Whatever your reason for deciding to buy a new laptop, whether your current model has broken or your laptop requirements have changed, you want to make sure you’re getting the best option for your money.
There’s a lot to think about when buying a new laptop, and with so many good models out there, it’s easy to get sucked in by promises of new technology or unbeatable deals. Whilst there are more budget-friendly options available today, a laptop is still a big purchase that requires some consideration.
You might not have thought about but what you definitely should do is that when you buy a laptop can have a major impact on the price you pay. So when are the best times to consider buying a new laptop?
The back-to-school season is often one of the best times to find a good laptop deal. From the end of July through to the beginning of September, many brands will offer discounts and package deals.
With students preparing to return to school and college or begin new courses, retailers recognize this as a popular time to buy a new laptop. In addition, brands know that competition is high to attract students who are often looking for a laptop that can meet their needs without breaking the bank.
Major brands such as Amazon, HP, and Lenovo all often run back-to-school laptop deals aimed at students whilst in previous years; Apple has offered a free pair of earphones or AirPods to students when they buy a laptop.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Everyone knows that the run-up to the holiday season, particularly Black Friday and Cyber Monday, can be one of the best times to bag a bargain, and shopping for a new laptop is no different.
With almost every brand offering Black Friday discounts, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a good laptop deal. With so much competition, some brands even adopt a more ad-hoc pricing strategy, changing their prices in line with competitors' deals and discounts.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also one of the only times that brands may be willing to price match. So if you see a good deal on a certain laptop, it may be worth seeing if a competitor is willing to match or even beat the price.
If you decide to buy a laptop over ‘Cyber Weekend,’ then remember to do your research. Often brands will put the prices of popular items up in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, meaning the discounted price isn’t much of a discount at all. So it’s always worth making use of a price tracking tool to look at the price history of an item before you make a purchase.
Another issue that can arise at this time of the year is low stock levels. Some brands will sell out almost straight away in the run-up to Christmas and with everyone out to bag a bargain. If you know exactly which laptop model you’re after, consider setting alerts or having the product page ready loaded for when the sale begins.
Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day is now a full-scale shopping event and often lasts for two days rather than just one. In addition, Prime Day sees Amazon make major discounts to both its own brand items and products from other retailers.
It was usually held in June/July; however, in 2020, the online retailer opted to hold it in October. They will normally announce the date a few weeks before, making sure you keep your eyes peeled.
While the offers are only available to Amazon Prime members, the event is full of massive discounts and is often when you will find certain items at their cheapest on Amazon.
Like Black Friday, it’s a good idea to use a price tracking tool before you make any purchases so you can be sure that you’re getting the deal that you think you are.
On the Release of New Models
When you’re on the hunt for any new tech device but particularly laptops, it’s always a good idea to find out when brands are releasing their latest model. Often once a new model has hit the shelves, older versions will be heavily discounted, so if you’re not bothered about having the latest model available, this can be a great time to get a good deal.
Major laptop brands such as Apple, HP, Lenovo, and Dell all operate on their own cycles, so once you know which brand of laptop you’re after, it’s worth doing some research and finding out when their next model is due for release.
Apple, Microsoft, and Google have all held major events in the past to announce the launch of new laptops, so make sure you keep an eye out for event announcements as often this will be a good indicator that a new model is on its way.
If you decide to opt for an older model when choosing a laptop, make sure you understand the differences that the newer version offers. Sometimes brands will phase out older software, etc. To ensure you’re making an informed buying decision speak with retailers to ensure the model of laptop you’re buying won’t become defunct in a few years.
When You Actually Need One
Really, the very best time to buy a new laptop is when you actually need one. It can be easy to get drawn in by promises of great deals and bargain offers but ask yourself, would you consider buying a new laptop if the price wasn’t so good? Do you actually need a new laptop?
Sometimes your laptop breaks, or it’s clear it’s on its last legs. With constant updates to software and programs, you may find that your current laptop can simply no longer operate in the way you need it to. The recent upgrade that many laptops are going through, changing from USB to USB-C ports, is a key example of buying a new laptop less from desire and more a practical decision.
When Not to Buy a New Laptop
As well as there being some great times to buy a laptop, there are also some times of the year when it’s best to avoid buying a new device if you can help it. They include:
Early summer – Early summer months like May and June are often dead months for laptop deals. Most brands will be waiting for the back-to-school season to slash their prices, leading nicely into the holiday build-up. So unless you’re desperate, try and hold off buying a new laptop during these months.
Before a sale event – If you know a sale event is coming up soon, then don’t buy a laptop in the run-up. Firstly it will be frustrating if you pay full price only for the price to be cut just a few days later. For example, if you order a new laptop online, you might find the price has been dropped before your new laptop has even been delivered! Secondly, some brands will put their prices up right before a sale to make their discounts seem even better, so you risk paying more than you would at any other time of year.
When a price tracker shows a price hike – Price trackers are a great way of checking that you’re getting the deal you think you are. They allow you to see the pricing history of an item to discover if the retailer put the price up right before the sale.
As a result, you may think you’re bagging yourself an amazing deal when in reality, the sale price is no different from the price you would have paid a few weeks earlier.
What to Look for When Buying a New Laptop
Once you’ve established that you need to buy a new laptop and you’ve done your laptop research, you need to think about what you actually need your new laptop to offer you. Some of the key things you should consider when buying a new laptop include:
Laptop size – The size of a laptop is determined by measuring the screen diagonally. If you need a portable laptop that you can easily carry from place to place, it’s worth considering a smaller, lightweight option. However, it’s always worth remembering that smaller laptops can sometimes lack the hardware power of larger ones.
Laptop specs – Laptop “specs” refers to the internal hardware and will generally determine how well a laptop will run and perform various tasks. Various features of a laptop's hardware, such as screen pixels, graphics cards, and processors, will work together to offer the best user functionality. It’s these elements that will also determine a laptop's battery life.
When looking at laptop specs, it’s always important to understand how well the laptop will support the activity you need it for and how long its battery life is. If you intend to use your laptop remotely, then good battery life should be one of your priorities.
Laptop operating system – Different brands of laptops run on different operating systems. Getting to grips with a new one can be challenging, especially if you’re already used to working from another one.
Most laptops use Microsoft Windows, which is the most common operating system that many users are familiar with. However, Apple laptops run using macOS software that integrates easily with other Apple products whilst Google Chromebooks operate with Chrome OS software.
If you’re used to using Microsoft Windows, for instance, it can take a while to get to grips with Apple's macOS software fully. Similarly, if you’re used to integrating all of your Apple devices, changing to a Chromebook could cause you some problems.
Overall there’s no one time that is perfect to buy a laptop. There will always be pros and cons, and it pays to do your research if you follow these tips; however, you should be able to get yourself a great deal next time you buy a new laptop.