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When is the Best Time to Shop for a New Laptop?

Oct 22, 2021

A family browsing laptops at a store

When is the best time to shop for a new laptop? This is a question that many people ask before they actually go shopping. And, it’s a great one because there are better times than others to shop for a laptop to ensure you get the best deal.

When is the Best Time to Shop for a Laptop?

The best time to shop for a laptop is when prices are at their lowest and when retailers begin marking down their inventory. Here are the best holidays and time periods to shop for laptops.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday (Late November)

Retailers often start marking down items in late November, for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping holidays. This is a very competitive time of year for retailers which gives them the incentive to drop prices to help bring people into their store.

Back to School

Retailers understand that the back-to-school time period is a big opportunity for laptop sales. From e-learning to high school to college, many students and parents look to shop for a laptop late in July and early August. Retailers know this, and to remain competitive, they price their laptops accordingly.

Early Spring

Many laptop manufacturers will release their new laptops during the early spring months which means that older versions will be discounted to reduce inventory. In some instances, businesses will also discount newer laptop models and versions to help drum up interest and demand for the product.

After a New MacBook® Drops

Apple has become the gold standard for laptops in the business world, and when a new MacBook® is released, it can mean that prices on older models will be reduced to help clear out inventory. This also means that companies that sell PC laptops will also feel the pressure to reduce prices to keep up with the competition.

When Processors Get a Big Upgrade

When a company drops new processors, it reduces the value of computers with an older processor, because they are no longer as powerful or top of the line as they once were. If you see that a company has just put out a new, more powerful processor, then be on the lookout for a sale.

When is the Worst Time to Shop for a New Laptop?

While you want to shop at the right time, there are also times to avoid, if possible. Shopping at the wrong time can not only cause you to spend more but can also cause a delay in getting a new laptop if you are choosing one that is in high demand.

Early Summer

Early summer can be a bad time to shop laptops. When schools let out for the summer, the demand for laptops drops significantly. This drop in demand signals a corresponding increase in prices to offset a potential dip in sales.

Between Labor Day and Thanksgiving

Businesses only want to have sales occasionally, and the time period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving falls between two sale-heavy times of the year with back-to-school sales and Black Friday. Shopping for a laptop during this time may cost more, and it may take longer to find a store that has the laptop you want in stock.

Price Tracker Says Laptops Aren't Being Discounted

If you're using a price tracker to find the perfect time to shop for laptops, you should listen to it. These trackers are often based on retailer and manufacturer inputs. When they say that laptops are not being discounted, it's probably because many people still want to get them at full price or retailers have sold out of their stock for the year.

Why is a New Laptop a Good Investment?

A new laptop can be a great investment. Faster processing speeds in newer models can help you save time. Plus, a new laptop can also provide many new, impactful features that you may not have access to with your current laptop. There are also certain limitations you can run into with older laptop models, including processing power and certain specifications.

Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Laptop

There are many factors that you should consider when shopping for a new laptop. Some of these include the following:

Screen Size

Screen size can play an important role in your decision. If you will be using the device for work and need a larger screen to view documents and presentations, then a laptop with a 15-inch or 17-inch display may suit your needs best. You can also size down if you just want an affordable machine that allows you to browse the internet and perform other basic tasks.

Screen Quality

In addition to screen size, it is also important to consider the quality of the screen. While a lower-quality display will not be as sharp or allow you to see images in their full-color spectrum, they are also generally more affordable and can help those on a budget save money. On the flip side, if you plan on using your laptop daily and need to perform many important tasks, higher screen quality will be important.


Random Access Memory (RAM) is a computer term you may hear, but what does it mean and why is it important? Basically, RAM allows your device to store current programs and open files in memory for instantaneous access. This allows you to operate with minimal lag time between apps. A laptop with the most RAM possible will allow you to have more running programs at once — which can be really convenient and especially important if app speed is important to you

Battery Life

Battery life is important, especially if you're on the go and need a laptop that can last for more than a few hours at a time before needing to be plugged in again. Always read laptop reviews on reputable websites, like CNET or PC Magazine, which will often have battery life tests as well as other tech spec reviews.

CPU Storage

The storage on your laptop can make a significant difference in terms of how fast it is and what you can do with it. If you need a lot of storage, aim for at least 500GB before considering other features like RAM or processor speed.

Number of USB ports

While this may seem like an afterthought, the number of USB ports that comes with a laptop can make a significant difference in terms of what you're able to do with it. If you need to have several devices connected to your computer at once through a USB, make sure you look for a laptop with at least three USB ports.

Another consideration for many is how peripherals are connected to a laptop. Recent Mac® products, for example, don't use USB connections anymore. So it's important to do your research before you start shopping.

Common Mistakes When Shopping for a New Laptop

There are several common mistakes people make when shopping for a laptop that we recommend avoiding.

Shopping for the Cheapest Laptop You Can Find

While it may be tempting to base your decision solely on price, you don't want to spend money on a laptop if you're not going to be able to use it for the tasks you need. This is why it's important to identify what features are must-haves so that you base your search on that and not just on the final price.

Getting Something that Doesn't Meet All of Your Needs

This is one of the most common mistakes people make. If you can't do what you need to on a laptop, then it's not the laptop for you. If you're planning on using your laptop to edit photos using a photo editing application, for instance, you will want to make sure that you're getting a laptop with a powerful graphics card.

Not Doing Your Research

If you don't do your research, then it is easy to end up with a laptop that you regret. We want to make sure you avoid that. Make sure that you are looking at all different laptop options so that you can figure out which one is right for your specific needs.

Paying for Extras that Aren't Needed

There are countless add-ons that might tempt you. It is important to evaluate each additional item you are looking at to make sure that it will be beneficial and something that you will use. If you are only using your computer to browse the internet, you might be wise to avoid choosing extra storage for your computer. If you only need two USB ports, you might not want to spend money on a docking station to add eight additional USB ports. Make sure that you are thinking practically when deciding what add-ons to get.

How Can Acima Help?

If after analyzing your needs, you identify that what you need is outside of your price range, you might be feeling defeated. However, you can increase your shopping power by using an Acima retailer to help you get the laptop you need without breaking the bank.


How Much Should I Spend on a Laptop?

How much you should spend depends on what requirements you have for a new laptop. Prices can vary from as low as a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars for a high-performance laptop.

How Long Do Laptops Last?

In general, laptops are expected to last around three to five years. However, this can depend on what you use your laptop for and how you treat it.

Why Are Laptops Sold Out Everywhere?

There are many stores that are struggling to keep laptops in stock at the moment. The primary reason for this is an aftereffect of the pandemic which caused there to be an inventory shortage on graphics cards and other shortages.