Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Best Buy and Wal-Mart Black Friday Ads (also my opinions on the best and worst deals for electronics)

Best Buy and Walmart’s Black Friday deal ads are out, one day after Target’s hit the web, and we have an idea of what kind of savings you can come to expect soon. Both retailers are offering deals on some iPad models, though savings are available across a gamut of products.

Best Buy will sell the iPad Air starting at $449.99, the iPhone 5c for $48 (on contract), and the Apple TV for $84.99. It will also sell the Surface (RT) for $199.99, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 for $299.99, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 for $399. It will also sell Google’s Chromecast for $29, a $5 savings. If you’re into the wearable tech trend: Best Buy is selling the Pebble and Fitbit Force for $149.99 and $129.99, but is providing a $20 gift card with each purchase.

Walmart’s deals are more limited in the electronics department, though it’s offering good deals on phones, televisions and video games. You can get the Moto X for $49 (on contract), for example. The highlight of its savings comes with the iPad mini, which will cost $299 and comes with a $100 gift card. Walmart is also guaranteeing stock of the device for an hour.

Below are the best and worst deals for each store:

Best Buy

Worth it

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.0 7 inch tablet - $149.99. A great beginner tablet for someone that wants to surf the web, check email, and browse social media networks. $100 less than the best Android tablet, the new Nexus 7 and $150 less than the intro Apple tablet the original iPad mini.

$150 off all Macbook Airs. The advertisement is a little short on details but if it does include the latest Macbook Airs from this year that have Haswell Intel processors, $150 off the base 11" would be $850 which is a steal. The 13" would be $950 at an awesome deal as well. The huge benefit of getting this years models is that the 11" and 13" battery life are 13-15 hours and 11-13 hours respectively.

Roku HD for $39.99 or the Roku 2 HD for $59.99. These little boxes require an internet connection but all you to turn your TV into a smart TV without having to buy a smart TV. Get access to Netflix, Hulu, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Crackle, HBOGO, and more.

Xbox 360 and PS3 games. They are going to be at a steal this year only because the two huge ticket items this year are the new XboxOne and PS4. These games are only a deal if you know you are not going to get the new consoles within the next year.

DVD and Blu-Ray. Again this year they are a bargain only because that media is about 2-4 year away from being dead like the VHS tape. With subscription streaming services and rental streaming services, no one wants to deal with getting up to pull out and put in a new movie when you can just stay seated and change the movie or TV show with your remote.

Google's Chromecast for $30 ($5 off). This is a STEAL at its regular price for anyone with a laptop, smartphone, or tablet at home. Bring up what you want stream on any of those devices, "cast" the signal to your Chromecast, and watch it on your TV (requires a free HDMI port on your TV). I personally have one and this is hands down the best present you can get to a person who likes/loves technology for under $50.

Netgear RangeMax dual band wireless N Router for $49.99 ($30 off). The big draw to this is not only the speeds you will get but the USB port in the back. With that, you can buy a external hard drive and plug it into the back of the router. Then you can store pictures and video on the external hard drive then anyone with access to the wifi at your home can stream pictures and videos from that external hard drive to their laptop or PC without having to have it on their laptop or PC.

Mophie Juice Pack Air case for the iPhone 5/5s for $69.99 ($30 off). Great for someone with an iPhone 5/5s that is always on the go and complains about their battery dying. This case comes with a built in battery so that when the phone battery dies, they can switch the case on and charge the phone while using it. The Air has enough battery to charge the iPhone back to full extending the iPhone usage to double. I have one and amazed how many people don't know about this. I never go a second of any day with a dead iPhone because of this case.

Skullcandy ink'd 2 ear buds for $9.99 ($10 off). Comes with a mic to make calls, great sound in a small package.

NOT Worth it

iPad 2 for $299 at $100 off. The iPad 2 is three years old and with the next generation of apps being developed for the iPad 5, iPhone 5s, and iPad mini 2, this generation model will have a tough time in 2014 with those apps.

ANY laptop with a Celeron or Core i3 processor (desktop with a Core i5 or below). Celeron processors are 3 years old and the PC's and laptops with Core i3 and i5's are last year or worst, two years old at the sale prices BestBuy is selling them. If the processor is a Core i7 from last year, you are still in good shape. Try to stick with a Haswell processor, Intel's newest processor for this year. If the person in the blue or black shirt has no clue what you are talking about, then thank yourself for reading this blog and being more informed than they are.

Any Smart TV. Why pay $200 or $300 more for a smart TV when you can buy a Roku 2 HD (see above) for less than $100 and it processes the apps faster than your TV will. Smart TV's are almost as bas as 3D TV which are dying out.

Any TV costing more than $1000. Chances are a TV that costs more than $1000 you will want to keep for 5 to 7 years. The problem is 4K (Ultra HD) TV's are starting to come out this year for $5000 (last year if you could get one they were $20k-$50k). By this time next year you will be seeing 4K TV's around the $2000 and lower depending on the manufacturer. 4K is the next great thing in TV's and it will be mainstream TV in 2 years. Don't know what 4K definition is on a TV, go to Best Buy's TV department and see for yourself. Some images you will swear you are looking at the real thing right in front of you.

ANY MicroSD card that is less than a class 10 and makes you pay more than $1 per 1GB of storage. Example, if microSD cards are on sale for $32 for a 16GB microSD card, you are paying $2 per 1 GB of storage. NOT WORTH IT. If it is a class 4 or 6 card then taking 1080p video from your smartphone and saving it to your microSD card in your phone will cause tearing in the video as class 4 or 6 doesn't have the hard ware specs to safely save 1080p video, only class 10 does.

Blu-ray DVD player. Unless the person you know will NEVER get into streaming movies from the internet with services like Netflix and will ALWAYS want to pop DVD's in and out of their DVD player, they yes get them a Blu-ray or regular DVD player because they are a dying technology and going for low prices.

A laptop that can be a tablet or a tablet that can be a laptop. This is the worst problem manufacturers like HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Microsoft, etc have created in the minds of consumers. If you are just surfing the web, email, and doing some social networking, then a great tablet is what you want. If you want to be productive, print stuff out, video editing, photo editing, etc. then you want a great laptop that is small so you don't have to lug around something that will give you back and shoulder problems.


Worth it

Not that much stood out that I didn't mention above about DVD's or XBox360 or PS3 games.

Original iPad mini for $299 but you get a $100 Wal-Mart gift card. This is a horse a piece since the original iPad mini is $299 to begin with so getting the $100 gift card is meh if you already plan on buying at least $100 worth of stuff at Wal-Mart.

Nintendo 2DS for $99 ($30 off). It plays the 3DS and 3DS XL games but it doesn't fold in half to store away so you can't really protect the screens too much from getting broken if they are always exposed as with the 3DS and 3DS XL the system folds in half so the outer shell can protect the buttons and screens inside.

NOT Worth it

RCA 7" tablet for $49.99. NO. If the tablet isn't made by Samsung, Google/ASUS, ASUS, or Apple then NO. Too many companies like RCA, Coby, or Panasonic put sub standard low end hardware into their tablets and use buzz words to sell them.

Beats by Dre Solo HD headphones for $115 (down from $199.99). This is a judgement call. If you have a teenager who wants them for the look then yeah they are ok. But as for sound quality and quality over all, there are TONS of other headphone manufacturers that make them twice as good for less than $115. This would be strictly a brand name purchase, nothing more.

Any printer. You know you can outsource any printing to Officemax for 9 cents a sheet with black and white ink. You can upload it to their website then pay as you pick it up at your local store. That is A LOT cheaper than having paper and ink. Printer ink actually costs more than donated human blood and there is always a shortage of that at your local community blood banks.

Hit up the source link above for the full Black Friday ads.

Source:  Bfads.com; bestbuy.com; walmart.com

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