It's easy to get caught up in Black Friday sales hype, especially as some stores seem to have started pushing holiday bargains weeks ago. But it takes more than a price listed in large, friendly type and a warning of "limited quantities" to actually make for a good deal.
We checked out some of the leaked Black Friday ads posted on Web sites such as bfads.net and blackfriday.info (bfads.net proved especially helpful by clipping images from sales circulars for many items) to see where the best laptop deals were.
Interestingly, there was a lack of high-end laptops offered at deep discounts. Most of the deals were on entry-level systems (and a few are so entry level we're hesitant to even call them fully functioning computers). Another trend was offering two versions of nearly identical laptops, one at a bargain basement price, and another with a larger hard drive and a few extra features for $100 to $200 more. As always, the most eye-catching sales are for so-called doorbuster items, typically available in very limited quantities. … Read more