The best early Black Friday deals on laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets | Tech Reddy
The holiday shopping season is a great time to shop for a new computer or tablet. Here’s what’s on sale.
By Nicholas De Leon
If you’re looking for a laptop, Chromebook, tablet, or PC right now, you can find it at a discount. Black Friday 2022 is still a few weeks away, but as we head into the holiday shopping season, we’re seeing some great deals. Consumer Reports keeps track of all the best deals on top products throughout the season, so bookmark our Deals hub now and check back often for the latest.
No matter what device you’re looking for, it can be hard to find great deals on laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, and other tech accessories. This is especially true because you can’t just look at the sale price: The quality of the item you buy makes all the difference. We’re always looking at sales and Consumer Reports test results to help you find the best deals for your money.
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• Wireless routers
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Asus Chromebook C536EA-BI3T3
The Asus Chromebook C536EA-BI3T3 has one of the fastest processing speeds of any Chromebook we’ve tested. Battery life is below average at 9.75 hours in our web browsing tests, and the 4.3-pound weight makes it less portable than other models. But the convertible form factor allows it to fold into tent mode for watching videos.
Why it’s a good deal: If you’re looking for a Chromebook with fast processing speeds, this is a serious bargain.
HP Chromebook 13C-CA0013DX x360
This HP Chromebook 13C-CA0013DX x360 has an impressive battery life of 16.75 hours in our web browsing tests. It’s a great choice for keeping up with work while traveling, weighing in at just 2.8 pounds. It’s also a convertible model for a touch screen, extra universal.
Why it’s a good deal: This model originally sold for around $1,000, making it a decent deal. However, we saw it at Walmart last week for around $770, so the price may drop again.
This 14-inch Chromebook from HP is good for people who need a functional laptop to do things like browsing the web and checking email. It has an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of memory and 32 GB of flash storage. As with other Chromebooks, you store most of your files online. It scores well in our tests, with slightly average performance, but 13 hours of battery life in web browsing.
Why it’s a good deal: This Chromebook is just $10 off the lowest price we’ve seen all year.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
The 13-inch Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 CR is in the middle of the pack among the models we tested. Its processing speed is in the average range compared to other Chromebooks, and its battery life of 11.5 hours of web browsing is below average. In addition to the touchscreen display, this model has a built-in microSD card slot to expand storage beyond the internal 64 gigabytes.
Why it’s a good deal: The almost $60 discount for this machine is significant. We recently saw it sell for $250, so keep an eye on it to see if the price drops again later.
HP Victus 16
This 16.1-inch HP Victus 16 laptop has performance speeds that rival some of the fastest rated models in our tests, including graphics-intensive tasks like gaming and media editing. It has an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM, a 512 GB hard drive and an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 graphics card with 6 GB of dedicated memory. Its battery life should last most of the work day.
Why it’s a good deal: That’s a pretty modest discount, but it’s still a decent savings if you’re looking for an impressive gaming laptop. The price is also down $50 from last week, making it an even better deal.
LG Gram 17 (2021)
The 2021 LG Gram 17 could be a great option if you’re looking for a lightweight machine that still works. Its web browsing and video playback battery life is among the longest CR has tested, a feat not often seen in 17-inch laptops. It has a solid state drive that can load Windows and large programs quickly, and the large 2 terabytes of space is perfect for local backups. While not the best choice for gaming, it’s fast enough to handle complex spreadsheets and video conferencing.
Why it’s a good deal: Over $300 off, it’s definitely something to consider if you need a laptop powerhouse.
LG UltraPC 15
The 15.6-inch LG UltraPC 15 has faster-than-average performance for demanding tasks, including gaming. Its battery life averaged more than 15.5 hours in web browsing tests. display as well as high score.
Why it’s a good deal: A 13 percent discount can make a big difference in your wallet. However, Walmart recently sold this model for $50 off, so the price may drop in the future.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go (64 GB)
Microsoft has several Surface devices, but the relatively inexpensive Microsoft Surface Laptop Go may be a good option for consumers looking for a small laptop, especially since it’s a big discount. It has a 12.4-inch display, an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 gigabytes of memory and a rare 64GB solid-state drive, which you can supplement with cloud storage.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go scores well in many of our tests, but performance is a bit slow compared to other options. The model is lightweight (2.5 pounds), offers good battery life (less than 12 hours in CR’s web browsing test), and has a bright, color-accurate display. There is a touch screen to view those photo galleries.
Why it’s a good deal: This is the best price we’ve seen for this model, which previously sold for over $300, beating the previous low by $13.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is our top recommendation for people who want a budget-friendly Android tablet, which is especially good for students. The screen looks good and unless you’re playing a graphics-heavy game or doing something like video editing, the device can handle all tasks. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite also delivers solid battery life, lasting just over 12 hours in our web browsing tests.
Why it’s a good deal: Average discount for this model. The retail price of this tablet usually ranges from $280 to $350, so it may drop again.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 (128 GB, Wifi)
The Galaxy Tab S8 is a great option for those who want an Android tablet. Keep in mind that simple tasks like reading email, watching movies, and surfing the web don’t require the highest performance. If you need a fast device but want something a little more affordable, the Galaxy Tab S7 is also on sale.
Why it’s a good deal: That’s only a few dollars higher than the best price we’ve seen all year.
Google Nest Wifi (3-Pack)
The Google Nest Wifi three-pack scores well for near- and mid-range bandwidth, delivering good all-around performance. It may be a little underpowered in larger homes, and it’s “only” compatible with WiFi 5. But it’s hard to complain at that price.
Why it’s a good deal: This router system normally retails for $350, which is a very impressive deal, especially right now at Walmart.
Asus AC2900 (RT-AC86U)
The Asus AC2900 RT-AC86U has excellent bandwidth in all ranges, making it the best choice for any size home. It also includes many additional features such as WTFast game accelerator for smooth gameplay in supported multiplayer online games, Trend Micro’s AiProtection, free one-year Trend Micro Mobile Security for two mobile devices and Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus+ for two. Windows computers. AiMesh is also supported, so you can connect to other compatible ASUS routers to create a WiFi mesh network.
Why it’s a good deal: This router is the best price we’ve seen all year; it normally retails for $130.
Asus AX2700 (RT-AX68U)
This WiFi 6 wireless router from Asus scores very well in our tests, is easy to set up via a smartphone app, and has automatic firmware updates. However, performance lags a bit in our close-range tests, so you’ll want to put some space between the router and the devices that require the highest speeds.
Why it’s a good deal: We haven’t seen a discount on this model in a while.
Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6600 (RAX70-100NAS)
If you don’t need (or want) a multi-router mesh setup, this all-in-one WiFi 6 model from Netgear should be at the top of your list. It tested bandwidth at all distances and was easy to set up via a smartphone app or an old-school, web-based wizard.
There are automatic firmware updates to keep your data safe, as well as four Ethernet ports and one USB port for connecting peripherals.
Why it’s a good deal: The sale price is down a few dollars from last week.
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