Should You Buy a Laptop on Prime Day?

Prime Day is a great opportunity to purchase gadgets and accessories at a discount. Everything from Fire tablets to 4K TVs will receive steep price cuts, many of which will rival Black Friday sales.

Tons of laptops will also be on sale come Prime Day. And although last year we recommended that laptop shoppers skip the shopping holiday, this year we expect to see a multitude of strong laptop deals.

Why the change of heart? Since the start of the year, we've been seeing better-than-average laptop deals. Not just on mainstream systems but also on gaming rigs, 2-in-1s and even on editors'-choice machines like Dell's XPS line.

Moreover, competing retailers have smartened up and many are riding Prime Day's coattails with summer sales of their own. Combine that with ongoing back-to-school sales and you've got the perfect storm for laptop deals.

But laptop shoppers should keep a few things in mind as we approach Prime Day, which is scheduled to begin Monday (July 16) at 3 p.m. ET.  

Prime Day laptop deals to expect

In previous years, Amazon has discounted mainstream and budget systems. We expect mainstream machines like the Asus VivoBook F510UA and Acer Aspire E15 to drop under  $500.

If you're looking sub-$200 notebooks — either as a secondary laptop for yourself or as a first laptop for a child — look for deals on Chromebooks and Celeron-based machines like the HP Stream, which is currently selling for $199 ($20 off) 

Dell and Lenovo will top Amazon

If you have your mind set on a new XPS or a new ThinkPad, you're better off shopping direct at Dell or Lenovo. 

Dell has already launched a Black Friday in July sale, which discounts its XPS, Alienware and G-series of laptops. Meanwhile, Lenovo is already discounting its ThinkPads, both high-end and entry-level systems. 

MORE: Best Dell and Alienware Laptops

That's not to say Amazon won't have any Dell or Lenovo laptop deals, but you'll likely find better deals by buying direct.

Mac fans should wait

Apple fans should avoid Amazon's Prime Day deals like the plague. In fact, we recommend not buying an Apple laptop at all, as all of Apple's notebooks are long overdue for a processor upgrade. 

Whereas most Windows laptops are running Intel’s latest 8th-gen processor, every Mac in Apple's lineup is using Intel's older 7th-gen processor. Intel's previous-gen CPU is still a capable processor, but new MacBooks are just around the corner, so regarding features and performance — you're better off waiting.

However, if you can't wait until Apple's next keynote and need a new Mac laptop stat, we recommend turning to Amazon's rivals on Prime Day. Best Buy has been our go-to retailer for Mac systems. Throughout the year, we've seen MacBook Pro discounts from $100 to $500 off and MacBook Air discounts  from $100 to $300 off.

MORE: Top Mac Games

Various models of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro have also received up to $100 off at Best Buy. Other retailers Apple fans should check include B&H Photo Video and Walmart.  

Back-to-school season ends in September

On top of Amazon's Prime Day laptop deals, we also expect to see similar sales from Amazon's biggest rivals like Best Buy, Walmart, Dell and Newegg. This will create a Black Friday-like scenario where you'll see deals from  a multitude of retailers.

However, if you're not under any time constraint, keep in mind that the back-to-school season goes through early September. So if the system you want isn't on sale, you could wait a few more weeks and still find solid laptop deals.

Ultimately, no matter what laptop you're looking to buy, make sure to compare prices against other retailers and know that other sales will follow after Prime Day.

Credit: Laptop Mag