Enjoy great prices on consumer electronics on Black Friday

Black Friday brings with it some unbelievable bargains on electronics, and if you're in the market for a new smartphone, tablet, e-reader or portable music player, you're certain to find a dazzling array of options and the year's best prices. Retailers are looking to kick-start the Christmas shopping season while clearing out shelf space for incoming inventory, so it's not uncommon to see discounts of 50 percent or more on electronics and accessories.

Shopping for Smartphones

When it comes to smartphones, you need to think about a lot more than just the phone's design and input capabilities. Look for access to a broad range of apps. Apple's iPhone and devices that run Google's Android operating system are extremely popular because they offer the most apps. Also, check to see how fast the smartphone's processor is, and whether it offers HD image and video capture. Finally, remember that there are two types of battery life: passive battery life, which measures how long the smartphone will stay charged when it is not in use, and active battery life, which measures how long the smartphone will stay charged when you are using it for talk, text or apps.

Tablet Computers

In addition to the usual specs including processor speed, hard drive space, and RAM, you should also carefully research a tablet computer's battery life, size and weight, and upgrade capabilities. These new devices are very convenient and offer the ultimate in portability. The smaller and lighter the model you choose, the more you'll be able to take full advantage of this key feature. You may also want to add more RAM or hard drive space in the future, so be sure you're able to do this without adding bulk or weight to the machine.



If you love to read, an e-reader is a great investment. These handy devices come pre-loaded with access to thousands of public domain titles, and allow you to quickly, easily, and inexpensively purchase additional titles from online libraries. Whether you're catching up on your classics or looking for the latest bestseller, an e-reader puts the literary world at your fingertips.

Here are the important tech specs to look for in an e-reader:

  • Storage capabilities. If you want to save books to the reader's hard drive, having more available memory will be a boon.
  • Internet connectivity. All e-readers can connect to the Internet, but how quick is the connection, and how long does it take to download a new book?
  • Battery life. How long is the e-reader functional before it needs to be recharged? Longer is better, especially if you're on the road frequently.
  • Screen type. Look for a screen with glare-reduction technology. This more closely replicates the experience of reading off the printed page, and prevents sunlight or artificial light from making the digital ink difficult to see in bright conditions.

Portable Music Players

Apple's iPod is easily the most popular music player on the market, and you're sure to find a great deal on a new iPod on Black Friday, particularly if you're willing to go with an older model or a model that isn't "top of the line". However, there are plenty of other options on the market. As you're shopping, use these guidelines as your points of comparison for the various models:

  • Memory. The number one thing to look for is a portable music player with plenty of memory, as this will increase the number of songs you're able to store. Memory can be upgraded on most portable music players.
  • Playback compatibility. Some portable music players only support a narrow range of file types, such as MP3s or WMVs. Make sure that all your file types are supported by the player before buying it.
  • Internet connectivity. Does the device offer Internet connectivity, enabling you to access songs and purchase titles from online music libraries?

Enjoy your Black Friday electronics shopping, but be sure to get an early start! Product quantities are limited, and many stores offer extended opening hours and open several hours earlier than usual to accommodate consumer demand.