our comprehensive TV buying guide.
This top-line TV is definitely an investment, and so $400 in savings is valuable if this is what you were hoping to achieve in your next TV. The 4K UHD resolution is designed for extra vibrant colors and less blur. The built-in Google Assistant means this is TV can become your very-visual smart assistant and let you control all of your smart home devices from one place — not to mention play any of your streaming apps through the Chromecast interface.
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This TV’s got built-in Roku so setting up your streaming apps is seamless. It also comes with auto game mode that automatically enhances performance by offering the smoother action, lower latency and some of the best picture settings for gaming, making it an all-around family-oriented pleaser.
Vizio’s M-Series TVs include what the brand had previously only built into its P-Series models, most notable being its Quantum color configuration. The TVs in both series sport brains that have been completely reinvented with SmartCast 3.0 — it lets you control your TV through any of your smart speakers, not to mention native capabilities that make watching TV kind of fun.
If Samsung’s 65-inch QLED TV above is pricey for your Black Friday budget, check out this similar, 49-inch edition, which you can get right now for less than $500.
Highly-rated and coming in at less than $200, this 43-inch smart TV with built-in Fire TV (Amazon’s streaming platform) is your way in to all its programming, as well as traditional like apps like Netflix and Hulu.
Best Black Friday Tablet Deals
Choose any of the iPad’s three colors and grab one for less than $250. It comes with the larger 10.2 inch retina display and supports a smart keyboard (which you can get for $162 right now).
With over 22,000 reviews on Amazon, this Fire tablet can do almost everything an iPad can do — and will cost you much less. It’s Alexa-compatible, has an 8-inch display and a camera. It’s also perfect for reading or streaming shows and movies. Amazon’s entire suite of devices is mostly on sale, too.
Facebook’s portal is a tablet designed with video calling in mind. The Smart Camera automatically pans and zooms to follow the action and widens to keep everyone in view, so it feels like you’re in the same room. When you’re not calling, it lets you display photos from Facebook, Instagram or your phone, and sends you birthday and other notifications.
This tablet is portable enough for you to work on the go or stream your favorite shows while you’re commuting. It comes with a detachable keyboard case and is currently on sale for just over 50 percent off.
Best Black Friday Phone Deals
The popular iPhone’s latest editions, the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, are all on sale at Best Buy. Combining Black Friday savings and the typical discount that accompanies a new service plan, you stand to save up to $500 on your brand new iPhone
Putting aside the iPhone and the Pixel — the respective flagship phones of the respective mobile operating system giants — Samsung’s smartphones are a massive player in the space. The Note 10 is a phablet workhorse and comes equipped with the S Pen, which allows you to use a pen on your phone like you would on a tablet — this edition allows for air gestures and a handwriting-to-text capability. With high ratings and a $400-markdown, it’s a sale you definitely want to consider.
On top of instant savings like these on the unlocked version — that is, one that can be used on any network — of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10, some retailers are offering you gift cards you can use after the fact. Target, for example, will give you a $400 gift card after you activate the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, or Note 10 Plus through AT&T or Verizon.
The striking Galaxy S10 comes with what Samsung calls an Infinity Display, which is jargon for a very thin bezel all around the phone. A fingerprint ID boosts your security and a $200 discount boosts your savings.
Best Black Friday Tech Deals
Naturally, tech and electronics cover so many devices and products that many fall outside the confines of laptops, TVs, tablets, phones, and so on. Below, we break out some of the most important tech deals to know about.
From the new Airpods to the latest iPhone, Google Pixel, and other wireless charging-capable devices, this pad from Belkin is highly-rated and less than $25 right now. It’s Qi-enabled, meaning it uses a fast-charging wireless standard that plays well with devices from top brands like LG and Sony.
As BETTER reports, “it seems that just about everything can be cooked more quickly and easily in an Instant Pot.” Here’s how they work:
- Instant Pots are a brand of electric pressure cookers or multicookers.
- Pressure cookers work by creating heat under a tight seal, so the temperature is much higher than the boiling point of water and the steam can’t escape.
- The steam cooks food much more quickly than traditional stovetop or oven cooking.
When an Instant Pot is on sale like it is today, it’s worth considering.
If you haven’t seen people around you sporting Apple’s entrance into the truly wireless earbuds space, look closer. They’re everywhere. Designed especially to pair and play well with iPhones, these earbuds automatically connect to your device, allow for interactive controls (double tap to skip ahead), and let you communicate with Siri. They carry a 4.6-average rating at Walmart from hundreds of reviews, to boot.
Easy-to-install and set up, the Fire Stick fits into any TV with an HDMI port — and whether it’s a smart TV or not. It connects to your WiFi network and allows you to stream virtually any streamable program, movie or show. While this wasn’t always the case, the Fire TV app now allows you to stream Prime Video’s competitor Netflix, as well as other apps like Hulu, HBO and more.
The Ring Smart Doorbell gives users real-time alerts and video footage at the door. You can connect the device via Wi-Fi and use the Ring app to interact with visitors while away from home, too. Its average price is $185 so getting it for $130 will cut off about a fourth of its price and get you started on getting more alert (and smart) with your home.
The visual Amazon Alexa comes in the form of an Echo Show and the five-inch Echo Show 5 is its smallest iteration — and one of its most popular. For a few more inches, you can save substantially on the Echo Show 8, as well.
The Active Noise Canceling (ANC) technology in these headphones pushes the envelope. They not only block out sounds but also react to your environment, adjusting their output to better drown out — or allow in — ambient sound. USB-C charging features mean they charge quickly and, once they’ve done so, a full charge gets you 30 hours of battery life. More than 2,500 reviewers left the Sony headphones a 4.4-star average rating.
More compact than previous generations and with an increased range, the new SimpliSafe system promises a more seamless and easy security system. The company promises no tools are required for setup and it can be done in “just a few minutes.” The monitoring ecosystem that powers doesn’t ask for a contract and is designed to withstand power and WiFi outages.
Coffee makers are everywhere and grabbing a top-rated model one for less than $100 is a solid way to save money on a wise investment. The K-Select is simple-to-use and allows for multiple cup sizes and strength levels.
When you want to grab a book on the fly and read it wherever and whenever you like, few technologies allow you do so better than the Kindle. Its wide range of devices, ranging in price from $85 to upwards of $200, offer a variety of features like backlit screens, touchscreens, waterproof designs (for beach reads) and more. Consider a Kindle is a years-long investment (ask anyone who has one), grabbing one during a deep sale is one way to save on could be an inevitable purchase.
If you’ve been waiting to get in on the electric toothbrush game, this is your chance to do so for $20. With an electric toothbrush, you can largely improve your brush technique since speed and force are not longer a concern — the device’s engine ensures you’re getting speedy and high-pulse vibration to your teeth with gentle pressure. Other solid choices on sale for Black Friday include the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum and the Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries.
Robot vacuums have exploded in popularity since their capabilities improved to the level that you can schedule their movements and control them through WiFi. The Shark ION gives you all that and is able to handle multiple surfaces with its versatile brushroll design — that includes both hard floors and carpeted ones.