Black Friday 2016 is a great time to buy laptops

Laptop prices have dropped throughout 2016, and that should continue through Black Friday shopping. 

Jeff Chiu/AP/File
ADell laptop computer running Windows 10 is on display at the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco.

The prices on laptops have dropped throughout the year, making it easier than ever for almost anyone to find a suitable machine that doesn't cost a ton. Indeed, it's possible to get a bevy of features, storage, and RAM for just a few hundred dollars — and come Black Friday, the deals will get even better.

This year for our Black Friday predictions, we've created a "cheat sheet" with the top tips you need to know when shopping this season. For savvy consumers who want more information, scroll down for our in-depth analysis.

So what can you expect from Black Friday laptop deals? Read on below! Then, consider signing up for the DealNews Select newsletter to keep track of the latest deals in your inbox, or download our app to have them at your fingertips.

The Cheat Sheet: Black Friday Laptop Predictions

Prices to Expect

  • Chromebooks for $95
  • Bargain laptop doorbusters for $110
  • Mainstream machines for under $300

3 Quick Tips You Need to Know

  • Shop for doorbusters on Black Friday, but expect the majority of Editors' Choice deals on Cyber Monday.
  • Current-generation doorbusters won't cost much more than previous-generation machines.
  • Shop for Chromebooks and bargain machines on Black Friday, but current-generation laptops the next week.

Want more details on how, what, where, and when to buy laptop deals this Black Friday? Then check out our full analysis below.

When to Shop

Good Things Come to Those That Wait (Till Cyber Monday)

As with most items, doorbuster deals on laptops will be seen mostly on Black Friday, with the odd exception or two popping up the day before. Expect stores to use eye-catchingly low Chromebook and bargain machine prices to lure in customers.

But if last year is any indication, you'll have a better chance of finding a solid price, particularly on mainstream machines, three days later. Fittingly, Cyber Monday is when we typically see the most Editors' Choice deals on laptops of all makes, models, and price lows when it comes to Broadwell Core i5 and i7 laptops.

Expect stores to use eye-catchingly low Chromebook and bargain machine prices to lure in customers.

If you're shopping for a current-generation Skylake machine, don't be afraid to hold out for a good price. Last year, we didn't see the prices on these laptops drop significantly until the days following Cyber Monday.

What to Buy

Chromebooks Won't Get Any Cheaper Than This

This year don't expect Chromebook prices to get much lower because... well, they can't get much lower. However, we anticipate seeing a greater number of deals in the range of last year's blockbuster price of $95. Expect to get a 2.16GHz Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 16GB SSD at this price.

Bargain Machine Prices Can and Will Go Lower

Unlike Chromebooks, there's still room for bargain machine prices to fall, and this year we expect they will dip below last year's doorbuster price of $149. We anticipate these laptops to be priced as low as $110 for a 15.6" machine with at least 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. That may seem unbelievable, but few people thought $149 was possible last year either, and that most definitely happened.

Mainstream Machines Will See the Other Side of $300

While we saw prices on mainstream laptops hit the $300 mark in 2015, this year we expect them to dip below it. Doorbuster prices on laptops with Intel Core i5 Broadwell processors will go as low as $270. For that price, you'll get at least 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, but we wouldn't be surprised if you get as much as 1TB of storage.

Laptops with Core i7 Broadwell processors will go as low as $400. However, you can step up to a current-generation machine for not too much additional cash.

If you want a more powerful machine, laptops with Core i7 Broadwell processors will go as low as $400. However, you can step up to a current-generation machine for not too much additional cash. We expect to see prices on Core i5 Skylake laptops to drop to $300, while i7 Skylake machines will go as low as $449.

Where to Shop

Dell to Offer the Most Editors' Choice Deals

While many of our favorite electronics retailers — namely Newegg, Amazon, Adorama, Best Buy, and Microsoft Store — will offer a fair amount of Editors' Choice deals, far and away the best place to look for savings will be Dell Home. Last year, this site had nearly three times as many of our editor-selected, noteworthy deals than the next closest competitor. Of course, the vast majority of these deals were for Dell's own machines.

This article first appeared in DealNews. 

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