Don’t lose your money on Black Friday

Some things you must remember on this Black Friday (directly from Android Central).

There are plenty of enticing deals on Android tablets of all kinds this Black Friday, but that doesn’t mean you should buy purely based on price. We’ve told you time and time again — if a tablet has a price that seems “too good to be true,” it probably Is. And that means if you’re hunting for a cheap tablet this holiday shopping weekend you’re probably more likely to end up with a poor piece of tech than a great deal. Remember that these Black Friday sales aren’t going on to lose companies money — so if a tablet is priced so low that there’s no explanation for it being that price, the likely reason is that it’s not worth buying. Sure you might be able to buy something for $39 that resembles a tablet and turns on, but with a bad screen, poor build quality, low-end specs and missing features, there’s no value to be had there. Nobody can make a good tablet for $39 right now — don’t think that these manufacturers all of a sudden learned how just because it’s Black Friday.

We’ve established that there are plenty of poor tablets out there that you shouldn’t be lured into buying — so what should you look for if you’re trying to find some real savings on a tablet purchase? Here are a few tips to follow as you browse the shelves in your local store:

  1. – Do your research, and trust online reviews: All of the deals you’re going to find are released ahead of Friday, so do your research! Take a look at reviews from a variety of places, including from customers who bought the tablet, and get a feeling for the quality, features and downsides of the tablets you’re considering. Stick to the brands you know: Chances are if you’ve never heard of a company before you set foot in a store to buy a tablet, you probably shouldn’t be buying their tablet. Big names like ASUS, Amazon, Toshiba and Lenovo all make good tablets that are also affordable — there’s little reason to consider buying a no-name tablet from a random company just because it’s cheaper than the others.
  2. – Beware of buying old, outdated models: In an effort to clear out inventory, manufacturers and retailers will often sell old models of tablets to unsuspecting customers. In many cases the discounts aren’t that great, and you’ll get more usable life out of a lower-end new model than you would out of a higher-end old model — it’s always worth researching to see when the tablet you’re considering was actually launched. Look for Google Services on board: When you start getting around the $50 range for tablets, there’s always a chance you may be looking at a tablet that isn’t actually certified by Google and therefore won’t have the Play Store or any Google apps. Needless to say you don’t want that tablet — the Play Store is a pretty big deal. The one big exception here can be the Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, which have their own app store and quite a few features that can make them worth losing Google for. Know what you want, and what tablets serve that need: It’s important that you know what you’re looking for in a tablet when shopping.
  3. – Do you (or the person you’re buying for) need it just for casual web browsing? Intense gaming? Productivity? A mix of all tasks? Not all tablet sizes, styles or manufacturers are best for all of those things. Make sure to see the specs, size and included features and how they match up with what you want that tablet to do.
  4. – Check if you’re buying new or refurbished: It’s particularly important when buying online to see if you’re buying a new or refurbished tablet. There’s nothing necessarily bad about a refurbished product, but know that it is typically an older device and may not carry the same kind of warranty or return policy that a new device would. Refurbs can be had for a great deal — just know what you’re getting into ahead of time.
  5. – The best tablets out there aren’t going to be steeply discounted: If a retailer has a tablet that’s going for 40, 50 or maybe 75 percent off, there’s a good chance that tablet isn’t worth even the new discounted price. The best tablets out there today don’t need to be discounted to sell well, and are going on sale in the 15 to 25 percent off range even on a super sale day like Black Friday. That’s still a huge savings on an expensive tablet, and you can still be happy with that purchase.

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