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Best Buy takes $100 off iPad Air 2, $75 off iPad mini 3 tablets for Black Friday 2014

The retailer has the best deals on iPads so far, plus at least $100 off Microsoft Surface 2 and 3 tablets.

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While tech buyers have increasingly abandoned Best Buy over the years as online shopping has increased in popularity, it's still the bellweather for Black Friday deals on PCs and tablets, especially for mainstream consumers. This year, it managed to avoid an early leak of its deals, and has just launched its ad on its website. Look for the laptop and desktop sales in a separate post; we'll cover the tablets here.

The thing that jumps out at you first about Best Buy's ad is its iPad sales are the most aggressive to date. While Sam's Club dropped the price on the older iPad Air , and Target is resorting to store gift cards as a reward for buying the Apple tablets at full price, Best Buy is actually selling new iPads at discounted prices. One is a doorbuster, however, so quantities may be limited: the new iPad Air 2 will be sold for $100 off starting at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving when the retailer's doors open. It appears that the deal -- which is for any iPad Air 2, not just the base 16GB model -- will be good online all Thanksgiving day, which points to the increasing importance of multichannel sales this holiday shopping season .

Best Buy will also take $75 off the price of the new iPad mini 3 , with the 16GB version running $324.99 through November 29. Finally, there will be an additional sale the weekend before Black Friday where the retailer will have a first-generation iPad Air special, though you'll have to wait until November 20 to find out just how much less they will cost during that weekend.

Those looking for a Microsoft Surface rather than an iPad are also being catered to, with $150 lopped off the price of the Surface 2 models as a doorbuster (like the 32GB version for $299.99) and either $100 or $150 off 128GB or larger Surface 3 tablets , depending on the model. (Best Buy doesn't provide specifics.) There are also a couple of "unbranded" Windows slates being advertised, a 10.1-inch one available for $149.99 or with a detachable keyboard for $199.98.

Finally, Android lovers can select tablets from a range of price points, from a 7-inch Asus MeMo Pad with Intel processor for $99.99 to a 10.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S with 32GB of storage for $449.99, or $100 off. The 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab Pro for $199.99 appears to be an especially good deal, as it's not only $100 less than the usual Best Buy, but $200 less than the current price on the Samsung website. Like some other retailers, Best Buy is also reducing the price of Amazon's cheapest Kindle Fire HD -- the 6-inch 8GB version -- by $20 to $79.99 for Black Friday.