The moment has finally arrived. You’re ready to buy a new laptop. You’ve read all the guides to the best laptops, asked all your friends, and learned how not to make any buying mistakes. Now you need to choose between hundreds of online stores and up to dozens of physical locations. It’s not easy.
In order to get the best deal on a laptop, you have to find the right place to shop, but that can be confusing. Each shop might sell a variety of models at many price points. To help, we’ve made a list of our top choices for the best places to buy a laptop right now.
Buy from the manufacturer
For those who love to customize
If you purchase directly from a company like Acer, Apple, Dell, or Microsoft, you avoid the confusion of digging through listings on Amazon or Best Buy. This option is best for those who’ve done the research and know exactly what they want.
Also, purchasing through a manufacturer gives you the most amount of options for customization. Want a laptop with extra memory but don’t care about the 4K display? Chances are, you’ll be able to configure it that way.
If you love tweaking features to get exactly the computer you want, consider buying from a manufacturer — it’s worth the extra cost and shipping fees. This rule applies to “boutiques” too: specialty shops that custom-build PCs. These include Digital Storm, OriginPC, and even Razer.
Buy from third-party partners
Amazon wins the prize of first stop thanks to its vast variety of laptops from manufacturers around the world. Its excellent laptop-buying guide helps you search for laptops based on your lifestyle (student, travel, etc.) or the specs you want (SSD, battery life, display size, etc.). If you want to find all laptops available with a particular set of features, this is one of the best tools online. Add in the fast, reliable shipping and easy payment options, and Amazon becomes the number one recommendation for finding the exact laptop you need.
While ratings aren’t always the most trustworthy, comparing ratings and reviews between your top laptop picks is also a simple, effective way to make up your mind between contenders. On top of all that, it’s pretty common to find sales on laptops that may have cost more buying directly from a retailer.
The one thing to be a little wary of is that Amazon offers varying build options. Because many different sellers may be offering different builds or generations of the same laptop, shopping can occasionally get confusing. Keep an eye on the specs, the year the laptop was produced, and even the exact model number to make sure you know precisely what you’re buying.
When it comes to buying a laptop in a brick and mortar store, only a few options remain. Best Buy is the first one people think of — and for good reason. Walking in to discover and purchase a laptop isn’t what we’d recommend as the most strategic option, but for those who want to take the anxiety out of researching and scouring the web, this might be the preferred method.
Furthermore, there’s nothing quite like getting hands-on time with the device you’re about to buy. For instance, this is an excellent opportunity to get the feel of a Chromebook or even a Mac if you’re wary of Windows and shopping for a new laptop experience. This way, you’re not hating yourself later for blindly jumping into a new platform because the laptop was on sale or typically low-priced.
Beyond the physical store, Best Buy provides a comprehensive laptop site that offers its own take on a shopping guide. You have options to show for laptop packages, specific brands, operating systems, and even laptops compatible with specific technologies like Windows Ink.
Newegg may not have as many reviews as Amazon, but its reviews tend to be well informed and worth poring through, instead of meaningless comments. If you love doing a lot of research and reading up on a lot of different opinions before making a choice, Newegg is a great place to visit. The site also offers its own laptop buying guide that breaks down your options by interesting categories such as screen size and CPU class.
Newegg also impresses with its sales, discounts, and features like activating a product for price alert so you can watch for future deals. If you didn’t get what you wanted, there’s a 14-day return policy and well-respected customer support to help out.
From new models to refurbished products, Overstock.com specializes in discounts and low prices. The interface isn’t anything special, but there are plenty of filtering options reminiscent of Amazon, and it’s easy to spot items that have particularly low prices or that are well-reviewed.
Overstock is a popular place to shop if you thoroughly enjoy scouring for big bargains from trustworthy sources and don’t really care all that much if you have to check in each day to observe whether or not the price you’re after has finally made its arrival.
Like the Newegg and Overstock.com websites, TigerDirect presents customers with a wide range of choices, spanning both modern and restored goods. The website’s design and layout aren’t the best-looking we’ve seen, but if you ignore that aspect, you’ll see that it offers an extensive list of filtering choices. You can pick from RAM, storage, display, processor, and so much more to assist you in your search to discover the laptop that’s best suited for you and your needs and preferences. The online customer reviews can also give you some valuable insight if they are available and you want to check them out.
TigerDirect gives you plenty of merchandise options at reasonable rates. This is why we believe it’s a site that’s definitely worth visiting before you go all-in on the next laptop you find.
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