Unlike smartphones, we don’t upgrade our laptops each year. They’re expensive investments that we’re going to need for the foreseeable future, so it’s best to wait till the particular machine you’ve been eyeing is discounted.
There’s no better time to snag a bargain on a top-specced machine than Black Friday, as it’s not only a great time to save some dosh, but it’s also the best time to find different options that fit your budget.
Dell won’t be the only laptop maker in town that will be slashing prices on its machines this November. Lenovo will not be keen to miss out on all the fun and we’re definitely going to find some wonderfully low prices across the wide range of devices from the Chinese manufacturer when Black Friday kicks off.
Lenovo’s catalogue will have all the usual suspects – from the traditional clamshell laptops in the ThinkPad range if you need a work machine, to Legion gaming behemoths for when you’re at play. For anyone looking for something more versatile, there are 2-in-1s in Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga range of devices.
If you’re uncertain as to which deal suits you best, TechRadar’s Australian team will do the hard work for you, finding the top Lenovo deals and listing them right here.
When does Lenovo’s Black Friday begin?
Black Friday in 2019 is a little later in the month than last year, with the actual day falling on November 29. That puts Cyber Monday on December 2.
However, the days of Black Friday sales being strictly for just a weekend are long gone. These days, in Australia, offers begin to roll in on the Monday prior to Black Friday, so buckle up for the shopping spree to begin on November 25.
Lenovo, though, has regular weekly sales on its Australian site, so be sure to keep an eye out for pre-Black Friday offers in the lead up to the big sale, in case you’re in dire need of a new device. If it’s not urgent, though, our advice would be to hold on to your money until you’re certain you’ve found the best deal.
How to get the best Lenovo deals on Black Friday/Cyber Monday
With all the jargon surrounding a device like a laptop, plus with so many different models to choose from, finding a great deal can be rather overwhelming. If you aren’t sure of what you’re after, just remember what each range from Lenovo has to offer.
ThinkPads are mostly business laptops that compete against the Dell Vostro line. These machines can very often have some powerful components under the hood, giving you the opportunity to double them up as a gaming laptop as well, as long as you’re a casual gamer.
For more hardcore video games, though, you’ll need to look at the Legion machines which come with powerful graphics options. However, the newer the GPU under the hood, the higher the price, but chances are you can score a decent bargain on a Legion laptop with Nvidia’s latest RTX graphics solutions this November.
When it comes to getting an Ultrabook or a 2-in-1, look to Lenovo’s IdeaPad range, which also includes some Yoga notebooks. However, the Yoga range straddles both the ThinkPad and IdeaPad lines, offering something for everyone across a variety of price points.
If you want to make the process of choosing the best machine easier, then read on and we’ll guide you through the decision-making process.
Know what you want before Black Friday
Draw up a list of what you want from your laptop before the Black Friday sales begin, and take note of any Lenovo machine that has caught your eye. This means your deal-hunting can be narrowed down and more successful, not to mention quicker.
This will also help to stop you blowing cash on impulse buys which you may regret later, especially if a deal for something you actually do want crops up on a later date, and you’ve already blown your budget.
Size it up
If you’ve decided on a Lenovo device, the first thing you need to do is consider the size of the machine you want. Most of Lenovo’s laptops come with a 13-inch, 15-inch or 17-inch screen.
Smaller notebooks are not only more portable, but are often cheaper as well. Larger devices, on the other hand, offer more screen real estate and, with the increase in space under the hood, you’re likely to find more powerful components alongside a bigger battery.
Then there’s the weight consideration. If you need to carry your laptop around for work a lot, you’ll want to opt for a lightweight, compact notebook that ideally weighs less than 1.5kg.
If it’s a desktop PC you’re after, consider the space you can spare in the room you’re planning to house it in. You can get 24-inch and 27-inch all-in-ones, saving you the need to get a separate PC tower.
Check the spec sheet
Taking a long look at the configuration of the Lenovo machine you covet before you buy can provide a clear idea of whether the deal is worth considering. If the specifications point to an old or low-power device, then the deal may not be as decent as you first thought.
On the other hand, if the specifications point towards a strong laptop that comes with features you’ll seldom – if ever – use, then you may be better off saving your cash and searching elsewhere.
As far as performance is concerned, it’s important to consider the core parts of the machine – the processor (CPU), system memory, storage and, specifically for gaming laptops, the graphics processor (GPU).
When it comes to the main processor, you’ll commonly find an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU within the chassis. The 10th-generation of these processors have already made their way into Lenovo devices, but don’t be shy about considering an 8th-generation CPU if it suits your budget better. While the i5 is a decently powerful model, the Core i7 is the more powerful choice of the two.
Store that memory
The next piece to mull over is system memory, or RAM. These days most machines come with a minimum of 8GB of RAM, which is far better than the 4GB we used to get as an entry point. That’s actually plenty of system memory to handle some amount gaming and video editing, with Windows 10 running pretty smoothly on these devices.
If you’re planning on getting a machine that needs some serious grunt under the hood, you’re likely looking at a device that comes with 16GB of memory.
For your storage needs, you’re best off with a solid state drive (SSD). These offer more reliable performance and you’ll find that apps and programs will load very quickly. Traditional hard drives (which you’ll often find referred to as an HDD or hard disk drive) are a slower medium of storage. Their strength lies in the fact that they usually have far bigger capacity for the price – you can find storage of up to 2TB even in budget hardware.
Graphics and display
Many laptops have integrated graphics, meaning the GPU is built into the CPU and you’ll usually find that visual performance is pretty limited as a result. Integrated graphics – referred to as Intel HD Graphics, or Intel Iris, when it comes to Intel processors – is more for the casual gamer, but nothing more than that. For anyone who wants to play more heavy-duty games, you’ll need a discrete GPU – a graphics solution that sits separate from the processor.
For example, the GeForce MX150 is Nvidia’s current (Pascal-based) entry-level mobile GPU, but you may find you need to fork out for something a little more powerful than that for really good performance, like the GeForce GTX 1060. However, it’s worth noting that prices can soar quickly when it comes to powerful GPUs.
As far as screens are concerned, most mid-range laptops will offer a Full HD display as standard, which is a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. If you’re after a higher resolution display (4K), you’ll need to be prepared to rethink your budget.
Although a 4K screen looks and sounds like a great idea, it’ll take a serious toll on your machine’s core components and sometimes it’s worth sacrificing a bit of image quality for a smoother frame rate. 4K displays will also drain your laptop battery faster and, given this is an area where gaming laptops already struggle, you may want to consider what you’re losing to gain 4K.
Keep the receipts
Make sure you keep hold of your receipts in case you’re not happy with any of your purchases and want a refund – it’s also worth checking the refund policy of websites before buying on Black Friday.
Some retailers may offer longer warranties than others, which could be a deciding factor when buying a laptop on Black Friday. Most PC manufacturers offer a two-year warranty, but under Australian consumer law, you’ll typically be covered for three years.
Stick with TechRadar to get the best Black Friday deals
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales can get rather overwhelming. With several Lenovo products going on sale at the same time, we understand that it can also be time-consuming if you’re trying to locate a specific model.
That’s why you should visit TechRadar to ensure you get the best Lenovo Black Friday deals this year. We’ll keep an eye on the retailer’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and highlight the very best savings on the best machines.