Black Friday is still a month away, but we can't help ourselves: We're just dying to know what kind of sales to expect. This year saw the creation of the iPhone X and 360-degree cameras, but many shoppers are still getting used to 4K cameras and VR headsets, which have become extremely affordable in the past 12 months.
Here in the consumer tech business, one of our favorite games is to prognosticate Black Friday deals. Just remember: "Black Friday" is shorthand for Cyber Monday as well, even though the experience and benefits are fairly different.
The future is always hazy, but we've listened to leaks and rumors for the past few months, and we have some educated guesses about the deals to come. Here are some predictions we're pretty sure about:
Door-busting deals on laptops
The winning bargain last year was the $100 Chromebook, a quality laptop for the price of a used smartphone. Like 2016, you'll find door-busting laptops for $100-$200.
These will be cheaper models with limited space, speed and software, but if you're looking for a digital word-processor with basic internet access, this Black Friday should deliver. Most laptops will be available for between $300 and $400, with trusted brands like Dell, Acer and Asus.
Discounts on iPads and MacBooks
"Bargain" is a relative term, and a sale at the Apple store will still mean a significant price tag. But most people can expect to pick up a MacBook Air from Best Buy for about $800, and you'll probably find the iPad Pro for about $475.
Discounts of $200 should be easy to find at stores like Best Buy and Target, especially for big-ticket items like iMacs and MacBook Pros. Then again, you'll probably want to invest in Apple Care, which will eat a lot of your final savings.
4K televisions in high-def price range
This is a big change from last year: In 2016, the 4K television had hit the mainstream but was still a top-dollar item. Now the appetite for 4K imagining has plateaued, and we can expect the prices to drop. Many experts believe that 4K TVs will cost only a little more than HD televisions of the same size.
So if you're looking for a 50-inch screen, you might pay $180 for 1080p, or you could pay $210 for a 50-inch 4K set. (Others predict that the pricing will be even closer.) So if you've been curious as to what all the 4K hype is about, this Black Friday might be the ideal time to invest.
Deals on Samsung Galaxy phones
It'll be hard to find a good deal on top-shelf iPhones, especially the brand new iPhone X. But shoppers should have no problem finding the coveted Galaxy S8 for $350, especially with so many gift cards and network discounts floating around.
Virtual reality will hit lowest-ever prices
Gamers always find incredible bargains on Black Friday, and you can expect deep discounts on systems like PlayStation 4 and the portable Nintendo 2DS. But the real steal will be VR systems, which have flooded the market in the past year.
Exact figures haven't yet been leaked, but we're expecting serious cuts in Sony PlayStation and Oculus Rift. Last year's Cyber Monday saw discounts of up to $100.
Rock-bottom prices on Amazon Kindles
Kindles have always been affordable, and many customers can't resist the idea of a $49 e-reader. But Amazon will also slash the prices on upper-tier models, making them potential impulse buys as well.
We expect the Kindle Paperwhite to drop from about $120 to $90, and the Fire 7 tablet, which already costs only $50, should be priced in the mid-$30 range.
Big discounts on Google Home
The most explosive new technology of the past year has been the virtual assistant, and super-cheap Amazon Echos (and Echo Dots) should surprise no one. But the new kid on the block is the Google Home, and last year the price tag plummeted to $100.
Like the Echo Dot, the Google Home Mini is an even smaller version and could cost as little as $49. Whatever the exact figures, we can expect these two mega-companies to lock horns over their trendiest product, and the winner will be us.
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