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Best Black Friday deals available now: Apple Watch, AirPods, Bose headphones and more – CNET

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

The Black Friday deals are in full flow with massive savings available from Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon and more. There are discounts on Apple products, including AirPods and Apple Watch, as well as great buys from Roku, Bose and Amazon devices. You can check out some of the retailer-specific deals below.

Of the new deals that have arrived since Thanksgiving, many of the more exciting ones are already sold out or marked as curbside pickup only. That includes up to $70 off on iPads at Best Buy and a $150 50-inch Fire TV Edition Insignia TV at Best Buy. In better news, while the $169 AirPods Pro are sold out at Walmart, Amazon is matching them within a dollarThey’re currently listed as “temporarily” out of stock but it’s likely more will arrive over the coming days so keep your eye on it. 

We’ve been sifting through these and other sales to find the cream of the crop, which we’ve gathered below. Note that a few of the previously “expired” deals we kept at the bottom have resurfaced, which is why we recommend keeping this post bookmarked and checking it often for updates.

Best Black Friday deals available now

César Salza/CNET

CNET has dubbed the Fitbit Charge 4 the best all-around fitness tracker of 2020 for its low price, slim design, fashionable and functional straps and solid set of features, including GPS and sleep tracking. 

While it doesn’t have a full-color display like most smartwatches, the small design makes it comfortable to wear 24/7, and the battery life lasts about four days, or seven if you turn off GPS. If you’re looking to get a fitness tracker for someone who doesn’t already wear one, this is a great buy. Read our Fitbit Charge 4 review.

Another option: Kohl’s also has the Fitbit Charge for $100, but it comes with $30 in Kohl’s Cash to spend on a subsequent purchase. Assuming you can make use of that, it’s definitely the better deal.

Read more: All the Black Friday Fitbit and smartwatch deals

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Echo Show 8 is simply a larger version of the Echo Show 5, but that makes it a better candidate for the kitchen and other places you might prefer a bigger display. (It’s definitely preferable for video calls.) This matches the lowest price on record for this model.

Read our Echo Show 8 review.

Apple’s new flagship watch just got a solid discount ahead of Black Friday — the biggest so far, in fact. That price is good only for certain colors, however, and those have been changing day to day. Right now, for example, the Product Red and gold aluminum versions are $330; the other colors are $379. But it was the other way around yesterday, so it’s hard to be certain what you’ll find.

Read our Apple Watch Series 6 review.

AOC

Expand your desktop workspace with this super-slim 1080p monitor, which features VGA and HDMI inputs and comes with a three-year warranty. If that model sells out, there’s also an HP V24i for $90, though it has only a one-year warranty.

Tytan Tiles

Need a gift for a youngster? This kit consists of magnetic building blocks in a variety of shapes and sizes, so they’re great even for toddlers (but also fun for just about any age). At $20, this is around $10 less than similar kits you’ll see elsewhere.

Want more tiles? There’s an 80-piece set for $30 and a 120-piece set for $40. All three come with a drawstring bag and a little car with wheels.

Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker: $18

Save $7

Tile

Tile usually makes you buy a multipack in order to get a decent discount. This is one of the best deals on record for a single tracker — which just happens to be one of my favorite products. Add it to your keychain, then use the Tile app when those keys go missing. Just as valuable, double-press the Tile button and it rings your phone (even when set to silent).

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Amazon, Walmart, Costco and other stores had the AirPods at $99 earlier this month — the lowest price on record — but for the moment that deal is gone. In its place: $110 AirPods on Amazon, also “for the moment.”

Read more: The best Black Friday AirPods deals

Will $99 AirPods be back? [Shakes Magic 8-Ball.] All signs point to yes.

Read our AirPods review.

Jackbox Games

Having a small, masked gathering this weekend? Jackbox party games are a blast. They’re on sale for up to 50% off on PC platforms like Steam and Fanatical. Just plug your laptop into the TV, then gather everyone around with their phones and tablets. I’m a huge fan of Quiplash, but there are lots of other great titles as well. Buy a Party Pack for maximum savings.

David Carnoy/CNET

Insanely popular with runners, Aftershokz headphones rarely go on sale. This price is the lowest I’ve seen for the Aeropex, the current flagship of the lineup. Why the fuss over these ‘phones? Their bone-conduction design lets you enjoy your tunes and podcasts while still hearing the sounds around you (like, say, oncoming traffic).

There’s an even cheaper option: the Aftershokz OpenMove for $80 (save $20), also the lowest price on record.

Roku

It may be two years old, but the Roku Premiere is still an excellent streamer. It has apps for pretty much every streaming service under the sun, and it slings them all at 4K. The latest version supports HDR, too. Whether there’s a “dumb” TV you’re looking to make smart or an old Roku that’s in need of replacing, it’s hard to beat this all-time-low price.

Note that the Roku Ultra 2020 is on sale for $70, with extra features like Bluetooth streaming and a remote with headphone jack. You can also get the Roku Streambar for $100.

Read our Roku Premiere review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

It’s the first-ever sale on Amazon’s new version of the mid-range Echo, which arrives with a new HomePod Mini-like orb shape (one that extends to the new Echo Dot as well — and that’s on sale for $29). We liked the improved sound quality and powerful bass in this version.

Read our Amazon Echo review.

DJI

Finally! We’ve been hoping for a reduction on the rarely discounted Mavic Mini, which is a simply fantastic personal drone. This isn’t the lowest price we’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely the best deal in a while. Same goes for the Fly More Combo, which you can grab for $449 (a $50 savings).

Yes, there’s now a Mavic Mini 2, but it starts at $449. Is it worth the extra $90? That’s your call, but the original is pretty sweet.

Note that if Amazon runs out, Best Buy is matching the price, and you can buy it direct from DJI as well (with a free canvas bag thrown in for good measure).

AeroGarden

As we roll into winter, I’m already missing my garden — especially the herbs I grow to make homemade chermoula (my best discovery of 2019).

LED-powered indoor gardens to the rescue! There are lots of these on the market right now, some pretty pricey. This is an unusually good deal on the AeroGarden Harvest Elite Slim, which supports up to six seed pods and comes with a starter heirloom-salad seed kit.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Normally $30, the new-for-2020 Fire Stick Lite continues to see a solid discount ahead of Black Friday. This entry-level streamer delivers 1080p video with HDR support (but not 4K). The big missing apps are HBO Max and Peacock (for now), but the Alexa-powered voice remote is top-notch.

Read more: The best Black Friday streamer deals

Read our Fire TV Stick Lite review.

Kojima Productions

Score a boxed copy of one of 2019’s biggest (and weirdest) games for the lowest price ever. We still don’t understand what “stranding” is (just sounds like a misspelled word), but at least you don’t have to pay $60 to experience it for yourself. Read our Death Stranding review.

Best Buy

TCL is best known for its Roku TVs, and we like the Roku smart TV system better than the Android TV version in this television, but for this price you can just buy a Roku Streaming Stick Plus, attach it to this TV and still come out ahead. Aside from its smarts we expect this 4-Series TV to perform “good enough,” just like the Roku equivalent

This TV was previously $30 less, and may get there again. So although $120 is a solid discount, you might want to wait and see if the better deal returns.

Read more: The best Black Friday TV deals

Best Buy

A pressure cooker is one of the most versatile tools you can add to your kitchen, and at this price it’s one of the most affordable. Insignia’s model appears nearly identical to the equivalent Instant Pot, offering 10 preset modes for things like rice, meat, soup and even cake. It features a delayed-start option, an automatic keep-warm function and a dishwasher-safe nonstick pot.

Amazon

This is only the third time this kit has been priced this low. It’s an insanely popular item, as it’s great not only for checking your ancestry, but also for identifying potentially serious health issues. Makes a great gift, too.

Lenovo’s premium two-in-one, the Yoga C940, boasts a sturdy and sleek all-metal design and a touch display that can rotate 360 degrees into tablet mode. It includes an active pen and can also instantly wake from sleep, one of the phone-like features it received courtesy of Intel’s Project Athena.

This configuration features a 14-inch display with a 4K resolution powered by a 10th-gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD with 32GB of superfast Optane memory. A similarly configured Yoga C40 on Lenovo’s site works out to $1,650, so this deal is even better than it looks. And it already looked good.

Read more: The best Black Friday laptop deals

Read our Lenovo Yoga C940 review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

With its 7-inch touchscreen, the Nest Hub offers more viewable area than the 5.5-inch Echo Show 5 (which is currently on sale for $45). But the real question is whether you want Google Assistant running the smart show in your house instead of Alexa. If the answer is yes, this is an outstanding deal — especially considering the $20 in movie credit that comes with it. Splurge at Vudu on rentals or purchases, all of which you can watch on the Nest Hub or anywhere Vudu streams.

Read our Google Nest Hub review.

Crock-Pot

One of several cookers on sale at Kohl’s, this one seems a particularly great deal on an item every kitchen needs. Score the beloved Crock-Pot for just $25.50 with promo code THANKS. This model has lid clamps for easier travel.

Take note that shipping isn’t free, however, unless your cart hits $75. But you can pick it up in-store and bypass shipping altogether.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This was briefly selling for just $100 a short while ago, but even at $140 it’s a deal worth considering. 

As a general rule, we don’t like Amazon’s Fire TV as much as Roku because Fire TV menus push Amazon content too much and are more confusing in general. But this model does have a voice remote with Alexa, and the price is mighty compelling for a screen of this size.

Read more: The best Black Friday TV deals

Instant Pot

These days, a multicooker is an essential kitchen tool, like a toaster oven or microwave. This Instant Pot Viva can get you in the multicooker business for half price: $49 buys you a nine-in-one gadget that works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, sous vide, cake maker and more. It has a 6-quart capacity and comes with 15 preset programs for recipes that include soups, beans, rice, ribs and eggs.

Read more: The best Black Friday Instant Pot deals

Bose

If ever there was a time to tune out the world, it’s now. (Because, you know, election, pandemic, murder hornets…) Sure, there are newer over-the-ear noise-canceling cans from Sony and even Bose, but this perennial favorite was great when it came out and it’s still great now — especially at this price, which rivals the lowest we’ve seen. Original list price: $350.

Read our Bose QuietComfort 35 II review.

Early Black Friday deals: Sold out or expired (for now)

Angela Lang/CNET

AirPods Pro are all about the noise cancellation: These in-ear buds block outside noise better than just about any other product on the market. They’re also great for calls and offer an excellent transparency mode. Like to work out? The AirPods Pro earbuds are sweat-resistant. Standard AirPods are not. Woot has been selling these for $190 in recent days, and then Walmart stomped in by offering them for $169, their lowest price ever. That offer quickly went out of stock, but Amazon is currently offering a (near) price match at $170. And here’s a pro tip: Use your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card to get 5% back on this purchase. Don’t have that card? If you’re a Prime subscriber, grab it and score a $100 Amazon gift card.

Read more: The best Black Friday AirPods deals

Read our AirPods Pro review.

Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

New for 2020, the Apple Watch SE is the middle child of the Apple Watch lineup. It’s got the same basic design as the Series 6, but lacks that model’s always-on display, ECG functionality and oxygen saturation measurements.

The 40mm and 44mm models run $279 and $309 at the Apple Store — and have been marked as low as $229 and $259 during previous early Black Friday sales. If you see higher prices, be patient: Those deals will likely return.

Read our Apple Watch SE review.

Eufy

You don’t have to spend hundreds to add some automation to your house cleaning. The Eufy RoboVac 25C can be controlled via a mobile app or by voice with Alexa and Google Home. It’s smart enough to differentiate between floors and carpet and can avoid stairs automatically. 

Lenovo

Here’s a solid deal on a spacious laptop, one that features a 14-inch screen, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage and eight-hour battery life. My only reservation is with the 1,366×768-pixel screen, which is a little on the low-res side. But for students doing homework, Zoom meetings and the like, it’s fine.

What you need to know about Black Friday 2020

Black Friday 2020 is shaping up to be a very different kind of shopping experience than any holiday shopping weekend in recent memory. With ongoing inventory issues due to the extended global pandemic — not to mention the need for retailers to maintain a safe environment for customers and employees — it’s likely that there will be no throngs of expectant customers lining up for hours ahead of massive doorbuster sales.

In fact, a number of stores will be closed on Thanksgiving this year, ending a long-standing tradition of kicking off Black Friday sales before the turkey has had a chance to cool. These retailers have not yet announced plans for Friday, Nov. 27, but we’ll update this article as we learn more about their holiday hours. 

In addition, all of the retailers listed below require customers to wear face coverings. Unless their policies change between now and Thanksgiving, it’s reasonable to assume that face coverings will be required for Black Friday sales as well. 

Bookmark this post and check back often for more early and upcoming Black Friday deals!

Read more: 4 things you need to know about Black Friday 2020


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CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best BuyWalmartAmazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.

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'Touch Bar' Trending on Twitter Following Rumors It'll Be Removed on 2021 MacBook Pro – MacRumors

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First introduced in 2016, the controversial Touch Bar may be on its way out this year, with reputable Apple sources Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman indicating that Apple plans to remove the feature on new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in 2021.

touch bar close up
In a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that the Touch Bar will be replaced with a row of physical function keys, in line with previous-generation MacBook Pro models and the current MacBook Air. Gurman weighed in on the matter in a report with Bloomberg, claiming that Apple has tested new MacBook Pro models without a Touch Bar, and he was more decisive in a follow-up tweet.

Following these reports, “Touch Bar” is now trending on Twitter, with many users reacting enthusiastically about its potential removal and others expressing hope that the Touch Bar will remain on at least some MacBook Pro models.

Apple described the Touch Bar as “revolutionary” and “groundbreaking” when it was first introduced on the 2016 MacBook Pro. The touchscreen strip is positioned above the keyboard, providing users with customizable controls, ranging from traditional function keys to app-specific shortcuts and features. A popular example is the Touch Bar displaying a row of emoji when composing a message in the Messages app.

“The Touch Bar places controls right at the user’s fingertips and adapts when using the system or apps like Mail, Finder, Calendar, Numbers, GarageBand, Final Cut Pro X and many more, including third-party apps,” Apple said in 2016. “For example, the Touch Bar can show Tabs and Favorites in Safari, enable easy access to emoji in Messages, provide a simple way to edit images or scrub through videos in Photos and so much more.”

Apple already made a slight concession by introducing a physical Esc key on the latest 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models after users complained about the virtual Esc key in the Touch Bar on previous models.

Kuo expects the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models to launch in the third quarter of 2021, which begins in late June.

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2021 MacBook Pro Rumored to Feature More Ports: Here's a Look at What Previous Models Offered – MacRumors

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Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for all-new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the classic MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity.

2015 macbook pro side profile article
One of the most controversial design changes to the MacBook Pro came in 2016, when Apple removed the majority of ports from the notebook, forcing users who still rely on I/O options like USB-A and HDMI to purchase adapters or docks. Apple used the removal of ports as an opportunity to tout its “thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro ever,” but the decision was criticized by many users and even prompted a “dongle hell” meme.

While current MacBook Pro models are equipped with only two to four Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack, it wasn’t always this way. From 2012 to 2015, the 15-inch MacBook Pro offered a wider selection of I/O, including a MagSafe connector, two Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

2015 macbook pro ports

2015 macbook pro ports

2015 model of 15-inch MacBook Pro

In 2011, the 15-inch MacBook Pro offered even more connectivity options, including MagSafe, a Gigabit Ethernet port, FireWire 800, a Thunderbolt port, two USB-A ports, an SD card reader, separate audio in and audio out jacks, a CD/DVD drive, and a slot to connect a Kensington security lock. This model also had a small strip of LEDs built into the chassis that showed how much charge the battery had remaining with the push of a small button.

2011 macbook pro ports

2011 macbook pro ports

2011 model of 15-inch MacBook Pro

For now, it remains unclear what new ports will be added to the 2021 MacBook Pro, if the rumor proves to be accurate. In his research note, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that the notebooks will be “equipped with more types of I/O, and most users may not need to purchase additional dongles,” but he did not share anything more specific.

Kuo expects the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models to launch in the third quarter of 2021, which begins in late June.

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ICBC gets green light to slash car insurance by 15% starting in May – Chilliwack Progress

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The BC Utilities Commission has approved ICBC’s request for a 15 per cent decrease on basic insurance, marking welcomed news to drivers in the province.

The new rates are set to kick in on May 1.

The province submitted the application last month. At the time, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth called the drop one of the largest rate reductions at ICBC in four decades, stemming from savings at the public insurer as it adopts a no-fault model. The new system prohibits a driver from suing for financial compensation, with a few exceptions.

RELATED: ICBC applies for 15% rate decrease as lawyers pushed out

Instead, crash victims will have access to up to $7.5 million in medical benefits. Currently, the cap on funds is $300,000.

The regulator has also approved ICBC to provide rebates to B.C. drivers, based on the difference between the driver’s current coverage and the new model. The province has said premiums will drop by as much as 20 per cent, an average of $400 a year.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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