Black Friday laptop deals are as American as pumpkin pie. But tracking down worthwhile options can be difficult. Each model has variants, and each of those variants has configurations with too many similar model numbers (thank you, Intel), and too many memorable model names.
We spend a lot of time researching and writing about Ars laptops, so we’ve gone through the deals and highlighted the most noteworthy options, based on the laptops we’ve reviewed and know about. Here are some laptop deals we think are worth knowing about.
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More Black Friday 2022 coverage
MacBook Air 2022 for $1,050 (
$1,200) on Amazon
It’s not a mandatory upgrade over its M1-based predecessor, but the M2-powered MacBook Air is the best laptop for most types of Mac users. With Apple’s impressive M2 processor, this entry-level model can do a lot with just 8GB of RAM, though the 256GB of storage might push storage-hungry types to the Pro (also on sale now).
Best Buy has a matching deal on the same model, and Apple is giving away a $150 gift card if you buy the latest MacBook Air in their store. You can also get the 512GB MacBook Air for $1,299 at Best Buy and $1,499 at Apple (with a $150 gift card).
14-inch MacBook Pro 2021 for $1,600 (
2000 dollars) on Amazon
The 2021 MacBook Pro is the hardware hard fork we’ve been waiting for, a return to usable ports, sensible keyboards, and function keys, aided in large part by Apple’s own silicone backing. Ars’ Samuel Axon called it “the best laptop money can buy for a multitude of use cases, provided you have Much of money.” For a while, the money’s a bit less at Amazon. 14-inch model with M1 Pro chip, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage $1,599 ($400 off). The same deal is available at Best Buy.
Want two more CPU and GPU cores each and double the storage space? This model is currently on sale 2000 dollars On Amazon, drop the usual price by $500. The 2022 model, with a slightly faster M2 chip and 8GB of RAM, is $1,350 On Amazon ($150 off). Apple does not offer a discount, but the purchase of a MacBook Pro qualifies you for an Apple Gift Card worth up to $250.
MacBook Pro 2021, 16-inch, at $ 2,000 (
$2,500) on Amazon
Everything about the 14-inch MacBook Pro is the same as the 16-inch model — just with a larger screen and an affordable price. This week, Amazon has a model with 16GB of memory, 512GB of storage, and a 16-core M1 Pro processor. 2000 dollars ($500 off). Best Buy has the same deal.
If you want Apple’s most powerful laptop, the model with the 32-core M1 Max chip, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage is the one. $3,049 At Best Buy, $450 less than retail. Or, you can pay the full retail price through Apple and get a $250 gift card.
Surface Pro 9 keyboard cover $ 1100 (
$1,300) at Costco
If you want a Windows device that can be both a tablet and a laptop at the same time, the Surface Pro 9 is the one to do the job, after more than nine reviews of the hardware and its benefits. The crisp 13-inch display, 12th Gen Intel U-series processor, and nice-feeling keyboard cover (included in this deal) keep the Surface as an archetype of laptop that’s still easy to use.
This included keyboard bargain is very hard to beat on a brand new device. But if you’re not a Costco member, Best Buy offers the same Surface Pro 9, sans keyboard 1000 dollars ($100 off) and an updated i7/16GB model for $1,400 ($200 off). Amazon also has an i7/16GB model with 256GB of storage for the $1,349about $250 retail.
Surface Pro 8 with keyboard cover for $900 (
$1,350) at Best Buy
The whole bunch hasn’t changed between the Surface Pro 8 and 9, minus the processor upgrade. If you’re looking for an affordable entry point into the Microsoft hybrid, we liked the Pro 8 a year ago, and it’s still worth buying, especially at this discount with the included keyboard cover. Best Buy has the i5 8GB RAM 256GB storage model for sale $900 With a graphite keyboard cover and 15 months of Microsoft 365 to sweeten the deal.
Surface Laptop Go 2 for $600 (
700) at Best Buy
One of the biggest issues we had with the Surface Laptop Go 2 was that its base model with 4GB of RAM just isn’t much use for anyone. The other is that the $700 model, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, costs a lot. But as we noted in our review, “If you can find it on sale…the Laptop Go 2 is a budget laptop worth considering if you can live with its flaws.”
Well, there you go. 8GB RAM, 128GB model on sale $600 At Best Buy ($100 off). If you need a portable mouse to use, and like the idea of a 3-year protection plan, Microsoft offers it all for a price $655.
Dell XPS 13 Plus for $ 1,500 (
1850 USD) at Best Buy
This revamp of Dell’s long-running ultrabook series made “wild design choices” to support a more powerful 12th Gen Intel CPU. If the most important thing to you in a laptop is performance, this laptop can really cook, and it looks slim and stylish. But it does get hot, its switches are tightly spaced, and port selection is limited.
Best Buy has three variants of the XPS 13 Plus on sale: one with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. $1,700 ($400 off), 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD (as we reviewed) $1,500 ($350 off), and if you want to sacrifice an OLED display, the FHD+ model is for $1,350 ($300 off).
HP Specter x360 13.5-inch for $900 (
1250 USD) in HP
We wrote in August that the 13.5-inch Specter x360 has “a little thing that works for just about everyone.” It “gets an A+ in looks and scores highly (but not perfectly) in design details.” It wasn’t top of its class when compared to other ultralights in its price range, but at this price the Specter scores better against the curve.
HP has a model with an i5-1235U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and a 1920×1280 IPS display for $900 ($350 USD). You can tweak some of these items, including doubling the RAM for just $60, at HP’s website.
System76 Lemur Pro 14-inch for $1,150 (
$1,200 in System76
Linux-focused laptop vendors aren’t missing out on huge sales on Black Friday, or much in general. They have other things to focus on than how big a container ship is. So when System76 throws in a $50 redesigned 14-inch Lemur Pro, which boasts a 14-hour battery life, it’s worth noting. You can choose between Pop! OS and Ubuntu 22.04 pre-installed, a wide range of storage and RAM options, and some configurations get you free shipping.
Other laptop deals we love
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 15″ (2496 x 1664, Core i7-1185G7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD) for $1,900 (
$2,400) on Amazon
- Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 13.3″ (1920 x 1080, Core i3-10110U, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) for $549 (
$699) at Best Buy
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 from $899 Up to $300 off Microsoft
- Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio from $1,400 Up to $400 off Microsoft
- Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13-inch Chromebook (1920×1080, Intel Core i3-1115G4, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) for $300 (
$420) on Amazon
Listing image by Samuel Axon
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