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Black Friday Gadget Battle 2010: Semifinals

By Josh Smith, dealnews writer

Looking for the best Black Friday deal or holiday gift around? You've come to the right place! We've already staged a round of quarterfinals to compare the best deals on HDTVs, eReaders, video game systems and mobile computers in order to find the best of the best deals. Whether you're looking for a gift, or looking for yourself these gadgets represent the best value for your money.

In this Gadget Battle semi-final we compare our top picks (with the input from your votes in the quarterfinals) to determine the overall top value of the season. The Finalists:

Kindle WiFi:
The Kindle WiFi was our top pick, and in the reader vote it tied with the Kindle 3G. In the end, whether you pick the WiFi-only model or Kindle 3G, you're getting the most mature eBook reader solution out there. When you combine an easy to read screen, long battery life and great eBook selection with a low pricem it's no wonder the Kindle WiFi and Kindle 3G take top honors. We like the WiFI-only version best because of the price point. 3G is nice, but not worth the extra bucks.

Vizio 55" HDTV:
The 55" Vizio E550VL takes top honors in our book, even though our readers chose the respectable Samsung UN46C LED HDTV as their top pick. Both sets offer tremendous value, especially at Black Friday discounted prices, but when it comes down to it, we have to choose the larger screen over LED backlighting, especially since you're likely to find the Vizio on special during Black Friday for $900 or less.

Acer Aspire AS5742-7653:
In all areas this Acer Aspire laptop is the best Black Friday laptop deal you will find in 2010. You're getting a fast processor, plenty of RAM, a spacious hard drive and nice webcam for only $100 more than those using older dual core processors. This is definitely the machine to get on Black Friday. Our readers agreed, outvoting the closest competitor (Apple's iPad) by 6% of the vote.

XBox 360 Kinect:
If you're looking for a video game upgrade this holiday season, the Microsoft Kinect is the add-on to look for. With three cameras to sense movement and the ability to track your voice and facial expressions in addition to just tracking your movement, it's no wonder our readers agree that it's on top. It doesn't hurt that you don't need to buy an extra remote for additional players like you do for the second-place PlayStation Move.

Comparing the Finalists:
Best Price* Is it a Steal Now Do you Need it? Likelihood of ending up unused Conclusion
Amazon Kindle WiFi $139 No Maybe Low If you're spending big bucks on hardcover new releases, the Kindle is a cheap, yet great first eBook reader. Expect to see the Kindle given as a gift to many parents and grandparents this year.
Vizio E550VL Vizio 55" HDTV $999 Yes Yes Low Americans watch 2.8 hours of TV a day, what better way to do so than on a 55" HDTV that you got as a Black Friday bargain!
Acer Aspire AS5742-7653 $499 Yes Maybe Low If you need a laptop, then this Acer represents the best deal on a fast and powerful machine you will likely find on Black Friday 2010.

xBox 360 Kinect
$149 No No Moderate Motion video gaming is still pretty young, We think Kinect is the best, but savvy shoppers may want to wait until more games are out since it's not discounted for Black Friday.
*Prices are subject to change.

Which of these Gadget Battle Finalists would you put on your wish list or Black Friday Shopping list this year? Vote now.

Josh Smith is a freelance writer who writes frequently about technology and consumer electronics and is based in Ohio. Follow him on Twitter — @josh_smith. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.

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DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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