Why Black Friday is the perfect time to buy a laptop

Black Friday Laptop Deals
(Image credit: Future)

If you didn't listen to us during Amazon Prime day and you have yet to grab a new laptop on sale, it's OK, we forgive you – especially since you can take advantage of some amazing Black Friday laptop deals, some of which are live right now.

Normally, when looking at a laptop, budgets typically break into a couple of different tranches. You have your under $500/£500/AU$750, the under $1000/£1000/AU$1500, and under $2000/£2000/AU$3000 segments, with this last obviously being much more premium pieces of kit than your standard laptop. 

The great thing about Black Friday deals – and Cyber Monday deals, for that matter – is that it is one of the few times where you can see laptops with expensive, last-gen  hardware that would normally sell for way more than you've budgeted for drop into your price range. 

What's more, the flood of people looking for deals makes cutting prices on some slower-moving laptops too tempting to ignore if it will speed up adoption, as is typically the case with Chromebooks or lower-cost Windows 10 S-mode systems.

So if you've been holding out on buying a new laptop, here's why Black Friday is the time to drop that hard-earned money on a new system.

Two People Working on Laptop

(Image credit: Pexels)

Price drops on Intel's Whiskey Lake laptops make them fantastic bargains

Now that Intel's 11th-generation Tiger Lake CPUs are making their way into laptop lines from every major manufacturer, the discontinued eighth-gen CPUs are taking up valuable inventory space. 

These are the likeliest candidates for laptop deals and – for most people – they are going to be a pretty decent upgrade from the older laptops they may be using. While some might be hesitant to pick up a system with hardware "old" enough to be discontinued, they should take another look at the eighth-gen Whiskey Lake CPUs.

Clearly, they aren't as fast as Intel Ice Lake, Comet Lake, or Tiger Lake CPUs, but the gains that these generations made over Whiskey Lake are relatively small in the grand scheme of things. 

Unless you are a dedicated gamer or a creative professional, the multi-core Whiskey Lake laptops are more than adequate for your general computing needs and they are the laptops most likely to see the steepest price cut.


(Image credit: Future)

It's time to get a Chromebook – or several. Seriously.

Get back here! We're serious, this Black Friday there are going to be a lot of retailers pushing Chromebooks for holiday gift-giving, given a Chromebook's utility, retailer overstock, and an already exceptionally low price making it possible to get a quality laptop computer for under $200/£200/AU$300.

Chromebook adoption has still lagged behind the rate of actual improvement in Chromebooks' quality and the improved functionality of the Chrome OS itself, even after several years of manufacturers pushing for their adoption. 

As the quality of the laptops themselves continue to improve and Chromebooks start to include some serious, high-end hardware, however, they are becoming very powerful machines in their own right and are worthy of a second look from those of us who may have initially written them off as an interesting experiment, but little else.

With the maturity of the Android OS in the past couple of years, Android apps are now bringing desktop-grade applications to the Google Play marketplace, all of which can be installed effortlessly on a Chromebook. The Chrome OS also includes a beta version of a working Linux kernel as well, which gives Chromebooks access to a vast library of Linux specific content.

What's more, the continued migration of more and more major software applications to the cloud means that you do not need nearly the kind of system overhead from a major OS like Windows 10 and macOS to run many of the apps you are currently using. 

Chrome OS was designed and built for exactly this kind of computing and the rest of the world is finally catching up to Google's vision for the Chrome OS. With even major AAA gaming titles becoming streamable through various platforms like GeForce Now and Google Stadia, you can even use a Chromebook to do some major gaming in a way that simply wasn't possible two or three years ago.

Acer Predator 21 X

(Image credit: Acer)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series laptops are coming, so older gaming laptops should be getting some excellent Black Friday deals

While the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090 have only just been released in the last few weeks, they'll be coming to laptops early next year, so older GTX gaming laptops are taking up some valuable warehouse space.

Gaming laptops tend to be more premium products regardless of price category, so it's not likely that you'll see major price cuts on even older gaming laptops, but if you're going to see price cuts on the best gaming laptops, you'll see them on Black Friday or not at all.

Given these two factors, we expect that we'll see more gaming laptop deals than we did during Prime Day, where the bulk of the Prime Day laptop deals were on more general use laptops and Chromebooks. 

So if you've been looking to get your hands on a cheap gaming laptop, Black Friday just might be the time you see a more premium-level laptop fall within your budget.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).