Black Friday laptop deals are as American as pumpkin pie. But spotting worthwhile options can be difficult. Each model has variants, each of those variants has configurations with too many similar-sounding model numbers (thanks, Intel), and many of the model names are names you can’t remember.
We spend a lot of time looking at and writing about Ars Laptops, so we’ve perused the offerings and highlighted the most notable options based on the laptops we’ve reviewed and are familiar with. Here are some laptop deals we think are worth knowing about.
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More coverage of Black Friday 2022
- The best Black Friday deals we can find
It’s not a mandatory upgrade over its M1-based predecessor, but the M2-powered MacBook Air is the best laptop for most types of Mac users. Thanks to Apple’s impressive M2 processor, this entry-level model can do a lot with just 8GB of RAM, although the 256GB of storage might push storage-hungry types to the Pro (also currently on offer).
Best Buy has an offer to match on the same model, and Apple is offering a $150 gift card when you buy the latest MacBook Air from their store. You can also snag a 512GB MacBook Air $1,299 at Best Buy and $1,499 at Apple (with the $150 gift card).
That 2021 MacBook Pro is the hardware hardfork we’ve been waiting for, a return to usable ports, sensible keyboards and function keys, largely powered by the advent of Apple’s own silicon. Ars’ Samuel Axon called it “the best laptop you can buy for many use cases, assuming you have it.” a lot of of money.” For a short period of time there is a good bit less money Amazon. A 14-inch model with an M1 Pro chip, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is available $1,599 ($400 discount). The same offer is available at best buy.
Want two more CPU and GPU cores each and double the memory? The model is currently on sale for $2,000 at Amazon, $500 less than typical price. A 2022 model with a slightly faster M2 chip and 8GB RAM is included $1,350 at Amazon ($150 discount). Apple does not offer a discount, but purchasing a MacBook Pro qualifies you for an Apple gift card worth up to $250.
Everything about the 14-inch MacBook Pro also applies to the 16-inch model – only with a larger screen and a price to match. In this week, Amazon has a model with 16 GB of storage, 512 GB of storage and a 16-core M1 Pro processor for $2,000 ($500 discount). best buy has the same offer.
If you want the most powerful Apple laptop, a model with a 32-core M1 Max chip, 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage will do $3,049 at BestBuy, $450 less than retail. Or you pay the full selling price Apple and get a $250 gift card.
If you’re looking for a Windows device that can be both a tablet and a laptop, the Surface Pro 9 is it the best to do this job, after more than nine hardware revisions and forks. The crisp 13-inch screen, 12th Gen Intel U-series processor, and tactile keyboard cover (included in this deal) make the Surface the archetype of the portable, but still type-friendly laptop.
It’s pretty hard to beat this offering with a keyboard on a brand new device. But if you’re not a Costco member, best buy offers the same model Surface Pro 9, without keyboard, e.g $1,000 ($100 discount) and an upgraded i7/16GB model for $1,400 ($200 discount). Amazon also has an i7/16GB model with 256GB of storage for $1,349about $250 off retail.
Not much has changed between the Surface Pro 8 and 9, minus a processor upgrade. If you’re looking for a cheaper entry point into Microsoft’s hybrid, we liked the Pro 8 a year ago and it’s still a worth buying, especially at this discount with an included keyboard cover. best buy has the i5 8GB RAM 256GB storage model on sale $900 with a graphite keyboard cover and 15 months of Microsoft 365 to sweeten the deal.
One of the biggest issues we had with the Surface Laptop Go 2 was that its base model with 4GB of RAM is of no use to anyone. The other was that the $700 model cost too much with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. But as we noted in our review, “If you can find it on sale… the Laptop Go 2 is a no-fuss budget laptop worth considering if you can live with its shortcomings.”
Well, here we go. The model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB is available for sale $600 at BestBuy ($100 discount). If you need a portable mouse to do that and like the idea of a 3-year protection plan, Microsoft offers all of that for the price of $655.
This remastered version of Dell’s long-running line of Ultrabooks has made “wild design choices” to support a more powerful 12th Gen Intel CPU. If performance is what matters most to you in a laptop, this laptop really packs a punch, and it looks and feels sleek and classy. But it gets hot, its buttons are tightly spaced and its port selection is limited.
best buy has three variants of the XPS 13 Plus on offer: one with 32 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD for $1,700 ($400 off), 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD (as we reviewed) for $1,500 ($350 off) and if you want to sacrifice an OLED display, an FHD+ model for $1,350 ($300 discount).
The 13.5 inch Ghost x360 has “something for almost everyone,” we wrote in August. It “gets an A+ on looks and scores high (but not perfect) on design details.” Compared to other microlights in its price range, it wasn’t the best in its class, but at this price point the Specter scores better marks against the curve.
HP has a model with an i5-1235U processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD and a 1920 x 1280 IPS screen for $900 ($350 discount). HP’s website lets you tweak some of these elements, including doubling the RAM for just $60 more.
Linux-focused laptop vendors don’t make big sales on Black Friday, or much at all. You have to focus on other things than the volume of container ships. So when System76 pulls $50 off its redesigned 14-inch Lemur Pro, the one with the touted 14-hour battery life, it’s worth taking notice. You can choose between Pop! Operating system and Ubuntu 22.04 pre-installed, a whole host of storage and RAM options and certain configurations come with free shipping.
Other laptop deals we like
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 15 inch laptop PC (2496×1664, Core i7-1185G7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD) for $1,900 (
$2,400) at Amazon
- Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 13.3 inch (1920×1080, Core i3-10110U, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) for $549 (
$699) at best buy
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 out $899 up to $300 off Microsoft
- Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio out $1,400 up to $400 off at Microsoft
- Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13-inch Chromebook (1920 x 1080, Intel Core i3-1115G4, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) for $300 (
$420) at Amazon
Offer image by Samuel Axon
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