Thanksgiving isn’t here yet but the Microsoft Store kickstarted its Black Friday deals early this year. Whether you or a loved one are eyeing a new Surface Laptop or an Xbox, now’s the time to buy with these discounts. We’ve also found similar if not better deals on Microsoft hardware from third-party retailers like Amazon. There are also hundreds—over 900!—of Xbox and PC games on sale.
Be sure to check out our other Black Friday coverage, including Deals on Google Devices, REI’s Get Up Get Out Sale, Early Black Friday Deals, Early Best Buy Deals, and our Black Friday Shopping Tips.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
Microsoft’s Extended Returns and Guarantees
If you’re skeptical about whether you’re getting the best deal by jumping on this early Black Friday sale, the “Microsoft Store Promise” says you’ll be refunded the difference if the price on a particular product drops further than what it is right now before January 2, 2023. The company is also offering free two- to three-day shipping and free returns through January 31, 2023.
Tablet and Laptop Deals
Check out our Best Microsoft Surface Laptop guide for more recommendations.
Last year’s Surface Pro 8 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) remains a powerful machine, especially for work. The 2-in-1 packs a large 13-inch display (with a 3:2 aspect ratio), a 120-Hz refresh rate, a 1080p Windows Hello-compatible webcam, and an 11th-generation Intel chip.
If you can spend the extra $90, I’d go for this much more kitted-out Surface Pro 8. The Core i7 chipset and 32 gigs of RAM mean performance will be a lot smoother and you’ll be able to juggle multiple apps at a time with no issues. The 1 terabyte of storage is great for anyone who constantly finds themselves running out of space on their machine.
If you have room in your budget, you can get the brand-new Surface Pro 9 with the same configuration as the base Surface Pro 8 for $200 more at $1,000 (though this is not a sale). It packs the same features but uses the 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor for slightly improved performance. Microsoft is offering an Essentials Bundle for the latest 2-in-1 which includes a Type Cover keyboard, Microsoft 365, and a protection plan at discounted prices.
The Surface Laptop 4 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is the best option for most people (the new Surface Laptop 5 doesn’t offer enough upgrades to justify the extra cost). The Laptop 4 comes with a great 13.5-inch high-resolution display (the 15-inch version is also on sale), along with a nice keyboard and glass trackpad. Microsoft does skimp on ports, but you get a USB-C port and a USB-A port. You also have the choice between an AMD Ryzen chip or an Intel processor—we’ve tested both and, while they each have their own pros and cons, either will be capable of handling most tasks.
This deal is also available at Amazon. The Surface Go 3 is a solid 2-in-1 for students, even though it’s a year old and lacks all-day battery life. It’s affordable compared to other Surface devices. And it packs support for Microsoft’s Surface Pen and Type Cover keyboard (both sold separately), making it a nice option for notetaking and getting school work done. We suggest you stick to the Intel Core i3 chipset with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage if you plan on using the Surface Go 3 every day with lots of multitasking.
If you’re a power user, the Surface Laptop Studio is a great machine (8/10, WIRED Recommends). Thanks to its unique hinge, you get both a 2-in-1 laptop and a tablet—allowing you to take notes or make sketches. Our only complaint is that, at 4 pounds, it’s too heavy to tote around for long periods of time. It’s best when used on a table or on your lap, and if you plan on using it for playing video games or editing videos, we recommend splurging on this configuration, which comes with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card.
Whether you’re struggling to secure the Xbox Series X (since it’s constantly fluctuating in stock) or you don’t need such a powerful console, the Xbox Series S is a great alternative. It’s smaller, doesn’t support discs, but can power games up to 120 frames per second (at 1440-pixel resolution and not 4K). This is also the lowest price we’ve tracked for the Series S.
The Portal Headset is Bang & Olufsen’s first accessory designed specifically for Xbox, complete with near-instant lossless wireless connection to the Xbox Series X, S, and Xbox One as well as support for Doby Atmos. It also doubles as a solid pair of noise-canceling headphones, with the ability to switch between the console and Bluetooth, along with a companion app that has an equalizer function.
This deal is also available at Amazon. Since the Xbox only comes with one controller in the box, you’re likely in the market for extras—especially if you plan on playing video games with friends or family over the holidays. You’ll find discounts on all four color options including Carbon Black, Robot White, Shock Blue, Pulse Red, and Electric Volt.
Microsoft is offering deals on more than 900 titles. A lot of these are included in its Game Pass subscription service, which you can get for $1 right now for the first month. Here are a few of our favorite Xbox Series X/S games currently on sale: