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7 July 2021

Best laptop deals for 2021

Best laptop deals chosen by Which? computing experts, including budget laptops, Ultrabooks and MacBooks.
Michael Passingham
best laptop deals

Looking for a laptop bargain? We’ve rounded up some of the best deals you can find right now.

Big manufacturers launch their new range of laptops on an annual basis, even before last year’s stock has fully sold out. This, plus heavy competition between brands and retailers, means there are always deals to be had.

But not all price cuts are as attractive as they appear. Read on for our expert pick of some genuine bargains, and find out how to spot your own.

Looking for a laptop for less than £500? Read our guide on the best cheap laptops

Best laptop deals for July 2021

Here are the best deals we've found as of July 1st. 

1.  Apple MacBook Air 2020 (M1)  £899 

  • £100 price drop 
  • Apple M1 processor, with 8GB Ram and 256GB SSD
  • The cheapest way to get a 2020 Mac  

We like: Fast, Thin and light

We didn’t like: Not many ports, Expensive upgrades

The latest MacBook Air is on discount at both John Lewis and at Currys. All the available colours get the price drop unlike in previous months, so if you've been holding off on buying a MacBook Air, now could be the time.

Read our full MacBook Air 2020 review

(A 2020 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.)

2. Apple Macbook Pro 2020 (M1), £1187

  • £112 price drop 
  • 13.3-inch laptop
  • Apple M1 processor, 8GB of Ram and 256GB of storage.

We like: Fast, Thin and light

We didn’t like: Only two ports, Not everyone will like the Touch Bar

The Macbook Pro is currently available in John Lewis and Currys for £1187, a saving of £112 on the previous price. 

Read our full MacBook Pro 2020 review.

3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13.5 inch, £849

  • £150 saving 
  • 13.5-inch laptop
  • 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor

We like: Design and build, Fast

We didn’t like: Lacks some basic ports, Rivals have better battery life

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is currently on sale at Microsoft's online store with an impressive £150 saving. It’s now available for £849 (previous price £999). Other retailers have had this price recently, but Microsoft is now the only one left still selling it at this heavy discount. Given the laptop has been superseded by the Surface Laptop 4, we'd be surprised if this model goes up in price again. Get it while stocks last.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 review before you commit to buy.

4. Dell XPS 13, £849

Dell XPS 13 9300
  • 256GB of SSD
  • 8GB Ram
  • Intel Core i5 Processor

We like: Good build quality

We didn’t like: Speakers could be better

This thin, light laptop (also known as an Ultrabook) has a 13.4-inch screen and weighs in at just 1.184kg. It’s ideal for those whose priority is portability.

The version on sale in John Lewis is a slightly newer version than the model we tested with an Intel 11th-gen processor instead of 10th, but it’s still an excellent price.

Read our full Dell XPS 13 review to see if it meets your needs.

How to get the best deals on specific laptop brands

If you have a particular brand in mind for your next laptop, you need to know where to look. Read our independent laptop reviews to ensure you get the best deal.  

Acer laptop deals

You can often find deals on Acer’s UK website that aren’t available elsewhere. The website also lists a wider range of specifications on certain models that you won’t find on the high street, so it’s always worth checking here as well as the usual online stores.

Apple laptop deals

We’ve found Apple laptops are very often cheaper and available for faster delivery when you don't buy direct from Apple. The main reason you’d buy directly is if you wanted a specification (such as a processor, Ram and storage) combination that isn’t available anywhere else - but be warned, this way you’re less likely to bag a bargain. Read all of our Apple laptop reviews

Asus laptop deals

Asus laptops are found in a wide range of retailers in various configurations, so it’s always worth shopping around. The company also sells directly on its website, but its prices are mostly higher than other retailers. If you’re a student, you can get 15% off if you buy direct. Read our Asus laptop reviews

Dell laptop deals

You’ll find the largest range of Dell laptops on the Dell website. If you’re looking at a Dell laptop at a retailer, check whether there’s a cheaper (or better-specified model) available direct from Dell before you buy. Dell often has some kind of online voucher code or discount active, so it pays to wait for one before buying. Read our Dell laptop reviews

HP laptop deals

HP laptops are found in nearly every laptop retailer, but most of the ‘deals’ you’ll find are at Currys PC World, with dozens of models available. Most HP laptops go on sale at a higher price, and then are discounted by at least £100 after around a month. HP also sells directly through its website, so it’s always worth checking for discounts and voucher codes. Read our HP laptop reviews

Lenovo laptop deals

Like Asus laptops, Lenovo models are found scattered around the high street and at online-only retailers, so it’s worth doing your research. We’ve often found the best price can be found buying direct on Lenovo’s website, so always check there before you buy. Read our Lenovo laptop reviews

See our guide to the most reliable laptop brands for more

When and where are the best laptops on sale?

You should rarely consider paying full price for a laptop, but just because a deal exists doesn’t mean it’s special. Find out how to see through the tricks of the trade at key retailers.

Currys PC World deals and ‘clearance’ sales

At certain times of year, Currys PC World loads up its clearance pages with laptop deals. Despite what the term ‘clearance’ might suggest, discounts on these models can often be very small or, in some odd cases, nothing at all. In short, clearance at Currys PC World does not automatically mean a good deal. 

Indeed, many deals on Currys PC World, clearance or otherwise, aren’t what they seem, with nearly every laptop initially going on sale for a high price and then dropping to a more regular price after a month or so. You’ll often find discounts of £150 on laptops that Currys originally sold for £500-600, when their true actual value was always closer to the £350-400 they’re now being sold for. 

Currys PC World also operates a price-matching scheme that, again, is unlikely to be as good as it seems. Many of the laptops that the retailer sells are exclusive to the store; it might be an exclusive colour or slight change in specification, but it’s enough to mean the model doesn’t quality for a price match.

Amazon laptop deals

Amazon isn’t well known for its laptop deals, but it does have a wide variety of notebooks on sale at any given time. However, many of its best-sellers are actually quite old and some are even second-hand. It’s always worth double-checking Amazon in case it has a laptop you’re interested in on discount.

Also, be wary of small-brand laptops sold exclusively on Amazon. We’ve tested a few and none of them have impressed despite the seemingly overwhelming number of positive reviews from buyers.

Argos laptop deals

Argos often has good deals on individual laptops, so it’s always worth checking back there occasionally to see what’s new. Watch for ‘deals’ marked as ‘WOW’, as these can quite often not be deals at all and simply reflect Argos wanting you to pay attention to a product. Also look for pointers that say ‘Great new price’ as we’ve seen in the past that new price can actually be higher than the old one.

The best bet for Argos deals is to look for ‘clearance’ deals as these are normally genuine discounts.

Black Friday: the best time to find a great cheap laptop deal?

While there are deals on laptops year round, the best time to nab a genuine bargain is usually around the Black Friday/Cyber Monday season. These days, this extends through most of November.

Take a look at the laptop market in the lead-up to the sale, though; it can be advantageous to understand how prices change so you can make a judgement on whether a deal is really as good as it looks.

Retailers such as Currys PC World often have trade-in deals, even when there aren’t any other seasonal offers available. These can include discounts as much as £250 for a working laptop. If you already have a laptop that meets the particular criteria of a trade-in deal, this can often be better than a season deal that doesn’t involve trade-ins.

Also look out for how to buy a second-hand or refurbished laptop. Find out more in our in-depth guide

Deals on laptops for students: sales in September

There are also sales in the ‘back-to-school season’ in August and September - look out for them at Currys PC World in particular. These are usually on the very latest models that will have launched earlier in the summer, with laptops from £200 to £600 getting some sort of discount. This is great if you’re after the very latest tech, although you’ll often find better deals on older models if you hold out until Black Friday. Of course, if you’re heading to uni and need a computer, this isn’t always possible.

See our best laptops for students guide for recommendations, and advice on picking the right model.