Apple's 10.2-inch iPad drops to $270, plus the best early Black Friday deals so far – Engadget
Though Black Friday is technically a week away, we’re already seeing a barrage of sales that we expect to carry over into the shopping holiday. Several of Apple’s iPads, Apple Watches and MacBooks are available at their lowest prices to date, for instance, as are a plethora of devices from Amazon and Google. PlayStation and Xbox have kicked off their respective Black Friday sales, too, and there are numerous discounts on wireless headphones we like. We expect to see many more deals go live in the coming days, but for now, here are the best early Black Friday deals from this week that you can still get today.
It’s a good time to be in the market for a new iPad, as several of Apple’s tablets are back down to the lowest prices we’ve tracked. The entry-level iPad, for instance, is on sale for $270. That’s about $25 below the 10.2-inch tablet’s average street price over the last few months. We gave the device a review score of 86 last year; while it lacks the more modern design of Apple’s newer slates, we still consider it the best budget tablet you can buy.
If you want a step up, the latest iteration of the 11-inch iPad Pro is $70 off less than a month after launch. We gave that one a score of 87, praising its top-of-the-line M2 chip and 120Hz display, though the iPad Air (currently down to $520) is still a better value for most. If money is no object, the 512GB version of last year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro isn’t that far off from the newer model; it’s down to $1,000, which is roughly $275 lower than its typical street price as of late.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is down to $349 ahead of Black Friday, which matches its lowest price to date and sits about $40 below the typical price we’ve seen in recent months. That deal is for the 41mm model; if you’d like a larger case, the 45mm version is down to a new low of $379, which is also $40 off its usual street price. The Series 8 is the top pick in our best smartwatches guide: It’s probably not worth the upgrade if you’re coming from a Series 5 or newer, but it continues to offer the most robust blend of app support, fitness tracking, smartphone connectivity and style you can get in a wearable.
Apple’s M2-equipped MacBook Air is still on sale for $1,050, which is the best price we’ve tracked and about $75 off its typical price online in recent months. We gave it a review score of 96 earlier this year, and it’s currently the top pick in our guide to the best laptops. This entry-level model suffers from slower storage speeds than pricier configurations, so it’s not ideal for pro-level work, but its premium-feeling hardware, vibrant display and powerful SoC should still make it a pleasure for more common tasks.
If you want a cheaper route into macOS, the 2020 MacBook Air with Apple’s M1 SoC is back down to $800, which is about $100 off its usual going rate. That model is saddled with thicker bezels, tinnier speakers, a worse webcam, slower charging and slightly worse performance than the new Air, but its long battery life, still-speedy chip and comfortable keyboard and trackpad keep it a fine value for casual web browsing and basic work at this deal price.
This one is more of a PSA than an ongoing deal: As spotted at Slickdeals, the latest AirPods Pro are set to drop to $199 at Target starting November 20, which is the lowest price we’ve tracked. If you can’t wait a couple days, the earphones are on sale for $230 now, which is $19 off Apple’s MSRP and about $10 off the average street price we’ve seen since the pair launched this past September.
Either way, while there’s no shortage of good wireless noise-cancelling earphones these days, the AirPods Pro continue to offer powerful ANC, rich bass and particular ease of use with other Apple devices. Battery life and call quality are just average, though. Our review gave the pair a score of 88.
If you prefer a more open design, we’ll note that the second-gen standard AirPods are still available for $90, which is roughly $15 below its typical street price. Again, though, it might be best to wait, as Walmart’s product listing says that it’ll have that pair available for $79 starting next week.
Sony has discounted a number of its premier noise-cancelling headphones ahead of Black Friday, which include the flagship WH-1000XM5 marked back down to $348. That’s a $50 discount for the feature-rich cans, matching the all-time low for what we consider the best wireless headphones you can buy. If you want to save some cash, the last-gen WH-1000XM4s are back to a low of $228 themselves. That pair isn’t as comfortable as the newer model, but it delivers a similar feature set and bass-forward sound for less money. It also avoids the auto-adjusting ANC of the XM5, which some may prefer.
Among in-ear pairs, the WF-1000XM4 and LinkBuds S are also on sale for $178 and $128, respectively. Again, both of those deals match the lowest prices we’ve seen. Between the two, the WF-1000XM4 offers more detailed sound, stronger noise isolation and a bit more battery life, though the LinkBuds S have a lighter and more comfortable fit. We gave the former a score of 86 last year.
If you need an extra gamepad for your Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, or PC, Microsoft is selling its comfy Xbox Wireless Controller from $39 at various retailers. That isn’t the lowest price we’ve seen, but it’s still about $10 less than the typical prices we see online. The sale applies to multiple colorways, though getting the controller in anything other than black, red or white will cost an extra $5-10. If you don’t want to deal with Bluetooth pairing on PC, you can also grab a bundle that pairs the gamepad a wireless adapter for $50. Just remember that the Xbox pad charges via AA batteries by default; a rechargeable unit costs $25.
Beyond accessories, Microsoft has also commenced its Black Friday sale for Xbox digital games. You can peruse through that for a full list, but some notables include Halo: The Master Chief Collection for $16, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga for $30 and Doom Eternal for $10. Amazon also has the more recent Halo Infinite for a low of $20 if you’d like to try that FPS’ new campaign co-op mode; just note that co-op isn’t available to play locally and that the game’s multiplayer is still free to play.
We don’t expect most game consoles to be discounted for Black Friday, but the Xbox Series S is an exception. Right now, Target is selling the diminutive device for $250 and throwing in a $50 gift card with the purchase. Provided you use that gift card, that’s effectively a $100 savings. If you aren’t a frequent Target shopper, Amazon has console down to $240 on its own.
The Series S itself isn’t as powerful as the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5: It’s not built for 4K gaming or especially high frame rates, it doesn’t have a disc drive and it only includes 512GB of built-in storage. But it can play all the same games as the Series X, its SSD still allows for fast loading times and its compact design is easy to tuck away. It’s a fitting choice for a secondary TV or those who want a more casual route into the Xbox library. We gave the console a review score of 85 when it first released in late 2020.
If you’re prefer the PlayStation 5, Sony has dropped that machine’s DualSense controllers down to $49, which is a new low and $20 off their usual going rate. Again, this sale applies to multiple finishes, though most are not priced higher than the standard white model. There are other accessory deals, too: Sony’s DualSense Charging Station is back to its all-time low of $20, as is the PS5 Media Remote for those who often use the console as a media streamer.
If you need to re-up your PlayStation Plus subscription, Sony has also cut the price of memberships to all three of that service’s tiers by 25 percent. This brings the basic “Essential” tier down to $45, the “Extra” tier to $75, and the “Premium” tier to $90. As a refresher, the Essential tier gets you access to online multiplayer, an allotment of cloud storage and a handful of free game downloads each month. The Extra tier adds an on-demand library with a few hundred games, while the Premium tier provides cloud game streaming and a selection of “classic” PlayStation games on top of that.
Finally, the company has discounted a range of PlayStation games at both its online store and third-party retailers. Highlights there include The Last of Us Part II and Death Stranding for $10; Returnal, Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for $30; and Horizon Forbidden West for $40. All of those match the lowest prices we’ve tracked.
Roku’s Streambar is down to $80 at multiple retailers, which is about $30 below its average street price in recent months and matches the lowest price we’ve tracked. This is a highly compact, 2.0-channel soundbar that doubles as a 4K HDR Roku streamer. You can get more expansive sound from other soundbars, but the Streambar will still outperform most built-in TV speakers, and having a streaming player built in is still useful for smartening up an older TV. We gave it a review score of 86 back in 2020. If you don’t need a soundbar, Roku’s excellent Streaming Stick 4K is still on sale for $25 as well.
Google’s has set its annual Black Friday sale live, bringing solid discounts on a number of its Pixel and Nest devices. The notable offers here include the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro down to $500 and $750, respectively — both represent the lowest price we’ve tracked for what our review called “the best bargains in flagship phones.” Normally, the handsets have retailed closer to $595 and $880.
The Pixel 6a, meanwhile, is back at its all-time low of $299, down from a typical street price around $385. We gave that device a review score of 89 this past July. It gets you the same clean software as the flagship models and excellent camera performance for the price, though it does sacrifice wireless charging and a higher refresh rate, among other perks, by comparison.
A range of Nest smart home gadgets are also on sale. The 7-inch Nest Hub Mini is the top pick in our guide to the best smart displays and a fine alternative to Amazon’s Echo Show if you prefer to use the Google Assistant or don’t want a built-in camera. It’s back down to $50 from its usual $80. The Nest Learning Thermostat is still on sale for $179, too, while the more basic Nest Thermostat is at a near-low of $90. Further deals on the Nest Hub Max, Nest Audio, and Nest Mini are also available.
With its built-in GPS and accurate activity tracking, Fitbit Charge 5 is the top pick in our guide to the best fitness trackers. Right now it’s on sale for $100, which is about $25 off its usual street price and marks an all-time low.
All of Amazon’s Fire TV Stick streamers are on sale, with the Fire TV Stick 4K Max down to $35, the Fire TV Stick 4K down to $25, the Fire TV Stick down to $20, and the Fire TV Stick Lite down to $15. We’ve seen these deals numerous times in the past, but they match the best prices we’ve seen for the two 4K sticks and bring the 1080p models within $3 of their respective lows.
We did a quick breakdown of the differences between these streamers earlier this week. All of them saddle you with an ad-heavy UI that steers you toward Amazon’s own content, but they continue to work well for casual streaming, and they should prove convenient if you frequently use Alexa, Prime Video or other Amazon services already (or if you’d like to sideload unsupported apps).
Not to be outdone, just about all of Amazon’s Fire tablets are at or near their best-ever prices as well. The pick of the bunch is the Fire HD 10 for $75, which matches its all-time low and comes in about $40 than its usual going rate. Like all Fire tablets, it’s not the most premium-feeling thing and its interface heavily promotes Amazon’s own content. Still, it’s faster than Amazon’s other slates, and its 10.1-inch 1080p display is more pleasing for web browsing and streaming video. At this price, it’s great value for casual tablet users or those who often take advantage of Amazon services.
The recently-refreshed Fire HD 8 isn’t a bad alternative if you want something smaller or cheaper, though. It’s down to $55, which marks a new low. The various Kids editions of these tablets are also on sale — as a reminder, those tack on a protective case, a longer two-year warranty, and a year-long subscription to the company’s Kids+ content service. The entry-level Fire 7 is also on sale for a low of $40, though we generally advise against buying that model given its non-HD display and sluggish performance.
Amazon’s sweeping device sale also extends to its Kindle e-readers. The crisp and comfortable Kindle Paperwhite, for one, is down to $95 from its usual $135. That’s a new low, but if you can spare an extra $10, the Kids version of the Paperwhite might be a better value — despite the name, it’s essentially the same hardware, just with a longer two-year warranty, a cover and no ads on its lock screen by default. It’s also at its lowest price to date.
The Paperwhite Signature Edition, meanwhile, quadruples the built-in storage to 32GB, adds Qi wireless charging and an auto-adjusting backlight. It’s down a new low at $130, and we gave it a glowing review score of 97 last year. The sale brings the top-end Kindle Oasis to a best-ever price of $205 as well; that one is overkill for most people, but it still has the largest display of any Kindle.
Beyond that, a wide range of Amazon Echo speakers and Echo Show smart displays are available for low or near-low prices, too. Among the highlights, the recently updated Echo Dot is down to $25, which is the first major discount we’ve tracked and half off its street price up to now. The variant with a built-in clock is down to a new low of $40, while the fuller-sounding base Echo is down to $50. If you want a smart display, the Echo Show 8 is a worthy choice at $70; we gave it a review score of 87 last year and generally consider it the most appropriate mix of size, speed and audio quality among Alexa displays.
Popular meditation app Headspace has kicked off its Black Friday promotion for the year, taking half off its annual and monthly memberships for new and returning subscribers. That brings the annual plan down to $35 and the monthly plan to $6.49 per month. If you take the plunge, just note that the discount only applies for the first year, after which the subscription will auto-renew at its normal going rate. Apps like this aren’t magical cure-alls for stress, but we’ve recommended Headspace in the past for its impressive breadth of guided meditations and accessibility for those new to the practice.
Masterclass has rolled out a Cyber Monday deal that gives two annual memberships to the online education platform for the price of one. Depending on what plan you pick, that’s either a $180, $240 or $276 discount. You can technically keep both years for yourself, but the offer is designed for you to gift the second year-long subscription to a loved one, as it’ll expire 365 days from your date of purchase if it’s not redeemed beforehand. Just note that both subscriptions will be set to auto-renew by default, and while the deal applies to any of the platform’s plans, the cheapest subscription doesn’t include offline downloads. In any event, Masterclass continues to offer a plethora of insightful courses taught by celebrities and field experts alike, covering everything from cooking with Gordon Ramsey to business strategy with Bob Iger.
At $100 and $150, respectively, both the 1TB and 2TB versions of SanDisk’s Extreme Portable SSD are down to their lowest prices to date. For reference, the former usually sits closer to $120, while the latter usually runs closer to $190. This is one of the better portable SSDs on the market, offering a rugged, pocketable design and fast-enough transfer speeds for moving large files on top of the usual reliability of any SSD. It also comes with a five-year warranty.
Staying on the storage front, we’re also seeing discounts on a variety of Samsung SSDs and microSD cards. The 2TB model of the 980 Pro SSD is down to a new low of $180, for one, which is a roughly $50 discount. While Samsung recently launched a follow-up, this is still a well-performing PCIe 4.0 drive for those who want to upgrade their PS5’s storage. Similarly, the company’s Evo Select microSD card isn’t the absolute fastest you can buy, but it should more than enough for most needs — its 512GB variant is on sale for $45, which is $15 off its usual price and a new all-time low.
The Roomba 694 is back down to $179, which is about $45 off its usual street price and only $5 more than the lowest price we’ve tracked. This is a simpler “bump and run” robot vacuum, but it’s the budget pick in our guide to the best robovacs thanks to its easy-to-use app, sturdy design and decent cleaning power. If you’re willing to pay a bit more for something with smarter navigation and a dock for cleaning and charging, iRobot’s Roomba i3+ Evo is a nice step up that’s currently available for an all-time low of $350.
Here’s a good deal on a rare set of commendable noise-cancelling headphones priced below $100. At $60, this is $10 more than the lowest price we’ve ever seen for Anker’s Soundcore Life Q30 but still $20 off the pair’s usual street price. The Q30 offers a comfortable fit, a superb 40+ hours of battery life per charge and noise cancellation that, while a step behind the best premium models, belies its low price. Its mic isn’t great, and its sound goes very heavy on the bass by default, but it still offers a lot of headphone for the money.
The Beats Powerbeats Pro are back down to their all-time low of $150, which is about $40 less than the typical street price we see. These earbuds are a pick in our guide to the best wireless workout headphones due to their stable behind-the-ear hook design, AirPods-esque ease of use with iPhones, nine-ish hours of continuous battery life and physical controls. Their case is enormous, though, and their partially-sealed fit may not be for everyone.
If you want a more affordable set of true wireless buds, though, Jabra’s Elite 3 is another pair we like, and it’s back within $2 of its all-time low at $50.
Black Friday is typically the best time of year to pick up a new TV, and sure enough, we’re starting to see new low prices on a few well-regarded sets. The 65-inch version of Samsung’s S95B OLED TV, for instance, has dropped to a new low of $1,798, which is about $200 below than the typical price we’ve seen over the past month. This set’s “QD-OLED” panel has earned rave reviews around the web for offering the excellent contrast of most OLED TVs without sacrificing as much in the way of brightness and color saturation.
LG’s C2 OLED TV is more prone to those issues, but it still provides inky blacks, wide viewing angles and gaming-friendly features like the ability to play in 4K/120Hz. It looks particularly nice in darker room. It’s also available in smaller sizes than the S95B, and its 42-inch model is currently down to a new low of $897, which is about $130 off its usual going rate. If you need something bigger, BuyDig has the 65-inch C2 for the same $1,697 price we’ve seen for the past month, but with a $150 gift card thrown in.
If you’re willing to sacrifice some picture quality for a striking design, we’ve previously sung the praises of Samsung’s Frame TV, which is built to look like a giant picture frame and can display art when you aren’t watching something. The 55-inch model of that LED TV is back to a low of $998, which is about $300 off its street price. If you’re on a tighter budget, Hisense’s U6H is a well-reviewed set that’s on sale for a more approachable $370, another all-time low.
NVIDIA is running a promotion that doles out six months of the “Priority” tier of its GeForce Now cloud gaming service for $30, down from its usual $50. The company says this deal is only available to new members, free-tier members, Priority members currently on a 1-month subscription plan and “users on an active promotion or gift card,” so it’s looking to upsell customers who aren’t on one of the service’s higher-end plans already. Still, if you’ve been interested in giving the service a try, this is a more affordable way to avoid the limitations of its free tier. The promo is set to run through November 20.
As a refresher, GeForce Now lets you stream games you own on platforms like Steam or the Epic Games Store over the cloud, so it’ll work best if you have a well-sized library of PC games already. “Priority” is the service’s middle tier. You can stream in resolutions up to 1080p and frame rates up to 60 fps, which is a step behind the 4K and 120 fps support of the top “RTX 3080” tier but should be fine for most. You’re also allotted up to six hours per session instead of the one-hour session length of the service’s free tier.
If you’re looking to upgrade your home WiFi to a mesh networking kit, Amazon’s Eero 6 routers aren’t necessarily the fastest or most customizable, but they’re generally reliable and particularly easy to operate. Right now, a number of Eero systems are on sale. The best middle-ground option is likely the Eero 6 Plus, a three-pack of which is back at its all-time low of $194. That’s well down from its usual $299, but if you have a smaller place, two-packs and solo routers are also available for lows of $155 and $90, respectively.
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