Back-to-school season may be over, but this week's best laptop deals feature a students-only MacBook Pro deal that beats Apple pricing by $100. We've also found a variety of mainstream machines from Asus, Dell, and Lenovo with prices starting at $569. For casual users, there's even an ultra-cheap budget notebook from Acer.
ASUS K550LA Intel Haswell Core i7 1.8GHz 15.6" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: TigerDirect via Walmart
Price: $599.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $80
Is It Worth It?: The Asus K550LA is a well-rounded machine with generous RAM, a touchscreen display, and above-average storage space. This Editors' Choice machine is also among the cheapest 16" Core i7 laptops we've seen with touch capabilities. At the heart of the machine lies a Core i7-4500U 1.8GHz Haswell dual-core processor coupled with a 15.6" 1366x768 touchscreen LCD, 6GB RAM, and a 750GB hard drive. This mainstream machine was designed to suit anyone from college students to casual gamers.
Dell Inspiron 17 7000 Series Haswell Core i5 1.6GHz 17.3" LED-Backlit Touchscreen Laptop
Store: Dell Home
Price: $749.99 via coupon code "HSHJ?P8S3XVT9C" with free shipping
Lowest By: $50
Expires: September 28
Is It Worth It?: At 7.3 lbs., the Inspiron 17 7000 Series wasn't meant for the road. But if it's power you want, this machine won't disappoint. It packs a Core i7-4200U 1.6GHz Haswell dual-core processor, 17.3" 1600x900 touchscreen LCD, 8GB of RAM, and a 750GB hard drive. Even better, activate the above coupon to drop this powerful desktop replacement's price to $750.
HP ENVY Touchsmart 17-j141nr Intel Haswell Core i7 2.4GHz 17.3" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: Microsoft Store
Price: $999 (select "PC only" to see this price) with free shipping
Lowest By: $100
Is It Worth It?: Though it commands a high price, this 17.3" desktop replacement lives up to its ENVY lineage. The 7.1-lb. machine houses a Core i7-4700MQ 2.4GHz Haswell quad-core processor coupled with a massive 16GB of RAM. As if that weren't enough, HP fitted the ENVY with a 1TB hard drive with 8GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M 2GB graphics card. Last but not least, the machine is configured with a 17.3" 1080p touchscreen LCD. It costs more than the aforementioned desktop replacement, but this ENVY makes no compromises.
Apple MacBook Pro Intel Core i5 2.6GHz 13.3" Laptop with Retina Display bundled with a Webroot Secure Anywhere 3-Device 6-Month Subscription
Store: Best Buy
Price: $1,299.99 via this link with free shipping
Lowest By: $99
Is It Worth It?: "The latest 13" Retina Apple MacBook Pro gives you top-notch performance and more than 13 hours of battery life in a beautifully designed laptop," says PC Mag, which awarded this machine its Editors' Choice award. Released in mid-2014, this 3.4-lb. laptop is the closest you'll get to a MacBook Air with a Retina display. It features an Intel Core i5 2.6GHz dual-core processor, 13.3" 2560x1600 Retina display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris graphics, 802.11ac wireless, and Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Students with an active .edu e-mail address can follow this link to receive a coupon that shaves $100 off this machine, which beats Apple's education price by $100.
Lenovo Z40 Intel Haswell Core i5 1.7GHz 14" 1080p Laptop
Price: $569 with free shipping
Lowest By: $231
Is It Worth It?: Released in May, the Lenovo Z40 is a value-priced, entertainment-focused laptop that offers three features every mainstream user should have: a 1080p screen, dedicated graphics card, and a SSD cache. As for concessions, it fails to include touchscreen support and PC Mag notes the touchpad is on the small side. Otherwise, the 14" machine packs a Haswell Core i7-4210U 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 14" 1080p LCD, 6GB RAM, 500GB hard drive with 8GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 820M 2GB graphics card.
Acer Aspire Intel Celeron 2.16GHz 15.6" Laptop
Price: $197 with in-store pickup
Lowest By: $78
Expires: September 25
Is It Worth It?: Make no mistake, the Acer Aspire ES1 is a laptop designed for the bargain bin. However, light-to-casual computer users could still benefit from this lightweight machine. It features an Intel Bay Trail Celeron N2830 2.16GHz dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit LCD, 2GB RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. Plus, this Editors' Choice laptop is the second-cheapest 15" dual-core laptop we've seen this year (and just $2 shy of 2014's all-time low).