If you’re anything like me, you avoided the inevitable chaos that was Black Friday like the plague. Sure, curiosity might have prompted you to look through circulars or visit your favorite stores online, but nothing, and I mean nothing, could have gotten you to venture out at 3 a.m. to shop. For those of us lucky enough to have access to broadband, we didn’t need to go out and brave the crowds in order to save some money. Broadband has allowed us to have the benefits of grabbing a deal without the burdens of sometimes dangerous and overzealous fellow consumers.
It’s universal. We all love a good deal, but many of us would rather wait for Cyber Monday’s online discounts to satisfy our consumerist needs. So, I’ve plowed through many emails, alerts, and websites to help sate your thirst for the best deals on electronics. Let’s start with computers.
Laptops, Tablets, and Netbooks
Best Buy and Amazon are offering the highly-reviewed Wi-Fi version of the Samsung Chromebook for only $249.00. The netbook comes with an 11.6-Inch display, 1.7 GHz Exynos 5200 processor, and a 16 GB eMMC hard drive. It also includes 100GB of free Google Drive storage (for 2 years), a built-in webcam, and dual band Wi-Fi to make it easy to connect to wireless networks.
Customer Review: “Google docs, [sic] which comes preloaded on the Chromebook, is a fantastic substitute for Microsoft Word and it works well even if the computer is offline.”
Groupon.com is offering the 32GB BlackBerry PlayBook 7-inch Tablet for $159, up to 73 percent off. This slim tablet is equipped with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth with a 7 inch LCD display and multitouch capacitive touchscreen. However, this deal has limited availability and the offer expires in a few hours. If you miss this deal, Amazon is offering the 16GB version for $171.92.
Customer Review: “It is a perfect size, the screen is beautiful and the weight is ideal.”
For Apple users, Amazon is offering the newest version of Apple’s MacBook Pro for $1,034.99. The laptop comes with 500 GB of Storage space, 2.5 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor (the fastest dual core processor available), and a 13.3 inch display. It is also equipped with very latest graphics with the new integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor that boosts performance by up to 60 percent. The extra power gives you a smoother, more fluid experience than before.
Customer Review: “The screen is really nice, very clear and bright.”
Amazon is offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 in gray for $179.99, while Best Buy is offering the tablet for the same price in titanium silver. This tablet comes powered by the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, a 7 inch multitouch screen, and 8GB Internal Memory (MicroSD expansion up to 32GB). The tablet has wireless N Wif-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, 1 GB of Ram, and a 1GHz Dual-Core Processor. The Samsung Media Hub app gives you access to thousands of new movies and TV shows and lets you play your purchases on up to five devices at a time. You can also use the Galaxy Tab 2 as a universal remote for your home entertainment devices and stream videos, music, and pictures to your DLNA-enabled TV using Samsung’s AllShare service. It also comes with a free one-year 50GB subscription to Dropbox, a web-based file-sharing service.
Customer Review: “The 3.0MP rear facing camera takes good pictures and video.”
I like what I see
Target and Amazon are offering the Samsung UN32EH4003 32-Inch LED HDTV for $247.99. This television features HD LED picture quality, Clear Motion Rate 60 (technology developed to accurately measure how well an LCD or LED TV can depict fast-moving images), and ConnectShare Movie, which lets you watch videos, play music, or view photos from a USB connection without needing to use a PC or special equipment.
Consumer Review: “If you want a cheap LED TV with good picture. This is one to get.”
I can hear you now, deals
Best Buy is offering three highly regarded smartphones FREE with a 2 year contract.
|LG – Intuition 4G Mobile Phone–Black (Verizon Wireless)Unactivated price: $699.99
Consumer Review: “This Phablet is fantastic better than the Note. However, it’s bulky and speakers could be better.”
|Samsung – Galaxy Note 4G Mobile Phone–Navy Blue(T-Mobile)Unactivated price: $549.99
Consumer Review: “Big and Bold! Great sound and picture, but still doesn’t allow Bluetooth to use voice dialing.”
HTC – One X 4G Mobile Phone – Gray (AT&T)
Unactivated price: $629.99
Consumer Review: “Excellent cell phone features (set-up and sync capabilities), but battery needs charging a lot.”
Afraid of commitment? Best Buy is also offering a no-contract phone for $59.99:
Boost Mobile – BlackBerry Curve 9310
No-Contract Mobile Phone – Black
- BlackBerry operating system
- 3G speed
- MicroSD card slot (up to 32GB, card not included)
- 3.2MP digital camera
- QWERTY keyboard
- Up to 6 hours talk time and up to 432 hours standby with included lithium-ion battery.
Consumer Review: “Nice phone for the price, but the network is slow at times.”
To the consumers who opted to skip out on Black Friday, the variety of deals on Cyber Monday can still be overwhelming – I hope I’ve helped you sift through the best deals floating around the Web. Regardless of where you plan on shopping, remember that most stores are waiving their shipping and handling, so be aware of pricing. You can also go to digital coupon code websites like RetailMeNot.com to see if any of your purchases qualify for additional savings. Also, please be wary of buying from websites that aren’t verified or you haven’t heard of. The quest to save a few dollars on a laptop should never be the reason that you are exposed to identity thieves.
Most importantly, please be reminiscent of all of those Americans that have yet to adopt broadband and think of ways that you might extend the spirit of giving to them. Whether it’s donating to a charity or organization focused on bridging the digital divide, or buying a pre-paid smartphone for a needy family, any little bit will help. We all must work together to ensure that 2013 is the best year for broadband adoption and informed use.
Note: MMTC neither requested nor received any compensation for providing these shopping tips. BBSJ does not accept advertising.
- Latoya Livingston is a Washington-D.C.-based attorney with years of legal experience working in the private and public sector. Currently, Attorney Livingston serves as a Senior Attorney and the Earle K. Moore Fellow at MMTC.