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Nintendo Switch V2

Nintendo's massively popular platform may have a newer, cheaper entrant in the Switch Lite at $200, but the original also got a minor improvement this year in the V2 version in the form of improved battery life. The big difference between the two? The Switch Lite is strictly a portable, without the big-screen TV dockability and detachable controllers that make the V2 so unique. We break down the differences here, the main thing to know is we still consider the V2 the best overall choice. Just make sure you're getting the new one, not the old one. 

Black Friday 2019 alert: Most retailers have the new switch for $300 but the best deal available now is at Walmart, which bundles the new Switch with Spyro Trilogy for the same price. Check out other Black Friday Switch deals.

Update: Looking for best Black Friday deals by price? Check out:

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNETDisclosure:We may get a commission from retail offers.
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Apple iPad (10.2-inch, 2019)

The new version of Apple's flagship iPad just came out in September, increasing the display size to 10.2 inches and adding a dock connector for new smart keyboards. Otherwise it's pretty much the same as the 9.7-inch version that came out last year, making that slightly older iPad an arguably better deal since it's often available for $250 or less. But if you just want to get your recipient the best iPad under $500, this is the one.

This product will be on sale at Walmart (and likely elsewhere) for $250 during Black Friday sales.

$329 at Walmart
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HP Chromebook x2

Forget the iPad: This convertible Chromebook's ability to seamlessly switch from computer to tablet mode makes it stand out among cheaper competitors. Our reviewer loved its comfortable keyboard, its display and peppy performance. And the included stylus makes it an even better bargain.

$449 at Amazon
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DJI Spark

Ridiculously tiny yet capable, the Spark is the king of selfie drones. It shares tech from the $1,000 Mavic Pro including obstacle detection, dual-band GPS and a visual positioning system that lets it hover in place. And the full HD video camera sits on a two-axis motorized gimbal for smooth results without sacrificing image quality. It's tough to find a better drone anywhere near this price.

$499 at Walmart
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Netgear Arlo Pro-2 (2-camera system)

The sheer flexibility of the Arlo Pro 2 is what sets this system apart from the pack. Its weatherproof design makes the cameras suited for indoor or outdoor use, they can run on battery power for up to six months and they're easy to install just about anywhere. Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility seal the deal.

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNETDisclosure:We may get a commission from retail offers.
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Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

This thing sucks, in a good way. Dyson's most powerful cordless vac yet costs more than your average dust buster, but its combination of power and convenience could be worth it for the neat freak on your list. Compared to the original V8 the battery lasts longer and the chamber empties from the front, not the bottom, to better prevent spills around the trash can.

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Willow Wearable Breast Pump 2.0

Willow changed the way mothers feed their babies with the first all-in-one, hide-it-inside-your-bra, wearable breast pump. Sure, it costs more than many other options, but the convenience and freedom of go-anywhere pumping are well worth it for moms on the go. CNET's Bridget Carey says "I can pump while playing with my kids, getting ready for work, cooking dinner or other tasks -- it takes away the fear of not being able to provide for my baby when time is in such short supply."

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TCL 55S525

No, you can't get a truly high-performance TV for less than $500, but you can get one with a nice-size screen and the best streaming system available for $320 (or maybe less when you read this). In our review the S425 had "just OK" image quality. But if that's fine for you, its excellent app access thanks to the built-in Roku makes for a tremendous bargain.

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Yamaha YAS-209

So maybe your gift recipient already has a nice TV, but they're stuck listening to its terrible built-in speakers. A sound bar is the easiest way to fix that problem, and this Yamaha was our favorite in this price range. As a bonus it also works with Alexa, so you can ask Amazon's voice assistant to play your tunes even when the TV is turned off.

$288 at Amazon
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Sony PlayStation 4 Pro

With the PlayStation 5 coming next year you might be wondering why the Pro version makes this list. Fair point. 

First reason: The non-Pro PS4 Sling will likely get down to $250 this holiday season, so it belongs on another list. 

Second reason: The only big-name games we know about -- Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima -- are still coming out for PS4. No PS5-exclusive titles have been announced yet. 

Third reason: Sony hasn't announced a price on the PS5, and it won't come out for another year. That's a lot of time to be missing out on the massive library of PlayStation games.

$320 at Walmart
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Xbox One X

Just like with the PlayStation, there's a new Xbox coming soon, too: Project Scarlett (official name TBD). And we even have a comparison between it and the PS5, based on the scant information already released. The reasons the Xbox One X makes this list are similar to the PS4 Pro's from the previous slide, including the biggie: pricing for the new Xbox (whatever its name ends up being) is likely to be more than the One X. 

This product will be on sale, bundled with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, for $350 at Walmart and other retailers during Black Friday sales.

$305 at Walmart
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Cocktail table Pac-Man retro console

And now for a different take on gaming. Sure, you could get that lucky giftee one of Arcade1Up's classic stand-up machines, but nothing beats the nostalgia of sitting in a chair, drink comfortably in place, while you chase the latest high score. Two sets of controls face one another across a 17-inch screen, which lets you play any one of eight games. In addition to the original Pac-Man, you get Pac-Man Plus, Pac & Pal, Pac-Mania, Super Pac-Man and Pac-Land, along with Galaga and Dig Dug. Tragically missing from the collection, however, is Ms. Pac-Man.

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