As a digital stylist, I always want to outdo the gifts I gave last year, but let’s face it, great tech doesn’t come cheap. And while I appreciate a doorbuster, to be honest, I’d prefer not to face the world at dawn. So I was overjoyed to hear that on Thanksgiving night, Staples is opening the doors to its Black Friday deals at the totally sane hour of 8PM… for the first time ever. Insert shivers of excitement.
1. Kindle Fire with Special Offers for $79.99 (save $80). This little marvel has been spreading like— er, fire, and for good reason: it’s a lot more than a reader. With a 7″, crystal-clear HD touchscreen and a lighter design than the previous Kindle (12.2 ounces), this tablet will not only give you access to every book you could want, but also let you get online, check email, listen to music, watch movies and videos. Plus it has a battery that will last up to a whopping 10 hours. It’s an excellent pick for families, thanks to Kindle FreeTime—which lets you custom-choose which books, apps, games and videos each of your kids can access, and even set daily limits for each child. (Read: kids can’t bogart Mom’s tablet.)
2. HP Pavilion Chromebook for $179.99 (save $150). Know someone who Googles answers to far-out questions faster than you can say “search engine”? Google devoteés will love this ultra-fast Chromebook, a super-affordable tablet alternative that works seamlessly with all of Google’s offerings, from web-surfing to Gmail to Maps and of course, the cloud, where you can store all your important documents (this thing comes with 1,000 GB of free storage, for two years). Listen to music, play games, watch movies, edit photos and home videos, and even open and edit Word and Excel files.
3. Toshiba C55D-A5382 Laptop for $249.99 (save $200). The PC fan on your list will be wowed by this 15″ laptop with Windows 8.1. The 15.6″ HD display is impressive (and the large screen is easy on the eyes). This is a great everyday computer, complete with a built-in HD webcam, DVD burner, and more than five-and-a-half hours of battery life. Whether your giftee plans to take this baby to school, or school his opponents in the art of Candy Crush, it’s a solid machine at a very nice price.
4. Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone for $0.01 after savings with new 2-year contract agreement or qualified 2-year upgrade. (Available on Staples.com and select stores.) This is one clever smartphone. Powered by Google-friendly Android, the new and improved Galaxy S4 is not only sleek with its wide-open 5″ display, but performs some slick tricks. With the new touch-free feature, you can hover your fingertip over the phone to scroll, or wave to answer a call—no more rubbing prints all over the screen! A front-facing 13-megapixel and a rear-facing 2-megapixel camera mean you can combine shots and video from both cameras into one. Television fans can turn their phone into an intelligent remote control, which offers recommendations based on their interests. World travelers can speak another language into the phone, and instantly get a translation. Fitness fans can track their workouts, calorie intake and weight. And naturally, there’s email, an MP3 player, and web browsing. The battery is good for 17 hours of straight talking, or 12.5 days in standby. Because, oh yeah, it makes calls, too.
Okay so here’s the plan: Eat an extra helping of kale salad with dinner so I can stave off the turkey coma and slip away to Staples after dinner. Coming along? You’d better be quick…before the good stuff is gobbled up!
This post was sponsored by Staples. That said, I only recommend products I am truly excited about and believe my readers will enjoy.