By Louis Ramirez, dealnews Senior Feature Writer and Jeff Somogyi, dealnews Media Editor
By now we've seen the leaks, analyzed the circulars, and highlighted the best Black Friday laptops, HDTVs, and toys. But what about the small electronics like tablets, smartphones, cameras, and MP3 players? Fear not, for below we've compiled a master list of the best deals on said items.
The iPod is the king of all MP3 players, so, not surprisingly, the most noteworthy promotions in this category involved the Apple device. Below are the best ads we've seen thus far for the ubiquitous do-it-all handheld.
MP3 Players iPod Deals
Tablets Deals Come Mostly Bundled
Despite the ongoing tablet wars, your chances of seeing a deep dollar-off discount on any of today's most popular tablets are slim. There are a few out there (as described below), but your best bet for purchasing a tablet is to find the biggest tablet/gift card bundle available.
Apple iPad 2 16GB WiFi Tablet bundled with a $75 Gift Card for $399 at Walmart
We predicted that this Black Friday, we would see the iPad 2 drop to as low as $299. If you take into account the $75 gift card, it's close to what we expect, but not quite there. Though, for what it's worth, this is also one of the items that Walmart guarantees will be in stock for the first hour. That might push this deal into "pretty good" territory, since the availability of iPad deals on Black Friday is always risky. (A $299 iPad 2 would almost certainly sell out very quickly.)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" 8GB Android Tablet bundled with a $20 Gift Card for $160 at MacMall
- This Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" 8GB tablet is an all-time low at $160, and it's $40 under the cost of an Amazon Kindle Fire HD or Google Nexus 7, to boot. Alternatively, Best Buy offers this tablet bundled with a $20 Gift Card for $180, which comes to the same net price if you factor in the credit.
Apple iPad with Retina Display 16GB WiFi Tablet (4th generation) bundled with a $60 Gift Card for $500 at Target
- It may be list price, but factor in the $60 gift card and suddenly this deal beats not only our Editors' Choice mention from three weeks ago (which only included a $40 gift card), but also our Black Friday prediction for current generation iPads. If you must have the latest and greatest, this is the deal you'll want.
Amazon Kindle Fire 8GB Tablet bundled with a $30 Best Buy Card for $160 at Best Buy
- At $159, Amazon's Kindle Fire SD is perhaps the cheapest mainstream tablet out there. If you miss Amazon's own lightning deal that cuts it to $129, this is probably your next best bet.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 16GB 7" Tablet bundled with a $30 Best Buy Card for $200 at Best Buy
- As we stated in our Black Friday tablet predictions, your best strategy for slate shopping this holiday season is to seek out bundle deals, as retailers are unlikely to discount a $200 tablet. That said, this offer from Best Buy throws in a generous $30 gift card with your purchase of the Kindle Fire HD. That beats both deals from Staples and OfficeMax, which only bundle it with $20 and $25 gift cards, respectively. However, we still recommend waiting to see what kind of bundle Amazon will offer (that way you can use the Amazon credit to purchase content for your Kindle), otherwise, this deal is solid for any Kindle HD seeker.
Barnes & Noble NOOK Simple Touch WiFi eBook Reader for $49 at Target
Although we predicted popular tablets wouldn't see any dollar-off discounts, in this case, we're happy to be wrong. Not only is this NOOK $50 off list, it's also the lowest price we've ever seen for this device by $21.
Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera Deals
The rise of the smartphone has relegated the once-popular point-and-shoot digital camera to the back shelves, but that's not to say that several merchant won't try to get you interested in spending some cash on them during Black Friday. Below we've gathered the few noteworthy deals, though keep in mind prices will drop further once the new 2013 models are announced at PMA/CES in January.
Canon PowerShot A3400 IS 16-Megapixel Digital Camera bundled with an SD Card and Case for $90 at Target
- At $90, this camera bundle is $29 under the lowest price we've seen this year. Even better, it includes both an SD card (capacity not described) and a camera case.
Canon PowerShot A2300 16-Megapixel Digital Camera bundled with a 8GB SD Card for $80 at Sears
- This deal at Sears replaces our last "best of" mention of this camera because, though it's the same price, it's bundled with a memory card. At this price, it's $14 under our last mention and a current low by $19.
Better still, BJ's Wholesale Club also offers it, bundled with 2 4GB SD Cards and a camera case for the same price. However, you have to be a BJ's member to get this deal and membership costs $50.
Sony DSC-W620 14-Megapixel 5x Zoom Digital Camera for $80 at Kmart
The current lowest price we could find for this camera is at TigerDirect for $98 with free shipping, so this Black Friday price will be the lowest we've seen by $18. That's a respectable deal, but probably not one worth going to Kmart for unless you have planned on buying other things there, that day.
A Note About DSLR Cameras
Even this close to Black Friday, we're not seeing any killer deals — or even rumors of good deals — on DSLR cameras. Everything we've see stores offering have been ho-hum when compared to historic deals that we've seen on similar cameras. Plus, as mentioned above, new models of all of these cameras are going to be announced at PMA/CES in January, so if you buy a so-so deal during Black Friday, you'll really regret it come the new year. That said, one DSLR-like camera deal does stand out:
Nikon J1 10-Megapixel Mirrorless Digital Camera for $400 at Walmart
This is a super buy for this Micro 4/3 camera. We've seen several refurbished units of this camera for $270 last month, but the best we've seen for a new unit is $447, currently available at Amazon.
Of note, Dell is rumored to have the same camera available to purchase online for a buck more, which is worth paying if you can save yourself an early-morning trip to Walmart on Black Friday, right?
Another division of electronics that has been all but marginalized by smartphones that can also take video, we used to see dozens of hot deals on camcorders around Black Friday. This year, we've only found one that is even worth mentioning, for those of you who still like your unitasker devices.
JVC Everio 40x Zoom HD Camcorder for $119 at Walmart
Even though Walmart isn't specific with the details of this camera, we can still tell you that it's the lowest total price we've seen for any JVC Everio HD camcorder by $10. It's also a current price low for the same by $80.
Free Smartphones After Contract
Although you may not be inclined to associate smartphones with Black Friday doorbusters, the truth is that last year Amazon caught everyone by surprise with its Penny Pincher Sale, which dropped current Android smartphones to just 1 cent (with the purchase of a new contract). In general, we saw three times as many smartphones deals in 2011 than we did in 2010, so we expect it to be a big category this year as well.
Blu-ray Player Deals
Despite the preponderance of digital ways to stream movies and TV shows, Blu-ray players have stuck around. Perhapse it's because you never see digital HD movies on sale for $4 at Black Friday? Or people just like owning something tangible? Either way, there are several Blu-ray players that will be available this year.
LG Blu-ray Player for $38 at Walmart
This is another of the deals that Walmart is guaranteeing will be availabile on Thanksgiving between 10 pm and 11 pm. Outside of refurbished units, we've only ever seen a Blu-ray player this low once before: a Toshiba for $35 total. This deal also solidifies our Black Friday prediction of seeing a Blu-ray player for $39.
Digix BD-500 Blu-ray Player for $30 at hhgregg
Though it shatters our Blu-ray player price prediction, it's hard to get excited over a no-name device that will probably sell out before you even set foot in the store when there is a name-brand sure thing available at Walmart (see above). That said, this is an amazing price on a player that is currently sold at Fry's Electronics for $59.99 with $10.54 for shipping.
There are still more ads trickling in as we speak, so be sure to keep an eye on our Black Friday hub for the last deals on cell phones, iPods, and other electronics.
Photo credits top to bottom: Hindustan Times and CNN
Jeff Somogyi is the dealnews
Media Editor. He writes words that, when read together, make sentences, paragraphs, and more. He also makes comments about other subjects on Google+
, or on his blog
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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).