Looking for bargains? The best sale day of the year (but not the busiest shopping day — that's usually the Saturday before Christmas) is Black Friday and it's coming up fast. If you don't mind getting up early on the day after Thanksgiving (11/28/08) and braving the huge, aggressive crowds, have we got some deals for you!
Most of these deals are in-store only, and some aren't mentioned on the stores' websites at all. We've sifted through thousands of Black Friday deals, and found what we think are the dozen best. There's no junk here, just low prices on gadgets we'd buy anyway.
All of these prices are so low, you might not get to the store in time before they're all snapped up. That is, unless, you're going shopping at cock-a-doodle-dark and busting the doors to get in. Good luck, and happy bargain hunting!
Garmin nüvi 205 Portable GPS ($119.99, Save $70) We think Garmin makes the best GPS navigators, and Best Buy's deal brings pricing that's about as cheap as Garmins get. But it's still a decent unit, with a 3.5-inch screen and that slim nüvi form factor that fits perfectly in the pocket. Although it can't speak street names, it'll give you a voice prompt when it's time to turn.
Pro Holiday Bundle with $60 Gift Card ($299.99, save $60)
The Xbox 360 has been around for ages, but it's still the hottest gaming box in the world. Ignore that $199 Xbox Arcade unit that has no storage — you want the Pro, with 60GB of hard disk space, and Target has the best deal yet.
Samsung 50" Widescreen Plasma HDTV w/ 2 HDMI Inputs ($798, save $751.99)
This is a 720p plasma HDTV, but that's no reason to avoid it. In fact, Consumer Reports has rated Samsung's 720p plasmas at the top of its list, making this a great deal. Just have some strong buddies to help you carry this 115-lb behemoth home. Sale begins 11/28 at 5:00 am.
Sony MDR-E10LP-Blue Earbuds ($4.99, save $11.50)
The Sony MDR-E10LP earbuds are for audiophiles, but they'll beat the stock buds that Apple includes with its iPods. Beyond that, they'll be a whole lot prettier in that powder blue color, and for nearly half their regular price, it's a deal that's hard to beat. They're at Sear for this price on Friday and Saturday only.
Magnavox Blu-ray Player ($128.00 , save $132)
We're still astonished at this Magnavox Blu-ray player deal we spotted earlier this week http://dvice.com/archives/2008/11/wal-mart_to_off.php . Wal-Mart isn't advertising this bargain on its website but it's been seen on paper. This is a highly regarded Blu-ray player, priced about the same as four Blu-ray discs. Only the earliest birds will get this tasty worm.
Sony STRDG820 7.1-channel A/V receiver ($222, save $278)
We like Sony A/V amps, and this is an excellent example. The 700-watt receiver has 4 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out, and passes through 1080p video. Amazon's not listing this low price on its site yet, but the Black Friday sites have inside word that $222 will be the price.
Kodak EasyShare C913 9MP Digital Camera w/ 1GB Card ($79.99, save $20 plus a free printer and 1GB flash memory card)
You'd be hard-pressed to find a lower-priced digital camera than this. Kodak digital cameras at this price don't have many frills, but we've found them to be a solid value. This deal is further sweetened by Staples tossing in a 1GB flash memory card and a free Canon photo printer when you buy any advertised digital camera.
Apple Store Black Friday 2008 (Maybe 10% off, free shipping)
Like many things Apple, this one is a closely-guarded secret. Apple makes you wait until Black Friday, when "you'll find dozens of great iPod, iPhone and Mac gift ideas - all with free delivery." This sale usually starts online at 12:01am on Black Friday, also starting whenever local Apple stores open in your area. Don't expect crazy prices, but a 10% discount on some items such as MacBooks were offered last year.
Western Digital 750GB External Hard Drive ($88.88, save $61.11)
Target will be practically giving away this smart-looking WD Elements Desktop external hard drive. Storing 750GB of your data in style, it hooks up to your Mac or PC via USB 2.0. We've had good luck with Western Digital drives — and at this crazy price, it might be worth lining up at Target's door.
Boston Acoustics Horizon Series MCS100MDNT ($199.98, save $399.02)
Amazon already started its Black Friday sale, and this Boston Acoustics home theater audio system would be a pretty good value at double this price. Its powered subwoofer cranks out 100 watts, but the other speaks aren't powered, so you'll need to hook them up to your amp or receiver.
Dell XPS 1330 (Product) Red laptop ($1399.30, save $599.70)
We've been eyeing this beauty with its 13.3-inch screen for months now, and now here it is on sale at 30% off ( w/coupon VDN07FWDP03V0R for laptops of $1699 or more) To get it to this price, we tricked it out with the fastest Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 processor, an LED-backlit display with VGA webcam, a 128GB solid-state drive. Plus, because it's (Product) Red, Dell will contribute $25 to the Global Fund to eliminate AIDS in Africa. Everybody wins.
Canon HF-10 HD camcorder ($613.95, save $385.05)
This is one of our favorite HD camcorders, and Abe's of Maine has the lowest price we've seen yet. It fits perfectly in the palm, and shoots more than 2 hours of high-quality 1920 x 1080 HD video on its 16GB internal flash drive. We've had good luck with Abe's of Maine, too, a low-price but prompt and reliable seller.