The moment has finally arrived. You’re ready to buy a new laptop. You’ve read all the guides to the best laptops, asked all your friends, and learned how to avoid making any buying mistakes. Now you need to choose between hundreds of online stores and up to dozens of physical locations. It’s not easy.
To get the best deals, you have to find the right place to shop, but that can get confusing fast as each shop might sell a variety of models at many price points. To help, we’ve made a list of our top choices for the best places to buy a laptop right now.
Buy from the manufacturer
For those who love to customize
If you purchase directly from a company like Acer, Apple, Dell, or Microsoft, you can avoid the confusion of digging through listings on Amazon or Best Buy. This option is best for those who’ve done the research and know exactly what they want.
Also, purchasing through a manufacturer gives you the most amount of options for customization. Want a laptop with extra memory but don’t care about the 4K display? Chances are, you’ll be able to configure it that way.
If you love tweaking features to get exactly the computer you want, consider buying from a manufacturer — it’s worth the extra cost and shipping fees. This rule applies to “boutiques” too: specialty shops that custom-build PCs. These include Digital Storm, OriginPC, and even Razer.
Buy from third-party partners
Amazon wins the prize of being our first third-party stop thanks to its vast variety of laptops from manufacturers around the world. Its excellent search filters (on the left side of the screen) can help guide your search for laptops based on your lifestyle (gaming, business, personal, etc.) or the specs you want (SSD, RAM size, display size, etc.). If you want to find all laptops available with a particular set of features, this is one of the best tools online. Add in the fast, reliable shipping and easy payment options, and Amazon becomes the number one recommendation for finding the exact laptop you need.
While ratings aren’t always the most trustworthy, comparing ratings and reviews between your top laptop picks is also a simple, effective way to make up your mind between contenders. On top of all that, it’s pretty common to find sales on laptops that could have cost more when buying directly from a retailer.
The one thing to be a little wary of is that Amazon offers varying build options. Because many different sellers may be offering different builds or generations of the same laptop, shopping can occasionally get confusing. Keep an eye on the specs, the year the laptop was produced, and even the exact model number to make sure you know precisely what you’re buying.
When it comes to buying a laptop in a brick-and-mortar store, only a few options remain. Best Buy is the first one people think of — and for good reason. Walking in to discover and purchase a laptop isn’t what we’d recommend as the most strategic option, but for those who want to take the anxiety out of researching and scouring the web, this might be the preferred method.
Furthermore, there’s nothing quite like getting hands-on time with the device you’re about to buy. For instance, this is an excellent opportunity to get the feel of a Chromebook or even a Mac if you’re tired of Windows and shopping for a new laptop experience. This way, you’re not hating yourself later for blindly jumping into a new platform just because the laptop was on sale.
Beyond the physical store, Best Buy provides a comprehensive laptop site that offers its own take on a guided laptop search. You’ll have options to view laptops of specific brands, by operating system, and you can even narrow down your search to just laptops that have certain features such as ultrathin bezels or 4K displays.
Newegg may not have as many reviews as Amazon, but its reviews tend to be well informed and worth reading. If you love doing a lot of research and reading up on a lot of different opinions before making a choice, Newegg is a great place to visit. The site also offers its own helpful search filters that help break down your options by interesting categories such as screen size, number of cores, and CPU type.
Newegg also impresses with its sales, discounts, and return policy. If you didn’t get what you wanted, there’s a 30-day return policy (for items covered under Newegg’s Standard Return Policy).
From new models to refurbished products, Overstock.com specializes in discounts and low prices. The interface isn’t anything special, but there are plenty of filtering options reminiscent of Amazon, and it’s easy to spot items that have particularly low prices or that are well-reviewed.
Overstock is a popular place to shop if you thoroughly enjoy scouring for big bargains from trustworthy sources and don’t really care all that much if you have to check in each day to observe whether or not the price you’re after has finally made its arrival.
Like the Newegg and Overstock.com websites, TigerDirect Business presents customers with a wide range of choices, spanning both new and restored goods. The website’s design and layout aren’t the best-looking we’ve seen, but if you ignore that aspect, you’ll see that it offers an extensive list of filtering choices. You can select filters for RAM, storage capacity, screen size, processor brand, and so much more to assist you in your search to discover the laptop that’s best suited for you and your needs and preferences. The online customer reviews can also give you some valuable insight if they are available and you want to check them out.
TigerDirect Business gives you plenty of merchandise options at reasonable rates. This is why we believe it’s a site that’s definitely worth visiting before you go all-in on the next laptop you find.