Black Friday 2019 Laptop Buying Guide

Black Friday 2019 Laptop Buying Guide

With the number of laptops advertised on Black Friday increasing each and every year, there is simply no other piece of electronics that has this level of competition. As we all know, when companies compete, the consumer wins, and with the number of notebook PCs featured in Black Friday this year growing to well over 150 different machines, there is a doorbuster to be had for any budget or need.

Of course, with the dizzying number of options, its easy to see how shoppers could be caught in the paradox of choice when flipping through the pages upon pages of advertised deals on laptops. Fortunately for you, the Black Friday pros at have done the legwork, comparing specs, features, and formfactors for the seemingly endless number of laptops on sale this Thanksgiving and are happy to bring you our favorite picks for the best laptop deals this season.

Under $100

Since we said goodbye many years ago to the “netbook” (remember those?), the sub $100 laptop category has been ruled by laptop alternatives like convertible tablets and now the Chromebook, and this year we’ve got a three-way tie for first place. Shoppers should note that there is one Windows laptop in the running under $100, the Lenovo IdeaPad 130s found on page 19 of the Lenovo ad. As tempting as this may be, it’s best to avoid this trap since only 2GB of RAM running on a 64GB eMMC chip will be painfully slow right out of the box, and may be nearly unusable once you try running any kind of antivirus or security software.

Our Picks

Samsung 11.6” Chromebook w/ 4GB RAM and 16GB eMMC (XE500C13-K04US) $99.99 at Wal-Mart
HP 11.6” Chromebook w/ 4GB RAM and 16GB eMMC (11-v010nr) $99.99 at Office Depot/OfficeMax
HP 11.6” Chromebook w/ 4GB RAM and 16GB eMMC (11-v010nr) $99.99 at Target

Skip the Best Buy deal on a Samsung Chromebook for $89 since any of our picks here have double the RAM for just $10 more. It’s your choice here between three virtually identical Chromebooks from HP and Samsung. All three feature the Celeron N3060 processor from Intel, 4GB RAM, and a 16GB eMMC, with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accompanying the 11.6” screen. The biggest difference here is the fact that the Samsung model offered by Wal-Mart is metallic black while both HP models are silver in color. Since Office Depot/OfficeMax does not open their doors until 8am on Black Friday, this could give you an opportunity to get other shopping done or use their deal as a backup should you miss out on the other two.

Under $200

There are over 20 models to choose from here, and luckily for shoppers, there are already models at this price point that feature storage options beyond the notoriously slow eMMC drives found in most low-cost laptops, giving shoppers viable options beyond the Chromebook for under $200.

Our Pick

HP 14" Laptop w/ AMD A9, 4GB Memory, 128GB SSD $199.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy pulls away from the pack with one of the best overall deals of the season. Not only is this 14” notebook PC from HP just $199.99, but it’s the only laptop in this category to feature a true 128GB PCI-e SSD and integrated Radeon graphics for performance that outclasses every other model in this category. Shoppers should note that this deal is part of Best Buy’s Friday-Only event which begins at 8am on Black Friday.

Runner Up

Inspiron 15 3000 w/ Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD $199.99 at Dell Home

Although this model cannot match the performance of our top pick here, shoppers needing more than 128GB storage can find a great deal at Dell Home. This Inspiron 15 also has a larger screen at 15.6” and features the Intel Celeron N4000 processor to accompany the large 1TB hard disk drive. This year, Dell has events throughout the week happening at different times, if you’re after this particular laptop, it’s scheduled to go live at 10am Eastern on Thanksgiving Day.

Under $300

The under $300 category this year features over 15 models to choose from and is the first category where Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 processors make an appearance. Here, we even see sub $300 rarities like integrated Intel Optane memory for added performance boosts, and even one model with a 17” screen.

Our Pick

Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop w/ Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM + 16GB Intel Optane, 1TB HDD (i3583-3001BLK) $299.99 at Staples

Staples comes away as the clear winner here thanks to being the only notebook PC under $300 to feature 16GB of Intel Optane memory, which can help deliver SSD-like performance when loading your most frequently used applications. In addition, this laptop features a 15.6” screen, an 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive.

Runner Up

Dell Inspiron 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop w/ Intel Core i3, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD (i3583-3756BLK-PUS) $279.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy takes the silver medal here with their well-equipped offering from Dell. This 15.6” touchscreen notebook is the lowest priced model this year with 8GB RAM, and also features a 128GB M.2 SSD for blazing fast load times.

Honorable Mention

HP 15” touchscreen Chromebook w/ Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD $299.99 at Wal-Mart

Although Chromebooks virtually disappear once we go above the $300 price point, we felt the offering from Wal-Mart and HP deserves a nod for giving a great option for anyone looking for a discounted Chromebook that doesn’t sacrifice performance. No watered-down CPUs or low-resolution screens here, this Chromebook from HP features the Intel Core i3 and a full HD 15.6” touchscreen.

Honorable Mention

HP 17.3" Laptop w/ Intel Core i3, 8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive (17-by1061st) $299.99 at Staples

We rarely pick two honorable mentions for any one category, but it’s hard to deny the value found in the 17.3” notebook from HP featured on the front page of Staples’ Black Friday ad. Extra large laptops aren’t what most shoppers are after, but for anyone who uses a laptop as their primary means of computing, a larger screen is a must-have, and Staples has got the lowest price of the season on an extra-large screen without compromising other specs like RAM or hard drive space.

Under $400

With over 20 different laptops available at this price point, shoppers have a wide selection of laptops including larger SSDs, convertible 2 in 1s, and many options featuring the Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processors as well as several difference 17” options.

Our Pick

Dell Inspiron 15.6" Laptop with Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (BBY-W1J46FX) $349.99 at Best Buy

Best Buy is the clear winner here with their Dell Inspiron deal that meets or beats the performance of nearly every other laptop in this category while staying under $350. Although this appears to be a special Black Friday sku, Best Buy and HP did not hold back on features, including a quad-core 8th Generation Intel Core i5 paired with a 256GB PCI-E solid state drive, 8GB of RAM and a 15.6” touchscreen.

Runner Up

Lenovo IdeaPad L340 17.3" Laptop with AMD Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD (81LY000FUS) $349.99 at Office Depot/OfficeMax

Office Depot/OfficeMax has got the deal to beat on a 17” notebook PC that’s priced just $50 more than the 17” honorable mention in our last category. That $50 goes a long way thanks to the inclusion of a 2nd generation quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 CPU that delivers a serious performance boost over the less expensive laptop, and a 1TB hard drive coupled with 8GB of RAM, which means this machine can handle some serious productivity tasks, all for under $350.

Under $500

The competition gets serious here with over 20 laptops featured in Black Friday ads from various retailers. This category sees a classic battle in PC gaming: a knockdown, drag out fight between Intel and AMD with a finish that is too close to call:

Our Picks

HP Pavilion 15.6" Laptop w/ Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, GTX1050 (15-dk0068wm) $499.99 at Wal-Mart

Both Wal-Mart and Best Buy feature very attractive deals for anyone shopping for a doorbuster price on a gaming laptop, and regardless of which of the two you choose, you’re coming away with the chicken dinner if you manage to get ahold of one of these machines on Black Friday. In fact, aside from the CPU architecture, these two laptops appear to be almost identical, each made by HP, featuring a full HD 1920x1080 15.6” screen, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 3GB of dedicated video memory. They both come in the Smoke Black finish with an acid green backlit keyboard and have the same weight and form factor, with the Wal-Mart model featuring 1 additional USB port.

HP 15.6" Gaming Laptop w/ AMD Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, GTX 1050 $449.99 at Best Buy

But the main difference comes down to the price and the CPU that drives the machine. The Wal-Mart deal is $50 more, but the Intel Core i5 9300h does manage to outperform the AMD Ryzen 5 3550h ever so slightly. The difference may be slight, but of course the CPU is an aspect of a laptop that can never be upgraded, so while both machines offer immense value, shoppers must ultimately decide if they’d rather pocket the $50 or get every bit of performance possible out of their Black Friday purchase.

Honorable Mention

Lenovo IdeaPad S340 15.6" Laptop with Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD (81VW0020US) $449.99 at Office Depot/OfficeMax

If you’re looking for as much power as you can get for under $500 and are not interested in gaming, then Office Depot/OfficeMax should be your Black Friday destination. Forget the $430 deal found on page 2 of HP’s ad for $19 less, as that extra money goes a long way here, including double the storage on the 256GB SSD, and a nice performance boost thanks to the 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, the lowest price of the season for a laptop powered by a 10th Gen i7.

$500 and Up

The sky is the limit here since this category encompasses every other laptop priced over $500, so what makes a great deal here is entirely subjective and varies from shopper to shopper. Rather than pick overall winners here, we’ve picked a handful of different laptops that can fill various niches for shoppers this Black Friday.

Performance 2 in 1 Convertible Laptop Pick

HP envy x360 15.6” 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop w/ Intel Core i7, 12GB RAM, 512GB SSD+32GB Optane $749.99 at Best Buy

Shoppers looking for a doorbuster on a 2-in-1 that features best in class performance and portability can grab this HP envy x360 for just $749.99 on Black Friday. This sleek convertible notebook PC has it all, including a 10th Generation Intel i7-10510U CPU, 12GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD boosted by 32GB of Intel Optane memory all in a package that is just 0.7” thin.

Fully Loaded Gaming Laptop Pick

MSI 15.6" Gaming Laptop w/ Intel Core i7, 32GB Memory, 512GB SSD, GeForce RTX2060 (GS65 STEALTH-478) $1,399.99 w/ FREE Call of Duty: Modern Warfare PC Download at Best Buy

Shoppers looking for a gaming laptop that pulls absolutely no punches can save $500 on this beast of a notebook PC from MSI. Packed with performance, this 15.6” machine features a 9th generation Intel i7-9750H CPU, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and a GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB of dedicated video memory.

MacBook Picks

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Save $200-$300 on Select Models at Best Buy

Although there are no specific models and prices listed, Best Buy is offering blanket discounts on both MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks from Apple. The only other specifics that we’re given is that there is a minimum savings of $200 on the Pro and that prices on the MacBook Air begin at $899.99. Although not knowing the exact prices is not optimal, discounts on MacBook’s come at almost no other time of year outside of Black Friday. If you’re looking for something more specific and happen to be a Costco member, they do have a deal of $999.99 on a MacBook Pro on page 26 of their ad, and $699.99 on a MacBook Air on page 24, both while supplies last.

Final Thoughts

There were over 150 different notebook PCs spread across hundreds of pages of Black Friday ads this year, so it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that we may have missed your favorite deal. If you’ve got a hot deal you’d like to share, or want to let us know which laptops you think should have made our list, 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, where we’ll be breaking each and every ad leak, early Black Friday event, and last minute doorbuster throughout the holiday weekend. After following on twitter and liking us on Facebook, consider downloading the BFAds app for Android and iOS if you’d like to quickly and easily keep up with everything Black Friday while you’re out and about.

November 18, 2019
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