Though many people might be eyeing Microsoft's online store on Black Friday for Xbox deals, the site will also have a few specials on Windows devices, which it's already previewing. These include discounts on its own Surface systems, though it's a little tricky to determine precisely what you're actually saving on.
For instance, Microsoft claims that the Surface Book 2-in-1 laptop will be $400 off from the base $1,899 price starting on Black Friday. However, Microsoft's site already shows the current starting price for the Surface Book as $1,499. So is the $400 savings off the Intel Core i5 or the Core i7 256GB model, which both currently run $1,899? Since Microsoft doesn't indicate which version is on sale, it's hard to know.
Microsoft is also promoting a deal on its Surface Pro 4 tablet: a Core i5 model with 256GB of storage and a Type cover accessory for $999, which is $429 off the regular price. It's taking $200 off another Surface Pro -- again, the specific configuration isn't listed, but the process of elimination suggests it's the Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage since it's the same original price ($999) as Microsoft is advertising.
In addition to the Surface deals, Microsoft is promoting four Windows 10 laptop sales on its site -- three from Dell and one from its gaming arm, Alienware. However, it's playing one of the favorite Black Friday tricks of retailers: claiming an "original" price much higher than the current price it's selling an item for. For instance, the Dell Inspiron 15 i5559-4682SLV with Core i5-6200U, 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and 15.6-inch full HD touchscreen display is touted as having an original price of $749, which makes the $399 price look like a steal. But go to the laptop's product page, and you'll see it's already selling for $499, meaning the Black Friday discount is $100. Not bad, but $350 as the promo suggests.
We see a similar strategy with the Dell Inspiron 15 i7559-5012GRY (Core i7-6700HQ/8GB/1TB SSD/Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics/4k 15.6-inch touchscreen). It's original price is listed as $1,099, but its current price on the Microsoft online store is $899, again leading to a Black Friday discount of $100 instead of the stated $300. Yet again, it happens with the Alienware 15 Touch Signature Edition gaming laptop, which shows an original price of $2,499, a current price of $1,799, and a Black Friday price of $1,497. You still get a powerful notebook with Core i7-6700HQ CPU, 16 gigs of RAM, a terabyte hard drive and a 256GB SSD, GeForce GTX 970M graphics, and a 4k 15.6-inch touchscreen display -- you just don't save $1,000 as you may be lead to believe.