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Black Friday 2012: the best electronics deals so far

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Beck Diefenbach/Reuters/File

(Read caption) The iPad 2 with a Smart Cover is shown in use in the demonstration area after the iPad 2 launch during an Apple event in San Francisco, Calif., in March 2011. Walmart is offering the Apple iPad 2 16GB WiFi Tablet bundled with a $75 Gift Card for $399 for Black Friday, according to dealnews.com.

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By now we've seen the leaks, analyzed the circulars, and highlighted the best Black Friday laptops, HDTVs, and toys. But what about the small electronics like tablets, smartphones, cameras, and MP3 players? Fear not, for below we've compiled a master list of the best deals on said items.

iPod Deals

The iPod is the king of all MP3 players, so, not surprisingly, the most noteworthy promotions in this category involved the Apple device. Below are the best ads we've seen thus far for the ubiquitous do-it-all handheld.

Tablets Deals Come Mostly Bundled

Despite the ongoing tablet wars, your chances of seeing a deep dollar-off discount on any of today's most popular tablets are slim. There are a few out there (as described below), but your best bet for purchasing a tablet is to find the biggest tablet/gift card bundle available.

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Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera Deals

The rise of the smartphone has relegated the once-popular point-and-shoot digital camera to the back shelves, but that's not to say that several merchant won't try to get you interested in spending some cash on them during Black Friday. Below we've gathered the few noteworthy deals, though keep in mind prices will drop further once the new 2013 models are announced at PMA/CES in January.

A Note About DSLR Cameras

Even this close to Black Friday, we're not seeing any killer deals — or even rumors of good deals — on DSLR cameras. Everything we've see stores offering have been ho-hum when compared to historic deals that we've seen on similar cameras. Plus, as mentioned above, new models of all of these cameras are going to be announced at PMA/CES in January, so if you buy a so-so deal during Black Friday, you'll really regret it come the new year. That said, one DSLR-like camera deal does stand out:

Camcorder Deals

Another division of electronics that has been all but marginalized by smartphones that can also take video, we used to see dozens of hot deals on camcorders around Black Friday. This year, we've only found one that is even worth mentioning, for those of you who still like your unitasker devices.

Free Smartphones After Contract

Although you may not be inclined to associate smartphones with Black Friday doorbusters, the truth is that last year Amazon caught everyone by surprise with its Penny Pincher Sale, which dropped current Android smartphones to just 1 cent (with the purchase of a new contract). In general, we saw three times as many smartphones deals in 2011 than we did in 2010, so we expect it to be a big category this year as well.

Blu-ray Player Deals

Despite the preponderance of digital ways to stream movies and TV shows, Blu-ray players have stuck around. Perhapse it's because you never see digital HD movies on sale for $4 at Black Friday? Or people just like owning something tangible? Either way, there are several Blu-ray players that will be available this year.

There are still more ads trickling in as we speak, so be sure to keep an eye on our Black Friday hub for the last deals on cell phonesiPods, and other electronics.

Louis Ramirez is the senior feature writer at dealnews.coma website devoted to finding the best deals on consumer goods. The site pledges to list the best deal, whether or not it's from an advertiser, although it does work with advertisers to craft deals for readers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click hereThis feature first appeared in dealnews.com. 

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