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The best time to buy a laptop in 2023

The best time to buy a laptop is when you need one. If your laptop has failed and you need one for school, work, or gaming, then just go and buy one of the best laptops right now. But if you want to make the most of your budget and can limp on with what you have for now, there are some great times to buy a laptop.

The best sales don’t typically involve the absolute latest and greatest laptops, but slightly older designs taking up shelf space and budget laptops that see further discounts. They’re all great options and if you time your purchase carefully, you can grab them at a great price.

A MacBook Pro M2 sits on a wooden table with a nice bokeh background.

Back-to-school deals

The best annual laptop deals, especially for highly portable laptops, frequently happen during the back-to-school days, when discounts are focused on students and the supplies they’ll need. Online and offline school-based marketing should offer excellent laptop deals during this time, and sometimes new laptop models are announced ahead of the event.

The back-to-school marketing rush tends to start in mid to late July and ends around the end of August, so you should have at least a full month to look for deals — although limited inventory may mean that popular models will sell out fast.

Asus ROG Strix G17 sitting on a table.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day is a very popular option for buying electronics if you have a Prime membership, and you can find excellent deals if you act fast. The tricky thing is knowing exactly when Prime Day happens. In 2023 it was on July 11 and 12. This is pretty typical, as generally, Amazon holds it sometime in early July. Watch for alerts about Amazon Prime Day and you should see notifications a few weeks before the final dates are set.

Around Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and generally the full several-day stretch starting with Thanksgiving remains an excellent time to shop for electronics deals, which are advertised prominently and inspire the famed holiday rush.

Because of that rush, we suggest narrowing your search down to several different computer models you like, and then setting alerts or saving webpages for easy access once the Black Friday deals begin. This makes it easier to quickly buy a new laptop without worry about inventory levels and time crunch.

Dell XPS 17 9370 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Early spring

When the weather starts getting warmer, it’s time to watch for laptop deals, typically from late February through April. This is a popular release schedule for brands bringing new laptops to the shelves. That often means discounting the now-older laptop generations, or bringing in a new discount to rev up interest in a new laptop line. Be sure to check popular e-commerce portals and as well the manufacturers’ own websites, which may have separate deals of their own (we’ve seen this with Dell and Lenovo, for example).

Right after a new MacBook generation drops

This rule applies to other new laptops as well, but it’s especially noticeable when Apple announces a new MacBook or MacBook Pro/Air. Apple likes to make new MacBook announcements in its September events, although this can vary a little. The MacBooks are generally released after the event or a few weeks later. During this key stage, retailers are likely to start discounting older MacBooks to clear room for the new models.

This is also a great time to trade in a MacBook, since Apple is more likely to offer new trade-in deals that can help save even more — a popular method of saving if you want to buy from Apple directly.

When processors get a big upgrade

A new generation of processors from Intel or AMD is also a sign deals are going to hit in the near future. As older laptop lines are updated with new processors, the older models often receive discounts to clear them out. Or, if you don’t mind paying more, you can enjoy the latest performance benefits of the new processor refresh immediately.

At the time of writing, Intel has 13th generation and 12th generation CPU models out in the wild, while AMD is pushing its Ryzen 7000 generation. We can expect Ryzen 8000 and Intel 14th generation laptops in 2024.

Asus Zenbook 14X OLED front angled view showing display and keyboard.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Is there a time you shouldn’t buy a laptop?

No. There is no time of year where you can’t buy a great laptop. But are there times of year that are not as good to buy as the ones we’ve outline above? Absolutely.

If you buy a laptop in the early summer, you probably won’t encounter many discounts. This is shortly after the launch of many new models, and without any big sale days or holidays, you’re unlikely to find any special deals.

It’s similar for the period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. You’ll be sandwiched between two of the biggest sale periods. That means retailers will be holding on to their good deals for later, and will have cleared out old stock beforehan.

How do you choose a laptop?

If you want help picking the right laptop for you, we’ve got you covered. Check out our guide on how to buy a laptop.

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Tyler Lacoma
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
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