When you’re ready to buy a new laptop, you have to choose between hundreds of online stores and up to dozens of physical locations. All of them may sell a variety of models at many price points, but you have to find the right place to shop, and you probably don’t want to make any mistakes.
So, we’re making things easier by listing out our choices for the best places to shop for (and purchase) a laptop.
Amazon wins the prize of first stop thanks to its vast variety of laptops from manufacturers around the world, and its excellent laptop-buying guide that helps you search for laptops based on your lifestyle (student, travel, etc.) or the specs you are interested in (SSD, battery life, display size, so on.). If you want to find all laptops available with a particular set of features, this is one of the best tools online.
Add in the fast, reliable shipping and easy payment options, and Amazon becomes the number one recommendation for finding the exact laptop you need. While Amazon ratings aren’t always the most trustworthy, comparing rating and reviews between your top laptop picks is also a simple, effective way to make up your mind between contenders. On top of all that, it’s pretty common to find sales on laptops on Amazon that may have costed more buying directly from a retailer.
The one thing to be a little wary of on Amazon are the specific build options. Because many different sellers may be selling various builds or generations of the same laptop, shopping can occasionally get confusing. Keep an eye on the specs, the year the laptop was produced, and even the exact model number to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying.
Direct from retailer
For those who love to customize
If you purchase directly from a company like Dell, Microsoft, or Apple, you avoid the confusion of digging through listings on Amazon or Best Buy. This option is best for those who’ve done the research and know exactly what they want.
Also, purchasing through a retailer gives you the most amount of options for customization. Want a laptop with extra RAM or a memory but don’t care about the 4K display? Well, chances are, you’ll be able to configure it that way. If you love tweaking features to get exactly the computer you want, consider buying from a retailer worth the extra cost or shipping fees.
The best for voracious review readers
Newegg may not have as many reviews as Amazon, but its reviews tend to be well informed and worth poring through, instead of meaningless comments. If you love doing a lot of research and reading up on a lot of different opinions before making a choice, Newegg is a great place to visit. The site also offers its own laptop buying guide that breaks down your options by interesting categories such as screen size and CPU class.
Newegg also impresses with its sales, discounts, and features like activating a product for price alert so you can watch for future deals. If you don’t get what you wanted, there’s a 14-day return policy and well-respected customer support to help out.
The best for hands-on testing
When it comes to buying a laptop in a brick and mortar store, only a few options remain. Best Buy is obviously the first one people think of — and for good reason. Walking into a Best Buy to discover and purchase a laptop isn’t what we’d recommend as the most strategic option, but for those who want to take the anxiety out of researching and scouring the web, it might be the preferred method. Furthermore, there’s nothing quite like getting hands-on time with the device you’re about to drop loads of cash on.
Beyond the physical store, Best Buy also has a comprehensive laptop site that offers its own take on a shopping guide. You have options to show for laptop packages, specific brands, operating system, and even laptops compatible with specific technologies Windows Ink.
The best for deal hunters
From new models to refurbished products, Overstock.com specializes in discounts and low prices. The interface isn’t anything special, but there are plenty of filtering options reminiscent of Amazon, and it’s easy to spot items that have particularly low prices or that are well reviewed. Overstock is a good stop if you love hunting for good deals from reputable sources, and don’t mind checking in every day to see if that one low price you want is finally there.