LAPTOP Deals: Black Friday Recap and 2013 Predictions


Best of Black Friday Deals 2013Ready for BLACK FRIDAY 2013 LAPTOP DEALS?


As predicted in 2012, laptop deals were popular with shoppers with a record number of laptop and notebook deals (156 deals from 28 stores) and some of the lowest prices we’ve ever seen, especially for budget laptops. Just like HDTVs, laptops are not all created equal, yet there were 22 notable models under $300 and 4 models under $200. But were they the best? Do they even stack up to current Laptop deals?

FatWallet tech/finance expert Bryan Marsden reviews the 10 Most Popular Laptop Deals from Black Friday 2012.

Lenovo Laptop (G585 – 59345756) from Best Buy– See Details.
$187.99 (msrp $399.99) , specs: 15.6″ screen, AMD E300 processor, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 802.11bgn WLAN, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 1 ethernet, 1 VGA, 1 DVDRW.

The Lenovo G585 is a very low end laptop but at $188 this laptop is a pretty good value if you’re looking for web browsing, email, and light-duty office work. It’s low RAM will not lend itself to multi-tasking. The AMD E300 CPU is Lenovo’s low budget CPU that won’t be breaking any speed records and coming in at just under 6 lbs. makes it less than idea for carrying around. If you are looking for a capable work machine that will handle most jobs quickly, then this wasn’t the laptop for you.

Dell Inspiron 14z 14.1″ Laptop from DELL– See Details.
$299.99 (msrp $650), specs: 14.1″ screen, Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 802.11n WLAN 1 USB 3.0, 1USB 2.0, 1 ethernet, 1 HDMI, 1 Multi-media Card Reader, 1 DVD+/-RW.

This laptop is a basic work horse type laptop and with the black friday price of $300, it was a good buy. The i3 Intel CPU and 4GB of RAM is more than efficient for most work loads and the 500 GB is adequate and generous at this price. With a 14″ screen and almost 2lbs lighter than the Lenovo above, it’s portable as laptops go. If you were looking to purchase a similar, but better system now, we would suggest the Acer Aspire V5-571P-6831 for $100 less than the Dell msrp. It’s bigger and heavier, but with i5 CPU (vs. i3), 6GB RAM (vs. 4GB), 50% more hard drive space and a touch screen. Or wait until Black Friday and perhaps this price will come down a little bit more.

Compaq Presario Laptop (CQ58-bf9WM) from Walmart– See Details.
$179.00 (msrp $298.00), specs: 15.6″ screen, AMD C-60 CPU, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 802.11b/g/n WLAN, 3 USB 2.0, 1 ethernet, 1 SuperMulti DVD Burner, 1 2-in-1 memory card reader.

This is a very basic laptop. All of the limitations, and suggestions we mentioned about the Lenovo G585 are basically the same with this laptop. If you got it for $179, it’s as cheap as you may ever spend to get a brand new laptop. At just under $300 (the Compaq msrp), there’s more bang for your buck available now–try PCMall for current sales and coupons.

Dell Inspiron Laptop w/Free Shipping from Best Buy– See Details.
$249.99 (msrp $349.99) specs: 15.6″ screen, Intel Celeron CPU, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 3 USB 2.0, 802.11b/g/n WLAN, 1 ethernet, 1 Bluetooth 3.0, 1 HDMI out, 1 half mini card PCMCIA Slots.

Similar to the Levono, and Compaq listed above but this Dell does have a few perks that we do like. The HDMI out is handy for hooking up to your TV to play media, and the Bluetooth 3.0 is nice using an external keyboards, mouse, speaker or other Bluetooth connections. Was it with the extra $70 to have those? If you like Dell, perhaps…with so many similar low budget laptops offered last year, that was the big choice Black Friday shoppers had to make. Compared to this $350 retail price, you can currently purchase a HP Envy for $40 more with a much better CPU, more RAM, more HDD space, and a fingerprint reader.

HP Pavilion 14″ Sleekbook (14-B017NR) from BJ’s Wholesale– See Details.
$399.99 (msrp $579.99) , specs: 14″ screen, Intel PDC 987 CPU, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 802.11b/g/n WLAN, 1 ethernet, 1 multiformat card reader, 1 HDMI.

The sleekbook is slightly lighter than the Dell Inspiron 14z laptop we mentioned above. Specs wise it is also very similar. The Dell 14z does edge it out on the CPU, and in HHD space. The Dell also comes with a DVDRW, while the sleekbook does not. At $100 more the Sleekbook was a great deal for HP fans, but the Inspiron 14z (listed above), or the Asus 14″ (listed below) came in as cheaper purchases for the same basic laptop.

Samsung Laptop Bundle from Best Buy– See Details.
$349.95 (msrp $575) w/ 8GB Flash Drive, Wireless Mouse, Laptop Sleeve, Webroot Internet Security Plus, specs: 15.6″ screen Intel i3 CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, 1 ethernet, 3 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 1 SD Multi-card reader,

This is our first bundle on the list, but was it a good buy? The mouse sold for $25, the sleeve for $30, the 8GB flash drive goes for around $10, and the Webroot software is $60 (per year) for a total of $125 retail savings.

However, minus the bundle savings, for $50 less you could have gotten the Dell 14z. It’s a little smaller, and weighs a bit less, but hardware wise they are very similar. Were the extras in the bundle worth it? Samsung fans would say yes. Current retail price of this laptop alone is $448.

Asus 14″ Laptop (X401A-BHPDN37) from Best Buy– See Details.
$249.99 (msrp $499.99), specs: 14″ screen, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 802.11b/g/nWLAN, 1 ethernet, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA.

At the Black Friday price of $250, this laptop was a really good value and perhaps the best on this list. In the ultra portable category at just over 4 lbs., it is a fair bit smaller and lighter than many laptops on this list. However, it’s not considered to be a low end laptop and brings respectable specs. It ranks similar, but cheaper than the HP Sleekbook and Dell 14z (which has a slightly better CPU and a bit more HDD space, but it was also $50 more).

Lenovo Laptop from Fry’s Electronics– See Details.
$187.00 (msrp $299.99), specs: 15.6″, , 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, 1 ethernet, DVD, 4 USB 2.0, 6-in-1 card reader, 1 HDMI.

This laptop has been out of production for a while. After a bit of digging we think the model is the Lenovo B575-1450A5U. Like the G585 at the top of the list, this is a budget laptop. It does have a couple of extras like 4 USB ports, a HDMI port, and a 2 extra gigs of ram. It’s not pretty, but it will get the job done and with a Black Friday price of $187, it was a good value. Even at the retail price of $300, it would still be a very cheap for a laptop. However, you can find laptop deals like this Toshiba currently for less money.

HP Pavilion Laptop (G7-2243US) from Staples– See Details.
$399.99 (msrp $620.00), specs: 17.3″ screen, AMD A8 Quad-Core CPU, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7640G Discrete Graphics, SuperMulti DVD burner, 802.11b/g/n WLAN, 1 ethernet, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, Multi-format card reader.

With a 17.3″ screen, this is the biggest laptop on the list and comes in at just over 6.5 lbs. So as a lug to haul around, it’s more of a desktop replacement, or decent gaming laptop. While the A8 CPU isn’t as powerful as it’s Intel counterpart, it does come with a dedicated video card that pretty much crushes anything on the list for gaming.

You can currently get one for $563 on Amazon, so the Black Friday price of $400 was and still is a good buy for this laptop.

Apple 13.3″ MacBook Air from MacMall– See Details.
$1,224.98 (msrp $1299.99), specs: 13.3″ screen, Intel i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 2 USB 3.0, 1 Thunderbolt connector, 1 SDXC slot, 802.11b/g/n WLAN.

This is the only Apple product to make the list as cnet’s Dan Ackerman gives the newest, longer-life battery model, 4 of 5 stars.

Current Macbook Air prices with these same specs are going for $1199.00 or less, so if you didn’t get one last year, you’re in luck as they are cheaper right now…then add cash back and free shipping shopping through FatWallet. (Note: Students and teachers can get up to $200 more with Apple’s Education Pricing and get a $100 App Store Gift Card.)

LAPTOP Deals Predictions for 2013 Holiday

Last holiday shopping season, we saw dozens of laptop models become available for under $400 and many under $200 for 50% or better savings and holiday shoppers can expect to see similar pricing on 14-15″ laptops again and perhaps even in early November. And as desktops all but disappear and the general public turns to tablets for their daily communication and entertainment, we expect to see some attractive price drops on 17″ models and some older ultrabook/hybrid laptops as shoppers will be looking to upgrade their main computer with a Black Friday deal.


SERIES Master List: “Best of Black Friday 2012”

FatWallet’s in-depth series reveals the top products and deals from last year…some you’ll wish you didn’t miss! Featuring expert deal reviews, shopping tips and predictions for 2013, series content is based on sales and shopping activity recorded from FatWallet’s Black Friday Deal Finder (and mobile app) in 2012 which featured 27,000+ deals and doorbusters, 100+ Black Friday ads, and the hot Thanksgiving Day Deals, as well as Cyber Monday Deals from last year.

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