Welcome! As you may have noticed, Black Friday 2018 is approaching with some speed - and that means deals on all sorts of gadgets and components near and dear to our technological hearts. Each day, we'll round up our picks of the litter - the televisions, PC hardware and peripherals that we can wholeheartedly recommend based on our first-hand experience - and share them with you in a post like this one.
This daily deals digest will include offers on both sides of the Atlantic, and links through to our dedicated Black Friday pages for all sorts of stuff - graphics cards, SSDs, 4K televisions, gaming monitors and much more. That way, you can check out just the highlights here, or really get into the weeds to see all of the options available.
With four days to go until the big day itself, today's edition includes cut-price gaming monitors, cheap SSDs and deep discounts on graphics cards.
Digital Foundry's best TV and monitor deals
UK Black Friday 2018 TV and monitor deals
This is a 27-inch 240Hz monitor - the fastest refresh rate you can get - for an insane price of just £225, £175 below retail just half a year after launch. This LG monitor is perfect for fast-paced esports games like CS:GO, Fortnite or League of Legends, where the super-low response times make it easier to take quickly moving targets with fluidity and grace. I actually bought this monitor myself when it was discounted to £300 in September, and now it's down to £225 I'm somewhat in shock. Take advantage of my misfortune, and get an insane esports monitor for a killer price.
Sony Bravia AF8 OLED 55" for £1899 - was £2299, save £400
The Sony AF8 OLED is a strong competitor to the LG C8, boasting a beautiful OLED screen and slightly better motion handling for low-fps content. It also offers very low input lag with the HDR mode enabled - although its input lag is worse than the LG C8 for non-HDR content. Its Android TV OS is another point of differentiation, providing an unrivalled number of apps and a good degree of customisation if you're willing to experiment. All in all, a reasonable buy at £400 off!
Acer Predator XB271HU 1440p 165Hz IPS G-Sync - £479, was £599 - save £120
Our absolute favourite gaming monitor, the Acer Predator XB271HU, has been discounted for what feels like the first time in forever. The XB271HU combines impressive gaming credentials - a 165Hz refresh rate, G-Sync support and extremely low input lag of 4.6ms - with a gorgeous IPS panel running at 2560x 1440p resolution. If you want to work and game on the same machine, this is the perfect monitor to handle both with ease.
MSI Optix MAG27CQ 27" 1440p 144Hz for £330 - normally £420, save £90
What's better - the colour accuracy and viewing angles of IPS or the fast response times and cheap prices of TN? There's actually another option - VA - which offers the best of both worlds. That's the idea behind the MAG27CQ, an MSI monitor with a curved 1440p panel that runs at 144Hz. It's got good enough image quality with excellent contrast, FreeSync support for AMD graphics cards (and the Xbox One) and the high refresh rate you need to excel in fast-paced competitive games. It's normally £420, but a Black Friday deal from Overclockers has brought it down to £330 - not bad at all!
Asus MG279Q 27" 1440p IPS FreeSync 144Hz + Black Ops 4 for £429 - was £519, save £90
This Asus MG279Q monitor combines a lot of very attractive specifications into a nice, heavily discounted package. It's a 2560x1440 IPS screen, so you can expect a sharp image, good colour reproduction and wide viewing angles, but it's also got a high refresh rate of 144Hz. This is backed with FreeSync, meaning you can smooth out uneven frame times without the usual input lag penalty of old-school Vsync - as long as you're running an AMD graphics card (or you're using an Xbox One or Xbox One X). This was a solid monitor at the £500 mark, so £430 is a good deal indeed. Better yet, you even get a free game with it - the rather excellent Call of Duty Black Ops 4, including the new Blackout battle royale mode. Not bad!
USA Black Friday 2018 TV and monitor deals
LG C8 OLED 55" for $1696 - was $2099, save $403
We named the LG C8 the best TV for 4K HDR gaming this year thanks to its incredible contrast, low input latency and excellent motion processing. The LG C8 offers better peak brightness than its 2017 predecessor and works well for non-4K content too, thanks to strong upscaling. While many smart TVs are surprisingly slow and clumsy to operate with dated software, webOS on the LG C8 is fluid and responsive. All in all, the LG C8 is an absolute triumph of a television set that was well worth its original $2000+ price tag - and at $400 off, it's a no-brainer.
Samsung NU8000 4K HDR TV 75" for $1579 - was $1979, save $400
The Samsung NU8000 is another TV we recommended before Black Friday began; this one we reckon is the best value 4K TV for HDR gaming. Interestingly, the monstrous 75-inch version just got $400 cheaper if you get it from Sam's Club. The deal gets you a massive 4K TV with good HDR support, FreeSync and some of the lowest input lag we've seen from a 4K TV, making it a gamer's dream. Its contrast isn't quite as good as an OLED TV and viewing angles aren't the best, but 75 inches at less than $1600 you're still getting a heck of a deal.
LG 38CB99-W 38" 3840x1600 IPS FreeSync 75Hz for $1040 - was $1800, save $760 (!!)
As another option... what about a monitor so big it could be a TV? This 38-inch goliath has the same horizontal resolution as a 4K screen, but it's a little less tall at only 1600 pixels instead of 2160 pixels. That makes it easier to drive than a full 4K screen, but no less amazing to see in person. It's a curved ultra-wide monitor as well, providing a suitably immersive experience whether you're totting up numbers in a spreadsheet or moving down enemies in your favourite shooter. This LG monitor is modern too, with USB-C connectivity that's ideal for connecting to laptops with a single cable. Its original $1800 price point was a little ridiculous, but at just over $1000 it's much more palatable. This is your chance to get a massive monitor at a massively reduced price - what do you think?
Digital Foundry's best PC hardware deals
UK Black Friday 2018 PC hardware deals
Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ 8GB for £182 - was £320, save £138!
We reckon that the RX 580 is the best graphics card available for 1080p gaming, as it offers better performance than the GTX 1060, allows access to cheap FreeSync monitors (rather than expensive G-Sync ones) and is surprisingly cheap too. Amazon are offering the extremely speedy Sapphire Nitro+ version for an incredibly low price of £182. This particular card is perhaps the fastest RX 580 available too; in our recent RX 590 preview, this RX 580 Nitro+ provided about 95% of the power of AMD's top-tier 500-series graphics cards for £80 less. Not bad!
Kingston A1000 480GB NVMe SSD for £74 - was £95, save £21
The Kingston A1000 isn't the fastest NVMe SSD on the market, but with 1500MB/s sequential reads and 1000MB/s sequential writes it's far faster than SATA SSDs, which are limited to around 500MB/s in both categories. If you need to read or write large files on a daily basis - for example, 4K video footage - then this could be a good shout.
USA Black Friday 2018 PC hardware deals
Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 Gaming 8GB for $200 - was $250, save $50!
The RX 580 is our top choice for 1080p gaming with excellent performance for less money than the GTX 1060 6GB, which is itself the most popular graphics card in the world. This Gigabyte Gaming RX 480 is quite ordinary, but should still provide strong 1080p performance and the possibility of 1440p gaming if you're willing to turn down a few settings. At $210, this could be the centrepiece of a low cost, high performance gaming PC.
WD Black 1TB NVMe SSD for $259 - was $450, save $191
In our recent storage tests, we found that faster NVMe drives like this WD Black could drop game load times significantly compared to traditional HDDs or slower SATA SSDs. They're also brilliant for creative workflows like editing 4K video footage, where the high sequential and random speeds save a lot of time. The WD Black is one of the better value NVMe options on the market, and at its newly reduced price it makes for a cost-effective PC upgrade - especially the capacious 1TB model we're highlighting here.
Dell G3 15.6" Core i5 GTX 1050 gaming laptop for $650 - was $800, save $200.
This entry-level laptop should handle most games at 1080p if you turn down a few settings, thanks to a discrete GTX 1050 graphics card and Core i5-8300H processor. The laptop has a slick, professional design and a handy Intel Optane cache drive which will massively accelerate the slow 1TB mechanical hard drive. The screen is a fast TN panel at full HD resolution, 1080p, so this should be a good productivity machine as well. At $200 off, the popular Dell G3 (with 2250 reviews!) is a great budget gaming laptop.
- Best Black Friday graphics card deals
- Best Black Friday SSD and HDD deals
- Best Black Friday laptop and desktop PC deals
Digital Foundry's best peripheral deals
UK Black Friday 2018 peripheral deals
This compact mechanical keyboard has all of the features you could want: genuine Cherry MX Red linear switches, per-key RGB backlighting which can sync with your other Asus ROG devices (eg monitors, motherboards etc) and full macro programmability. If you're looking for a good gaming-grade mechanical keyboard that definitely includes that 'gamer' look and feel, this is a great choice.
USA Black Friday 2018 peripheral deals
The Anne Pro 2 has become a firm favourite of the mechanical keyboard community, thanks to its compact layout, fun RGB backlighting and a wide choice of different mechanical switches sitting underneath high-quality PBT keycaps. It connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or via USB-C, so you can use it with phones, tablets and consoles in addition to the usual laptop and desktop PCs. This second generation model, available in white or black, boasts better Bluetooth connectivity and a longer-lasting battery, too. At $42 off, it's a heck of a deal on one of the most popular mechanical keyboards on the market. You can also find some variants of the Anne Pro 2 on Amazon.com for even cheaper.
That's all the deals for now! Check back tomorrow to see the latest and greatest in discounted gadgetry.