In the lead-up to Black Friday, I like to make a wishlist with the things I want or need the most. The wishlist usually helps protect against impulsive decisions, like when I purchased a Peloton, only never to use it and lose half of my office’s real estate. While Black Friday is still not in full flow, Amazon has started its Black Friday sale already, and unfortunately, the three products at the top of my list are not on sale.
Here are the tech products at the top of my wishlist and the fantastic alternatives with discounted prices right now, so I can pick up a good saving and not wait in the hope of a better price.
A Sonos solution
Earlier this year, I bought a new turntable and replaced the Sonos Ones in my living room with two Sonos Era 100s. I was incredibly excited to use a record player as part of my Sonos system, including a Sonos Beam connected to my TV. Unfortunately, Sonos Era products have a significant flaw for my use case: you can’t use them as part of a Surround Sound system without disabling the audio in connection that makes them work with a turntable, so I need to compromise between surround sound and listening to my vinyl through Sonos.
Enter the Era 300, Sonos’ best smart speaker at the moment. I wanted to buy one to use with my record player and keep my two Era 100s as surround sound options for the TV.
Sonos Era 300 | $449 at Amazon
The Era 300 is one of the best speakers Sonos offers with Dolby Atmos support and Spatial Audio. While it's more expensive than the HomePod, we gave the Era 300 a glowing review as one of the best smart speakers on the market.
Unfortunately, the Era 300 isn’t part of Amazon’s Black Friday sale. Luckily, however, the Era 100 is. With $50 off, I can purchase a new Era 100 for $199 and use that as a connection point for my turntable into my Sonos system. By adding one extra speaker, I can use all of my Sonos set-up to listen to music while keeping my Beam and two other Era 100s for surround sound on my TV. I love Sonos, and while the lack of being able to use my current setup with surround sound and a record player simultaneously, this deal leaves all of my qualms in the past.
A better router for Remote Play
As Taylor Swift would put it, I’m in my PS5 Remote Play Era, but unfortunately, the router I use for my GB Fiber internet isn’t quite good enough to give me the best PS5 streaming experience. I recently purchased a PlayStation Portal, but I wasn’t sold on the device due to input lag and connectivity issues.
So, for Black Friday, I was set on purchasing a Linksys Velop Pro to get one of the best routers on the market and fix some of the issues with my PS Portal. This mesh router is Wi-Fi 7 compatible, and while I don’t have any Wi-Fi 7 devices at the moment, I love the idea of future-proofing my home.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, the Linksys Velop Pro isn’t available in Amazon’s Black Friday sale, so I started looking for alternative options to save me some extra cash. After much consideration and research, the older Linksys Velop Pro with Wi-FI 6E is good enough to fit my needs, and by opting for the 6E model over the 7, I can get a new router for only $139. While it won’t future-proof my home as much as Wi-Fi 7 routers would, it costs far less while still improving my current Remote Play situation.
So, if you’re looking for a new router for Remote Play or to power your home with all the best Black Friday HomeKit deals you’ve bought, the Linksys Velop Pro 6E is a great option at an even better price.
The perfect paper
I’m a sucker for tech that strips things back and gives an experience akin to simpler times. For ages, I’ve wanted a reMarkable 2 to take notes digitally while still feeling like I’m writing on paper. In the e-paper notebook space, the reMarkable 2 is the OG top-tier choice, but unfortunately, it’s not part of Amazon's Black Friday sale. Luckily, you can pick one up directly from reMarkable with a brilliant Black Friday offer that makes the top-of-the-line notetaking tablet a little cheaper.
reMarkable 2 | $449 at Amazon
The original e-paper notebook and one of the best examples of e-paper technology, the reMarkable 2 is unfortunately not part of Amazon's Black Friday sale. This bundle is equipped with the Marker Plus and a 12-month subscription to reMarkable's Connect service.
Price check: reMarkable from $299
Instead, Amazon’s Kindle Scribe has $110 off and is available for $279 in Amazon’s Black Friday sale. Funnily enough, when Amazon announced the Scribe last year, I instantly purchased one and fell in love with the writing experience compared to my iPad Pro or writing on paper.
After a few weeks, however, the lack of software and inability to organize my notes made me return the Scribe. Now, almost a year on the Scribe has had major software updates that have fixed the barebones experience the device had at launch, and I think now is the time for me to jump back on board.
There’s always an alternative
I always advise my friends and family to make a wishlist before Black Friday comes around to avoid silly purchases you regret as soon as the returns period ends. While a wish list is really important, finding alternatives and deciding to buy other options because the discount is better is also a surefire way to succeed this Black Friday. If you do your research, you might even prefer the alternative to your initial choice.
Grab bargains on Apple devices this Black Friday
If you're looking for the best Black Friday Apple deals as the annual sales season kicks off, we've got you covered. From now right through to Cyber Monday on November 27, we'll be serving up the best offers on iPhone, MacBook, Apple Watch, iPad, HomeKit smart home devices and more. Save a small fortune by checking back on our daily deals coverage.
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John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.
Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.
John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.
John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.
In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.