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Analyzing the 2012 Black Friday Ads: Best Buy Offers First Great Doorbuster

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By , dealnews Senior Feature Writer

Love it or hate it, Best Buy is synonymous with Black Friday. And after yesterday's disappointing RadioShack Black Friday ad, many folks are likely hoping that Best Buy's just-released circular can pick up the slack and bring us solid deals on some hot electronics. In total, the 2012 Best Buy Black Friday ad has more than 77 devices on sale, including a can't miss deal on a 40" LCD HDTV. Below are some of the ad's big-ticket promotions.

  • Toshiba 40" 1080p Widescreen LCD HD Television for $180
    At $9 under our Black Friday prediction for this size TV, Best Buy's deal on the 40" Toshiba 40E220U is without a doubt the best offer in its circular. The TV is $169 under the best price we've seen for that model this year and easily the least-expensive 40" 1080p LCD HDTV ever.

  • ASUS X401A 14" Laptop with 4G RAM for $250
    ASUS' X401A laptop is a budget machine usually powered by an older Intel Pentium processor. Although it's $50 under the best price we've seen for this laptop this year, we also predict that budget laptops will fall as low as $179. As a result, we're marking this deal as one to watch because, although it's an all-time low, we expect to find a comparable system for even less.

  • Lenovo G585 Vision 15.6" Laptop with 2GB RAM for $188
    Released in September, the G585 Vision is the successor to the Lenovo G575, a popular AMD-powered budget laptop that we've listed throughout the year. The G575 hit an all-time low of $229 (with in-store pickup) back in June. So not only is its successor cheaper at $188, the new G585 is also just $9 away from our Black Friday prediction for budget laptops and a good deal to keep your eye on.

  • Panasonic 32" Widescreen LCD HD Television for $190
    Although this is an all-time low for any 32" Panasonic LCD HDTV we've seen to date, we're lukewarm on the fact that this model is a 720p set; we're predicting that 32" 1080p LCD HDTVs will hit $159, so if you're not brand-specific, you might want to hold on this deal. Moreover, we think you'll get more value from Best Buy's 40" Toshiba for $180, as mentioned above.

  • Dell Tower Core i5 8GB Desktop PC with 20" LED-Backlit Monitor for $500
    Chances are most people won't be shopping for a desktop PC this holiday season. However, if you're one of the few shoppers who are, this Dell Inspiron desktop deal is worth keeping an eye on. The downside is that we've seen this exact same bundle before at this same price back in April. However, it only appeared once and it was a short-lived (less than five hours), though we did mark it an Editors' Choice deal.

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" 8GB Android Tablet with a $20 Gift Card for $180
    While this Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" 8GB tablet will be at an all-time low at $180 (and that's not even taking into account the value of the gift card), keep in mind that the well-reviewed Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 already typically sell for $199. Otherwise, this tablet and gift card bundle gets the green light from our Editors.

  • Sharp Aquos 60" 120Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $1,000
    Unfortunately, we've actually seen this TV at a lower price — $101 lower, to be exact, as listed back in September. And at $1,000, it's nowhere near our predicted price of $719 for this TV category. Suffice to say, this "deal" isn't worth your energy.

  • Samsung 40" 120Hz 1080p LED 3D HDTV for $498
    Are 3D HDTVs finally worth buying? The answer: not quite yet. Sure, this Samsung is at an all-time low (only by $1), but when compared to the earlier-mentioned Toshiba 40" for $180, this 3D HDTV just doesn't provide the best value ... especially since you'll need to invest in a 3D Blu-ray player in order to enjoy 3D content on your new TV. It's tempting at $498, but nowhere near being a "doorbuster" deal.

  • Panasonic 55" 120Hz 1080p LED 3D HDTV for $900
    This 55" Panasonic is at an all-time low and it's $49 under the best price we've seen this year. But, it's also very far from our $789 prediction for 55" 3D LCD HDTVs. Keep an eye on this model as it's at a a good price, but we feel that we'll see something comparable for less at some point this Black Friday.

  • Samsung 39" 60Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $398
    This "deal" is downright expensive if you're not particular about the brand. We've listed similar 39" 1080p LED LCD HDTVs for up to $148 less, albeit from a lesser manufacturer. This price is also beaten by Best Buy's own sale on the Toshiba 40" HDTV. Even though Samsung is a premium brand, we'd still pass on this TV.

  • Samsung Galaxy S III 4G Android Smartphone for Sprint for $48
    Android fans might feel tempted by this deal, as it's an all-time low and $52 under the best deal we've seen. However, we predict many popular — and current — Android smartphones will hit $0 this Black Friday as they did last year during Amazon's unprecedented Penny Pincher Sale. Our advice: check sites like Amazon and Wirefly before you pay for any Android smartphone.

  • Apple iPod touch MP3 Player (5th generation) with a $50 Gift Card for $295
    By now we all know about Apple's annual Black Friday Sale where the store takes 5% to 10% off iPods and other Apple merchandise. We always advise our readers to buy Apple products from authorized resellers though, and this deal is a good example of why; this new, 5th generation iPod touch 32GB MP3 Player is listed at $295 with a $50 Gift card from Best Buy. Assuming you use the gift card, that easily trumps even a 10% off discount from Apple.

  • Apple iPhone 4 8GB for $1
    An iPhone 4 for a buck? Pass. Not only did Apple already cut this model to free with a contract, but an authorized reseller is bound to bundle this phone with an iTunes gift card or other credit. It may look good on paper, but we'd hold off on this purchase. Even if it's just a buck.

  • Apple iPad 16GB WiFi 9.7" Tablet for $460
    Eagle-eyed shoppers take note: this is the 3rd generation iPad and not the newest 4th generation iPad announced by Apple last month. That said, we've already seen the 3rd generation iPad for as low as $449. Furthermore, refurbished iPad 3s start at $379 (all of Apple's refurbished items receive the same 1-year warranty as its non-refurb products). Needless to say, you can save more money elsewhere.

Overall, Best Buy's leaked Black Friday circular is a mixed bag of deals. It contains some knockout deals — namely the $180 Toshiba TV and current-generation iPod touch bundle — but several of its other deals fell flat. Likewise, the vast majority of its TV deals just weren't aggressive enough to get us excited.

Want to check out what we think of other sales? Keep an eye on all the Black Friday ads as they leak by visiting our Black Friday hub. We've already posted ads from Fred's, Dell, Harbor Freight Tools, Half Price Books, and Sprint.




An avid gadget lover, Louis Ramirez has covered technology for Gizmodo, CNET, Laptop, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @LouisRamirez.

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Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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1 comment
jasonda
The Toshiba Blu-ray Player (BDX2300) is NOT with built-in wifi. It is just wifi-ready!
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