October 12, 2012, 1:05 PM — Windows 8 PC sales start Friday with major online retailers including Best Buy, Dell, Staples, Tiger Direct, and yes, the Home Shopping Network taking pre-orders for Windows 8 PCs and tablets. Some retailers are promising free shipping and delivery on October 26, also known as Windows 8 launch day. It's not clear if Microsoft is allowing select partners to offer Windows 8 PCs on Friday or if all computer resellers will start to roll out Windows 8 pre-orders in the coming days. Major online store fronts such as Amazon and Walmart were not yet offering Windows 8 devices at the time of this writing.
If you want to be one of the first on your block with a PC built for Windows 8, here's a quick look at some of the highlights offered online.
If you pre-order a Windows 8 PC from Best Buy before noon Central/1 Eastern on Wednesday, October 24, Best Buy will give you free shipping on your offer and deliver your item on October 26. You can order items such as the Hewlett-Packard Envy h8-1414 desktop PC for $700 with 3.5GHz AMD FX processor, 10GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB hard drive, AMD Radeon HD 7450 graphics with 1GB dedicated memory, Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, DVD drive, and 2 x USB 3.0. HP in late September announced several new Windows 8 PCs including the upcoming HP Envy Phoenix h9 desktop.
You can also pick-up the recently announced Acer M5-581T Ultrabook available exclusively at Best Buy. The laptop features a 15.6-inch screen with 1366-by-768 resolution, 1.7GHz Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor, 6GB RAM, 520GB HDD, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 2 x USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0, HDMI out, and 64-bit Windows 8. The Ultrabook weighs 5.1 pounds and is priced at $600. Best Buy was not yet selling the M5-481PT, a 14-inch Ultrabook featuring a 10-point multi-touch display.