There are few feelings worse than buyer's remorse. You find a great deal on a 2-in-1 you can't easily return and discover it's a piece of junk. Or you spend a lot of money on a new laptop and, just a few weeks later, a new model makes yours obsolete.
Fortunately, you don't have to waste a lot of money buying devices that are either underperforming or on their way out. Here's a list of laptops you'd be a fool to buy right now.
The ThinkPad T460 is our favorite business laptop of 2016, because of its 17+ hours of battery life, best-in-class keyboard and durable chassis. However, in February/March, Lenovo will be shipping its successor, the ThinkPad T470. The ThinkPad T470 will have a more-powerful Intel 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" processor and it will be 0.25 pounds lighter. The new model adds a Thunderbolt 3 port you can use for charging, exchanging data with high-speed peripherals and outputting to dual 4K monitors over a single connection. There's also an optional PCIe SSD, which should double or triple app open, boot and file copy times. MORE: Which Laptop CPU is Right for You?
Apple doesn't give advance notice of its product refreshes so we can't say for certain when it plans to refresh its 12-inch MacBook. However, the company has delivered new MacBooks (and Airs) in the spring each of the past two years. If you've got your eye on a new MacBook, we recommend waiting for the next refresh, which we expect to come by May or June. The new model will likely have a Kaby Lake Y Series CPU, which promises better performance than the 6th Gen Core m processor in the current one. Considering the middling speeds we got out of the 2016 model, even a little bit of extra horsepower would go a long way.
The Dell Chromebook 13 is one of the best laptops with Google's OS, because of its attractive, magnesium chassis, snappy keyboard and 13-hour battery life. However, the current model is extremely long in the tooth, no having had a major update in over a year. Due out in early February, refreshed versions of the Chromebook 13 and its smaller sibling, the Chromebook 11, will feature more durable designs and faster processors. Built for education, the laptops will be available with 6th Gen Celeron or Core i3 CPUs and feature sealed keyboards that can withstand huge spills for even student tampering. If you want a 2-in-1, Dell will also be offering a Chromebook 11 2-in-1 that has a bendback display. MORE: Best Chromebooks Available Now
Our favorite student laptop is getting a faster, Kaby Lake processor and some new, high-end options. Due out within the next few weeks, the refreshed ThinkPad 13 will offer an optional touch screen and PCIe SSD, neither of which was available on the original. Even better, you can now get this laptop with a backlit keyboard, a feature that was conspicuously missing from the 2016 model. MORE: Best Laptops for College Students
The 2016 ThinkPad X1 Carbon offered the best combination of lightweight chassis and heavy-duty productivity, but its successor promises to kick it up another notch when it arrives in February. With a new Kaby Lake processor and a slightly-larger battery, the 2017 X1 Carbon should last even longer than the prior gen's strong 9-hour endurance. Despite its higher-capacity battery, the new model is also about 0.1 pounds lighter. Even better, the X1 Carbon will have a Thunderbolt 3 port for charging, sharing data with high-speed peripherals and outputting to 4K monitors. MORE: Best Ultrabooks
While most gaming laptops already have quad-core, Intel 7th Generation Kaby Lake processors, Razer's Blade and Blade Pro are behind the curve. Considering that performance is extremely important on expensive rigs like this, we strongly recommend waiting for these to get a CPU refresh or purchasing a competitor that already has the new chip inside. MORE: The Best Gaming Laptops
The Surface Pro 4 sets the gold-standard for detachable 2-in-1s, but it came out all the way back in October 2015. Inside, the Surface has an Intel 6th Gen processor and it lasts just 6 hours on a charge, far less than the average ultraportable laptop. We expect Microsoft to finally release the Surface Pro 5 sometime later this year. While the company hasn't hinted at a launch date, we expect a new model to come out sooner rather than later. There's no doubt that the Surface Pro 5 will have an Intel Kaby Lake processor, but hopefully it will also include a USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 port and longer battery life. MORE: Best 2-in-1s
One of the lightest and thinnest business laptops of 2016, the EliteBook Folio impressed us with its snappy keyboard, great looks and colorful screen. However, the low-power laptop uses a mediocre Intel 6th Gen Core m processor that's not very speedy and provides only modest battery life. Now that Intel has refreshed its low-power processors with 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" architecture and turned them into the Core i5 / i7 Y Series, they should provide better performance and longer endurance. HP hasn't announced plans to refresh the Folio, but we expect the company to offer an improved model in the near future. MORE: Best HP Laptops
The EliteBook Folio G1 isn't the only HP laptop using a 2015 processor in 2017. At present, you can't buy any of the company's business-oriented EliteBooks or ProBooks with an Intel 7th Generation Core Series CPU inside. The outdated laptops include the powerful Elite X2 detachable 2-in-1 and the super-light EliteBook 1030, both of which we like a lot. However, if you can put off your purchase, we recommend waiting to see when HP starts shipping models with the newest processors on board. You're likely to own your notebook for at least three years so you should get the latest and best processor. MORE: The Best Laptops for Business and Productivity
If you want to play the latest games or connect to a high-end VR system like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you need a laptop with an Nvidia Pascal graphics chip inside. Pascal GPUs all carry model numbers that begin with 10 and include the GTX 1050, 1050TI, 1060, 1070 and 1080. When you're laptop shopping, you will still find gaming laptops with GTX 900 series chips (ex: GTX 960), but if you do, run away screaming. Forget about the appealing sale prices. Getting outdated graphics is a bad deal at any price. MORE: Don't Buy a Gaming Laptop Without Pascal, Unless You Hate Yourself
There's a sucker born every minute and ready to pay unnecessary carrier fees. Carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile are eager to sell you tablets that have LTE service. In theory, a 4G-connected tablet could be a huge convenience as it doesn't require a Wi-Fi hotspot to get online from anywhere. However, you'll end up paying an extra $10 per month for each slate, even as it shares the same bucket of shared data as your phone. You're better off using the hotspot feature on your handset to send Internet to your tablet. MORE: Our Favorite Tablets for Work and Play
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