Staples Black Friday 2015 deals include $299 Apple iPad Mini 4, $374 iPad Air 2

The office superstore has specials on a number of Apple's tablets, but resists the urge to offer dirt-cheap Windows 10 laptops and desktops.



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Office superstore chain Staples has taken matters into its own hands, revealing its Black Friday deals on its website early, rather than be subject to the whims of other sites leaking its sale information. It provides us with the first iPad discounts we've seen of the holiday shopping season, though it doesn't deliver some of the $100 Windows 10 PCs that were predicted.

While tablets sales have flattened out, iPads are still a popular gift, and Staples is offering deals on four different models. These include $100 off the 16GB iPad mini 4, which will cost $299, or 25 percent off. The base iPad Air 2 will sell for $374, or $125 off, while the 64GB version gets a $150 price cut to $449. If you don't mind older hardware, Staples also has specials on the 16GB iPad 2 mini --$239, or $30 off -- and the original base iPad Air -- $319, or an $80 discount.

The retailer also has a range of Samsung Galaxy tablets on sale, including the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 for $79.99, or $60 off the current price, and the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 for $119.99, or $30 off Samsung's current sale price. It's offering a pair of 8.4-inch Galaxy Tabs -- Tab A and Tab S2 -- with $50 savings ($179.99 and $349.99, respectively), $70 off the 9.7-inch Tab A ($229.99 sale price) and $100 off the 9.7-inch Tab S2 ($399.99 sale price). Staples also has a deal on Amazon's Kindle Fire 7-inch; the $54.99 special includes a 32GB microSD card and a case for more value than the base $49.99 tablet itself.

Last year, Staples touted a $99.99 Windows laptop Black Friday deal, and with predictions of similarly priced notebooks being bandied about for this year's Black Friday, it comes as a surprise that the store is promoting specials that aren't anywhere close to that low price point. In fact, the cheapest Windows 10 laptop sale is $249.99 for a Lenovo Ideapad with Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and 15.6-inch display. For $30 more, you can grab a similarly spec'd Dell Inspiron notebook with Intel Core i3 CPU, or for $299.99, there's a choice of 15.6-inch Toshiba laptops -- both with 8GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive, but one with a Pentium chip and the other with a Core i3. Alternatively, $299.99 can get you a 14-inch HP with Core i3, 6GB of memory, and a terabyte hard drive.

The rise in 2-in-1 devices -- a.k.a. hybrid or convertible laptops -- has contributed to the decline in tablet sales, and Staples has a handful of these portables on sale for Black Friday. The cheapest is an 11.6-inch HP with Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drive for $279.99, or you can grab a Dell with the same screen size and components for $20 more. If you need more laptop functionality than tablet convenience, there's also a 13.3-inch Dell hybrid with Core i3 CPU for $499.99, or a 15.6-inch Toshiba convertible with Core i5, 8 gigs of RAM, and 750GB hard drive for $579.99.

Starting prices for Staples' Windows 10 desktop deals are in the same ballpark as its laptop sale prices. If you need a basic tower, there's a Lenovo H50 with Core i3, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drive for $259.99, or for $20 more, you can purchase an HP Slim with twice the RAM and hard drive space. The cheapest all-in-one PC is a 21.5-inch HP with Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigs of memory, and 500GB hard drive for $349.99, but if you desire a bigger screen and don't mind paying more, there's a 23-inch HP for $499.99 with Core i3 and 1TB hard drive, or a touch-screen version for $50 more.

There are numerous more Windows 10 PC specials as part of Staples' 16-page ad, though they will cost you more. Stay tuned as other retailers' Black Friday ads are revealed, especially if you are seeking out one of those bargain-priced laptops or desktops that may be available.