What happens if your laptop breaks down? Your first instinct may be to immediately buy a new one, especially if you need a laptop to run a business or finish schoolwork. But if you’re running low on cash, you may consider waiting around for a sale. If you’re a budget-conscious consumer, here’s what analysts and industry leaders had to say about the best time to buy a laptop.
See what the average budget looks like for someone in your neighborhood.
When’s the Best Time to Buy a Laptop?
Besides September, April and May are some of the best times to buy a laptop, Consumer Reports says. Some experts agree that the spring is a good time to start shopping if you’re looking for a discount on an older model.
Others say that you’re better off buying a laptop during two specific times of year: the back-to-school shopping season or the holiday season. Laptopmag.com spoke with an analyst who argued that one of the best times to buy a laptop falls between the end of July and the first few weeks of August. You could also find a great deal on a laptop between the end of November and the end of December.
But Laptopmag.com notes that timing the purchase of a new laptop can be tricky. Prices can fluctuate throughout the year. And it depends on what you’re looking for. You may be waiting for a particular PC to go on sale. But the manufacturer may decide not to offer any deals on its products at all during a certain year. In fact, sometimes companies remove older models from stores without having a special promotion.
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When New Laptop Models Arrive
New PCs usually pop up at some point during the spring season. Generally, you’ll also see new inventory from the more prominent manufacturers arrive between June and August and the period between late fall and late December. That’s part of the reason why you’ll be able to find bargains on laptops during these times. Often, if you’re trying to save money, the best time to buy any product (whether it’s a car or a kitchen appliance) is right before retailers bring out the newest models.
But again, that rule doesn’t always apply when it comes to buying a laptop. In some cases, the newest and oldest laptops have the same prices. Or the older models are more expensive.
If you’re waiting for the arrival of a new Mac, you’ll need to pay attention to Apple’s announcements. The company doesn’t follow a set schedule when deciding when to release a new MacBook. And if you hear that a new laptop is on the way, don’t expect for the older version of the Mac to go on sale.
What to Consider Before Buying a Laptop
Before you head to the mall to buy a new laptop, it’s important to do plenty of research. You’ll also need to decide what to look for. What kind of laptop do you want? Does screen size or resolution matter to you? Do you care about the laptop’s battery life or portability? Once you’ve chosen a particular laptop to purchase, you can look out for promotions and clearance events.
If price is the most important factor, you may need to comparison shop to ensure that you’re getting the best bargain. Using a tool that tracks prices overtime (like camelcamelcamel.com) could be helpful. If you’re going for the cheapest laptop you can find, just know what you’re getting yourself into. In a few years, it might need to be replaced.
One last thing: It’s best to test out the laptop before you purchase it. You won’t be happy if you get home and realize that the laptop you just bought doesn’t have enough USB ports or the keyboard is too small.
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Certain stores and manufacturers may have sales on laptops throughout the year. But experts argue that the spring, late summer and the holiday season are generally the best times to buy a laptop (if you want a discount).
Of course it all depends on what you want. You might need to wait for the new models to arrive to buy a laptop with a particular feature. And even if you want an inexpensive laptop, one of the older models may not be the right fit for you.
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