With little more than a day until the first post-turkey sales kick in, here are the most enticing specials on electronics items, culled from our recent posts on particular stores and product categories.
The catch, of course, is that quantities are limited on almost all of these, meaning you'll need to arrive early—before Black Friday proper, in most cases. Of the retailers we cite, those opening on Thanksgiving night include Sears (opening at 8 p.m.), Target (9 p.m.), Walmart (10 p.m.), and Best Buy (midnight).
We've listed a top pick for serious savings in a number of hot gift categories. All models are included in our Ratings; click on the product name to get our model summary and specifications, and subscribers to our site will also be able to see a full review and detailed test results. Click on the category name to get to the full Ratings of all models.
Apple iPad 2 (Wi-Fi, 16GB), $399 at Walmart. That's the usual selling price, but with a $75 Walmart gift card thrown in, this older iPad model will cost about the same as the new iPad Mini—and give you more screen that's of comparable quality. You're guaranteed to get one by Christmas if you arrive at the store between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Thursday.
Bonus deal: Target is adding a free $60 Target gift card with any iPad except the iPad Mini.
Panasonic model TC-L32C5, $190, Amazon. This basic 32-inch LCD set typically sells for about $260, but will be discounted. A similar 24-inch set (TC-L24X5) will be $159 at Amazon. You can sign up for a daily e-mail alert that tells you when these sets (and other Amazon limited-time Lightning Deals) become available.
Vizio E601i-A3, $688, Walmart. This 60-inch 1080p, well-featured LCD TV typically sells for about $1,000.
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch e-book reader at Target and Sears. Typically $100, which is already relatively inexpensive for the category, the Simple Touch is selling for $49 at Target and $40 at Sears.
Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS, $130 at Best Buy. This model is discounted from the typical price of $230 (though some retailers are currently selling it for $180 or so).
Nikon D7000 with 18-105mm VR lens, $1,000 at Best Buy. The typical price of this cameras is $1,300 or so; the sale price is about what this camera often sells for with a less powerful, less expensive 18-55 mm lens.
Canon Pixma MG6220 for $60 at Staples. This wireless all-in-one model typically sells for $150, and even the least expensive online prices we could find for it today were about double this price.
Garmin Nuvi 40LM, $90 at Office Depot, $70 at regional chain H.H. Gregg. This fairly basic 4.3-inch-screen model, which does come with lifetime maps, typically sells for $150.
Take a look at all of our Black Friday recommended electronics deals, along with plenty of shopping advice and survival tips, at Consumer Reports' Holiday Gift Guide 2012.