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December is one of the best times to find almost anything you want on sale. This year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend landed right at the tail end of November, so Cyber Week (which follows Cyber Monday) is taking place the first week of December.

This means you’ll see sale prices that match or come close to the savings available over the previous weekend on a wide variety of products. And many of those sales will continue throughout the month, because retailers usually run special promotions all the way up to the end of the year.

Consumer Reports tracks the prices of everything we test all year long to determine when they're most likely to drop most steeply. And there are 33 different products that tend to reach their deepest discounts this month, including popular gift items like TVs, cameras, and headphones as well as useful ones like vacuums, printers, and more.

But because of the pandemic, everything has been a bit different this year and may change in December as well. Retailers started their Black Friday sales at the beginning of November to try to offset the increased demand on shipping, so sales may ebb earlier in the month than usual. 

To see more of what gets deeply discounted the rest of the year, check out our calendar of deals.


Go to 
Consumer Reports’ Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider shopping tips, and much more.
 

Computers and Laptops

Laptops and computers are always popular gifts. This year, with more people working and learning remotely, these items are high on wish lists. But there may not be quite as many, and the discounts may not be as deep. 

More on Shopping

The pandemic has created increased demand for computers that’s resulting in less availability and fewer sales. There will still be discounts on select models, so get an idea of the type of computer or laptop you want with the help of CR’s buying guide and recommended models. If you can find a few models that may fit the bill, you’ll have better luck spotting a deal on at least one. 

Your best bet to find a discount on a good laptop or computer will be to shop early in the month. Thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday falling right at the end of November, we expect to see Cyber Week sales continue into early December. In fact, these are some of the best deals on top-rated laptops you can get right now.

Dell 15.6-Inch G3 15 Gaming Laptop
The deal: 
$749.99 at Dell (was $859.99)
CR's test results: Dell G3 15 Computer
This is a good price for Dell’s entry-level gaming laptop, which we tested and liked. It’s got an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, an Nvidia graphics card, and 256GB of solid-state storage. (By contrast, ours had a 1TB hard drive.) That makes it a smart choice for anyone who wants a single device for work and play.

HP 15-Inch HP 15 Laptop
The deal:
$799.99 at Best Buy (was $999.99)
This is a high-powered 2-in-1 convertible, which means you can not only tackle tough tasks such as video editing but also fold the touch-screen display behind the keyboard and use it like a tablet when you’re ready to admire your work. The laptop features an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of memory, and 512GB of solid-state storage. We haven’t tested this model but did evaluate an HP 15 with an AMD Ryzen 5 processor and less storage, and it scored high enough to earn a CR recommendation.

HP 16-Inch Pavilion Gaming Laptop
The deal:
$449.99 at Best Buy (was $699.99)
This is a solid choice for anyone interested in playing today’s games and maybe even getting a little work done on the side. The model features an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB of solid-state storage, and an Nvidia graphics card. We tested a 16.1-inch version with slightly more power and it ended up being a Consumer Reports Best Buy. As with most gaming laptops, it has limited battery life and is a little heavy, but that’s the trade-off you make for the extra power under the hood.

Lenovo 11.6-Inch Chromebook Flex 3
The deal:
$179 at Best Buy (Was $279)
This is a nice option for anyone in need of a Chromebook for browsing the web and doing simple productivity tasks. Thanks to the convertible design, you can also fold the touch-screen display behind the keyboard to use the device like a tablet. A similar model performed well enough in our labs to earn a recommendation from our testers, and this one has even better specs: a MediaTek processor, 4GB of memory, and 32GB of flash storage.

TVs

The holidays are the best time of year to find a deep discount on a new TV. You might expect the biggest sales to happen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but because these shopping holidays fell right at the end of November, Cyber Week is taking place in the first week of December. So you’re likely to see the biggest savings early in the month, with residual deals through the end of the year.

If you’re planning to order a larger TV, buy early if you want it delivered to reduce the risk of shipping delays. Or order from a retailer that offers in-store or curbside pickup to get your new TV even sooner.

It pays to do some research before heading to a store because there are countless options available. There are plenty of highly rated makes and models in our ratings, from brands such as LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio.

Our TV buying guide will help you get the most bang for your buck no matter how much you want to spend. CR members should consult our TV ratings to make sure to get a set that performed well in our lab tests. These are some of the best deals you can find on top TVs, listed by size.

Toshiba 32-Inch 720p Fire TV Edition Smart TV
The deal:
$119.99 at Best Buy (was $179.99)
We saw this set, the Toshiba TF-32A710U21, for the same price at the Amazon Prime Day event. We didn't test it, but other Toshiba high-definition Fire TVs have done decently for HD picture quality.

Hisense 43-Inch 4K H55-Series Android Smart TV
The deal:
$199.99 at Walmart (was $429.99)
We didn't test this set, but in general, entry-level Hisense 4K TVs have done fairly well for picture quality, thought not for HDR (high dynamic range), in Consumer Reports' testing. Like other Android RTVs, it has Chromecast and Google Assistant built in.

TCL 55-Inch 4-Series 4K Android Smart TV
The deal:
$279.99 at Best Buy (was $399.99)
We didn’t test this set, found only at Best Buy. Unlike most TCL sets, which are Roku TVs, this series uses the Android TV smart TV platform. It’s selling at a nice price for a set this size, but it’s not really a special deal. This was $80 cheaper for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Onn 60-Inch 4K Roku Smart TV
The deal:
$288 at Walmart
This set, the Onn 1000024699, was a quick seller during Walmart's Cyber Monday sale: It pretty much sold out immediately. The retailer has added more inventory but may run out again before long. We haven't tested this particular model, but we have tested a number of Onn-brand TVs, and some have been decent sets, while others weren't so hot. Like many Onn TVs, this is a Roku TV model with access to lots of streaming content.

Sony 65-Inch 4K Android Smart TV
The deal:
$599.99 at BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Club (was $799.99)
This entry-level set is sold mainly via warehouse clubs. We tested the 55-inch version (Sony KD55X75CH), and it had very good overall picture quality, though only limited HDR effectiveness. Also, unlike step-up Sony models, it doesn’t support Dolby Vision HDR.

Vizio 65-Inch 4K OLED Smart TV
The deal:
$1,499.99 at Best Buy (was $1,999.99)
CR's test results: Vizio OLED65-H1
We’ve been waiting for this deal at Best Buy to drop, and it finally has. We tested this set, and it does great in our ratings, though it can’t quite match the HDR performance we’ve seen with OLED TVs from LG and Sony. Still, it’s the lowest-priced OLED TV this size, even before the price drop. This set should be appealing to anyone who has wanted a big OLED TV.

Headphones

Headphones are always a popular gift item, and you can often find great deals on top models in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Typically, the best deals will roll out around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and they usually carry over into the rest of December.

Whether you’re looking for true wireless earbuds or a comfy pair of over-ear headphones that offer noise cancellation, it’s important to research brands and models to ensure that the pair you buy will have the features you’re looking for.

Consumer Reports tests headphones in our labs to measure attributes such as volume, noise cancellation, sound quality, and battery life. Review our recommended models to get more familiar with the best options before you start shopping, then take a look at some of the best deals you can get right now.

Apple Airpods Pro True Wireless Earbuds
The deal:
$199 at Staples; $219.99 at Best Buy, P.C. Richard & Son, and Target (was $249.99)
CR's test results: Apple AirPods Pro true wireless earphones
The AirPods Pro add active noise cancellation to Apple’s ever popular line of true wireless headphones. That’s not the only upgrade, either—our testers found they have much better sound quality than their predecessors, and they’re the first AirPods model to earn a Consumer Reports recommendation. The AirPods Pro don’t go on sale very often, making this an appealing discount.

Beats Studio3 Over-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones
The deal:
$174.99 at Target (was $349.99)
CR's test results: Beats Studio3 over-ear headphones
The Beats Studio3 deliver above-average sound and superb noise cancellation. But at their usual price of $350, they typically don’t make our lists of top picks because there are cheaper models that perform just as well or better. For under $200, though, the Studio3 may be worth the cost of entry.

Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds
The deal:
$168 at Adorama, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart; $169.99 at Target (was $229.99)
CR's test results: Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earphones
The 1000XM3 headphones are a popular noise-canceling model from Sony with a true wireless design, meaning there’s no cable connecting the earpieces. They get solid marks in our ratings for audio quality and blocking out sound. They have touch controls, adjustable levels of noise cancellation, a generous battery life, and a slew of other features. They aren’t our No. 1 noise-canceling pick, but at this price they’re a great value. The headphones are worthwhile even at full price.

Sony WH-910N Over-Ear Headphones
The deal:
$139.99 at Costco (was $199.99)
CR's test results: Sony WH-H910N over-ear headphones
The H910N earns high marks for sound quality and a superb rating for noise cancellation. It comes with appealing features, including a function meant to automatically let in more or less outside noise depending on your environment, and touch controls for volume, skipping tracks, and more. According to Sony, it has a quick-charging feature and a 35-hour battery life.

Vacuums

Vacuums, including robotic vacuum cleaners, are among the more popular gift options around the holidays, and you’ll find lots of discounts on top models. This is an ideal time to finally replace your old one with an upgrade or surprise a loved one.

There are so many different kinds of vacuums to choose from that it can be daunting to decide on the best option for your home. To make the choice easier, review our vacuum cleaner buying guide as well as our ratings to select the right brand and model for your budget. Once you know which kind you want, check out some of the best deals available right now.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum
The deal:
$399.99 at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target (was $499.99)
CR's test results: Dyson Ball Animal 2 bagless upright vacuum
The 17-pound Dyson Ball Animal 2 has impressive results in CR’s lab tests for carpet cleaning. It aces our bare-floor and pet-hair tests, too. Emissions are clean, so this vacuum won’t spew debris back into the room (although emptying the bin can stir up some dust). It comes with attachments that help you get into tight spaces. In our brand reliability survey, Dyson uprights score well for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.

Hoover Onepwr Blade Max Stick Vacuum
The deal:
$299.99 at Amazon, Best Buy, and Wayfair
CR's test results: Hoover Onepwr Blade Max cordless stick vacuum
The cordless Hoover Onepwr Blade Max is an impressive performer in CR’s tests, earning top-notch scores for cleaning bare floors and removing pet hair, and it holds its own on carpet. Plus it zips along the edges of a room, leaving little to nothing behind. The battery has a run time of just over 26 minutes, is replaceable, and can be used with any tool in Hoover’s Onepwr suite of products.

iRobot Roomba i7+ Robotic Vacuum
The deal:
$599 at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Sylvane, and Walmart (was $799.99)
CR's test results: iRobot Roomba i7+
You can save $200 on the relatively new iRobot Roomba i7+ at several retailers. This model comes with a self-emptying dustbin and mapping technology. In our tests it excelled at both carpet and bare floors but was so-so when it came to picking up pet hair. This is the deepest discount on the i7+ that we’ve seen so far.

Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly Canister Vacuum
The deal:
$349.99 at Amazon (was $449.99)
CR's test results: Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly UltraPlush 81714 canister vacuum
The Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly UltraPlush 81714 is indeed friendly to pet owners, earning an Excellent in our test for removing pet hair. It’s also a champ at cleaning bare floors and a solid performer at cleaning carpet, making it a smart choice if you have a combination of flooring. It makes the grade in our emissions test, but in terms of noise, there are quieter choices.

Tablets

As with laptops and computers, tablet sales are also prominent this month. Some laptops can convert to tablets for added functionality.

When choosing the best tablet for you or someone else, consider how it will be used. For watching Netflix or editing photos, look for something with a larger, higher-quality screen. For simpler tasks, such as playing games and browsing the web, you don’t need to spend a ton. Other factors to consider are battery life, storage size (and expansion options), size, weight, and processor power.

To learn more about what will work for you, check out CR’s buying guide and recommended tablets. Then check out some of the top discounts on quality models.

Microsoft 12.3-Inch Surface Pro 7
The deal:
 $799 at Best Buy (was $1029.99)
CR's test results: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Core i5) laptop
Our testers recommended this model when it was released a year ago, and now it's an even better value at this price. Because it’s a 2-in-1 detachable, you can separate the touch-screen display from the keyboard and use it like a tablet. The specs are midrange—an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 128GB of solid-state storage—but should be sufficient for everyday tasks like browsing the web, managing office documents, and even editing the occasional photo.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A
The deal:
$217.75 at Amazon (was $238)
CR's test results: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2019
This tablet has a lot to offer, even without the discount—it originally cost around $350. It features a big, bright display, 128 gigabytes of storage for downloaded games and shows, solid battery life, and the speed to tackle everyday tasks, such as web browsing and email, with ease. And if you have little ones, you’ll appreciate the parental controls.

Wireless and Bluetooth Speakers

Similar to many items on this list, wireless speakers make great gifts, and retailers roll out discounts on them this time of year for that exact reason. Decent Bluetooth speakers can range from $20 to $800. Some are waterproof, some have a longer-than-average Bluetooth range or extended battery life, and some may have smart features such as Amazon Alexa compatibility or companion apps. Of course, not all speakers sound the same, so if you fancy yourself an audiophile, be prepared to spend a bit more for quality playback.

CR’s buying guide and product ratings can help you determine the best options so that you can navigate sales and find the speaker you want for less.

Edifier R2000DB Speaker Set
The deal:
$195.49 at Amazon (was $249.99)
CR's test results: Edifier R2000DB Wireless & Bluetooth Speaker
The R2000DB is a pair of stereo Bluetooth speakers that offer very good sound and very good value for the money, even when they're not on sale. Our testers put the speakers near the top of our ratings, thanks to their detailed bass and even midrange. If you have some extra room in your budget for even better sound quality, you might consider the Edifier S1000MKII, our highest-rated wireless speaker. But for less than $200, the R2000DB is a lot of speaker for the money. 

Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
The deal:
$134.99 at Best Buy (was $199.99)
CR's test results: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
The Megaboom 3 is a solid choice for outdoor fun. It's colorful and waterproof, with almost comically large volume buttons. While it's larger than many portable Bluetooth models, that size is worth it because it helps to give the UE solid bass and more than enough volume for playing alfresco. It was $35 cheaper for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but this discount is still significant.

Air Fryers

Air fryers have been among the top holiday gifts for the past few years, and you can usually find discounts on top-rated models. But we haven’t seen nearly as many opportunities to save on CR-tested models this year, so it’s especially important to check out your options before you buy.

Among the models CR has tested, there turned out to be no discernible difference in the food the testers made. But some air fryers had easier controls, were easier to clean, or were quieter than others.

Learn more about the various features and other factors to consider in CR’s buying guide, then take a look at the recommended models to find the best one for you (or whomever you want to give it to).

Cameras

Cameras have become something of a luxury because most people now rely on their phones to take photos. That makes cameras perfect for gift-giving, so retailers often discount them for the holiday shopping season.

Once you’ve settled on your budget (cameras can range from a hundred to thousands of dollars), you’ll need to decide on the type of camera you want. A simple point-and-shoot is great if your phone camera isn’t up to snuff. But you may want something more powerful, such as a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) model, if you’re looking to capture top-notch photos.

Because choosing the right digital camera can be overwhelming, spend some time doing a little homework before you shop. Determine which type will best suit your needs and how much you’re willing to spend, taking into account accessories such as lenses, SD cards, card readers, spare batteries, and more. Our digital camera buying guide and ratings give you the details on different models, as well as information on features and brands. 

Printers

If you’ve been meaning to get a new printer, you may be able to find a good deal on a top model left over from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are plenty of different printers out there. Some models can scan and fax, and others just stick to basic printing functions.

You’ll have to choose between two main types of printers: laser and inkjet. Some may be able to make copies or offer wireless printing over WiFi. CR’s buying guide can give you a more in-depth look at the different options and the best models so that you’ll be ready to buy when the printer you want goes on sale.

Cell Phones

If your current smartphone isn’t that current anymore and you’re finally ready to get your hands on something newer, December may be a great time to find a recent model at a discount. While Black Friday is when you’ll find the widest variety of phones on sale, these deals often last through December as retailers and carriers run holiday promotions.

Not sure which phone is right for you? Our smartphone buying guide can help you find the perfect option to suit your lifestyle.

More Products on Deep Discount

In addition to the 10 products listed above, a whole lot of other products are on sale in December, thanks largely to holiday sales that carry over from Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday sales. CR’s data has found that the 23 categories below are also deeply discounted this month. So if you need or want to gift anything below, you should be able to find opportunities to save on top options from our tests.