Need a laptop? Check out these almost-Black Friday deals
Tablets? Some say overrated. Full price? Nearly everyone says overrated. Get full computing power, plus some extra savings with these deals on laptops from Apple to Lenovo.
This week's best laptop deals include a healthy mix of powerful Haswell-based machines alongside previous-generation laptops like the Apple Ivy Bridge-based MacBook Pro Retina laptop. We've also found an all-time low on the 11.6" ASUS VivoBook X200CA and a Haswell-based desktop replacement that's just $20 over its Black Friday mention.
Apple MacBook Pro Core i7 2.8GHz 15.4" Laptop with Retina Display
Price: $2,299.99 via $50 mail-in rebate with free shipping
Lowest By: $749
Is It Worth It?: It may not be the current Haswell MacBook Pro, but this Ivy Bridge-based machine still packs a powerful punch. It's been fitted with 16GB of RAM, a 768GB SSD, and a 2.8GHz quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU. It also packs the stunning 15.4" 2880x1800 Retina display along with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1GB video card and 802.11a/n WiFi.
HP ENVY 15t-j100 Quad Edition Intel Haswell Core i7 2.4GHz 15.6" 1080p LED-Backlit Laptop
Store: HP Home & Home Office
Price: $759.99 via coupon code "WANT175" with free shipping
Lowest By: $55
Expires: March 1
Is It Worth It?: Although it's $159 pricier than last week's mention, this 5.6-lb. HP ENVY 15t-j100 packs significantly better specs, starting with a 15.6" 1080p display (last week's model topped out at 1366x768) and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M 2GB graphics card. Add to that a Core i7-4700MQ 2.4GHz Haswell quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive and you've got a killer system in the making. Even better, coupon code "WANT175" takes $55 off.
ASUS VivoBook Intel Celeron 1.5GHz 11.6" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: Microsoft Store
Price: $279 with free shipping
Lowest By: $17
Is It Worth It?: The ASUS X200CA is a budget ultraportable that features an 11.6" touchscreen display. Though we think it's a little underpowered, this 2.7-lb. notebook is an awesome coffee table laptop or a cheap on-the-go system. It's powered by a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron 1007U dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. It's currently the cheapest 11.6" ASUS VivoBook we've seen.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro Intel Haswell Core i7 1.8GHz 13.3" Touchscreen Laptop
Price: $1,199 via coupon code "YOGA2PRODEAL" with free shipping
Lowest By: $200
Is It Worth It?: "The Yoga 2 Pro is the most versatile Windows convertible we know of," says Engadget. More importantly, it addresses many of the flaws of the original Yoga while simultaneously being lighter, thinner, and faster. Indeed, one of the Yoga 2 Pro's biggest upgrades is its 13.3" QHD+ 3200x1800 screen. This configuration also includes a Core i7 Haswell dual-core 1.8GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. At 3.1 lbs., the folks at PC Magbelieve it's too heavy for prolonged use as a tablet, but call it an otherwise attractive gift for early adopters and graphics arts mavens.
Dell Inspiron 15 Intel Haswell Core i3 1.7GHz 15.6" Laptop
Store: Dell Home
Price: $399.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $50
Is It Worth It?: Like the aforementioned VivoBook, this Inspiron laptop is aimed at budget shoppers, however, for roughly $20 more than the ASUS laptop, the Inspiron 15 features a mightier Haswell Core i3 CPU coupled with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The 15.6" machine also offers a 1366x768 LCD, which for $50 you can upgrade to a touchscreen.
Lenovo Essential G710 Intel Haswell Core i5 2.5GHz 17.3" LED-Backlit Laptop
Price: $599 with free shipping
Lowest By: $250
Expires: February 27
Is It Worth It?: Big and proud, the 6.4-lb. Lenovo Essential G710 is a Haswell-based desktop replacement featuring a 17" 1366x768 LED-backlit LCD, a dual-core Core i5 2.5GHz Haswell CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. For its price, it packs better-than-average specs, and it's just $20 over our Black Friday mention of the same system.
Louis Ramirez is a features writer at Deal News where this article first appeared: http://dealnews.com/features/best-laptop-deals/
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.