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Electronics deals are skimpy on the eve of Memorial Day sales

Memorial Day marks the start of summer sales, but bargain-hunters might do well to be patient and wait.

Memorial Day may mark the beginning of summer in some ways, but it's winter for electronics shoppers, seeking bargains on TVs, computers, and other gear.

"May is typically not a good time to purchase electronics: it's generally a month of transition," writes Louis Ramirez for bargain hunter website DealNews.com.

For example, new HDTV models have started to enter the market. That means prices are starting to be slashed on older models. But in another 90 days or so, prices will start slipping on those newer models, too, so if you can be patient, your procrastination will be rewarded.

Memorial Day is also very close to number of high-profile events that will impact the computer and gaming markets.

New chips, new notebooks

For instance, on June 3, Intel will raise the curtain on the first wave of Haswell chips. The debut is timed to coincide with the opening of the Computex show in Taiwan, where Intel revealed the Ultrabook spec in 2011. The chip promises to deliver long battery life and high quality graphics.

The Haswell chips sip power at 10 watts, compared to Intel's current line of chips, which draw 17 watts. The difference means Haswell machines could run from 12 to 20 hours without a plug-in stop.

In addition, higher-end Haswell chips will have graphics capabilities that challenge those of graphics powerhouse Nvidia. According to Intel, Haswell chips with Iris graphics will deliver twice the 3D performance of the integrated graphics in its existing chips. That would put their graphics on a par with Nvidia's GeForce GT 650M.

With Haswell computers rolling out, buying a laptop on Memorial Day may be premature. That's not to say there won't be a few bargains around, if you absolutely must get a notebook.

"[Y]ou can expect to see computers receive anywhere from 15 percent to 85 percent off," DealNews'Ramirez writes, "just be aware that the latest models may not always receive the discounts."

"But unless you're in dire need of a new system," he adds, "we'd recommend holding off until later in the summer when you can take advantage of back-to-school laptop sales and save a few extra bucks, or snag a laptop bundle."

Patience will pay

While bargains are rarely on the table in the Apple world, Memorial Day isn't the time for shopping for Macs, either--not with the company's World Wide Developers Conference coming up in June. Apple will probably have a surprise or two for us at that forum, so once again patience should trump spending, if possible.

Gamers, too, need to rein in their desires around Memorial Day. That's because E3, the gaming extravaganza, is just around the corner. There, Microsoft and Sony are expected to be touting their next-generation gaming consoles.


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