Laptops - 03/11/2018
It is that time the year again where retailers, store outlets and online stores offer major discounts on their products and services.
It is that time of the year where you and I spend all our time looking for the best products or even keeping an eye on a particular product.
It might be shoes, furniture, clothes, you name it.
…And those events will soon be upon us.
You guessed right – Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday which signal the beginning of a shopping season is getting closer and closer as each day pass by.
…But it is during those three events, heck, it might even start a week before those three events that you can get the best discounts on tech products.
Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the events that you know, you can actually get good deals on laptops, TVs, smartphones, and consumer electronics apart from Amazon prime day.
I must confess, it was on Cyber Monday that I bought my Acer Aspire E 15 at such a low price - 2015 which up to now is still strong and might even last a few more years.
But before that there is no need to rush.
It is not a bad idea to research on a product before buying, but doing it at the wrong time can cost you.
The key is Preparation.
Being prepared beforehand can save you a lot of time, stress and indecisiveness when the main event starts which result in buyer’s remorse, unnecessary spending and missing out on the best laptops deals.
The guidelines in this post will help you to make informed decisions that will prevent you from falling into the common traps mentioned above. This will give you confidence in choosing the best laptop or gaming laptop that will give you the best bang for your buck.
Sometimes, finding the best day to make a purchase can be difficult especially if you have narrowed down a laptop.
A rule of the thumb is to purchase the laptop as soon as possible after you have verified it is legit and the discount they are offering is reasonable and within your budget.
The reason for this is you will be less likely to purchase out of fear of missing out only to find the product is inferior
Or purchasing too late when stocks have run out because you think by waiting a bit longer you can better deals or discounts which in turn can lead to buying an inferior product making it a cycle.
The guidelines will help you to make informed decisions in getting yourself the best Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Monday laptop deal.
P.S. Don't forget to check the list of the best laptops you can get on Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
First things first, you should know what you are looking for whether it is a gaming laptop, a laptop for work or just a general purpose laptop.
Writing a list of the laptops you want a week before Black Friday or Cyber Monday is a good way to start. That way you know what exactly you are looking for and you will be more successful in narrowing down the product and prevent impulse buys which you might regret later especially if a good deal later rolls in and you realize you are out of cash.
Another reason is that by knowing what you want in a laptop you will avoid the trap of buying laptops that actually seem like a good deal but may be actually old, poor performing laptops that will not satisfy your needs.
Now you have made a list of laptops you want or specs you would like a laptop to have if you more tech savvy.
Next is to consider the Brand Name.
You might find some laptops that fit your specification sheet but have brand names you haven’t heard about Brand names that are not well-known or do not have any idea on their credibility should always be researched before buying their product.
Failure to do so can end up in getting an inferior product which can create problems and cost you money and time in the future.
Although there are some unknown brand names that actually offer decent products and services it doesn't hurt to do your own research beforehand.
You can also buy from establish brand names like Acer, Asus , Dell, HP, MSI, - you get the point.
Established brand names offer tech support if you buy from them so even if you buy a product that doesn't work they can offer a replacement or repairs at no cost to you.
Are you a 17 inch screen type person or a 13 inch?
Do you prefer lightweight machines to bulky machines?
These questions are important in determining the size of the laptop you want. If you are the type who travels a lot or moves around buying a laptop that weighs almost 7 pounds doesn't make sense rather you will prefer a lightweight laptop or an ultraportable laptop you can easily carry around something between 2.5lb – 4.0lb.
But if you are into serious pc gaming you won't mind the laptop being heavy or having a large size so far as it is able to provide the performance needed to run current, demanding games at ultra-settings.
Or you might consider yourself who wants an ultraportable gaming laptop whether there is a sacrifice between speed and weight.
You might also want to consider battery life, most laptops with high end specs offer less battery life than laptops with lower specs but that’s not always the case.
It is up to you if battery life is important or performance is. There is a middle ground for the two.
Always check the specs of the laptop you have narrowed down if it matches your own or is the best your budget can get.
Knowing the specs will tell you if the laptop is old or weak.
You know what you are going to use the laptop for so having a fair idea about the processing power of the laptop is a good way to quickly determine if it’s a good deal or not.
Intel processors especially the 8th Generation are currently the best on the market not to mention the 9th Gen - very expensive or the high-end AMD processors.
Intel i7s are the most powerful found in high end laptops, i5s are next which are mid-range and i3s which are found in the lower end and budget laptops
The near Intel equivalent is the AMD Ryzen series - Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7
Always take a careful look at the specifications to give you a good idea if the deal is good or not.
Along with processing power RAM counts a lot.
The more the better. Keep in mind that more ram always end up in a much more expensive laptop.
Laptops which belong to the range of 8 GB - 16 GB ram is a much more futureproof in handle applications and gaming. These days 2 GB and 4 GB is not even enough.
Smartphones even have 4 GB ram.
Look around, you will hardly find a smartphone with a 2 GB on the market.
More is better if you able to afford it.
Solid State Drives (SSDs), Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and eMMC drives are used for storage in laptops, chromebooks and smartphones.
At best you would want a laptop that has a Solid State Drive.
Solid state drives are the best out of the three - very fast response, quick boot up times, and less time opening and loading applications. Having this will greatly improve your laptop performance and user experience.
The Hard disk drives are the slowest of the three. They might not offer the best speed but they offer a lot of storage space and are cheap compared to solid state drives. You can find up to 1 TB of storage even in a cheap laptop. Their speed is always in RPM - the higher the RPM the faster the hard disk drives. A 7200 RPM is faster than a 5400 RPM. If you are going the hard disk route consider the RPM and the storage space.
The eMMC drives lie between the SSDs and the HDDs in terms of speed. They have the smallest storage space and are also not replaceable. Manufacturers solder them onto the motherboards making them impossible to replace. EMMC storage spaces are mostly 16 GB or 32 GB.
If you are a gamer or are into video editing or graphic rendering, the graphics card is something you should keep an eye out for.
Every laptop has an integrated graphics card with some having a dedicated secondary graphics cards.
The laptops with AMD have much more powerful GPUs than the Intel processors.
Integrated graphic cards are good for casual games but quickly fail when it comes to demanding ones.
Dedicated graphic cards are the ones you should get if you are into heavy gaming and graphic rendering work.
The entry level is the NVIDIA MX150 though you can get dedicated AMD GPUs they are not common in laptops.
The MX150 is only good enough to play the current demanding games on low settings - you will get smooth gameplay on FORTNITE and PUBG but not on high or ultra-settings.
If you want something more powerful you should consider the GTX series - the higher, the better and also more expensive. An example is the GTX 1060 which more powerful than the GTX 1050 and more expensive.
You should get the higher ones if you are into serious gaming or graphic rendering work.
In looking for a display you should consider the display resolution and the backlit technology.
As far as resolution is concerned the Full HD display, which is has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 can be found on most mid-range laptops.
The 4K (QHD), 3K (UHD) and 2k (QWHD) displays are found mostly on more expensive laptops.
And the cheaper laptops have the HD 1366 x 768 resolution.
All of them have their advantages and disadvantages
The higher resolution displays drain a lot of battery power and also impact performance – not always the case - but on the plus side they offer the best image quality.
The 1080p is the best of both worlds image quality is decent, battery drain is not a lot as compared to the higher screen resolutions.
The HD resolution (1366 x 768) is also decent if the other specs are great. The display doesn't take a lot of toll on the performance and battery life of the machine and so you can expect a responsive display if other specs are also top-notch.
For the backlit display technology, if you are into serious gaming or you find yourself playing games most of the time the TN display (twisted nemantic) with a high refresh rate or an IPS display with a high refresh rate is the best if it is within your budget. Displays come at 60 Hz display refresh rate and to avoid stuttering and screen tearing during gameplay the higher the refresh rate the better.
But for everyday use and casual gaming an IPS display with 60Hz display refresh rate will suffice because of the great viewing angles it offers compared to the TN display.
Now, you know what you want and you have finally found the best deal you can get.
But before purchasing, research the website you are buying from if they are trustworthy and offer return policies in case your laptop you bought starts to show some defects. This will give you peace of mind and confidence in purchasing your laptop.
And as always keep the receipt you never know what might happen.
Sticking to these guidelines will not only prevent you from purchasing inferior laptops but will also give you the confidence in purchasing the laptop you think is the best laptop deal on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Do not let buyer's impulse get the better of you in purchasing a great laptop.
Okay, so you have read the guidelines and still do not know what laptop to get.
No need to fret.
Here’s is a list of ten laptops grouped – two in each category - according to gaming, work, college, chromebook and all-purpose you can get.
And mind you, discounts start from a week to two days before Black Friday.
If you think the laptops chosen will be a steal, you should definitely add it to your cart so that when the event comes and the laptop has a massive discount you can quickly purchase it lest you miss out on a great deal.
Here's is the list of the best laptops you can get and keep an eye on during the thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
P.S. Most of the laptops have discounts.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 has always been known as the king of mid-range gaming laptops. And there is a good reason. Nvidia GTX 1060 6 GB, 8th Gen Intel i7-8750H six-cores, 16 GB ram, SSD, high screen refresh rate, lots of ports.
And rest assured, the GTX 1060 will be able to play most of your games on high fps on medium to high settings. Such specs available at such an affordable price for a gaming laptop makes it very popular.
This is a must get laptop if you are looking to for gaming rig but can't afford the higher end one's.
Last year, the Acer Predator Helios 300 had a price drop from $1199 to $900 and it wasn't even Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you can expect lower prices.This Acer Predator also has much better specs than last year's model. A great gaming laptop bargain if you think about. The only port it lacks is the DisplayPort so you can't connect it to external monitors.
Where the Acer Predator Helios 300 truly shines is the ability to overclock its GPU thanks to its predator sense and giving you a 10-15 fps boost in games that you play.
Thermal throttling is somewhat a problem – it is also common in other gaming laptops if heat is not properly managed - in the Acer Predator Helios 300 but Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts can get you a pretty good deal on cooling pads and even without the deals you can get a cheap cooling pad. As like with most gaming laptops the battery life is not great.
All in all the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a good buy and will even be a better buy when it has a discount.
The Asus Strix Scar is almost similar in specs to the Acer Predator Helios 300 except for one thing; the NVIDIA GTX 1070 and its storage.
This is what gives the Asus Strix Scar an edge over the Acer Predator Helios and also one of the best laptop deals you can get.
The GTX 1070 has a 30%-50% greater than the GTX 1060, so if you are looking for a gaming laptop that will still be able to play demanding games on high – ultra settings at high fps then by all means the GTX 1070 will be able to handle the job. The Strix Scar also has a massive amount of storage: a 128GB SSD and a 1 TB hybrid drive. Talk about fast boost up times and a very responsive laptop.
Last year’s model had a price drop of almost $250 from $1599. This year a similar price drop might also happen, so keep your fingers crossed.
A customizable RGB Keyboard
The Asus Strix has a high refresh screen rate 144 Hz for that smooth gameplay and a a really good cooling system so the chances of thermal throttling happening is low.
The configuration of the cooling system can set the speed of the fans to silent, balanced and an overboost. Overboost is reserved for maximum cooling when playing current demanding games on high or ultra-settings
The Asus ROG Strix Scar has a whole array of ports including a mini DisplayPort which you can connect to an external monitor.
The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon is known as the best of business laptops. It might not be aesthetically pleasing but it packs a lot of processing power that gives you the edge in the work environment. 8th Gen i7 processor, a touchscreen 2k display with 100% colour gamut - 100% sRGB and almost 90% AdobeRGB, 16 GB of ram and a 512 SSD.
Those are some high-end specs for a very thin laptop. The Thinkpad X1 Carbon also has a 10 hour battery life and an excellent backlit keyboard that will make your wrists feel really good when you are typing. The laptop also weighs a little over a kilo.
Design-wise, the laptop's lid is reinforced with carbon fiber and the chassis is made of magnesium to help it withstand harsh environments and accidental falls and bumps. It offers all the ports you need including Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, USB 3.0, and a microSD slot.
Last year's model had a price drop of almost 25%. That is a major discount and a good deal on a high end ultraportable laptop for such great specs.
This is an ultraportable laptop you want to keep your eye on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
The Dell XPS 13 is quite the popular ultraportable laptop and for a good reason. A refined version of the previous model. Everything you want in an ultraportable laptop can be found in the Dell XPS 13. Portability, great battery life, a great display, and fast performance.
The display of the Dell XPS 13 is a 4K QHD display that is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The protection from the Gorilla glass makes the display resistant to scratches and wear and in some cases cracks. The laptop weighs roughly about 1.21 kg and has a 9 hour battery life. The keyboard is backlit and has minimum key travel making it great to type on. The last year’s model had a price drop of almost $400. A good deal for such a laptop that comes with an 8th gen i7 processor, 16 GB of ram, and 512 GB SSD.
The Acer Aspire E15 is has the perfect balance between academic work and play. The processing power is good enough to handle task you throw at it thanks to its 8th Gen Intel i5 processor and 8 GB of ram. Talk about a great machine for academic work.
The weight is just right not too heavy not too light. The display is a Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display that has great viewing angles and sunlight legibility. Battery life is decent too at most 8 hours. The storage is a 1 TB Hard Disk Drive which you can easily swap for a Solid State Drive which will be very affordable at the time of purchasing the machine of Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Same goes for the ram too.
The dedicated Nvidia MX150 graphics is great for light to mid-range gaming. Fortnite, PUBG and the Witcher 3 are playable. Current demanding games are playable but not on medium or high settings.
If you are more ambitious and looking for better performance than the MX150 but can’t afford the expensive ones the CUK Ideapad 330 might be the laptop for you. If you haven’t heard of CUK (Computer Upgrade King), they are Computer Company that specializes in customizing laptops and desktops. CUK are reliable and trustworthy and some of their products are recommended by amazon you can read about them here.
The CUK Ideapad has a NVIDIA GTX 1050 which will give you much better performance than the MX150. The processor is also an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H. If you look carefully at the specifications of most laptops their processors have U attached their numbers and example is i5-8250U. The i5-8300H is on another level than the i5s attached with U and are even much more powerful than the i7-8550U. So performance wise this laptop will cover you. The weight of the laptop is a little over 2 kg and has a 240 GB Solid State Drive.
The Acer Chromebook convertible is offers a lot despite its cheap price powered by a MTK processor and 4 GB of ram they acer Chromebook might not be powerful in terms of processing but gets the job done especially if you are a light user or just need something cheap to type documents - as long you don’t need a lot of processing power the acer Chromebook is a good choice.
The Chromebook looks a MacBook pro from afar because of its aluminium chassis and has a chrome logo on the lid. The storage is a 32 GB eMMC drive which is expandable via microSD if you think the space is not sufficient. And the display is a touchscreen Full HD (1920 x 1080) display which is surprising because laptops that have similar price tags do not have displays like that. The battery life is also superb almost half a day might be even be more if you keep brightness low.
Also, if you like to type you will resonate with this Chromebook because the keys are evenly spaced resulting in a comfortable typing experience The Acer Chromebook weighs about 1.5 kg though it might not be the lightest it is still light enough to be easily carried around.
The Asus Chromebook is a rugged Chromebook designed to withstand bumps, falls and liquid spills.
The Chromebook is surrounded by a rubberized protective ring which serves to protect the Chromebook against unforeseen accidents making it a great substitute for expensive laptops when travelling since anything might happen when conducting business in a foreign country.
The Chromebook is powered by an Intel Celeron processor and has 4 GB of ram. Just like with all Chromebooks the performance is good enough for typing and light usage and starts to suffer when you opening a lot of google tabs or comes under heavy usage The storage space is a 32 GB eMMC drive which can be expanded via microSD card if it is not enough for you.
The battery life is great but not as impressive as the Acer Chromebook only lasting close to 9 hours. The display is HD (1336 x 768) anti-glare display and has a 180 degree hinge. If you like to stare at the screen a lot an anti-glare display is a feature you should consider. The keyboard is also excellent as the Acer Chromebook and spill-resistant. The keyboard and Chromebook will still function properly even after you spill water or soda onto the keyboard.
The Asus Chromebook can be used for a long time because of its rugged design.
The Asus Vivobook fits all the requirements of the general type laptop except for the gaming aspect though you can still play games albeit only light ones.
It is a laptop which you can easily mistake for an ultra-portable laptop. It weighs a little over of 1.6 kg and it’s very slim. The dimensions makes it a great laptop to be used at home, work or school. Overall, the design is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Powered by an 8th Intel Core i5 processor and 8 GB of ram, the performance of the system is just right – fast enough to handle a lot of task you throw at it. The Vivobook has massive storage space a combination of a 128 GB Solid State Drive and a 1 TB Hard Disk Drive. The 128 GB will most definitely house the operating systems to ensure fast boot up speeds and responsiveness. For the keyboard is not backlit and the best out there but it will get the job done.
For a general purpose laptop the display is on point and has great viewing angles - a 14 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display with narrow bezels. The laptop’s battery life is average at best lasting about 5-6 hours.
Discounts on the Asus Vivobook are mostly 20% - it might be more given that it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Overall, the Asus Vivobook has performance and build quality of a general purpose laptop. A great laptop if you want something light and only play non-demanding games.
The Acer Swift 3 is considered to be a general type laptop and has the dedicated graphics card need for some light to mid-range gaming.
Great battery life, glossy display and solid performance the Acer Swift 3 checks all the boxes. The Acer Swift 3 also looks premium, thin and has an aluminium chassis roughly weighinh about 1.5kg
The Acer Swift 3 is powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and has 8 GB of ram. The storage device is a 256 GB Solid State Drive – as always Solid State Drives are the best because of the fast boot up times and responsiveness a laptop will have if it houses one.
The display is a Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Display which has great viewing angles and sunlight legibly. It also has narrow bezels and a 180 degree hinge which can be pushed far back.
Most games are playable on the Acer Swift 3 because of its dedicated MX150 graphics. Games like Fornite, PUBG and Overwatch will have no problems in running the games.
The Acer Swift 3 has a much better battery life than the Asus Vivobook despite the Swift 3 having a dedicated graphics card. At most battery life with last about 8 hours under normal usage.
You can read the review here.
Post Your Comment