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As summer wanes to a close, it's time to start thinking about back to school shopping. For new and returning college students, this can mean picking out a new laptop — but it's not always easy to tell which laptop is right for you. Do you need a technical powerhouse, or just something lightweight you can toss in your bag and bring to class?
The market for laptops is vast — and for many quite daunting — with a sea of confusing specs, questionable gimmicks and distracting marketing bravado. But we’ve combed through the noise to pick out some of the best laptops in 2019 that will keep you going for many semesters to come.
Best Deals on Laptops at Amazon
The laptops listed below are all excellent picks for a range of different use cases, and are all available now at the prices noted:
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim
On Sale for: $1,099.99 | Regular Price: $1,199.99
This little 14-inch laptop packs more muscle than you would expect for a slim and light ultraportable. With an Intel i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, it performs like a laptop twice its size. Despite the processing capabilities, it also managed to offer a reported 14-hour battery life. Perfect for students who need extreme portability without sacrificing performance, the ZenBook also makes innovative use of the touchpad, which doubles up as a switchable number pad. If your major keeps you busy crunching numbers all day long, this is definitely a laptop you'll want to take note of.
Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
On Sale for: $523.93 | Regular Price: $650
If versatility is a priority, this multi-functional laptop/tablet hybrid could be just the thing you’re after. A super-slim-form laptop in its normal configuration, the Flex’s clicky keyboard can fold back into tablet mode, with full touch screen support and a Active Pen included for scribbling notes — or little stick men illustrations — as you work. This is a great option for people who prefer to take notes by hand — you get the tactile experience of writing with a pen plus the ease of digital storage and duplication.
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
On Sale for: $249.99 | Regular Price: $299.99
If minimalist tablet-hybrid form factor is your thing, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop has you covered. The C330 features a beautiful 11.6" IPS HD screen that can flip all the way back behind its keyboard. This gives you a tablet-like device that — when used with a stylus pen (not included) — is ideal for visual arts majors and hobbyists alike. It's great for watching movies in your dorm, too.
HP Envy 13” Thin Laptop
On Sale for: $1,180.31 | Regular Price: $1349.99
The HP Envy 13 delivers the best of two typically opposing features: premium-grade performance in a surprisingly slim and light-weight chassis. It represents one of the best offerings in the ultrabook category, capable of dealing with more demanding tasks than most ultrabooks. It's a great value for the price, and is perfect for use as a work laptop that you’ll be carrying around every day.
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
On Sale for: $328.00 | Regular Price: $349.99
The Acer Aspire 5 is a great option for anyone who needs a reliable everyday computer at a reasonable price. The 15.6” HD IPS display is great for streaming Netflix or making Skype calls back home, and the variety of built-in HDMI and USB 2.0/3.0 ports makes giving presentations or connecting to other devices a breeze. If your major requires lots of processor-intensive programs (or if you just like to play modern games), you may want a more specialized rig, but for people who just need to type papers, surf the web and accomplish other everyday tasks, the Acer Aspire 5 is perfect.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop
On Sale: $1,999.00 | Regular Price: $2,199.00
The premium ultra-slim gaming category has been hotly contested in recent years, but the Zephyrus line from Asus stands out as a crowd favorite. Packing an RTX 2070 and Core i7-8750H in a chassis that’s impressively thin (just 0.62 inches), this is cutting edge stuff. The sexy 144Hz IPS screen looks great, and also features one of the most interesting cooling solutions — a case that literally opens up at the seams as you unfold the screen.
Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop
Core i3 model — On Sale: $361.00 | Regular Price: $379.99
Core i5 model — On Sale for:$559.99 | Regular Price: $599.99
The 'Best Bang for your Buck' award goes to the Acer Aspire E 15. With a fast 8th-gen. processor, 8GB of RAM and even a little MX150 graphics card, this laptop will handle everyday office work, and even basic gaming, like a champ. The 1080p IPS display is crisp, and the SSD (solid state drive) means this laptop will boot up in seconds and load apps instantly. And if your budget can’t quite stretch to $600, the Acer Aspire E 15 also comes in an even cheaper configuration, at $355, with a more modest, but still respectable Core i3 processor for basic office work and web browsing.
Razer Blade 15: World's Smallest 15.6" Gaming Laptop
On Sale for: $1,464.00 | Regular Price: $1,599.99
For anyone who likes to game on the go, the Razer Blade is among the smallest 15.6” gaming laptops. While it's small enough to carry around in your bag, it still packs a relatively large punch with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q Design VR Ready graphics card, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H 6 core processor and 16GB Dual-Channel DDR-4-2667MHz memory.
Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop
On Sale for: $799.00 | Regular Price: $1,099.99
The Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop is currently on sale for $799 which, at the time of writing, puts it right in line with the MSI GV62. But the Dell packs a much faster graphics card, with the GTX 1060 offering up mid-range performance in modern PC games. A 128GB SSD keeps boot times down, while a 1TB HDD offers up ample storage for games. If you catch the deal, it’s a no-brainer entry-level PC rig, but even if you miss it, the regular price is still reasonable for a capable gaming laptop.
How to Choose the Right Laptop
Know your budget
With such a massive range of laptops out there, you can find options for as little as $200, or as much as $3000+. The more you spend, the more, and typically better, performance you’ll get. But you don't necessarily need to buy something at the very top of your budget. You need to think about how you'll actually be using the laptop, which leads nicely to our next point.
Identify your needs
If you’re just browsing Facebook and typing up the odd word document or excel file, you’ll probably be fine with a basic (and inexpensive) laptop. Watching movies? You’ll want a nice, bright display. Editing video? The CPU had better be fast. And if you’re gaming, you’ll need to look into the high-end market. But...
...Don’t overspend on unnecessary specs
Don’t go overboard. If you’re doing simple office work, you don’t need a $2000 laptop with 32GB of RAM and a fire-breathing processor. Even basic laptops these days can perform day-to-day tasks quickly. Big, powerful laptops are not only expensive, but also heavy, hot and typically have poor battery life.
What Form Factor?
Laptops come in many forms these days. The conventional laptop is but one option. Is ease of portability a priority? Go with a so-called ‘thin and light’ ultrabook. Do you need a touch screen for drawing? How about a tablet hybrid with a keyboard that folds back? Making these decisions early on will massively narrow your search for the perfect laptop.
Remember to check back on July 15th to see updates on all the latest Prime Day deals and offers on laptops and more!
In the meantime, here's today's best laptop deal from our Frontpage:
Search URL: https://slickdeals.net/newsearch.php?firstonly=1&pp=20&sort=newest&rating=frontpage&filter%5B%5D=34&forumid%5B%5D=9&hideexpired=1&r=1
Images courtesy of Amazon and Dell.
Any product or service prices/offers that appear in this article are accurate at time of publish, and are subject to change without notice. Please verify the actual selling price and offer details on the merchant’s site before making a purchase.