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Recent havoc in the laptop industry means outstanding summer deals for consumers. How outstanding? Try Black Friday-like prices. Analysts are blaming Windows 8 for the lull in laptop sales, which will likely give tablet sales enough of an upper hand to surpass notebook shipments later this year.

?Windows 8 was supposed to give them a jump-start, but Redmond's new operating system turned out to be worse than Vista. In fact, analysts are now blaming Windows 8 for the lull in sales, Even the mighty Intel can't save the laptop industry,? says Dealnews.

They?re predicting record-breaking laptop deals, especially with back-to-school sales surfacing each week. So there's never been a better time to pounce on a deal. Prices are currently in the $350 range ? and have gone as low as $299 ? for an Ivy Bridge 15" Core i5-based system with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. So anything you find at or below $299 is an Editors' Choice-worthy deal.

Here?s some shopping tools ? and a few deals ? to help you navigate your laptop shopping.

1. Windows 8 Didn't Live Up to the Hype
?Despite all the fanfare, Windows 8 failed to live up to the hype. Yes, Microsoft sold over 100 million licenses of its shiny new OS, but Windows 8 didn't ignite sales. It also received an unprecedented amount of negative feedback, and it simply didn't sit well with consumers. Sales were so bad that Microsoft cut licensing costs for its partners.?

Microsoft's forthcoming OS update is expected to address many concerns, but it's still unlikely to give laptop sales a significant boost. Now that they?re on the mend, Microsoft and big-box retailers want your business. Low prices are their best tool. You can save $439 off the Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook, 3rd Gen Intel Core i7-3517U Processor. Now only $749.99 + free shipping at Dell.

2. Back to School Sales Will Last Through the Summer
?Dealnews data has consistently shown that the summer is the second-best time of year to buy a new laptop.? These deals have come close to the famed Black Friday deals.

Last summer saw a high number of laptop bundles that combined a mainstream 15" notebook with a gaming console, a gift card, or even an inkjet printer. These combos don't always require purchasers to be students. The months of August and September tend to see the best deals with bundles that include everything from an Xbox 360 to a $100 Amazon gift card.

?Because PC sales are particularly bad this year, we wouldn't be surprised to see solid bundles throughout the summer, so if you want to get the most value from your purchase, we recommend waiting for the right back-to-school bundle.?

3. There's a New CPU Sheriff in Town
Intel's new Haswell chips are poised to take over the market. They offer better battery life and video performance than Intel's 2012 Ivy Bridge processors, which means consumers can see some deep discounts on laptops that use Intel's older chips.

Ivy Bridge Processor?As of June, prices were already in the $350 range for a mainstream 15" Ivy Bridge notebook (with a Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, and at least 500GB of storage), which is the second-lowest price of the year. While there are some benefits to having a newer CPU under your laptop's hood, the performance increase isn't dramatic. For everyday computing, high-def media streaming, and even light gaming, an Ivy Bridge-based laptop still offers more than enough horsepower.?

How can you tell if a laptop has an Ivy Bridge processor inside? Look at the string of numbers after the processor name. For instance, the "4" in Core i7-4650U signifies a 4th generation Haswell chip, whereas the "3" in Core i7-3537U signifies last year's Ivy Bridge chip.

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I'm about ready for a new laptop too. Good time to get one, it seems. :)

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I'm about ready for a new laptop too. Good time to get one, it seems. :)

 

I use my Vaio for 4 years now. Good time to get a new one :)

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I can't make an educated comment about most points of the article, but point #3 of the article isn't valid for laptops.

 

It's true that Intel just released a new CPU family (Haswell), however while "performance increase isn't dramatic" which indeed means an Ivy Bridge-based system "offers more than enough horsepower", and this would make this point valid for desktop systems. However, battery life was significantly improved with the new CPU family, typically providing at least 20% more battery life compared with older systems.

 

If buying a laptop for mobility purposes, I believe the reason above alone is good enough to buy a laptop based on the latest CPU family.

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I use my Vaio for 4 years now. Good time to get a new one :)

 

I've been thinking about getting a Linux laptop this go around. Maybe something from System 76? Not sure just yet.

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Just bought a new 17" for about $370.CDN

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I've been thinking about getting a Linux laptop this go around. Maybe something from System 76? Not sure just yet.

Personally i still will go with windows.... I've started a new job now and i'm still trying to understand if i'll get a laptop or not :) We will see......

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1. Windows 8 Didn't Live Up to the Hype

 

 

Yeah right.

 

Those 100 million licenses were sold to an extra-terrestrial race

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So what are good laptop brands these days?

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I just went from laptop to small form factor desktop, hell yeah for power.

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Wanna check out new Haswell Think pads when those come out. My T410s still works great but limited on storage because of the 1.8" drive and battery as well so can't use the UltraBay for a 2.5" SSD which are so cheap these days.

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