It’s still a few days until Halloween, but retailers are already pushing early Black Friday deals. That makes this week either an opportunity to bemoan the unrelenting passage of time or a good time to shop. For those who take the latter view, we gathered up the better tech deals that’ve popped up. Those include a rare sale on Sonos home theater speakers, sweeping discounts on Blink security cameras and a steep price drop on a recommended VPN service. We’ve also spotted discounts on Apple’s M2 MacBook Air and 9th-generation iPad that respectively top and meet their prices from Amazon’s October Prime Day event earlier this month, as well as a couple of gift card bundles for new smartphones in the OnePlus Open and Samsung Galaxy S23 FE. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still get today.
Sonos home theater sets
From now through Sunday, Sonos is selling a few its home theater sets (which include soundbars and subwoofers) for up to 20 percent off. Sonos rarely runs sales, so this may be one to check out if you want to upgrade your TV’s sound setup. One deal is the Ray + Sub Mini, regularly $708, for just $566. We recommend the Ray in our soundbar buying guide because it provides excellent sound quality for both TV and music, while its compact size makes it ideal for smaller living rooms. Adding the Sub Mini to the mix helps round out the sound and fill in the bass that soundbars are hard-pressed to deliver on their own.
At the other end of the pricing spectrum is Sonos’ high-end bundle, the Ultimate Immersive Set, which includes the Arc soundbar, the Sub subwoofer and two Era 300 smart speakers. Usually the set goes for $2,596, but it’s now down to $2,211. The Arc is our runner up pick for a premium option in our soundbar buying guide, while the Era 300 earned an Engadget review score of 80 thanks to its detailed and balanced sound quality. We did think the speaker’s spatial audio experience was hit or miss and we were disappointed by its lack of Google Assistant support — though you can use Alexa or Sonos’ own assistant instead.
iRobot Roomba Combo j7+
Wellbots is taking up to $300 off a few of iRobot’s vac-and-mop Roomba Combo cleaners. The Roomba Combo j7+ usually costs a steep $999, for instance, but you can drop it down to $699 if you enter the code ENGROOMBA300 at checkout. The Roomba Combo j7+ is the top 2-in-1 pick in our robot vacuum buying guide, and it even earned a spot in the smart home of one of Engadget’s senior editors.
A few other vac-and-mops are on sale too, including the iRobot Roomba Combo j5+, which is $300 with the same code, and the standard iRobot Roomba Combo j5, which is $250 off with the code ENGROOMBA250. (Those two are largely similar, though the former comes with a self-emptying base station.) If you’ve been thinking about automating your floor cleaning, this might be a good time to go for it.
Blink Outdoor 4 security camera
Blink’s latest outdoor security camera, the Outdoor 4, has only been around since August but has already gone on sale a few times. Now through November 5th, Amazon is dropping the price back down to $72, which is 40 percent off its list price. This deal comes as part of a wider sale on security cams and video doorbells from the Amazon subsidiary.
The Outdoor 4 is the top wireless security camera pick in our guide to the best smart home devices. It can capture 1080p footage and send it straight to a phone or Alexa-enabled smart display. You can also talk and listen through the built-in mic and speaker. Improved motion detection should help it discern between a person approaching your house and the neighborhood cat, and the wireless build lets you set it just about anywhere around your home’s exterior. Its battery can last up to two years with a pair of AA batteries, depending on your usage, and Amazon includes a set with the camera. Also included in this deal is the Sync Module 2, a separate accessory that lets you locally store video clips.
For keeping tabs on the inside of your home, you can grab the Blink Mini. During the same time frame, a three-pack of the Blink Mini is down to $40. The list price for one of those cameras is $35, though we often see them drop into the $20 to $25 range.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat
Another Wellbots deal brings Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat down to $174, which is a $75 discount and one of the best prices we’ve seen as of late (though not the lowest ever). Enter the code ENGNLT75 to see the full savings at checkout. The Nest Learning Thermostat can help with your energy bills by not overly heating or cooling the house when you’re not home and by making suggestions on energy-saving temp settings. The “learning” here gets to know your routines and preferred settings to automatically create schedules, which you can always adjust manually in the Nest app.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Google’s Pixel Buds Pro are back at their lowest price ever, thanks to another discount code at Wellbots. These wireless earbuds have a list price of $200, but they dropped to $120 during Amazon’s recent Prime Day sale. If you missed that one, though, you can now use the checkout code ENGPIX83 to get them for a few bucks less at $117. We named the Pixel Buds Pro the best option for Android users in our wireless earbuds buying guide and gave them an 87 in our review last year. They deliver deep bass and integrate particularly nicely with Google’s Pixel phones.
The Google Nest Hub Max also has a discount code from Wellbots; enter ENGMAX100 to save $100 off the $229 list price. We gave this 10-inch smart display a review score of 86 when it came out in 2019 thanks to its tight integration with other Google devices and services, solid audio quality and accurate facial recognition.
Apple MacBook Air M2
The base model of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air with an M2 chip and 256 GB of storage is down to $899 at Best Buy, which matches the lowest price we’ve seen outside of special offers for My Best Buy members. Apple sell the notebook for $1,099, so this deal represents a $200 discount off its MSRP. If you’d prefer a larger screen size, the 15-inch model is also on sale for a low of $1,049, which is $250 less than buying from Apple directly.
The M2 Air is both our favorite MacBook and the top overall recommendation in our laptop buying guide. We gave both notebooks a score of 96 in our reviews, and these entry-level configurations can still handle mainstream productivity and entertainment tasks with ease. Their speakers are impressively loud, their displays are bright and accurate, and their keyboards and trackpads remain comfortable.
Apple is holding an event next week where it’s expected to announce new Macs based on an updated M3 chip, but reliable Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman says that will likely focus on refreshed MacBook Pros and a new iMac; updated MacBook Airs aren’t expected until sometime next year.
As part of an early Black Friday promotion, Surfshark is offering its VPN plans for up to 86 percent off. The deepest discount applies to the Surfshark Starter plan which you can get for $60 for 27 months. That works out to $2.21 per month with three months free. After the promo ends, the plan reverts to its normal price of $60 per year. We named Surfshark the best service for multiple devices in our VPN guide. It’s one of the few options that let you use it on an unlimited number of devices without bandwidth restrictions and it has access to a larger number of servers than other VPN services that offer unlimited connections.
Anker PowerConf C200
Our runner-up recommendation for the best webcam you can buy is Anker’s PowerConf C200. Right now at Amazon and Newegg, the 2K cam is down $48, which matches the low we saw during the October Prime Day sale earlier this month. It’s easy to set up, has good picture quality and its on-board mics are surprisingly decent. Our main complaints were that it’s a little tricky to adjust the angle and the included USB cable is on the shorter side.
Apple iPad (9th gen)
Apple’s 9th-generation iPad dropped to $249 for Amazon’s October Prime Day sale, which matched the tablet’s previous low. Now, the 10.2-inch slate is back down to that price at Amazon and Walmart. That’s $80 off Apple’s MSRP, though at this point, it’s almost always available for less than its list price at various retailers. This is the budget pick in our guide to the best iPads. It’s not the best option for a workhorse productivity slate, as it has a dated design and worse accessory support compared to newer models, but it’s still great for web browsing, playing Apple Arcade games and streaming video on the cheap.
Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch)
On the exact opposite of the iPad spectrum, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is on sale for $990, which is about $60 off its usual street price and the lowest price we’ve tracked for the 128GB model. The 12.9-inch Pro is the “best for power users” pick in our buying guide: It’s still more iPad than most people need, but its big mini-LED display is gorgeous and it’s fast enough to handle just about any task thrown at it.
As noted above, Apple has an event coming next week, but Bloomberg reports we won’t see any new iPads then. Instead, refreshes are expected sometime early next year, so if you can afford to wait, it might be smart to do so. But if not, there’s still decent value here.
JBL Charge 5
The JBL Charge 5 is down to $120 at Amazon, Walmart and various other retailers, which is about $30 off its average street price. We recommend the Charge 5 in our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers. It’s not the most compact speaker around, but it’s loud enough for smaller parties, it does well keep tracks from sounding muddled and its IP67 waterproof rating means it’s safe to take in the shower or pool. JBL says its battery can last up to 20 hours per charge — though, as with all portable speakers, that’ll vary based on usage and volume — and the whole thing can work as a power bank for your phone in a pinch.
WD Black C50 Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X/S
For better or worse, the only way to fully expand the storage of an Xbox Series X/S is to buy a proprietary expansion card. If you’re running out of space, you can get the 1TB version of WD’s Black C50 card for $120 at Amazon with a $30 on-page coupon. That’s a new all-time low. This is still pricier than buying a comparable (and PS5-compatible) SSD, but the only other Xbox storage card on the market comes from Seagate, and the 1TB version of that card is currently priced at $149.
Apple Watch Ultra
Apple’s last-gen premium smartwatch, the Apple Watch Ultra, is on sale for $629 at Best Buy, which is about $140 off its typical going rate in recent months. Note that this deal applies to the model with Apple’s small Trail Loop in yellow and beige. A model with a small orange Alpine Loop is also on sale at Amazon for $659.
The catch here is that Apple recently released the Apple Watch Ultra 2, so this is technically an outdated model. The latest version adds a faster S9 SiP (system-in-package), which supports a useful Double Tap feature and on-board Siri processing, but the original remains a powerful option for athletes, hikers and other more involved users. It earned an 85 in our review when it came out thanks to its long battery life, big and bright display, and durable build. It still packs plenty of fitness and adventuring features (such as an SOS siren, waypoint-setting and a diving app) alongside the workout and activity tracking you get with other Apple Watches, so it might be worthwhile if you’re looking to save at least a little bit of cash on a high-end wearable.
The OnePlus Open started shipping just this week, but Amazon is already bundling the new foldable phone with a $200 gift card. Since the phone itself goes for $1,700, any sort of savings is appreciated. We called the Open a “thinner and more affordable flagship foldable” in our review last week and have named it the best “budget” option in our guide to the best foldable phones.
If you don’t want to shop from Amazon — or if the gift card deal goes out of stock — you can grab a similar deal directly from OnePlus. The company is currently offering a $200 discount if you trade in any smartphone, regardless of brand, age and/or condition, bringing the foldable down to $1,500.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE
Along those lines, both Amazon and Best Buy are bundling Samsung’s new Galaxy S23 FE phone with a $100 gift card for no extra cost. The phone itself goes for $599 and, like the OnePlus Open, began shipping this week. As we noted in our hands-on earlier this month, the Galaxy S23 FE has a similar design as the standard Galaxy S23, but it comes with a 6.4-inch OLED display (instead of 6.1 inches) and uses a slightly slower and less efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor (instead of the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 2). The FE’s camera system has a worse telephoto lens as well, though the device does come with a larger battery. While Google’s Pixel 8 looks to be a more complete package as a midrange Android phone, the S23 FE is less expensive, and this deal should only heighten the value.