Black Friday: Which Electronics are Worth it? Which aren’t?

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There really is nothing like getting home after purchasing a bunch of items for much less than their retail price. But what separates a “steal” from something you shouldn’t even go near? From a game, to a laptop, to wireless earbuds, here’s a guide to the best deals for electronics to look out for today on Black Friday.

What You Should Buy: 

NBA 2K22 Next Gen

It is safe to say that the NBA 2K franchise was getting stale. Years of putting no effort into such a mainstream game does something to a franchise and its most loyal fans. Over time, game sales have declined, slowly destroying the franchise. However, with the arrival of 2K22,  2K has finally woken up and put something out that is worth your attention.

NBA 2K22 is a breath of fresh air in every way you can think of. The gameplay feels smooth and fun to play with your friends. There aren’t certain gameplay mechanics that are too overpowering, like the Curry slide in 2K21. The game is much more challenging than last year’s iteration of the game.

MyCareer, the gamemode where you can create your own player and play as him in the NBA world, received a fresh update with quests that fully utilize The City, a headline feature from 2K21. The storyline is very different but very enjoyable. Becoming a musical artist and YouTuber on your way to the NBA is a welcome addition. It keeps you attached to the game and isn’t as repetitive in gameplay like previous iterations such as 2K20 and 2K21. However, as IGN reviewer Ricky Frech said, “The second you step foot into multiplayer matches…[the] microtransactions begin to rear their ugly head.” It is quite annoying being prompted to buy in-game currency when you are trying to have fun. Had they not shoved it in your face, MyCareer would’ve been higher rated for sure, but the shameless advertising and microtransactions weigh my rating down.

Elsewhere, MyNBA, the franchise mode of the game that is often neglected, received a miniscule yet important update, making the staff section of the mode much more important to winning a championship. We are just left to ask, Why isn’t the Offseason more detailed? Why isn’t free agency as focused on as it is in real life?

Ultimately the game NBA 2K22 Next Gen is definitely worth your money. With the expected Black Friday sales that are speculated to go around, some nearing 50 percent off, it’s too good to pass up on. A game with such a good vibe and feel to it is certainly worth it, especially as it is the best 2K game in years.

Overall rating: 7.5/10

Lenovo Chromebook 3: 14” Touchscreen, Arctic Gray

As we have eased back into in-person learning, we have seen a surge in people utilizing laptops in school. What better investment than a handy school laptop?

This laptop is 14 inches with a full HD display and a MediaTek processor. It comes with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of regular storage. It also includes a touchscreen feature, making it useful when you need to draw diagrams for notes.

However, its processing speed is below average, and the 4GB of RAM looks iffy to say the least. It is probably not the best color either, with the bright gray standing out like a sore thumb. It’s very one dimensional and can’t be used for anything other than work. If you are planning to buy a laptop for games and personal use, you might want to stay away from it. It’s by no means the best, but it definitely does the job, especially in terms of schoolwork.

Ultimately, this is a good buy. It’s being sold on Best Buy for $150 after sale, usually retailing at about $320. It’s a great deal for a good laptop and to be honest it is a 7/10 overall rating considering such an affordable price.

What You Should Definitely Avoid: 

AirPods Generation 3

Apple recently released the AirPods Generation 3 at one of their events a couple of weeks ago and let’s just say they are not worth the hype.

It is definitely the middle option trick sellers use to push you to buy the more expensive item, in this case, the AirPods Pro. The battery life on these AirPods is underwhelming, especially considering the time and resources they had available. Apple decided to go against adding ear tips, sticking with the One Size Fits Most theme the AirPods have been known for. It certainly seems like they were being lazy with this design. Moreover, they didn’t include the noise cancelling feature, leaving that only for the AirPods Pro users. There are earbuds just as good with noise cancelling for a more affordable price on the market. Essentially, this AirPods Generation 3 feels just like the AirPods 2nd generation, with shorter tips.

However, one must give Apple some roses. The addition of spacial audio is very high-quality, as we should expect from Apple. They could’ve easily kept that as an AirPods Pro feature but they didn’t. Fair play to them. Also, the Adaptive EQ which allows the AirPods to tune the music for your ears is a welcome addition not many wireless earbuds have. But does adding two features, which on a day-by-day basis you won’t feel, shortening the tips, and keeping everything else the same warrant spending close to $200 on them?

The short answer: Absolutely not. Despite how good one may view these AirPods, they are very overpriced and not worth you breaking the bank for them. There are much better solutions on the market, like the Beats Studio Buds for $120 or even the AirPods Generation 2, for $150. Ultimately, they are not worth your time and most definitely not worth your money. 

Apple’s sales and discounts have been a running joke, so if they do bring this down in price, it wouldn’t be enough to say, “It’s worth it.” 

Overall Rating: 3/10

These were the items you should and shouldn’t take a look at today. Ultimately these picks are something you should absolutely listen to if you want to walk into next week knowing you bought something totally worth it for a totally acceptable price.

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