Black Friday 2016 Laptop Buying Guide

Introduction

Laptop computers are some of the most sought-after products every year on Black Friday. While prices bottomed out years ago in the $100 range, every year you can get more laptop performance for the money no matter what your budget. This year's Black Friday ads feature nearly 70 different laptops from nationwide retailers ranging in prices from $99 to $1,800. Deciphering specs and features can be a tricky endeavor, and that's where BFAds.net comes in. We've researched and compared each and every one of these machines to deliver to you our top picks in notebook PCs this Black Friday!




Under $250

The under $250 category is a group that continues to impress each Black Friday. Every November, it's somewhat astonishing how much power can be packed into a laptop at this price. If you decide not to go with our picks out of the 19 laptops from a wide variety of retailers, be aware that a majority of the laptops here feature a 32GB eMMC for their storage, which is notoriously slow regardless of the processor.

Winner

Dell Inspiron 15.6" Core i3 Laptop (I3558-0954BLK) $249.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy comes away the victor here by offering the only laptop in this price category to feature a 5th Generation Core i3 processor. This 15.6" laptop from Dell comes equipped with 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive while being only 0.9" thin. If you have a capable HDTV, this laptop also has Intel Wireless Display, allowing you to quickly and easily display content from your laptop on your TV.

Runner Up

Runner Up – HP 15.6" AMD A6 Laptop (15-BA009DX) $169.99 – Best Buy

Shoppers who want the rock-bottom price on a laptop while still getting respectable performance can opt for our runner up at Best Buy. This 15.6" AMD A6 quad core powered laptop features 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The AMD A6 chipset has an integrated Radeon R4 graphics processor, good enough for some light photo editing and even lighter gaming.


Under $350

This year the under $350 category is where we start to see laptops with interesting features like touch screens or 2-in-1 designs that still give respectable performance. There are 16 laptops to choose from at this price, and thankfully, none with slow eMMC storage devices or Atom processors.

Winner

HP 15.6" Core i3 Laptop (15-ay192nr) $269.99 – Office Depot / Office Max

For only $20 more than the Dell Core i3 deal at Best Buy you can score remarkable increase in performance thanks to the 7th Generation Core i3-7100U found in this 15.6" laptop from HP. With 500GB of storage and 8GB of DDR4 RAM giving this laptop plenty of room to breathe, you simply won't find a better performing laptop for this price.

Runner Up

HP x360 13.3" Core i3 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop (M3-u001dx ) $349.99 – Best Buy

There are a couple of other 2-in-1 laptops which have the ability to flip the screen around and be used as a tablet. The x360 Pavilion found at Best Buy offers the most bang for your buck in this category, thanks in no small part to the specs. This machine features a 6th Intel Core i3-6100U dual core processor, 6GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, and has both Bluetooth and 802.11AC wireless.


Under $500

Here the tradeoffs between price, form, and function begin to fade and we see the first appearance of the Core i7, the most powerful mobile processor. Between the 18 laptop choices, there are a few models that feature a solid state drive, giving shoppers a bargain on the ultimate in performance.

Winner

HP 15.6" Touchscreen Core i7 Laptop with SSD (15-ay198nr) $499.99 – Office Depot/Officemax

For just under $500, shoppers can grab a laptop that features both a 7th Generation Core i7 processor and 256GB SSD, delivering blistering fast startup and loading speed. Filling out the rest of the impressive specs of this touchscreen laptop from HP is 8GB RAM, wireless N, Bluetooth, and a multi-card reader.

Runner Up

HP 17.3" Core i5 Laptop (17-X121DX) $369.99 – Best Buy

Shoppers wanting a large-screen laptop to help with multitasking or simply to get more enjoyment out of Netflix streaming can score the lowest priced laptop in this category at Best Buy. This 17.3" HP laptop features a 7th generation Core i5-7200U dual core processor, 4GB RAM, and a 1TB hard drive for a doorbuster price of only $369.99.


$500 and Up

The sky is the limit here, with prices, form factors, and specs to fit just about every need. Whether you're looking for an ultra-light 2-in-1 with blistering performance, a gaming laptop, or just a powerful productivity machine, there is something for you in this category on Black Friday.

Winner

Lenovo Yoga 900 13.3" 2-in-1 Core i7 Laptop (80UE00D1US) $699.99 – Best Buy

In a category with no price ceiling, luckily the price doesn't have to climb too high to find a great combination of performance and portability. It's hard find a better bang for your buck than in this Lenovo 13.3" 2-in-1 laptop, which features top specs in every category. Powered by an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, there is a lot to love about this thin and light Lenovo, which measures only 0.6" thin and weights 2.84lbs. If that isn't enough, this laptop features a quad HD IPS screen, delivering incredible detail and image quality.

Runner Up

Dell Inspiron 15 15.6" Core i7 Laptop (i7559-5012GRY) $799.99 - Microsoft Store

Shoppers who simply want the best performance they can buy at a bargain price and don't necessarily need the portability of our winner should set their sights on this Dell Inspiron 15 which goes on sale at 12AM EST at Microsoft's online store. This laptop checks off every mark of a performance notebook, including a Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, a 1TB solid state hybrid drive, UHD screen, and an NVidia GTX 960m video accelerator. Another great aspect of this laptop is the fact that it's a Microsoft signature edition, meaning it ships free of bloatware and other useless software commonly found on laptops purchased at retail.

Honorable Mention

Alienware 15 15.6" Core i7 Gaming Laptop $1,497.00 – Microsoft Store

Black Friday is the best time to shop for laptops of any type, even if you need a gaming laptop that can handle nearly any game you throw at it. This Alienware 15 comes fully loaded with a 15.6" UHD touchscreen, Intel Core i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive, and an NVidia GTX 970M with 3GB graphics memory, and 802.11AC wireless, and Klipsch audio. Performance doesn't get any higher than this on Black Friday, and since it's a Signature Edition PC from Microsoft, you won't spend your first two hours of owning this laptop uninstalling useless bloatware.


Final Thoughts

With 68 different laptops to choose from this Black Friday, shoppers may have their own favorite pick that didn't make our list. If you're after a specific laptop not featured here, head down to our comments section and let us know which computer you'll be chasing after this Thanksgiving.

We're not through yet, with Thanksgiving less than a week away, we are burning the midnight oil here at BFAds.net to bring you the best in pre-Black Friday sales along with your signature buying guides! Check back with us often, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook so you won't miss a minute of Black Friday action. Did you find a deal we missed? Head down to our comments and tell us about your diamond in the rough! While you're at it, make sure to like BFAds.net on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

November 18, 2016
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