According to parents, back to school laptop deals are better than Black Friday deals. Parents ranked Back to School sales for laptops and tablets ahead of both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in our Back to School Shopping Survey. There could be several reason for this ranking, including the sheer selection this time of year, as Black Friday tends to offer a very select group of older, slower laptops. The 2014 crop of Black Friday laptop deals was impressive for super low prices, with perhaps the lowest prices we’ve ever seen. Feel free to check out the Top 10 Black Friday Laptop Deals from 2014. It included an Asus 11.6″ Laptop w/ Intel Processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB HDD for $99!
It seems no two laptop deals are exactly apples to apples when it comes to price, speed, memory, etc. In fact, any given week, the prices can fluctuate. The key to cashing in on August’s big computer sales period is by stacking reduced prices with other savings incentives. This includes student discounts, tax free holidays, rewards like FatWallet cash back, rebates (instant and mail-in), coupons, and free shipping. Even refurbished laptops can solve budget issues, and save students up to half. It all adds up to saving families $100s, and savvy parents will stack to the ceiling to find the best deal on this big ticket expense (see FatWallet’s back to school sales promo for the best current savings).
Top 5 Back to School Laptop Deals vs. Black Friday:
How exactly do Back to School laptop deals stack up against comparable Black Friday deals? We take a look at 5 popular brands to see if we can get a frame of reference to either confirm this, or if it is just perception.
Acer Laptop Aspire E 15.6″ Touch Laptop
On sale for $260 at TigerDirect (+2% cash back) Featuring: Intel Core i3-5005U Dual-core 2 GHz, 4GB Memory 500 HDD 8GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 5500 1366 x 768 Windows 8.1 (includes free Windows 10 upgrade, McAfee 2015 Multi-Access and $70 mail-in rebate + Acer $30 mail-in rebate)
Black Friday Deal: Although half a slower processor speed, this deal for $349 from Newegg featured included Intel Core i5 4210U (1.70GHz) 4GB DDR3L Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4400 1366 x 768 Windows 8.1 (TigerDirect offered a slightly faster Aspire model for $750)
HP Pavilion 15.6″ Laptop (15-p100dx)
On sale for $399 at Best Buy (+1% cash back)
Featuring: 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop, Intel Core i3, 6GB Memory, 750GB Hard Drive, Black Licorice, Windows 8.1
Black Friday Deal: $549 from Best Buy last November, Office Depot offered a non-touch screen HP Pavilion model with only 4GB Ram at $299 ($350 off). Also, RadioShack had a Special Edition HP Pavilion 8GB RAM 1TB HDD w/ Beats Audio + $50.00 Gift Card for $599.
Lenovo Y50-70 15.6″ Touch Laptop
on sale for $948 at Lenovo (+3% cash back) +free shipping
Featuring: Intel Core i7-4720HQ Processor (2.60GHz 1600MHz 6MB), 15.6″ FHD LED AntiGlare Backlit Multitouch (1920 x 1080), 16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRA, 512GB SSD, Windows 8.1
Black Friday Deal: Lenovo Y50 4K Gaming Laptop w/ Core i7, 16GB, 256GB SSD for $1,089.99 (currently listed at $1,143 at Newegg).
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 12″
On sale for $780 at eBay (+up to 3% cash back) and free shipping
Featuring: Intel 4th Generation Core i5 Processor (1.9GHz), 12″ (2160 x 1440) Touchscreen Display, 128 GB Storage Capacity, Windows 8.1 Pro (does not include keyboard accessory, so technically it’s a tablet that runs Windows). NOTE: Student and Faculty get a 10% discount shopping through Microsoft Store, +4 % cash back from FatWallet.
Black Friday Deal: TigerDirect offered the same Surface Pro 3 spec model last November for $800.
Apple MacBook Air 113.3″ Laptop
On sale for $900 at Best Buy (+1% cash back)
Featuring: Intel Core i5, 4GB Memory, 128 Flash Storage, students and educators can take an additional $100 off by registering a valid .edu email account here and following the emailed instructions to receive a one-time use coupon code.
Black Friday Deal: Basically the same model was available at Microcenter for $950 last November.
As you can see, it is pretty hard to compare exactly Back to School laptop deals to Black Friday deals. What we can say is that Back to School laptop deals tend to be very similar to the previous years Black Friday prices. If you are in the market for a new laptop, Back to School sales are worth a look. If you don’t seen anything, you can always wait for Black Friday.