Best holiday shopping deals this weekend: Switch Lite, Echo Show, Instant Pot and more
Arcade1Up machines are heavily discounted. Plus: Score a Nintendo Switch Lite for as low as $180 and get lots of other discounts as well.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Although Cyber Monday 2019 is but a fading memory, many of the deals that debuted around Thanksgiving continue this weekend, which is good news if you're still holiday shopping. For example, lots of Amazon devices are still on sale (see below), and the elusive Nintendo Switch Lite is currently $189.99 at Woot -- hardly a huge savings, but better than paying full retail. Even better than that: If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, the price drops to $179.99 at checkout! And if you love arcade games, you owe it to yourself to look at all the deals on the Arcade1Up cabinets below.
We're big fans of Arcade1Up's retro machines, which offer all the fun of their coin-op counterparts but in 3/4-size cabinets. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Walmart heavily discounted many of them -- and many of those discounts are still in place. You can get Street Fighter 2 for $200 (save $99), Space Invaders for $150 (save $150) and so on.
After spending a few days at its lowest-ever price of $50, the 5.5-inch smart screen somehow dips even lower. This deal is available from Daily Steals via Facebook Marketplace, and you should get it while you can. Amazon's price is now up to $60.
Though a few bucks higher than it was during Black Friday, the Echo Dot (without the clock) is still a great deal at $25. It puts all of the smarts of Amazon's voice assistant Alexa into a small and affordable package. You can control your smart home devices, check the weather, play music, search the internet and more. You lose some sound quality with the smaller size, but you can plug it into your own speakers to make up for the difference.
This smart display still hasn't shipped yet, but you can still score a deal -- briefly pinging up to $100, it's back to its Black Friday price of $80. The Echo Show 8 is basically a larger version of the super-popular Echo Show 5, and therefore better suited to places like the kitchen, where the 8-inch screen makes it easier to view cooking videos and the like.
Sorry, Bond and Bourne: Pound for pound, there's no action movie series that delivers the goods like Mission: Impossible. This set includes all six titles in both Blu-ray and digital formats. It normally sells for anywhere from $48-$60.
Sorry, gotta do it: The Force is strong with this one. Propel's drones originally sold for $180. They're incredibly fun to fly, and if you're able to find the TIE Fighter or Speeder Bike elsewhere, you can engage in actual aerial dogfights. These are getting increasingly hard to find, so don't miss this for just $40 (up from $37, earlier).
One of the best TVs we've reviewed this year is available at a huge discount. With insane light output, powerful local dimming and one of the best HDR pictures we've tested, this Vizio is a certified beast. Note, though, that is is up $200 from its earlier low price at Costco.
If you can't afford premium noise-canceling models from Bose and Sony, the JBL Live 650BTNC Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones list for $200 and they're great. This week, you can get them for $70 off -- though that's up from the earlier $100 price.
The Sonos One is a great-sounding smart speaker that supports both Alexa and Google Assistant. This is the latest version, discounted $30. That's a bit less than the discount for Cyber Monday, but still decent.
That's just a bananas price on a big ol' desktop display. Yes, the 1080p resolution is actually a bit on the low side given the size, but you can tweak your PC's settings to help compensate. Meanwhile, the Sceptre includes VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs and built-in speakers, so you could use it with your game console as well. Heck, plug in a streaming stick and make a TV out of it.
Borrowing a page from McDonald's, which now charges the same price for any size drink, Mint Mobile will sell you any of its three-month plans for $15 per month. Why? Tough to say, but the obvious winner here is the 12GB option, which normally runs $25 per month (already an excellent deal).
For those unfamiliar with the carrier, Mint offers service for GSM-compatible phones (otherwise known as those compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile). You pay in either three-, six- or 12-month blocks.
Tip: There's currently a $20 cash-back option available from both Rakuten and TopCashback, but the terms are really confusing. (Anyone who's able to figure them out, leave a comment.)
The Fossil Sport hit the scene just about a year ago, bringing oodles of features to the Wear OS watchscape for a reasonable $275. The specs include NFC for Google Pay, GPS, 5-atm water resistance, a heart rate monitor and an altimeter. This sale drops the Sport (light blue only) to just $149, the best price we've seen yet.
A 65-inch TV for $360? Seems like only yesterday that would have been considered a steal on a 55-inch model. It's an entry-level model, to be sure, with no smarts built in; you'll have to add your own Fire TV or Roku streamer for those functions. Thankfully, it has four HDMI inputs, so there's plenty of room for all the gear you might want to plug in. Note that this price is up $20 from its low of $360.
This is the lowest price to date on Amazon's kid-friendly tablet, which includes a heavy-duty case (with stand) and two-year worry-free warranty. You also get a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a $36 value. The tablet is available in your choice of three case colors: blue, pink and purple.
You can also get the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet for $80, which is $50 off the regular price. It's slightly faster and slightly larger, but otherwise pretty much the same experience for your kids.
Looking for a new place to hang your music-streaming hat? Tidal rivals the best of them, with a library of over 60 million songs and competitive pricing. A one-year subscription runs $120 -- basically $10 per month -- but for a limited time, you can score a free pair of Sennheiser HD 4.40BT headphones (shown above) with that subscription. Those popular over-the-ear cans list for $100.
Built with students in mind, the S340 offers 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a full-HD display. To put this Costco deal in some perspective, Lenovo charges $250 for a configuration with half the storage and a lower-resolution screen.
We recently awarded the Fitbit Versa 2 an Editors' Choice award, citing its reasonable price, long-lasting battery and compatibility across Android and iOS. We called it "one of the best examples of a hybrid fitness tracker and smartwatch you can buy." Normally $200, it's now on sale for $130 -- a $70 discount -- at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and Fitbit's own site.
Before you buy, be aware that you're getting the original version of the Switch, not the new model. Since that means your battery life will be somewhere between 2.5 and 6.5 hours, you probably want to take advantage of this deal only if you mostly plan to keep it docked. For lots of away missions, you might want to pass on this and get the updated Switch. Here's how to tell the difference between the two Switch consoles by looking at the box art.
Nintendo is bundling the download code for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with the first-gen version of the Switch for $300, and throwing in a screen protector as well.
Baby Yoda, anyone? That's all anyone can talk about, and the only place to see it (er, him? her?) is on Disney's new streaming service. (Of course, it's also home to every other Star Wars property, to say nothing of Marvel, Pixar and so on.)
For Cyber Monday only, customers in the US and Puerto Rico can save $10 on the first year, with an annual subscription that goes for $60 rather than $70. Next year: back to the regular price.
An absolute favorite among runners, these AfterShokz earbuds are ultralightweight and sweatproof, and their unique bone-conduction design means you can hear your music and podcasts without blocking ambient noise (like, say, the sound of cars or cyclists coming up behind you). Discounts are extremely rare, so grab this one while you can.
If you're looking to take the plunge on Hulu's video service, now is the perfect time. This weekend only, you can scoop up the first year of the service for just $1.99 a month -- $4 less than the usual price. Yes, there are ads, and yes, the price goes up after the first year. But this is still a pretty sweet deal.
If you've been waiting for a good deal on this terrific TV -- we gave it an Editors' Choice Award for its image quality, affordable price and best-in-class Roku TV smarts -- it's here. And you can get it at that price from several places, such as Walmart, in addition to Best Buy.
The latest iPad has a larger 10.2-inch screen and support for Apple Pencil (sold separately). It's a great deal for anyone with a 2017 (non-Pro) iPad or older. It was available for $230 earlier this weekend from Amazon and Target, but that price didn't last until Cyber Monday.
Sure, you can get an Xbox One S for about $200 less than the Xbox One X, but if you do that you're sacrificing native 4K gaming, and these days, why would you want to do that? For Black Friday, Best Buy is bundling the Xbox One X with the deluxe edition of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for $350. If you're a Star Wars fan, this is the bundle to get -- Fallen Order has received enthusiastic reviews, and the deluxe edition adds bonus skins for the BD-1 and Stinger Mantis as well as a digital art book and 90 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the game. You can whet your appetite by reading CNET's Sean Keane's extensive look at the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game. Oh, and the bundle also includes three months of Xbox Live Gold.
They're back: Best Buy again has the JLabs JBuds Air on sale for $30. They normally retail for $50. JLabs makes a lot of true wireless earbuds and these are its most affordable -- a relative bargain at $30 -- and frankly, the only ones I'd buy.
Battery Life Rated up to 6 hoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless earbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX4 -- splash-proof)
The hot-ticket item of 2019 is back in stock at Amazon in time for Cyber Monday. The discount isn't much, but it's something. If you're hoping for an AirPods Pro-like experience at a lower price, check out these five affordable alternatives.
These AirPods are temporarily out of stock, but the deal is still available and will ship when inventory returns.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the biggest hits of the decade, clearing $725 million in its opening weekend last year. In the game, you travel back to 1899, when America's short-lived Wild West era was in its death throes. You get to experience it through the eyes of an outlaw who's trying to survive in that dangerous and dusty world. Right now, you can pick up the Xbox One digital download of Red Dead Redemption 2 for $30 from Amazon or the disc version for $25 from Best Buy. Read GameSpot's review of Red Dead Redemption 2.
Apple's latest, greatest MacBook Air frequently is on sale for $900. Earlier this week, you could get it for as little as $800, but that deal is gone with the wind. Still, this is $200 less than you'd pay at the Apple Store right now.
This model includes 8GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive.
Already a pretty amazing deal at $99, the RemoBell S is an attractive, hardwired doorbell designed to take the place of your existing bell. I've been using one for about six months, and while I still don't love the forced fisheye view of recorded videos, overall the doorbell has worked really well. And I absolutely do love the free cloud storage.
When Lenovo introduced the IdeaPad 330s last year, it started at $500. Now, you can get a nice midrange configuration -- with a quad-core AMD processor, a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM -- for under $300. Equipped with a nice 15.6-inch display, the 330s has thinner-than-usual bezels and an aluminum lid. This is a good deal on a solid entry-level laptop. (Note, however, that it was previously $329, so watch for another sale if you're not in a hurry.)
Recently expired, it's back! In case you ended up missing out on the Samsung deal (above) or prefer a TV with built-in Roku, Walmart has this RCA model at the exact same price. It also has no user reviews, but at least it has three HDMI inputs instead of just two. Don't expect a world-class picture; do expect a huge screen to enjoy watching your shows on. And, hey, same deal: If you're not happy with it, you can take it back to the store.
Between Bose, Sony and now Apple with its AirPods Pro, active noise-canceling headphones and earbuds are all the rage. And now, we're seeing an old favorite from Sennheiser that's currently just $80 from Amazon -- down from $200. We reviewed the nearly identical Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC headphones two years ago, and found them to be a formidable Bose competitor at that $200 price. That model is down to $103 on Amazon, but this model -- the HD 4.50 SE -- has literally the exact same specs aside from some cosmetic color differences.
The Apple HomePod faces increasingly stiff competition in the smart-speaker market, starting with Amazon's new, similar Echo Studio. But remember, too, that the HomePod started out at $349; this is your chance to get it for considerably less. If you want wonderful sound and already live in Apple's ecosystem, look no further.
This feels like the kind of deal that would normally be a doorbuster, requiring you to stand in line outside the store for a couple hours. This Chromebook features 4GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage and a touchscreen on a 360-degree hinge -- meaning it's suitable for tablet duty as well. The screen may be on the smaller side, but that didn't stop this 2-in-1 from scoring a 4.7-star average rating from over 1,800 buyers.
Looking to update some of your older Roku devices? Get the superluxe ultrapremium model for the lowest price ever. The Ultra supports 4K and HDR, of course, and also includes Ethernet and USB ports, a microSD slot and a lost-remote finder. And speaking of that remote, you can plug in wired headphones (JBL earbuds included!) for easy private listening.
Still with us? This article has been periodically updated to keep it current. What follows is the original version of this article, with plenty of general tips for shopping on Cyber Monday.
It's just over a month until
, but of course things are starting to ramp up already. Best Buy, for example, already ran a guaranteed-Black-Friday-pricing sale on TVs (now expired) and just unveiled weekly sales on Apple products for members of its free My Best Buy program. And that's just the start. In the next week or so, expect to see "leaked" ads from a growing number of stores, along with early sales ("Black November," anyone?) and other promotions.
In case you're new to these United States, a quick explanation: Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. (Today it's better known as the day retail stores try desperately to remind people there are still retail stores.) Cyber Monday happens three days later, with the focus squarely on online shopping.
As always, we'll be watching for all these sales and passing along the best ones. In the meantime, let's talk about the ways you can shop smarter on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.
Will those products be even less on Black Friday? Perhaps, but some of them (like the Kindle and Apple Watch) are already selling at historic lows. Between Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, the Fourth of July, Prime Day, Labor Day and Christmas, there are countless opportunities year-round for stores to hold sales. And that's exactly what they do. None of them put all their eggs into Black Friday's basket.
Bottom line: Try to avoid getting caught up in the Friday frenzy. If there's something you want to buy and you spot a great deal before BF, grab it. If you missed a great deal on BF, don't sweat it: Chances are good you'll see it again before long. Trust me on this; I speak from experience.
2. Set up price alerts, and do it now
Suppose you're planning to buy one of the aforementioned items -- say, the Nintendo Switch. But you're not going to pull the trigger unless the price drops to $250 or less. (Psst: It's getting there. Check out today's Switch deal at $262.95.) Just one problem: Short of checking a bunch of stores on a daily basis, how can you find out when that happens?
Simple: Set up price alerts. Free tools including CamelCamelCamel (which works solely with Amazon), Honey, PriceBlink and WikiBuy can notify you when there's a price drop. It might be called a "droplist" or "watchlist," but ultimately it's a way to bookmark store items and find out when they go on sale. This is not only a time-saver, but also a way to insure that a short-lived discount doesn't get away from you.
You may want to use one or more of these tools simultaneously, as some of them let you set thresholds for alerts, while others will notify you if there's any price drop at all.
3. Sit out the doorbuster sales
For many, Black Friday still conjures images of long lines outside the store and crazy crowds inside it -- because that's how it all started. But although lots of retailers still try to lure customers in with "doorbuster" deals, they're not always worth the effort.
For starters, most of the best deals have limited quantities available, meaning you'll have to arrive really early and stand in line for a really long time. Should you really bother doing that to save, say, an extra $20 on a Nintendo Switch? Or get a bargain-basement price on a TV that's not great to begin with?
Probably not. And, remember, once you're in the door, there's a good chance you'll end up spending money on other items you don't need or want. My advice: stay home.
4. Don't forget your cash-back apps
Psst! There's a way to save even more on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday, and every other shopping day of the year): Use a cash-back service.
BeFrugal, Dosh, Rakuten (formerly Ebates), Honey and TopCashback are just a few of the services that will score you extra discounts (in the form of rebates) at many, if not most, stores -- mostly online stores, but some retails ones, too. Dosh in particular is good choice for the latter, but the Rakuten mobile app also supports in-store shopping.
5. Forget the stuff -- shop for experiences instead
This 51-year-old cheapskate has learned that owning stuff is nowhere near as good as doing stuff. So consider choosing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on experiences, the kinds that build memories. Some suggestions:
Live music at small venues
Ballparks in other states
Indoor go-kart racing
In other words, put the phone down, take the headphones off, and get the hell out there. Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
6. Use virtual credit card numbers
Online shopping is pretty safe overall, but every time you buy something, you're exposing your credit card number. The more stores you patronize, the greater the odds of that number getting stolen.