Best Deals on Laptops, Chromebooks, and Tablets Right Now – Consumer Reports

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You can find big savings on a great graduation gift like a new laptop or tablet
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As we approach the end of the school year, it may be time to start thinking about graduation gifts for your kids. And if you’re considering gifting them a new laptop, Chromebook, tablet, or desktop computer, you might be able to find one at a discount. Right now, we’re seeing some great offers on lots of devices, many of which rival their holiday prices.
No matter what kind of device you’re looking for, it can be hard to find the best offers, because you can’t just look at the sale price: The quality of the product you buy makes all the difference. We’re constantly combing through the sales and Consumer Reports’ test results to help you find deals that will actually be worth your money, and we’ll be updating this post regularly with the latest offers. So if you don’t see a model that fits your needs or budget, check back again soon for new ways to save.
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Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go
This 14-inch Chromebook has an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 32GB of flash storage. The model we tested had 64GB of storage. Our testers point out the admirable battery life (almost 13 hours for web browsing and almost 8 for more demanding loads) and the comfortable keyboard. Performance is below average and the display is merely so-so, but as long as you treat this as a low-cost productivity device, you should be okay.
Why it’s a good deal: This isn’t the best discount we’ve seen, but it’s certainly better than paying full price. Or, you can always wait to see if the price falls back down closer to $200 in the coming weeks.
Microsoft Surface Pro X (128GB)
The Microsoft Surface Pro X, released in fall 2019, has some drawbacks but is well worth a look at this price. It has a 13-inch display that can be detached from the keyboard. That makes it a good pick if you plan to use it like a digital sketchpad or tablet. It also has pretty good battery life (11 hours for web browsing), making it a nice travel companion. But the ARM processor is a little on the slow side compared with the Intel chips found in other Surface devices. It also has some software compatibility issues. Our testers, for example, couldn’t run certain antivirus software. Microsoft maintains a list of apps that might not run on the Pro X, so be sure to consult it before purchasing the laptop.
Why it’s a good deal: Amazon has the lowest price we’ve seen yet, beating the previous low by $40.
Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch (2020, M1)
Thin, light, and powerful, this MacBook Air model—unveiled in 2020—offers a compelling combination of performance and battery life. It’s powered by an M1 processor developed by Apple itself. In our tests, the new processor performed with admirable speed, placing the laptop in the august company of devices powered by Intel Core i7 processors. It also improved the model’s efficiency compared with the previous-gen MacBook Air, resulting in less drag on the battery and an impressive 10.75 hours of web browsing per charge.
Why it’s a good deal: This laptop has been on sale for $900 for the last few weeks, but the price just dropped a whopping $100, making it an especially great time to buy.
LG Gram 17 (2021)
The 2021 LG Gram 17 is a great option if you’re looking for a lightweight machine that performs well. The battery life is truly impressive—for web browsing and video playback—a feat you don’t often see on a 17-inch model. The LG Gram loads Windows and large programs quickly, and the 2 terabytes of solid-state storage provides ample space for local backups. While not ideal for gaming (there’s no dedicated graphics card), this model does have the muscle to handle complex spreadsheets and videoconferencing.
Why it’s a good deal: A more than $600 savings is definitely worth considering if you need a workhorse of a laptop. It was on sale for around $1,500 for a while, but the price has steadily dropped.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
This 15.6-inch IdeaPad 3 has an Intel Core i3 processor with 8 gigabytes of memory and 256GB of solid-state storage. The processor is more modest than the AMD Ryzen 5 found on the model we tested—but this IdeaPad 3 version should still be sufficient for common tasks like editing office documents and browsing the web. Just steer clear of more demanding tasks like editing video.
Why it’s a good deal: This is a steep discount on a solid laptop that should serve many consumers well.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15ITL6
If you’re in the market for a basic laptop at a low price, it’s hard to match the deal on this Lenovo IdeaPad. You’re paying well under $300 for a 15.6-inch laptop that can handle everyday tasks like web browsing and office productivity tasks without much trouble. It has modest specs—an AMD Athlon processor (the model we tested had an Intel Pentium processor), 4 gigabytes of memory, and 128GB of flash storage—but as long as you don’t ask it to do demanding chores like video editing or advanced gaming, you should be okay.
Why it’s a good deal: This is only $30 more than the best price we’ve seen, and still a stellar discount.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ (5G, 128GB)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ is a workhorse, earning a spot among the top non-Apple tablets CR has tested. It’s a great option if you want a tablet with a large 12.4-inch screen. It does have a shorter battery life than most, at just 7.3 hours for web browsing. It also has expandable storage with a built-in micro SD reader, and it gets high scores for performance, convenience, and versatility.
Why it’s a good deal: This is the best price we’ve seen for this tablet, making it an ideal time to hit that buy button.
Lenovo Ideacentre 5
This high-performing desktop computer is a great choice for both gamers and office software users. The model we tested packs an Intel Core i5 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, and a 256GB solid-state drive, as well as a traditional 1-terabyte hard drive and a graphics card with 12GB of dedicated video memory. This is a similar version that has an AMD processor and a larger SSD.
Our testers praised the IdeaCentre 5 for its zippy performance when working on spreadsheets, editing photos, and even running demanding video games. We expect this variation to perform just as well, if not a bit better.
The desktop is bundled with a keyboard and mouse that are comfortable to use, although they’re not wireless. Other features include five free USB ports; support for the latest wireless standard, WiFi 6; and gigabit Ethernet.
Why it’s a good deal: You’re saving nearly $500 for this desktop.
HP Pavilion TP01-2022
This full-sized tower desktop PC has better specs than the CR Recommended HP Pavilion TP01-3003w. It has an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, a 512GB solid-state drive, and a dedicated AMD Radeon graphics card, which makes it a good choice for playing games or crunching numbers.
Why it’s a good deal: This is a decent discount, but we have seen it sell for about $100 less during major sales, like the holiday season, so it may be a better price closer to Memorial Day.
Canon imageCLASS MF642Cdw
Need a color laser printer that can print out presentation-quality charts and web pages while still being fairly cheap to run? This Canon imageCLASS MF642Cdw multifunction printer could fit the bill.
It doesn’t score quite high enough to earn a CR recommendation, but it’s among the few color laser printers to receive a top rating for graphics quality, and it has an above average score for text quality, too. It lags behind other options in text speed, though.
A big printer with a relatively low starting price for a color laser, the MF642Cdw has an auto feeder and can print on both sides of a page with auto-duplexing. Connectivity options include USB cable, WiFi, and Ethernet cable. Note that the model can’t print if any color runs out.
Why it’s a good deal: This is already a lower-cost laser printer, and this discount makes it even more appealing.
Epson EcoTank ET-2800
If you print in color frequently enough to justify buying an inkjet printer, consider a model that will save you money in the long run, especially when it’s on sale. The Epson ET-2800 tank printer uses only about $5 worth of ink a year, according to our estimates, instead of the $70 or more you might have to pay for a cartridge model. Those ongoing savings make the Epson’s purchase price far more palatable and give it a two-year cost of ownership that’s at the top of its class.
The ET-2800’s overall performance isn’t strong enough to earn a CR Recommended designation. But the text quality and speed are decent and should be fine for home use. The model doesn’t excel at printing photos, charts, or graphics; it does those jobs about as well as any ink-stingy inkjet.
Why it’s a good deal: This is the typical sale price for this printer. It was recently selling for $200, so you may want to keep an eye out for the price to fall again.
Google Nest Wifi (3-pack)
This Google Nest WiFi three-pack provides decent all-around performance, scoring well for throughput at near- and medium-range distances. It may fall a bit short in large homes, though, and it’s “only” WiFi 5 compatible. But at this price, it’s hard to complain.
Why it’s a good deal: Walmart’s new low price is the best we’ve ever seen.
Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6600 (RAX70-100NAS)
If you don’t need (or want) a multirouter mesh setup, this single-unit WiFi 6 model from Netgear should be near the top of your list. It aced our throughput tests at all distances and was easy to set up via a smartphone app or an old-school, web-based wizard.
Why it’s a good deal: Amazon has the lowest price of any retailer that carries this model.
Asus AX2700 (RT-AX68U)
This WiFi 6 wireless router from Asus scores quite well in our throughput tests, it’s easy to set up via a smartphone app, and it has automatic firmware updates. But the throughput lagged a bit in our near-distance tests, so you might want to put a little space between the router and any devices that require top speed.
Why it’s a good deal: You’re saving more than 25 percent on this router, a discount we haven’t seen in months.
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