Best Dell Black Friday deals: Save on laptops, monitors, desktop PCs

There’s no need to wait for Black Friday deals because retailers like Dell have already rolled out some of their offers for the shopping holiday. Whether you’re planning to buy a new laptop, monitor, or desktop computer, Dell surely has something that will fit your budget. We’ve rounded up the best Dell Black Friday deals that you can shop right now to help you decide quickly on your purchases, since you need to hurry to make sure that you’re able to take advantage of the bargains. Any of these prices may return to normal at any moment, so act fast.

Top 3 Dell Black Friday deals

Dell S2721QS 4K monitor — $240, was $330

Dell

If you’re looking for monitor deals to upgrade an outdated display, you should consider the Dell S2721QS 4K monitor. You’ll be getting sharp details and vivid colors on its 27-inch screen with 4K Ultra HD resolution, and you’ll also experience less stuttering and screen tearing with AMD’s FreeSync technology. Your neck and eyes will stay comfortable with the help of the monitor’s height-adjustable stand and Dell’s ComfortView Plus that reduces harmful blue light emissions.

Dell Inspiron 15 laptop — $280, was $330

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop on a white background displaying a colourful scene.
Dell

The Dell Inspiron 15 is an affordable laptop that provides decent performance for handling day-to-day tasks. It’s equipped with the 12th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, integrated Intel UHD Graphics, and 8GB of RAM, and it also features a 15.6-inch Full HD screen. The laptop ships with Windows 11 Home pre-loaded in a 256GB SSD, which will provide ample storage space for your files.

Dell XPS 13 — $599, was $799

The Dell XPS 13, open on a table in front of a window.
Digital Trends

For those thinking about taking advantage of laptop deals, you can’t go wrong with the Dell XPS 13, which is a mainstay in our list of the best laptops as an affordable and well-built mainstream option. It will provide you with enough power for your daily workloads with its 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and 8GB of RAM. It runs on Windows 11 Home, which is pre-installed in its 256GB SSD, and its 13.4-inch screen with Full HD+ resolution is simply gorgeous because of its bezel-less design.

Best Dell XPS Black Friday deals

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop — $1,199, was $1,449

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 front angled view showing display and folio keyboard.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Shoppers who want performance and versatility in one package should be going for 2-in-1 laptop deals like this offer for the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop. It starts as a powerful tablet with a 13-inch 3K touchscreen and the 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor combined with Intel Iris Xe Graphics and 16GB of RAM, then it transforms into a laptop with the XPS Folio that functions as both a detachable keyboard and protection for the display. The 2-in-1 laptop offers a 512GB SSD for storage with Windows 11 Home out of the box.

Dell XPS 15 laptop — $1,549, was $1,999

Dell XPS 15 9530 front view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

The Dell XPS 15, which features a 15.6-inch Full HD+ screen, holds the top spot in our roundup of the best 15-inch laptops partly because of its streamlined and solid build, above-average battery life, and strong productivity and creative performance. Inside are the 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, and you’ll also get expansive storage space with its 1TB SSD that comes with Windows 11 Home pre-loaded.

Dell XPS 17 laptop — $1,799, was $2,399

Dell XPS 17 9720 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Likewise, the Dell XPS 17, which is equipped with a 17-inch Full HD+ display, is our top option among the best 17-inch laptops. It offers solid productivity and gaming performance with its 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, so you can maximize the large screen. There’s ample storage space with its 512GB SSD, and it ships with Windows 11 Home.

Best Dell laptop Black Friday deals

Dell Inspiron 15 laptop — $280, was $330

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop on sale at Dell
Dell

Get a good balance between reliability and price with the Dell Inspiron 15, which is more than enough for tackling basic functions like doing online research and building reports with its 12th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, Intel UHD Graphics, and 8GB of RAM. The 15.6-inch display is bright and colorful with its Full HD resolution, and the laptop is powered by Windows 11 Home that’s pre-installed in its 256GB SSD.

Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 laptop — $500, was $650

Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 2023 top down view in tent mode.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 laptop is an affordable option if you want a laptop and tablet in one device. The 360-degree hinges attaching the body to its 14-inch Full HD+ touchscreen allows it to easily switch modes, and you’ll be getting fast performance with its 13th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, Intel UHD Graphics, and 8GB of RAM. You’ll also have ample storage space on its 256GB that ships with Windows 11 Home.

Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 laptop — $800, was $1,000

The Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 in presentation mode.
Dell

The Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 laptop also offers the option to switch between laptop mode and tablet mode, with a 16-inch Full HD+ touchscreen at the center of it all, but it will also provide faster performance and more storage space. The 2-in-1 laptop comes with the AMD Ryzen 7 7730U processor, AMD Radeon Graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD.

Best Dell monitor Black Friday deals

Dell SE2222H monitor — $80, was $90

Dell 22 Monitor - SE2222H on sale at Dell
Dell

The Dell SE2222H monitor is a very cheap option if you need a new display for your computer setup, but it won’t disappoint because its 22-inch display features Full HD resolution for sharp details and Dell’s ComfortView technology that reduces eye fatigue by minimizing blue light emissions. The monitor also won’t take up too much space on your desk with its small stand and built-in cable holder.

Dell E2723HN monitor — $125, was $220

The Dell E2723HN monitor on a white background.
Dell

The Dell E2723HN monitor is equipped with a 27-inch Full HD screen, which is within our computer monitor buying guide‘s recommended range of 24 inches to 32 inches. The monitor also comes with Dell’s ComfortView for optimized eye comfort, support for new and old systems with HDMI and VGA ports, and a compact stand with a cable management system to reduce the clutter on your desk.

Dell S3222DGM curved gaming monitor — $240, was $350

Dell 32-inch curved gaming monitor with a stand.
Dell

The Dell S3222DGM curved gaming monitor makes a run at the best gaming monitors with its 31.5-inch display featuring QHD resolution and a 1800R curvature, for lifelike details and immersive gameplay. It offers a 165Hz refresh rate, which will let you clearly see fast-moving objects, and AMD’s FreeSync Premium to eliminate stuttering and screen tearing. The monitor also features a downlight to illuminate your keyboard, and vents at the back for improved heat dispersal.

Best Dell desktop PC Black Friday deals

Dell Inspiron Small Desktop — $450, was $650

The Dell Inspiron Small Desktop on a white background.
Dell

The Dell Inspiron Small Desktop, true to its name, is a desktop computer that won’t take up too much space because it’s only about 11.4 inches tall, 3.7 inches wide, and 11.5 inches deep. It packs a punch despite its relatively tiny stature though, as it’s equipped with the 13th-generation Intel i5 processor, Intel UHD Graphics 730, and 8GB of RAM. The desktop PC runs on Windows 11 Home, with the operating system pre-loaded in its 512GB SSD.

Dell Inspiron 24 All-in-One — $500, was $650

The Dell Inspiron 24 All-in-One on a desk next to a keyboard.
Dell

If you don’t want to deal with unsightly cables, you should check out the Dell Inspiron 24 All-in-One. The CPU and display are combined in one package, so if you go with a wireless keyboard and mouse, the only cable you need will be its power cord. The all-in-one PC features a 23.8-inch screen with Full HD resolution, and it’s powered by the 13th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB of RAM, and Windows 11 Home that ships with its 256GB SSD.

Dell Inspiron 27 All-in-One — $850, was $1,150

The Dell Inspiron 27 All-in-One desktop computer.
Dell

The Dell Inspiron 27 All-in-One is included in our list of the best all-in-one computers as our recommended choice for families because it’s a solid budget option with a family-ready design. You won’t have issues with performance because it’s equipped with the 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and 16GB of RAM, and it runs on Windows 11 Home that’s pre-loaded in its 1TB SSD. The device also features a bright and colorful 27-inch display with Full HD resolution.

Best Dell gaming laptop Black Friday deals

Dell G16 gaming laptop — $800, was $1,250

The Dell G16 gaming laptop with Genshin Impact on the screen.
Dell

The Dell G16 is one of the more affordable gaming laptop deals that will let you play the best PC games, though you may have to choose low to medium graphic settings for some of the more demanding titles because it runs on the 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, and 16GB of RAM. The gaming laptop also features a 16-inch display with QHD+ resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate, and a 512GB SSD with Windows 11 Home.

Alienware m16 gaming laptop — $1,300, was $1,800

The Alienware m16 gaming laptop with Baldur's Gate 3 on the screen.
Alienware

The Alienware m16 gaming laptop is one of the more powerful machines that gamers can buy right now. Equipped with the AMD Ryzen 9 7845HX processor, the AMD Radeon RX 7600M XT graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, it won’t have trouble running today’s most popular video games. You’ll have plenty of space for AAA titles and their necessary updates on the gaming laptop’s 1TB SSD that ships with Windows 11 Home, and you’ll enjoy gameplay on its 16-inch screen with QHD+ resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate.

Alienware x14 R2 gaming laptop — $1,700, was $2,000

The Alienware x14 R2 gaming laptop on a desk.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Challenging the best gaming laptops is the Alienware x14 R2 gaming laptop, which is ready for the upcoming PC games of the next few years with its 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card, and 32GB of RAM. The machine features a 1TB SSD with Windows 11 Home, and a 14-inch screen with QHD+ resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate.

Should you buy from Dell on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Most shoppers will be tempted to pass on Dell Black Friday deals in favor of potentially larger savings on Cyber Monday. However, that also carries the risk of seeing smaller discounts on the devices that you want to buy — if stocks are still available by then. If the laptop, monitor, or desktop PC that you want from Dell is already being offered at a lowered price for Black Friday, and you can afford it, it’s highly recommended that you proceed with the purchase immediately because there’s no assurance that there will be a better deal when Cyber Monday comes along.

Editors’ Recommendations






Nvidia’s new GPUs could be right around the corner

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Is Nvidia really about to add to its lineup of top GPUs? All signs point to yes, and now, we have an official Nvidia keynote on the horizon that tells us when we might hear more about the rumored RTX 40 Super. Nvidia revealed that it’s going to deliver a special address on January 8 as part of CES 2024. Although the company hasn’t confirmed what it’s planning to cover, the rumor mill has been buzzing with information about three new desktop GPUs. But will they really be worth the upgrade?

Several reputable leakers have weighed in on the matter of the RTX 40-series refresh, and we’ve been getting updates about the range for a few weeks now. Nvidia doesn’t need to specifically state that it’ll talk about these graphics cards, as that is going to be the expectation anyway. The three GPUs in question are the RTX 4080 Super, RTX 4070 Ti Super, and the RTX 4070 Super.

During its previous keynote at CES 2023, Nvidia talked about the RTX 40 laptop range but also unveiled the RTX 4070 Ti — formerly known as the RTX 4080 12GB. This year, as shared by VideoCardz, it’s likely that we’ll hear about all three new desktop GPUs, but some updates regarding AI are also possible. Although Nvidia might announce all three graphics cards at once, we don’t know whether all three will hit the market simultaneously. Leaks point to the first quarter of the year for all three, though.

Initially, it seemed like Nvidia might deliver a sizeable upgrade with the RTX 40-series refresh. Sources claimed that Nvidia might shake things up, upgrading the RTX 4080 Super to the AD102 GPU (which is the flagship chip found in the RTX 4090). The RTX 4070 Super was said to be getting upgraded to the AD103 chip, which is currently utilized by the RTX 4080. These changes would unlock far more cores, an increase in VRAM, and a larger memory bus for both cards.

MSI RTX 4080 Suprim X installed in a PC.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

However, it’s best not to put much stock in these assumptions. Other leaks suggest that the RTX 40 refresh will be a minor upgrade, with all cards sticking to their respective chips and maxing out the remaining core counts. Some rumors pin the RTX 4080 Super as featuring 10,240 CUDA cores and 16GB of GDDR6X memory across a 256-bit bus. The RTX 4070 Ti Super is said to sport 8,448 CUDA cores and 16GB VRAM, while the RTX 4070 Super might have 7,168 cores and 12GB VRAM.

Those specs mark an increase over the non-Super cards, but not a massive one. The RTX 4070 Ti Super (as a side note, that name’s always going to be a mouthful) would see the greatest boost thanks to the jump from 12GB to 16GB VRAM, while the core count boosts are mostly minor.

Regardless of the specs, the RTX 40 Super lineup might serve one important purpose — it should help the prices of some GPUs go down. Nvidia’s pricing has been on a worrying upward trend, which doesn’t bode well for the next generation of GPUs. If we can see the existing RTX 4070, RTX 4070 Ti, and the RTX 4080 drop in price thanks to the refresh, that alone will be a good thing.

We’ll be covering CES 2024 live as it happens, so stay tuned to make sure you don’t miss Nvidia’s announcement.

Editors’ Recommendations






Best Black Friday laptop deals: Get a new workhorse from just $129

Black Friday deals have brought with them some awesome laptop deals so you can save big on everything from a budget-priced Chromebook to a high-end gaming laptop. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your current rig, this is your chance. There are so many options out there that we’ve picked out some of our favorites so you can easily find the right laptop for your needs and your budget. Here’s a look at all the highlights.

Top 3 Black Friday laptop deals

HP 17-inch laptop — $250, was $500

HP

Currently heavily discounted, the HP 17-inch laptop is ideal for anyone on a slim budget. It looks more expensive than it is thanks to having a 17-inch HD+ screen with 1600 x 900 and 250 nits of brightness. That extra room also means the keyboard is roomier with a numeric pad to the right of it that’s ideal for entering a lot of data. The laptop has an AMD Athlon Gold 7220U processor along with 8GB of memory and 128GB of SSD storage. It also has a lift-hinge to ensure you can type at a more natural position.

HP Victus 15.6-inch gaming laptop — $450, was $800

The HP Victus 15 gaming laptop against a white backdrop.
HP

Perfect for starting out with PC gaming, the HP Victus 15.6-inch gaming laptop has an AMD Ryzen 5 7535HS processor, 8GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage. For the graphics card, there’s an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 teamed up with a 144Hz full HD screen. You’ll need to adjust detail levels in many cases but it’s still a good starting point for gaming, especially if you play less demanding titles like Fortnite.

Dell XPS 13 — $599, was $799

The Dell XPS 13 9315 on a table against a window.
Digital Trends

The Dell XPS 13 is consistently one of the best laptops around with this model offering a 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. It also has a great looking 13.4-inch full HD+ screen with 1920 x 1200 resolution, 500 nits of brightness, and anti-glare properties. Dell’s thinnest and lightest 13-inch XPS, it offers a battery life of up to 12 hours while still being very sleek. It’s ideal for general use.

Best Black Friday Chromebook deals

Samsung Chromebook 4 — $129, was $159

The Samsung Chromebook 4 against a white background.
Samsung

The Samsung Chromebook 4 looks just how you’d expect a Samsung device to look with clean lines aplenty. It has an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage. An 11.6-inch HD screen is pretty small but it’s the right size for easy portability and ensuring the 12 hours of battery life is easily achieved. It also meets many military-grade levels of protection. If you simply need a basic Chromebook for occasional use, this one is a reasonable choice.

HP Stream 14-inch laptop — $198

The HP Stream on a white background.
HP

The HP Stream 14-inch laptop is a simple yet cute device that feels like it’s perfect for your child’s first laptop. It has an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage. It also runs Windows 11 in S mode although we’d recommend you rely more on cloud-based apps given the performance involved. A 14-inch HD touchscreen looks reasonable for the price so it’s a good starter PC.

HP Chromebook x360 2-in-1 — $199, was $329

HP Chromebook x360 14at product image
HP

Keen to compete with the other best Chromebooks around this price, the HP Chromebook x360 2-in-1 is a pretty stylish system. It has an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage but the real highlight is its 14-inch HD touchscreen that can be rotated via its hinge to work in tablet or presentation mode. A long battery life of over 13 hours means you’re good to go all day long too.

Best Black Friday 2-in-1 laptop deals

Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 laptop — $550, was $730

Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 2023 top down view in tent mode.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Dell is one of the best laptop brands around and that means it also knows how to make good 2-in-1 laptops. The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 laptop is one such example with a 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage. The highlight is its 14-inch full HD+ screen with 1920 x 1200 resolution, 250 nits of brightness, and — of course — it’s a touchscreen. Through the 360-degree hinge, you can use the laptop as a tablet or in presentation mode when watching something. With loud and clear up-firing speakers and Dolby Atmos spatial audio, it’s perfect for entertainment as well as work.

Lenovo Yoga 7i — $550, was $850

The Lenovo Yoga 7i in tent mode.
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Lenovo makes some of the best 2-in-1 laptops with the Lenovo Yoga 7i offering great hardware. It has an 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage. It also has a huge and gorgeous looking 16-inch WUXGA touchscreen with 1920 x 1200 resolution, 45% NTSC and 300 nits of brightness. There’s also a 1080p full HD IR/RGB Hybrid webcam with privacy shutter along with a fingerprint reader for added security. Thin and lightweight, it looks great wherever you take it, all while still managing to offer military-grade levels of robustness.

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop — $900, was $1,400

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Windows 11 laptop for Cyber Monday product image.
HP

The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop is a super stylish 2-in-1 laptop. It has an Intel Core i5 processor along with 16GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage, however, it’s the screen that shines most. A 13.5-inch WUXGA+ touchscreen with 1920 x 1280 resolution, it has low blue light protection along with 400 nits of brightness. Its 360-degree hinge means you can effortlessly move the screen to work as a tablet or in presentation mode. The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop comes with a stylus too as well as its backlit keyboard, while the HP True Vision 5MP IR camera has a camera shutter, temporal noise reduction, and integrated dual array digital microphones.

Best Black Friday 17-inch laptop deals

Acer Chromebook 317 laptop — $299, was $499

Side profile of the Acer Chromebook 317 against a white background.
Acer

If you want a large display but you also want ChromeOS, the Acer Chromebook 317 laptop is a good option. It has an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processor, 8GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC storage. More appealing though is its large 17.3-inch full HD IPS touch display. That means battery life is a little lower than other Chromebooks coming in at 10 hours but it’s more than good enough for most people. It’s ideal if you need more screen space while you work.

LG Gram 17-inch Ultra Lightweight laptop — $1,000, was $1,800

The LG Gram Ultraslim on a demo table at CES.
LG

One of the most stylish laptops around, the LG Gram is a seriously nice looking laptop. It has an 12th-generation Intel Evo Platform Core i7 processor along with 16GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage. That’s all pretty powerful stuff but it’s even more appealing when you factor in the 17-inch WQXGA IPS display with DCI-P3 99% color support. The laptop also has a full HD IR webcam with AI noise cancellation along with a Thunderbolt 4 port for hooking up displays.

Dell XPS 17 — $1,799, was $2,399

Dell XPS 17 9370 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Dell XPS 17 is one of the best laptops around, especially for content creators. The laptop has a 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor paired up with 16GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage. Besides being able to handle all your work tasks, it can also cope with some gaming thanks to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card while the 17-inch full HD+ screen with 1920 x 1200 resolution and 500 nits of brightness looks great. While it sounds like it would be bulky, the Dell XPS 17 fits into a 15-inch size form factor so it’s much more portable than you’d expect. A 93.7% screen-to-body ratio looks great too. It all comes together to make a suitably premium laptop that’s built to last.

Best Black Friday gaming laptop deals

Asus TUF 15.6-inch gaming laptop — $1,000, was $1,400

The Asus Tuf gaming laptop at a side angle.
Asus

The Asus TUF 15.6-inch gaming laptop offers a lot for the price. It has an Intel Core i7 processor along with 16GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage space. It also has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card with 8GB of dedicated VRAM. The graphics card looks great on the 15.6-inch full HD screen with 144Hz refresh rate. For a gaming laptop, it’s fairly portable too thanks to weighing 4.85 pounds while you also benefit from a Thunderbolt 4 port along with Wi-Fi 6 support.

Razer Blade 17 — $1,800, was $2,800

Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Razer Blade 17.
Digital Trends

The Razer Blade range features a lot in our look at the best gaming laptops and for good reason thanks to their great components and build quality. The Razer Blade 17 has an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage. Alongside that is a GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card and 17.3-inch QHD screen with 240Hz refresh rate and up to 100% DCI-P3. All the components are speedy and calibrated to work well together while even the smaller details like the per key RGB rollover keyboard and THX spatial audio are great additions. It all comes together to make a very attractive gaming laptop.

Alienware m16 gaming laptop — $2,800, was $3,500

An Alienware m16 gaming laptop in use on a desk, playing Baldur's Gate III.
Alienware

The Alienware m16 gaming laptop is truly a force to be reckoned with if you want the ultimate gaming laptop at the moment. It has a 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor along with a massive 32GB of memory. There’s plenty of room for all your games too thanks to 2TB of SSD storage. The graphics card is a powerhouse as well with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 with 16GB of dedicated VRAM. Whatever you want to play is going to look great on here. That’s further helped by its 16-inch QHD+ screen with 2560 x 1600 resolution, 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. Supremely powerful, the Alienware m16 gaming laptop is aided by an Alienware Cryo-tech cooling system so it stays stable and doesn’t overheat. Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support rounds things off perfectly making the Alienware m16 gaming laptop a compelling system for those who are able to make a long term investment in their gaming.

Who has the Best Black Friday Laptop Deals?

It’s too early to say where you’ll find the largest discounts, but there will surely be no shortage of Black Friday laptop deals from all the popular retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, and from the manufacturers themselves, including Dell, Lenovo, and Microsoft. They haven’t previewed their offers for the shopping holiday yet, but we’re not expecting significant differences between the sellers’ prices. You should instead focus your shopping of Black Friday deals on the websites and platforms that you’re most familiar with, so that you won’t find it difficult to search for the offers that match your needs and budget.

Should You Buy a Laptop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

If you don’t find the machine that you want in the upcoming Black Friday laptop deals, or you miss out because you decided to buy some other stuff first, don’t worry. You’ll get another chance at buying the laptop that you want with a discount on Cyber Monday, which will be on November 27. It’s similar to Black Friday in the sense that retailers will be slashing the prices of a wide range of products, but true to its name, it will focus on electronic gadgets and devices.

Some shoppers suggest to skip Black Friday altogether and just do your shopping on Cyber Monday, which offers a chance at lower prices. This isn’t a good idea, as while the laptop that you want may get cheaper, there’s no assurance that will happen. You’ll also be taking on the risk that your preferred retailer’s stocks of the laptop run out after Black Friday. If you see a deal that you like in the Black Friday laptop sales, bag it while you can.

Editors’ Recommendations






Best Black Friday Gaming Laptop Deals: Cheapest prices today

With the big event coming up fast, we’re spotting some early Black Friday deals already. There are some great discounts on gaming laptops in particular if you simply can’t wait any longer to make a purchase. Below we’ve picked out some awesome Black Friday gaming laptop deals with something for nearly every budget and including all the biggest names in the field. Let’s guide you through the deals now.

Today’s Best Black Friday Gaming Laptop Deals

HP Victus 15 (Intel) — $550, was $900

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

The HP Victus 15 is one of the cheapest gaming laptops in the market, but it still provides decent performance with the latest 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 8GB of RAM. With these specifications, you can play today’s most popular games, but you’ll have to go with low to medium graphic settings for the more demanding titles. The gaming laptop is also equipped with a 15.6-inch Full HD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, and a 512GB SSD with Windows 11 Home pre-loaded.

HP Victus 15 (AMD) — $650, was $950

The rear view of the HP Victus 15 gaming laptop.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

With the AMD versus Intel rivalry intensifying over the past few years, you may want to try the HP Victus 15 with the AMD Ryzen 5 7535HS processor. It’s paired with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 graphics card and 8GB of RAM, while maintaining the 15.6-inch Full HD display. It’s also equipped with a 512GB SSD with Windows 11 Home out of the box.

Asus TUF Gaming A16 — $750, was $1,100

The Asus TUF Gaming A16 gaming laptop on a white background.
Asus

The Asus TUF Gaming A16 focuses on durability, so you won’t be worried that it will get damaged if you take it with you to different places. For a relatively affordable gaming laptop, it provides decent performance with its AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS processor, AMD Radeon RX7600S V8G Graphics, and 16GB of RAM that’s the recommended starting point for gaming by our guide on how much RAM do you need. It also comes with Windows 11 Home in its 512GB SSD, and a 16-inch Full HD screen with a 165Hz refresh rate.

HP Omen 16t — $780, was $1,150

The HP Omen 16 gaming laptop on a desk.
HP

The HP Omen 16t is powered by the 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, which are pretty decent specifications for a relatively cheap gaming laptop. It comes with Windows 11 Home in its 512GB SSD, and you’ll enjoy playing your favorite video games on its 16.1-inch Full HD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate.

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 — $800, was $1,200

The Acer Predator Helios Neo gaming laptop on a white background.
Acer

The Acer Predator Helios Neo 16 is a mid-range gaming laptop featuring a bright and colorful 16-inch display with WUXGA resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate. It’s equipped with the 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, and you’ll have ample storage space for your games and save data on its 512GB SSD with Windows 11 Home out of the box.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 — $1,250, was $1,600

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 2023 front view showing display and keyboard deck.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a unique entry in our list of the best gaming laptops because it’s there for its portability. It’s small and light with its 14-inch screen featuring QHD resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate, which is different from most gaming laptops that are big and bulky. However, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 also provides powerful performance with the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, and it ships with Windows 11 Home in its 512GB SSD.

Razer Blade 15 — $2,000, was $3,000

The Razer Blade 15 OLED on a white table.
Digital Trends

The Razer Blade 15 is the best 15-inch gaming laptop in our list of the best 15-inch laptops because of its sleek design with its 15.6-inch QHD screen with a 240Hz refresh rate, and exceptional performance provided by its 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, and 16GB of RAM. You’ll be able to install several AAA titles on its 1TB SSD, which ships with Windows 11 Home out of the box.

Razer Blade 17 — $2,400, was $3,400

Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Razer Blade 17.
Digital Trends

For a larger version of the Razer Blade 15, go for the Razer Blade 17 with its 17.3-inch QHD display offering a 240Hz refresh rate. The gaming laptop retains the 1TB SSD with Windows 11 Home, but elevates performance to further maximize the bigger screen with the 12th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, with the same Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card and 16GB of RAM.

Alienware m16 — $2,800, was $3,500

The Alienware m16 gaming laptop with Baldur's Gate 3 on the screen.
Alienware

For a gaming laptop that’s prepared for the best upcoming PC games of the next few years, you can’t go wrong with the Alienware m16. Inside the device are the 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card, and 32GB of RAM. The gaming laptop’s 16-inch screen with QHD+ resolution and a 240Hz refresh rate will give justice to its powerful performance, and it will be a while before you run out of space on its 2TB SSD with Windows 11 Home.

Who Has the Best Black Friday Gaming Laptop Deals?

All the major retailers, such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, will be slashing prices for a wide range of gaming laptops. If you’re asking which one of them will have the biggest discounts, unfortunately, it’s too early to tell. We’re expecting minimal differences between the sellers though, so either you go on the online platform that you’ve been using the most for familiarity, or you decide on a specific gaming laptop that you’ll be searching for across all the websites.

One thing’s for sure though — if you’re willing to give up some performance by going for gaming laptops with older components, retailers will be selling these devices with bigger price cuts. You’ll have to figure out how far back you can go in terms of these specifications though, especially if there’s a game or two that you’re planning to play on the device. You’ll surely be able to find a nice laptop to fit your needs, especially if you’re using our list of the best Black Friday gaming laptop deals.

Should You Buy a Gaming Laptop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday will offer eye-catching bargain prices on different kinds of products, but retailers will be focusing on electronic devices for this shopping holiday. That includes gaming laptops, among all the things that gamers can buy. There’s a possibility that gaming laptops will be cheaper on Cyber Monday, so some believe that you should skip Black Friday entirely and just wait for Cyber Monday to pull the trigger on some purchases.

While there’s certainly a chance that the gaming laptop that you want to buy will get a bigger discount on Cyber Monday, it’s not advisable to eschew Black Friday deals altogether. There’s no certainty that the device will get cheaper, and even if it does, it may not be by much. You’re risking being able to purchase a gaming laptop at a price that you can afford in favor of savings of just a few more dollars. That trade-off isn’t worth it, so if you see an offer that you like from Black Friday gaming laptop deals, take advantage of it right away.

Editors’ Recommendations






The best budget laptops for 2023

Not everyone needs the fastest CPU and the highest-quality high-resolution display. Sometimes, a machine with a last-gen CPU and a decent Full HD display is plenty for the web browsing, email, and Office applications that make up many users’ workflows. This can be true for students, and sometimes buyers are looking for a secondary machine to augment one of the best laptops you can buy.

That’s where budget laptops come in. The definition is a loose one, with some machines costing a bit more but offering a lot more to go with it. But they’ll save you hundreds over midrange and premium laptops that are overkill for what you need. This list will provide several options, including for gamers and those with the lowest budgets. You can check out our best laptops under $500 and best laptops under $300 lists for even more affordable options.


Digital Trends

Dell XPS 13 (9315)

A surprisingly affordable ‘premium’ Windows laptop

Pros

  • Aggressive price
  • Very compact design
  • Great battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Display is bright and high quality

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Performance is lacking

Why you should buy this: It’s an amazing laptop for under $1,000.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants a premium laptop for much less money,

Why we picked the Dell XPS 13 9315:

Yes, the XPS 13 9315 costs $849 for its entry-level model, which is at the high end of the budget range. But it makes this list because you simply won’t find a Windows laptop for less than $1,000 that can match the XPS 13’s excellent build quality, attractive aesthetic, and outstanding battery life.

For that low price, you get a 9-watt Intel Core i5-1230U CPU with 10 cores and 12 threads that delivers competent productivity performance. It’s not the fastest laptop we’ve reviewed, but it’s sufficient to get your work done. As a lower-watt part, though, it affords outstanding battery life. You even get a 512GB SSD, which is a lot at this price, with a build quality and good looks that are unusual without spending a lot more.

Dell XPS 13 9315 Entry

Dell XPS 13 (9315)

A surprisingly affordable ‘premium’ Windows laptop

asus zenbook 14 oled review featured

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Asus ZenBook 14 OLED

Best budget laptop

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Competent productivity performance
  • Great battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard and NumberPad 2.0 touchpad
  • Solid build and attractive aesthetic
  • Outstanding OLED display

Cons

  • Creative performance is lacking

Why you should buy this: The features and battery life are game-changers at the price.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants a beautiful display for less money,

Why we picked the Asus ZenBook 14 OLED:

Sometimes, companies have to cut corners to fit a laptop into a $700 price. The display is often one casualty, with a panel that might suffer in terms of color quality and contrast. The ZenBook 14 OLED is an exception, offering a spectacular OLED display that’s bright, colorful, and displays inky blacks. It’s equal to displays on laptops costing twice as much.

But that’s not all. The AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 CPUs on offer provide competent productivity performance to go with great battery life. And, the laptop’s build quality is excellent, with a great keyboard and touchpad with an LED numeric keyboard. It’s a tremendous value all-around, landing it on our list of best laptops.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED

Asus ZenBook 14 OLED

Best budget laptop

microsoft surface laptop go review featured image

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Surface Laptop Go 2

An excellent budget laptop for students

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • Comfortable keyboard and trackpad
  • Good port selection
  • Good performance

Cons

  • No backlit keyboard
  • Display’s pixel density is low
  • No Surface Pen support

Why you should buy this: It’s the best budget laptop for students.

Who it’s for: Students, buyers on a budget.

Why we picked the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Students usually want a few things in a cheap laptop — something that’s easy to carry around, that provides good enough performance for getting their homework done, and something that’s not going to embarrass them when they pull it out to take notes. Oh, and it needs to be affordable. Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Go 2 meets all those criteria — making it one of the best laptops for students in college.

We’ve linked to our Surface Go review above because the biggest change to the Surface Go 2 is the upgrade to 11th-gen Core CPUs. Graphics have been upgraded to Intel Iris Xe, the entry-level storage has been doubled to 128GB, there’s an improved webcam, and the laptop ships with Windows 11 Home instead of Windows 10 in S mode. The Surface Laptop Go 2 is also a highly mobile device with a 12.4-inch IPS touchscreen display that, although it’s not quite FHD resolution, is still of very high quality and a pleasure to use.

If you want a newer version, the Surface Laptop Go 3 is available, but we weren’t very impressed.

Microsoft Surface Go 2

Surface Laptop Go 2

An excellent budget laptop for students

lenovo chromebook duet 3 review front view

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

A Chromebook 2-in-1 that won’t break the bank

Pros

  • Good enough productivity performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Surprisingly good display
  • Folio kickstand and keyboard included
  • Strong value

Cons

  • Keyboard is too cramped
  • Limited to Wi-Fi 5

Why you should buy this: It’s the best budget Chromebook.

Who it’s for: Anyone on a budget who doesn’t mind sacrificing performance for extreme value.

Why we picked the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3:

Chromebooks have become popular budget choices over the last few years, and many have won us over as well. One style that hasn’t done as well as some others is the detachable Chrome OS tablet. That changed with the introduction of the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, now in its third generation, which not only is a very usable tablet but one that represents tremendous value thanks to the included kickstand cover and detachable keyboard.

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3’s low price brings some limitations and basic specs. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage don’t deliver stellar performance, although it’s good enough for the kinds of tasks you’ll want to run on it. The display is very nice, with a 15:9 2K (2000 x 1200) resolution that’s not as pixel sharp as Apple’s baseline iPad that the Duet competes against. If you want a tablet for web browsing, light productivity work, and consuming media, then the Chromebook Duet 3 and Chrome OS have you covered.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

A Chromebook 2-in-1 that won’t break the bank

hp victus 15 review olympus digital camera

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

HP Victus 15

Solid gaming for less than $1,000

Pros

  • Solid productivity performance
  • Decent 1080p gaming performance
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Conservative good looks
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Confusing configurations
  • Poor battery life
  • Ho-hum screen

Why you should buy this: It’s the best budget gaming laptop.

Who it’s for: Gamers and only gamers.

Why we picked the HP Victus 15:

Although the best gaming laptops are typically expensive, the HP Victus 15 is a great example of why they don’t need to be. Often priced at less than $900, you get some impressive specs. That includes a 13th-gen Intel Core i5-13500H, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), with options for faster CPUs, more powerful graphics, extra and faster storage, and memory if you don’t mind spending a little more. Every model comes with a 15.6-inch, 1080p IPS display, and for just a little more, that display can run at a refresh rate of 144Hz.

With a decent build quality and surprisingly good gaming performance, the Victus 15 offers an all-around solid gaming package at an impressively competitive price. It does have its weak points, most notably that the starting graphics card isn’t as powerful as what you’ll see in more expensive laptops, but it’s still enough for entry-level gaming.

HP Victus 15

HP Victus 15

Solid gaming for less than $1,000


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop

A business laptop for less

Pros

  • Large display
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Solid build quality
  • Spill-resistant keyboard

Cons

  • Display is only Full HD
  • CPU is one generation behind

Why you should buy this: It’s the best budget business laptop.

Who it’s for: Office workers who want to save the cash for other investments.

Why we picked the Dell Inspiron 15 3000:

Whether you’re typing up another spreadsheet or winding down with a game at the end of a long workday, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 strikes a great balance as a business laptop. It features powerful and efficient general computing power, like a 12th-generation Intel Core i7-1255U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. That’s a lot of computer for just $700, even if Intel did just announce their 13th-gen Core processors.

With the typical Inspiron build quality, we’d expect this system to borrow several great design features from the more premium XPS range but make them available in a more affordable form. It’s not the lightest laptop at just under 4 pounds, but it has a great, spill-resistant keyboard, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth connectivity, and a top-mounted 720p webcam for conferencing.

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 also comes in an attractive business black paint job, which helps it fit in with any setup.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop

A business laptop for less

microsoft surface go 3 review  1

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Microsoft Surface Go 3

The all-around best 2-in-1 for less

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Superior display for a budget machine
  • Great Active Pen support
  • Small and light
  • Surprisingly good real-world performance

Cons

  • Can get expensive
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Keyboard and touchpad are cramped

Why you should buy this: It’s the best budget 2-in-1.

Who it’s for: Anyone who needs the on-the-go mobility of a small, 2-in-1.

Why we picked the Microsoft Surface Go 3:

The Surface Go 3 may be limited by its small size and, at the entry level, by a low-powered Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage — the processor can be upgraded to an Intel Core i3 and twice the RAM and storage for $230 more — but it offers something never before seen in the Windows world: A truly budget-minded 2-in-1 laptop. Its build is every bit as solid as its bigger sibling, the Surface Pro 8, and it boasts a beautiful, bright display to boot. The best part? It’s actually thin and light enough to be held in one hand like a proper tablet, which is a key reason why we see this as the best budget 2-in-1 laptop.

While performance doesn’t feel as smooth as on something like an iPad or even a Chromebook, those devices can’t do quite as many things as the Surface Go 3, which runs a full version of Windows 10. On the battery front, however, it’s a bit lacking. That’s its most unfortunate compromise since this is a device made for portability. Also, we still wish the excellent Type Cover keyboard and Surface Pen came bundled in.

Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3

The all-around best 2-in-1 for less

apple macbook air m1 review the 2020 laptop with cpu

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Apple MacBook Air M1

The only MacBook that could be considered ‘cheap’

Pros

  • Apple’s M1 blows Intel away
  • Phenomenal battery life
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • Rock-solid build quality
  • Simple good looks

Cons

  • Supports only one external display

Why you should buy this: It’s the only modern MacBook you’ll find for well under $1,000.

Who it’s for: MacBook fans who don’t want to pay thousands for a newer model.

Why we picked the Apple MacBook Air M1:

The MacBook Air M1 isn’t the latest and greatest MacBook, but it still holds it own in a number of ways. Its performance is still excellent, competing easily with recent generation Windows laptops. It also sports impressive battery life, with close to 20-hours between charges. In typical MacBook fashion, too, the build quality is excellent, and the display is Apple’s usual Retina-grade with a high resolution and crisp, bright picture.

The design is lightweight and portable, making it good for use in transit or when commuting, and it supports the fastest possible Thunderbolt 3 connections (up to 40 Gbps) so will work well with any external display or accessory. There’s not a lot of storage space in this base model, but there’s enough there to get you started and external or cloud storage can make up the short fall.

This model is a few years old, but still holds its own well. Grab one while you still can.

Apple MacBook Air M1

Apple MacBook Air M1

The only MacBook that could be considered ‘cheap’

Acer Aspire 3

Best cheap Windows laptop

Pros

  • Great performance from the CPU
  • Lots of storage space
  • Wi-Fi 6 fast networking
  • Good selection of ports

Cons

  • Lacks a dedicated GPU
  • Display is a little dull

Why you should buy this: It’s performance is impressive for the price.

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants a capable laptop for a fair price.

Why we picked the Acer Aspire 3:

For basic business and entertainment use, you’ll find little better than the Acer Aspire 3. It’s a very affordable laptop using a new CPU design – although based on an older Zen 2 architecture – with four cores and support for eight simultaneous threads. It has some fast DDR5 memory and a full half terabyte of SSD space, which gives you plenty of room for documents, films, and and for backing up your important data.

The onboard Radeon GPU is fine for the most casual of gaming, but it won’t be powerful enough for anything taxing. With Thunderbolt 3 you could attach an external GPU if you wanted, although that’s a very expensive add-on for this affordable machine. The Thunderbolt 3 ports are super handy, though. With support for up to 40 Gbps data transfer speeds, you can attach anything from an external monitor to a high-speed external storage drive.

There’s fast networking on this laptop too, thanks to its Wi-Fi 6, though you’ll need to use an adapter if you want Ethernet.

Acer Aspire 3

Acer Aspire 3

Best cheap Windows laptop

Frequently Asked Questions

Are budget laptops any good?

Absolutely! Depending on what you need your laptop to do, budget options can be just as good as their high-end counterparts. If you only need a laptop for watching Netflix and answering emails, a budget Chromebook can save you hundreds of dollars and perform no worse than something that costs $2,000 or more.

That said, you do need to be careful about which system you pick. Budget laptops tend to make some sacrifices where the expensive options don’t, so be sure to make sure that the system you’re interested in can do what you need it to before buying.

Do any budget laptops have Thunderbolt 4?

Certain features are less common in budget laptops, and Thunderbolt 4 is one of them. Plenty of budget laptops offer USB-C support, but only some provide Intel’s Thunderbolt 4 spec. This is changing, however, and future budget laptops are more likely to include it. Good Thunderbolt 3 ports are just as good, too, so look out for them.

Do budget laptops have good battery life?

Some do, and some don’t. The models that prioritize portability tend to offer a little more, and you’ll want to skip a dedicated graphics chip if you want the most battery life. The MacBook Air M1 is amazingly efficient, offering close to 20 hours of battery life.

However, you can find plenty of budget systems that offer a full workday and beyond on a single charge. In some cases, budget laptops offer better battery life than many laptops that cost a few hundred dollars more. Many Chromebooks also offer impressive battery life thanks to how lightweight the software is.

Can I find a good display on a budget laptop?

Definitely, but as with battery life or specific ports, you’ll need to pick and choose the right laptop. A good display will need to be a key component of the laptop, as color accuracy and contrast can be some areas where savings can be made on certain systems.

Is AMD better for budget laptops?

AMD’s release of the Ryzen 4000 line of CPUs shook up the budget laptop space, and since then AMD has released the Ryzen Ryzen 6000 range and, just recently, the Ryzen 7000 series. In short, the fastest machines we’ve tested that aren’t based on Intel’s 45-watt powerhouse CPUs have been running AMD, and that’s a major advance. Intel is still a far more dominant force in the laptop space with a wider range of options available, but as far as the CPUs that go into budget — and even premium thin and light — laptops, Ryzen chips rule the performance roost. That’s changing, though, as Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake CPUs make their way into budget machines even as Intel’s 13th-gen Raptor Lake CPUs have been introduced.

Even so, we strongly suggest that you consider AMD when picking your next budget laptop. If you can find one that matches your needs, you’ll get much better performance per buck.

Editors’ Recommendations






How to buy and configure a new iMac without wasting money

Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The new iMac has arrived, complete with the updated M3 chip on board. Considering Apple now has just a single size of iMac, that should make buying one straightforward.

But as with all tech purchases, the devil’s in the details. So, after having tested the latest iMacs, we’re here to recommend how to determine which to buy and how to configure it.

Two primary options

Three iMac listings from Apple's website.
Apple

When you look at Apple’s website, it shows three different iMacs to choose from, but really, there’s only two. There’s the base configuration and the more advanced one. Both come with the M3 chip, importantly, which has the eight-core CPU and 8-core GPU. They use the same screen as well. But from there, some subtle differences separate these models, which means you’ll want to choose carefully.

The biggest limitation of the M3 base model is ports. It comes with two less USB-C ports than the $1,599 model. Being restricted to just two Thunderbolt ports could be a nuisance, requiring the use of a dock. Both configurations can only connect to a single external display, though. You’ll have to pay an extra $30 for the gigabit Ethernet jack, which is built into the power brick. This comes standard in the $1,599 model, but unless you plan to use a hardwired connection, it’s probably not needed.

There’s a difference in bundled accessories too. While both configurations come with the unfortunate Magic Mouse, the cheaper configuration doesn’t come with the Touch ID keyboard. You have to pay an extra $50 to get some biometric security, which is really lame. The Touch ID keyboard is definitely worth getting, as is the Magic Trackpad. Those two accessories will cost you an extra $100, but unless you already have preferred third-party accessories, they’re absolutely worth it.

The iMac screen on a desk.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The other big difference between the two is in the GPU. The cheaper configuration doesn’t allow you to add the two extra GPU cores — so you’re stuck at just eight. Two extra GPU cores will give you a decent boost in graphics and make up the bulk of the $200 price difference between the two configurations. I haven’t tested the eight-core model myself yet, but Apple’s GPU cores tend to scale down fairly evenly. It might not be quite a 20% difference in actual performance, but it’ll be fairly noticeable. Ultimately, this decision is fairly simple: if you don’t intend to ever play games, edit video, or do 3D modeling, you may not see much in terms of gains.

Lastly, if you opt for the base configuration, you’ll have fewer color options to choose from. Blue, Green, Pink, and Silver are the main options, while the $1,599 model lets you choose from Yellow, Orange, and Purple. Before you choose a color, remember that the colors are two-tone. The front is a more saturated pastel color, while the aluminum base and back are a bolder, more vibrant color. So, make sure you like both shades of the color before you buy. The Silver color is certainly the most professional option, which is the safest best.

Storage and memory

The bottom chin of the blue iMac.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The base configuration also limits you in terms of storage. You also can’t upgrade to 2TB of SSD storage, and are instead restricted to 1TB as the max. And remember — none of these specs can be upgraded after the fact, except by using external storage. Since Apple’s prices on extra storage are outrageous ($400 for a terabyte!), make sure to get what you need since there’s no way to upgrade in the future.

Memory is similar. Options for RAM in the iMac only include 8GB, 16GB, and 24GB — and 8GB should really only be reserved for people with the most basic computing needs. If you hope to use the iMac for anything more extensive, I’d recommend at least 16GB of RAM. If you’re choosing between the $200 RAM upgrade or the $200 storage upgrade, remember that storage can be expanded externally, while memory can’t.

What about the M1 iMac?

Apple iMac 24 inch placed on a desk in a sunny context.
Digital Trends

Apple doesn’t want you to think about the M1 iMac anymore. It isn’t sold, and the M3 is obviously the cream of the crop. But for a lot of people, the M1 iMac is still going to be a worthwhile purchase if you can find it for the right price. The key, though, is the price. Doing a quick look around, I didn’t see the M1 iMac being sold for more than $150 off the original price, which just happens to be the same price as the M3 iMac. Some other retailers are even still selling the M1 model for the full retail price.

Unless you have a super-tight budget, I think most people should just splurge on the M3 iMac at that point. But if we start to see a refurbished M1 iMac drop down below $1,000, for example, that’s where I perk up.

Because if performance isn’t a huge deal for you — if you just want a basic Mac and love the form factor of the all-in-one — the upgrade to the M3 won’t mean much to your day-to-day usage. But remember one thing: While comparing prices, make sure you’re comparing configurations on an apples-to-apples basis. A lot of times, older models are sold with higher-end specs, such as additional memory or storage.

Editors’ Recommendations






I tested Intel’s new overclocking tool, and it does AI all wrong

One of the most interesting features of Intel’s recent Core i9-14900K is its AI-assisted overclocking. Available through the Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU), AI Assist is billed as the natural next step of automatic overclocking. It uses AI to push chips further rather than relying on a predetermined list of checks that Intel already offers through XTU.

That’s the pitch, at least. But according to my own testing, AI Assist doesn’t do much of anything.

Not only does it provide minimal benefit by being restricted to the Core i9-14900K, it also shows the dangers of haphazardly adding AI in places where it doesn’t belong. That’s a shame, too, because we’ve seen some clear examples of how AI can enhance performance on PCs. AI Assist doesn’t fit in that mold.

Too little to matter

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Don’t get your hopes up for a big performance boost out of AI Assist. It takes about 45 seconds to run the feature on your PC, and Intel says XTU tests applications during that window to determine the optimal overclocking settings. AI Assist is supposed to go beyond what the automatic overclocking in XTU offers, but it actually produced identical results.

The result: a whopping 100MHz boost across all cores. I ran the overclock through Cinebench R23, which produced a 1.5% improvement in multi-core performance and a 1.6% improvement in single-core performance. When testing a real application, there’s no difference at all. In our Handbrake transcoding benchmark, the AI Assist overclock produced an identical result to a stock Core i9-14900K.

Performance for the AI Assist feature with the Intel Core i9-14900K.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I’ve never expected huge performance gains out of an automatic overclocking feature, but what’s frustrating is that the automatic overclocking in XTU produced the exact same overclock settings, along with identical performance. It’s not clear what AI is doing here, but from my testing at least, it’s no better than the otherwise limited automatic overclocking already present in XTU.

The application is the problem here, and that’s true on two fronts. First is the Core i9-14900K. This is already a chip pushed to its absolute limits, as it’s essentially a juiced-up version of last-gen’s Core i9-13900K. It doesn’t provide a huge performance lift, as you can read in our Core i9-14900K and Core i9-13900K comparison, so expecting overclocking to do much — AI or otherwise — isn’t a good idea.

It’s also the application of AI to overclocking. You could imagine how AI could be useful for automatic overclocking — train a model on thousands of different PC configurations and their components and use those patterns to figure out optimal settings — but it doesn’t look like Intel is doing much with AI Assist. I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, but whatever it is, it doesn’t appear too sophisticated. And based on the final result, that still holds true.

Wrong application

Intel announcing the Meteor Lake release date on Intel Innovation.
Intel

We’ve seen plenty of examples of AI being applied where it shouldn’t be this year, but the disappointing thing about AI Assist is that it could work. It just doesn’t do much right now with the Core i9-14900K and Intel’s seemingly basic AI implementation.

AI can dramatically improve the power of a PC, and we have a great example of AI doing just that: Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). It started off as just an AI-assisted upscaling tool, but it has grown to apply AI to frame generation and ray tracing denoisers, with all three working to improve performance and the gaming experience on PC.

DLSS and AI Assist aren’t the same thing, but DLSS is a prime example of applying AI to a problem and seeing tangible benefits from it. AI Assist is not. It’s applying AI in a situation where the performance gains are already limited, and doing so in a way that doesn’t do anything to improve the performance or user experience.

Intel has been pushing AI hard, as has the rest of the computing world. Its next-gen Meteor Lake chips come with a dedicated AI processor, despite the fact that the only clear application for one is Windows Studio Effects. We now have AI-assisted overclocking, despite the fact that the days of minor overclocks producing big performance jumps are far behind us. And next month, Intel is launching its next-gen CPUs for laptops with an event titled “AI Everywhere.” I’m not against AI being everywhere, but it needs to make sense.

AI Assist in XTU unfortunately doesn’t. It could be a great feature, particularly for lower-end chips that have some headroom to spare. And it could bring AI into the fold in a place where it matters, given that the model behind the scenes is truly delivering something you can’t get with a one-click overclocking tool. It’s possible we could see that in the future from AI Assist, but it’s not here now.

Editors’ Recommendations






We found a laptop that’s $5,470 off in Lenovo’s early Black Friday Sale

Lenovo

With Black Friday often come some of the best laptop deals of the year, and that’s certainly the case at Lenovo right now. The workstation-class ThinkPad P16 laptop is marked down a massive $5,470 today, bringing its price down from nearly $10,000 to a much more reasonable Black Friday price of $4,469. This laptop is absolutely loaded with specs, surpassing most of the best laptops and even many of the best desktop computers. Free shipping is included with this deal, which isn’t likely to last long, so click over to Lenovo now to save while you can.

Why you should buy the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 mobile workstation

Lenovo has been making quality computers for decades and currently finds itself considered among the best laptop brands. Its ThinkPad lineup is one of its most versatile, offering laptops at a range of price points for different needs. The ThinkPad P16 mobile workstation is going to sit on the upper end of those needs, as it’s packed with specs. It has an Intel i9 processor and a whopping 128GB of RAM, as well as 4TB of internal solid state storage capacity. These are the kind of specs you should be looking for if you’re trying to fit into the workflows of architectures, visual effects, and other professional-level environments that aim to push everyday laptops beyond their limits.

And while the ThinkPad P16 may seem like more than most people need, it’s something you should consider if you’re looking to go long stretches between laptop purchases. Its high-end specs make it much more future-proof, and keep it relevant with lower level computing tasks for a much longer period of time. It’s entirely capable as a super powerful everyday laptop, as it gets great battery life relative to its specs, and it has a 16-inch 4K display. It isn’t overly-sized for all of the power it has to accommodate, allowing it to travel well to both the coffee shop and by airplane. You’ll find plenty daily necessities with this workstation, as including Windows 11 Pro 64 pre-installed.

While the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 mobile workstation would regularly cost almost $10,000, you can take it home with this Black Friday deal for $4,469. Total savings come to $5,470, and free shipping is included.

Editors’ Recommendations






This is the cheapest GPU that’s still worth buying

In a market that’s centered around all of the best graphics cards, it can be deceptively hard to buy a GPU. For those of us who don’t need “the best” and just want “good enough,” it’s a tricky process. Sometimes spending a few more dollars gets you something that’s considerably better, and other times, spending $100 less means a GPU with significantly better value.

Fortunately, there are a few GPUs that are just all-around good picks right now. If you want to get the most GPU power for the least possible money, check out the AMD Radeon RX 6600.

AMD Radeon RX 6600

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

On the whole, AMD is often cheaper than Nvidia, and that applies both to last-gen and current-gen cards. It has a few noteworthy cards in the $180 to $320 range, not to mention the $500 RX 7800 XT, which is one of the best-value graphics cards in this generation. However, if you want to get the cheapest GPU possible while still retaining decent performance, I recommend the RX 6600.

The RX 6600 belongs to AMD’s RDNA 2 lineup, and it has two slightly more powerful siblings — the RX 6600 XT and the RX 6650 XT. However, due to their similar performance, you might as well go for the cheapest one when you’re on a tighter budget. The RX 6600 can be found for as little as

, and at that price, it’s a good deal.

What kind of performance can you expect from this card? You should be able to play most titles at 1080p without needing to compromise on the settings too much. In our own testing, the RX 6600 was able to tackle Red Dead Redemption 2 and maintain 59 frames per second (fps) on average — and that’s at ultra settings. We’ve also tried it in Fortnite, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Battlefield V, and Civilization VI, and it averaged between 71 fps and 138 fps. Read AMD Radeon RX 6600 review to learn more.

While I recommend this GPU, it’s not a straightforward choice, because AMD has a slew of RX 6000 cards that are in a similar price range and offer slightly better performance. There’s the RX 6600 XT, RX 6650 XT, and the current-gen RX 7600. The latter can be found for around

, and if your budget can stretch that far, it’s money well spent.

When we benchmarked the RX 7600, we found that it averaged 66.3 fps across our 1080p test suite, while the RX 6600 scored 50.9 fps. If you want a steady 60 fps in modern games at 1080p, the RX 7600 is a more straightforward pick; if you don’t mind dropping down to medium settings, go for the RX 6600.

What about Nvidia and Intel?

Two intel Arc graphics cards on a pink background.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

If you’re not that into AMD, but still want a cheap GPU, there are a couple of options from Intel and Nvidia that are worth considering: the Intel Arc A750 and the Nvidia RTX 4060.

One thing to be mindful of when buying Intel Arc cards is compatibility. As you can read in our in-depth review of the Arc A750 and the Arc A770, while these GPUs are compatible with older processors, they benefit from the ability to enable Resizable BAR. That means you’ll need a 10th-gen Intel processor or an AMD Ryzen 3000 or newer. Without Resizable BAR, the performance of Arc A750 drops by a large margin.

With that disclaimer out of the way, the Arc A750 is a surprisingly solid GPU for 1080p gameplay, averaging 80 fps at 1080p ultra across our entire test suite. It’s also viable for 1440p, hitting 62 fps on average, while the Arc A770 scored 68 fps.

If you want to try out Intel in your next PC build, the cheapest version of the Arc A750 costs

and comes from Sparkle. Intel’s own version is slightly pricier at $230.

Moving on to Nvidia, as you can read in our review of the RTX 4060, this card comes with a few caveats, but it still has an edge over the competition in that it has access to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS 3) frame generation. While not supported in all too many games, DLSS 3 can help an RTX 4070 outperform an RTX 4090, and it has a similar effect on the RTX 4060. It’s an artificial boost that opens the door to high-end gaming on a tight budget, which is why the RTX 4060 makes sense despite the price tag.

Without the DLSS 3 crutch, the RTX 4060 still performs well enough to handle 1080p gaming with ease. It averaged 78.2 fps in our 1080p test suite at ultra settings. As for DLSS 3, it really does make a difference on a GPU of this caliber — while the 4060 hits 82 fps on average without DLSS 3 in Cyberpunk 2077, it managed a whopping 136 fps with frame generation enabled.

The RTX 4060 starts at around

.

Do you really need a GPU?

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G retail box with processor on white background.
AMD

If you’re trying to build a PC while spending as little as possible, and you’re not a hardcore gamer, one way to save a couple hundred dollars is to not get a graphics card at all.

Integrated graphics often get a bad rep, and rightfully so, but we’ve come a long way in the past few years. In particular, one option that’s viable for daily use (including some gaming) is AMD’s Ryzen 5600G processor, or rather, accelerated processing unit (APU). This is a separate category of processors that combine the CPU and the GPU within a single chip. This integration gives the 5600G more GPU power than most iGPUs.

I’m not going to lie to you — the Ryzen 5600G is no gaming beast. However, as long as you’re content with medium settings and you’re mostly playing older games and indies, it’ll do. It’s also a solid option for day-to-day tasks, be it work or casual browsing. Most of all, it’s highly affordable — it’s priced at around

right now. There’s also the Ryzen 7 5700G, with more cores and slightly better performance. It’s priced at

.

One good way to make the most of this APU is to ensure that you’re using some of the best RAM available in your price range. This is because the Ryzen 5600G doesn’t have its own dedicated video memory (VRAM), which a discrete GPU would normally have. To make up for that, it uses a portion of your system’s RAM to store textures and other graphics-related data. The faster your RAM, the better the performance.

No matter the GPU or APU you pick, don’t be afraid to dip into the previous generation when assembling a budget PC. Some of those options are still pretty excellent and, following several discounts, now offer far more agreeable prices than some of their current-gen counterparts.

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How to turn keyboard lighting on and off

There isn’t just one way to turn on your keyboard lights. It can vary wildly among laptop and peripheral manufacturers and even among different laptop lines from the same brand.

To bring a bit of clarity to the situation, we’ve gathered together seven possible ways to turn your keyboard backlighting on or off. Read on to find the best method for your laptop or desktop keyboard.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Press the dedicated button for keyboard backlighting

Some keyboards, like the Logitech G Pro desktop keyboard, will actually have a dedicated button that you can press to toggle the keyboard light on or off. In the case of the Logitech G Pro, you’ll want to look for a button stamped with a sun icon with rays in the upper-right corner of the keyboard.

A close up of the backlit keyboard of an Apple MacBook Pro 13 from 2015.

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Press the Increase Brightness button

If you have a MacBook, certain models allow you to turn on the backlighting by pressing the Increase brightness key, which looks like half of the sun with three rays. Press it until you get the desired level of keyboard light brightness. To turn it off, press the Decrease brightness key, which looks like a half-circle outlined in dots (instead of the rays) until the light turns off.

Using the Increase/decrease brightness buttons should work for certain models of Macs that run macOS Sonoma, Ventura, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 top view showing keyboard.

Bill Robertson/Digital Trends

Press the assigned Function key

For many Windows laptops, you might need to press a Function key (F1 to F12) to turn on your keyboard’s backlighting. If this is the case, which Function key it is will likely depend on the brand and model of your laptop.

For example, Dell notebook PCs have at least three possible key options: F6, F10, or the right-arrow key. In some cases, F5 is also possible. From these options, you should be able to tell which one controls the backlighting by seeing which one has the Illumination icon (which looks like a half-sun with rays) stamped on it. If you don’t see this icon at all, your Dell PC doesn’t have keyboard backlighting. But if you do see the icon, press the Function key that has it. (You may need to press it in conjunction with the Fn key.) Pressing that key combination – Fn + the function key – should allow you to cycle through various brightness level options for your Dell PC’s keyboard, so keep pressing it until you reach your desired brightness level or until you turn it off.

HP notebook computers work similarly to Dell laptops: You’ll need to press an assigned Function key (which could be F5, F4, or F11) with or without pressing the Fn key as well. You may need to press it multiple times to adjust the brightness or turn it off. There should also be a backlight icon stamped on the assigned Function key for your HP notebook that looks like a row of three dots with rays coming out of the first dot.

The main thing, though, is that if you don’t know the keyboard shortcut or Function key assigned to your keyboard’s backlighting feature, you should look it up in your PC’s manufacturer’s support site or manual to find out.

Apple MacBook top view showing Touch Bar.

Chesnot/Getty Images

Use the Touch Bar

Certain MacBook models may have you adjust your keyboard lighting via the Touch Bar instead. To do so, tap the Arrow icon on the Touch Bar to expand its Control Strip. To turn on backlighting, tap the Increase brightness button. To turn it off, tap and hold the Decrease brightness button, which looks like a half-circle outlined in dots, not rays.

These instructions should work for MacBooks with Touch Bars that run MacOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, and Big Sur.

Adjust it in Control Center or Windows Mobility Center

Depending on the manufacturer and model of your device, you might be able to turn on and adjust the keyboard light via your PC’s control panel menu.

For certain MacBooks, that means opening Control Center, selecting Keyboard brightness, and then dragging its corresponding slider. This should work for some MacBook models that also run MacOS Monterey or Big Sur.

For some Windows 10 PCs, this means you’ll need to access the Windows Mobility Center, which resides in the Control Panel. To access it, select Control Panel > Hardware and sound > Windows Mobility Center. In the Windows Mobility Center, look for the Keyboard brightness (or Keyboard backlighting) setting, select its corresponding slider, and pull that slider over to the right.

Use the keyboard’s recommended software, if available

Some keyboards have their own specific software or app that can be used to control and customize the settings of your laptop or desktop keyboard. A great example of this is the app used for Razer’s laptops and peripherals: Synapse. The Synapse app can be used to customize the lighting effects of your Razer gaming laptop’s keyboard or your Razer desktop gaming keyboard. And this can include increasing or decreasing the brightness of your keyboard light or adjusting the settings so that the light stays on or off in sleep mode.

Most of the best gaming keyboards have some kind of back-end software that can let you adjust the RGB lighting of individual keys or turn any or all of them on or off at will.

Enable keyboard backlighting in the BIOS

In some cases, if your laptop has the right keyboard light buttons and they still don’t work the way they’re supposed to, it’s possible that you may need to check your device’s BIOS settings and make sure that they’re configured correctly, or your BIOS may need to be updated to the latest version. When doing either of these things, be sure to follow your device manufacturer’s instructions on how to do it carefully. Look up those specific instructions first. Some manufacturers like HP or Dell have posted detailed instructions online on how to check for these issues and/or correct them.

Frequently asked questions

Why won’t my keyboard backlighting turn on?

There are a number of reasons why your keyboard backlighting won’t turn on. Here are a few you may want to consider:

  • Your device may not actually offer a backlit keyboard. Not all laptops or desktop keyboards have keyboard lights. Check with your device’s manufacturer to confirm that the model of your device is supposed to have backlighting. If it is, confirm that you’re using the right keyboard shortcuts, buttons, or settings to turn it on.
  • Some laptops like MacBooks use light sensors for backlighting in low-light situations. It’s important to know where they are on your device and to make sure you’re not blocking them.
  • Is the backlight not working or is the brightness level set too low? If the brightness level of the backlight is set too low, then the light is probably working but you’re just having trouble seeing it. See if you can increase the brightness level using our suggestions above so you can see the light better.
  • You may need to update the BIOS to the latest version, or its settings aren’t configured correctly. If you decide to update the BIOS to the latest version or reconfigure its settings, be sure to follow your device manufacturer’s specific instructions for doing so.

Does keyboard backlighting drain the battery?

Yes, keyboard backlighting can contribute to the drain, as it does need power to function. If you’re concerned about conserving battery power, you can turn off the backlighting or adjust your keyboard lighting settings so that the light automatically turns off when the computer goes to sleep or the display is off.

How do I change the keyboard backlighting color?

First, make sure that your keyboard has the ability to change backlighting colors. If so, you’ll need to consult your device manufacturer’s specific instructions on how to change the backlighting color. Usually, these instructions will involve you opening a manufacturer-recommended desktop app like the HP OMEN Command Center or Razer’s Synapse app and then customizing your lighting settings within that app to add colors to your backlight.

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