An illustration of a laptop with falling leaves on the screen.

Labor Day sales always include great laptop deals, and this year is no exception.

You’ll find lower prices on a wide range of models, including the Lenovo Yoga and Microsoft Surface Pro 7, both of which performed quite well in our ratings.

Even Apple, which rarely discounts its products, has special back-to-school offers. Free AirPods, anyone?

The laptops below (listed from least to most expensive) generally score well in our tests. They have all-day battery life, plenty of muscle for routine jobs, and a reputation for reliable performance based on surveys of CR members.

Because this is likely to be the last time we see laptop discounts like these before Black Friday, prepare to pounce. Many models are in short supply lately. So if you see something you like, move quickly.


Lenovo 14-Inch Yoga Laptop

    This laptop has good core specs for a midrange computer: an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and a 256GB solid-state drive. It will purr along easily while performing most tasks, and it’s convenient to use on the go. It weighs an easy to tote 3 pounds and provides plenty of battery life, and the 2-in-1 convertible design lets you prop it up in tent mode or use it like a tablet.


    CR’s test results: Lenovo Yoga C740-14 laptop

    Dell 17-Inch Inspiron

      We haven't tested this 17.3-inch notebook yet, but the 2019 version performed well in our labs. The on-sale model features an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 2TB hard drive. It even has a built-in DVD drive, which is uncommon these days. And for $30 more, you can trade the raw storage capacity of the hard drive for the zippier performance of a 512GB solid-state drive.


      CR's test results (2019 version): Dell Inspiron 17 3000

      Microsoft 12-Inch Surface Pro 7 Laptop

        With fast processing speeds and a convenient touch screen, the Surface Pro 7 does very well in our tests. Keep in mind that the keyboard, which detaches so that you can use the touch screen as a tablet, costs an additional $130. 

        CR’s test results: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 laptop

        Acer 17-Inch Nitro 5 Laptop

          If you're into gaming, consider the Acer Nitro. It’s one of the best laptops of 2020, with impressive specs for a machine at this price, including a dedicated Nvidia graphics card, an Intel Core i5 processor, and plenty of memory and storage. It’s a little heavy, but that’s no surprise given the 17.3-inch screen. For anyone accustomed to sitting at a desk, cranking out assignments (yes, with some gaming breaks in between), this is a solid option. And it’s made more attractive by Best Buy’s almost $90 discount. 

          CR’s test results: Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-56YW laptop

          Samsung 13-Inch Galaxy Chromebook

            Because they rely heavily on web apps such as Gmail and Google Docs, Chromebooks usually have modest specs, but this 2-in-1 convertible is well-equipped for more difficult chores. It has an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage. The model is good at full price and even better at this sale price. 

            CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

            Apple 13-Inch MacBook Air Laptop

              This laptop hardly needs an introduction, having blazed the trail for thin and light notebooks since Steve Jobs first introduced it in 2008 by slipping it inside a manila envelope. And now, if you’re a student (with a valid ID), Apple will not only trim $100 from the retail price but also throw in a $160 pair of AirPods true wireless headphones free. We tested the base model with an Intel Core i3 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage. 

              CR’s test results: Apple MacBook Air (2020)

              LG 14-Inch Gram Laptop

                The LG Gram practically defines thin and light design. The 14-inch version weighs a feathery 2.2 pounds—you almost want to hold it down if the wind kicks up. Better yet, it logged 19.5 hours’ worth of battery life in our web-browsing tests. (For video watching, the figure is closer to 9 hours.) Amazon has the best price right now, but you’ll find discounts elsewhere, too.

                CR’s test results: LG Gram 14 (2020) laptop

                Apple 16-Inch MacBook Pro

                  The new MacBook Pro isn’t cheap, but it combines raw power with a sleek package and an improved keyboard for students who need more oomph than the MacBook Air offers. The model we tested had 12 gigabytes of memory; this one has 16GB. The result is strong performance in a device fully capable of handling the most demanding tasks. 

                  CR’s test results: Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch laptop