In a world where smartphones act like computers, you might be inclined to think all love for laptops is lost. Quite the contrary, truth be told; more than 171 million laptops were sold last year and the portable PC is still many people’s electronic device of choice. That’s why you’ve ended up here, after all.
The cultural shift towards smaller devices has affected sales, of course, but the shift has also meant brands have to work harder to develop better technology at a lower cost to consumers. This also means there is serious scope for major deals and price cuts over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Whether you’re in the market for a new laptop to supercharge your work day or you simply want to upgrade an older model, there is no better time to invest. Black Friday 2019 (November 29, to be precise, though many retailers have already released exceptional early deals) comes with price cuts galore.
The best UK laptop deals of Black Friday 2019
1. ASUS ZenBook UX333 Full HD 13.3 Inch Laptop
Lightweight, quick and boasting an incredible 95 per cent screen to body ratio, this ASUS laptop offers excellent value for money. Like other ZenBook models, this laptop's performance is as imperative as its comfort – in fact, a special ErgoLift hinge automatically tilts the keyboard to the most comfortable typing position for all-day use, as well as improving cooling and audio performance
2. Dell Inspiron 15-3000 Series 15.6 inch Full HD Laptop
Ready to swap your overheating, underperforming laptop for something shiny and new? Look no further than this gorgeous Inspiron powerhouse. The laptop launches with a single fingerprint and handles all tasks with ease, thanks to a high-tech spec package featuring an AMD Ryzen™ 5 2500U processor, Radeon Vega graphics and 8GB DDR4 RAM.
3. Medion Akoya P6645 1TB HDD Laptop
Though you might not be as familiar with Medion as you are with other brands on the list, the specialist laptop creators are actually part of the Lenovo group. Think Lenovo laptops...for creators. This model - the Medion Akoya P6645 - would be a dream gift for video editors, graphic designers and gamers alike, boasting dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 graphics and an enormous 1 TB hard drive. It's a beast in aluminium coating.
4. Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Laptop (2018 model)
As one of the most coveted laptops around, this £240 discount will delight Apple fans who've been holding their breath for Black Friday MacBook deals. Albeit still an expensive product, we have never seen this powerful and intuitive model for less. Touch Bar, Retina display, Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD all included, as standard.
5. ASUS VivoBook X512FA 15.6 Inch Full HD Laptop
The award for this year's most eye-catching laptop might just have to go to this luxe ASUS model, with an ultra-slim frameless display in bright coral. Powered by an Intel i5 8265 processor and 256GB SSD storage, the HD laptop will be as useful for work as it will for bedtime binge-watching. Also available in blue, silver and grey.
6. MSI GF63 Thin 15.6 inch Full HD Gaming Laptop
MSI gaming laptops are a Christmas list favourite among professional and hobbyist gamers. And the GF63, which has been reduced by £250 for Black Friday, is no exception. With a full HD 1920x1080 resolution supported by a 4GN NVIDIA GTX 1650 MQ graphics card, visuals simply don't get more immersive or detailed. It also weighs just 1.86kg, making it a uniquely portable gaming laptop.
7. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
This Black Friday, you can save over £100 on this super-thin and powerful laptop/tablet hybrid. Though the Surface Pro 6 is light enough to carry around every day, its tech specs are better than computers double its size; it boasts an 8th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, 256 GB SSD storage, an all-day battery, Dolby Audio Premium sound and a high-res PixelSense display, to name but an impressive few.
8. Apple iPad Pro
The latest 10.2-inch iPad Pro may not be as large as other models, but the tablet still receives rave reviews for its sleek functionality. Whether you need something to help you work on the fly or catch up on your favourite shows as you commute, its fast loading time, 10 hours of battery life and intuitive UX makes switching between laptop for tablet a breeze. Available in Space Grey, Silver and Gold.
How to shop for a laptop during Black Friday 2019
Select an operating system
If you want MacOS – arguably the most intuitive and modern of those available – you are looking for an Apple laptop (see: MacBooks). Alternatively, you can hunt for a Windows laptop; the operating system is more common than MacOS and offers the widest range of program compatibility (especially useful if you’re looking to work on your laptop). At a lower price point, you could also opt for a Chromebook — a streamlined version boasting many of the same basic functionality (internet, word processing, etc).
Check the specs
You’ll want to invest in something fit for purpose, and everyone’s needs are different. Screen size, weight, memory, graphics capabilities and battery life will affect each laptop’s suitability for you, and you may be willing to make sacrifices on one feature to get a great deal on another. Make sure you read the specs in detail so your purchase meets expectations. If you're not sure what all the jargon means, here's a handy reference guide.
RAM: This is your laptop’s memory. 4GB is acceptable as a minimum but 8GB or more is recommended for a high performance model and/or all-day daily use.
CPU: The Central Processing Unit is the processor responsible for running the programs on your laptop. Look out for models with multiple 'cores' as each CPU core optimises performance; an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor will do a great job.
GPU: Here, we're talking graphics cards – the tiny cards which process visuals. Each GPU is nuanced, so it’s worth researching each specifically to ensure it is powerful enough for your needs. High-end gaming laptops will require something special, like the Nvidia GeForce or AMD Radeon series.
Solid state drive (SSD) vs hard disk drive (HDD): This is tech slang for storage. Many laptops now come with an SSD, which is more expensive but performs faster. Both do the same job, but HDDs are still the preference for cost-consumers (everything simply runs a little bit slower).
Resolution: Screen resolution will determine the quality of the things you read and watch. Every display panel is made of pixels and more pixels mean more detail. Look out for a resolution of 1920 x 1080 or higher. Many brands use additional slang terms (like Retina, QHD, and UHD) but you'll want to focus on the numbers themselves to simplify your comparison.
To touch-screen or not to touch-screen
Many newer Windows laptops come with this handy feature which can offer a lot to younger, older, or more artistic types. Some touch screen models will be described as ‘2 in 1 laptops’ as they can be used as a laptop or tablet. If you opt for a detachable keyboard, make sure you test it for comfort beforehand; the preference is often entirely subjective.
Popular models like Apple's MacBook Pros still sell well and boast a lot of buzz, so they will be considerably more expensive than non-Apple laptops. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they are also the least likely to be discounted. Typically, you’ll come across price cuts of no more than £200 on Apple laptops.
Choose a price bracket
Once you get to grips with your desired specifications, you need to find the best option within your budget. From Black Fridays past, we expect good netbooks and Chromebook deals available for as little as £100, low to mid-range laptops for £300 or so, and high-end and gaming laptop deals around £600.