Digital Crave

There’s never been a better time to buy a laptop

Ivy Bridge 15" Core i5

Recent havoc in the laptop industry means outstanding summer deals for consumers. How outstanding? Try Black Friday-like prices. Analysts are blaming Windows 8 for the lull in laptop sales, which will likely give tablet sales enough of an upper hand to surpass notebook shipments later this year.

“Windows 8 was supposed to give them a jump-start, but Redmond's new operating system turned out to be worse than Vista. In fact, analysts are now blaming Windows 8 for the lull in sales, Even the mighty Intel can't save the laptop industry,” says Dealnews.

They’re predicting record-breaking laptop deals, especially with back-to-school sales surfacing each week. So there's never been a better time to pounce on a deal. Prices are currently in the $350 range – and have gone as low as $299 – for an Ivy Bridge 15" Core i5-based system with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. So anything you find at or below $299 is an Editors' Choice-worthy deal.

Here’s some shopping tools – and a few deals – to help you navigate your laptop shopping.

1. Windows 8 Didn't Live Up to the Hype
“Despite all the fanfare, Windows 8 failed to live up to the hype. Yes, Microsoft sold over 100 million licenses of its shiny new OS, but Windows 8 didn't ignite sales. It also received an unprecedented amount of negative feedback, and it simply didn't sit well with consumers. Sales were so bad that Microsoft cut licensing costs for its partners.”

Microsoft's forthcoming OS update is expected to address many concerns, but it's still unlikely to give laptop sales a significant boost. Now that they’re on the mend, Microsoft and big-box retailers want your business. Low prices are their best tool. You can save $439 off the Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook, 3rd Gen Intel Core i7-3517U Processor. Now only $749.99 + free shipping at Dell.

Printer deals

2. Back to School Sales Will Last Through the Summer
“Dealnews data has consistently shown that the summer is the second-best time of year to buy a new laptop.” These deals have come close to the famed Black Friday deals.

Last summer saw a high number of laptop bundles that combined a mainstream 15" notebook with a gaming console, a gift card, or even an inkjet printer. These combos don't always require purchasers to be students. The months of August and September tend to see the best deals with bundles that include everything from an Xbox 360 to a $100 Amazon gift card.

“Because PC sales are particularly bad this year, we wouldn't be surprised to see solid bundles throughout the summer, so if you want to get the most value from your purchase, we recommend waiting for the right back-to-school bundle.”

3. There's a New CPU Sheriff in Town
Intel's new Haswell chips are poised to take over the market. They offer better battery life and video performance than Intel's 2012 Ivy Bridge processors, which means consumers can see some deep discounts on laptops that use Intel's older chips.

Ivy Bridge Processor

“As of June, prices were already in the $350 range for a mainstream 15" Ivy Bridge notebook (with a Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, and at least 500GB of storage), which is the second-lowest price of the year. While there are some benefits to having a newer CPU under your laptop's hood, the performance increase isn't dramatic. For everyday computing, high-def media streaming, and even light gaming, an Ivy Bridge-based laptop still offers more than enough horsepower.”

How can you tell if a laptop has an Ivy Bridge processor inside? Look at the string of numbers after the processor name. For instance, the "4" in Core i7-4650U signifies a 4th generation Haswell chip, whereas the "3" in Core i7-3537U signifies last year's Ivy Bridge chip.

4. AMD's New CPUs Have Budget Shoppers in Mind
Intel is not only competing with itself via previous-generation processors, they’re also competing with AMD's new processors. “Codenamed Temash, Kabini, and Richland, AMD's new chips were designed for tablets/hybrids, mainstream systems, and premium laptops, respectively. Although they haven't been officially tested, the editors at Notebook Review were impressed by the new processors' battery life during their initial evaluation. Intel has a comfortable lead over AMD when it comes to processor market share, but with laptop shipments down and competition lurking around every corner, every bit counts. So competition from AMD, albeit far from threatening, will help keep laptop prices low.”

Apple

5. Tablets Are All the Rage
It’s been three years since Apple introduced the first iPad. The market they created in that short time has exploded. Tablet shipments are poised to surpass laptop sales for the first time in history. Dealnews predicts that by 2017, tablets will outsell notebooks six to one.

“Tablets have decimated the laptop industry leading to the worst PC sales ever, which in turn has led to some of the best laptop deals ever. As tablets continue to push laptops out of the market and Intel continues looking for new form factors, you can expect the cheap laptop prices to continue.”

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • So What Happened Last Night In Sweden? Donald Trump Saw It On Fox News – Update

      Updated 2:07 pm Sunday, with Trump response  President Donald Trump has explained his Sweden comment: He saw it on Fox. “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” he’s just tweeted. My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19…

      Deadline
    • Inside Edition
    • Father and Son Killed in Head-On Collision After Their Cars Crash into Each Other While Returning Home

      Alabama investigators claim that alcohol played a considerable role in a horrific head-on collision that killed a father and son that were driving separate vehicles early Saturday. According to AL.com, Jeffrey Morris Brasher, 50, and Austin Blaine Brasher, 22, were both killed in a crash that occurred shortly after 4 a.m. on Saturday. • Pick up PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: Cases That Shocked America, on sale now, for the latest on Casey Anthony, JonBenét Ramsey and more.

      People
    • George Clooney Admits He "Chased" Amal For "Many Months" After They First Met

      George Clooney was once one of Hollywood's hottest bachelors, who swore he would never get married again (he was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993). That is, until Amal Alamuddin (now Amal Clooney) came along. George first laid eyes on the human rights attorney at his home in Lake Como, Italy in 2013. During a previous appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, the 55-year-old actor revealed, "We met in Lake Como. She was a friend of a friend who came to visit and then I chased her for many months, calling and writing, those kinds of things." George also admitted to Ellen DeGeneres that "from the minute we met, we just sort of felt like we were going to be together." He

      PopSugar q
    • This dog arrived at a shelter with a seriously detailed notebook from a kid who adored him, and we’re crying

      Today in super cute and completely heartbreaking news, a dog recently arrived at the Humane Society of Utah with VERY specific instructions…

      Hello Giggles
    • Will Steve Kerr play Russell Westbrook with the Warriors’ 4 All-Stars? Probably.

      When Stephen Curry was named a 2017 NBA All-Star starter along with James Harden in the Western Conference backcourt, it became clear Russell Westbrook — who is averaging a triple-double this season — would come off the bench behind one of the league’s most heralded shooters. There’s a distinct possibility that Westbrook will share the court with four Warriors players, including his old teammate Kevin Durant. Durant left the Thunder for the Warriors during free agency after Golden State lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

      SB Nation q
    • Millard Fillmore was deservedly forgotten, but his politics sound familiar

      History doesn’t repeat itself. But it has an unnerving tendency to rhyme. Consider, on this first Presidents’ Day under Donald Trump, another New Yorker who occupied the highest office in the land. When Millard Fillmore became the nation’s 13th president upon the death of Zachary Taylor in 1850, he immediately plunged the White House and the Whig Party — one of the nation’s two dominant political parties — into turmoil. On the day he took the oath of office, Fillmore petulantly dismissed every member of Taylor’s Cabinet, which he resented for having ignored him when he was vice president. As a result, it took weeks — in one case, more than two months — before the new president’s Cabinet members

      BostonGlobe.com q
    • 'Shark Tank' Failures: 5 Products That Didn't Make It

      These five businesses are Shark Tank's biggest failures.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • J.K. Rowling has the best response to Trump's non-existent Sweden attack

      The internet can't get enough of President Donald Trump's "last night in Sweden" remarks, including, of course, J.K. Rowling. Never one to shy from a little fun at the expense of the U.S. president, the author joined in on Twitter's response to Trump's confusing reference to a terrorist attack that didn't actually happen. SEE ALSO: Internet turns to @Sweden on Twitter after Trump appears to invent terror attack Literally the biggest incident of Sweden last night was a horse called Biscuit being rescued from a well. https://t.co/CAYsHhpt6z — Grapey (@Grapeykins) February 19, 2017 #MakeBiscuitDryAgain https://t.co/C7rPpZrcNf — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 19, 2017 Naturally, Rowling's hashtag kicked off a whole new riff on Trump's Sweden comments.  Poor Biscuit, after #BowlingGreen, why didn't Sweden see this coming and do something to prevent such an atrocity? #MakeBiscuitDryAgain — Bren (@bnboring) February 19, 2017 Thanks to your prayers @jk_rowling Biscuit soon dry again #MakeBiscuitDryAgain @ChelseaClinton pic.twitter.com/shs4SnlM7P — Leif Pagrotsky (@leifpagrotsky) February 19, 2017 What's that, Lassie?! Who fell down the well?? #swedenincident #MakeBiscuitDryAgain https://t.co/6Aoc9yfzz0 — MJ (@meencat) February 19, 2017 A quick refresher: During a speech at a rally in Melbourne, Florida, held Saturday night, Trump sandwiched a vague reference to Sweden between references to recent terrorist attacks in Germany, France and Belgium.  From a transcript of his speech:  As many have noted, nothing close to the attacks he referenced in his speech happened in Sweden on Friday night. Even Sweden's former prime minister struggled to make sense of Trump's comment: Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound. https://t.co/XWgw8Fz7tj — Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 19, 2017 As for the horse, let's all hope its OK after its terrifying ordeal.  [H/T: Huffington Post] BONUS: The secret love affair between Harry Potter and Voldemort

      Mashable
    • Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One Another

      Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

      Inside Edition
    • Police: Man charged after child hit 62 times in five minutes

      A camera designed to catch illegal dumping instead captured footage of a man hitting a 7-year-old boy dozens of times, authorities say.

      WABC – NY
    • Fox News' Chris Wallace to Reince Priebus: 'You don't get to tell us what to do'

      Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus clashed Sunday over President Trump's tweet labeling the media an "enemy of the American people." "I don't have any problem with you complaining about an individual story" or bias, Wallace said. "But you went a lot further than that — or the president went a lot further than that he said that the 'fake media' — not certain stories — the 'fake media' are an 'enemy to the country.'" Priebus pushed back, arguing that the issue is "not just two stories" that may be marred by bias or error but "24 hours a day, seven days a week" of cable news programming that focuses not on the Trump administration's policy accomplishments

      The Week q
    • Did Ciara Just Reveal the Sex of Baby No. 2?

      Fans are pretty sure the second-time mama-to-be dropped a major hint on Instagram.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Shocking image shows Kim Jong-nam's final moments after he was assassinated

      Shocking images of the moment Kim Jong-nam was assassinated in a Malaysian airport have emerged for the first time. The half-brother of North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un was poisoned on 13 February, allegedly by two women believed to be acting on behalf of the rogue state. It was originally thought the two women involved were North Korean spies, but it emerged on Saturday that at least one of the women – Sisi Asiyah, 25, from Indonesia – believed they were taking part in a television prank, though this has not been officially confirmed.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Under Armour made some huge mistakes that are turning into a nightmare

      Under Armour isn't cool anymore, according to a recent analyst note. 

      Business Insider
    • Reminder: Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs Are Still Crazy in Love (4 photos)

      In case you needed a refresher course on the current state of Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs 's relationship, they provided one on the red carpet Thursday night. The engaged couple made a rare joint appearance in London at the premiere of Pattinson's new movie, The Lost City of Z . Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage sually low-key about their love affair, these two couldn't hide their obvious affection on the carpet. RPatz only had eyes for his lady, who embodied cool-girl style in a black zippered jumpsuit with flared legs. Meanwhile, FKA Twigs held on tight to her man, proudly supporting him while he promoted his latest project. VIDEO: Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs's Cutest Couple Moments 5327375581001 Yup, these two are still goals. But there were other celebs on the red carpet, and somehow photogs managed to pull their eyes off of this loved-up couple for just enough time to snap a few pics with their cameras. Keep scrolling for all of the stars who RPatz and his fiancee showed up (just a little) on the carpet. Sorry, guys.

      InStyle
    • NFL Rumors: 8 Potential Landing Spots for Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017

      Jimmy Garoppolo will be a hot commodity around the NFL this offseason. Here's a look at 8 potential landing spots for the New England Patriots quarterback.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • After Donald Trump claims there was a tragedy in Sweden, people have hilarious suggestions of what it might have been

      First there was the “Bowling Green massacre,” the nonexistent incident mentioned by President Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway to justify the Muslim travel ban….

      Hello Giggles
    • Grieving Army Widow Meets Her Husband’s Coffin on Airport Tarmac, Leaving Plane Passengers in Tears

      A touching moment between a grieving military widow and her husband’s coffin was captured on camera by a bystander, giving millions of viewers on social media a window into the heartbreaking and personal effects of war. Lisa West Williams was waiting to exit her aircraft at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Tuesday, when she and her fellow passengers watched a flag-draped coffin being removed from the plane’s luggage compartments. The Oklahoma native was an Echo in the Special Forces and was on his eighth deployment when he died.

      People