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Purchasing a new laptop or MacBook can be a daunting task, not to mention an expensive one. You’ll need to figure out the specs you want and whether a machine that powerful will fit into your budget.
For something like a new laptop, there’s no better time to go shopping than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to score a great bargain. During this big sale period, retailers will be competing with each other to deliver the lowest prices to attract customers.
Keep in mind, however, that no matter how awesome a deal on the day appears, purchasing a new laptop is a major investment – and you’ll need to make sure that what you're buying will suit your needs.
- Looking for some laptop bargains? Check out our continuously updated best laptop deals page for the latest offers.
Jump to laptop deals by category
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme i7 / 8GB / 256GB / GTX 1050 Ti | was $3,149 now $2,399 (save $750)
Work and play on the one svelte machine. It's powered by an eighth-generation Core i7 CPU alongside an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. And sweeten the deal by using the checkout code BFSALE and snag a discount of $900 on this cool computer.View Deal
Dell XPS 13 9360 (i5/8GB/256GB) | was $1,799 now $1,529 (save $270)
The 15% saving admittedly isn't huge on this entry-level version of Dell's excellent XPS 13 ultrabook, but if you want a solid little workhorse of a laptop that can go anywhere (and has great battery life) then this Core i5/8GB/256GB model is a great pick. There's a reason this model has remained near the top of our 'best laptops' lists for more than three years in a row – it's still one of the top Windows laptops around.View Deal
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 i7 / 8GB / 256GB / Quadro P1000 | was $3,699 now $2,589.30 (save $1,109.70)
If you work hard for your money, this will be a really good investment, especially since it comes with a 30% discount. It's Lenovo's thinnest and lightest mobile workstation and delivers plenty of power with an 8th-gen Intel Core processor and Nvidia Quadro graphics. Apply the code BFSALE at checkout and shave off a whopping $1,109 off the RRP.View Deal
Microsoft Surface Laptop i5 / 4GB / 128GB | was $1,499 now $799.20 (save $700)
If you're on a budget yet crave the best of the best, then this mid-range configuration of the first generation Surface Laptop isn't a bad bargain. It usually retails at $1,499 but it's already reduced on Microsoft's eBay store to just $999. However, use the checkout code PLAYER20 and you can snag a further $200 discount, saving you a grand total of nearly $700. That's as close to half price you're going to get.View Deal
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 | from $1,699.15 (save up to $494.85)
Microsoft is currently discounting some of its flagship products, and the brand new Surface laptop 2 is among them. Although there are discounts on a few different configurations, the biggest saving comes on the kitted-out model with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Core i7 CPU. Check out the different colours and configurations for yourself.View Deal
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 laptop i7 / 8GB/ 512GB | was $1,999 now $1,199 (40% off)
Anyone after a laptop with higher storage configurations is usually paying an arm and a leg for it, but you can now save $800 on this 15-inch laptop with a Core i7 CPU and a whopping 512GB of storage. View Deal
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 i7 / 8GB / 256GB laptop | was $1,999 now $1,099 (save $900)
With a powerful processor humming smoothly under the hood of this machine, you'll be sorted for work or for anything you need at home. And this particular configuration now has $900 shaved off its retail value, making it a reasonably affordable option.View Deal
HP Pavilion x360 i5 / 8GB / 256GB | was $1,299 now $979.30 (save $419.70)
This 14-inch touchscreen laptop features an 8th-gen Core i5 CPU and enough RAM to keep it purring like a kitten. And with 256GB of solid-state storage, you'll be happy to know it's down by 30%, making it a tempting and affordable choice.View Deal
Asus ZenBook Flip UX370 13-inch 2-in-1 | $1,499 (save $500)
Somewhere between 2-in-1 and convertible ultrabook, this ZenBook Flip comes with an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 512GB PCIe SSD, 16GB RAM, and other premium features like Harman Kardon audio and USB-C connectivity. For everyday users, creatives and light gamers, this is a portable powerhouse.View Deal
Lenovo Yoga 530 i3 / 8GB / 128GB 2-in-1 | was $1,199 now $899 (save $300)
You don't necessarily have to spend a ton of money to grab a decent 2-in-1 laptop. While 128GB isn't a lot of storage, this is still a good bargain for the price that's well below the four-figure mark, making quite affordable.View Deal
Lenovo Yoga 730 i7 / 16GB / 512GB / GTX 1050 2-in-1 | was $2,699 now $1,999 (save $700)
There's a good mix of portability, performance and durability in this sleek machine from Lenovo. And if you think that comes at a high price, Black Friday makes this a relatively affordable option with $700 off on the RRP when using the coupon code BFSALE at checkout. That's 26% off, if you were wondering, and ships with the Lenovo Active Pen 2 in the box.View Deal
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9365) | was from $2,099 now from $1,784 (save up to $640)
Dell's knocked up to 20% off select models of these popular 13-inch 2-in-1s, with the entry-level Core i5/8GB/256GB option selling for $1,784 – or $315 off the usual price. If you want something with a little more grunt and longevity, the Core i7/16GB/1TB model is our other recommendation, with $640 off the regular price, bringing it down to a friendlier $2,559.
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 laptop i5 / 8GB / 256GB | was $1,899 now $1,139 (40% off)
A 15-inch convertible not only gives you plenty of screen real estate, it also makes carrying your work around easier and, now, cheaper too. As part of its early Black Friday offers, Dell has a 40% discount on this machine. That's a saving of $760.View Deal
Microsoft Surface Book 2 | from $1,799 (save up to $727.65)
Microsoft's Surface Book 2 is a true 2-in-1 computer, with a detachable 13-inch or 15-inch display, depending on your configuration. You can get up to 16GB RAM, 1TB of storage, and Intel Core i7 with the Book 2, and this top model will save you over $700 on the retail cost. You can, however, select the configuration that suits you best. View Deal
Lenovo Miix 510 2-in-1 laptop i5 / 8GB / 256 GB | was $1,499 now $899
This 12-inch convertible could be substituted for the Microsoft Surface Pro, if you're on a budget. It's wonderfully portable and, if you opt for the Lenovo Active Pen, is versatile as well. With a discount of 33% this is already one heck of a bargain, but use the code BFSALE at checkout and you'll score another $100 off!View Deal
HP Omen (17) i7 / 16GB / 128GB SSD + 2TB HDD / GTX 1050 | was $2,499 now $1,624.35 (save $874.65)
Keep in mind this is a 7th-gen Core i7 CPU, but with the use of the code CYBER35% at checkout, you can shave 35% off the usual RRP of this gaming laptop. And you get a lot of storage to boot.View Deal
Asus ROG Strix GL503GE Hero Edition Gaming Laptop | $1,899 (save $500)
From Asus' Republic of Gamers range, the Hero Edition of the Strix GL503GE is an ideal solution for gamers on the go. The laptop is sporting an impressive spec-list, with an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8750H, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD, a GTX 1050Ti and a 15.6-inch Full HD display.View Deal
HP Omen (17) i7 / 16GB/ 2TB HDD / GTX 1070 | was $3,099 now $2,014.35 (save $1,084.65)
This is the top-specced Omen currently discounted on HP's online storefront. It's got a 7th-gen Intel Core CPU, but alongside the GTX 1070 graphics chip, there's plenty of grunt under the hood. Apply the code CYBER35% at checkout and save a packet on this beast.View Deal
Dell G3 17 gaming laptop i7 / 16GB / 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD / GTX 1060 | was $2,499 now $1,999 (20% off)
Gaming laptops aren't cheap, but this 17-inch G3 configuration provides a good mix of components, including a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics chip and combo SSD + hard drive storage. Add to that a sleek design and 20% shaved off the usual RRP, and you've got a decent gaming all-rounder.View Deal
Razer Blade Pro 17-inch Gaming Laptop | $2,899 (save $500)
For the ultimate gaming ultrabook, trust the company behind the ultimate gaming peripherals. The Razer Blade Pro is $500 off at Microsoft at the moment and comes packing a 17-inch FHD display, Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB RAM, GeForce 1060 with 6GB RAM, 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD, and all in a sleek package.View Deal
Lenovo Legion Y920 i7 / 16GB / 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD / GTX 1070 gaming laptop | was $3,299 now $2,099 (save $1,200)
The processor under the hood of this 17-inch monster is a 7th-generation Core i7, but this is a great price for a gaming laptop boasting Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. There's plenty of system memory (which can be changed) and a heck of a lot of storage to boot, and you can save $1,200 by using the code BFSALE at checkout.View Deal
Alienware 15 R4 (i7/16GB/128GB+1TB) | was $2,999 now $2,499 (save $500)
This 15.6-inch unit powers its gaming with a speedy GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and a silky-smooth G-Sync display, and combines those with a Core i7 CPU and 16GB of RAM for to create a powerful all-rounder. For storage you get a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. Dell's knocked $500 off the RRP for Black Friday, with the resulting $2,499 price very competitive for both a GTX 1070 and G-Sync.View Deal
Alienware 13 (i7/16GB/512GB) | was $2,799 now $2,299 (save $500)
Alienware's 13-inch gaming laptop packs a GeForce GTX 1060 into a nicely portable package (albeit one that's still a little weighty) meaning you can take it almost anywhere for true PC gaming on the go. This well-specced model includes a 512GB SSD and, with the current $500 discount for Black Friday, it's nicely competitive.View Deal
Scoring the best laptop deals on Black Friday/Cyber Monday
If you can't decide which laptop is best for you, we’re here to help you figure out how to get the best laptop for your needs for the best price possible.
There are usually so many laptops being discounted during the Black Friday sale period, chances are you’ll be bombarded with a lot of jargon. And while some machines might seem like a steal, they could be older models that don’t have enough power to keep them running for years to come. Laptops like that could fall short of your needs.
To help you avoid this, we’ve put together a short guide to help you make an informed decision and get the best laptop deals when the 2018 Black Friday sale period arrives.
Features to look for
So, what specifically should you keep an eye out for when buying a laptop on Black Friday?
Start with the brand name. Something like the Microsoft Surface Laptop is a pricey option, but there are other, more affordable 2-in-1 convertible options also available if you have the time to look around.
Be careful not to run into the dark with a brand name you neither know nor trust simply because there’s a cheap device on offer.
If you want a machine that will last you a few years at least (and gives you the satisfaction of money well spent on quality and technical support) you should make a purchase from well-known PC manufacturers you recognise, like Acer, Apple, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, HP, or indeed Microsoft.
If you want to dig a bit deeper into the individual brands and the products they sell, our extensive library of laptop reviews is a fine resource, as is our constantly-updated list of the best laptops currently available in Australia.
It's also worth looking into the websites you're purchasing from. Many websites will have customer reviews, and we'd particularly recommend steering clear of stores where customers have complained about long shipping times. Remember to avoid any sites you're not too sure about giving your credit card information as well – if in doubt, shop elsewhere.
Sizing things up
If you already have a particular PC manufacturer in mind, you’ll need to consider the overall size of the machine you want. The most common sizes for laptops are 13 inches, 14 inches, 15 inches and 17 inches.
Smaller notebooks are not only more portable, but are often cheaper as well. Larger devices, on the other hand, offer more screen real estate and, with the increase in space under the hood, you’re likely to find more powerful internal components alongside a bigger battery.
Then there’s the weight consideration. If you need to carry your laptop around for work a lot, you’ll want to opt for a lightweight, compact notebook that weighs less than 2kg – and ideally, less than 1.5kg.
The spec sheet
Taking a long look at the configuration of the laptop before you buy can provide a clear idea of whether the deal is worth considering. If the specifications point to an old or low-power laptop, then the discount may not be as decent as you first thought.
On the other hand, if the specifications point towards a strong laptop that comes with features you'll seldom – if ever – use, then you may be better off saving your cash and searching elsewhere.
As far as performance is concerned, it’s important to consider the core parts of the machine – the processor (CPU), system memory, storage and, to a lesser extent, the graphics processor (GPU).
When it comes to the main processor, the most commonly found CPUs will be manufactured by Intel. While the latest generation of the Intel Core i5 is a decently powerful model, the Core i7 is the most powerful choice in every case.
The average user won’t need the kind of oomph the Core i7 offers unless you're deep into gaming, video editing or other heavy-duty tasks. This makes the Core i5 the ideal mid-range option, although the entry-level Core i3 processor can give you an affordable machine that you won’t use for anything too demanding; they're ideal for tasks like browsing the internet and drafting documents.
Slim laptops are likely to house a Y series Intel processor, as they can run without fans for cooling. The trade-off here is that they're not nearly as performant – an example is the Core m3-7Y30. Note that the Y series chips feature ‘Core m’ models (m3/m5/m7), which is simply another way of labelling these as lower-power CPUs.
Intel Atom processors are widely found in the truly affordable portables and, shockingly, don’t run all that smoothly. If you’re only looking to use the laptop for basic web surfing, you’ll manage okay, but this isn’t a limitation that will be tolerable to most users.
Intel isn’t your only choice, however – you could easily opt for an AMD APU (Accelerated Processing unit), which has a CPU and a GPU (graphics processor) on the same chip. A growing number of devices are coming with AMD hardware, which gives you more options and can generally be found for a little cheaper than Intel-toting laptops while offering similar levels of performance.
Store that memory
The next thing to consider is system memory. Ideally, you want 4GB of RAM, though 8GB is the preferable option for future-proofing and any kind of gaming. Cheaper laptops still run with 2GB of RAM, but these days that really isn’t enough to run Windows 10 well (even though it’s technically within the system requirements for the OS).
Sometimes the speed of the RAM is quoted in MHz but don’t worry about that too much; it’s the quantity that’s the more important factor in terms of performance.
These days, you’ll find that many laptops use an SSD (solid-state drive) for storage. SSDs offer very reliable performance and you’ll find that apps and programs will load very quickly.
Cheaper models are more likely to have eMMC drives and though these use flash memory just like an SSD, they’re considerably slower. eMMC is an effective way for laptop manufacturers to cut corners and costs, which is exactly why you’ll often find it in budget laptops.
Traditional hard drives (which you’ll often find referred to as an HDD or hard disk drive) are the slowest medium of storage. Their strength lies in the fact that they usually have far bigger capacity – you can find storage of up to 2TB even in budget hardware.
A speed in RPM may be quoted with a hard drive, and the faster ones run at 7200 RPM, with slower drives pitched at 5400 RPM. The latter may be rather sluggish but, once again, bear in mind that as with SSDs, performance will vary across individual drives.
Reviews are your friend here, so don’t be afraid to Google a particular model and look for an evaluation or two (and again, you can check out TechRadar’s review section).
Most laptops will have integrated graphics, meaning the GPU is built into the CPU and you’ll usually find that performance is pretty limited as a result. Integrated graphics – referred to as Intel HD Graphics, or Intel Iris, when it comes to Intel processors – is more for the casual gamer, but nothing more than that. For anyone who wants to play more heavy-duty games, you’ll need a discrete GPU – a graphics solution that sits separate from the processor.
For example, the GeForce MX150 is Nvidia’s current (Pascal-based) entry-level mobile GPU, but you may find you need to fork out for something a little more powerful than that for really good performance, like the GeForce GTX 1060. However, it’s worth noting that prices can soar quickly when it comes to powerful GPUs.
As far as screens are concerned, most mid-range laptops will offer a Full HD display as standard, which is a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.
However, when you slide down the price spectrum towards more budget models, you’ll find there are plenty of machines which only offer a resolution of 1,366 x 768. Don’t let this put you off, though. This resolution is perfectly fine, especially on smaller screens. Indeed, a lower resolution is often a benefit to a laptop with lower specs as it means there are fewer pixels for the CPU and graphics solution to shift, making things more likely to run smoothly.
This is something gamers might want to remember, too. Though a 4K screen looks and sounds like a great idea, it’ll take a serious toll on your machine’s core components and sometimes it’s worth sacrificing a bit of image quality for a smoother frame rate.
4K displays will also drain your laptop battery faster and, given this is an area where gaming laptops already struggle, you may want to consider what you’re losing to gain 4K.
Know what you want before Black Friday
Draw up a list of what you want from your laptop before the Black Friday sales begin, and take note of any models or brands that have caught your eye. This means your deal-hunting can be narrowed down and more successful, not to mention quicker.
This will also help to stop you spending money on impulse buys which you may regret later, especially if a deal for something you actually do want crops up later, and you've already blown your budget.
Keep the receipts
Make sure you keep hold of your receipts in case you're not happy with any of your purchases and want a refund – it's also worth checking the refund policy of websites before buying on Black Friday.
Some retailers may offer longer warranties than others, which could be a deciding factor when buying a laptop or MacBook on Black Friday. Most PC manufacturers offer a two-year warranty, but under Australian consumer law, you’ll typically be covered for three years.
Stick with TechRadar to get the best Black Friday deals
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales can get a bit overwhelming, with numerous retailers vying for your custom at the same time. While this means there are very competitive deals to be had, it also unfortunately means there are some deals that aren’t as good as they first appear.
That's why you should visit TechRadar to ensure you get the best Black Friday deals. We keep an eye on all of the top retailer's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and highlight the very best savings on the best laptops.
- Can’t wait till Black Friday? We round up the best laptop deals available each week.