gift guide 2011
cyber monday

Cyber Monday Gadget Guide

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Black Friday is an awful day compared to today. Sure, you might walk away with that one deal you had your eye on, but for the most part it’s a lot of waiting, fighting, and pepper-spraying. To make up for such an excruciating sale experience, retailers have given us Cyber Monday — the light to Black Friday’s darkness.

That said, we’ve decided to round up some of the best sales of the day just in case you chose to forego Black Friday proper (and why wouldn’t you?).

Laptops

Those of you who participated in Apple’s biggest sales day in history this past Friday might feel a tinge of regret when I tell you that MacMall is beating Apple’s Black Friday prices today on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. iMacs, iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches are all going for higher prices here than at Apple last week, but the 13-inch MacBook Pro is getting a $139 mark down, while the 11-inch MacBook Air is seeing a price cut of $199.

For our Windows-powered geeks, Dell has a somewhat weak Cyber Monday lineup with $50 off select models. They aren’t necessarily fire sale prices, but a discount’s a discount.

You’ll also see a few hot deals at Best Buy, with 15-inch Core i3 and AMD E Series Toshiba Satellite models going for $499 and $279 respectively, along with a $389.99 15-inch Asus X54L-BBK2 laptop.

Then again, if those Toshiba notebooks sound tempting you may want to repetitively and obsessively click through Amazon‘s lightning deals which happen incrementally throughout the week.

Tablets

Truth be told, there haven’t been many outstanding tablet deals this weekend to begin with, and many of the good ones have sold out. Still, if you have your eye on RIM‘s BlackBerry PlayBook the Canadian company is offering its slate at the low price of $199.

Verizon is also hooking up tablet lovers with the LTE-capable Motorola Xoom for $199. According to the web site, devices will ship on December 5.

Smartphones

Amazon Wireless simply can’t be beat this year when it comes to smartphones. The iPhone, unfortunately, has not seen any Black Friday/Cyber Monday love from Apple or anyone else. Android devices, on the other hand, are going for a penny (with a two-year contract, of course) from Amazon throughout the week.

The HTC Thunderbolt 4G, HTC Droid Incredible 2, Samsung Droid Charge, and Motorola Atrix 4G are just a few of the smartphones Amazon is offering for a penny. Past that, you can also get some of the newer Hotspot-capable smartphones (like Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S II, the Motorola Droid Bionic (Verizon), or the lady-friendly HTC Rhyme) and receive a $100 Amazon gift card.

Home Entertainment

As far as your on-the-couch entertainment is concerned, you really shouldn’t miss out on today’s deals. Best Buy has a number of different TVs ranging from a 15-inch Coby TV for $79 to a Sony 55-inch Smart TV + 3D Blu-ray Home Theater bundle for $1698 (savings of $1650).

You’ll also find plenty of different TV offerings from Target in all shapes and sizes, including a $329 32-inch Samsung HDTV and a $1099 46-inch Smart HDTV (also from Samsung).

Sony also has great deals on Home Theater gear this week, which you can refer to in our Gadgets To Look Out For On Black Friday post.

Gaming

Walmart has you covered in the gaming department this year, with hot deals on a few different console bundles. A 250GB Xbox 360 with Kinect bundle (including Kinect Adventures and choice of other game) can be had for $348, while a PlayStation 3 starter bundle is going for $279.

That’s $10 less than Target’s similar PS3 bundle offering, though that’s not to say Target’s lacking in the gaming department. The big red retailer has $175 Wii Bundles in both black and white, while Dell is offering the Wii + Super Mario brothers for $135.

Check out our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide if you need a little extra inspiration.