With the leaking of Dell's consumer Black Friday ad earlier this week, it should come as no surprise to learn that its small business ad has now joined it with more desktop and laptop specials disclosed weeks before the post-Thanksgiving shopping date arrives. What might be surprising is that tablets aren't part of the deals.
Of course, the business market didn't embrace tablets with the same fervor as consumers, but given that the consumer ad only had one tablet deal promoted, it's obvious that Dell at least no longer views the devices as a desirable holiday purchase. (Apple and Microsoft might disagree.) Part of the reason for that may be the rise of 2-in-1 (or convertible) laptops that combine the functions of a notebook and a tablet. The Dell small business ad does feature one of those -- the Inspiron 11 3000 with Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and 11.6-inch touchscreen for $379 on Cyber Monday (November 30) and lasting through December 6.
Unfortunately, the "$170.99" in total savings Dell claims for this convertible is a bit misleading, as I detailed in my previous post on Dell's consumer ad. While the ad claims a starting price of $549.99, the Dell website currently shows the same configuration selling for $449.99. In other words, your real savings are $70 -- not a bad discount, but $100 less than what Dell would have you believe you are saving. As I mentioned before, compare prices listed below to the ones on Dell's site and if you think it's a good price for your needs, don't be deceived by inflated savings.
In another sign of the times, the four-page ad shows more Cyber Monday specials than Black Friday days (actually available from November 18 through November 29). The Black Friday sales comprise four laptops and three desktops. The notebook deals, most using Intel Haswell (fourth-generation Core) chips and coming with 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive, include the Inspiron 15 3000 with Core i3 processor for $349; the Inspiron 15 5000 with Core i5 CPU, 8 gigs of memory, and a terabyte drive for $579; the Latitude 15 3000 with Core i3 for $499; and the Latitude 15 3000 with Broadwell Core i5 for $599. The $349 Inspiron and $599 Latitude offer Windows 7 Professional as an option in addition to Windows 10.
None of the three desktop Black Friday offers comes with a monitor, which keeps the price of each under $500. As with many of the laptops mentioned above, these feature Haswell processor, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drives. The $399 Vostro and $499 OptiPlex 3020 ship with Core i3 chips, whereas the $449 Inspiron includes a Core i5 CPU as well as Windows 7 Professional. An Inspiron Small system appears on sale throughout the holiday shopping period with a Core i3 Haswell processor, 4 gigs of RAM, terabyte hard drive, and Windows 7 Professional pre-installed for $379.
For the most part, the Cyber Monday deals are geared toward small business buyers who want a little more computing power, with a couple of exception. There's a $379 Insprion 15 5000 laptop configuration with the usual specs (Core i3 Haswell CPU, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive), a Core i5 Vostro for $499, and a $499 Precision T1700 small form factor desktop running Windows 7 Professional and coming with a Windows 8.1 Pro license. Other laptop specials all come with Core i5 or higher processors, and some with more memory and/or storage than cheaper models.
The $699 Vostro 14 3000, $849 Latitude 15 3000, and $599 Inspiron 17 5000 sale models provide 8GB of RAM, while that Inspiron 17 also contains a 1TB hard drive. It still is equipped with a Haswell-era chip, however, whereas the Vostro 14 and Latitude 15 come with Broadwell Core i5s, as does a $929 Latitude 14 7000 edition. That $849 Latitude 15 3000 notebook is the only one with a Core i7 Broadwell chip inside. More powerful desktops include the $599 OptiPlex 3020 with i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, and the $699 XPS 8900, which not only is equipped with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, but also ships with a new Skylake Core i7 CPU. The current price for this XPS 8900 configuration is $849.99, which is a pretty decent $150 discount for a system known more as an enthusiast consumer desktop than a small biz PC.
Other than the Precision and OptiPlex names, one other sign that this is a small business insert is there's an actual CyberMonday server deal included. The PowerEdge Server T110 II comes with a Core i3-2120 processor and 4GB of RAM for just $229, though this version ships without a hard drive.