The Week's Best Electronics Deals

Octavio Blanco

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Presidents Day weekend has come and gone, but there are still plenty of great electronics deals to be found at retailers including Amazon, Kohls, Target, and Walmart.

The bargains include discounted tablets from Amazon and Apple, a bunch of really great headphones from a variety of brands, and smartphones that can be found at reduced prices now that Samsung has unveiled its new Galaxy S20 phones.

All of the offerings listed here have been through Consumer Reports’ lab testing.

Tablets

Amazon Fire 7 16GB
The deal: $40 at Amazon and Kohl's
CR's test results: Amazon Fire 7 (16GB) tablet
This low-priced tablet, now $10 less than usual, has some features that rival those on higher-priced models. It can easily handle everyday web browsing and video streaming. You need to stay within the Amazon app universe; downloading apps from the Google Play Store takes some technical gyrations most people might want to skip. This tablet also has good parental controls that can be configured to offer a safer browsing environment for children. If you want it with a bit more computing power, the 32GB version is available at Amazon for $55.

Apple iPad 
The deal: 
$249 at Amazon 
CR’s test results: Apple iPad (10.2-inch, WiFi, 32GB)
This is the same low price that this 32GB, WiFi-only model sold for on Black Friday. It's usually $330. 

In addition to having a slightly larger screen than the 9.7-inch model released in 2018, this one supports Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover, which attaches magnetically and doesn’t require charging or pairing like a Bluetooth keyboard does, handy for anyone planning to do a lot of typing. If you're looking for more power and willing to pay a bit more, the 128GB version is being offered at Amazon for $330, a $100 discount.

Headphones

Apple Airpods (With Standard Charging Case)
The deal: $139 at Amazon
CR's test results: Apple Airpods (2nd gen.)
This is a steep discount on a wildly popular product. Though they aren't exemplary when it comes to sound quality, they're very easy to use, especially if you have an iOS device. The same model sells at Amazon with the wireless charging case for $30 more, but that's still lower than the usual $200 price. (The model we bought for testing came with the wireless charging case.)

Samsung Galaxy Buds
The deal: $103 at Amazon, $108-$109 at Best Buy and Walmart
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Buds headphones
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are high-scoring portable Bluetooth headphones. That's all the more impressive given their true wireless design, which means there's no cord connecting the left earbud to the right. They produce outstanding audio quality packed into a pair of unobtrusive earpieces, complete with easy-to-use touch controls for playback, volume, and skipping tracks.

Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S10
The deal: $750 at Amazon and Walmart for the 128GB unlocked model
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy S10
The S10 started at $900, but following the announcement of the new S20 on Feb. 11, it dropped by $150 at these two retailers. It features a bezel-less screen, an impressive rear camera, and admirable battery life. The S10+, which is larger and has an even longer battery life, is also $150 off at Amazon and Walmart, knocking it down to $850.

Google Pixel 3a
The deal:
 $320 at Amazon for the 64GB unlocked model
CR's test results: Google Pixel 3a
If you need a new phone on a budget, the Pixel 3a might be a good bet. It usually sells for $400, which is a good price, too. It performs much better in CR's testing that the Pixel 3 and rivals top phones on a number of measures, including the quality of its display.

Google Pixel 4
The deal: $598 at Amazon for the 64GB unlocked model
CR's test results: Google Pixel 4
This slim, lightweight phone usually sells for $800, making this an enticing deal. The Pixel 4 includes wireless charging and a second camera for zoomed-in photography. It's the top-performing Pixel in CR testing and should appeal to anyone who wants the cleanest, most up-to-date version of the Android operating system. 

TVs

65-Inch Samsung 4K Smart TV
The deal: 
$478 at Sam’s Club
CR's test results: Samsung UN65NU6950
This set did well in our labs, including solid 4K (UHD) performance. The similar UN65NU6900 set is available for the same price at Walmart.

Laptops

14-Inch HP Laptop
The deal: $279 at Walmart
CR’s test results: HP 14
This is a basic laptop at a compelling price, about $200 below what you'd usually pay. The modest components include an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of memory, and 128GB of solid-state storage. The machine isn't a great choice for tough tasks like photo and video editing, but it's sufficient for routine chores such as checking email, browsing the web, streaming video, and editing office documents.

15-Inch Lenovo Flex Laptop
The deal:
 $620 at Amazon, $640 at OfficeDepot
CR’s test results: Lenovo Flex 15
This 2-in-1 laptop usually sells for close to $800. It has decent midrange specs—an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB of solid-state storage—and performed well in our tests. The model on sale doesn't have a dedicated Nvidia graphics card like the model we tested, which means it's not optimized for playing video games. 

Sound Bars

JBL Sound Bar
The deal: $500 at Amazon
CR's test results: JBL Bar 5.1 sound bar
If you want a sound bar to enhance your home entertainment center, this model from JBL might be the solution. It's $200 less than usual at Amazon right now, matching the sale price we saw over the holiday season. You can add more speakers for a surround-sound arrangement.



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