Entertainment

Best Black Friday deals that are coming soon

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These are just a few of the items that will be heavily discounted starting next week. (Photos: Apple, Oculus, Walmart.)

These are just a few of the items that will be heavily discounted starting next week. (Photos: Apple, Oculus, Walmart.)

You probably haven’t heard — it’s barely been in the news — but Black Friday is coming.

I know, I’m shocked too! Luckily, I’m really good at identifying the best Black Friday deals, the ones that deserve a spot on your calendar. Because although there are lots of great sales happening already (see below), the best are yet to come.

I’ve rounded up the real standouts, the items that are worth early arrival at your PC with your mouse finger poised to click. Everything here reflects either an historic-low price or a best-deal-to-date (not necessarily the same thing; see the Oculus Quest VR headset). Needless to say, the gift-buying opportunities here are significant.

Don’t want to wait? Here are the best early Black Friday deals you can get right now:

Reminder: The links below show current pricing; the Black Friday discounts won’t kick in until the dates shown. And everything here is subject to availability; many of these items are likely to sell out quickly. So mark your calendars!

AirPods Pro offer exceptional noise-canceling capabilities and great sound to boot. (Photo: Apple)

AirPods Pro offer exceptional noise-canceling capabilities and great sound to boot. (Photo: Apple)

Where: Walmart

When: Monday, Nov. 22, starting at 7 p.m. ET

Although recent sales have seen the AirPods Pro dip as low as $190 and even $180, this is without question the lowest price ever for Apple’s venerated earbuds. Consequently, I expect they’ll sell out quickly.

If you can snag it, great — I’ll admit to really liking the AirPods Pro, pricey though they may be. The fit, sound quality and noise-canceling are all top-notch, and I like that I can charge the case wirelessly or with a Lightning cable.

However, if you miss the deal or just want a more affordable option, look no further than my roundup of great AirPods alternatives priced $100 and less.

$159 starting Nov. 22

Soon to be on sale for just $109, this is one of the most affordable Apple Watches ever. (Photo: Apple)

Soon to be on sale for just $109, this is one of the most affordable Apple Watches ever. (Photo: Apple)

Where: Walmart

When: Monday, Nov. 22, starting at 7 p.m. ET

It’s hard to believe Apple still sells the Series 3 when there are now four newer models in the Apple Watch lineup. That said, this remains a very capable smartwatch, one that’s never before been priced this low.

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for Android users, iPhone owners will be hard-pressed to find a better wrist-companion. The Series 3 features GPS, heart-rate monitoring, exercise tracking, a swim-proof case and two-way communication with the phone: You can send and respond to text messages and even take phone calls, Dick Tracy-style. 

And if you’re looking to exercise phone-free, the watch can download music and podcasts for offline listening. My only real caveat is the 38mm screen size, which does feel a bit small. For an extra $30 you can bump up to the 42mm model.

$109 starting Nov. 22

One of the best Black Friday budget TV deals is this Element 65-inch model from Target; it'll be on sale for just $300. (Photo: Target)

One of the best Black Friday budget TV deals is this Element 65-inch model from Target; it’ll be on sale for just $300. (Photo: Target)

Where: Target

When: Sunday, Nov. 21

Budget TVs have improved considerably in recent years. Case in point: This Element model offers 4K resolution, HDR10 image enhancement and — arguably best of all — built-in Roku. Does it rival fancier models from the likes of LG and Samsung? Definitely not. Are you likely to get a ton of viewing enjoyment from it anyway? Absolutely yes.

Indeed, not everyone cares about features like quantum dots and local dimming. If you’re just looking for an affordable big screen that has an easy-to-use streaming interface, this is it.

If you decide to get this TV, however, consider this must-have Roku TV upgrade as well. It adds a “missing” feature I think most users would welcome.

$300 starting Nov. 21

Yes, whoever wears the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset looks goofy. No, whoever's using the Oculus Quest 2 won't care. It's that awesome. (Photo: Oculus)

Yes, whoever wears the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset looks goofy. No, whoever’s using the Oculus Quest 2 won’t care. It’s that awesome. (Photo: Oculus)

Where: Amazon, Best Buy, Target

When: Sunday, Nov. 21

Literally one of my favorite products in the history of technology, the Oculus Quest 2 delivers amazing virtual reality experiences at an affordable price. Discounts are extremely rare, but at least now you have the option of scoring a $50 gift card with purchase.

In fact, with Amazon, Best Buy and Target all offering the same deal, all that remains is to decide where you want that credit.

(Pro tip: If you buy from Amazon using your Prime Rewards Visa card, you’ll also get 5% back. Target’s RedCard will score you 5% back as well.)

Note that this is for the Quest 2 with 128GB of storage. I think that’s ample for casual users, but hardcore gamers might want to choose the 256GB model for $100 more. The $50 gift card is included there as well.

$299 with $50 gift card starting Nov. 21 $299 with $50 gift card starting Nov. 21 $299 with $50 gift card starting Nov. 21

Ironically, this is NOT what the Roku interface looks like on Walmart's house-brand TV. (Photo: Walmart)

Ironically, this is NOT what the Roku interface looks like on Walmart’s house-brand TV. (Photo: Walmart)

Where: Walmart

When: Monday, Nov. 22, starting at 7 p.m. ET

If Target’s 65-inch screen isn’t big enough to fulfill your home-theater dreams, look to Walmart’s house-brand mammoth. Like the Element model, it has built-in Roku, HDR10 image enhancements and three HDMI inputs.

With a TV this large, however, make sure you have a suitable space for it. Not every TV stand is wide enough, and not all wall mounts can accommodate the weight.

Those considerations aside, this is one of the best deals I’ve seen on a 70-inch screen. As with the aforementioned Target TV, though, consider adding this must-have Roku TV upgrade. It’s only $20.

$398 starting Nov. 22

Looking for more great Walmart deals? Check these out:

TV deals:

Headphones and earbud deals:

Video game deals:

Vacuum deals:

Fashion deals:

Kitchen deals:

Beauty deals:

Bedding deals:

Toy deals:

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