Find ways to stay connected cheaply while traveling domestically and abroad.
The Best Laptop Deals Information Guide
Frugal shoppers on the hunt for bargains typically look to retailers or coupon sites for laptop deals, but this is one category where manufacturers do a decent job of pointing consumers in the right direction. Sony, for instance has a weekly deals page with offers for anywhere from $50 to more than $300 off certain laptops.
Gateway is a rare manufacturer with a deals page that links to retail outlets offering discounts, such as Best Buy and Amazon. Those retailers promote their own laptop deals as well, of course. Best Buy compiles a list of weekly specials and Amazon lets consumers browse laptops listed for 20% off or more.
NotebookReview aggregates the latest laptop deals from both retailers and manufacturers, aiming to be a "one-stop source." If you can get past the cluttered design, Deals2Buy also lists page after page of laptop deals from major manufacturers and retailers, most of which offer $100 off or more. The site tells you where the deal is and the final price with applicable coupons and discounts. It also factors in shipping costs, including offers of free shipping, and indicates whether the purchase is subject to sales tax.
Coupon sites offer some of the steepest discounts on laptops. Cheap Stingy Bargains has a few coupon codes for discounts in the $300 to $400 range, as does TechBargains. Coupon Sherpa organizes coupons by store, so you can click through to Office Depot or Sony or another of the two dozen or so outlets with available coupons for computers and software. Brad's Deals also doesn't have a dedicated laptop section, but many of the listings in the computer category are for laptops. Other coupon sites to check for laptop deals are Slickdeals, CouponMountain, MyCoupons, Deals.com, DealCatcher, RetailMeNot, Dealnews, and FatWallet.
Sales and coupons aren't the only sources of laptop deals. Getting a good price on a notebook can be as simple as knowing when to buy. Lifehacker notes on its Best Times to Buy Anything chart that August and September are the best months to buy a laptop, thanks to back-to-school savings at big-box stores and direct retailers. Price-comparison site Extrabux has drilled down even further, zeroing in on the best days of the week to buy a laptop online, based on analysis of two years' worth of data. The site discovered that prices are lower early in the week because manufacturers apply discounts and rebates on Mondays, so retailers get laptops for less and pass on the savings to their customers.
Prices also depend on whether a given manufacturer is about to come out with a new model. If you're in the market for a MacBook, head over to MacRumors, which monitors speculation coming out of Cupertino to predict whether an Apple device is nearing the end of its product cycle. Decide, a startup, tracks the prices of popular PCs and tells you whether it's a good time to buy a particular model. It may recommend buying now because prices aren't likely to drop or researching a newer model that's set to come out soon.
Finally, laptop deals are available to students, public-sector employees, and other groups eligible for discounts from manufacturers. Dell partners with major corporations to offer deals on laptops through its Employee Purchase Program. Government employees, credit union members, veterans, students, and other groups can shop through the Dell Member Purchase Program and Dell University Store. Students can also save with HP education discounts, Lenovo student pricing, and the Apple Education Store, which offers up to $200 off a MacBook.
Don't Bother Cheap Laptops
Toshiba Satellite P755D-S5172
This laptop comes with some fancy features but disappoints when it comes to essentials such as its processing power and battery life, especially given the relatively high price tag. Budget buyers might just as soon do without extras such as a Blu-ray drive and opt for a cheaper system that delivers better performance. Read more »
Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 Review
Toshiba Satellite P755D-S5172 Review
Dell Inspiron 14z Review
Toshiba Satellite L755-S5166 Review
Dell Inspiron 15R Review
HP ProBook 4440s Review
Toshiba Satellite L745-S4210
Dell Inspiron 14R
HP Pavilion g6-1a69
Dell Vostro V131
Mid-May is the perfect time to hunt for an apartment or a temp job. ...
Are eBooks a bargain in comparison to traditional books? Read our analysis to find out the pros and cons of each.