14 Best Black Friday Laptop Deals: Apple MacBooks, Microsoft Surface, Dell, HP and More

Microsoft's Surface Pro 8.
Enlarge / Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8.

Andrew Cunningham

Black Friday deals on laptops are as American as pumpkin pie. But finding valuable opportunities can be difficult. Each model has variants, each of those variants has configurations with too many sound-alike model numbers (thanks, Intel), and many of the model names are unrememberable names.

We spend a lot of time looking at laptops and writing about them at Ars, so we’ve reviewed the deals and highlighted the most notable options based on the laptops we’ve reviewed and know about. 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

2022 MacBook Air.
Enlarge / 2022 MacBook Air.

Samuel Axon

MacBook Air 2022 for $1,050 ($1,200) at Amazon

It’s not a mandatory upgrade over its M1-based predecessor, but the M2-powered MacBook Air is the best laptop for most kinds of Mac users. Thanks to Apple’s impressive M2 processor, this entry-level model can do a lot with just 8GB of RAM, although the 256GB of 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.
Enlarge / Two 2021 MacBook Pro models side by side.

Samuel Axon

14-inch MacBook Pro 2021 for $1,600 ($2,000) at 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, driven largely by the advent of Apple’s own silicon. Ars’ Samuel Axon called it “the best multi-use laptop you can buy, provided you have a lot of money.” For a short period of time, that’s quite a bit less money at Amazon. A 14-inch model with an M1 Pro chip, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is $1,599 ($400 discount). The same deal is available at Best Buy.

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

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

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

If you want the most powerful Apple laptop, a model with a 32-core M1 Max chip, 32 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage is $3,049 at Best Buy, $450 less than retail. Or you can pay full retail price through Apple and get a $250 gift card.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 9.
Enlarge / Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9.

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 at doing that job after more than nine hardware revisions and spin-offs. The crisp 13-inch screen, 12th-generation U-series Intel processor, and the lovely feel of the keyboard cover (included in this deal) keep the Surface as the archetype of the portable-yet-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 model Surface Pro 9, without the keyboard, for $1,000 ($100 off) and an upgraded i7/16GB model to $1,400 ($200 off). Amazon also has an i7/16GB model with 256GB of storage $1,349about $250 off retail.

Surface Pro 8 with keyboard cover for $900 ($1,350) at Best Buy

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

Surface Laptop Go 2.
Enlarge / Surface Laptop Go 2.

Andrew Cunningham

Surface Laptop Go 2 for $600 ($700) at Best Buy

One of the biggest issues we had with the Surface Laptop Go 2 was that its base model with 4GB of RAM isn’t useful to anyone. The second 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 an affordable laptop worth considering if you can live with its flaws.”

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

It's not just a spacious deck;  it's a massive touchpad.
Enlarge / It’s not just a spacious deck; it’s a massive touchpad.

Sharon Harding

Dell XPS 13 Plus for $1,500 ($1,850) at Best Buy

This revamped version of Dell’s long-running ultrabook line made “wild design choices” to support a more powerful 12th generation Intel CPU. If your most important thing in a laptop is performance, this laptop can really cook, and it looks and feels sleek and elegant. But it gets hot, its keys are closely spaced, and its 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 $1,700 ($400 off), 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD (which we reviewed) for $1,500 ($350 off), and if you want to sacrifice an OLED screen, an FHD+ model for $1,350 ($300 off).

HP's 13.5-inch Specter x360.
Enlarge / HP’s 13.5-inch Specter x360.

Sharon Harding

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

The 13.5-inch Specter x360 has “something for almost everyone,” we wrote in August. It “gets an A+ in looks and scores high (but not perfect) in design details.” It wasn’t the top of its class compared to other ultralights in its price range, but at this price, the Specter earns better marks against the curve.

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

System76 Lemur Pro.
Enlarge / System76 Lemur Pro.

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

Linux-focused laptop vendors don’t get big sales around Black Friday, or generally much at all. They have other things to focus on than container ship scale volume. So when System76 knocks $50 off its redesigned 14″ Lemur Pro, the one with the touted 14-hour battery life, it’s worth noting. You can choose between Pop! OS and Ubuntu 22.04 pre-installed, a whole bunch of storage and RAM options and certain configurations will get free shipping.

Other laptop deals we like

  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 15-inch laptop (2496×1664, Core i7-1185G7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD) for $1,900 ($2,400) at Amazon
  • Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 13.3″ (1920×1080, Core i3-10110U, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) for 549 USD ($699) at Best Buy
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 from $899 up to $300 off at Microsoft
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio from $1,400 up to $400 off at Microsoft
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13-inch Chromebook ‎(1920×1080, Intel Core i3-1115G4, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD) for 300 USD ($420) at Amazon

List image by Samuel Axon

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