June 24, 2024


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Should You Buy a Laptop on Prime Day?

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide for everything you need to know and how to find the best deals.

Short answer: Yes, if a particular laptop meets your needs and budget, Prime Day is a good time to buy. However, you might not find the exact model and configuration you’re after at a discount. Also, laptops available at the deepest Prime Day discounts can and do sell out.

Should you buy a laptop on Prime Day?

Shopping for a laptop on Prime Day is not unlike hunting for a bargain on Black Friday. Amazon’s yearly sale event is set for July 12-13 and there will most certainly be laptops available at reduced prices. If we were just days away from Black Friday, I would recommend holding off on a laptop purchase and the same applies to Prime Day: It’s so close that it’s worth the wait to see if the laptop model you want goes on sale.

However, just like Black Friday, you’re likely to find only a handful of truly awesome deals mixed in with a lot of OK ones and some you should skip regardless of how low the price goes. When it comes to models and configurations, you’re at the mercy of what’s available for sale, too. You might have to compromise on getting your ideal laptop to save some money or spend a little more than you were expecting to ultimately get a better laptop for the price. 

Also, a lot of the best Prime Day laptop deals can be had only while supplies last. If you think the laptop you’re considering is the bargain you’ve been waiting for, you might not want to sleep on it. Before you rush into a purchase, though, check to see the return policy. For laptops sold by Amazon, it’s usually a full refund or replacement within 30 days if returned in its original condition.

Which laptop should I buy on Prime Day? 

In past years, Prime Day laptop sales were a mix of old and new models, and I would expect that to be the same for 2022. PC makers are currently updating last year’s models with new processors from Intel and AMD. Combined with chip shortages, there’s a chance we’re going to see more discounts than usual on laptops running older 11th-gen Intel Core-series and AMD Ryzen 5000-series chips. 

New laptops that feature 12th-gen Intel Core-series and AMD Ryzen 6000-series processors will be available, too. They can offer a big performance jump from the last-gen laptops. But for budget-conscious buyers, a slightly older laptop might be the best bargain and likely won’t disappoint when it comes to everyday use. 

Keep in mind, too, that just because something is a great deal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be cheap. For example, Acer will have its Predator Triton 500 SE (PT516-52s-99EL) gaming laptop on sale for Prime Day with a 12th-gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor, the high-performance Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics, a 16-inch display with a 240Hz refresh rate, 32GB of LPDDR5 memory and a 1TB SSD. It’s normally about $3,000 and although it will be less and no doubt a deal for what you get, it still won’t be cheap. On the other hand, Acer is also expected to have its Aspire 5 on sale featuring a 15.6-inch full-HD IPS display, an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD. It’s regularly $500, so it would actually be a steal even if it’s only $50 or $100 less. 

Regardless of price, I recommend buying only laptops that are listed as sold by Amazon and that ship from Amazon. There are reputable third-party sellers on Amazon, of course, but if you’re unfamiliar with the seller it’s safer to buy directly from Amazon. It also typically means you’re getting the best price for Prime Day. 

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