When you click on a retailer link on our site, we may earn affiliate commission to help fund our not-for-profit mission. Find out more.
Laptops are one of the most popular products to buy around Black Friday, with deals springing up at all the major online tech retailers. But how do you spot a real bargain?
Working out exactly what you you need from a laptop, which models tick the boxes and whether a deal is really as good as it seems can help ensure you end up with a Black Friday gem that’ll last for years.
Read on for everything you need to know about buying a new laptop in the sales.
Looking for a bargain on more than just a laptop? See our expert pick of all the Best Black Friday deals.
Black Friday Laptop deals: our experts’ picks
We’ll keep updating this page with new deals as and when they arrive and remove them when they expire.
Apple MacBook Air (Core i3), £120 off, now £879
We liked: Great screen
We didn’t like: Other laptops have better batteries
The retailers saved their biggest laptop deals for the big day, with this MacBook Air deal the cheapest way to get yourself a 2020 Mac laptop. Currys and John Lewis are price matching this one.
(A recent Which? investigation into Currys PC World suggests the firm has an issue with how it handles complaints about faulty products. So do consider this before making a purchase.)
MacBook Pro (M1 chip), £50 off, now £1249
This laptop is so new we haven’t even finished testing it yet, but Amazon has it on discount already. If you’re willing to take a punt before we’ve published our review, this is the Amazon link. Before you go, though have a read of our guide to Apple’s new M1 processors.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, £220 off, now £779
We liked: Great looking and light
We didn’t like: Needs more ports
Amazon has the lowest price for the Surface Laptop 3 right now, with the Core i5/8GB Ram/128GB SSD model available for just £779. That’s £220 off the original £999 asking price and the cheapest our laptop experts have seen all year. It’s also been price-matched at John Lewis.
If you’ve been mulling the Surface Laptop 3 this year, now is the time to buy.
Huawei MateBook X Pro, more than £200 off, now £979
We liked: Thin and light
We didn’t like: Web browsing battery life
This laptop is usually priced at around £1199 to £1399, but various retailers have knocked off a couple of hundred quid for Black Friday. These include AO, Very, Amazon and Currys.
Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 13, £200 off, now £1,049
We liked: Very fast, thin and light
We didn’t like: Minor screen complaints
John Lewis has a range of big discounts applied to some higher-end Windows laptops, including the Microsoft Surface Laptop range and the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion range. The one that caught our eye was the £200 off the 13-inch model, bringing its price down to £1,049 from £1,299. There are plenty of other options, though, so click on the links below to see what else is on offer.
Asus Flip C443, £100 off, now £399
We liked: Excellent battery life
We didn’t like: Keyboard and touchpad
This Chromebook is now under £400, but with a design and build that makes it look like a much more expensive device. It’s not perfect, but there are very few cheap laptops that don’t have some level of compromise.
Black Friday Laptop deals: the retailer pages to bookmark
Before we move on to finding out what sort of laptop you need, we’ve pulled together a list of the retailer pages worth looking at come Black Friday week. Some online shops start their Black Friday sales well in advance of Black Friday, so there may already be deals to be had if you need a new laptop sooner rather than later.
Acer Black Friday laptop deals: The laptop brand has a dedicated page for Acer Black Friday deals, with products due to go on offer from 17 November onwards. If an Acer’s been on your shortlist a while, you might not have long to wait. Normally Acer’s deals are pretty good – higher-end laptops often get Black Friday discounts in excess of £200.
Apple Black Friday deals: you won’t find Black Friday deals on Apple’s website, as the tech brand is never knowingly oversold. However, you can expect most major retailers and online stores to offer some sort of discount on Apple MacBooks.
Currys Black Friday laptop deals: as the UK’s biggest tech retailer, you can bet your bottom dollar (or pound) that Currys PC World will make a splash on Black Friday. Last year we saw plenty of deals above and beyond its regular discounts. At the time of writing, there are already a few laptops on the Currys Black Friday laptop deals page, but more and better deals are sure to be added in the coming days.
Dell Black Friday laptop deals: Dell’s laptop deals page is the place to go for seasonal promotions at any time of year. These deals run as limited-time events with plenty of warnings letting you know how well a product has been selling. But as one big deal expires, another arrives, so don’t feel too pressured.
HP Black Friday laptop deals: HP also has its own dedicated Black Friday page, with offers added every day. Click here to see HP’s Black Friday page.
John Lewis Black Friday laptop deals: John Lewis’s Black Friday page is ready to go, and chock-filled with deals on various products, including laptops.
Lenovo Black Friday laptop deals: There’s nothing to speak of yet on Lenovo’s Black Friday page and deals don’t appear to be starting until 27 November: Black Friday itself. The page lets you sign up for laptop deal alerts, though, which could be worth it if you’ve had your eye on a Lenovo.
What type of laptop do you need?
If you’ve been putting off buying a new laptop until Black Friday, it could be tempting to snap up a good offer as soon as you see one. But it’s worth doing a bit of prep in advance of Black Friday to narrow down the must-have specs and make sure you don’t buy a seemingly bargain laptop, only to find it doesn’t do everything you need it to.
Our laptop personality quiz below should get you started, by helping you decide between a Windows laptop, a Chromebook or an Apple MacBook.
Quiz: Are you a Mac, PC or a Chromebook?
Are you a Mac, PC or one of a new generation of Google Chromebook fans? Take our quiz to help you decide!
You’re best suited to a Chromebook. These lightweight machines are typically very cheap and very simple to use. As long as you don’t mind using web-based applications, you’ll be off and working in no time at all.
Your best option is a MacBook. These premium laptops are silky smooth to use and offer great performance for all sorts of tasks.
Looks like your best fit is a new Windows laptop. With such a wide variety to choose from, there’s something for all tastes in the world of Microsoft-powered laptops.
How much do you want to spend?
How much do you care about your laptop having a touchscreen and/or a fully flexible 360-degree hinge
Which of the following do you own?
How important is Microsoft Office software to you?
Do you edit photos or videos on your laptop?
Once you’ve decided what broad type of laptop you want, follow our five steps to help you choose the perfect laptop for you.
1 Work out how much you need to pay for the right laptop
Have a think about what you want to do with a laptop, as this will decide the price range (before Black Friday discounts) you should be targeting.
- Less than £350: you’ll find Chromebooks and low-end Windows laptops in this price range. These laptops are ideal for browsing the web and writing documents. They’re not the fastest, but they get the basics done. Expect to see Intel Celeron and Pentium processors.
- £350-450: here you’ll find laptops that offer a tempting mix of speed and value for money, with Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processors suitable for opening lots of web browser tabs and even some light photo editing. Expect at least 4GB of Ram and push for 8GB if you can.
- £450-700: this price bracket tends to include thin and light Ultrabooks alongside powerful, larger laptops that are well suited to heavy web browsing, photo editing and even a bit of video work. Expect to see 8GB of Ram and a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processor at the least.
- Over £700: better build quality, screens and speakers start appearing at this price. If you can afford them, premium laptops can offer the best experience around. This is where you’ll also start to find MacBooks.
For more on what to expect at different laptop price ranges and other key things to consider when buying a laptop, read our guide on how to buy the best laptop.
2 Get to know what computer jargon means
Price is a great starting point for understanding what a laptop is capable of, but it’s important to look at the finer specification details before plumping for a specific model. The best way to find the right bargain is to know exactly what you’re paying for, and whether you really need it.
We have plenty of advice on hand to get you started:
- Find out more about laptop specifications in our guide on how to buy the best laptop.
- Understand the difference between a hard disk and a solid-state drive (SSD) in our guide to HDD vs SSD.
- See our guide to Intel processors to understand the difference between Core i3, i5 and i7 and Pentium.
3 Make a shortlist of laptop models
To see all of the laptops we’ve tested, from brands including Apple, Acer, Dell, Lenovo and more, go to laptop reviews. If you’re a Which? member you can see our full scores and test results, and read our independent reviews. But even if you’re not, you can still sort and filter laptops by price, brand and key features, which will help you build a list of models that might hit your mark.
Then keep an eye on models you’re interested in to see how the prices change over time. We’ve previously found so-called ‘deals’ in the traditional sales periods where the prices aren’t always better than at other times of year. See our guide on how to check whether a Black Friday deal is real for more.
Websites such as PriceSpy and Camelcamelcamel can be helpful for tracking the prices of popular products.
It’s also worth looking at which products were discounted last year as well as those that are on discount right now, in mid-November – some of the biggest savings in 2019 came on high-end products that had been replaced by newer models.
We delve into more detail in our guide to buying direct from brands, where you can read more on how shopping around could get you some surprising benefits.
4 Read Which? laptop reviews
Our laptop reviews are unique. We buy every laptop we review, and each is tested in our accredited laptop laboratory. Our reviews are independent and our scores can’t be influenced by brands promising access to shiny new review kit. See how we test laptops for more.
5 Keep an eye on manufacturer websites as well as major retailers
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few target laptops, keep an eye on manufacturer websites as well as major tech retailers. In previous years, we’ve found the best savings can come from laptop brand websites instead of retailers.
The excitement of saving big can lead to disappointment if your laptop doesn’t stand the test of time. Read about how Which? product lifetime data can help you choose reliable tech products.
When is a Black Friday laptop deal not really a deal?
Just because a retailer screams about a great deal doesn’t mean it’s any good. Take a look at this deal from Currys in a previous sale with its ‘Black Friday Price Now’ promotion, which arrived a week or so before Black Friday week.
The deal looks great – £220 off. But, the small print shows this laptop was only sold at full price for less than a month, between October and November. That’s not to say the new price is a bad deal, but it probably isn’t the exceptional saving you’re looking for.
In fact, this is a common Currys deal all-year round. Mid-range HP laptops are almost never sold at full price; think how it’s almost impossible to buy a takeaway pizza at full price because of deals and combos, and you get the idea.
On a budget? Our guide to the best laptop deals highlights good offers throughout the year.
How good are price promises?
Currys PC World and other UK retailers run price-matching schemes, but they aren’t always what they seem. Many laptops are exclusive to the retailer they’re found at; John Lewis stocks lots of exclusive Asus laptops, for example, while Currys has dozens of HPs that can’t be found anywhere else.
Sometimes they look nearly identical to models in other retailers, but there’s normally a colour change or a subtle specification difference which means, technically, they’re not the same and so may not be eligible for a price match.
For more tips from our shopping experts, see our Black Friday insider’s guide.