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Best Laptop Deals: 5 Editors' Choice Machines for Every Budget and User


This week's best laptop deals feature five Editors' Choice machines for every need and budget. We kick off with a late 2013 15" MacBook Pro Retina that's a current price low by $114. For the board room, we've found all-time price lows on the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix and the Dell Inspiron 3540, while budget shoppers can choose between the ASUS X551MAV or HP 15-f018dx starting at $200.

  1. MacBook Pro ME294LL/AApple MacBook Pro Intel Core i7 Haswell 2.3GHz 15.4" Laptop with Retina Display
    Store: B&H Photo-Video
    Price: $1,999 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $114

    Is It Worth It?: This late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina laptop features an Intel Haswell processor, a stunning Retina display, and costs just $10 more than a refurbished system sold through the Apple Store. (Excluding refurbs, it's also the best price we could find for this configuration by $114). The Editors' Choice 4.5-lb. laptop features a Haswell Core i7-4850HQ 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 15.4" 2880x1800 Retina display, 16GB RAM, 512GB flash storage, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2GB video card, and 802.11ac wireless.

  2. Lenovo ThinkPad HelixLenovo ThinkPad Helix Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 2GHz 1080p 11.6" Convertible Touchscreen Ultrabook
    Store: Lenovo
    Price: $949.99 via coupon code "USPHLX33U128" with free shipping
    Lowest By: $1,350
    Expires: January 7

    Is It Worth It?: Make no mistake, this hybrid is more executive boardroom than it is coffee table laptop. And although Engadget found the ThinkPad Helix's convertible design a little awkward, they nevertheless praised it for having "a sturdy keyboard, reliable trackpad, and a bright 1080p display with wide viewing angles." Of course, we like this deal because coupon code "USPHLX33U128" slashes $1,350 off its price, making it the cheapest Helix we've seen with a Core i7 CPU. The 3.7-lb. laptop features an Intel Core i7-3667U 2GHz Ivy Bridge dual-core CPU, an 11.6" 1080p LCD, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and Windows 8 Professional 64-bit.

  3. Asus X551MAVASUS Intel Celeron 2.16GHz 15.6" Laptop
    Store: Micro Center
    Price: $199.99 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $49

    Is It Worth It?: There's nothing glamorous about the ASUS X551MAV. This 4.3-lb. Editors' Choice laptop is a budget-minded machine, so in place of a fancy display or ultra-fast CPU, you get a low-power Intel Celeron N2830 2.16GHz dual-core Bay Trail processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD, and a 500GB hard drive. However, unlike other sub-$200 notebooks (which usually pack just 2GB of RAM), this system doubles that amount, which allows for better overall performance.

  4. Dell Latitude 3540Dell Latitude 3540 Intel Celeron 1.4GHz 15.6" Laptop
    Store: Dell Small Business
    Price: $349 via coupon code "VL70G31ZB9PP96" with free shipping
    Lowest By: $292
    Expires: January 1

    Is It Worth It?: This Dell Latitude 3540 is the cheapest Latitude laptop we've ever seen easily earning our coveted Editors' Choice badge. It won't wow you with features — this is a business machine afterall — but instead it packs an Intel Celeron 2957U 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD, 4GB RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. In terms of power, its sufficient for most daily tasks, so long as you don't require heavy HD editing or intensive graphics work.

  5. HP Intel HaswellHP Intel Haswell Core i3 1.9GHz 15.6" Laptop bundled with Webroot Secure Anywhere 3-Device 6-Month for Windows/Mac/Android/iOS
    Store: Best Buy
    Price: $349.99 $379.99 with free shipping
    Lowest By: $214 $184
    Expires: December 23

    Is It Worth It?: The Editors' Choice HP 15-f018dx delivers a lot of computer for its price. The 5.1-lb. machine is built around a Core i3-4030U 1.9GHz Haswell dual-core processor, with a 15.6" 1366x768 display, 6GB RAM (more than the traditional 4GB), and a 750GB hard drive (bigger than the standard 500GB drives found in budget machines). Yet despite the generous specs, Best Buy offers this laptop at the lowest price we could find by $214 and it's the best price we've seen for any new HP 15.6" laptop with 6GB RAM.

    Update: The price has increased by $30, but is still a current low by $184.

Senior Features Writer

With over a decade of experience covering technology, Louis Ramirez has written for CNET, Laptop, Gizmodo, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @louisramirez.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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