Black Friday 2013: BJ's, Costco, Sam's Club deals on tablets, laptops, desktops

The warehouse stores offer a variety of computer specials, but are they worth the price of membership?


You're probably familiar with the warehouse club model: You pay a yearly fee for the right to buy jumbo quantities of paper towels and Cheerios at a discounted price. Over the years, the likes of BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Club expanded their offerings, including the latest computers. As a result, they're a definite option for Black Friday deals if you're in the market for a new tablet or PC, especially if you're already a member. Even if you're not, a big enough special could make it worth it the price to become a member to be eligible for the same price.


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Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to be the case this year with the stores' tablet deals. No iPad specials or Microsoft Surface sales, but plenty of Samsung Tab listings, even if the pricing hasn't differed much from any store with Black Friday deals disclosed thus far.

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The difference here appears to be in bundled items, though it's unclear what precisely Sam's Club's bundles entail. At $159.99, BJ's price on the Samsung Tab 3 7-inch model is $10 less than Sam's Club and includes a case; the same goes for the Tab 3 10.1-inch slate ($289.99 vs. $299.99). Costco tries to spin things a slightly different way, offering "instant savings" on the Tab 3 versions, though the prices wind up the same as everywhere else.

BJ's at least has another option in the Asus Transformer T100TA, a 10.1-inch Windows 8.1 tablet with the new Intel Atom Z3740 Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of solid-state storage, and a detachable keyboard dock for $299.99, or $100 off its current price. Costco has another wrinkle: If you purchase a computer online for $599.99 or more, you'll be able to purchase a Dell Venue 8-inch Android tablet for just $99.99 (normally $179.99, though Dell is selling it for $129.99 for Black Friday ).

There are more choices when it comes to laptop deals at the three warehouse stores. BJ's is selling the HP Pavilion Chromebook 14 for $229.99, but it loses out in comparison to the $179.99 sale at Staples for a similar model (though this one has 4GB of RAM instead of 2GB). There aren't other truly budget-priced sales, with the next lowest-priced notebook (also available at BJ's) being the Asus R510-CA with Intel Core i5-3337U Ivy Bridge processor, 6GB of RAM, 750GB hard drive, and 15.6-inch screen for $449.99. A more robust portable from BJ's is the Toshiba Satellite S55t-A5331, complete with 15.6-inch full HD touchscreen, 12GB of RAM, terabyte hard drive, and Core i7-4700MQ quad-core Haswell CPU for $749.99, or $250 less than the current price.

Sam's Club two notebook specials are HP Haswell-based machines. The Pavilion 15-n047cl is a Black Friday exclusive with Core i5-4200U processor, 6GB of RAM, 750GB hard drive, and 15.6-inch touchscreen for $499, while the HP Envy 15-j067cl is similarly sized with the same capacity hard drive, but offers 8GB of RAM and Core i7-4700QM for $699. Not to be outdone, Costco has a trio of HP Envy laptops, including what appears to be a similar model to the Sam's Club one, but with a Black Friday price $100 lower (online only). In stores, there's an Envy 15t with a slightly faster Core i7-4700U processor and 12GB of RAM for $799.99. The third Envy, another online-only offer, upgrades the RAM to 16 gigs, comes with Windows 8.1 Professional, and throws in Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 for $999.99.

Rounding out Sam's Club's laptop deals are a pair of online specials. The Dell Inspiron 15R features Core i7 Haswell processor, 8 gigs of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and 15.6-inch touchscreen for $649.99, and for those with need for a big screen, the Toshiba Satellite S75 offers the Core i7-4700MQ chip, 16GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, a full version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, and 17.3-inch display for $699.99, $200 off Sam's current price.         

Further confirming the move away from the traditional desktop, these stores each has just one special: BJ's has a Dell Inspiron i660s with Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, terabyte hard drive, and bundled 20-inch LCD monitor for $419.99, while Sams's Club has a deal on an HP Pavilion TouchSmart all-in-one PC with A6-5200 processor, 6GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and a 23-inch touchscreen for $599 (apparently a special Black Friday configuration). If you're looking for more power, Costco offers a Dell XPS 8700 tower with Core i7 CPU, a sizeable 16GB of RAM, and 1TB hard drive as an online-only deal of $899.99, or $200 less than what it sells it for today.

You can see the full leaked ads for yourself from BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Club.