Laptop on its last legs? You’re not alone. With working from home the norm for many since last year, demand for laptops and PCs has skyrocketed: analysts expect global shipments of laptops and desktops to have broken through 300 million for 2020, a leap of almost 15 per cent on 2019 and the highest amount since 2008.
The risk is that demand will soon outrun supply. On top of households investing in more computing technology – each person will need a laptop or desktop in order to work, after all – shipments to schools and businesses have risen, producing further demand for PC components.
It’s predicted that the global shortage might last until 2022, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some great laptop deals out there if you take the time to look. It all depends on what type of laptop you’re looking for.
Many devices now called laptops used to be called notebooks: a slimline, lighter version of the traditional, clunkier units that used to overheat and leave marks on your legs.
Technology has advanced to the point where these two terms are pretty much interchangeable.
The latest trend in the market is the two-in-one, or foldable, laptop. The device can be used as a traditional laptop, but also folded over or separated to form a touchscreen tablet. The extra versatility has been a huge success, with most major brands now producing multiple examples.
Another important element is how to spot a good budget option. Chromebooks, for instance, started out life as cheap, less-powerful alternatives to traditional laptops, but some have developed into genuine rivals to Windows and Apple products. The price has remained impressively low for many Chromebooks, meaning they’re a solid choice for most people’s personal and professional lives.
So, which laptop should you buy? From lightweight notebooks to the two-in-one Swiss army knives of the market, to dedicated gaming set-ups, we’ve scoured the internet for the best laptop deals the UK has to offer.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
The best laptop deals for April 2021 in the UK
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15” (2019): Was £2,049, now £1,429, Currys.co.ukApple MacBook pro 13.3” (2020) 512GB: Was £1,499, now £1,358, Currys.co.ukAsus Flip C436 14” 2 in 1 Chromebook: Was £999, now £699, Currys.co.ukMicrosoft Surface Laptop 3 13” (2019): Was £999, now £795, Amazon.co.ukApple MacBook air 13.3” (2020) 256GB: Was £999, now £902, Amazon.co.ukAsus zenbook S13 UX393 13.9”: Was £1,499.99, now £999.99, Amazon.co.ukHP envy x360 13-ay0009na convertible laptop: Was £999, now £899, Johnlewis.comHP envy 15-ep0010na laptop: Was £2399, now £2199, Johnlewis.comAsus TUF A15 FA506IU laptop: Was £999, now £849, Johnlewis.comAsus X415JA-EK006T laptop: Was £599, now £489, Very.co.ukAsus ROG G512LI-HN094T gaming laptop: Was £899, now £729, Very.co.uk
Currys PC World
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15” (2019): Was £2,049, now £1,429, Currys.co.uk
Since the launch of the fourth-generation Surface laptop, the previous model is enjoying heavy discounts across the board. Currys has taken £620 off the top of some of its remaining stock, and they’re now selling out in certain sizes and configurations. This AMD Ryzen 7 powered model with 16GB of memory is the best available configuration in the third generation, and still offers great performance and an excellent display. Trade in your old laptop for up to an extra £175 off.
Apple MacBook Pro 13.3” (2020) 512GB: Was £1,499, now £1,358, Currys.co.uk
(Currys PC World)
It’s always good to find discounts on Apple products. The company’s laptops are solid pieces of tech, but the spectre of overpricing continues to haunt the brand. However, this 2020 MacBook includes Apple’s own long-awaited M1 chip, something the company has been developing for more than a decade. It brings together various processes that previously needed multiple Intel chips, meaning the laptop runs much quicker and more efficiently. You can also get up to £400 extra off if you trade in an old working MacBook.
Asus flip C436 14” 2 in 1 Chromebook: Was £999, now £699, Currys.co.uk
A slim and stylish folding Chromebook with exceptional build quality, the Asus flip C436 was pushing the upper limit of what it’s reasonable to spend on a laptop running Google’s relatively restrictive Chrome OS. At £699 it’s a much more enticing proposition for anyone in search of a versatile two-in-one laptop.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13” (2019): Was £999, now £795, Amazon.co.uk
The previous generation Surface laptop is still a delight to use as it’s elegantly designed and has a rich display that most new laptops fail to match. Amazon is discounting a number of configurations, but we’ve highlighted the cheapest option here. This setup — which uses the entry-level Core i5 processor and has 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage — still offers more than enough performance for everyday use.
Apple MacBook Air 13.3” (2020) 256GB: Was £999, now £902, Amazon.co.uk
If you’re after a new, super-fast MacBook, and don’t need the extra storage space, the 256GB MacBook Air offers many of the same specs as the Pro at a lower price. Next day delivery comes as standard for Prime members.
Asus zenbook S13 UX393 13.9”: Was £1,499.99, now £999.99, Amazon.co.uk
This is a slim, lightweight laptop that has magnesium alloy for maximum protection. With 14-hour battery life, a 4K ultra HD touchscreen and 16GB of memory, it’s a great all-rounder and an enormous discount.
John Lewis & Partners
HP Envy x360 13-ay0009na convertible laptop: Was £999, now £899, Johnlewis.com
(John Lewis & Partners)
Does almost everything you need in a slim frame. It offers an impressive 16GB RAM, and the 512GB storage is enough for a few large programs or games. A good choice for those who use cloud storage, and has versatility in its tablet form.
(John Lewis & Partners)
This is a heavy duty laptop without the heavyweight. The 32GB of RAM and the Intel Core i9 processor make running multiple programs a doddle, and the 2TB storage capacity is ample to keep all your work programs or failed musical projects in one place.
A great deal on an affordable gaming laptop, this Asus TUF A15 offers mid-to-high-end gaming performance thanks to a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 processor and a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. The 1080p display already feels a little dated as 4K becomes standard, but that’s a reasonable compromise to keep this machine blisteringly fast. Shopping for your kid’s birthday? Well get this: you can also do your homework on it.
Asus X415JA-EK006T laptop: Was £599, now £489, Very.co.uk
A handy budget laptop, with an Intel Core i5 processor, a quick-start 256 GB SSD and anti-glare coating on the surprisingly wide screen. A free year of Norton Antivirus software comes with each unit, too.
Asus ROG G512LI-HN094T gaming laptop: Was £899, now £729, Very.co.uk
Gaming laptops are quickly catching up with their desktop rivals, providing a more compact way to play PC games. The high resolution is a big draw, as are the graphics and 8GB of RAM memory. These devices don’t come cheap, so benefit from this hefty discount before it’s gone.
Air or Pro? Read our MacBook buying guide to find out which model is best for you
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