Framingham, Mass. - Staples is positioning itself as a tablet PC destination.
The No. 1 office-supply chain has launched a pair of educational microsites for the category as it begins a steady rollout of models that started with the Dell Inspiron Duo 10.1 tablet.
More recently, the retailer began selling Motorola's Xoom with Wi-Fi, and is taking pre-orders for the Blackberry Playbook and Dell Streak.
Staples said it plans to add a next wave of tablets from Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and other manufacturers over the next few months.
"Tablets are the hottest new technology and Staples continues to be at the forefront with a wide assortment" and knowledgeable sales associates, said Peter Scala, the retailer's senior VP and general merchandise manager for office technology.
Despite the in-store staffing, Scala acknowledged that "the majority of us turn to the Internet to learn and understand new technologies. The Staples tablet microsites provide information to help customers make informed decisions and, once they decide on the product best for them, the ability to purchase with fast and free delivery."
The consumer site,
, and the B-to-B site,
, were designed to help customers research, compare and choose the right tablet to fit their personal and business needs, the company said.
The former features side-by-side spec and price comparisons; educational videos, including "Why Buy a Tablet?" and "Tablet Specs to Consider"; and recommendations on tablet protection and storage accessories.
The latter was specifically tailored to the mobile employee and business applications. It features tablet accessories including cases, charging stations and Bluetooth keyboards that support tablet use in the field or office, providing corporate customers with solutions to increase productivity and save time, the company said.
Tablets will be available in all Staples retail locations, at Staples.com, and through the Staples Advantage business-to-business unit.