SLIDESHOW

Black Friday deals: 10 tech doorbusters worth fighting the crowds

Most Black Friday 'deals' aren't really deals at all. These 10 tech deals truly are.

SLIDEFEATURED PRODUCTS
  • Pavilion Desktop Bundle

    $500.00 MSRP $750.00
    View
    on Sam's Club
  • Omen 32" QHD 2560x1440 FreeSync monitor

    $300.00 MSRP $430.00
    View
    on Costco
  • 49" LED 4K UHD TV

    MSRP $449.00
    Learn more
    on Best Buy
  • Surface Pro 4 Core m3 bundle with Type Cover

    $600.00 MSRP $1,000.00
    View
    on Best Buy
  • Xbox One controller

    $40.00 MSRP $60.00
    View
    on Microsoft
  • Nest Labs Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation, Works...

    View
    on Amazon
  • Standard Phantom 3 Quadcopter w/ 2.7K camera

    $370.00 MSRP $500.00
    View
    on Walmart
  • 14” 1080p IPS Chromebook

    $230.00 MSRP $295.00
    View
    on Costco
  • Xbox One S Battlefield 1 500GB bundle

    $250.00 MSRP $300.00
    View
    on Target
black friday shopping
The best of Black Friday 2016

Let the shopping begin. Black Friday 2016 is here, and the deals are rolling out to stores and websites everywhere. Not every doorbuster is a bargain during this time of year, but we’ve sorted through the top tech deals to find what we think are the very best the season has to offer. We’ve also noted what the usual price was leading up to Black Friday so you won’t be fooled by claims of saving $250 or $300 when really the item was just $50 more expensive the week before.

So here they are. Our picks for 2016 including IoT devices, PCs, consoles, TVs, monitors, and more.

echodot
AMAZON: Amazon Echo Dot, $40

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $50

It’s only $10 off, but this is the smart speaker we’re most excited about. The Dot doesn’t have the sound quality of its larger sibling, the Echo, but it can carry out all the same actions for less than half the price. Pair the Dot with a nice outboard speaker and you’ve got an excellent setup. Amazon has this for the same price as other retailers, but if you for some reason want it from elsewhere, you can hit up Staples (doors open at 6 a.m. Friday, local time) or Best Buy.

samsclubhppaviliondesktop
  • Pavilion Desktop Bundle

    $500.00 MSRP $750.00
    View
    on Sam's Club
SAM'S CLUB: HP Pavilion Desktop with monitor, $500

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $749

This is an excellent deal, especially if you’re looking to put a budget-level gaming tower in someone’s stocking this year. This PC features a 2.2GHz quad-core Core i5-6400T processor, 12GB RAM, a 2TB HDD, and a 24-inch 1080p display. The only thing missing is a graphics card, which you can pick up cheaply. The processor is a little weak for some of the top games currently rolling out such as Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, but it’s still good enough for popular games like The Division, Overwatch, and Star Wars: Battlefront.

hpomendisplay
  • Omen 32" QHD 2560x1440 FreeSync monitor

    $300.00 MSRP $430.00
    View
    on Costco
COSTCO: HP Omen 32-inch QHD Gaming Monitor, $300

Sale starts: November 25 (Friday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $428

HP rolled out this monitor as part of the company’s big reboot of the Omen line, and at $300 you really can’t go wrong. The display features 2560x1440 quad-HD resolution. That’s not 4K, but its a step up from 1080p. HP outfitted this beast with two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and a USB hub, plus it’s got AMD’s FreeSync technology for anyone rocking an AMD graphics card.

bestbuytoshiba4ktv
  • 49" LED 4K UHD TV

    MSRP $449.00
    Learn more
    on Best Buy
BEST BUY: Toshiba 49-inch 4K TV, $200

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $450

This is an in-store deal and doors open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (grumble). The TV has Chromecast built in, and is available for less than half the usual price. In Michigan and Ohio, there are only five of these available per store, and I’d be surprised if quantities were much higher in other states. Best Buy smartly tries to discourage stampedes on Black Friday. The retailer starts handing out tickets for popular items up to two hours before the store opens. Basically, if you want a chance at this TV at this price you’ll be having turkey dinner in the parking lot—dress warmly.

surfacepro4
  • Surface Pro 4 Core m3 bundle with Type Cover

    $600.00 MSRP $1,000.00
    View
    on Best Buy
BEST BUY: Surface Pro 4 (Silver) with Keyboard, $600

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $999

The Surface Pro 4 is an amazing piece of technology if you want something that’s light for travel, yet as capable as any non-gaming PC. This tablet deal comes with one of Microsoft’s snap-on keyboards, which is usually sold separately. The Surface Pro 4 features 128GB onboard storage, an Intel Core m3 processor, and 4GB RAM. There’s no choice of color, but at this price even the biggest silver hater can deal.

xboxonewirelesscontroller
  • Xbox One controller

    $40.00 MSRP $60.00
    View
    on Microsoft
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Xbox One Wireless Controller, $40

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $60-$70

There are all kinds of Xbox One Wireless Controllers available for $40 this Black Friday. Best Buy says it has assorted kinds for sale, as does Walmart. The Microsoft Store, meanwhile, went into a little more detail with various colors available as well as limited edition runs of the controller including those for Gears of War 4, as well as the Dawn and Dusk Shadow editions.

These outlets (excluding the Microsoft Store) are also selling Sony’s DualShock 4 controller for $40. Valve recently announced it would add DualShock 4 support to Steam and is currently testing that feature in Steam’s beta channel.

nestthermostatandcam
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Next Thermostat (3rd gen), $199; Nest Cam, $149

Sale started: November 21

Pre-Black Friday price: $250 and $200, respectively

A perfect choice for the IoT fan on anyone’s list. The Nest Thermostat will help keep homes a little bit cozier this winter (barring any major bugs). This is the third generation of the thermostat, announced in September 2015. It offers a high-resolution 2-inch (diameter) display and can detect the presence of people from further away than its predecessor. The Nest Cam, meanwhile, is a respectable indoor security camera.

You can grab these deals from Amazon, Target, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Best Buy (just to name a few retailers). Most are also selling the ecobee3, an excellent alternative to the Nest Thermostat, for $200 as well.

djistandardphantom3
  • Standard Phantom 3 Quadcopter w/ 2.7K camera

    $370.00 MSRP $500.00
    View
    on Walmart
WALMART: DJI Standard Phantom 3 with 2.7K camera, $370

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $499

The drone craze is here, and if you’re looking for a beginner model this quadcopter with included camera is hard to beat. It doesn’t have any of the fancier intelligent navigation features that some of the more advanced models have, but it does have Automatic Flight Assistant that returns the drone to its takeoff location at the push of a button.

The drone also has auto-hover when you take your hands off the controls, as well as the ability to set height and distance limits. The 12-megapixel camera is mounted on a three-axis gimbal that helps stabilize the camera for better shots with a 94-degree field of view. It films up to 2.7K resolution with a 1/2.3-inch sensor and an f/2.8 aperture.

acerchromebook
  • 14” 1080p IPS Chromebook

    $230.00 MSRP $295.00
    View
    on Costco
COSTCO: Acer Chromebook 14, $230

Sale starts: November 25 (Friday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $294

When you’re looking for simplicity in a laptop it’s hard to beat Chromebooks. Acer’s 14-inch Chromebook is a nice little device with a 1080p display, Intel Celeron N3160 processor, 4GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage. You also get HDMI out, and two USB 3.0 ports. Costco doesnt specify the model number, but this appears to be a CB3-431, which is slated to get Android app support before 2017 is out.

xboxones
  • Xbox One S Battlefield 1 500GB bundle

    $250.00 MSRP $300.00
    View
    on Target
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Xbox One S 500GB bundles, $250

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Pre-Black Friday price: $300

There are a ton of Xbox One S bundle deals out there for Black Friday, but several specific ones caught our eye. The best basic deal is at Target, where you can get Battlefield 1 or the Minecraft bundle with a $40 Target gift card. The Microsoft Store also offers $50 off any bundle plus a $25 Store gift code. And Sam’s Club is offering the Xbox One S with Battlefield 1 or Minecraft plus an extra controller for $250.