As the holiday shopping season gets into gear, November promises to be a good month for consumers seeking bargains on budget laptop computers and HDTVs. Tablet shoppers, though, are less likely to see much price movement, as many slate lines are already being offered at rock bottom selling points.
Traditionally, the holiday bargain season begins on Black Friday--the Friday after Thanksgiving--but some merchants have already begun offering Black-Friday-like deals in hopes of producing more favorable holiday sales numbers than last year.
One of the hottest selling categories this holiday season will be tablet computers, but the real bargains will be in budget laptops. That's because tablet prices are so low already there won't be much "give" on their pricing in the coming weeks. A slate like the Kindle Fire, for example, costs more to make than it's selling for.
"[T]here isn't much room for discounts, and the best we might see in terms of tablet deals this Black Friday will likely be promotions that bundle these devices with a sizable gift card or credit," bargain hunter site DealNews.com predicts in its monthly best/worst buys report published earlier this week.
Although Apple typically digs in its heels on the pricing of its products, tablet shoppers may find good deals on the iPad 2.
On Black Friday, Apple usually offers discounts on its products of 5 to 10 percent, DealNews says. It predicts, however, that steeper discounts--some as high as 20 percent--will be offered by some Apple resellers, such as Amazon, MacMall, and MacConnection.
With those discounts, the iPad 2 could wind up selling for $299, or $40 cheaper than its little brother, the iPad Mini. The third-generation iPad--superseded by the new iPad released in September--may also be subject to bargain pricing, falling to at least $449.
While tablets will be high on the priority list of many gift wishers this holiday season, they might be better off setting their sights on a budget laptop. Prices on that hardware will sink below $199--the price of a Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 tablet.
In October, deals on dual-core laptops were around $218, according to DealNews; and by Black Friday the bargain site expects the note books to hit all-time lows of $179.
Shoppers looking for bargains on svelte Windows 8 ultrabook hybrids probably won't find much price movement on that hardware. However, the price rigidity on those tab-books will likely push prices on more conventional notebooks even further down.
DealNews is also prognosticating record-breaking lows for HDTVs in November. As the month started, 42-, 55- and 60-inch HDTVs had reached their lowest price points since the beginning of the year, price points--$332 for a 42-inch model, $800 for a 55-inch set and $900 a for 60-inch TV--that will continue to drop around Black Friday and beyond.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.