Come the holiday season, it’s not hard to feel like retailers are competing for your dollars in an ever-bloodier shopping battle royale, each striving to be the first out of the gate with the “best” prices of the year—but not all of them are actually deals.
We’re far from the days of lining up for midnight door-busters, as what constitutes a Black Friday deal has been stretched almost as much as the shopping season itself (you may have noticed that this year, “Black Friday” has expanded to become “Black Friday month”). It’s harder than ever to know if a sale is really “worth it” or just hype, but these 10 offers from Amazon’s Early Black Friday sale are actually worth checking out. (And of course, the best Black Friday deal is the one you skip, because you realize don’t actually need it just because it’s half off.)
A great price on a 10th Generation Apple iPad
The words “sale” and Apple products rarely come together in a big way, and Black Friday is usually the one time of year you can count on significant savings—and right now you can get a 10th generation iPad (from 2022) for $100 off.
Or if you prefer Android, an Amazon Fire HD10 tablet for $80
Amazon’s own products invariably get the biggest discounts, and they are knocking $60 (more than 40%) off the price of the new Fire HD10, bringing it down to $79.99.
One of Samsung’s sexy The Frame TVs for $500 off
I am a budget TV kinda guy (I “upgraded” this year to a 50″ no-name brand model I bought open box for under $200). But if you actually want a TV with great picture quality that also looks good as hell, Samsung’s “The Frame” series fits the bill. Right now, you can get a 55″ model for $500 off.
A 50″ Toshiba 4K LED TV (for reasonable people)
Ah, here’s one that is more in my wheelhouse. If you don’t have The Frame money, the Toshiba 50-inch Class C350 Series is $219.99, which is $100 off and its lowest price so far.
A top-of-the-line Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Sapphire Solar Smartwatch for $200 off
I asked our resident health guru/fitness tech enthusiast Beth Skwarecki which smartwatch deal she was most into, and she chose this one—provided you aren’t on a tight budget.
A big discount on a serviceable Pixel smartwatch
OK, so maybe you are on a budget. If you just want a great fitness tracker at a price that won’t make your pulse rate shoot sky-high, Beth also recommends the wifi version of the original Google Pixel, which is $150 off and under $200.
A Blink Whole Home security bundle for its lowest price ever
I became a homeowner last year, which means I am now very passionate about home security. That has me eyeing the Blink Whole Home bundle, with Blink video doorbell, a Blink Mini indoor camera, a Blink Outdoor 4, and a Sync Module 2 to control your security camera hub with your phone. At 52% off, it’s never been cheaper.
A sweet discount on a MacBook Air (M1 or M2)
I have been living for years without my own laptop, but I am keenly aware that a work computer isn’t the same thing as having a computer. So I’m finally going to pick up my own M1 MacBook Air, because this 2020 machine is the best computer I’ve ever used, and right now it’s 25% off, matching previous lows. Or maybe I’ll splurge for the M2, which is three years newer and currently $150 off? (Probably not, I’m cheap. See above, re: my TV.)
The right Apple Pencil (because it’s confusing)
As our tech editor Jake Peterson noted, buying an Apple Pencil can be confusing. Their latest Pencil, the Apple Pencil with USB-C, seems cheap at around $80, but lacks many features of the best Pencil, the Apple Pencil (2nd Gen), which is usually $130. Well, Amazon is selling the second-generation Apple Pencil for $89, and it’s worth the $10 premium over the new guy.
Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) $89
A new Peloton for cheaper than used
Speaking of Beth, she was also really excited about Amazon’s current Peloton deal. The Peloton Bike is nearly 25% off, and the better Bike+ is a full $500 off. She’s been tracking prices on these things for ages, and swears these are really good deals—cheaper than the usual refurbished prices, in fact.