The Black Friday and Cyber Monday solve a number of important tasks: they allow retailers to get rid of previous-generations of products, attract large amounts of customers to their stores and attract their attention to different types of products. Since not all consumers manage to buy all the things they want during two days of huge discounts, they come back later and get their devices at full price.
But what these two days also show the smart customer are abilities of retail chains and hardware makers to lower prices on certain hardware. In some cases, a couple of months after holidays default prices of certain goods collapse to the levels on Black Friday. In other cases, manufacturers redesign their products so that to lower their production costs and be able to sell those devices to larger masses of people.
Let's take a look at this year's "doorbusters" as well as special offers from large companies.
Media Tablets: Starting at $79...
Without any doubts, media tablets are among the hottest items these holiday season. Consumers nowadays not only want to read books, but also watch videos and consume different types of content while on the go. Therefore, tablets face a massive demand.
But unlike personal digital media players or electronic book readers - bestsellers of the previous years - tablets offer vastly different experience depending on the screen sizes, installed version of software and hardware. There is renowned Apple iPad 2 (which is not truly affordable and which will cost from $41 to $61 less their official prices in Apple's stores on Black Friday) that provides very consistent and well-known user experience , and there are tens of various models based on Google Android operating system that are very different.
The least expensive Google Android-based tablets are models with 7" screens, dual-core or single-core microprocessors and without 3G connectivity. For the best possible experience, one should get something with Android 3.* since they will provide much better user experience than those based on the previous-gen operating systems.
The cheapest model that will be available this Black Friday will be Maylong M-250 tablet with 7"/800*480 screen that requires stylus, 800MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 2GB internal storage, 802.11b/g network controller and Google Android 2.2. The device will be sold for $79 at Target. Another inexpensive model will be SVP TPC7901m4GB for $89 at Buy.com featuring Google Android 2.2 operating system. The product has 7" display with 800*480 resolution, single-core 1GHz by InfoTM and 4GB of NAND flash memory. Yet another ultra low-cost tablet, Velocity Micro Cruz T301, will be sold for $99 at Walmart and RadioShack. The device boasts 7" screen with 800*600 resolution, dual-core MIPS 528MHz processor, 4GB of flash storage, Google Android 2.0 operating system and so on. All products resemble electronic book readers more than tablets, even though all are positioned to be tablets.
Fortunately, there are proper tablets selling at huge discounts as well. For example, Best Buy will have Dell Streak 7" with 800*480 resolution, Nvidia Tegra 2 system-on-chip, 16GB flash storage, two cameras and Google Android 3.2 "Honeycomb" operating system for $159, which is not bad. The same retail chain is expected to have Acer Iconia 7" Tab A100 with 1024*600 resolution, Nvidia Tegra 2, 8GB of storage and Android 3.2 for $189. Even without Black Friday, it is possible to buy Amazon Kindle Fire 7" with custom Android OS for $199.
Google Android-based tablets with 10.1" displays offer considerably better hardware and since the majority of them have 1280*800 resolution and powerful hardware, they should offer much better user experience than 7" devices.
Among most affordable 10.1" tablets will be Asus Transformer 10.1" for $249 and Toshiba Thrive 10.1" for $279 at Best Buy. Both media tablets are based on dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 system-on-chip, 1280*800 screen resolution, 16GB or 8GB of storage, 802.11n network controllers, Google Android 3.2 or 3.1 operating system and other advantages that "full-size" tablets have to offer.
Those, who are not satisfied with Google Android tablets and who are not too excited by Apple iPad 2's official price drops may be interested in acquiring iPad 2 with 3G at Target with $75 gift card. While iPad has 9.7" screen with 1024*768 resolution, the device still has a number of advantages over may offerings when it comes to quality of software. Best Buy offers $45 off any iPad.
While it is easy to expect tablets with 10.1" screens to cost less than $299 or less next year, fair price of 7" tablets are completely unclear. Devices that are available today for less than $100 can hardly be called fully-fledged tablets. Better models are sold for $300 and higher. It is logical to expect 7" slates to cost $249 or $199, like Amazon Kindle Fire or B&N Nook Tablet.