How Low Can You Go?

How Low Can You Go?

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Laptops have always been the traditional selling juggernauts of Black Fridays past, and this year is looking to be no different. Although expected to face stiff competition from that other class of portable PCs (tablets, for those not in the know), great deals and the fact that laptops are just that functionally robust are sure to give them the edge when all is said and done.

The following are prospects of what to expect in this year’s upcoming Black Friday laptop shopping spree.

Desktop Replacements: High-End Specs at Low Low Prices

Also called (rightly or otherwise) “gaming laptops,” desktop replacements are more often than not expected to hit retail price tags beyond the $1,000 mark due to the high-end hardware they carry. Surprisingly however, this year has seen some releases tagged at just under $800. For comparison’s sake, $800 was the Black Friday 2011 discount price for this laptop class.

If patterns stay true, we could be looking at desktop replacements that could drop to as low as $525 come November 23rd. With laptop components like quad-core i7s, powerful APUs and/or dedicated GPUs, and a minimum of 8 GB of RAM, gaming enthusiasts can expect some rather sweet deals.

Budget Laptops: Drilling Holes Below Rock Bottom?

The previous Black Friday event had budget laptops sold for as low as $180; and some of these were even 15”-16” computers. While these laptops aren’t exactly powerhouses, at that price range, they are liable to get their fair share of the market, especially among the casual computer user crowd.

Going below $180 could prove to be a real challenge, so don’t get your hopes up too high. Still, wouldn’t it be great if we could score laptops for $170?

Thin-and-Lights: Staying Strong

15-inchers embedded with Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors have proven to be great sellers in the laptop market. These CPUs give laptops extra horsepower beyond those expected of mid-range portable PCs; and their integrated graphics aren’t too shabby either. Overall, they’re everything most casual users could ever need (or want) in their laptops.

Even better, Ivy-endowed laptops have seen great price drops since this summer, going with discounts as low as 27%; that’s roughly $400 for a machine that’s initially priced at $550 or so. And if past Black Fridays are any indication, we may see these prices drop even lower to $360.

Ultraportables: Popularity Resurgence

When Apple’s MacBook Air came out this year with a redesigned build, consumer interest was reignited, and the ultraportable market was suddenly rife with competition again.

With Ivy Bridge processors sporting more-than-adequate graphics processing power (and with some even having dedicated GPUs of their own), a lot of ultras are nearing the power levels of the bigger laptop types while still retaining their travel-friendly chassis.

Summer price drops brought some ultraportables down to $500, possibly indicating that $400 ultras at this year’s Black Friday isn’t such a stretch. If there ever was a time to own one of these babies, that time would be now.


About Colleen Northcutt:

I’m Colleen Northcutt, a writer, web promoter, and blogger from Reno, Nevada. I work for, where I write about various topics relating technology. Most, of course, are about laptops and notebooks. I am a very passionate, optimistic, and dedicated woman who takes up responsibilities with utmost enthusiasm. In my spare time, I love playing PC games and checking out the latest technological news.


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