Best Black Friday deals! [from Consumer Reports]

Yep, we love Consumer Reports and especially ‘Best Buys’, because they’re super recommended and an awesome deal!

You can’t beat getting high quality with a low price – Now we’re talking!

Black Friday is near, and you can find plenty of deals on headphones, laptops, TVs, and other electronics. And given the likelihood of inventory shortages and shipping slowdowns this year, you should start shopping now if you haven’t already.

Check out amazing deals from $19.99. Most items below are found on Amazon. Happy shopping!

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11

Lowest $149.00 In stock Was: $379.00. This is a classic Chromebook: lower-end specs in exchange for a relatively inexpensive price. The model has a MediaTek processor, 4GB of memory, and 32GB of flash storage, which is similar to but slower than solid state. If you put aside the pokey performance, you may still appreciate the lengthy battery life (12 hours) and decent display quality. The Chromebook has a 2-in-1 convertible hinge, too, that lets you fold the device into “tent mode” to prop up the screen for easy slide presentation or video viewing. CR’s test results: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Core i5)

$683.99 In stock Was: $899.99. Released late in 2019, the 12.3-inch Surface Pro 7 performs quite well in our tests. It has a previous-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and 128GB of solid-state storage. Our testers note strong performance for everything from browsing the web to editing office documents to watching high-resolution streaming video. If there’s one “but” here, it’s that the battery life is nothing special, coming in between 6 and 11 hours per charge depending on how hard you push it. Lighter tasks, such as browsing the web, will sip the battery; watching 4K videos will deplete it roughly twice as fast. CR’s test results: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5 laptop

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

$599.00 In stock Was: $999.99 This is a Chromebook with specs you’d expect to find on a more traditional laptop: an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and a spacious 256GB solid-state drive. That makes it fast and versatile, especially when you factor in the touch-screen display. The battery life is a modest 7 hours, though, so this model may be best suited for those who are fine with being tethered to a charging cable for part of the day. CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Hisense 70A6G

$549.99 In stock Was: $849.99. This model, sold only at Best Buy, offers satisfying overall picture quality, though like many less-expensive sets, it falls short when it comes to HDR (high dynamic range) performance. The set uses the Android TV system and comes with built-in Google Assistant. CR’s test results: Hisense 70A6G 70-inch TV

Samsung UN65TU7000

$568.00 In stock Was: $647.99. This 65-inch 4K smart TV from Samsung, an entry-level model in the company’s mainstream non-QLED 4K TV lineup for 2020, is a decent overall performer, though its HDR performance is ineffective, mainly due to peak brightness limitations. (Samsung TVs support the HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG HDR formats.) Compared with the TU8000 models above it, this set lacks a few features, including an enhanced game mode, and it has only two rather than three HDMI inputs. CR’s test results: Samsung UN65TU7000 65-inch TV

TCL 65R635

$898.00 In stock Was: $1,499.99 Just a few days ago you’d save $100 on this 65-inch 4K LCD/LED smart TV from TCL, a Roku TV model in TCL’s step-up 6-Series sets for 2020. But the price just dropped even more on a set that already offers a lot for the money, including satisfying overall picture quality and a very effective HDR experience—something that not many TVs in this price range can match. (The TV supports both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR formats.) One interesting element of this TV is that it uses mini LEDs in its full-array LED backlight with local dimming, which can help improve the dark scenes and contrast. This is one of the best Black Friday deals we’ve seen so far. CR’s test results: TCL 65R635 65-inch TV

Samsung HW-Q65T/ZA

$279.99 In stock Was: $499.99. This model, which appears to be a Best Buy exclusive, is a full-featured 5.1-channel sound bar that comes with two wireless rear surround speakers, plus a wireless subwoofer. It’s well priced for its features and among the better-sounding sound bars in our ratings. Samsung advertises this model as a 7.1-channel system, but it’s not. It will, however, use a feature called Q-Symphony to sync the sound bar’s speakers to a compatible Samsung TV’s speakers. It also supports DTS Virtual:X, which uses signal processing to simulate a 3D audio experience. CR’s test results: Samsung HW-Q65T/ZA

Vizio V51-H6

$169.99 In stock Was: $199.99 So far, Costco has the best price we’ve seen for this 5.1-channel system, which comes with a wireless subwoofer and a pair of rear speakers. We tested this model and it did well, if not exceptionally so, for overall sound quality. It’s part of the Costco sale that runs from through Nov. 29. CR’s test results: Vizio V51-H6

Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

$159.00 Was: $210.00. The Megaboom 3 features whimsical and colorful styling that says it’s time for fun. It’s a little larger than its less-expensive sibling, the Boom 3, and our testers report that it sounds significantly better, too. The Megaboom 3 also provides enough volume for use outside and, according to the manufacturer, it not only floats but can also pass a water-resistance test that immerses it in 1 meter of water for a half-hour. Despite the almost comically large volume buttons, though, the speaker achieves only average ease-of-use scores from our testers, because routine functions require the use of unlabeled buttons. CR’s test results: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 wireless & Bluetooth speaker

Amazon Fire HD 8

$44.99 In stock Was: $89.99. This is a good deal on Amazon’s year-old 8-inch tablet with 32 gigabytes of storage. Think of it as a relatively low-cost media-consumption device, well suited for streaming video, reading e-books, and web browsing. It’s not ideal for editing photos/videos or playing the latest video games, though. CR’s test results: Amazon Fire HD 8

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

$24.99 In stock Was: $49.99 This 4K version of Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is now priced at the same 50 percent discount we saw last Black Friday. It offers a nice array of content and features, including voice control and support for Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+. Bonuses include the ability to control it from Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo and Dot, and the included remote, which can be used to control power and volume on many TVs and sound bar speakers. CR’s test results: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device

JLab Audio JBuds Air

$24.18 Was: $49.99 Even at full price, these earphones deliver impressive sound quality, beating competitors that cost more than three times as much and earning them a spot in CR’s picks for the best true wireless headphones of 2021. So when you find them on sale at more than 20 percent off, it’s an even bigger bargain. The JBuds Air have an advertised 3.5-hour battery life and come with a carrying case that will recharge the earphones for an additional two cycles. Other features include support for various digital assistants, three switchable EQ modes to change the tonal balance of the sound, and according to JLab, water resistance. (We don’t test that feature or battery life.) CR’s test results: JLab Audio JBuds Air

TP-Link WiFi Range Extender

$19.49 In stock Was: $34.99. Buy it here! A WiFi range extender can help you send the signal from your router into a dead zone in the far reaches of your home. This one delivers dual-band WiFi up to a manufacturer-claimed maximum of 750 megabits per second. Features include a mobile app for help with setup and network management; a signal-strength light that helps you find the best place for installation; and an Ethernet port, which lets you create a wireless access point or connect a game console, Blu-ray player, smart TV, or streaming player to your WiFi network.  

Vankyo Leisure 430 Portable Projector

$59.99 In stock Was: $109.99. Buy it here!

This mini projector strikes a nice balance between price and performance, especially when it’s on sale. It ranks a bit lower than other models CR has tested because it doesn’t have the best picture quality, but it can produce a fairly large image with decent brightness. You need to keep it about 4 feet from the surface you’re projecting onto (other models can sit up to 12 feet back), and there’s no volume control. But for this price, it’s a great option for a backyard movie night or kids’ sleepover.

Dreo Air Fryer

Lowest $69.99 In stock Was: $159.99 The Dreo Air Fryer earns high scores in CR’s tests for the ease and legibility of its controls, ease of cleaning, and relatively quiet operating noise. The basket’s claimed capacity is 4 quarts, but CR’s test engineers measured it at 2.5 quarts. The one-year warranty is on a par with most of the models we test. You’ll need to click the on-page coupon before adding it to your cart to get the savings at Amazon. CR’s test results: Dreo air fryer

Eufy 11S [it’s a robotic vacuum!].

$137.98 In stock Was: $229.99 You don’t need to shell out a grand for a good robotic vacuum. Typically selling for around $220, the Eufy 11S earns high scores in our carpet cleaning test and does even better on bare floors. Though it’s not the most efficient cleaner (testers noted that it sometimes scatters debris), it does the job, operates quietly (like many robotic vacuums), and has a cliff sensor to keep it from tumbling down stairs. This robotic vacuum isn’t WiFi-enabled, so you can’t control it remotely from a smartphone app, but that also means it can’t be hacked. Eufy robotic vacuums as a whole receive top marks for reliability, meaning this model is unlikely to break down within the next three years. Overall, CR members have been very satisfied with their Eufy models in our recent surveys. Make sure to click the on-page coupon before adding this model to your cart to get the full savings. CR’s test results: Eufy 11S robotic vacuum

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