Which Best Buy Black Friday sales are actually worth it?
Cheap? Sure. But here's a look at which of Best Buy's Black Friday sales get good scores from reviewers.
Pay close attention to the Giants/Broncos game on Thanksgiving day. You may pick up some important defensive tricks before braving Best Buy's Black Friday crowd.
Best Buy reminded customers this morning that doors will open at 5 a.m. on Friday. Better bring a jacket, store floor plan, and maybe protective pads. Things can get ugly.
Today's email from Best Buy included a link to their digital circular. But before you start your shopping list, let's take a moment to look past the prices and see if these deep-discount TVs, laptops, and video game systems are worth buying. Here are some reviews to accompany Best Buy's 2009 sales.
Samsung 46-inch LED-LCD HDTV: User reviews sing the praises of this super-thin 1080p television. But its "doorbuster" Black Friday price – $1,599 – seems unimpressive. Savvy shoppers can avoid the lines and pick up essentially the same TV now from Amazon for $1,749. Both stores will deliver the Energy-Star-compliant TV for free. But Best Buy will sweeten the deal with free installation and will recycle your old television at no extra cost.
PlayStation 3 bundle: On Friday and Saturday, shoppers can pick up the top-of-the-line video game console with two free games, "Little Big Planet: Game of the Year Edition" and "Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time." The whole package is $299. The PS3 has gained a lot of momentum from its recent price drop and solid feature set, including free online play, free Netflix streaming service, built-in Blu-ray player, and HD graphics. The bundled games also get top marks from reviewers (95 percent and 86 percent, respectively, according to Metacritic). Both appeal to a younger set of gamers, or at least the young at heart.
Xbox 360 bundle: Numerically, Best Buy pulled together an even better deal for gamers eying a new Xbox 360. But reviews may say differently. This Black Friday deal includes the high-end Elite console and six games, all for $299. The Xbox itself is a great value, with more online features than the PS3, a larger catalog of games, and a higher install base – so more of your friends are likely to own one. But the six selected games are a little weak. Here's the list (with review scores from Metacritic): Sonic the Hedgehog (46 percent), Spider Man: Web of Shadows (68), Wall-E (50), LEGO Batman (76), Pure (85), Ghost Recon 2 (86).
Compaq Mini Netbook: This pint-size 'puter comes with a similarly tiny price tag: $179. The 10.1-inch laptop is a Best Buy exclusive, so it's hard to find independent reviews. But similar netbooks, such as the Dell Inspiron Mini 10v Netbook, cost twice as much. Remember, though, these itty-bitty machines are not meant to replace full-sized PCs. Netbooks trade away high-end specs for its petite frame and therefore should be secondary computers for email and light Web use.
Garmin Nuvi 205w GPS device: This entry-level GPS unit is "very good," according to CNET. The large touch screen and simple interface works wonders if you're not expecting too many features. Best Buy's Black Friday price, $99, is a solid deal. Most retailers want between $130 and $175. More info here.
The full Best Buy Black Friday 2009 sales circular is online here. Remember: deals last from 5 a.m. Friday to Saturday evening.
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