By Louis Ramirez, dealnews Senior Feature Writer
On Monday, Intel will officially debut its fourth generation Core processors, code name Haswell. For tech aficionados, the new chips mean it's time for a new laptop. But for bargain hunters, Haswell means another round of price cuts on Intel's Ivy Bridge systems. With prices already near all-time lows, how much cheaper can laptop deals get?
Ivy Bridge's Race to the BottomSince their release in 2012, Ivy Bridge laptops have seen deeper-than-average discounts. In fact, it took mainstream Ivy Bridge laptops (16" Core i5 systems) just four months to see a 52% price drop from their initial price, amounting to a savings of about $520. By comparison, Sandy Bridge systems were only marked down by 10% at their 4-month mark, a savings of $59. We're not entirely sure why Ivy Bridge laptops saw better deals than their predecessors, but it's very likely that the rise of tablets contributed to such price cuts.
So now that it's June 2013 and Intel is replacing Ivy Bridge with its new flagship chip, retailers will have to move Ivy Bridge stock to make room for Haswell-based machines. And with PC sales still in the dumps (and likely to remain there), your chances of seeing some killer Ivy Bridge laptop deals are high.
Buy Ivy Bridge Now, Avoid Haswell Till Late SummerWhen the first Ivy Bridge laptop debuted on dealnews back in April 2012, Sandy Bridge systems immediately dropped 5% in price. That may sound modest, but even current Ivy Bridge prices are as low as $299 (for a 15" Core i5 configuration); it's safe to say that, at the very least, we'll see mainstream 16" Core i5 Ivy Bridge laptop deals for as low as $280.
Also, keep in mind that there's a chance Haswell systems might see some quick discounts too (especially with AMD's new APUs debuting at the same time as Intel's). But is it worth splurging on Haswell now? So far all we know about the new CPUs is that they promise a 50% increase in battery life and double the graphics performance of today's Ivy Bridge CPUs. The real world benchmarks have yet to arrive.
So this month we're recommending sticking with Ivy Bridge systems. Specifically, look for deals in the $280 range. If you want a deal on a Haswell-based system, there will be better sales this summer after both Intel's and AMD's processors have had some time to mature (and back-to-school sales fully kick in).
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