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With the uptake of working at home now sky-high, laptop discounts were hard to come by in April. In fact, what our laptop experts considered to be a good deal last month was simply any laptop that happened to be in stock and whose price was remotely reasonable.
We’ve had a look again at the state of the laptops market in May to see if now is a better time to buy a laptop than before. Read on to see what the big retailers are up to and how to find yourself a good deal.
Or skip straight to our page of the best laptop deals in May to see what we picked.
What the laptop retailers are up to in May
Unfortunately, May is about as grim as April when it comes to picking up a new laptop on the cheap. None of the big three laptop retailers – Argos, John Lewis and Currys PC World – is offering anything particularly special when it comes to deals.
There are discounts to be had, make no mistake, but they are hard to find and none of them are the sorts of deals that would make you want to hit ‘buy’ as soon as possible.
Currys – ‘Amazing deals’
Currys is rarely without some sort of themed deal, and in May the company is running an Amazing Deals campaign on its homepage. If you click through to this and select laptops, you’ll be given a grand total of two laptop deals, one with a discount of £50 down to £549 and another with a discount of £100 down to £479. Neither of the models on offer, based purely on specifications alone, wowed us and certainly didn’t see us mouthing the words ‘amazing deals’.
You should check the pricing details of products on discount in Currys, as quite often they are simply discounts on a price that was only charged for a few weeks. This means, often, a discounted price can really be seen as the product’s new normal price.
John Lewis – a hidden gem
John Lewis is often understated with its deals, and doesn’t always highlight its best offerings. Searching through its laptops index, though, we found a £100 discount on the sought-after Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, which is down to £899.
This is cheaper than even the official Microsoft Store. If you’re in the market for a premium high-end laptop, this could be worth a look. Be sure to read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 lab-tested review to find out how it fared in our rigorous tests.
Argos – ‘Top tech’
Argos’ Top Tech section is its usual place for finding discounts on laptops. This month, though, the Top Tech promotion contains no laptops at all, with just tablets, SD cards and portable hard disks getting a price cut.
On the laptops section of the site, Argos warns that many of the items you’ll be looking at will be out of stock. Our top tip with Argos is to enter your postcode on the website early on so you can see what’s available for delivery in your area. Otherwise you may find a great product that you’ll then realise cannot be delivered to your postcode.
Where else to find a good laptop price
If you look beyond the UK’s big retailers, it is possible to pick up a good deal, but these will change frequently and stock may not always be perfectly available.
Buy direct from the brands
We’ve looked before at whether buying direct from laptop brands can save you money. In short, it can, and it can also open up new opportunities. For instance, you may find manufacturer-exclusive colour options and specifications that can’t be found anywhere else. Read our guide to buying direct from the brands for more.
For example, at the time of writing, Dell is offering some bank holiday discounts, including a remarkably un-generous 1% off one of its high-end XPS 13 laptops. There are other deals to be found, though, so it’s worth browsing in case the exact model you’re after is on discount.
Acer, meanwhile, has a dedicated offers page with various voucher codes, including up to £200 off high-end gaming laptops. It certainly pays to shop around.
There are a few UK sellers that offer quality refurbished laptops. You can find some really great discounts if you’re willing to compromise on the condition of your machine, with savings of hundreds of pounds on some high-end kit.
There are things to consider when buying refurbished, including the warranty you’re offered and also that you’re not being ripped off buying a laptop that’s actually a decade old. Our guide to buying refurbished is a good place to start.