What Could Make Your Life Easier
Now that youve got your list of needs set, take a few moments to think about what your laptop could do to make your life a little easier.
Many people probably stick to keyboards and trackpads when using their laptops, but if youre an avid artist or note-taker, consider a laptop with a touch screen and a stylus.
Microsofts Surface Laptop Studio is an example of a laptop that takes note-taking and art especially seriously. It combines a touch-sensitive screen which isnt all that uncommon for Windows laptops with a pivoting design that can put that screen in front of the keyboard. The end result? A sort of laptop-easel hybrid for easier movie bingeing. You can even fold the screen down so it sits nearly flush against the keyboard, turning it into a tablet for easier note-taking and sketching.
Or maybe you frequently find yourself itching for more screen space but dont want to carry around another monitor. ASUSs ZenBook Duo has a smaller, secondary screen just above the keyboard where you can view documents, extra browser tabs or extra controls for creative apps.
Which Type Of Laptop Is Best For You
General laptops: Where the best cheap laptops are found, devices that focus more on practicality than style, portability or power. Thats not to say they cant be fast, but youll typically find a non-Ultrabook clamshell laptop with an HD screen and spinning drive-based storage for less than $600 or £400.
Ultrabooks: Where youll find thin-and-light notebooks sporting SSD storage and display resolutions that exceed 1080p. Paired with powerful, albeit mobile-centric components and especially long battery life, the best Ultrabooks will cost a pretty penny $700 or £500 to $2,000 or £1,800.
2-in-1 laptops: Where notebooks that double as tablets are located. The Surface Book 2 might be a ways off, but many of the best 2-in-1 laptops are available right now. Outfitted with both detachable and 360-degree rotating hinges, these hybrids are the most versatile way to experience Windows 10 on a touchscreen.
Chromebooks: Where youll find the best Chromebooks running Chrome OS. These do much of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, focused on cloud storage over local, while recently getting Android app support for touchscreen models. They generally cost less than $300 or £200 and some can even withstand a slight tussle.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A Laptop
It’s easy to buy the latest-and-greatest machine as soon as it comes out, but you’ll be paying a premium for it. Practice a little patience , and you could save some serious cash. These are the three best times to buy a laptop.
1) Black Friday/Cyber Monday
gone are the days of waiting out in the cold in a line of hundreds of people to snag that laptop deal at Walmart at 3 a.m. But Black Friday lives onmostly on the internet. But then again, Cyber Monday is only three days later. So what the heck is the difference? When will you get the most bang for your hard-earned buck?
Cyber Monday has only been around since 2005, but it feels like it’s been around for ages. It didn’t take long for the new shopping holiday to become popular as more and more folks began buying their first laptops. Black Friday, meanwhile, has been ingrained in America’s capitalistic holiday shopping repertoire for decades, and continues to take companies from the red into the black.
Just because it’s holiday shopping season does not necessarily mean that you’re getting a great discount. If you’re shopping online, try using a browser extension or plugin that tracks product prices. I personally use the Chrome extension for Capital One Shopping, and it’s a breeze to use. Even if the add-on doesn’t find you a better deal, it tracks discount codes and can automatically apply the best one to your cart. Beyond that, you can even earn cash back for shopping on certain websites. Win-win.
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The Best Time To Buy A Laptop May Be Now: Prices At Record Lows
If youve been waiting for the perfect time to purchase a new laptop, you may want ot grab your credit card now. Price-predicting service says late June to mid-July is one of the best times of the year to get the best deal on a new notebook.
Of the 3453 laptops in Decides database, 2256 are at or near record lows in pricing. Decide.com recommends users buy now before prices rise. These cheap laptops include the recently-introduced Retina MacBook Pro , the Asus G75VW gaming laptop , and the HP Pavilion dv6 .
Sounds pretty good, right? But waitthough there are great laptop deals to be had now, there are a few reasons you may want to wait until later in the year to pull the trigger. Laptops designed for Windows 8 should be arriving in the fall, including ones with touchscreens that take advantage of the upcoming OSs new interface. The winter holiday season also tends to offer larger price drops .
All that said, the actual best time to buy a new laptop is when you really need one. If that time happens to be now, you can save quite a bit.
When Youll See The Best Laptop Deals
So, when is the best time to take the plunge and make the purchase? The Clark Deals team has been searching for the best available prices on laptops since 2016. We took the time to look back over the deals we posted between 2016 and 2019 to see when the most deals appeared throughout those years.
Its no surprise that the most deals showed up during November around Black Friday. Companies like Best Buy, Dell and Lenovo also offer deals throughout the rest of the year. Clark likes to check Frys Electronics daily email deals as well as Micro Center during non-holidays.
Its pretty common to see a handful of laptop deals or specials randomly throughout each month, particularly in February, May and June. So if you have time before you have to buy, be sure to watch the prices for a while. This will give you the best idea for how much the laptop you want typically costs and what a good sale price is for the particular model.
If you do come across a deal thats significantly lower than what youve seen in the past, dont be afraid to grab it! Many of these deals are one-day-only offers.
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Are Laptops Increasing In Price
Global chip shortages have caused laptop and other gadgets to cost up to $50 more. According to the Wall Street Journal, the global chip shortage is raising the price of laptops, phones, and printers. AsusTek laptops went from $900 to $950 in June, while HP Chromebook prices increased from $220 to $250.
Should You Buy A Laptop Before Black Friday
ByTabitha Baker04 November 2021
With so many early offers available, it’s difficult to know whether you should actually buy a laptop before Black Friday
With so many early Black Friday laptop deals landing on the shelves, it can be difficult to work out which offers are worth taking an early look at. Whether you’re being tempted by some record low prices, or you’re concerned about shipping delays when official offers land, we’re here to help you work out whether you really should buy a laptop before Black Friday.
Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, and Dell have all launched early discounts in the US, and the UK can’t be too far behind. That means we’re already seeing some of the year’s lowest prices on everything from super cheap Chromebooks to high-end ultrabooks. However, whether or not you buy a laptop before Black Friday itself comes down to a few simple questions:
- What do you need the laptop for?
- How much do you want to spend?
- Where are you buying it from?
- When do you need it by?
- Do you want to fight for a better price on Black Friday?
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Should I Consider A Refurbished Laptop
Every manufacturer and reseller has different standards for refurbishing previously used laptops. A slight discount on a rigorously tested MacBook Pro that Apple sells with the same warranty as a new one might be worth the cost savings, while a laptop refurbished by a third party youve never heard could be chancy. Its best to buy any refurbished machine directly from the manufacturers online store as opposed to from a reseller, especially a reseller that may be hawking refurbs from marketplace” sellers or third parties on its platform.
Some of these resellers or their third parties will rate their refurbished stock with a grade. Weve seen refurbished laptops being sold and rated with grades of A, B+, B, C, and so on, to reflect the relative amount of wear and tear on the machine. There is no universal grading system for refurbished PCs, however. Its generally up to the reseller what the grade means, and thus it can vary from seller to seller. Were wary of machines graded this way and strongly recommend insisting on an ironclad return policy in the case of purchases like these, if you decide to roll the dice. You could end up pleasantly surprised, but usually, a refurbished-laptop deal that looks too good to be true…is.
You’re Spending Over $700 / 700
It’s not a hard or tight rule, but in general, ultrabooks and high-end machines start at the $700 / £700 price point. These machines also take some of the more blockbuster discounts over the Black Friday period, by virtue of simply having more money to play with in their savings. Retailers will want to make a splash with these high-profile offers, though, so will likely be reserving the best discounts for the big day itself.
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If The Value Matches Previous Black Friday Offers
The value of laptop specs change from year to year, but after covering several Black Fridays worth of offers, we can spot a trend when we see one. Having said that, it is difficult to quantify the value of a laptop deal, especially when there are so many factors to consider. Are you picking up a cheap 11-inch machine or a premium 2-in-1 convertible design, which generation processor are you buying, is the brand and model itself an expensive choice? These things can dramatically change the price of a laptop running exactly the same internal specs, so it’s worth making sure you know the rough prices you can expect to see at the end of the month for certain configurations.
For example, a basic budget laptop will usually sit at the following prices during the highest value Black Friday flash sales. These are machines like the HP 15, HP Pavilion, Lenovo IdeaPad 3, Asus Vivobook, Acer Swift, and Dell Inspiron 15 3000.
- Intel i3 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB: $229-$279 / £249-£279
- Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB: $279-$399 / £299-£399
- Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB: $399-$499 / £399-£499
If you’re looking at any of these more expensive models, we would highly recommend waiting for the official discounts. If you spot a machine you like, offering the right specs for the right $200-$700 price tag, however, it may well be worth a look ahead of the annual sales.
The Best Laptops In 2021
The best laptops are the ones that help you stay on top of all your different projects and gadgets. Once you’ve equipped yourself with the right one, you’ve acquired the speed to power you through all of your assignments, and the battery life to make it through a day of work without worrying about the nearest power outlet.
Finding the best laptop for you can be tricky, because you’ve never had more choices. There are top rated laptops for basic web surfing, mainstream machines with premium components and attractive designs, and beastly gaming laptops that will let you play the hottest PC games the way they were meant to be played.
- These are the best Windows laptops on the market
- The best laptops under $500 can help you stay productive on a budget
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How To Buy A Laptop At The Right Time
Buying a new laptop is usually a hefty investment, and, if you’re like us, you prefer to save money wherever you can without sacrificing performance and build quality. On the other hand, you might want to buy a new laptop with the latest hardware and want it to remain relevant for as long as possible. To help make sure you’re satisfied with your purchase, we’ve put together some general suggestions on when to start looking for a new device.
Pc Laptops Sale And Refresh Schedule
The major PC manufacturers release new laptops at three times of year: back-to-school season , holiday season and spring . New models usually ship at the beginning or middle of these windows. However, the best deals tend to appear in July/August and November/December, which are the heart of the school and holiday shopping seasons. This year, we also expect to see better-than-average laptop deals from Amazon’s Prime Day, which is likely to be held July 16 based on leaks.
“There is a best time to buy notebooks, and it is exactly when you think it is, between the last week in July and the first three weeks in August, when the back-to-school merchandising frenzy is in full force,” said Analyst Stephen Baker, who studies laptop pricing and sales for the NPD Group, a market intelligence firm. He noted that this time frame applies to both Macs and PCs.
MORE: Best Ultrabooks
Not surprisingly, we’ve found that prices can be just as low if not lower at the end of the year, when consumers are busy buying gifts for family members or for themselves.
For example, the 12-inch MacBook debuted at $1,299.99 on Amazon in June 2018, but saw its first major price drop during Black Friday season of 2017, before shooting back up to its retail price of $1,299.99. As we enter the beginning phase of back-to-school season, the laptop dropped briefly to an all-time price low of $1,099.
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How To Choose The Best Laptop For You
Performance: If you only need something basic for surfing the web, consider a Chromebook or a cheap Windows laptop with an Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM. If you plan on getting more intensive work done, consider starting specs such as a Core i5 CPU, 8 to 16GB of RAM and a 256GB to 512GB SSD.
Graphics and gaming: Most mainstream laptops feature integrated graphics, which can handle lightweight titles such as Minecraft and Overwatch but aren’t ideal for intensive AAA games or heavy visual work. For that, you’ll want a laptop with a discrete graphics card, such as an Nvidia GTX 3000-series on the higher end.
Size: Consider how mobile you want your laptop to be. Machines such as the Dell XPS 13 and HP Elite Dragonfly are feather light with slim designs, while gaming notebooks such as the Alienware m15 R4 have more heft to them .
Operating system: Laptops typically come in three flavors: Windows 10 , macOS and Chrome OS . Windows 10 is the most common operating system, while macOS is more ideal for folks already tied into Apple’s ecosystem. Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system built to allow for cheap, fast systems, though it has gotten a bit more robust over the years with support for full Android apps.
Whichever system you decide on, you may also want to pick up the best mouse for your particular work situation.
Best Laptop : The 14 Laptops We Recommend
There are so many to choose from, so let CNET help you choose the right laptop for you.
It doesn’t need to be an expensive struggle to make an upgrade to the best laptop for your needs. Scrolling through endless lists of identical-looking laptops to find the important information about how they actually work can be tough without any guidance, but our editors have tested dozens of different models — considering everything from SSD storage to graphics card to battery life — to help you boil it down to a single choice.
We’ve tested dozens of different models in order to help you narrow your search for the best laptop, which doesn’t need to be an expensive, confusing process. A lot of laptops get reviewed at CNET and we are very familiar with the laptop brand options available for those in the market for a new laptop. We also have more specialized lists you can check out while you’re shopping, including the best gaming laptops, 15-inch laptops, two-in-ones and Chromebooks, as well as the best laptops for college students, the best laptop for creatives and the best MacBook Pro alternatives for the Windows set. And if you need to stay as low as possible on the price of a new laptop computer, check out our picks for budget laptops and budget gaming laptops. This list is periodically updated.
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Keep An Eye Out For Other Sales
While flagship events like Amazon Prime Day represent the most dependable times to look for MacBook deals, that does not mean they are your only chance to score some money off. In fact, Apples laptops regularly get discounted throughout the year you just have to keep your eyes peeled.
One thing that can help is to bookmark our MacBook deals page. We regularly scour the internet for the best MacBook deals out there, and you might be surprised by how much money off you can get at random times throughout the year.
Now its confession time we might have told a little fib earlier. Apple does actually discount its own MacBooks, but only if they are refurbished, never new. This means Apple has taken a returned or secondhand MacBook, replaced any faulty parts, given it a cleaning, and spruced it up so it is like new. You get the reassurance of Apples stringent testing process, plus a chunk of money off. Check Apples refurbished MacBook section on its website and you could find some very decent savings.