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Best laptop deals: Save on Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo

Even with a smartphone in hand, you really can’t get by these days without a laptop, whether it’s for typing out documents and schoolwork, or doing some online banking from a more secure place. Buying a new laptop could be your first big purchase of the new year, and it’s an important decision, but if you get the right one it will serve you well for years to come. With so many big-name brands like Dell, HP, Apple, and many more, we want to help you figure out what you need to buy by taking a quick look at what makes each laptop tick and why it might be the right fit for you.

Whether you’re looking for a cheap Chromebook, a well-specced Windows-based system for work purposes, or a gaming powerhouse, there’s sure to be a deal for you. At any given time, there are a ton of excellent MacBook deals, Chromebook deals if you want something more lightweight, or gaming laptop deals if you want power and performance to play the year’s hottest titles. We scooped up the best offers from all of those different lists and compiled the best of the best laptop deals right here. Read on while we take you through all the best laptop deals currently available.

Today’s Best Laptop Deals

Lenovo Flex 3i Chromebook — $114, was $189

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3i

If you don’t know, our Chromebook vs. laptop comparison will help you understand the differences. But for the most part, Chromebooks are sleeker, simpler, and just work. This one from Lenovo comes with an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of system memory, and 64GB of eMMC flash storage. The 11.6-inch touch-enabled display offers quick and easy navigation, and interactions, and supports a maximum resolution of 1366 by 768. It’s thin, lightweight, ultra-portable, and extremely affordable. What more could you ask for?

Lenovo Ideapad 1i Laptop — $150, was $250

The Lenovo IdeaPad 1i against a white background.

Most laptops this affordable are Chromebooks, but this one is running Windows 11 Home — Microsoft’s latest operating system. Inside is an Intel Celeron N2040 processor, 4GB of system memory, and 64GB of eMMC flash storage. No, those specs aren’t powerful but that’s okay, this is not meant to be a power hog. It’s portable, lightweight, and perfect for use around the house, in the office, or anywhere you need to do some browsing, banking, streaming, or whatever. The 14-inch HD screen supports a maximum resolution of 1366 by 768 which will look great. It also comes with three months of Xbox Game Pass, can’t beat that. It’s a great little backup machine, or for doing some schoolwork and productivity tasks in a pinch.

HP 15z-ef100 Laptop — $300, was $470

HP Laptop 15z-ef100

With a decently-sized screen, the HP 15z-ef100 Laptop is great value thanks to its 15-inch display. Alongside that, it uses an AMD Athlon Gold 3150U processor with AMD Radeon graphics, offers 8GB of memory, and has 128GB of SSD storage to help with speedy performance. HP Fast Charge technology means you can get the battery back up to speed and lasting the rest of the day, and a quick boost happens in just minutes. The HP 15z-ef100 Laptop is built for travel with a thin, light, and micro-edge bezel display — it weighs only 3.75 pounds. It is running Windows 11, despite its size, so it would be excellent for school, work, and maybe even some casual play.

Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook — $385, was $470

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 front and detached keyboard

Lenovo’s Duet 5 may not feature in our look at the best Chromebooks but it’s fairly respectable for the price. It’s fast, simple to use, and secure by default thanks to Chrome OS. But even more mesmerizing is the gorgeous 13.3-inch OLED display which offers 100% DCI-P3 for realistic and sharp colors. You’ll also experience less eye strain with OLED versus traditional LCD panels. The dual two-in-one portability means you can separate the top — tablet — from the keyboard. It also has access to the Google Play Store giving you a variety of rich, practical apps. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 processor, 4GB of system memory, and 64GB of eMMC storage.

HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 Laptop — $550, was $800

HP Pavilion x360 convertible at a side angle with a stylus next to it while displaying Windows 11.

Two-in-one laptops, like this HP Pavilion, are versatile and fun to use. Why? Because they can be used like a standard laptop and keyboard, flipped around and used like a tablet, or propped up to watch videos and content while you’re doing something else like drawing or cooking. This Pavilion comes with Windows 11 Home, an Intel Core i4 processor, Intel Iris XE graphics, 8GB of system memory, and a 256GB NVMe solid-state drive. The 14-inch full HD multi-touch-enabled display gives you plenty of screen real estate to view, work, create, and play. Altogether, it’s a super lightweight and manageable system to carry with you, wherever you go.

HP Victus 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop — $550, was $800

The HP Victus 15 gaming laptop against a white backdrop.

Generally, if you want a gaming laptop with some decent heft and power under the hood, you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny. That’s not the case here. You get a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR4 system memory, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 dedicated VRAM. The 15.6-inch full-HD display is gorgeous, offers a 144Hz refresh rate, a response time of 9ms, and makes for an incredibly smooth experience even with tons of action onscreen. Audio by Bang and Olufsen, HP Fast Charge technology, WiFi 6, and a 512GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive round out the list of features nicely.

Apple 2022 MacBook Air M2 13.6-inch — $1,099, was $1,199

Apple MacBook Air M1 open, on a table.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

One of the best MacBook deals around, the Apple MacBook Air M2 is a great entry point to the world of MacOS. It has Apple’s M2 chip so performance is stunningly quick for a system in this price range. It comes with 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage which is sufficient for working with. TouchID support saves you the need to enter your password all the time while a FaceTime HD camera is great for video calls and a backlit keyboard is convenient for low-light conditions. With a battery life of up to 18 hours, for many people, this is more than just all-day use. A 13.6-inch beautiful Liquid Retina display rounds off the package ensuring whatever you do looks great.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus 14-inch WQXGA 120HZ Gaming Laptop — $1,200, was $1.650

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 2023 front view showing display and keyboard deck.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

An absolute stunner for portable gaming, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 comes with a month of Xbox Game Pass for free, so you can start playing great titles right away. Inside is an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor with 8 cores and 16 threads, 16GB of next-gen DDR5 4800HZ system memory, and an AMD Radeon RX 6700S graphics card with 8GB of GDDR6 dedicated VRAM. AMD SmartShift technology determines the proper power load to boost performance while you’re playing, streaming, or engaging in power-hungry activities. Also, the 14-inch WQXGA 120Hz display is bright, vivid, and beautiful — with a maximum resolution of 2560 by 1600. The 1TB NVMe solid-state drive offers plenty of room for your games, which you’ll need if you’re taking this thing on the go.

Dell XPS 15 — $1,749, was $2,149

Dell XPS 15 7590 review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Dell’s stunning and latest XPS laptops really set the bar high for their blend of ultra-portability, aesthetics, and power — all tucked neatly inside the delectably modern chassis. You get a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, with 14 cores and 20 threads, 32GB of DDR5 system memory, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 with 4GB of GDDR6 dedicated VRAM. No, you won’t be playing all of the hottest titles on ultra settings, but that’s certainly enough power to do just about anything else, including graphic design and video editing, and some light gaming. It also has a 1TB NVMe solid-state drive, Windows 11 Home, Intel Killer WiFi 6, and a bevy of useful ports. Jump on this one if you can.

How to choose a laptop

The first step of choosing a laptop, after setting your budget, is determining what you need it for. Most people just need a standard laptop that will perform well and that won’t feel outdated within one or two years, and for that, you’ve got plenty of very affordable options available to you. Those with more specific needs — artists, graphic designers, video editors, and gamers, to name some examples — may want extra features like touchscreens, fold-flat displays, and dedicated graphics cards. Keep size in mind as well. Laptops commonly range from 13 to 17 inches (which refers to screen size measured diagonally), and also pay attention to overall dimensions and weight if you’re going to be moving and carrying yours around fairly often.

As far as hardware goes, the three basic components to consider are CPU, RAM, and storage. The CPU, or central processing unit, is the “brain” of any PC. It’s what actually does the computing: Reading data, running programs (and other processes), and so on. The two biggest CPU makers are Intel and AMD, and unless you’re on the tightest of budgets, we typically recommend sticking with 11th or 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processors, AMD Ryzen 5 processors, and above (Core i7, Ryzen 7, etc.). If the specific generation of Intel CPU isn’t stated explicitly, it will be indicated in the first two digits of the processor’s model number. For example, a Core i5-11400 is an 11th-gen model, while the Core i5-12400 is 12th-gen.

RAM, or random access memory, is a bit more straightforward. In simple terms, if the CPU is your PC’s brain, then RAM could be described as its short-term memory. It supports your CPU’s performance by storing data and tasks for quick recall when needed. The more the better. We suggest a minimum of 8GB for good performance by modern standards, and like Core i5 and Ryzen 5 CPUs, you can find this even on affordable laptops — you really aren’t saving much money by skimping on RAM, but you will definitely feel your computer stumbling when under load.

Storage needs are personal to the user, but today, solid-state drives (SSDs) have largely replaced older platter-based hard disk drives (HDDs) owing to their superior read/write speeds and reliability due to the lack of moving parts. However, SSDs are typically smaller (or at least cheaper per gigabyte) than traditional HDDs, which is something to bear in mind if you do need a lot of storage space for things like games or large project files. We recommend sticking with SSDs as a rule, but some laptops come with a smaller solid-state system drive paired with a larger HDD for overflow, so you’ve got options.

Finally, depending on your needs, a discrete video card may be worth the extra money. A GPU, or graphics processing unit, is essentially a second processor dedicated solely to demanding graphical tasks like rendering videos and playing 3D video games. Mobile laptop GPUs are a bit different than their desktop counterparts and Nvidia GeForce cards are by far the most common. The current-gen models are the 16-series and 30-series cards. AMD has also rolled out its own line of laptop graphics cards, the 5000M series, as mobile counterparts to its desktop GPUs. These are a fine option as well, especially if you prefer AMD hardware.

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