July 24, 2024


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Black Friday 2021: Must-have deals and discounts


Rob Rodriguez/CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

Black Friday is today, and it includes some all-new deals, along with previous ongoing sales at Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Target and every other retailer you can think of. Sifting through all of those sales can get overwhelming, but that’s where CNET comes in. We’ve been poring over newspaper ad scans, scouring retailer websites (Amazon, Target, Walmart and Best Buy, just to name a few), and found the deals you won’t want to miss, as well as keeping you abreast of our newest finds on the fly via our live blog. You’ll even find good streaming deals, like Hulu offering yearlong subscriptions for 99 cents a month.

We’ve got a section-by-section breakdown below to help you find what you’re looking for, but first, here’s what you should know as you prepare to start shopping:

  • Macy’s Black Friday sale started Tuesday.
  • Many Amazon device sales (Echo, Fire tablets, Fire TVs, Ring security systems) started last Friday.
  • Best Buy’s sale started last Friday, including the lowest price ever on Apple Watch SE.
  • Target’s Black Friday sale started Sunday.
  • Staples’ Black Friday sale started Sunday.
  • Walmart’s Black Friday sale started Monday and includes possible access to PlayStation 5 and Xbox consoles for Walmart Plus members. Initial PS5 and Xbox console availability is already sold out.
  • More Amazon Black Friday sales started on Thanksgiving.

Best Black Friday deals so far

David Katzmaier/CNET

The TCL 6-Series Roku TV is the best TV for the money overall that we’ve tested, and every size in the series is down to its lowest price of the year. The 6-Series features excellent picture quality thanks to mini-LED backlight technology, QLED color and full-array local dimming. Though this TV technically debuted in 2020, the 6-Series is still a current model for 2021. 

All three sizes are on sale but the largest savings is on the 65-inch model. The new $800 price is $98 less than the previous sale price of just a few days ago, and the best price ever.

Read our TCL 6-Series Roku TV review.


David Carnoy/CNET

Amazon has Apple’s newest AirPods, the AirPods 3, on sale for just $150. That’s $30 less than the Apple Store and their lowest price to date. Note that at Amazon, you get an extra $5 off at checkout — it’s listed in green under the larger red price. If you don’t see “Save $5 at checkout,” the deal has expired. The AirPods 3 have been in and out of stock at this price.

Amazon last refreshed the Fire HD 8 tablet in 2020 by doubling the onboard storage, enhancing the processor inside and adding USB-C charging instead of Micro-USB. It comes in four different colors and if you want to upgrade to the 64GB model you can for an extra $30.

Those aren’t the only terrific discounts we’ve found. Among the deals that jump out at us the most are a variety of offers on AirPods. In addition to the AirPods 3 above, the new AirPods Pro with MagSafe charging case for $159 at Walmart hits at $90 less than you’ll pay at the Apple Store and the lowest price we’ve seen for them yet. 

Walmart also slashed the price of the 2nd-gen Google Nest Hub down to just $50, another tempting offer. This Google Assistant smart display offers a 7-inch screen that you can watch videos on, read recipes, host video chats and so much more. At this price, you may want to just grab two of them since you’re going to want them around the house.

This is also a great time of year to stock up on essentials, like light bulbs. The Kasa Smart bulb is just $10 at Amazon, $12 off its usual price. You control it with the free Kasa Home app on your phone or by chatting with Alexa or Google Assistant, to change the colors, automate its on/off cycle and more.

Amazon has also knocked $50 off of the price of the Bose Quiet Comfort 45 (QC45) wireless noise cancelling headphones, bringing the cost down to $279. Those headphones come with a strong recommendation from CNET’s David Carnoy and would make a terrific gift (even if it’s a gift for yourself).

Another timeless gift candidate: a KitchenAid stand mixer. Target’s got some pretty tempting deals, including a 5-quart model marked down to $220, saving you $210. Look for additional color options at the same Black Friday price over at Best Buy

It’s hard to cough up the change for a robot vacuum when it’s not on sale, but lucky for us that’s what Black Friday’s for. One of the most notable deals we’ve seen is for the the iRobot Roomba i3 Plus at $400 (model 3350), $200 off its normal price. Its sensors can distinguish between carpet and hardwood, and can even detect the dirtiest part of your home, so it knows where to concentrate its efforts. It will even empty itself, so you hardly have to think about it.

After letting the vacuum do all the hard work, it’s time to sit your tired bones down to take advantage of Hulu’s 99 cent per month deal for a year of its ad-supported plan, open to new or lapsed (for more than a month) subscribers. After that the price returns to its normal $7 per month (at which point you can cancel). Sadly, anyone who took advantage of last year’s Black Friday $1.99 deal is excluded.

Sometimes it’s just easier to stick with a single retailer for all your shopping, especially if you do it in person. So here are some of the best you can find at them.

Best Best Buy Black Friday deals

It’s a little late to the game, but Best Buy has finally revealed the details of its sales happening the week of Black Friday. It’s not quite as cut-and-dried as some other retailers’ sales, which have clear start and end dates, but essentially Best Buy’s sale has already started and will be adding more items in the coming days. There have already been a number of drops, including great deals like the first sale of the season on the Apple Watch SE

Here’s what you can expect from each wave of deals:

Read more: Best Black Friday deals at Best Buy

Best Target Black Friday deals

Target’s Black Friday sale has begun and runs through Saturday, Nov. 27. Target is offering big savings on everything from tech to toys to home goods. This sneak peek circular also advertises the Nintendo Switch OLED, which has been notoriously difficult to snag since it was released this October, so keep an eye on the deal page and your local Target’s stock if you’ve been hoping to get your hands on one. 

Here are some of the best Target deals currently available:

Read More: Target’s Black Friday sales

Best Walmart Black Friday deals

Walmart’s Black Friday sales started Monday, Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET). Early access to some deals started four hours earlier for Walmart Plus members. Walmart is noting that it will be making the PS5 and Xbox Series X available online during Black Friday week, but details on times aren’t yet available. Here are some of the deals we’re most excited about.

Read more: Walmart’s Black Friday 2021

Best Amazon Black Friday deals

Amazon’s Black Friday deals are now in full swing, with some great new ones on Apple AirPods and Beats headphones. Amazon also has the Switch bundle in stock at the time of this writing. Some of the highlights include up to 40% off Instant brand kitchen appliances, up to 50% on select Fire HD tablets, and up to 30% on select TVs from Samsung, Sony and LG. Here are some of our favorites.

Read more: Best Black Friday TV deals

Best Black Friday headphone deals

You can always find headphones on sale during Black Friday events, but finding the right balance between a good deal and a good set of headphones can be a challenge. Here’s the best sales on headphones and earbuds.

Read moreBest early Black Friday 2021 headphones deals available right now

Best Black Friday TV deals

Televisions frequently fill out Black Friday sale pages, but it’s not always easy to tell which sales are actually worthwhile. Here are some of the best TV deals you’ll see for Black Friday.

Read more: Best TV deals for Black Friday 2021 so far

Best Black Friday laptop deals

And some of the best laptop deals this week:

Read more: Best Black Friday laptop deals

Best Black Friday tablet deals

It’s never hard to find a cheap tablet, but it can occasionally be challenging to find a good tablet at a reasonable price. Here are all of the worthwhile tablet deals now and around the corner.

Best Black Friday smart home deals

Smart home gadgets can help you automate things like lights and appliances around the house, and Black Friday week is a great time to catch them on sale. Here are some of the better offers we’ve spotted thus far:

Read more: Black Friday’s best smart home deals

Best Black Friday kitchen deals

Kitchen tech can totally change the way you cook, and a great sale on kitchen tech makes that exploration even more enjoyable. Here are the best Black Friday kitchen deals included in this week’s sales.

Read more: Best Black Friday 2021 kitchen deals

Best Black Friday fitness deals

With New Year’s Day inching ever closer, those fitness resolutions can start to feel daunting. But not if you’ve got the right equipment. Here are the best Black Friday fitness deals we’ve found.

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