Best Black Friday Deals on Laptops, Chromebooks, and Tablets

The holiday shopping season is a great time to buy a new computer or tablet. Here's where to find the biggest discounts.

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Laptop computer with large sales sticker on it Illustration: Consumer Reports, iStock

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, retailers are rolling out Black Friday deals for laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets.

Even better, Best Buy, Target, and others have made it easier to pounce without the fear of missing out on discounts by offering price-match refunds in case prices drop in the days ahead.

Given the volume of deals, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worthwhile. Here are some of the Black Friday deals on well-rated models from such companies as Apple, Dell, HP, and Microsoft. 

As other offers become available, we’ll continue to update the list, so be sure to check back often.

Spotlight Deal

Released late in 2019, this 12.3-inch laptop has solid specs: a previous-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and 128GB of solid state storage. Our testers note strong performance for everything from browsing the web to editing office documents to watching high-resolution streaming video. If there’s one “but” here, it’s that the battery life is nothing special, coming in between 6 and 11 hours per charge, depending on how hard you push it. Lighter tasks, such as browsing the web, will sip the battery; watching 4K videos will deplete it roughly twice as fast.

CR’s test results: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5 Laptop

Laptops

This is a higher-end, 14-inch 2-in-1 convertible, which means you can fold the display behind the keyboard via a 360-degree hinge and use the device like a tablet. It has an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 512GB of solid state storage. We tested a model with an AMD processor, and it performed well in our labs.

We’re looking at a lower-end notebook here with an Intel Core i3 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and 256GB of solid state storage. We tested last year’s model, which performed okay relative to other laptops in this tier.

This is a higher-end notebook with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, 512GB of solid state storage, and the new Windows 11 operating system. We tested a model with a Core i5 and it performed well in our labs, so this is a good all-around choice, though gamers may want to look elsewhere because it doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card.

This is a gaming laptop, which usually means three things: powerful specs, limited battery life, and a “gamer” aesthetic that some people find fun. The model has an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, 1 terabyte of solid state storage, and a dedicated Nvidia graphics card, which lets you tackle just about any demanding task. We tested a model with slightly lower-end specs and found it to be a strong performer, though the 7-hour battery life might not get you through a full day in class or at the office.

This is a higher-end, 15.6-inch 2-in-1 convertible. That means it can double as a tablet when you bend the keyboard behind the display via a 360-degree hinge. In terms of specs, the model has an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 1 terabyte of solid state storage.

CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360

Chromebooks

This is a typical Chromebook: modest specs for a modest price. The model has an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 32GB of flash storage, which is similar to but slower than solid state. We tested a model with 16GB of storage and it scored okay, landing in the middle of the pack. Though not particularly powerful, the Chromebook on sale could serve a nice role as a cheap secondary device.

This is another classic Chromebook: lower-end specs in exchange for a relatively inexpensive price. The model has a MediaTek processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 32GB of flash storage. If you put aside the pokey performance, you may still appreciate the lengthy battery life (12 hours) and decent display quality. The Chromebook has a 2-in-1 convertible hinge, too, that lets you fold the device into “tent mode” to prop up the screen for easy slide presentation or video viewing.

CR’s test results: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3

Recently replaced by the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, this 13.3-inch model still offers good value with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and a spacious 256GB solid state drive. That makes it fast and versatile, especially when you factor in the touch-screen display. The battery life is a modest 7 hours, though, so this model may be best suited for those who are fine with being tethered to a charging cable for part of the day.

CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Tablets

This is a good deal on Amazon’s year-old 8-inch tablet with 32 gigabytes of storage. Think of it as a relatively low-cost media-consumption device, well-suited for streaming video, reading e-books, and web browsing. It’s not ideal for editing photos/videos or playing the latest video games, though.

CR’s test results: Amazon Fire HD 8

Apple’s high-end iPad Pro represents the ultimate in tablet design, earning admiration from professional users and strong scores from our testers for performance, display quality, and the 14-hour battery life. Once again, all that muscle is likely to go to waste if you merely want to read e-books and watch Netflix, but if you—or someone you know—love to edit photos and videos, this is a great choice. Just note that the 128 gigabytes of storage make it slightly limited for that sort of work.

CR’s test results: Apple iPad Pro (128GB) 2021 tablet

This is a good deal on a tablet that performed quite well in our labs. Think of it as the Android equivalent of the Apple iPad Mini, one with an 8-inch display, 32 gigabytes of storage, and a battery that lasted about 14 hours in our tests. Bottom line: If you’re looking for a reasonably priced Android tablet, this is good choice, especially at this price.

CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0


Headshot image of Electronics editor Nicholas Deleon

Nicholas De Leon

I've been covering consumer electronics for more than 10 years for publications like TechCrunch, The Daily (R.I.P.), and Motherboard. When I'm not researching or writing about laptops or headphones I can likely be found obsessively consuming news about FC Barcelona, replaying old Super Nintendo games for the hundredth time, or chasing my pet corgi Winston to put his harness on so we can go for a walk. Follow me on Twitter (@nicholasadeleon).