With Black Friday now just a few weeks away, the websites that make their living off this time of year are predicting what shoppers might pay on November 24 for various items, including PCs and tablets.
If you're looking for massive price drops for the cheapest laptops, you'll be disappointed, as $99 Chromebooks continue to be the bottom for budget computers. There may be a low-spec Windows notebook or two offered as a doorbuster at a similar price, but Deal News thinks that most entry-level laptops (Intel Celeron processor, minimal amounts of RAM and storage) will be discounted to roughly $110.
The good news is that if you can spend a little more, you might get a lot more PC in return. That's a change from previous years, where spending $130-$180 didn't net you much more in the way of improved specs. But BestBlackFriday predicts that maybe half of the doorbuster laptops in that price range will possess what it calls "decent specs." If you're willing to spend $300-$400, you'll do even better, as Intel's recent release of its Kaby Lake processors should knock down the price of systems using their Skylake predecessors, according to Deal News.
If you want a MacBook instead, you obviously know going in that you'll be paying way more than for a Windows equivalent, but this is one of the few times during the year you'll see decent discounts on Apple's computers. Of course, those deals won't come from Apple itself, as the notoriously stingy company has only given store gift cards with Black Friday purchases for the last couple of years. But stores like Best Buy and online retailers like MacMall will usually slice dollars off MacBooks, with $200 discounts off the cheapest MacBook (in this case the $999 13.3-inch MacBook Air) typically dangled to buyers.
It wasn't so long ago that Apple's iPad was the king of Black Friday, but tablets are now just one of a bevy of mobile device choices for consumers (along with 2-in-1 laptops, smart watches and smartphones). Still, the iPad remains a staple of tech gift-giving, serving as a doorbuster at various stores. This year, Apple has consolidated its lineup, offering the traditionally sized and named iPad, one iPad mini (the mini 4), and two sizes of iPad Pro. Both Deal News and BestBlackFriday expect the iPad to get at least a $100 discount from its base $329 price, with Deal News predicting pricing as low as $204.
Expect significant savings on the iPad Pro models as well, probably in the neighborhood of $125 to $150 discounts for both the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch . There's some disagreement about how much the best deal on the iPad mini 4 might be -- Deal News expects a modest $70 price reduction, while BestBlackFriday believes it will be as much as $150. Again, store gift cards may be offered in lieu of -- or in addition to -- price cuts.
The mania around the Friday of the Black Friday weekend will continue to dwindle, as retailers draw their sales out for a week or longer and the same pricing online as in brick-and-mortar stores will keep more shoppers at home. There's also Cyber Monday, which will unleash a second wave of deals, though those tend not to be as eye-popping as some of Black Friday's doorbuster specials.
Over the last couple of years, Dell's Black Friday ads have been the first tech-related ones to leak at the end of October, so it may only be three weeks before we can start seeing the actual deals match some of these predictions.