- 1 Cyber Monday laptop deals
- 2 Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals
- 3 Cyber Monday laptop accessory deals
- 4 How to shop for laptops on Cyber Monday
- 5 Cyber Monday laptop deal trends
- 6 Should I buy a refurbished laptop?
- 7 Laptop specs to keep in mind
- 8 You Don’t Need to Spend a Lot on a Pricey Gaming Laptop
- 9 Should You Replace Your Laptop With a Pro Tablet?
- 10 How Wirecutter Finds Deals
- 11 The Best Black Friday Deals You Can Get Right Now
- 12 Related
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Cyber Monday laptop deals
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7
Street price: $1,400; deal price: $1,000
Typically more expensive than our top pick, our runner-up pick for the best Windows Ultrabook, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 is on sale for $1000 with code THINKBF1. That makes it just below the current price of our top pick and is a new low price. Our preferred X1 Carbon configuration offers a 14-inch 1080p screen, an Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB PCIe solid-state drive. It’s a doorbuster deal on Lenovo’s website and selling out fast.
Lenovo Yoga C930
Street price: $1,200; deal price: $900
The Lenovo Yoga C930 is the convertible laptop to tablet pick in our guide to the best Windows Ultrabook. While it’s a little larger and heavier than our top pick, if the 360-degree hinge appeals to you then this could be a great fit at this discounted price. This beefier configuration featuring an i7-8550U processor, 12GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD is down to $900.
Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, 256 GB)
Street price: $1,500; deal price: $1,200
If you’re interested in purchasing an Apple laptop, this is a big drop on the top pick from our guide to the best MacBooks. The Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, two Thunderbolt 3 ports) comes with an Intel 8th generation core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB storage. Our chief complaints about this model were limited ports and lack of storage, however this sale effectively drops the 256 GB model to the same price as the 128 GB.
Lenovo ThinkPad T490
Street price: $930; deal price: $750
Down to $750 with code THINKBF7, this is a great opportunity to save on out top pick for best business laptops, the Lenovo ThinkPad T490. This configuration includes an Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8 GB of memory, a 256 GB SSD, and a 14-inch 1080p IPS screen. If you’re looking for a solid new work laptop and want to spend under $1000, this may be the option for you.
Lenovo ThinkPad E490s Business Laptop
Street price: $850; deal price: $675
Down to $675 with code THINKCYBER, this is a great opportunity to save on this recommended business laptop. The ThinkPad E490s is the budget pick in our guide to the best business laptops. Inexpensive, easy to upgrade, and with Lenovo’s famous keyboard, this computer is the best option under $1000. This isn’t the lowest price we’ve ever noted but it’s still a nice savings.
Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA
Street price: $1,000; deal price: $900
A variant of the budget ultrabook pick from our guide to the best laptops, the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA, is down down to $900. This model features an i7-8565U processor, 8 GB RAM and double the amount of storage as our recommended spec with a 512 GB SSD, for the same price. If you’re in the market for a windows ultrabook, now is a great time to save
Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals
Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop
Street price: $2000; deal price: $1800
This is the first deal we’ve posted and the lowest price we’ve seen on our upgradable pick for the best gaming laptop. While it runs a little too hot for us to be comfortable with, it has a great chassis and is one of the easiest laptops to upgrade the components for.
Cyber Monday laptop accessory deals
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 with Privacy Shutter
Street price: $70; deal price: $50
A rare webcam deal, this is a new low price for the upcoming top pick in our webcam guide. The Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam with Privacy Shutter will soon be replacing our current top pick. It’s on sale for $50 from a street price of $70. It hardly strays from the street price so it’s a good time to buy if you’re in need of a solid, basic webcam.
Society6 Sleeve 13″
Street price: $40; deal price: $29
In a rare sale from Society6 our stylish laptop sleeve pick is down to $27 for the 13-inch and only a dollar more at $28 for the 15-inch. With an endless library of designs, you’re sure to find the perfect laptop sleeve for your style, at a very nice discount.
Mophie Powerstation AC Portable Laptop Charger
Street price: $200; deal price: $120
Available for $120 in-cart from a street price around $200, this is a new low for our top portable laptop charger pick, the Mophie Powerstation AC. This charger offers an AC outlet that can power over 100 watts and USB ports all in a relatively small and stylish package. If you’re looking for a compact and quality portable battery pack with an AC outlet, this is an excellent value.
How to shop for laptops on Cyber Monday
There’s never a good time for your laptop to descend into permanent darkness. But if it happens during November, at least you’ll be able to replace it with a great laptop deal at a great price. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best events of the year to get your hands on the expensive stuff—including the new laptop you suddenly find yourself needing—for cheap.
With prices dropping at every turn, it can be hard to discern what’s truly an excellent deal on a quality computer and what’s a dud cloaked in “sale-sale-sale” language. Shopping for a laptop when you don’t know much about them can make the process even more difficult—the tech jargon can be confusing, leaving you overwhelmed and inclined to buy the first thing you find out of desperation.
This year, before you grab your credit card and head to Best Buy for Cyber Monday, take some time to consider what you really need. To help navigate those pitfalls, Wirecutter’s resident laptop experts share what they’ve learned about how to find a great laptop deal, what specs you should look for, and what you should avoid.
Cyber Monday laptop deal trends
The biggest thing to keep in mind when hunting for laptop bargains on a deals holiday is not to buy for the sake of buying, especially with something as pricey as a new computer.
First, it’s important to figure out what type of laptop you want. A slim and speedy ultrabook? A big but powerful gaming laptop? A Chromebook? Something for video and photo editing? If you’re not sure, take a look at our best laptops guide, which includes a handy flowchart to help you hone in on what really suits your needs.
Although Wirecutter Deals editor Nathan Burrow predicts that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will offer discounts on a variety of Wirecutter-approved products, he points out that you’re more likely to see great discounts on some of our more niche picks. Business computers and gaming laptops will probably see bigger price drops than our top Windows ultrabook and MacBook picks, for instance. Keep this in mind when you find yourself drawn in by slashed prices: If you’re looking for an everyday computer, you likely won’t be as happy with a discounted laptop that’s meant for gaming.
Once you know what you need, make a list of multiple models that interest you. Knowing exactly what you want is good, but it’s better to have a few options you’d be happy with—you can’t know with certainty what will go on sale during a time-sensitive deals holiday like Cyber Monday. Note the particular configurations with the specs you prefer and the specs you’ll settle for with the street prices for each, and keep this list handy as you shop to stay on course. If you can handle the crowds, take a trip to your nearest Best Buy or Micro Center to see your picks in person. Cheap laptops can be prone to clunky trackpads, mushy and unresponsive keyboards, or dim, washed-out screens, so it’s better to rule those options out before it’s time to buy.
While shopping deals online, especially for big-ticket items, avoid sketchy-looking sites, retailers you haven’t heard of, or sellers with deals that seem too good to be true. Instead, stick to major websites like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, or the manufacturer itself. Those big retailers have not only the best deals but also good return policies. Don’t completely close yourself off to shopping in stores, either—some local retailers, like Micro Center, will offer walk-in deals worth your time.
When your new laptop arrives, open the box carefully and spend at least a full minute basking in its beauty. Give the computer a thorough test-drive. If you spot anything you don’t like, return the laptop as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you might be stuck with it: Some sellers, even legitimate ones, give you only a two-week return window.
Should I buy a refurbished laptop?
Though the best deals on laptops come around Christmas, buying a refurbished model is a great way to save money year-round—as long as you do it right. “Buying refurbished straight from a company like Dell or Apple generally gets you the same warranty as a new computer,” said Wirecutter senior staff writer Andrew Cunningham. Alternatively, “Refurbs from a retailer like Amazon could have shorter warranties not provided by the computer’s manufacturer, or there might be quality-control issues.”
If you do decide to go for a refurbished computer, Wirecutter senior staff writer Kimber Streams suggests keeping an eye on its specs. “Refurbs tend to be (but aren’t always) older generations that might have older processors than we rec,” they added.
Laptop specs to keep in mind
We’ve tested hundreds of laptops in nearly a dozen categories, and most of our laptop guides include the recommended specs for our picks. However, if you’re interested in a computer that isn’t one of our picks—or you’re thinking of buying a configuration we haven’t tested—here are some general guidelines you should keep in mind as you browse.
CPU: The best choice is an eighth- or ninth-generation Intel Core i5 or better. Some laptops have 10th-generation processors now too, Kimber notes, but we don’t expect to see huge sales on those. Cheap Windows laptops can go down to a Core i3 if necessary. Chromebooks with Celeron processors (Intel’s cheapest processors) are fine, unless the processor has an N in the model name; avoid those, as they are slower and have fewer features. Laptop manufacturers and sellers love using deals season to unload old stock, so always check the part number for the CPU: Intel CPUs use a naming convention like Core i5-8xxx, where the 8 refers to the processor generation. Anything lower than an 8 is more than two years old; avoid those, no matter how attractive the price.
Storage: Storage is a good way to spot cheap laptops—nothing makes a computer feel slower from day one than a traditional spinning hard drive. Choose a laptop with a solid-state drive: An SSD is a hard drive with no moving parts, which means you’ll see faster load times. You can get by with a 128 GB SSD if you use a lot of cloud storage or stream most of your media (and you augment that with a flash drive, SD card, or portable hard drive for more storage). The cheapest Windows laptop we recommend, the Asus VivoBook Flip 14, has 64 GB of eMMC flash storage. It’s not as fast as SSD storage, but it’s still better than a traditional spinning hard drive. The one exception to the storage rule is a Chromebook, which uses barely any local storage and can offer as low as 16 GB of eMMC storage.
RAM: The more RAM a computer has, the more things it can do at once—browser tabs, gaming, almost anything else benefits from more RAM. Right now, 8 GB is the sweet spot for most people. Chromebooks can get away with 4 GB; Windows laptops need more. Gamers or video or photo editors should shoot for 16 GB.
Display: Aim for a display resolution of 1920×1080 or better. A 4K panel—a resolution of 4,000 pixels—on any laptop smaller than 15 inches is nice but not necessary. However, any resolution lower than 1920×1080 will look pretty cheap and will often have visible pixels. IPS panels (a type of LED display) show colors more accurately, with better viewing angles than TN panels. Pro tip: Don’t buy any laptop that lists its resolution only as “HD.” In laptop land, “HD” means 1366×768, not 1080p, which is what you want.
GPU: Unless you’re a gamer, the graphics processing unit already in your CPU will almost certainly work well for daily tasks. But if you are a gamer, you’ll need a better GPU. For gaming laptops under $1,200, look for an Nvidia GTX 1660Ti or 1650. Gaming notebooks in the $2,000 range generally aren’t worth paying more for right now, but you can find slightly thinner and lighter models with an Nvidia RTX 2060 for around $1,600.
Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
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