Upgrading your laptop is never easy on your wallet—but with these laptop deals on Black Friday, swiping your credit card should sting a little less. Here are the best deals we’ve spotted so far on gaming laptops, business options, and even sleek Macbooks and ultrabooks.
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To see all the deals we’re finding on everything we recommend, you can check out our Deals page or follow @WirecutterDeals on Twitter. For the best deals of the day sent directly to your inbox, subscribe to our deals newsletter.
Chromebook Black Friday deals
HP Chromebook 14 x360 Chromebook
Street price: $500; deal price: $350
All the way down to $350 from a price that’s typically between $450 and $600, the newly installed top pick in our best Chromebook guide, the HP Chromebook 14 x360, is back on sale from Best Buy this Black Friday. This sleek offering from HP features a full HD multi-touch screen, built-in webcam, dual charging USB-C ports for convenience and hinges that allow it to be used in tablet mode. This model includes our recommended specs of 8 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and a I3-8130U processor.
Asus Chromebook C425TA
Street price: $380; deal price: $320
A new low, this is a great deal on this no-frills Chromebook. If you don’t care about touchscreens or a 360 degree hinge and just want a basic, budget-minded Chromebook that’s lighter and more compact than our top pick, this is the best time to pickup this laptop.
Black Friday laptops
Dell XPS 15 Touch
Street price: $2,100; deal price: $1,800
The Dell XPS 15 Touch is the budget pick in our guide to the best laptops for photo and video editing. This recommended spec machine features a 9th generation Intel core i7-9750 prcessor, Nvidia Geoforce GTX 1650 graphics card, 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive at a price tag of $1800 direct from Dell. If you’ve got some serious video editing to get done and you prefer Windows OS, now is a great time to save.
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.
Black Friday laptop under $500
Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ
Street price: $510; deal price: $400
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ is an option we recommend in the “What a bit more money gets you” section of our guide to the best laptops under $500. Typically this one sells for $510 but it’s on sale for a new low of $400. That’s the lowest price we’ve ever seen and a significant discount. The Aspire 5 also rarely sees sales, this is an excellent time to buy if the specs fit your needs.
Black Friday gaming laptops
Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-75BH
Street price: $1660; deal price: $1550
Down to $1450 from $1660, this is a solid drop in price for our top gaming laptop pick. The Acer Predator Triton 500 PT515-51-75BH is decked out with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated memory, an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz memory in dual-channel mode (which improves performance in some games compared with single-channel), a 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0.
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL
Street price: $1,100; deal price: $930
This Amazon Deal of the Day is the first drop we’ve seen on our top cheap gaming laptop pick. Down to $930, this is a great drop on an already-affordable laptop, the Acer Predator Helios 300. It will only be available on November 29.
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.
Laptop accessory Black Friday deals
eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack
Street price: $120; deal price: $70
Down to $70 (when you use the code IMRWC18) in all available colors, this is a great deal and new low for this pick. The eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack is a pick in our guide to our favorite laptop backpacks. James Austin writes, “This bag holds and organizes an impressive amount of gear without bulging or becoming disorganized…its ultra-functional organization is great if you carry many small things…”
Society6 Sleeve 13″
Street price: $40; deal price: $27
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 Black Friday
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 Black Friday, 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.
Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday laptop deals
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 Black Friday. 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, take a trip to your nearest Best Buy or Micro Center well before Black Friday 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 on Black Friday, 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.