Best Deals on Electronics Right Now
You can save on TVs, laptops, headphones, and other popular tech gadgets
With Presidents Day behind us and the next big sales probably not coming until Memorial Day, it may seem like you won’t be able to find anything at a discount. But if you look hard enough, you can always find a good deal on TVs, headphones, Bluetooth speakers, wireless routers, fitness trackers, laptops, and more.
And Consumer Reports is here to help. We monitor the prices of everything we test to let you know when something is available for less than usual. Of course, the best sales involve more than a good price. You want the product you buy to work well, no matter how much you spend. So our experts look for price cuts on items that stand up to our rigorous testing. The list below features the top options available now.
And if you’re looking for something else, check our Deals hub for the latest discounts on everything from coffee makers and air fryers to sleep masks and sunrise alarm clocks. Consumer Reports will be keeping a close eye on all of those items throughout the year to help you find what you want and need for less.
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The JBL Pulse 4 has a transparent dome that covers an array of LED lights, so you can watch it as well as listen. You can adjust the model’s colors or make the LEDs pulse to the music so you can pump up the light show on Saturday night or tone it down to accent lamp levels after the guests have gone home. The sound quality is more than adequate, with solid but slightly boomy bass, a clear midrange that doesn’t distort vocals, and enough volume to fill a midsized room. That said, you’re paying a lot for the Pulse 4’s visual effects, so you might consider buying the Flip 5 instead and having enough money left over for a nice lamp.
Why it’s a good deal: This was $50 less for Black Friday but it rarely goes on sale otherwise, so we don’t expect to see the price drop any further until another big sale.
The TCL 65R646, a 6-series QLED model that uses Mini LEDs in its backlight, does very well for both overall picture quality and sound, though its HDR performance isn’t quite as good as we’ve seen from other TCL 6-series models. The R646 sets are Roku TVs, while the similar R655 models use the Google TV smart platform. The 6-series TCL sets have performed very well in our ratings, giving some major brands a run for their money.
Why it’s a good deal: This set is still available at its lowest price of the year.
The 75-inch Amazon B08T6JZTH4, the largest Amazon Fire TV we’ve tested, has a slimmer design and additional features compared with the company’s less expensive 4-series sets. Those features include Dolby Vision HDR, although the HDR performance is just so-so. In other respects, the TV does well in CR testing.
Why it’s a good deal: This is still available at its lowest price, beating the previous low by $60.
The Hisense 58R6E3 is a 58-inch 4K smart TV in the company’s Roku TV lineup, which is found mainly at Walmart. It delivers satisfying high-definition and 4K picture quality, although its HDR performance is ineffective, mainly due to limited peak brightness.
Why it’s a good deal: This is a very low price for a decent-performing TV this size, and Roku offers access to lots of content and a nice interface.
Chromebooks, Laptops, and Tablets
The Galaxy Tab S8 is a great option for people who want an Android tablet with a little extra oomph in performance. Just keep in mind that that’s not necessary for simple tasks such as reading email, watching movies, and surfing the web. This is an impressive price for a high-performance tablet like the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy Tab S7 is also on sale if you need a fast device but want something a little cheaper.
Why it’s a good deal: This is the first time we’ve seen this model on sale in weeks, and $100 off the list price is no small sum.
The 13-inch Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 lands in the middle of the pack among models CR has tested. The processing speeds are midrange compared with other Chromebooks, while the battery life is below average at 11.5 hours of web browsing. In addition to the touchscreen display, this model has a built-in microSD card slot for expanding the storage beyond its internal 64 gigabytes.
Why it’s a good deal: This is still available at its Black Friday price, making this an ideal time to buy if the model has what you’re looking for.
The Microsoft Surface Pro X, released in the fall of 2019, has some drawbacks but is well worth a look at this price. It has a 13-inch display that can be detached from the keyboard. That makes it a good pick if you plan to use it like a digital sketchpad or tablet. It also has pretty good battery life, making it a good travel companion. But the ARM processor is a little on the slow side compared with the Intel chips found in other Surface devices. It also creates some software compatibility issues. Our testers, for example, couldn’t run certain antivirus software. Microsoft maintains a list of apps that might not run on the Pro X, so be sure to consult it before purchasing the laptop.
Why it’s a good deal: After cutting the sale price by nearly $70 last week, Amazon just lowered it again, this time by $12, making it a great time to purchase.
The Apple Powerbeat Pros are the first Powerbeats earphones to ditch the cable connecting the two earpieces for a true wireless design. The audio quality is just so-so; according to our tests, the bass is unnaturally loud, distorting the true sound of music. Still, Beats are popular, and these earphones could make a great gift. They typically sell for $250.
Why it’s a good deal: This is the first time we’ve seen this model on sale in nearly a month. We’ve seen this pair sell for $150, though, so you may be able to get a better deal during the next big savings event if you can wait.
There are lots of great choices if you’re looking for less-expensive noise-canceling headphones. One of our top picks is the 1More ColorBuds 2, which offer great sound quality, impressive noise cancellation, and all the convenience of true wireless headphones for under $100. And with this sale, there’s never been a better time to pick up a pair.
1More advertises a 6-hour battery life backed by a charging case that holds enough power for two full cycles. The model features touch controls and an ambient sound-monitoring mode that lets in background noise from your surroundings on purpose. Using a free app, you can customize EQ settings to your liking, and the headphones have a convenient auto-pause function when you take them off.
Why it’s a good deal: These earbuds are almost always available for $70. But with the $30 on-page coupon, you can get them for nearly half as much right now, making this the best deal of the week.
If you want spectacular sound, this is the deal for you. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is one of our top-rated pairs of noise-canceling earbuds, featuring stellar sound quality and noise cancellation that ranks among the best in this category. It also sports a long battery life and handy features such as an ambient sound-monitoring mode that lets you keep an ear on your environment.
Why it’s a good deal: Amazon is now the only retailer that still has this discount, and it may not last much longer. And while these were $100 off during Black Friday and the recent holidays, we don’t expect that big a discount again until next fall.
If you print in color frequently enough to justify buying an inkjet printer, consider a model that will save you money in the long run, especially when it’s on sale. The Epson ET-2800 tank printer uses only about $5 worth of ink a year, according to our estimates, instead of the $70 or more you might have to pay for a cartridge model. Those ongoing savings make the Epson’s purchase price far more palatable and give it a two-year cost of ownership that’s at the top of its class.
The ET-2800’s overall performance isn’t strong enough to earn a CR Recommended designation. But the text quality and speed are decent and should be fine for home use. The model doesn’t excel at printing photos, charts, or graphics; it does those jobs about as well as any ink-stingy inkjet.
Why it’s a good deal: This printer has been on sale for $230 for some time. The price recently dropped to $200, making this the best deal we’ve seen so far.
If you want a compact inkjet that can print in color and do so inexpensively, consider the Epson EcoTank ET-3830. It has a reservoir you can refill with low-cost bottled ink instead of expensive ink cartridges. We estimate that ink costs can be as little as $5 a year compared with $70 or more for a traditional cartridge-based inkjet. The Epson isn’t cheap, but the ink savings can more than make up for that in the long run, especially if the printer gets heavy use.
Why it’s a good deal: This is a hefty discount, making this midrange model easier on your wallet.
Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches
Apple introduced an updated version of its high-value SE watch in September, which has led to a series of solid deals on the first-generation Watch SE. The first-gen SE uses a less-powerful processor than the new model, but it performs most of the functions that make the SE one of our highest-rated smartwatches. The major difference between the prior-gen SE and the Apple Watch Series 8 is that it lacks a blood oxygen sensor, which helps boost sleep-tracking accuracy, as well as a temperature sensor that can provide retroactive estimates of ovulation. The prior-gen SE also lacks the high-speed G-force sensor that can sense if you’ve been in a car crash, a feature found on the latest SE, which starts at $249. But on your wrist, the first-gen SE is almost identical to the new SE or even the Series 8.
Why it’s a good deal: You won’t find a better price for a new Apple Watch outside of major sales events like Black Friday and Prime Day, when we’ve seen this model drop as low as $150.
If you’re looking for a versatile smartwatch under $200, the Fitbit Versa 3 may be a good option. It has a built-in GPS, which allows you to go for a run or ride without taking your smartphone along, plus a blood oxygen sensor, which enhances its sleep-tracking capabilities. It also has a mic and a speaker that allow you to take calls via a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. Our testers found the Versa 3 to be a solid performer for counting steps and tracking heart rate, and it’s easy to pair with a smartphone.
Why it’s a good deal: This is the lowest price we’ve seen for this model, $20 less than the previous low.
This unusual speaker doubles as a piece of art. The Symfonisk Picture Frame can be placed on a shelf or mounted on a wall, as long as it’s near an outlet. It operates on WiFi only, so you can’t connect via Bluetooth or an audio input, as with most speakers, but it does integrate seamlessly with Sonos’ multiroom systems. It also scores well for sound quality in our tests. Just don’t be fooled by the name. The device can’t frame your own artwork without muffling the speaker’s sound, so you’re stuck with the design chosen by Ikea.
Why it’s a good deal: This is the first time we’ve seen this unusual speaker go on sale, and a $60 savings is no small discount.
Sony’s SRS-XB23 is an example of when less is more. It lacks bells and whistles, like colorful LEDs that pulse with the music, but it’s a relatively inexpensive, medium-sized speaker that’s water-resistant, according to Sony. And while it’s missing some of the clarity of the very best portables, our testers say the Sony’s sound is satisfying.
Why it’s a good deal: At more than 25 percent off, the Sony is a practical, good-sounding bargain.
Think of the Charge 4 as the smaller sibling of JBL’s Xtreme 2. Its light weight and more modest dimensions make it a great choice for those who enjoy carrying a speaker with them. It’s easy to use and has admirable sound quality for a portable speaker. The Charge 4 also features an internal power bank that can charge other devices, and the manufacturer says the device is waterproof to 1 meter, a claim that CR didn’t test.
Why it’s a good deal: At this price, it’s a bargain for a good-sounding, water-resistant Bluetooth speaker.
The LG S65Q is a fairly basic 3.1-channel soundbar in LG’s 2022 lineup that delivers impressive overall sound quality. It can connect to a TV using either an HDMI or an optical audio connection, and if you have a compatible LG TV, it can use LG’s Sound Sync feature to connect via Bluetooth.
Why it’s a good deal: This is a significant discount that we’ve seen for a few weeks now. It was recently $13 less at Amazon, so may fall in price a bit again soon.