Digital SLRs, MacBook Airs Top Electronics Bargains in July

If you're looking for a MacBook Air, Ivy Bridge notebook, or HDTV sized 46 inches or larger, July may be the month to open your wallet.

It's hard to escape Apple's TV ads for its MacBook Pro with Retina display, but searchers looking for a deal on a Mac portable more likely will find one for the older version of the Pro's sibling, the MacBook Air, according to DealNews's monthly "Best and Worth" report scheduled for publication Monday.

"While we did see one deal shave $105 off the Retina's list price, chances are any deals we see in July will be modest," DealNews reportes. However, the site is optimistic about deals on older MacBook Airs with Intel's Sandy Bridge processor. Prices for a basic unit with 11.6-inch display, 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid state drive have hit an all-time low of around $740, while prices for the 13.3-inch model will probably hover around $1000 during the month.

When Apple introduced its Retina MacBook Pro in June, it refreshed its Air line as well, which has resulted in a decline in the price of the model of the ultralight notebook introduced last July. "So if you don't mind having a generation-old MacBook Air (which is still just one year old!), July will be your month," DealNews notes.

Shoppers for PC laptops can also expect to find deals during the month.

Bargains on notebooks with 15-inch displays based on Intel's Ivy Bridge processor will be around $600, DealNews predicts. Ivy Bridge notebook prices will be influenced by Intel's introduction of more affordable versions of the processor in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the price of dreadnought notebooks designed to act as desktop replacements appear to have reached a pricing plateau. Deals at around $800 will be the norm during July, DealNews notes.

Although the summer historically isn't the best time to buy a digital Single Lens Reflex camera, DealNews detects some softness in the DSLR market that will translate into July deals.

During the holiday season, the shopping site typically sees a spike in the number of DSLR deals picked by its editors. The same is true at the beginning of the year, when new camera models are announced. "But lately we've been seeing a surprising number of all-time low deals on consumer SLRs," DealNews reports. The trend began in May and carried on in June, and DealNews expects it to continue into July.

Overall, HDTV prices will remain stable during the summer, but for brand name 46-inch HDTVs, those prices have stabilized at all-time lows. Those low prices will continue through July, DealNews says. Name-brand HDTV bargains for 46-to-47-inch sets should be had at around $500. "Anything at or below $490 is an all-time low for this category," DealNews says.

For deal hunters looking for Christmas in July, the price-watching site cautions shoppers to beware of merchants declaring Black Friday sales during the summer months. DealNews acknowledges that these are enticing, but warns shoppers to be wary: "few of these Black Friday sales will feature the rock-bottom pricing that consumers come to expect from the 'darkest' of shopping days."

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

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