Best Black Friday laptops 2020: Asus, Apple, Huawei, HP and more
The Black Friday sales can mark an excellent time to purchase a big-ticket item like a laptop, as retailers compete with one another to make the largest reductions. It's a buyer's market.
Things to consider
We've canvassed sites to ensure the listed prices are the best offers for each option. However, it's worth noting that both Currys and AO are offering to price match for Black Friday sales, so if you want to shop in the confidence a deal won't be outdone, they're your best bet. AO has the benefit of not facing the same online traffic queues that Currys does, making for an easier shopping experience.
Here's our current pick of the laptops available.
This article will be updated as new deals come to light, so do check back.
Asus Zenbook Flip 14" 2-in-1 Laptop, £799 (formerly £999)
Asus Zenbook Flip 14" 2-in-1 Laptop - Grey
This is a terrific laptop for students and business workers, being light-weight and running for 12 hours on battery life. It has 256GB, so plenty of storage for videos and music, and it's delightfully light.
It's a snip at £799 in the Black Friday sales - available at AO here
Apple Macbook Air core i3 8GB 256GB SSD 13.3 inch laptop, £919 (formerly £999)
Apple Macbook Air core i3
First glance, and an £80 reduction doesn't seem much. But considering that Apple is renowned for its lack of participation in Black Friday sales, and that this is their only laptop selling for south of a grand, and it's quite the mark down.
The latest MacBook Air is part of the first range to use Apple's own processors. Apple notes it is faster than 98 per cent of Windows' laptops.
It's a nifty number: you get long battery life, superb build quality, a bright and bold screen, a class-leading touchpad and keyboard travel deeper than Apple's 2019 models.
With True Tone technology, your display will automatically adjust to your environment - so web pages and emails look as natural as if they were printed.
It's on sale at Currys: here
ASUS E410MA 14" Laptop, £199 (formerly £279.99)
Asus 14" Laptop - Grey
A laptop under two hundred quid is about as cheap as you can go before you're buying a child's Speak'n'Spell instead. As a natural consequence, the Asus E410 is a basic beast - its Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM mean it's not adept for editing high res photos or doing twenty things at once.
However, if your wants from a laptop are fairly basic - think a web browser, music player, word processor, and video player - the Asus will serve you handsomely. It's ideal for those reluctant tech users who just want a computer for answering emails, or for students who'll be using it for uni work. It's fabulously light, as well, so it can be easily carted around from flat to lecture hall.
It's on sale at AO here
ASUS ZenBook 14 UM431 14in Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB, £499 (formerly £599)
ASUS ZenBook 14 UM431 14in Ryzen 5 8GB 256GB Laptop
There are a stack of different ZenBook 14 laptops, all with slightly different impenetrable product codes. The good news: the handful we’ve tried are all good. We recommend the ZenBook 14 UM431 as a top all-rounder.
It’s reasonably slim at 21.1mm thick, very light at 1.39kg. Like other ZenBook 14 laptops, the UM431 has an unusual touch-pad. It doubles as a number pad, with light-up keys that shine through the surface at the touch of a button.
This separates the ZenBook 14 from the Lenovo and HP rivals. But the real appeal is great specs and an aluminium shell at a sensible price.
It's on sale at Argos here
HP ProBook 430 G7 core i5-1021OU 8GB 13.3 inch, £779 (formerly 1099)
HP ProBook 430 G7 core i5-1021OU 8GB 13.3 inch FHD Windows 10 Pro laptop
The HP ProBook is a speedy, reliable number. Its 10th Gen Intel processor means it will work swiftly, while it also boasts an impressive battery life. This is a good pick for users hoping for a work-from-home computer that won't crash. Its in-built malware protections will prevent you from wasting time contesting with viruses.
It's on sale at Laptop Direct here
Huawei Matebook D14 14" Laptop, £499 (formerly £699)
Huawei Matebook D14 14" Laptop
Huawei laptops are a smart buy: they enter the market at a high price point, have impressive specs that match Mac specs handily, then drop in price because they're not as sexily branded as their Apple competitors.
But the Matebook is an impressive proposition. Featherlight, thin, with a bright, brilliant screen, great colour contrast, high processing power and a delightfully responsive keypad. It has Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a QHD touch display.
In fact, it bests MacBooks for having three USB ports and a HDMI port (Apple has no such courtesy). It's terrific value for money.
It's on sale at AO here
Apple 2020 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, £1369 (formerly £1499)
Apple 2020 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
If you're looking for some serious welly, impeccable specs, and a sleek package - this is it. The MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops on the market for those undertaking creative projects. It has a tenth generation processor (making it speedy and reliable),and boasts great storage for videos and image files.
The Apple Touch Bar replaces the function keys at the top of the keyboard, so you can see relevant controls depending on what you're doing. Editing photos? Adjust, crop and filter the image – all from the Touch Bar. Watching a film? Rewind or skip forward with the Touch Bar. It's a tactile, intuitive joy to use.
It's on sale at Currys, here
ACER Predator Triton 300 15.6" Gaming Laptop, £1299 (was £1499)
ACER Predator Triton 300 15.6" Gaming Laptop
If you're serious about your gaming, the Acer Predator Triton 300 Gaming Laptop will be a joy to behold.
You'll know your specs, too, so let us lay it out plain: a 10th generation i7 processor, making for the speediest of game play. With 16GB of RAM, it's fast and responsive, as well as powerful.
The NVDIA GEforce RTX 2070 graphics card makes for beautiful imagery: realistic lighting and shadows, and real-life ray tracing. Your games will look life-like.
It also has an excellent cooling system (the AeroBlade 3D) so you don't have to worry about the computer over-heating during hours and hours of game play. It's gamers' paradise.
It's on sale at Currys here
How to select a laptop
Consider your individual needs. Laptops vary in terms of screen size, weight, graphics, battery life, and memory – a sacrifice on one or two of these specs can be worth it if it won't factor into your daily use, and may save you money or get you higher specs else where.
Price, performance, portability, build and battery life are the main factors to consider when buying a laptop.
Buy towards the lower end and you don’t have to miss out on power. But cheaper laptops will generally use more plastic rather than metal.
There’s nothing wrong with plastic, but metal lids and keyboard surrounds look and feel better, and are often more rigid.
Need a laptop you can take around with you every day? Weight of 1.3kg or below is what you want. Slim designs are nice, but your shoulders will notice a drop in weight more than a millimetre or two of thickness.
For outdoors use, also try to dig out the brightness of a screen, which is measured in “nits” or “cd/m”. Reach 350nits or above and a laptop becomes easier to use outdoors, as any screen has to compete with sunlight. None of the laptops below will have any issues indoors.
What about specs? Our go-to recommendation in 2020 is to hunt down any Intel Core or AMD Ryzen chipset with 8GB RAM. This gives you enough power to run apps like Adobe Photoshop, and 8GB RAM lets you open a bunch of apps and browser tabs without obvious slow-down.
Avoid 4GB RAM laptops, unless you have less than £500 to spend.