You might think retailers would be holding their collective breath before the sales frenzy of Black Friday kicks in, but we found some pretty impressive deals on late-model tech this week. Apple’s AirPods Pro dropped to a new low, while the Apple Watch SE with cellular cut $40 off the sticker price. Gamers looking for an entry point into the latest gear can get the base model Razer Blade 15 for a great discount, and there’s a Friday-only deal on an Xbox Series X. We also found discounts on fitness trackers from Fitbit and Garmin smartwatches. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still get today.
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd gen)
As Apple’s newest flagship buds, we were surprised to see a discount on the second-gen AirPod Pros this week. They’re down to $234, which is the lowest we’ve seen them to date. We gave them a score of 88 in our review back in September, impressed by the full, immersive sound and what our reviewer called the “best transparency mode you’ll find on earbuds.” Our tests gave a bit over six hours using a mix of active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode and calls. The AirPods Pro are among the best buds out there, and it’s great to see them finally offering a discount.
Apple Watch SE (2022)
When we reviewed the latest release of the Apple Watch SE, we said Apple’s most affordable smartwatch was “the best smartwatch for the money.” Right now Amazon is offering $39 off the list price for the cellular-enabled model. That brings it down to $289 and matches the lowest price we’ve seen so far.
We thought the newest Apple Watch SE deftly combined affordability with a comprehensive suite of features. We liked the easy-to-read screen, even in bright daylight and the comfortable, lightweight design. Since it uses the same S8 SiP advanced dual-core processor as the Apple Watch 8 and Ultra, its quick and snappy in its responsiveness. While it doesn’t have the new temperature sensor that was added to the Series 8, it still does a great job of tracking your hear rate and other activities. We were also impressed with the way it looks pretty indistinguishable from the Series 8.
The cellular model adds even more connectivity, adding the ability to take on calling and texting duties even when you leave your iPhone at home.
Razer Blade 15
Razer’s Blade 15 made the cut as our favorite premium option in our gaming laptop guide and right now the base model Blade 15 is $250 off the list price, bringing it down to $1,550. The premium configuration got a review score of 86 and while that model is geared towards the gaming elite (and hasn’t budged from it’s lofty $3,700 price), this base model offers the quality build Razer Blade laptops are known for. This one’s got plenty of features more casual gamers will appreciate, like dual graphics cards, a 15.6-inch full HD with a 144Hz refresh rate and 16GB of dual-channel RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.
Apple iPad Pro (11-inch, 2022)
It’s been out less than a month and already the 11-inch iPad Pro has received its first discount. Both Amazon and B&H have knocked $50 off the list price of the 128GB model. That makes it $749, which still isn’t cheap, but if you want to see for yourself the responsiveness of the new M2 chip and the improved battery life, may as well do so while keeping $50 in your pocket. There’s also the addition of the app-organizing Stage Manager, which helps you take full advantage of what the iPad Pro can handle. This discount only applies to the Space Gray colorway, but if you’re planning on using a case, color’s not an issue.
GoPro Hero 11 Black
The GoPro Hero 11 is usually a steep $500, but this week, GoPro is offering their newest action camera for $350 when you sign up for a one-year GoPro subscription. The subscription gets you things like auto uploads and unlimited backups on the cloud, plus discounts on products at the GoPro website and camera replacement. We found a lot to love about the Hero11 in our review, including admiration for the new taller sensor. It not only allows for a better horizon lock, but lets you record in “full frame,” a mode that captures all possible action then allows you to crop it for different venues after the fact. For example, cropping to 16:9 for YouTube and 9:16 for TikTok. If you’re subscription-averse, Amazon has the camera for $50 off the list price.
Chromecast with Google TV
If you don’t already own a smart TV, the Chromecast 4K with Google TV is one of the most affordable ways to turn virtually anything with an HDMI port into a powerful streaming device. Right now, Amazon has the dongle-and-remote combo on sale for just $40, which matches its all-time low price. We gave it a score of 86 when it debuted, particularly impressed by the intuitive remote and the Google Assistant integration, meaning it basically turns your TV into a smart home hub, with control over Assistant-enabled smart home devices.
We also liked the HD version of Chromecast with Google TV when we tried it out. If you’ve got an HD 1080p TV or monitor, the 4K version is probably overkill. You can pick up the HD version for $10 off list price, making it just $18 — possibly the lowest price you’ll find on anything “smart.”
Fitbit Charge 5
There’s a good chance “more exercise” is on your 2023 to-do list, which makes this deal on a Fitbit Charge 5 a right on time. The discount brings the price down to just $100 from its usual price of $150. That’s not the lowest we’ve ever seen, but its still a great price. The Charge 5 is our current favorite fitness tracker thanks to its reliable delivery of sleep and activity stats. It’s got GPS to record your runs and hikes, and Fitbit play for in-store payments so you can leave your wallet at home when you run. And since it’s not a smartwatch, the battery lasted over five full days in our review, in which we awarded the wearable a score of 82.
Garmin Fenix 7
Garmin’s fenix 7 Series smartwatches have long battery lives, a slew of sensors and comprehensive GPS tracking capabilities — but they aren’t cheap. MSRPs range between $700 for the smaller fenix 7S and $900 for the largest and solar-powered fenix 7X Solar. The current sale at Wellbots takes $100 off every model. And if you enter the code ENGWATCH15 at checkout, you’ll get an additional $15 off. The battery on the fenix 7S can last up to 11 days in smartwatch mode, while the fenix 7X Solar can get a full month with regular exposure to the sun.
Garmin also makes a slightly more affordable GPS smartwatch in the Instinct 2 and Instinct 2 Solar Edition. Those are currently $50 off as well, bringing the price down to $300 and $400, respectively. Use the same code and you’ll score $15 extra off of those models too.
Apple Studio Display
If you have newer versions of a Mac Studio, Mac Pro, Mac Mini or even a MacBook, you might want to keep the display in the family and go with the Apple Studio Display. Only trouble is, Apple’s latest screen costs $2,000 for the model with height and tilt adjustments, and $1,600 for tilt adjustment only. To lessen the blow, B&H has the tilt-only model for $100 off and the height-and-tilt-adjustable model for $200 off, bringing them down to a . In our review of the Studio Display, we thought the speakers were impressive and the image quality of the 5K panel really popped.
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD
We thought the deal on SanDisk’s 1TB Extreme Portable SSD was great when it was $109. Now that Amazon has it for $99, it’s the lowest we’ve ever seen and 66 percent off its $250 list price. This is a good opportunity to up the time to up your storage capacity with a solid state drive (SSD) you can take anywhere. The tough exterior can handle falls from over six feet and shrugs off a heavy rainfall (or splash from your spilled soda). Once you plug it into your computer or phone using the included USB-C cable, you’ll get data transfer speeds of 1GB per second. It comes with optional 256‐bit AES password protection and a built-in carabiner cut out to strap it to your pack.
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i
We named the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i the best overall pick in our guide to the best Chromebooks. Right now Amazon is taking 30 percent off the prices for both the 128GB model and the 256 model, bringing them down to $300 and $330, respectively. When we tested out he Flex 5i, our reviewer Nathan Ingraham said it was the best Chromebook option for most people thanks to its bright 1080p touchscreen, 11th generation Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM. It’s got an eight-hour battery life and the screen folds open to create either a tent or all the way back to create a tablet experience.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3
Right now Amazon has the Wonderboom 3 portable speaker from Ultimate Ears for up to 20 percent off, depending on the colorway, with a light gray hue seeing the biggest deal. That’s the lowest this small-but-mighty speaker has gone yet and a great buy if you want something tough you can take outdoors.
The speaker is compact, clocking in just shy of 15 ounces, but it delivers full, 360-degree sound. If you do take it outside, outdoor mode will boost the treble and bass so you can hear it farther afield. A strong IP67 rating means it can handle submersion in water for up to 30 minutes and shrugs off most of the dirt and dust you’ll find in the wild. It made our list of recommended audio gifts and is a good deal even at its usual $99 price tag. Keep in mind, the Amazon listing includes the Wonderboom 2 speaker on the same page and the discount only applies to the newer Wonderboom 3, with savings of up to $20.
Apple M2 MacBook Air
We called Apple’s newest MacBook Air a “near-perfect Mac” when it came out in July, and right now it’s $150 off at both Amazon and B&H. That matches the lowest price we’ve seen so far. This is the base model of the ultraportable, with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD memory. And it only applies to the space gray and silver colorways at Amazon. If you want a little bit more storage, Amazon is also knocking $150 off of the 8GB RAM/512GB SSD configuration in all four colorways.
We gave the M2 MacBook Air a score of 96 earlier this year, giving enthusiastic props for the gorgeous, razor-thin design, the bright, 13.6-inch Liquid Retina screen, and a battery that lasted 16 hours and 30 minutes in our tests. One of our few caveats, other than the lack of Pro Motion, was the price. Now that you can pocket $150, it’s a little easier to take.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat
Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the better smart thermostats you can buy, and right now Wellbots has a discount code that knocks $70 off the price. When you enter THERMOENG at checkout, it brings the price down to $179, which isn’t the lowest it’s ever been, but beats many of the discounts we’ve seen recently. As a smart device, the Nest Learning Thermostat links up to your phone via the app, allowing you to control the thermostat from anywhere. In time, the Nest gradually learns your temperature preferences, allowing it to then automate your home’s heading and cooling schedule with minimal input on your end. There are eco settings indicated by a green leaf, that let you know when you’re optimizing your energy usage. It can even detect when no one’s home and set the temps accordingly, so you’re not overly heating or cooling an empty house.
If $179 still feels a bit steep, Google also makes a lower-end model called the Nest Thermostat. The lack of “learning” in the product name tells you the main difference between the two devices. The base model doesn’t learn your preferences, but it retails for just $130.
Ring Video Doorbell (2020)
Keeping an eye on your package deliveries just got easier with 40 percent off the Ring Video Doorbell. The discount brings the Ring down to $60, which is lower than we saw on Prime Day in July when the price dropped by just 25 percent. This is the most recent model of the standard video doorbell from Ring, released in 2020. It sends 1080p video to your connected device, and offers the ability to both speak to and hear whoever’s at your door with its built in mic and speaker. You can set it up to send pings to you whenever motion is detected if you so desire and it runs on either a rechargeable battery or your existing doorbell wiring.
Right now Amazon is also pairing up the Ring in a bundle with an Echo Show 5, so you can keep tabs on your front door with the smart display. Together they’re $70, which means you save $40 on the video doorbell and pay just $10 more for the display.
Apple MagSafe battery pack
No one loves a dead phone, and Apple’s MagSafe battery makes sure that never happens. At less than a year old, the brand’s only battery pack is usually $100, and we don’t see it getting a ton of discounts. This is the best deal we’ve seen so far at just $71 or 28 percent off. Small enough to carry in a pack or purse, the diminutive block snaps onto the back of your iPhone for on-the-move refills, and you can use your phone as it charges. While your mileage may vary, published specs say you’ll get a 70 percent fill for smaller phones like the iPhone 12 or 13 mini, and 40 percent on bigger models like the iPhone 14 Pro Max. If you need to charge both the battery pack and your iPhone at the same time, you can, provided you use a 20W or higher power adapter. While we don’t know whether the price will drop further for Black Friday, this deal beats all of last year’s discounts.
Apple HomePod mini
Right now, and today only, Target is offering Apple’s HomePod mini for just $80. That’s a 20 percent discount and the lowest price we’ve tracked so far, which probably explains the limited-time, Friday-only deal. The smart speaker is geared towards a home that’s already steeped in the Apple ecosystem, and if you like the way Siri handles your commands, this is a good time to bring home Apple’s only home hub. It’ll take voice commands from up to six different people in your home, seamlessly works with other Apple devices and works as an intercom when there’s more than one.
When we reviewed the tiny smart speaker upon its debut in 2020, we liked the dead-simple setup and the responsive way Siri controls the music. That said, we did note that the sound quality was much better when there were two speakers paired up. Now that you can score a 20 percent discount, getting two might just be an option.
Xbox Series S Console
As a reward for those of you who read to the bottom of lists, here’s Adorama’s one-day-only sale on the Xbox Series S console. The $50 discount brings the $300 console down to just $250, which is at least $25 less than we’ve tracked so far. In our review, senior editor and video game expert Jessica Conditt called it a next-gen starter pack, praising the cute aesthetics and incredibly smooth gameplay.
The big differences between the Series X and the Series S is storage capacity and 4K gameplay. The Series X offers a solid 1TB of SSD space and 4K gaming. The Series S tops out at 512GB of storage and has a native resolution of 1440p. Also note that the Series S is digital only, as in you can’t insert any physical game discs. That said, the Xbox Series X goes for over $500, granted you can find it. For those who want the smooth and fast play of a the latest generation Xbox, this might be the lowest price you see.
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