Watch Out for These Black Friday Gotchas
There are some great deals to be had this Black Friday but there are always a few duds mixed in. Here are a few things to watch out for so you can separate the deals from the duds.
Amazon May Be the Biggest Gotcha in a Good WayThe early deals list from Amazon shows many of the exact same products at the exact same prices as some of the other players like Amazon’s biggest rival, Walmart. This means with free shipping, no sales tax (in some states) and the fact that you get to stay home where it’s dry and warm, Amazon may be something to seriously consider.
Laptop and Desktop GotchasWatch out for laptops and tablets with older versions of operating systems. Android's latest version is 4.1 or 4.2 called Jelly Bean. The latest Windows version is Windows 8 which just came out but Windows 7 might be good enough since the upgrade only costs $39.

Remember to check the model number of the CPU since Intel has kept the same Core i3 – i7 for the last three versions, here’s how you tell:

First gen Core iX has 3 digits in the model number i.e. Core i5-7xx
Second gen Core iX (Sandy Bridge) has 4 digits in model number starting with 2 i.e. Core i5 2xxx except some i7s use 38xx and 39xx.
Third gen Core iX (Ivy Bridge) has 4 digits in model number starting with 3 i.e. Core i5 3xxx
HDTV Gotchas

  • With HDTV sets you could get by with two HDMI ports but if you want to hook up a Blu-ray player, game console, cable or satellite box, Apple TV or some other set-top box they’re all going to want an HDMI port so really, 4 ports are more like it.
  • We’ve seen a lot of less expensive TVs that only support video up to 720p. You might not notice the difference on sets smaller than 37 inches but we still prefer 1080p.
  • LED backlight is the state-of-the-art on LCD TVs but they typically cost more. LEDs provide brighter back lights, make for thinner sets and can use less power than CCFL backlit TVs.
  • You’ll see lots of HDTV sets with 60Hz refresh on sale. While 60Hz is fine for most viewing, higher end sets have 120, 240 or higher refresh rates to help reduce blurring in fast action programs.
  • Watch for Wi-Fi ready vs. Wi-Fi built-in with TVs and Blu-ray players. Built-in Wi-Fi doesn’t require an adaptor.
HDTV Model DecoderFor more HDTV buying information check out Retrevo’s HDTV Model Decoder where you’ll find out how to interpret those confusing model numbers and make sense of the “branded” features.

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