If a new laptop is on your wish list, you’re in luck because Black Friday offers some of the best deals of the year.
Traditionally, the high street was the place to grab your bargains, but now you can grab the biggest and best discounts online. And it’s not just Black Friday, with many sales kicking off on Cyber Monday and throughout the festive season.
If you’re unsure of what type of laptop to invest in, Dave Phelan has explained the major differences below to help you choose the most suitable one for you.
Here, we will be constantly updating the best deals on laptops over the Black Friday weekend.
Top five laptop retailers’ Black Friday pages:
- Currys PC World
- John Lewis
Here’s our roundup of the best laptop deals:
Lenovo Ideapad 15.6“ Intel i3 1TB HDD Laptop – was £519, now £279 Buy now from Currys
HP 15.6“ Intel i3 1TB HDD Laptop – was £549, now £329 Buy now from Currys
Dell Inspiron 13.3” Convertible Laptop, Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB – was £729.95, now £529.95 Buy now from John Lewis
HP 15.6“, i7 8GB 1TB 128GB FHD Laptop – was £699.99, now £599.99 Buy now from Argos
Google Pixelbook 12.3“ Intel i5 2 in 1 Chromebook 128 GB – was £999, now £699 Buy now from Currys
Google Pixelbook 12.3“ Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB Chromebook – was £1,199, now £899 Buy now from John Lewis
Acer Chromebook 14″ Intel Celeron N3060, 2GB RAM, 32GB – was £229.99, now £159 Buy now from Amazon
2017 Apple MacBook Air 13.3“Intel i5 8GB 256 – was £1,049, now £899 Buy now from Currys
Apple Macbook Air 13″, Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB RAM 128GB – was £949, now £799 Buy now from Very
2018 Apple MacBook Pro 15“ Touch Bar, Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD – was £2,699 now £2,599 Buy now from John Lewis
2018 Apple MacBook Pro 13″ Touch i5 8GB 256GB – was £1,749 now £1,649 Buy now from Argos
Apple MacBook Pro 13” Intel Core i5 with optional MS Office 365 Home – was £1,249, now £1,199 Buy now from Very
Acer Predator Helios 300 15.6“ Intel i5 GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop – was £1,099, now £899 Buy now from Currys
HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop Intel Core i5 GeForce GTX 1050 – was £779, now £679 Buy now from John Lewis
HP Omen 15.6” Gaming Laptop – low price: was £879.99 now £739.99 Buy now from Argos
Asus 15.6″ Full HD Gaming Laptop – was £899.99, now £749.99 Buy now from Amazon
2 in 1
HP Pavilion 14″ Intel i3 2 in 1, 128 GB SSD – was £599, now £445 Buy now from Currys
Google Pixelbook 12.3″ Intel i5 2 in 1 Chromebook 128 GB – was £999, now £699 Buy now from Currys
HP Pavilion 14” Intel Pentium Gold 2-in-1, 1TB – was £549.99, now £449 Buy now from Currys
Microsoft Surface Book 2 Intel Core i7, PixelSense Display – was £1,999.95, now £1,799 Buy now from John Lewis
Asus Touchscreen Chromebook Flip – was £299, now £199 Buy now from Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10″ Tablet, LiveSafe Premium 2019 & Folio Case Bundle – was £278.98, now £149 Buy now from Currys
Samsung Galaxy 10″ Tab – was £229, now £159 Buy now from Very
Apple iPad Mini 4 128GB – was £399, now £269 Buy now from Currys
Fire Tablet with Alexa, 7″ Display, 8GB – was £49.99, now £29.99 Buy now from Amazon
All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8″ – was £79.99, now £49.99 Buy now from Amazon
Fire Tablet with Alexa 10″, 32GB – was £149.99, now £99.99 Buy now from Amazon
Fire Tablet Kids’ Edition 10″ 32GB – was £199.99, now £149.99 Buy now from Amazon
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 12” Tablet Intel Core i5 8GB RAM – was £1,029, now £749 Buy now from Amazon
Huawei MediaPad T3 10“ Tablet – was £129.99, now £98.99 Buy now from Amazon
Huawei Mediapad M5 10” Tablet – was £349.99, now £258.99 Buy now from Amazon
Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet – was £160, now £109.99 Buy now from Amazon
2016 Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1“ 32GB Wifi Tablet – was £199, now £159 Buy now from AO
Types of laptop and operating systems
The simplest way to start thinking about the kind of laptop you want is to pick an operating system. If you want macOS, the most intuitive and elegant of the software systems, you can only choose an Apple machine. The widest range of programs and applications are available on Windows laptops, so if there’s a program you need that’s only available on Windows, that’s the choice made for you.
And if you only need the laptop for word processing, web browsing and so on, you might be able to manage with a Chromebook. Here we explain the main types in more detail.
These are still the most widely used computers, by far, thanks to the enormous range of applications and most familiar interface. The latest version, Windows 10, combines traditional PC styling (a desktop with folders of programs) with a tablet-style look of app icons arranged on a grid. It also works with hybrid laptops where the screen detaches or folds back on itself to work like a tablet.
Windows machines are available with or without touchscreens so that may be a consideration. Microsoft makes the software and more recently has created a small but excellent range of hardware too – the Surface series.
Google’s OS is slick and simple. It was originally designed to work only when your laptop was connected to the internet. The premise was that all the heavy processing would be done in the cloud so there was no need for a powerful chip in the laptop, thus reducing costs greatly. But the Achilles’ heel was that offline the hardware was very limited.
Now, though, the main programs (Google’s email, document, spreadsheet and presentation software) largely work when you’re offline, too. Some Chromebooks work with Android apps as well. Google makes its own Chromebook called Pixel.
Apple makes the hardware and software for its computers, resulting in an integrated system which works beautifully. The MacBook Air was a game-changer – a laptop so slim and light it was first revealed when then Apple CEO Steve Jobs slid it out of an envelope.
The range is small: as well as the Air there is the MacBook and the extra-powerful MacBook Pro, which has great innovations like the Touch Bar. This is where the top row of function keys is replaced by a narrow touchscreen where the virtual buttons change according to what you’re doing.
The Pro range is far from cheap, mind. There are no touchscreen MacBooks, nor any with a slot for a sim card for continuous internet access.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for a number of relevant features when buying including screen size and weight, purpose, power, memory, graphics and battery life.
For example, if you plan on carrying this laptop with you, a lighter, smaller laptop is best. Similarly, gamers will want to invest in an option that comes with top-notch graphics, while those who work on-the-go will appreciate a longer battery life.
Choosing which laptop size to go for should be one of the first things you consider, and this all depends on what you’ll be using it for. Laptop sizes range from 11.6 inches all the way up to 17.3 inches, but the most common sizes you’ll see are 13-inch, 14-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch. If you’re looking for something really light, opt for a laptop that weighs less than 2kg.
Smaller notebooks (11-inch to 13-inch) are lighter to carry and are a great option if you’re looking to travel with your laptop a lot, but they can offer less storage and smaller batteries, so watch out.
Medium sized machines (14-inch to 15-inch) are good for work at home, casual gaming, longer battery life and more storage space. The largest 17-inch screens are ideal for desktop replacements but are much tougher to carry around.
Since most of us will either be slaving away working on our new purchase, or enjoying Netflix in the evenings – screen type is an important factor to consider when choosing your new laptop. Glossy screens result in reflections which you don’t want if you’re gaming, editing images, or watching a lot of video content. Touchscreen laptops usually tend to come with a glossy finish, so you’ll have to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of both if you’re in the market for the touch feature.
If you’re looking to view multiple elements at once, opt for full HD resolution: 1920×1080-pixels. Gamers should look out for the refresh rate on the laptop displays, as nobody wants to lose their competitive edge with screen lag. 4K resolution is available but is an extremely pricey feature. However, it is ideal for videographers or photographers. A screen with IPS (in-plane switching) display will offer the widest viewing angles.
The main factors to look out for when considering the performance of a new laptop are the processor, storage, and graphics. You’ll see processors being called CPU in laptop specs, most of them will be made by Intel – the main types being i3, i5 and i7. Core i3-based laptops tend to feature in entry level systems which are ideal for simple tasks like creating word documents and browsing the internet, i5 tends to be the standard choice for decent performance, whereas i7 is the top-end performance choice. Most people don’t need the power that an i7 machine offers, unless you’re a gamer-guru.
The more RAM your machine has, the more applications it can run smoothly at the same time. More data can also be accessed quickly which is good for video editors. When choosing the amount, opt for 8GB as a minimum. Gamers will want to ramp it up to as much as 32GB for optimum experience.
Nowadays, laptops will usually have graphics integrated into the CPU, which is suitable for casual gaming but not anything further. Avid gamers should opt for a GPU – a graphics unit separate from your processor.
Click here to view our guide to the Best Black Friday Deals