Apple laptops tend to dominate many college campuses. But if Apple's premium prices keep you from your dream machine, fear not, for this week's best laptop deals include two Editors' Choice 2014 MacBook Air deals that trump Apple's own back-to-school sale. We've also got deals on Lenovo's updated Flex 2 hybrid and a do-it-all desktop replacement from HP.
Apple MacBook Air Haswell Core i5 1.4GHz 11.6" Laptop bundled with Titanium Internet Security 3-User 6-Month for Mac
Store: Best Buy
Price: $849.99 via this link with free shipping
Lowest By: $249
Is It Worth It?: Back-to-school shoppers who insist on a Mac, your deal has arrived. Best Buy offers the 2014 MacBook Air complete with a 256GB SSD (which is double the default storage capacity) for $850. To get this deal you'll need a valid .edu address, which you can input at this link for a unique coupon code that will slash $100 off this machine. PC Mag calls this machine a "great companion for the ultra-mobile user." Updated in 2014, this refresh features a faster processor — Intel's 1.4GHz Core i5-4260U CPU, rather than the older 1.3GHz Core i5-4250U — and better energy efficiency. Apple's back-to-school price for this configuration is $1,049 with a $100 Apple gift card (valid for students only), so you can save $200 with this deal. The 2.4-lb. machine features an 11.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit display, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and 802.11ac wireless.
Apple MacBook Air Intel Haswell Core i5 1.3GHz 13.3" LED-Backlit Laptop bundled with Titanium Internet Security 3-User 6-Month for Mac
Store: Best Buy
Price: $749.99 via this link with free shipping
Lowest By: $149
Is It Worth It?: Prefer the 13" MacBook Air over the 11" model? Like the aforementioned deal, this price is only valid for students with an active .edu e-mail address. Input your address here and you'll get a coupon code that takes $150 off Best Buy's price. Compare that to Apple's back-to-school price for this machine ($949 bundled with a $100 Apple gift card) and you'll save more money at Best Buy. The 2.9-lb. machine features an Intel Core i5 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 13.3" 1440x900 LED-backlit LCD, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and 802.11ac wireless.
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series Haswell Core i5 1.7GHz 15.6" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: Dell Home
Price: $579.99 via coupon code "8Z93X4?S6BXHF2" with free shipping
Lowest By: $1-5
Expires: October 1
Is It Worth It?: The 5.2-lb. Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is an everyday laptop with better-than-average specs. Even better, activate coupon code "8Z93X4?S6BXHF2" to slice an impressive $460 off this mainstream machine. It features an Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7GHz Haswell dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 touchscreen LCD, 6GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, and 802.11ac dual-band wireless.
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 2 Intel Haswell Core i5 1.6GHz 15.6" LED-Backlit Touchscreen Laptop
Price: $669 with free shipping
Lowest By: $180
Is It Worth It?: Though you might mistake this laptop for a Yoga, the Flex 2 is a different beast in that its screen doesn't flip back completely, but instead swings 300 degrees into what Lenovo calls "stand mode." When in stand mode, users can touch the screen without having the keyboard get in your way. Announced in April, the new Flex 2 features a 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit touchscreen LCD, Intel Core i5-4200U Haswell 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 8GB RAM, and a 1TB hard drive.
HP ENVY Touchsmart 17t Intel Haswell Core i7 2.5GHz 17.3" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: HP Home & Home Office
Price: $834.99 via coupon code "SAVE15HP" with free shipping
Lowest By: $300
Is It Worth It?: Proving that desktop replacements aren't dead, HP stuffs the ENVY Touchsmart 17t with all the latest tech you could want. The 7-lb. laptop features an Intel Core i7-4710HQ 2.5GHz Haswell quad-core processor, 17.3" 1600x900 touchscreen LCD, 12GB RAM, and a 1TB hard drive.
ASUS Celeron 2.16GHz 15.6" LED-Backlit Laptop
Store: Best Buy
Price: $229.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $45
Is It Worth It?: Don't require a laptop with all the bells and whistles? Powered by a Celeron N2830 2.16GHz dual-core processor, the ASUS X551MAV-RCLN06 is a 4.7-lb. laptop for the casual computer user on a shoestring budget. This bargain bin machine is $20 cheaper than last week's mention and features a 15.6" 1366x768 LED-Backlit LCD, 4GB RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.