Shopping for a new computer can be fun, but it can also be a headache given the wide range of options available today. The addition of touchscreen and 2-in-1 laptops doesn’t make it any easier to find the right laptop for you. It’s easy to get choice paralysis when shopping for a PC, even if you already have a fixed budget in mind, but our research can make your life a little bit easier.
Whether you’ve just started a new school year, are shopping for a student, or just need a new computer for work or play, we’ve got your back. Below are the best laptop deals available for October 2018. Our picks offer something for just about everyone, from those who like the convenience of a touchscreen, to gamers and dedicated Apple fans. Best of all, each of these laptop deals offer deep discounts that can save you hundreds of dollars.
Samsung Chromebook 3 — $140
For a basic, no-frills workstation that’s lightweight and easy on the wallet, it doesn’t get much better or cheaper than a good Chromebook. Make no mistake, these little computers are heads and shoulders above those sluggish netbooks of years past (remember those?). Samsung makes some of the best on the market, and its Chromebook 3 is a great entry-level work laptop. It’s got an 11.6-inch HD display – the perfect size for tucking into your bag – along with an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage.
It doesn’t have the specs of our other picks (all of which cost twice as much or more), but if you came looking for the cheapest laptop deal on our roundup, this is the one: It’s currently on sale from Amazon for $140, or $89 off, while stock lasts.
Acer Chromebook 15 — $350
If you want a Chrome OS laptop that’s full-sized and a bit beefier than the Samsung Chromebook (but one that’s still highly affordable), check out the larger Acer Chromebook 15. Acer’s Chromebook 15 remains one of our favorites thanks to its quick performance, generous battery life, great 15.6-inch Full HD touchscreen, and the excellent value that it provides.
Its four-core Intel Pentium N4200 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of flash storage give you everything you need for your daily work, while the pre-installed Chrome OS comes with built-in virus protection that updates automatically so it runs fast and stays fast. The Acer Chromebook 15 normally costs $400 and is still a solid value even at that price, but a $50 discount means you can snag one from Staples or Amazon for $350.
Acer Aspire E 15 — $380
Acer makes some great Chromebooks, but this brand built its name on its affordable Windows laptops like the Aspire E 15. The Acer Aspire E 15 is the perfect entry-level work machine, running on an 8th-gen Intel Core i3-8130U CPU, 6GB of RAM, and a 1-terabyte hard drive, which are very solid specs for a work machine that rings in at less than 400 bucks. It’s got a 1080p Full HD display as well, and its battery life of up to 13.5 hours ensures you can get a full day’s work in before needing to plug in.
At $380 from Amazon – around the same price (or even cheaper) as many of the best Chromebooks – this is about the cheapest Windows 10 laptop you’re likely to find with an 8th-generation Intel Core CPU. You will also be eligible for 20 percent off
PC makers are increasingly offering hybrid designs that combine the functionality of a laptop and portable convenience of a tablet, and for anyone looking for a workhorse 2-in-1 Windows 10 laptop, the Dell Inspiron 15 series is a great place to start. The 5000 model sports an 8th-gen Intel Core i3-7100 CPU, plus a beefy 8GB RAM (instead of the usual 4GB found on budget laptops) for snappier performance when multitasking. The 15.6-inch LED touch laptop display has a crisp 1080p Full HD resolution, while the Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU provides enough power for light gaming. The large 1TB hard drive also offers plenty of room for all of your files and software.
The Inspiron 15 5000 2-in-1 is already pretty budget-friendly at its usual price of $599, but Walmart’s ongoing back-to-school deals bring this foldable tablet-like hybrid laptop down to $449 for a limited time. You may also want to take a look at the Dell XPS line if you’re looking for something with a little more power. Dell Small Business also offers some great choices if you’re looking to cover your growing team.
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 — $543-$560
Lenovo has also been riding the 2-in-1 trend with its Lenovo Yoga and Lenovo Ideapad series, but when it comes to solid laptops built for work, it still doesn’t get much better than the classic ThinkPad. ThinkPads have been around for a long time and remain popular for a reason – they’re built to last. You don’t have to spend a fortune for one, either, and the ThinkPad E580 is a great midrange Windows machine.
The E580 packs a 7th-gen Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive that offers faster performance than the 5,400rpm HDDs of yesteryear. It’s also on sale right now: A $140 savings brings it down to $560 from Lenovo for a limited time. You can also grab it from Amazon for a little less at $543 or pick up an Ideapad for even less.
Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop – $669
While it used to be the case that gaming laptops lagged far behind desktop PCs in the hardware department, recent years have seen this gap shrink considerably thanks to models like the Acer Nitro 5, which offers impressive specs for the price. An Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor, Nvidia GTX 1050 TI GPU, and 8GB of RAM easily tackle modern games, while the 256GB SSD offers plenty of storage and snappier performance than standard hard drives.
You’d normally expect to pay $2oo to $300 more for a gaming laptop with hardware similar to a desktop PC – a comparable desktop running an Nvidia GTX 1050 TI would set you back around $600 without any peripherals. Considering that laptops already have displays and keyboards, the Acer Nitro 5 is great deal at $669 from Amazon with free shipping and is a solid laptop deal for anyone looking for a machine that can handle both work and play.
Asus FX503VM gaming laptop — $898
For another great gaming laptop that has a little more juice than the Nitro 5 (while still ringing in at well under a grand), check out the FX503VM from Asus, which packs an Nvidia GTX 1060 – arguably the best “bang for buck” GPU around right now. This graphics card, together with a quad-core i5 CPU and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, delivers plenty of power for running modern games at high settings with a good deal more future-proofing than you’ll get with the 1050 TI. You also get two hard drives: a speedy 128GB SSD, and a large 1TB HDD. With a 1TB HDD, you should have all of the storage you’ll ever need.
Most gaming laptops with a GTX 1060 run for as much as $1,200, but the Asus FX503VM is now available for just $898 from Amazon. This is easily one the best prices we’ve seen so far for a laptop with this GPU.
Apple MacBook Air – $850
MacBook deals can be fleeting, so back-to-school and fall sales are the perfect opportunities to find Apple hardware at a discount. Although laptops keep getting slimmer and lighter and Apple is no longer the only game in town, the MacBook Air is still a great choice if you’re looking for a lightweight computer and aren’t a big fan of Windows. This MacBook Air offers plenty of performance despite its size, with a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU, snappy 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD of speedy flash storage.
The 13.3-inch display boasts an HD resolution of 1,440 x 900 and the internal battery offers up to 12 hours of juice – plenty for a full day’s work – before needing to be topped off. A $549 discount knocks the MacBook Air down to $850 from Amazon for a limited time, making this the best Apple laptop deal in our roundup.
If the MacBook Air didn’t whet your appetite but you still want something small and light (and you’re not interested in the larger MacBook Pro), then we’ve got another pick for you. As we stated before, MacBook deals tend to be scarce and short-lived, and one of the best ways to score a discounted Macbook is by buying a professionally refurbished model. This 12-inch MacBook features a 1.1GHz Intel Core processor and 8GB RAM, which combine to provide snappy performance for work, entertainment, and multitasking. Apple touches like a 256GB SSD, a super-crisp 2,304 x 1,440 resolution Retina display, and a backlit keyboard complete the package.
The 12-inch MacBook normally starts at $1,250 new, but Amazon has professionally refurbished models in stock right now for just $880, saving you almost $400 off the price of a new unit.
Pretty much all of the major PC manufacturers are offering 2-in-1 hybrid models today, but HP has remained at the forefront of this trend with its excellent Spectre series. The Spectre x360 13 is the smaller member of this HP PC family, hitting the Goldilocks zone in size with its 13.3-inch Full HD touch display. The lid’s hinge rotates so you can turn the display around and fold it flat, effectively turning the laptop into a tablet when you don’t need the keyboard and touchpad.
Under the hood, the Spectre x360 13-ae052nr runs on an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor and Intel UHD 620 integrated GPU, along with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, which are excellent specs for a laptop of this size. The HP Spectre x360 13-ae052nr touchscreen laptop can be yours for $1,180 from HP after a $250 discount.
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