Black Friday

I confess, I like nice things that work beautifully and elegantly. That's why I use a Mac, buy nice furniture and have kitchen full of gadgets despite my sore lack of domestic skills. But I am also very frugal and I don't believe in debt. In order to satisfy my desire for the greatest gadgets while keeping my banker happy, compromises have to be made. I research products fully before I buy them and search out the best deals. Black Friday is usually one of my biggest shopping days of the year. But this year things are a little different. For one, I blew my discretionary budget on new living room furniture. Secondly, I'm not seeing amazing deals on products I need or plan to give as gifts this season. That being said, there are still some excellent deals out there. And since I personally won't be participating in the Black Friday festivities this year, I thought I would live vicariously through all of you and post a few of my favorite Black Friday deals here. Because I live in the US, the below deals are valid in the states on Friday, November 27th. However check the respective websites because many of these deals or similar ones may also be available internationally.

There are some killer deals out there on Apple computers today. MacRumors and AppleInsider have a pretty good listing of deals available from Apple Authorized Resellers. Generally speaking, MacConnection tends to have some of the best prices of the day on systems but make sure you do your on research and compare prices. Examples of some deals include up to $150 off MacBooks with up to $300 off MacBook Pros. The beauty of buying from non-Apple authorized resellers is that you can usually save tax and sometimes they throw in extras in the form of bundles.

Before buying a Mac this holiday season, might I shamelessly plug our recent Mac Power User episode on Buying and Selling Macs for a good overview.

Airport Express
I love the Apple Airport Express base station. I have a couple in my house and hope to pickup a few more. I use them to connect to speakers throughout my house for customizable zones for audio that I can pipe my iTunes music through. They can also be used to share a printer wirelessly, create a small wireless network and extend a wireless network. This is a great gift for the geek who has everything, because even if they already have one, they can always use another. While already a deal at $99, today Apple has them on sale for $88. At that price, I may pick up a couple.

iPods and iPhones
iPods and iPhones rarely go on sale, and if so usually only a couple of bucks off. But there are deals to be had. Apple stores are cutting $11 off Nanos and up to $49 off the top-of-the-line iPod Touch. The AppleTV (another one of my personal favorites) is also cut by $21. Many third party resellers like Best Buy, Target and Walmart area offering gift cards with the purchase of select iPods. So if someone on your list is getting an iPod, today is a good Day to pick it up.

Also, there are some killer deals out there on refurbished iPhones. With activation, AT&T is offering the 16GB 3GS for $49 and the 32GB model for $149. Typically, I don't recommend buying iPhones as gifts because the receiver is stuck with a pricey 2 year contract. But, if you have a family member you know is drooling for an iPhone or perhaps are willing to add them on to your plan, this deal is not to be missed.

Smile On My Mac Software
One of my favorite Apple software developers is Smile On My Mac. I use and recommend just about every one of their products. And, they're really cool people to boot. Today, they're having a 50% off sale on all their software. TextEpander and PDFPen are on my must-have list. Here are the details.

Other World Computing
One of my favorite Mac Retailers is Other World Computing. Sure, you can buy cheeper hard drives out there, but I've always had great success with OWC's products. They also do a great service to the Mac community with their tutorials and upgrade videos. They have a great Black Friday Sale going on this weekend. Here are a few of my favorite items:
OWC Express 2.5" HD Enclosure Kit - $9.99
Elgato EyeTV Hybrid - $85.00
NewerTech Voyager S2 Docking Station - $27.50
2TB Hitachi Drive with Mercury Elite-AL Pro enclosure - $199 (after rebate)

I love TiVo, I don't have a TV in my house that doesn't have a TiVo box attached. I think Apple users especially will "get" why a TiVo is so much better than a standard cable company DVR. The TiVo HD boxes also have great features like Netflix streaming, Amazon downloads and CableCard support. The base TiVoHD model's internal hard drive is fairly small and only accommodates 20 hours of HD Recording, so you may want to consider the XL model or the DVR Expander external drive. Tivo recently cut their price to $250 on the TiVoHD box. But, if you already own a TiVo box you can save up to $100 when upgrading to a TiVoHD. Friday only, they're running a promo with Best BUy where you can get a TiVo HD for $100 when you buy any HD TV from Best Buy. Also check out their refurb store. Just remember, a service agreement is required.

That's all for now, I may add to this list as a find new deals throughout the day. Feel free to post some of your favorites in the comments. Happy shopping!