14 best Black Friday laptop deals: Apple MacBook, Microsoft Surface, Dell, HP and more

Zoom in / Surface Pro 8 from Microsoft.

Andrew Cunningham

Black Friday laptop deals are as American as pumpkin pie. But tracking down useful options can be tricky. Every model has variants, each of those variants has configurations with too many similar-sounding model numbers (thanks, Intel), and many of the model names are unmemorable names.

We spend a lot of time looking at laptops and writing about Ars, so we’ve looked at the offerings and highlighted the most noteworthy options, based on the laptops we’ve reviewed and know. Here are some laptop deals we think are worth knowing about.

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

More Black Friday 2022 coverage

The MacBook Air 2022.
Zoom in / The MacBook Air 2022.

Samuel Axon

2022 MacBook Air 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. Thanks to Apple’s impressive M2 processor, this entry-level model can do a lot with just 8GB of RAM, though the 256GB storage might push storage-hungry types to the Pro (also on sale right now).

Best Buy has a matching deal on the same model, and Apple is offering a $150 gift card if you buy the latest MacBook Air at their store. You can also pick up a 512GB MacBook Air for $1,299 at Best Buy and $1,499 at Apple (with the $150 gift card).

Two 2021 MacBook Pro models side by side.
Zoom in / Two 2021 MacBook Pro models side by side.

Samuel Axon

2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch for $1,600 ($2,000) on Amazon

The 2021 MacBook Pro is the hardware hard fork we’ve been waiting for, a return to usable ports, reasonable keyboards, and function keys, largely fueled by Apple’s advent of silicon. Samuel Axon of Ars dubbed it “the best laptop money can buy for many use cases, as long as you have it A lot of money.” For a short time, it’s a whole lot less money on Amazon. A 14-inch model with the M1 Pro chip, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage is $1,599 ($400 off). The same deal is available at Best Buy.

Want two more CPU and GPU cores each and double the storage? That model is currently on sale for $2,000 on Amazon, down $500 off the typical price. A 2022 model, with a slightly faster M2 chip and 8GB of RAM, it is $1,350 on Amazon ($150 off). Apple doesn’t offer a discount, but the purchase of a MacBook Pro qualifies you for an Apple Gift Card worth up to $250.

2021 MacBook Pro 16-inch for $2,000 ($2,500) on Amazon

Everything about the 14-inch MacBook Pro applies to the 16-inch model, just with a bigger screen and an appropriate price. This week, Amazon has a model with 16GB of memory, 512GB of storage and a 16-core M1 Pro processor for $2,000 ($500 off). Best Buy has the same deal.

If you want the most powerful Apple laptop, there is a model with the 32-core M1 Max chip, 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage $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 from Microsoft.
Zoom in / Surface Pro 9 from Microsoft.

Andrew Cunningham

Surface Pro 9 with keyboard cover for $1,100 ($1,300) at Costco

If you want a Windows device that can be both a tablet and a laptop, the Surface Pro 9 is the best one to do that job, after more than nine hardware revisions and spinoffs. The crisp 13-inch screen, 12th generation Intel U-series processor, and nice-feel keyboard cover (included in this deal) keep the Surface as the archetypal portable yet still type-friendly laptop.

It’s pretty hard to beat this keyboard-included deal on a brand-new device. But if you’re not a Costco member, Best Buy offers the same Surface Pro 9 model, sans keyboard, for $1,000 ($100 off) and an upgraded i7/16GB model for $1,400 ($200 off). Amazon also has an i7/16GB model with 256GB of storage for $1,349about $250 off retail.

Surface Pro 8 with keyboard cover for $900 ($1,350) to the best buy

Not much has changed between the Surface Pro 8 and 9, minus a processor upgrade. If you’re looking for a more affordable entry point into Microsoft’s hybrid, we liked the Pro 8 a year ago and it’s still a worthy buy, especially at this discount with an included keyboard cover. Best Buy has the i5 8GB RAM 256GB storage model for sale for $900 with a graphite-colored keyboard cover and 15 months of Microsoft 365 to sweeten the deal.

Surface Laptop Go 2.
Zoom in / Surface Laptop Go 2.

Andrew Cunningham

Surface Laptop Go 2 for $600 ($700) to the best buy

One of the biggest problems we encountered with the Surface Laptop Go 2 was that its base model with 4GB of RAM is of no use to anyone. The other was that the $700 model, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, cost too much. But as we noted in our review, “if you can find it on sale… the Laptop Go 2 is a no-frills budget laptop worth considering if you can live with its flaws.”

Well, here you go. The 8GB RAM, 128GB model is on sale for $600 at Best Buy ($100 off). If you need a portable mouse to match and you like the idea of ​​a 3-year protection plan, Microsoft offers it all for the price of $655.

It's not just a spacious deck;  it's a huge touchpad.
Zoom in / It’s not just a spacious deck; it’s a huge touchpad.

Scharon Harding

Dell XPS 13 Plus for $1,500 ($1,850) to the best buy

This refreshed iteration of Dell’s long line of ultrabooks has made “wild design choices” to support a more powerful 12th-generation Intel CPU. If the most important thing to you in a laptop is performance, this laptop can really cook and looks slim and classy. But it gets hot, the keys are crowded together, and port selection is limited.

Best Buy has three variants of the XPS 13 Plus for sale: one with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for $1,700 ($400 off), 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD (as we reviewed) for $1,500 ($350 off) and if you want to sacrifice an OLED display, an FHD+ model for $1,350 ($300 off).

HP's 13.5-inch Spectrum x360.
Zoom in / HP’s 13.5-inch Spectrum x360.

Scharon Harding

HP Specter x360 13.5″ for $900 ($1,250) into HP

The 13.5-inch Specter x360 has “something for just about everyone,” we wrote in August. “It gets an A+ in looks and scores highly (but not perfectly) in design details.” It wasn’t the best in its class compared to other ultralights in its price range, but at this price the Specter is earning better marks than the curve.

HP has a model with i5-1235U processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD and a 1920×1280 IPS screen for $900 ($350 off). You can change some of these items, including doubling the RAM for just $60 more, on HP’s site.

System76 Lemur Pro.
Zoom in / System76 Lemur Pro.

System76 Lemur Pro 14-inch for $1,150 ($1,200 at System76

Linux-centric laptop vendors don’t make huge sales on Black Friday, or much in general. They have other things to focus on besides container ship volume. So when System76 saves $50 on its redesigned 14-inch Lemur Pro—the one with the advertised 14-hour battery life—it’s worth making a note of. You can choose between Pop! The operating system and Ubuntu 22.04 pre-installed, plenty of RAM and storage options, and some configurations will get free shipping.

More laptop deals we like

  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 15-inch Laptop PC (2496×1664, Core i7-1185G7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD) for $1,900 ($2,400) on Amazon
  • Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 13.3″ (1920×1080, Core i3-10110U, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) for $549 ($699) to the 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

Image of Samuel Axon’s list

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: