One of the most popular consumer electronic devices to be heavily discounted during the end-of-financial-year sales in Australia are laptops. Several retailers offer excellent bargains on a plethora of devices, including the traditional clamshell laptops, ultrabooks and 2-in-1/tablet hybrids, that are tax deductible.
However, purchasing a laptop, even during a sale period, is an expensive and daunting task. Not only will you need to figure out the right specs for your needs, you’ll also need to find one that fits in your budget.
So, if you’re looking to get yourself a cheap laptop or pocket extra savings on a premium model, you’ve come to the right place. The Australian TechRadar team is ready to scour the internet for the deepest discounts on the best laptops across a range of specifications. We’ll find you some ultrabooks, gaming behemoths and portable convertibles across different price points so you can find something to match your needs.
Keep in mind, however, that no matter how awesome a deal on the day appears, purchasing a new laptop is a major investment – and you’ll need to make sure that what you’re buying will suit your needs.
How to find the best laptop deal during EOFY
There are so many laptops being discounted during the EOFY sale period that you’d be forgiven if the jargon confuses you. If you can’t decide which laptop is best for your needs – be it in terms of technical specifications, brand or type of device – we’re here to help.
And the best advice we can give you is that if a machine seems like a steal after discount, it could be an older model that doesn’t have enough power under the hood to keep them running for years to come. These older laptops could fall short of your needs.
To help you avoid this, we’ve put together a short guide so you can make an informed decision and get yourself the best laptop deal this June.
Features to look for
1. Brand name
So, what specifically should you keep an eye out for when buying a laptop? The best place to start is with the brand name. Be careful not to opt for a brand name you are unfamiliar with or don’t trust simply because their devices come with the cheapest price tags. Considering the amount of money you’ll sink into the purchase of a good machine, you’ll want it to last for a few years at least – meaning you buy from well-known manufacturers like Apple, Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Asus or, indeed, Microsoft.
If you’ve already decided on the brand, the next thing to consider is the size of the machine. Laptops commonly come in 13, 14, 15 and 17-inch flavours. The smaller devices will not only be more portable, they’re often cheaper as well. The larger siblings, however, offer more screen real estate and more space under the hood for more powerful components, including a bigger battery. You’ll also need to consider the weight of the device as well – if you need to carry it around for work, then a compact notebook weighing about 1.5kg or less is ideal.
3. Technical specifications
To get the best bang for your buck, it’s important to consider the core parts of the laptop – the processor (CPU), system memory, storage and – to a lesser degree – graphics (GPU). The most common CPUs will be from Intel, and the latest generation of the Core i5 processors are decently powerful. The Core i7 is the most powerful choice in every case, though the average user may not need that kind of grunt unless it’s for heavy-duty tasks like gaming and video editing.
The next thing to consider is system memory. Ideally, you want at least 4GB of RAM, though 8GB or above is preferable if you’re keen on some video games. We’d also recommend you find a laptop that uses a solid-state drive (SSD) for storage. They offer very reliable performance and you’ll find that apps and programs will load very quickly.
If you’re a casual gamer, laptops with integrated graphics should be fine – and this is what you’ll find in most laptops. That means the GPU is built into the CPU, limiting the performance. If you’re deep into gaming, then you’ll need a discrete GPU that sits separate from the CPU. However, it’s worth noting that prices can soar quickly when it comes to powerful GPUs.
Most mid-range laptops will offer a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display as standard, but there will be more budget options with 1366 x 768 resolution, which is fine for smaller screens. In fact, a lower resolution is often great for a laptop with lower specs as there are lesser pixels for the processor and graphics card to shift, thus optimising performance. Though 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 and longer battery life.
Early EOFY laptop deals
You don’t have to wait till June 1 to buy your next laptop. Some retailers have already begun offering great bargains on some powerhouse machines, and we’ve selected some of the best options to save you both time and money.
Dell XPS 13 (9380) | i7 / 8GB / 256GB | $2,464 (was $2,899)
This is the latest iteration of Dell’s most popular – and one of our favourite – ultrabooks. With brilliant performance and a gorgeous InfinityEdge display, this is one heck of a device, especially when you can shave 15% off the retail price.View Deal
Dell Vostro 15 5000 | i7 / 8GB / 256GB | $1,149 (was $2,099)
The Vostro range of laptops have been designed for the modern workplace. They’re business laptops and this 15-inch machine comes with a top-notch processor and plenty of RAM to keep tasks rolling on. And there’s a whopping saving of $950 right now. That’s 45% off!View Deal
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 | i5 / 8GB / 256GB | $1,154 (was $2,099)
There’s a massive 45% discount on this convertible, making it a seriously good bargain. Not only do you get a 15-inch display with slim bezels for $945 off, you also get decent specs as well. View Deal
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 laptop | i7 / 8GB / 512GB | $1,374 (was $2,499)
A 15-inch laptop with an impressive spec sheet like this one is hard to come by on a budget, but you can save a sweet $1,125 on this powerhouse. That’s as close to half price as you can come for a laptop with this much storage.View Deal
Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 | i7 / 16GB / 512GB | $1,679 (was $2,399)
If you’re after a portable device, this 13-inch convertible features a powerful processor and a very goodly amount of memory and storage. This generosity also extends to the discount, with 30% off the RRP, meaning you save $720.View Deal
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 5) | i5 / 8GB / 256GB | $1,319 (was $2,199)
Designed for work and weighing in at just over a kilo, this 14-inch laptop promises 15 hours of battery and some decent specs. Plus there’s 40% off on this beauty right now, meaning you get to shave $880 off the regular retail price.View Deal
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 2 (4G) | i5 / 8GB / 512GB | $1,499 (was $2,999)
A keyboard that flattens out when you don’t need it, a 360-degree hinge, the promise of all-day battery, a whopping 512GB of storage and 50% off makes this 14-inch 2-in-1 laptop one of the best bargains in our round-up. View Deal
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme | i5 / 8GB / 256GB / GTX 1050Ti | $2,346.75 (was $3,129)
Built for virtual reality and intense gaming, this 15.6-inch laptop features an FHD touch display with Dolby Vision. Add the power of the Nvidia GeForce GX 1050Ti graphics chip already under the hood and most of gaming needs are taken care of after you’ve deducted 25% off the asking price. That’s an instant saving of over $782.View Deal