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Best Laptop Deals for 2020 (Get Ready for Back-to-School, Whatever That May Look Like.)

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woman holding samsung 11.6 chromebook

We’ve got the best laptop deals for your back-to-school budget!

Laptops are always a popular back-to-school item, but COVID-19 has changed the way we’re thinking about returning to learning in 2020.

While there is still a lot of uncertainty about how the upcoming school year will unfold for some students, more families than ever are buying laptops in anticipation of more learning taking place online this year. That’s why we’re sharing the best laptop deals around!

woman at laptop computer with cup of coffee

Whether you need a Chromebook for your student or a budget-friendly upgrade for your old Windows laptop, now is a great time to score a deal on a new laptop. There are some affordable yet impressive options that offer a lot of the same features, performance, and battery life of their more expensive counterparts, all without breaking the bank! Scroll down to see some of the best laptop deals you can currently score.

Here are 3 of the best, most affordable, and highly rated Chromebooks:

hp chromebook laptop computer

1. HP 11.6″ Chromebook – $219

This 11.6-inch HP notebook PC has an Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM support for everyday multitasking, while the 32GB eMMC storage accommodates all of your documents and media.

It features wireless AC connectivity for 3x the speed when paired with a compatible Wi-Fi router, and a TrueVision HD webcam for videoconferencing and distance learning. Its 12-hour battery life will keep your student connected all day long!

open Lenovo Chromebook2. Lenovo 100e Chromebook – $260

This rough-and-tumble device was built with a drop-resistant design and a water-resistant keyboard to withstand the wear and tear of going back and forth between home and school. On the inside, its 4GB RAM Memory and 32GB eMMC storage will stand up to even the most rigorous academic environments.

This 11.6″ Chromebook includes access to Google Classroom G Suite for Education and tons of other interactive learning apps for students and teachers. It also offers a built-in HD camera, an anti-glare screen, and 10 hours of battery life.

open Samsung Chromebook

3. Samsung 11.6″ Chromebook with Intel N3060 – $264.95

Samsung’s 11.6″ Chromebook provides the perfect balance to computing and mobility, with 4GB system memory and 16GB eMMC flash memory. Weighing in at under three pounds and less than one inch thick, this Chromebook is lightweight and easy to take on the go. With its 11-hour battery life, you can leave the charger at home!

The HDMI port lets you send and receive multimedia files from other sources such as a television or a desktop computer. Add even more devices with a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port, and use the integrated webcam for keeping in touch or attending Zoom meetings.

teenage girl using laptop

Looking for the deepest discounts on Chromebooks? Retailers like Walmart and Best Buy offer Chromebooks for as low as $150 if you’re willing to consider a refurbished machine or open-box deal. This could be a smart way to save a lot of money, especially if you’re trying not to spend a lot on a laptop that will mainly be used by your kiddos.

Here are 3 of the best, most affordable, and highly rated Windows laptops:

open HP Stream laptop

1. HP Stream 11.6″ Laptop – $219.99

Post, play, and stay productive for up to 13+ hours with this affordable, portable, and stylish laptop. It has a 4GB system memory for running multiple applications and browser tabs at once, and a 64GB eMMC flash memory for enhanced storage capabilities, streamlined data management, quick boot-up times, and HD video playback.

This device also features Intel UHD Graphics, tuned stereo speakers, a webcam, a micro SD card reader, and a Wi-Fi 5 (2×2) WLAN adapter and Bluetooth 4.2 for reliable connections. a one-year trial of Microsoft 365 Personal is also included.

open Acer Aspire laptop

2. Acer Aspire 15.6″ Laptop – $199.99

Lightweight and stylish, the Aspire 1 features a 15.6” Full HD screen and 802.11ac WiFi 5 for fast connectivity and reliability wherever you go. With Windows 10 in S mode, you’ll experience fast start-ups, a familiar yet expanded Start menu, and great new ways to get stuff done.

The Intel Celeron processor offers the processing power needed for peak productivity, and the 10+ hour battery life will keep you connected all day long. This device also features 4GB system memory, 64GB eMMC storage, and a webcam.

open laptop next to stand-up tablet

3. HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 Touch-Screen 11.6″ Laptop – $399.99

This 2-in-1 Laptop/Tablet combo features a 360° flip-and-fold design for versatile functionality with laptop, audience, tabletop, presentation, and tablet modes. The 11.5-inch HD touchscreen and high-quality B&O speakers offer an impressive media experience for a device of this size.

This 2-in-1 device uses the Windows 10 Home operating system and a 128GB solid-state drive for rapid boot times and responsiveness. Because this type of storage has no moving parts, there’s no heat produced, no noise, and less power draw on the battery.

woman typing on MacBook

Looking for a MacBook?

While Apple’s MacBooks didn’t make our list of affordable devices, they are one of the best laptops you can buy, and very popular with students. Unfortunately, they are also among the most expensive devices around, and don’t usually offer many deals.

If you have your heart set on snagging a MacBook, luckily there are a few tricks to getting a good deal on one of these pricey devices!

money saving moving tips — homepage of hip2save on macbook computer

Here’s our best advice when shopping for a MacBook:

  • If you already have a MacBook and you’re looking to upgrade, you can participate in Apple’s trade-in program. This program allows you to trade in your eligible device for credit toward a new MacBook or an Apple gift card that you can use at any time!
  • If you’re a student or teacher, watch for Apple’s back-to-school promotions from July to September, when you can often find discounted accessories or good deals on trade-ins. Apple’s education pricing also gives discounts to students and teachers year-round. Veterans and Active Military members can also verify their ID to claim a Military Discount of 10% off.
  • The best deals on MacBooks are often found at authorized Apple resellers like Amazon and Best Buy. The only drawback is that you’ll either have to go through the original retailer or Apple’s online warranty system if problems arise with your device. If your product’s warranty and easy returns are top concerns for you, then buying directly from Apple will give you more peace of mind, but you’ll almost always pay more that way.
  • MacBooks are built to last, so buying a refurbished MacBook from Apple’s Certified Refurbished store is a great way to save 10-20% off the retail price. These refurbished units are tested extensively, guaranteed to work as efficiently as a new model, and backed by a one-year warranty.

Bookmark our Apple Deals Page and be the first to know about hot deals on MacBooks!

Join The Discussion

Comments 45

  1. JMonte509

    We are very fortunate that our school district provides iPads for the elementary level and Chromebooks for the secondary level. I have three”students” that’s including one special needs child. So it will be challenging but I’d rather have them home than going to school. Stay safe everyone 🙏

  2. Zita

    Would any of these be good for couponing and printing to a wireless printer. My sister-in-law wants to upgrade from an old desktop. Nothing fancy.

    I’m not tech savvy. 🙂

    • pxl091000

      Zita, you can download air printer app or printer specific app for wireless printing. I use my iPhone to print wirelessly

  3. Zita

    Thanks so much, but she’s dead set on a laptop. : )

    • karwowm

      Her point is you can print from anywhere, even a phone, so it will be easy from a laptop.

  4. kayjayc

    Just as a heads up, the version of Microsoft products on Chromebooks are lacking features that are available in PCs and Macs. My husband is a chemistry professor and had his students do data analysis in Excel, and everyone with a Chromebook can’t do it. He does not recommend them.

    • Heather

      Yes, this! My oldest has used her chromebook all through middle school and high school with no problems, but she starts university this fall and we are having to buy a laptop.

    • Myrah

      This is good to know. Thank you kayjayc!

    • Amy

      Agree on this. I think the fact that they look like a laptop confuses people. They’re closer to a tablet than a PC really. A nice cheap option for a typical user or younger kids but students often need to use specific software they can’t access on a Chromebook. I believe the Stream is similar as well but I’m not entirely sure which software can be used with it. Definitely should research before buying 😊

    • Monique

      Thank you for the info my sister is looking for a laptop for my niece for distance learning forwarded her this deal and your comments 🙂

    • Stephanie S.

      My kids made it very clear… no chrome books because of limitations as well.

    • Taryn S.

      Nearly everything that can be done on Microsoft can be done on Chromebooks using the Google Suite. Excel = Sheets. I’m a freelance writer and exclusively use Chromebooks now, and many clients use Microsoft-based docs. It’s a seamless conversion, though!

      • Heather

        Absulutely Correct!

    • Heather

      I know it’s late, but wanted to post in case someone happened to see it and it helped: this is true to an extent. My daughter has used her Chromebook for the the first 2 years of college with no problems. The only issue she is having is sound issues while using Zoom. I asked her about doing data analysis in Excel, and she said people probably just don’t fully know how to use their Chromebooks. 🙂 Google essentially has their own office suite-completely free by the way, and she does all of her assignments in there. We as a family have wandered away from Microsoft for just this reason (it’s free). She has shown us how to use Google and it’s AWESOME. Her major is Biochemistry, so she has done quite a bit on her Chromebook, that she has actually had all through high school, and used the same one through two years of college. No problems. Except for the sound specifically in Zoom meetings which came up with the switch to distance learning. It’s debatable whether it’s the computer’s fault or just a setting 🙂

  5. TJay has refurbished Samsung chromebook $150. ours we ordered looked new. We are rough on computers🤣

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the suggestion! Good to know!

  6. Amy

    I got a great deal on Dell’s site a few weeks ago. Signed up for their emails or their rewards program and got a code for 10% off, took a few hours. I’d been shopping for a PC laptop for weeks before I found that deal.

    • Bee

      Which one did you get? I was browsing their site recently, too.

      • Amy

        I got the Inspiron 3000 3580. It was 269 after the discount. I’m not sure it’s on there anymore, I was looking for a link but can’t find it. It was 4GB ram and 1T memory. 15.6 inches intel processor. Very solid for the price!

  7. Olivinelily

    Don’t do windows S at all. Chromebook is fine if you plan to do just basic stuff and will always have internet access. Otherwise get a laptop with standard windows

    • Chits

      Most windows computers now come with Windows S preinstalled and you need to go to settings and reset the version to Windows Home/Pro from S. This will need a Microsoft Account (or a hotmail account) Microsoft Windows S is installed in the interest of security so that apps outside the MSappstore cannot be installed.

  8. Cathy

    Hey all! I wanted to jump in and add my “2 cents.” I am a online high school English teacher (I have been doing this for 3 years, so WAY before covid-19) and can tell you that our school offers a free copy of Microsoft Office to all students. This is due to the fact that almost all of our assignments need to be submitted using Word or PowerPoint. Personally, I recommend a MacBook to everyone, I know it is expensive but it is so worth it. Chromebooks and HP Streams are not able to load Microsoft Office (I had one student who crashed her stream trying to download Microsoft Office). Otherwise, students do often have the ability to upload documents as pdf’s (though this is harder to grade, especially when checking MLA formatting). I just can’t stress enough, if your child is moving to an online learning environment and you think they might stick with that, spend the extra money and get a solid computer.

    • Pia

      Thank you so much for this information.

    • Big Heart

      I agree but elementary and middle school students the chromebooks are a great choice.

    • Taryn S.

      Just throwing in for anyonr wondering, Microsoft Word is identical to Google Docs. I work exclusively from a Chromebook and am able to do so because of the Google versions of all Microsoft software. Do your own research, but don’t shy away from Chromebooks because you’re afraid of that.

      • Amber

        They may resemble each other but from a programming perspective, they do not always collaborate well. Some applications will not sync well with Google. If you aren’t specific, you are correct but each has features that the other does not.

    • JD827

      I’m a retired high school librarian and my high school used a mix of Chrome books, Macs and PCs. I have spent many, many hours helping students move their work from home to school and back again. File formats and versions are a nightmare. My advice is to find out what your school is using and match up with that for a day-to-day computer. Because of cost my school chose not to continue with Microsoft Word and everything was submitted with Google Docs for assignments. Google Docs can be used on a PC, Mac or a Chromebook. Most definitely our school did not provide Microsoft Word for students because of the high cost; ask your school if they do. If your student is a serious graphic arts, newspaper, photography student think Mac because of software requirements. Otherwise pretty much anything you can do on a PC you can do on a Mac and vice versa. For the majority of our students doing ordinary coursework the Chromebooks were fine because the school made the decision to move away from Microsoft software. It will be very important to ask your school. Your child’s school probably has a technology specialist get in touch and find out what they recommend before you buy. If your child is a freshman don’t spend the big bucks because the computer will be outdated by senior year.

  9. Suzanne

    Don’t forget to shop tax free weekends in your area for more savings – if available!

    • Elizabeth M.

      Oh wow I hadn’t even thought about that. I haven’t seen any announcement about this in our area. Will definitely look. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the tip!

  10. Kelly

    I just started back to school as a PhD student last year and found out about the great deals you can get on “open box” items at Best Buy. I got a $900 Samsung 2-in-1 laptop for $450. My sister got an HP for closer to $300. It is definitely worth a look! And you can browse online and pick up in store too.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks for letting us know about the deals you and your sister were able to grab!

  11. Debi

    The HP stream is not a good choice. We bought two. They were very slow, they had background software running that we couldn’t overcome and they would not print consistently. Not worth the money at all. My daughters are able to watch NEtflix now and can access zoom calls…but cannot do research at all, cannot search the web, and cannot do any “shopping’.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh darn! Sorry to hear they didn’t work well. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

  12. Ashley C

    I’m going back to college this year so I sprung for a MacBook air and I’m hoping it’ll last me through the three years I’m looking at lol. (I’m good with electronics and have good luck with apple products). But the best “deal” I found was surprisingly on the apple website. It was $50 cheaper than Amazon and they’re throwing in a free pair of AirPods with the purchase! If you don’t want the AirPods you could resell them to recoup some money I’m sure. Good luck everyone!

  13. jen

    We bought my daughter a macbook air her freshman year in high school. I really resisted because it was $800 instead of the $200 ones I could find on black Friday. Well, she is about to be a sophomore in college & that thing still works like a champ. We’ve only needed to take it in once to get serviced.

    • ava21

      My father bought me a MacBook Pro in 2009 as i entered college, it is still running strong to this day. I’ve had to replace the battery, but that was to be expected. Luckily for me I’m tech savvy and just did it myself with a battery ordered online.

  14. Andrea

    Our district is starting Virtual this year, so computers are a must have! Thanks for the deal! 😀

    • Cassandra (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome, Andrea!

  15. CHRIS

    Hi…just looked for the Acer…no where is there a $199 version…closer to $295 and up…just an FYI

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks! I can see that one has sold out. Thanks for the heads up.

  16. Kelly

    Looking for feedback and deals on iPad stylus (ie: apple pencil, Logitech crayon, etc.). It needs to work with the newest iPads (school issued).

  17. NolaSteph

    I bought my two daughters (currently ages 9 and 10) the HP stream laptops listed here and they were fine. Purchased Christmas 2018 Worked well enough for online school last spring, and roblox. However they BOTH mysteriously died this summer (so about 1.5 years old). Within a month of each other. One suddenly had a black screen of death. The other just stopped powering on. I’m not totally mad about it – they were each under $200 and had regular windows. But it was weird. I purchased the Aspires listed above, both in preparation for this school year and because I was tired of sharing my computer between three kids all wanting to play roblox. 😆 So far so good! We’ve had a few online meetings for school and they’re great so far. I’m much happier with the larger screen sizes. And they can play roblox just fine as well.

  18. riss

    Thanks for the tip on trading macbook towards a new one. We haven’t bought a college graduation
    present for my son, and he wants a macbook pro. Maybe we can trade his old macbook and still get the military discount.

  19. Casey

    Looking for a new laptop since mine is so old. Don’t need much just getting on the internet, typing up a document, doing taxes and printing since I don’t have a wireless printer. Any suggestions?

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