Black Friday 2017 Laptop Buying Guide

Introduction

After 4K UHDTVs, the battle for your Black Friday shopping dollars is most fiercely fought in the realm of laptop computers. Whether it’s department stores, office suppliers, discount clubs, or online specialty retailers, everyone has skin in the game of doorbuster deals on notebook PCs.

Of course, with almost 100 different laptop computers advertised this Black Friday, each with technobabble that reads like hieroglyphics, it can be almost impossible for the average shopper to discern the truly great deals from the Black Friday traps. Fear not, shoppers, the nerds at BFads.net are fluent in computer mumbo jumbo, and are ready to let you copy off of our homework with our 2017 Laptop Buying Guide!




Under $100

What once was a busy category, brimming with convertible Windows 10 tablets, the hyper-budget category this year is shared only among a paltry three participants, with two being the clear winners.

Winner

Lenovo Ideapad 11.6” Notebook PC (81A40025US) $99.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy wins this category easily by being one of the only two Windows 10 laptops under the $100 price point. The other contender, the 10.1” Atom based convertible tablet PC from RCA offered at Wal-Mart cannot compete with this Lenovo laptop for the same price, which features a larger screen, more robust CPU, faster memory bandwidth, and a larger keyboard.

Runner Up

Samsung 11.6" Chromebook w/ Intel Celeron, 2GB RAM & 16GB eMMC Flash Memory (E500C13-S03US) $99.99 at Best Buy

Chromebooks have carved themselves out a niche in the education space and also for those who value productivity above all else in a lightweight notebook. Despite having better hardware specs than our winner, this Celeron powered Chromebook takes second place here only because the Chrome OS, while zippy and great for productivity, ultimately does not offer as much flexibility as a Windows PC. However, for those shopping specifically for a Chromebook this Black Friday, this is a great buy after the 50% off doorbuster price.


Under $200

The sub-$200 category is one dominated by Chromebooks this year, with only 5 out of the 11 notebooks in this price range being full-fledged Windows 10 machines. Since most of the Chromebooks here are not much better than the runner up of the sub-$100 category and there are two great deals on Windows 10 notebooks, Chrome OS will have to settle for also-ran.

Winner

Lenovo 15.6” Notebook PC (80TJ00LRUS) $179.99 at Best Buy

In a race that was almost too close to call, this AMD A6-7310 powered 15.6” laptop from Lenovo just manages to edge out the runner up here thanks to the slightly less expensive price. This is one of the best notebook PC deals around this black Friday, and is a clear standout over most of the other Windows 10 laptops thanks to the 500GB hard drive, which provides better performance and a massive increase in storage capacity compared to the eMMC storage found in most of the under $200 laptops. Shoppers should note that this is an 8am Friday deal.

Runner Up

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 15.6" Laptop w/ Intel Celeron Processor $199.99 at Dell Home

Despite being very closely equipped compared to the winner, Dell’s 15.6” Intel Celeron powered laptop takes the silver medal because of the slightly higher price point, the ambiguity of the processor model, and Dell’s reputation for having a very limited supply of doorbusters. Still, this is a solid deal and those who would have no preference between this machine and the $179.99 Lenovo at Best Buy can try for this laptop first, since this sale goes live at 11am Eastern on Dell.com.


Under $300

In this category we really see the value begin to ramp as we wave goodbye to the painfully slow eMMC storage solution that seems to be a staple of the low-cost notebook PC in 2017. Despite only having 8 notebooks at this price point, there are still some performance strides with the first appearance of Intel Core processors and terabyte hard drives.

Winner

Lenovo 320-15ABR 15.6” Notebook PC (80XS0024US) $279.99 at Best Buy

Again just managing to edge out the runner up, Best Buy steals this category with another $20 undercut. This time, it’s not really as close, since this AMD A12 powered, 1TB HDD laptop is the only machine under $300 with 8GB of RAM and also comes with better connectivity options thanks to two USB 3.0 Type A and one USB 3.0 Type C ports.

Runner Up

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 15.6” Notebook PC $299.99 at Dell Home

Dell takes home a well-deserved runner up in this category for having the lowest price laptop this Black Friday featuring a Core i3 processor. Accompanying that Intel chipset is a 15.6” screen, 4GB RAM, and a 1TB hard drive.


Under $500

Winner

HP 15.6” Notebook PC with 8th Gen Core i7 (2UE54UA) $449.99 at OfficeDepot/Officemax

Having just hit the market in Q3 2017, it’s somewhat remarkable to see a laptop equipped with the 8th generation Core i7-8550U processor with a doorbuster discount, and you won’t find it at a better price this Black Friday. Office Depot/OfficeMax is where you’ll want to be Friday at 7:45am if you want to get your hands on this touchscreen notebook with 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive.

Runner Up

Dell Inspiron 15.6” Notebook PC with 128GB SSD (i3567-3465BLK) $359.99 at Staples

Nestled away inconspicuously on page 3 of the Staples Black Friday advertisement is a hidden gem of a laptop deal. Staples has got the lowest price anywhere on a laptop that comes equipped with a 128GB SSD, giving this 7th generation Core i3-7100U powered laptop from Dell a massive boost in boot time and performance.

Honorable Mention

HP 17.3” Notebook PC (17-bs061st) $329.99 at Staples

Staples gets a shout out here for offering the lowest price on a 17.3” notebook this Black Friday. That XL WLED-backlit 1600x900 display isn’t all this 7th Gen Core i3-7100U laptop from HP has going for it, it also comes with 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, and a 9 hour battery. For anyone needing more screen real estate for work or play, there’s not a better deal to be found this Thanksgiving.


Under $800

There’s something for everyone in this category. Whether you’re after a robust workhorse machine for productivity, a doorbuster price on a budget gaming laptop, or a Macbook Air, there are options to be found at doorbuster prices among the 20 different laptops that fall into this price range.

Winner

HP 15.6” Notebook PC with 8th Gen Core i7 (15-bs193od) $529.99 at OfficeDepot/OfficeMax

Office Depot/OfficeMax has one of the best all-around values on a laptop this Black Friday with this $529.99 15.6” notebook PC from HP. Not only does this laptop have performance to spare with an 8th generation Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, it also beats the price of the next similarly equipped laptop by $50!

Runner Up

Dell Inspiron 15.6” Notebook PC with GTX 1050ti (I7567-5650BLK-PUS) $699.99 at Best Buy

There are a couple of less expensive laptops geared towards gamers this Black Friday, including the $649 Dell Inspiron (I7567-5000BLK-PUS) gaming laptop also found on page 32 of the Best Buy ad , and the $599 (after mail-in rebate) MSI gaming notebook on page 2 of the Newegg.com ad, both featuring the GTX 1050 GPU. However, if you’re buying a discounted laptop on Black Friday with gaming in mind, you are better off picking up this Core i5-powered notebook from Best Buy, which delivers superior gaming performance thanks to twice the video RAM (4GB) on the GTX 1050ti and a 256GB SSD.

Honorable Mention

Apple 13.3” Macbook Air (MQD32LL/A) $799.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy earns a special mention here by being one of the only stores that have enough holiday spirit to discount even a Macbook Air! Save $200 on Apple’s impossibly thin and light, Core i5 powered Macbook which features 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.


$900 and Up

The sky is the limit here, and what constitutes a great deal depends mainly on what you want out of a laptop. Since the choices here are subjective, we’ve picked the best of each of a few categories that are over $900 on Black Friday but still have big holiday savings.

Performance 2-in-1 Convertible Notebook

HP Spectre x360 13.3” with Core i7 $949.99 at Best Buy

There are substantial savings to be had on Black Friday on this HP convertible 2-in-1 notebook PC at Best Buy, which will be marked down by $400 from the everyday price of $1349.99. The ultimate in form and function, this machine has got it where it counts, including a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state hard drive. Flip the 13.3” Full HD touchscreen around to instantly use this laptop as a Windows 10 tablet, complete with HP Active Pen stylus for use with Windows Ink features.

VR Ready Gaming Notebook

MSI Raider 4K 15.6” Gaming Notebook (GE63VR4K212) $1879.99 at Office Depot/OfficeMax

Without a doubt the most powerful laptop offered at a discount on Black Friday is this monster of a gaming notebook by MSI. This beast features a 15.6” 4K Ultra HD screen, Core i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of GDDR5 video memory, 16GB DDR4 2400Mhz RAM, and a 512GB solid state drive. They don’t get much more powerful than this in a laptop, and a $120 discount at Office Depot/OfficeMax is the best deal out there this Black Friday.

Apple Macbook

Apple Macbook Air 13.3” w/ 256GB SSD (MQD42LL/A) $999.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy has both flavors of the current model of MacBook Air discounted this Black Friday, each with a savings of $200. Of course, the only difference between the two models is the storage capacity, both feature an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 12 hour battery life, but if you’re wanting the extra storage, Best Buy is the place to be to grab the higher-end Macbook Air.


Final Thoughts

Nearly every turn of the page from any retailer that deals in notebook PCs featured an advertised deal this year, with laptops to suit nearly any need and budget. If you’ve got a favorite pick that didn’t make our list, head down to our comments section and let us know which notebook you’ll be hunting down this Thanksgiving.

As Black Friday races towards us, we at BFAds are working around the clock to deliver our readers each and every price break and ad leak from retailers across the country. We don’t stop there, along with our deal news comes BFads’ signature buying guides that break down nearly every category of deals and help you get the most for your shopping dollar. Stay ahead of the game this Black Friday by following us on twitter, liking us on Facebook, and by downloading our new Bfads.net app for iOS!

November 15, 2017
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