Black Friday 2020 is nearly here, and some of the biggest bargains can be found on pricier items like laptops.
Whether you’ve just started uni, are an avid gamer or simply want a better model for working from home, a laptop is always a useful and long-term investment worth splashing out on.
Black Friday always fall ons the day after Thanksgiving, and quickly encompassed the whole weekend and the following Monday too, aka Cyber Monday. More recently, deals have also started the week of Black Friday, and even in some cases, the week before that too.
But this year, Amazon set a new precedent by starting its early bird deals a whole month early. To keep up to date with the best early Amazon Black Friday deals, read our guide. John Lewis & Partners, Very, Boots, AO, O2, Superdrug and Currys PC World have also started their sales too.
We’re here to provide a helping hand too, bringing you all the best deals through the sale, to save you searching high and low for the best price.
Read on below for the best early Black Friday laptop deals to shop now, along with all the details you need about the big event.
Our IndyBest team hand-picks every deal we feature. We may earn some commission from the links in this article, but our selections have been made independently and without bias. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
When is Black Friday 2020?
This year Black Friday will fall on Friday 27 November, and the event will run over the weekend until 30 November, which is Cyber Monday.
As Amazon has already set the precedent, albeit much earlier than expected at the end of October, Boots and Superdrug started their sales in early November. Currys PC World has also joined in on the fun too.
We’re expecting other retailers will follow suit and begin deals earlier than usual too, especially considering we’re now in a second lockdown.
The best early Black Friday laptop deals
Apple Macbook Air core i3 8GB 256GB SSD 13.3 inch laptop: Was £1099.97, now £919.97, Laptops Direct
Make the most of up to 30 per cent off on laptops across Laptops Direct in the lead up to Black Friday. This thin, light and portable offering from Apple is perfect for anyone looking to upgrade their working from home laptop. Its “magic keyboard” has smart features, such as touch ID so you can unlock your laptop at the touch of a finger, while 8GB of memory meets all storage needs. With £180 off, this deal cannot be missed.
Huawei Matebook D14 14 inch laptop – grey: Was £699, now £499, AO
This laptop promises a 10-hour battery lift, 256GD SSD of storage and a 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor for speedy work, which is ideal as many of us are still working from home.
A similar model by the brand, the Huawei MateBook X pro, impressed us in our review of the best high-end laptops too. Our reviewer described it as “a fast and effective performer, especially for something as thin and light as this.”
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, 15in: Was £1699, now £1529, John Lewis
Save £170 on this laptop from Microsoft’s coveted Surface range, which won a spot in our review of the best high-end laptops. Our technology critic, David Phelan, called it a “really excellent laptop”, adding: “It looks gorgeous, with a light but sturdy aluminium casing and an optional alcantara finish on the bit your palms rest on, which feels comfortable but looks slightly unconventional.”
“It has great build quality and very strong performance all-round, though the battery life is average rather than exceptional,” he said.
Apple Macbook Pro 2020 core i5 8th Gen 256GB 13 inch with touch bar – space grey: Was £1394.97, now £1179.97, Laptops Direct
The 2020 Macbook pro offers a new level of performance without compromising on portability. Its features include an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB ram, 256GB SSD, and a 13.3in screen and still only weighs 1.4 kilos. We reviewed a similar model in our round-up of the best high-end laptops.
HP ProBook 430 G7 core i5-1021OU 8GB 13.3 inch FHD Windows 10 Pro laptop: Was £1099.97, now £769.97, Laptops Direct
Save £330 on this HP laptop as part of site-wide early Black Friday sales across Laptops Direct. At just £749.97 you can enjoy the latest HP processor, longer battery life, speedy connectivity and storage of 8GB. Increase your working from home productivity with this steal of a deal.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6 inch laptop – AMD 3020e, 128 GB SSD, black: Was £379, now £279, Currys PC World
A great budget laptop, this is a brilliant deal saving you £100. Lenovos is known for its reliability and long battery life, so if you’re out and about without a plug socket, the battery lasting nine and a half hours will come in handy. This is a great laptop for watching and streaming your favourite shows, with high quality Dolby Audio, an AMD 3020e processor, and a 128 GB SSD drive, which should give speedy loading times while leaving storage room for the important things.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S130 81J20076UK with 14 inch display and 64 GB storage won our Bust Buy award for best laptops under £250 last year, and with the IdeaPad 3 a newer, bigger and better model, this is a great deal.
Dell XPS 13 7390 13.3 inch laptop – Intel core i5, 256 GB: Was £1099, now £939, Currys PC world
This Dell model secured a spot in our review of the best high-end laptops, and is currently on offer with £160 off. It runs Windows 10, has an Intel Core i5 processor, 8gb of RAM and a full HD screen. The laptop also has a battery life of up to 12.5 hours, so there will be no frantic rushes to find the charger.
Apple MacBook Air (2020) 13 inch: Was £1,399, now £1,249, Very
If you’re an Apple fan, bag this bargain now as the tech giant is known for rarely offering discounts on its products. This MacBook has a retina display, backlit keyboard, touch ID for logins, stereo speaker and promises 11-hours of battery life and 8GB of memory. It’s thin, lightweight and made with a tenth-generation Intel Core i7 processor which claims to make light work of big projects and files. The Apple macbook pro 16in previously topped our guide to the best high-end laptops for working from home.
Acer Swift 1 SF114-32 Pentium silver N5000 4GB 128GB 14 inch Windows laptop: Was £549.97, now £499.97, Laptops Direct
This thin and lightweight, yet durable laptop is currently £50 off – one of many deals across Laptops Direct in the lead up to Black Friday. There are good visuals with the 1920 x 1080 resolution while features such as a fingerprint reader and longer battery life of up to 20 hours mean working from home has never been easier.
Alienware Area 51M R2: Was £3,499.99, now £2,999.99, Very
There’s £500 to be saved on this laptop specifically designed for gaming and graphic design work. It has a 17.3in screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution, so you can work, or play, with high-quality visuals that promise to load quickly.
Features include a 1TB hard drive for maximum storage space and Tobii eye tracking which are small sensors to track even the smallest details of a game such as eye gaze or head poses.
Dell Insprion 15 3000 15.6 inch laptop – AMD Ryzen 5, 256 GB SSD, black: Was £599, now £479, Currys PC World
Dell topped our review of the best high-end laptops for working from home, so rest assured it is a brand to have on your radar.
This particular model allows you to get your phone calls, notifications and messages from your smartphone on your laptop, so you don’t need to switch between screens. The AMD Ryzen 5 can easily tackle every day tasks such streaming movies and browsing online.
Its battery life claims to last eight and a half hours on a full charge, and the anti-glare screen can prevent any disruptions to your work.
HP 14s-dq1505sa 14 inch laptop – Intel Core i7, 512 GB SSD, silver: Was £699, now £599, Currys PC World
With an Intel Core i7 processor for speedy work, this HP laptop claims to offer over 10 hours of use from a single charge and has a HD webcam for all your Zoom calls.
It has 8GB of storage and Bluetooth to provide you with an easy connection to your headphones and smartphone. The HP elite dragonfly model also appeared in our review of the best high-end laptops too.
HP ProBook 430 G7 Core i5-10210U 13.3 inch Windows 10 pro laptop: Was £1,099.97, now £769.97, Laptops Direct
Promising speedy connectivity, a long battery life and a fast 10th Gen Intel processor, this laptop should equip you with everything you need to efficiently work from home. Features include being able to open the screen up fully flat, 8GB of memory and built-in security features to block viruses and malware from affecting your work.
Huawei matebook X pro 2019: Was £1,199.99, now £849.98, Amazon
If you want something that packs a punch, this is the device for you thanks to its fast 8th Gen Intel Core processor and 512GB of memory. With 30 per cent off, it is a no brainer.
Additional features include high-quality built-in speakers and a touchscreen, plus if you have a Huawei phone, you can easily transfer videos and documents between the two.
The Black Friday laptop deals to expect
Apple is notorious for not participating in many sales, however there were some Macbooks to be found in last year’s sale from other retailers, including this Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 256GB) - Space Grey that was £1,399 but came down to £999 on Amazon.
Also on offer was this Dell Inspiron 15-3000 Series, 15.6 inch Full HD Laptop (Silver) with MS Office Home, from Very which was reduced from £499.99 to £399.99.
AO also had plenty of offers including this Asus TUF FX705 17.3" Gaming Laptop that was £749 but was reduced to £599.
At John Lewis & Partners, this Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, Intel Core i7 Processor, Sandstone was £1,549 but came down to £1,389.
While at Currys PC World, it has discounts such as this HP Pavilion 14-ce3501sa 14in Laptop – Intel Core i5, 512 GB SSD, Silver, which was reduced from £639 to £499.
How to get the best Black Friday laptop deals?
When shopping for laptops during the sale, our top tip is to browse through different retailers such as John Lewis & Partners, Currys, Very and Amazon, as some offer better discounts than others.
Tech brands such as Apple don’t typically have any discounts on products when you shop directly with them, instead retailers that stock Apple will have the the best deals. What Apple has done in the past though, is it offer gift cards when buying certain products.
To save yourself the work, we’ll also be bringing you the best deals to shop, so make sure to check back for new offers.
How to choose the right laptop for you
“If you want a laptop for web surfing and word processing, doing your accounts in a spreadsheet and keeping up to date with your emails, you can get away with something basic and affordable,” says David Phelan, The Independent’s technology critic.
“Smaller screens, lower storage capacities, limited active memory levels all make for cheaper prices. But for more powerful demands you will need to spend more or risk frustration when you wait for the computer to do what you want it to,” he adds.
Low to mid range laptops usually cost up to £300, whereas high-end or gaming models usually start from around £1,000.
What screen size should I go for?
“Display size is important, especially if you want to watch films or programmes on your laptop,” says David.
But he suggests considering screen resolution is just as important as screen size. Every display is made up of dots called pixels; the more pixels it has, the more detail you can see on screen.
“For reference, an HD TV has a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080,” David says. “Look for a 14in screen or bigger if you’re going to watch films on your laptop, and the closer you can get to HD resolution, the better.
“Many laptop screens have resolution of 1366 x 768. This isn’t bad, but remember that it’s probably going to be on your lap, so low resolution is all the more obvious.”
Which operating system should I choose?
“There’s the elegant and intuitive macOS which runs only on Apple iMac desktops and MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops. Apple models are not cheap, so Black Friday could be helpful at making them more affordable,” David explains.
“Then there’s Windows from Microsoft which has the widest range of mainstream applications and Chrome OS from Google which works on some of the lowest-priced laptops."
How long will the Black Friday discounts last?
For the majority of retailers, the sale starts from Black Friday (27 November) and finishes on Cyber Monday (30 November). But some brands are starting weeks earlier, including Amazon, Boots and Superdrug.
We are constantly updating all of our Black Friday guides so be sure to check them for the latest information.
Read more on Black Friday 2020
How to get the best Black Friday deals this year – When the sale starts, how to get the best savings, and how to prepare
Best Amazon Black Friday deals – There will be millions of deals, so check in here for our pick of the best
Best John Lewis & Partners Black Friday deals – With great deals on fashion, beauty, tech, kids and homewares it will be a go-to for many
Best Currys PC World Black Friday deals – For everything from TVs to laptops, and kettles to coffee machines
Best Argos Black Friday deals – Covering everything from kids to homewares and fitness to DIY
Best Apple Black Friday deals – The tech giant is notorious for not participating in Black Friday, so how can you find deals on Apple products? Find out in our guide
Best Black Friday tech deals – Whether it’s a new phone contract or noise-cancelling headphones, you’ll find the best deal here
Best Black Friday TV deals – Update your at-home cinema experience without paying full price with our featured deals
Best Black Friday gaming deals – Struggling to choose which console to buy, or after a new controller or game? Here's our expert guide
Best Black Friday home appliances deals – Now’s the time to upgrade your vacuum cleaner or coffee machine
Best Black Friday fashion deals – Whether its a pair of boots or a coat, treat yourself to new season essentials
Best Black Friday beauty deals – Stock up on your favourites across make-up, skincare, haircare and fragrance
Best Black Friday kids’ toys deals – Get your Christmas shopping done and dusted, with deals from Disney, Lego, Playmobil and more
Best Black Friday mattress deals – Rest easy with big discounts for brands such as Emma, Eve Sleep and Simba
Best Black Friday furniture deals – There's no need to wait until the January sale to get a bargain sofa, wardrobe or armchair
The stores taking part in Black Friday – Our predictions based on last year, which we’ll be updating as the deals begin