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Best laptop deals: Top picks from budget to extreme

Friday January 7, 2022. 04:55 PM , from PC World
Whether you’re looking for a laptop for gaming or programming, you’ve come to the right place. We’re combing the web daily to find the best laptop deals. However, not all advertised laptop deals are actual deals, so we’re only including the ones we consider true bargains—and we’ll explain why. Right now, we’re seeing strong discounts on gaming laptops, Microsoft Surface devices, Chromebooks, and more. We’ve also got some handy laptop shopping tips at the end of this post. Read on to learn more.

The best laptop deals in 2022

HP ProBook x360 435 G8

HP

From: B&H Photo and Video

Was: $779

Now: $499 ($280 off)

If you want a solid workhorse and you don’t mind that it’s a little light on storage, the HP ProBook x360 is a nice choice. It starts with a 13.3-inch touchscreen that can be bent back tablet-style. It also has stylus support, but doesn’t come with one. The CPU is a Ryzen 3 5400U with four cores, eight threads, and a boost to 4GHz. For memory and storage options, it has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage.

This laptop is running Windows 10 Pro, but should be upgradeable to Windows 11. The RAM is also user replaceable if you want to add more. This machine is a great option for productivity and everyday use, and it’s well worth considering for anyone who likes to use a stylus in their day-to-day work.

Acer Swift 3

Acer

From: Newegg

Was: $799.99

Now: $499.99 ($300 off)

If you’re looking for a nice productivity laptop, the Acer Swift 3 is a solid buy. It has a 13.5-inch 2256×1504 resolution display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. That’s more square resolution than the typical 16:9, which adds more height to the display and is nice when working on documents. It also has an Intel Core i5-1135G7 with four cores, eight threads, and a boost to 4.2GHz. RAM is 8GB and onboard storage is a 512GB NVMe SSD. Overall, this is a good laptop, especially for general use tasks like video streaming and web browsing.

See the Acer Swift 3 at Newegg

Acer Aspire A5 (Intel)

Acer

From: Amazon

Was: $321.29

Now: $289.99 ($31.30 off)

We already have a similar model from the same series available in this roundup, but this one is a little cheaper and swaps a Ryzen 3 APU for an Intel Core i3 processor. This version of the Acer Aspire A5 still has a 15.6-inch 1080p display, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard NVMe storage. It’s also rocking Windows 11 Home in S Mode. You can do a one-way switch to regular Windows 11 Home if you prefer, but you may not want to given the CPU.

The big difference is the processor. This model has the Intel “Tiger Lake” Core i3-1115G4, which has two cores, four threads, and a boost to 4.1GHz. That’s good enough for casual uses like web browsing, video streaming, and so on. It would likely struggle as a productivity laptop, but for someone with light computing requirements, it offers a nice size screen at a solid price.

See the Acer Aspire A5-515-56-36UT at Amazon

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15

Lenovo

From: Lenovo via eBay

Was: $769.99

Now: $509.99 ($260 off)

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 is a solid productivity and casual computing laptop. This laptop features a Ryzen 5 5625U with six cores, twelve threads, and a boost to 4.3GHz. It has a whopping 16GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage. The display is also 15.6 inches with 1080p resolution.

Lenovo’s bundled three free months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with this laptop. That’s an odd choice, especially because this machine only has integrated graphics and no discrete GPU. Still, if you have a console or want to play some older games that won’t tax the integrated GPU, it’ll work out nicely.

See the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 at eBay

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer

From: Walmart

Was: $1,449.99

Now: $1,199 ($250.99 off)

If you’re looking for an excellent 1080p gaming laptop at a good price, we’ve got the deal for you. This version of the Acer Predator Helios 300 has a 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution and a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. The CPU is the Core i7-11800H with eight cores, sixteen threads, and a boost to 4.6GHz.

For RAM, you get 16GB, which is excellent for gaming. As for onboard storage, it’s a lot. This laptop is packing 512GB of NVMe SSD storage over PCIe 4.0 as well as a 1TB hard drive spinning at 7,200 RPM. The operating system is Windows 10 and it’s Windows 11 ready. The GPU is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, which means you should have no trouble exceeding 60 frames-per-second on ultra graphics settings.

See the Acer Predator Helios 300 at Walmart

Lenovo Chromebook 3

Lenovo

From: Best Buy

Was: $139

Now: $99 ($40 off)

Sometimes deal hunting means making compromises to take advantage of those incredible prices. This is one of those. The Lenovo Chromebook 3 features an 11.6-inch display with a 1366-by-768 resolution. We try not to recommend anything below 1080p, but given the screen size and the fact that it’s well under $100, this is fair value for that resolution. It also has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. That’s plenty for a Chromebook. The processor is Intel’s Celeron N4020, another good choice for the minimal requirements of a Chromebook.

This laptop will also run Linux apps as well as Android apps from Google Play. This Chromebook will also continue to get updates until June 2027.

See the Lenovo Chromebook 3 11 at Best Buy

LG Lenovo Legion 5i

Lenovo

From: Walmart

Was: $1,029.99

Now: $749 ($280.99 off)

This is a nice gaming laptop at a solid price. It’s packing the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, a 1080p graphics card. With this you should be able to play most games on medium to high with a jump to ultra on older games.

The processor is the Intel “Comet Lake” Core i5-10500H, which has six cores, twelve threads, and a boost to 4.5GHz. It’s an older processor, but still fast enough for gaming. As for RAM, it’s 8GB and onboard storage is 256GB. This is still considered a budget gaming rig, but for $100 extra you get an upgraded GPU.

See the LG Lenovo Legion 5i at Walmart

Acer Aspire 3

Acer

From: Walmart

Was: $549

Now: $479 ($70 off)

You don’t often find a laptop deal with an Intel Alder Lake CPU, which is why we decided to highlight this specific sale. The Acer Aspire 3 features Intel’s Core i5-1235U with eight efficiency cores and two performance cores with HyperThreading for a total of 12 threads and a maximum boost to 4.4GHz. It also has 8GB of RAM, a 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution, 256GB of onboard storage, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and it’s running Windows 11 Home.

See the Acer Aspire 3 at Walmart

Gigabyte A5 K1-AUS1150SB

Gigabyte

From: Best Buy

Was: $1,199

Now: $899 ($300 off)

Best Buy is back with another version of a Gigabyte gaming laptop. This one features a 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of onboard SSD storage. The processor is a Ryzen 5 5600H, a step down from the Ryzen 7 in the last laptop (though this one is $100 cheaper). The GPU is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, which offers no compromises 1080p gaming–meaning it will meet or exceed 60 frames-per-second in most games. This is an excellent price for a very good 1080p gaming machine.

See the Gigabyte A5 K1 at Best Buy

Acer Aspire 5

Acer

From: Walmart

Was: $499.99

Now: $379 ($120.99)

The Acer Aspire 5 is a nice productivity laptop. There are some laptops with larger displays, but for the price, this set-up is very good. It has a 14-inch 1080p display and an Intel “Tiger Lake” Core  i5-1135G7 with four cores, eight threads, and a boost to 4.2GHz. It’s packing 8GB of RAM, a 256GB NVMe SSD, and Wi-Fi 6. If you need something that you can take with you but still performs well enough on productivity tasks, this laptop will fit the bill.

See the Acer Aspire 5 at Walmart

Lenovo IdeaPad 3i

Lenovo

From: Walmart

Was: $699

Now: $399 ($300 off)

We’ve already got an IdeaPad 3i in the round-up, but this model is different enough that it’s worth a look on its own. The somewhat older Core i5-10210U has four cores, eight threads, and a boost to 4.2GHz. Still, it’s a solid processor for an everyday work machine. It’s also packing 8GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD. That’s a big difference compared to the other 3i, which has a hard drive. This model has a slightly smaller screen at 14-inches, but the resolution is 1080p, which is all well and good. It’s also running Windows 11 Home.

See the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i at Walmart

Acer Aspire 5 A515

Acer

From: Amazon

Was: $399.99

Now: $329.99 ($70 off)

If you’re looking for a solid everyday laptop, you’ve come to the right place. The Acer Aspire 5 features a 15.6-inch 1080p display, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard SSD storage. The processor is a Ryzen 3 3350U, which has four cores, four threads, and a maximum boost to 3.5GHz. It’s packed with modern features like Wi-Fi 6, a backlit keyboard, and a fingerprint reader for biometric logins. Acer starts this laptop off with Windows 11 in S mode, but there’s no reason not to do a one-way upgrade to full Windows 11. This is being sold by a third-party retailer, but Amazon is handling shipping, which means it falls under the company’s return policy.

See the Acer Aspire 5 A515 at Amazon

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i

Lenovo

From: Walmart

Was: $539.99

Now: $279 ($260.99 off)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i is a great option for a student or for someone who primarily works in the cloud. It has a 14-inch 1080p touch display. It’s also a convertible for those times when you need to use it like a tablet. The CPU is the Intel “Tiger Lake” Core i3-1115G4, which has two cores, four threads, and a boost to 4.1GHz. It also has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. Lenovo is running this convertible with Windows 11 in S Mode, but it can run regular Windows 11 mode as well. Just remember it’s a one-way upgrade.

See the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i at Walmart

Asus Vivobook Pro 14 K3400

Asus

From: Walmart

Was: $749

Now: $549 ($200 off)

If you’re into creative work, the Asus Vivobook Pro 14 is a fantastic option. This laptop has a 14-inch 2880-by-1800 OLED display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. OLED screens are great, so you can expect a sharper image. The Vivobook is also packing a Core i5-1330H, a Tiger Lake CPU with four cores, eight threads, and a boost to 4.4GHz. There’s even 8GB of RAM, which is a good amount for some video editing. Onboard storage is a 256GB NVMe SSD, and you’re getting Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0.

This is a nice laptop with a very good display, but for storage you’ll likely have to rely mostly on the cloud. Speaking of which, you also get a free, three month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud as part of the package.

See the Asus Vivobook Pro 14 K3400 at Walmart

Microsoft Surface Pro 7+

Mark Hachman/IDG

From: Walmart

Was: $929.99

Now: $599 ($330.99 off)

If you’re looking for a well designed Windows tablet, there’s no beating Microsoft’s Surface line and this Walmart’s sale offers an excellent bargain. This version of the Surface Pro 7+ comes with a Core i3 processor, 128GB of onboard storage, 8GB of RAM, and a black Type Cover. We reviewed the Surface Pro 7+ in early 2021, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars and an Editors’ Choice Award. We called it “the most potent upgrade Microsoft’s Surface Pro line has offered in years.”

See the Surface Pro 7+ at Walmart

Laptop deal buying tips

If you’ve shopped online before for laptop deals you’re probably aware that there’s a vast range of laptop configurations available.

A good place to start is with the processor. Buy laptops with Intel 10-series Core chips or higher, such as the Core i5-10510U, or the Core i7-11800H (for even more details see our Intel 10th-gen mobile CPU buying guide); or go with an AMD Ryzen processor (but not an AMD Athlon or A-series chip). Avoid laptops with Pentium or Celeron processors unless it’s a Chromebook (running Chrome OS). You’re going to need to pay attention with gaming laptops, too, as some GPUs, like the RTX 3050 Ti, don’t offer much boost over their RTX 2xxx-series cousins, and Nvidia has dropped the Max-Q designation on certain low-power options. Our laptop CPU and GPU cheat sheet can help you shop smart.

Display resolution is a gotcha. If you see a laptop labeled as “HD” resolution that means 1366-by-768 and often isn’t worth your time for a laptop under 13 inches unless the deal is absolutely standout. What you want is “Full HD” or “FHD,” which means 1080p.

Don’t buy laptops with under 4GB of RAM or 128GB of SSD storage—though on a Chromebook, this configuration is acceptable. We have more explanation in our laptops versus Chromebooks buying guide, as well as in our primer on how to buy a budget laptop without getting screwed. Also watch out for eMMC storage, which is something we don’t recommend for a Windows laptop but works fine for a Chromebook.

Reviews can be helpful. Even if you can’t find a review of a specific configuration, try related models. They’ll often give you a good idea of the build quality and performance. Also buy from brands you trust. Amazon’s daily laptop deals right now are full of brands we’ve never tested or talked to (Broage, Teclast, DaySky, Jumper) and it’s just a good idea to be wary.

Most older laptops will run Windows 10, and that’s fine—there’s no rush to upgrade. Windows 10 in S Mode, though annoying, can be switched out of easily if you find it on a budget laptop. If you want to buy a Windows 10 PC with the intent of upgrading it to Windows 11, we recommend you start here with a list of older laptops that are Windows 11-eligible.

Updated on June 30 with additional deals, and to remove expired deals.
Laptops
https://www.pcworld.com/article/550968/best-laptop-deals-2022.html

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