Microsoft Black Friday preview promises deals on Surface devices, Windows laptops

The tech giant's online store takes $400 off the Surface Book laptop, while also having specials on Dell and Alienware notebooks.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

Microsoft's online store will have Black Friday deals on Surface tablets and the Surface Book laptop.

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.

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