Dell Black Friday and Cyber Monday: what to expect this year

Dell Black Friday

Dell Black Friday deals in 2018 have officially started. The computer hardware maker jumped the gun ahead of every retailer to reveal its Early Black Friday deals. You don't want to miss out on anything this year – luckily, we're here to help you pick out the best deals.

Not only has Dell unleashed a bevy of savings you can grab now, the company also shared its Black Friday deals, including hourly door busters that will go live starting on November 22rd. While you won't be able to take advantage of these discounts appearing later into the month just yet, we can prepare our game plan and wallets for the big day.

Early Black Friday Dell deals live right now

This is where we'll feature the newest, hottest early Black Friday deals for you to gobble up ahead of Thanksgiving. Keep checking back as stock changes, old deals expire and new deals pop up.

Dell XPS 13 (Core i7, 256GB): $1,469 $1,099 at Office Depot
The latest version of Dell's flagship, souped up with an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, is available now at Office Depot for a large $370 off list price.View Deal

Dell Inspiron 7000 17 2-in-1: $1,299 $899 at Amazon
Looking for a versatile and powerful laptop? Well look no farther than the Dell Inspiron 7000 17 2-in-1. It's a well equipped 17-inch convertible laptop and one of the best Amazon early Black Friday deals. Don't miss your chance to save $400 on this 2-in-1 laptop.View Deal

Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 2-in-1: $299 $249 at Walmart
This is likely the cheapest 2-in-1 Chromebook you'll find before Black Friday and likely after, with 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage for a cool $50 off.View Deal

Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop: $799 $619 on eBay
This might be the lowest you see a gaming laptop go before Black Friday, complete with a full HD, 15-inch display powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, GTX 1050 graphics and 1TB of storage.View Deal

Dell Inspiron 22 3000: $449 $369 on Walmart
You can have this 21.5-inch all-in-one PC with a full HD display, Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of 2,400MHz RAM and a 1TB hard drive for a cool $90 off the list price.View Deal

Dell Black Friday deals coming later this month:

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 - will be $119 (save $80) at Dell
Dell is offering this laptop at its lowest price ever, with an $80 price cut. It comes with an AMD E2-9000e processor, Windows 10 Home, 4GB memory and 11.6-inch HD display. This deal goes live at 6PM ET, November 22.

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 - will be $149 (50% off) at Dell
Dell also has this brilliant deal for the 2-in-1 version of the Inspiron 11 3000, cutting the price in half. This deal goes live 8AM ET on November 23.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 - will be $229.99 (save $100) at Dell
Dell has knocked $100 off this decent budget laptop with an Intel Pentium processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive and 15.6-inch display. This deal goes live 2PM ET on November 23.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 - will be $529.99 (save $150) at Dell
If you're looking for a more powerful laptop, then this is a great deal, with $150 taken from the price. Comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive. This deal goes live 12PM ET on November 23.

Dell XPS 15 - will be $1399.99 (save $300) at Dell
Dell's brilliant, premium ultrabook is getting a $300 price cut. It's one of our favorite laptops and comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. This deal goes live 12PM ET on November 22.

Dell Alienware 17 - will be $1599.99 (save $400) at Dell
If you're after a powerful gaming laptop, then this is a great deal with $400 knocked off the price. Features a Core i7 processor and GTX 1070 graphics card. This deal goes live 10AM ET on November 22.

Dell Alienware 15 - will be $1499.99 (save $450) at Dell
The smaller Alienware gets a bigger price cut with $450 knocked off. Features a Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and GTX 1070 graphics card. This deal goes live 9AM ET on November 23.

How to get the best Dell deals on Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Dell has some sick deals on products during almost all of November in an attempt to get ahead of the competition. In fact the company started doling out the deals as early as November 1st this year.

Out of the gate Dell delivered some awesome Black Friday laptop deals and desktop PC deals, but that's only the start of things. Dell also shared its entire catalog of Black Friday Deals including hourly doorbuster discounts that start on November 22nd at 10am ET.

We’ve highlighted the best Dell deals coming later into the month, so you can get a sense of the savings to come and start preparing for the incoming price cuts. 

Know what you want before Black Friday

Before Black Friday, draft up a list of what you want from your Dell notebook, and any models or brands that have caught your fancy. This means your deal-hunting can be focused and more successful.

This will also help to keep you from blowing cash on impulse buys that you may regret later – especially if a deal for a product you actually do want crops up later, and you've already spent your budget.

With all of that in mind, here are a few helpful things to think about before you spend your hard earned cash.

Check the specs

Taking a long look at the configuration of the Dell 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 deal 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, what is most important consider are the core parts inside the machine. That’s your processor, system memory, storage and – to a lesser extent – the graphics processor. 

When it comes to the main processor, most of the CPUs you’ll find will be manufactured by Intel. While the Intel Core i5 is a decently powerful model, the Core i7 is the most powerful choice in every case.

Most folks won’t need the kind of oomph the Core i7 offers unless you're deep into gaming, video editing or other heavy-duty tasks. So, the Core i5 is the ideal mid-range option. There’s also the entry-level Core i3 processor, if you’re looking for an affordable machine that you don’t mean to use for anything more demanding than browsing the internet or drafting up documents.

Very slim laptops are likely to house a Y series Intel processor, as they can run without any fans to cool them. 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 you’re only choice, however – you could easily opt for an AMD APU, an 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 cheaper than Intel-toting laptops while offering similar levels of performance.

Dell Black Friday deals

Sizing things up 

Then, you need to consider the overall size of the Dell laptop you’re buying. The most common sizes are 13-inch, 14-inch, 15-inch laptops, with 17-inch models growing less and less popular these days. (There are also somewhat smaller and larger devices out there, but you’re less likely to run into those).

Smaller laptops tend to not only be more portable but more affordable, too. Larger laptops, inversely, will offer a wider screen and, because there’s more space inside, you’re more likely to find more powerful processors and a larger battery. 

If you’re looking for something to take on the go frequently, you’ll want to opt for a more compact laptop which is light (less than 4 pounds, ideally less than 3 pounds).

Storage selection 

Today, you’ll find that many Dell notebooks use an SSD (solid-state drive) for storage. SSDs offer speedy and responsive performance, which translates to apps and programs that load swiftly.

More affordable models are more likely to have eMMC drives and, though these use flash memory just like an SSD, they’re markedly more sluggish.

eMMC is an effective means of laptop manufacturers cutting corners and costs, which is precisely why you’ll often find it in budget laptops.

If you seek to save some scratch, an eMMC drive is often a trade-off worth making, though, as these drives are still quicker than standard hard disks – if only slightly. 

Traditional hard drives (which you’ll often find referred to as an HDD or hard disk drive) are the slowest, but cheapest and most capacious, medium of storage. Their strength lies in that they usually have far bigger capacity – you can find storage of up to 1TB even in affordable hardware.

A speed in rotations per minute (rpm) is always quoted with a hard drive, and the faster ones run at 7,200 rpm, with slower drives pitched at 5,400 rpm. The latter may be rather slow as a rule of thumb but, once again, bear in mind that, as with SSDs, performance will vary across individual drives.

Reviews are your buddy 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).

Dell Black Friday deals

RAM counts

The next piece to mull over is system memory, or RAM. Ideally, you want at least 4GB, though 8GB is the preferable option for future-proofing and any type of gaming. Some more affordable laptops still run with 2GB of RAM, but these days that really is not 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 denoted in MHz, but don’t fret about that too much; it’s the amount of RAM that’s more important than speed in terms of performance.

Dell Black Friday deals

Graphics and display 

Most Dell laptops will have integrated graphics, meaning the GPU is hardwired to the CPU, and you’ll usually find that visual performance is rather limited as a result. With integrated graphics – referred to as Intel HD Graphics or Intel Iris, when it comes to Intel chips – you’ll be able to play casual games, but nothing more than that.

This will be OK for the average laptop user, but those who want to play some more heavy-duty games will need a discrete GPU – a graphics processing solution that sits separate from the general processor.

As an example, the GeForce MX150 is Nvidia’s current (Pascal-based) ground-level mobile GPU, but you may need to fork out for something a little more powerful than that for really strong performance. An example of a more powerful GPU would be the GeForce GTX 1060, but it should be noted that prices can soar swiftly when it comes to stronger and stronger GPUs.

As far as screens are concerned: most mid-level laptops will offer a Full HD display as standard, which is a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080.

However, when you move down the price spectrum towards more affordable models, you’ll still find there are plenty of products which only offer a resolution of 1,366 x 768. Don’t let this scare you, though.

This resolution is actually perfectly fine, especially on smaller-screened laptops. Indeed, a smaller resolution is often a benefit to a laptop with less powerful hardware driving it, as it means there are fewer pixels for the CPU and GPU to shift, making things more likely to run smoothly.

This is something gamers might want to keep in mind as well. Though a 4K display looks and sounds like an amazing idea, it’ll take a major toll on your machine’s core components. Sometimes, it’s worth sacrificing a bit of image quality for a smoother frame rate. 

High-resolution 4K displays will also use your laptop's battery much faster. Given this is an area in which gaming laptops already struggle, you may want to consider what you’re losing to gain 4K.

Stick with TechRadar to get the best Black Friday deals

On Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), the day itself can be a bit overwhelming as so many online retailers vie for your hard-earned dollar. While this means there are very competitive deals to enjoy, it also unfortunately means there are some deals that aren't as decent as they first appear.

That's why you should stick with TechRadar to guarantee you get the best Black Friday deals. We track all of the top retailer's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and highlight the very best savings on the top laptops.

For the latest info, breaking deals and the biggest savings as soon as we know about them, make sure you follow TR Deals on Twitter so you don't miss out on any incredible Black Friday laptop deals.