Black Friday 2018 Laptop Buying Guide

Introduction

With over 120 different models and configurations advertised from retailers all over the United States, more than any other Black Friday staple, laptops are without a doubt where the most fiercely fought battle for your dollars takes place. With so many models to choose from, each with different configurations and specifications, it can feel like an impossibility to find the right notebook to fit your budget.

Here at BFAds, we’ve taken the guesswork out of picking the right laptop this Black Friday. We’ve compared, contrasted, compiled, and then condensed each and every advertised laptop from nationwide and online-only retailers to bring you our Black Friday 2018 Laptop Buying Guide!




Under $100

Although there are only a handful of devices in this category this year, there is still some value if you’re after a Chromebook specifically. There is only a single Windows 10 laptop for under $100 this year, the RCA Cambio 2 in 1 convertible laptop/tablet PC for $89 found on page 5 of the Walmart ad. Although this deal sounds tempting, having only 2GB of RAM on a Windows 10 machine severely limits the capabilities of this laptop, since it would have trouble performing even the simplest tasks like watching YouTube videos without slowing to a crawl.

Winner

RCA Cambio 2-in-1 10.1" Notebook/Tablet w/ 2GB RAM & 32GB Storage $89.00 at Walmart

Walmart narrowly edges out the competition here by offering the only Chromebook in this category to have 2GB of RAM while coming in $10 less than the runner up. This RCA Cambio 2-in-1 10.1" Notebook/Tablet also features a Celeron N3060 processor and 32GB of eMMC storage.

Runner Up

Samsung 11.6” Chromebook $99.99 at Best Buy

The front page of the Best Buy Black Friday ad is where you’ll find our runner up in the sub-$100 category. This 11.6” Chromebook from Samsung features 2GB of RAM, an Intel Celeron processor, and 16GB of eMMC storage.



Under $200

The sub-$200 category this year is the first price point where shoppers can escape the most of the pitfalls of inexpensive notebook PCs such as low memory, small screens, and slow, limited eMMC storage. Overall, this is where a discounted Windows machine because worth purchasing, mostly thanks to our top pick here from Lenovo.

Winner

Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6” Notebook PC $199.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy is the clear winner of this category by offering one of the best overall bargains this Black Friday on a notebook PC. If you are looking to spend the rock bottom price on a respectable laptop then look no further, as this laptop escapes most of the traps of a budget PC by having 4GB of RAM (expandable to 8GB) and 500GB of storage coupled with an AMD A6 processor that has integrated Radeon graphics for smooth video playback and (very) light gaming, and even features HDMI output and a media card reader. Shoppers should note that this is a Friday only deal, so this laptop will go on sale when Best Buy reopens their doors at 8am on Black Friday.

Runner Up

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 15.6” Notebook PC $199.99 at Dell Home

We give Dell Home our runner up in this category with a huge asterisk next to this deal. Although this Inspiron matches many of the features of our winner, including 4GB of RAM, 500GB of storage and respectable performance from the Intel Celeron processor, the question of availability drops this machine to second place. Whether it be extremely limited supply or extreme popularity, Dell has become infamous on Black Friday for advertising some of the hottest deals and selling out almost instantaneously when the deal goes live. This year, Dell is having several Black Friday sale events, so if you want to try and score this laptop, be ready on Thanksgiving morning at 10am ET when this laptop is scheduled to go on sale at Dell Home.



Under $300

Laptops discounted to under $300 this Black Friday are seeing some surprising features for the price, including some models sporting solid state or 1TB hard drives and sometimes even 8GB of RAM. Also, thanks to online-only deals from hp, we see the first appearance of Intel’s Core i3 processor.

Winner

HP 15-bs121nr 15.6” Notebook PC w/ 128GB SSD $299.99 at HP Home & Home Office

Hp makes its first appearance in our top picks with this deal on a 15.6” Notebook PC. For under $300, this machine has value to spare thanks to it being the lowest price laptop to feature either a Core i3 processor from Intel or a 128GB M.2 SSD storage. The only mystery here is when exactly this deal will go live on the hp Home & Home Office store, since their Black Friday ad states only that this deal will be available Thursday. Make sure and check back with BFads.net as we will be breaking any Black Friday deals that go live between now and Thanksgiving. If you don’t want to take any chances, hp already has this item discounted down to $309.99, only $10 more than the doorbuster price.

This laptop is on sale now for the $299.99 Black Friday price at HP here!

Runner Up

HP 14” Notebook PC (14-ck0061st) $299.99 at Staples

Shoppers looking for a 14” fully featured laptop at a doorbuster price should be at Staples when they open at 7am on Black Friday, where they’ll have this 14” notebook PC from hp on sale for just $299.99. At this price point, you can’t ask for much more than the 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage that accompanies the Intel Pentium processor.



Under $400

This is one of the most crowded categories this year, with over a dozen different machines from nearly every retailer that deals in notebook PCs. Here, there are many laptops with high-end features like touchscreens, larger solid state drives, 17.3” screens, and even a few premium 2-in-1 convertible PCs with Core i5 processors.

Winner

Dell Inspiron 15.6” Touchscreen Notebook PC w/ 256GB SSD $399.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy comes away with the top prize in this category and one of the best overall deals you’ll find this Black Friday. For under $400, this notebook PC checks all the boxes for great performance, including an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid state drive. This is bound to be one of the most sought-after deals this Black Friday, so if you missed this deal during Best Buy’s short-lived Black Friday preview event, make sure and check with your local store to find out what their game plan will be when their doors open at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day

Runner Up

HP Pavilion x360 14” 2-in-1 Notebook PC with Digital Pen $399.99 at Best Buy

Even thin and light notebook PCs that transform seamlessly into handheld tablets can’t escape doorbuster deals this Black Friday, and at Best Buy you can get a 2-in-1 laptop that has it all for just under $400. This Pavilion x360 from HP is barely there at 0.8” thin and only 3.3lbs, but it’s got it where it counts, including an 8th Generation Core i3 processor from Intel, a 128GB solid state drive for blazing fast boot times and improved battery life, and even includes a digital pen for jotting down notes or drawing on the 14” HD display.

Honorable Mention

HP 17.3” Notebook PC (17-BY0061ST) $329.99 at Staples

Staples earns a special mention here for offering the lowest price this Black Friday on a 17.3” laptop that accompanies a very respectable performance package. For just $329.99, shoppers can grab this notebook from HP that features an 8th Generation Core i3 processor from Intel, 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and an HD webcam.



Under $600

In Black Fridays past, reaching the price point where you can really drill down the deals and get exactly the laptop you want without sacrificing any features used to be reserved for machines that retailed for nearly $1000, but thanks to two particular retailers, the under $600 category sees some of the best value ever for notebook PCs on Black Friday! For the first time ever, gaming PCs powered by NVidia GTX GPUs can be found for just shy of $600.

Winner

HP 15.6” Gaming Notebook PC w/ GTX1050ti (CX0056WM) $599.99 at Walmart

Walmart comes blazing into our buying guide this year with one of the best deals in history on a gaming laptop. The Walmart exclusive CX0056WM from HP features 8GB of RAM, an 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDR-2666 RAM, 1TB storage, and a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti from NVidia, with 4GB of DDR5 dedicated video memory. Available in a Shadow Black body with an illuminated raised tile keyboard for late night gaming, this will be one of the most sought after items at Walmart this Black Friday, so make sure to look up the deal map for your local store to plan where you need to be when the doors open at 6pm on Thanksgiving.

Runner Up

HP 15.6” Notebook PC w/ 16GB Intel Optane (15-cs0064st) $499.99 at Staples

Staples has got the most powerful laptop under $500 this Black Friday with this Staples exclusive 15.6” notebook PC from HP. This machine has performance to spare with an 8th Generation Core i7 processor, 8GB DDR4 memory, and a 1TB hard drive that accompany the 15.6” Full HD screen. What really sends this deal into the stratosphere is the integrated 16GB Intel Optane memory module that automatically keeps your most used programs in high-speed non-volatile memory state for blazing fast load times.



$600 and Up

With no limit to the price here, obviously what constitutes a great deal will vary from shopper to shopper. Since there are well over 50 different laptops advertised this Black Friday at this price point, we’ve picked a few deals that fit specific niches but are found at doorbuster prices over $700.

Performance 2-in-1 Convertible PC

hp Pavilion 15.6” Convertible Notebook PC $699.99 at Office Depot / OfficeMax

Coming in at a full $350 less than the featured deal in this category last year, this 2-in-1 from hp has everything you need in a powerful and versatile notebook. Under the hood, there is an 8th Generation Core i7 processor from Intel, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Flip the 15.6” full HD screen around 360 degrees and turn this laptop into a Windows 10 tablet, complete with multi-touch and gesture controls.

Fully Loaded Gaming Notebook

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Alienware 15 Gaming Laptop w/ GTX 1070 $1,499.99 at Dell Home

Once again besting last year’s top gaming laptop deal by hundreds of dollars is this Alienware 15 deal from Dell Home. Not only does this beat last year’s deal in price, but in performance as well, with the Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD/1TB HDD combo, and NVidia GTX 1070 8GB GPU256GB, this laptop is VR ready, and able to handle any game you can throw at it. This deal goes live at the Dell Home store at 10am ET on Thanksgiving, and is available in a 17.3” model for $200 more.

Apple Macbook

Apple MacBook Air w/ 128GB SSD MQD32LL/A $799.99 at Best Buy

Black Friday deals on MacBooks are few and far between. Yet, for two years running, Best Buy has fought the good fight by being the only major retailer offering a discount on a new MacBook Air from Apple. If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on this 13.3” notebook with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, you can save $200 off of the everyday price by being at Best Buy when they open at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day.



Final Thoughts

There were over 120 different notebook PCs scattered across the pages of Black Friday ads this year, and with the selection so vast, it’s not hard to imagine that we might have missed the deal that you’ll be lined up for this Thanksgiving. If you’ve got a hot deal you’d like to share, head down to our comments section below and let us know about your Black Friday game plan.

As always, to get up to the minute updates on all things Black Friday, keep your browser pointed at BFad.net, where we’ll be breaking each and every ad leak, early Black Friday event, and last minute doorbuster throughout the holiday weekend. Also, don’t forget to check out the new BFAds app for Android and iOS for all your Black Friday news and info while on the go.

November 11, 2018
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