It can be expensive to buy a new computer or laptop, so it makes sense to time your purchase for when you can secure a bargain.

While prices are always subject to change without warning, annual sales or new hardware launches can be the perfect time to get a computer or laptop at a discounted rate. However, you could be waiting for a price drop that never comes. If you need the computer or laptop sooner rather than later, it’s better to buy it while you can.

Here are the best times to buy a computer or laptop.

1. Seasonal Sales

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The Christmas season is one of the biggest periods for every retailer. While computers and laptops are usually too expensive to be a common holiday gift, retailers will be looking to take advantage of the flowing holiday money. They will apply discounts to systems in order to attract shoppers and sell off stock before the year-end.

These discounts can also come in various forms, like traditional discounts, cashback offers, and voucher codes

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. Retailers will often engage in one-day-only deals near the holiday season, especially around key dates like New Year’s Day, so be sure to constantly check their websites near this time and keep your eyes peeled for any sudden discounting.

2. Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are sales days that originated in America, but they’ve become a worldwide phenomenon. With prices often slashed across the board, usually only for a limited amount of time or on a set quantity of stock, real bargains can be snapped up on these two days providing you’re quick off the mark.

A word of caution, however: retailers will often use the fever around these days to flog outdated systems at not-so-great prices. Make sure you always do your research before buying and don’t get drawn in by a seemingly appealing price tag—you might end up overpaying for something you would have got cheaper outside the sale.

3. Back to School

People looking at computer screens
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Typically, the back-to-school period runs during the summer in August to September (although it can begin earlier.) It’s a perfect time for retailers to target parents and students who are in the market for a new system to deal with their educational needs. This might actually be the best time to buy a new laptop, rather than a desktop computer.

Deals on laptops are especially prevalent during this period as they make for great college and university purchases. Stay prepared for such deals by researching the best Windows laptops

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Many retailers, like Microsoft, Apple, and Sony, will also give exclusive discounts to actual students. These deals are usually available on presentation of a student ID or a valid academic email address. Apple even extends their educational pricing to teachers and parents buying for their children.

4. New Hardware Releases

Laptop half-opened
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If retailers are expecting to get fresh hardware then you’ll usually find that they begin discounting their current stock in order to make way for the new.

Different manufacturers will operate on different cycles. However, generally new products release in the spring, mid-year for the back-to-school period, and in September as the holiday season approaches.

Manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Acer often release their new products on these timelines. However, it’s best to keep your eyes on their sites and tech news so you remain in the know.

New MacBooks typically release in the spring and winter. Apple usually host media events in March, June, and September, so you should check these out to get the latest information on their upcoming releases. The best time to buy an Apple laptop is usually just before new hardware is announced.

Microsoft holds an event in October where they announce their latest Surface products. Google also hold an event at a similar time when you can expect to hear the latest on the Pixelbook.

Keep your eye on the upcoming big hardware releases and you’ll likely find retailers discounting old stock accordingly.

If you’re not after the latest flashy piece of kit then this will be a perfect time for you to jump in. While the system may be classed as old, simply because technology moves so quickly and there’s always new things being pushed to market, it might be great for you if you only need a computer or laptop for general tasks rather than high fidelity gaming.

Of course, perhaps you do want the latest compute or laptop. If so, wait a couple of months after release when the hype has died down and prices will reduce slightly.

5. Flash Sales and Price Tracking

Price graph on camelcamelcamel

Nowadays, you can probably get a good deal at any time of the year thanks to the popularity of flash sales and daily deals. Online retailers like Amazon and Newegg have new discounts all the time, and the tech that you want might be included in that. Manufacturers also do similar things—in the past, Dell have hosted a ‘Black Friday in July’ event, for example.

Of course, it’s cumbersome to check these deals every day, which is why price tracking websites

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can help you choose the best time to buy your new PC or laptop. These let you track specific product price history, and receive notifications when something drops to your desired price point.

You Could Buy a Used Computer or Laptop Instead

Hopefully these tips are useful for you to know the best time to buy a new computer or laptop. If you’re in the market for a purchase, the best thing you can do is always keep your eye out for deals because you never know when a retailer might begin discounting.

Just remember not to wait too long. If you see a good deal and wait in hope of a better one turning up, then you may end up disappointed and losing out on the original offer.

Still haven’t found the deal you want? You might be better off reading our advice on why buying a used computer can be better than a new one

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