Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Looking for Black Friday Digital Gear Deals?

11/2010 By Kim Kommando (

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the BIGGEST shopping days of the year.  Retailers will offer smoking deals to lure in the pre-Christmas shoppers.  Due to the sluggish economy, Black Friday is no longer a one-day event.  This year, Black Friday deals can be had the entire month of November.

You can save hundreds of $$$ on the hottest digital gear from laptops to tvs to e-books (readers); and the deals are not limited to just the B&M (brick-and-mortar) stores.  Online retailers are also running specials.  Here's a look at what you can expect this holiday season.

HDTVs will drop to as low as the $200 range because manufacturers have an abundance of HDTVs this year.  You will find deals in all sizes. 

If you're in the market for a secondary tv set, you can get a good deal at Best Buy or Wal-Mart.  Best Buy will offer the 24" Dynex (1080p) for $190 and Wal-Mart will have the 32" Emerson (720p) for $200.  You won't have all the bells & whistles with these sets but they're great secondary tvs for spare rooms, kids and even in the kitchen.

For the better quality tv sets and the newer HDTV (LED-backlit) sets, you're going to find deals there as well.  Amazon will offer the 55" Toshiba LED-backlit (the new HDTV) for $1,200 (that's 50% off the retail price).  32" Samsungs will be around $300 and 46" Sonys will cost you about $800.

When looking at televisions, opt for a 1080p model. This is the highest resolution available. You also want a high contrast ratio and plenty of HDMI inputs. An LED backlight offers a better picture, if you can swing it. You may be considering a 3-D HDTV. With little content available, you might decide to wait.

As always, expect deals on laptops. Best Buy will reportedly sell a Compaq laptop for $350. This will suit general users and kids just fine. But those needing a powerful machine will want to spend more.

When looking at computers, select one running 64-bit Windows 7. Get as much RAM as possible. Go for an Intel i3 or i5 processor. Or get an AMD Athlon II for desktops or Turion II for laptops. Also, make sure you're not buying an underpowered netbook. Netbooks generally run Intel's Atom processor.

There will be plenty of personal electronics on sale. Expect to see e-readers well under $100. They don’t have all the bells and whistles of the more popular models. But look for sales on the Kindle and nook. Also expect some e-readers to come bundled with books.

Digital cameras are always big draws on Black Friday; you'll see models under $100. Look beyond megapixel count. Look for low-light abilities, HD video and plenty of modes in a point-and-shoot. More advanced users will want an SLR with video capabilities and a good zoom lens.

You'll also see deals on gaming consoles. Look for the Nintendo Wii to drop to $100. And you'll see Blu-ray Disc players around $50. Of course, you'll find plenty of discounted games and movies.

If you want to strike it big with Black Friday deals, do your research. Start with sites that post advertising circulars from major retailers like Target and Wal-Mart. (,, and Keep in mind that these ads are leaked by company insiders. They can change.

Check these sites regularly for new deals. You can also learn about Black Friday deals on Facebook and Twitter. Follow your favorite stores and Black Friday ad sites. Check prices on price comparison sites for better deals. (Pricegrabber,, and Nextag).

Have a clear idea of what you want and what you want to spend before you hit the stores. Remember that some things won't be on sale. For example, don't expect big discounts on Apple products. You may only see 5 to 10 percent off some Apple products.

Finally, a piece of personal advice. If you're happy with a product's price, buy it. Don't hold out for a better deal. If you're on the fence, though, wait. Prices generally go down as the big day approaches. An extra $20 off may be all the convincing you need.

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