The Best Refurbished Notebook Deals Right Now

If you want to save some money on your next laptop purchase, the refurbished model may be your best choice. If you buy a reputable seller, a refurbished model should be in great condition to support and guarantee. However, not all refurbished goods are much cheaper than new equivalents. You need to pull the trigger and do some research.

Below, we’ve identified the best refurbished laptop deals right now. For help finding a unit on your own, read our refurbished laptop buying guide.

Retailer: Dell Outlet
Sale: up to $200 off select XPS 13 (9360) laptops
Coupon: AXPS1315
Expires: August 28

Why This is a Good Deal: Buying a refurbished laptop is one of the best ways to save money, especially when buying premium notebooks. For a limited time, Dell takes up to $200 off select XPS 13 laptops via coupon code “AXPS1315”.  After discount, prices start as low as $922.25. Supplies are limited and the sale ends August 28.

Retailer: Amazon
Regular Price: $16.99
Sale Price: $8.99
Savings: $31

Why This is a Good Deal: Technically, this isn’t a refurbished product. However, the Anewkodi Dual-Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter can breathe new life into your old laptop by making it compatible with 802.11ac routers. The adapter plugs into any USB port and offers speeds of up to 600Mbps on 5GHz or 2.4GHz bands. Use coupon code “RD6UBO33” to drop its price to $8.99.

Retailer: Lenovo Outlet
Sale: 40 percent off all outlet products
Coupon: “SAVE40OFF”
Expires: August 24

Why This is a Good Deal: Lenovo’s ThinkPads are among the best laptops you can find, but admittedly, some can be pricey. Through August 24, use coupon code “SAVE40OFF” to take 40 percent off any refurb Lenovo product, including top-selling ThinkPads. For example, you can get the ThinkPad X1 Tablet for $524.39 after coupon. That’s a savings of $349 and the cheapest X1 Tablet we’ve seen.

Retailer: Newegg
Regular Price: $303.99
Refurb Price: $253.99
Savings: $50
Coupon: MPBTS17

Why This is a Good Deal: A colorful display, long Acer aspire 4720 laptop battery life, and strong build quality make this Aspire a fantastic value. Though it normally sells for around $304, this refurbished unit is now available for $253.99 via coupon code “MPBTS17”. That’s a $20 drop from last week’s price. This configuration features an 15.6-inch 1080p LCD, 2.4GHz Core i3-7100U CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive.

Retailer: Newegg
Regular Price: $1,019
Refurb Price: $955.20
Savings: $64

Why This is a Good Deal: Newegg takes between 10 percent to 50 percent off select open box items. The sale includes a wide range of laptops from Gigabyte, Apple, Dell, and MSI. For instance, you can get the 2015 MacBook with a 1.1GHz Celeron M CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD for $955.20 after coupon “PBADSPC30”. That’s $64 under Apple’s refurb price for the same laptop.

Retailer: Apple
Regular Price: $1,199
Refurb Price: $1,019
Savings: $180

Why This is a Good Deal: The MacBook is Apple’s flagship ultraportable. Now that the new Kaby Lake MacBooks are available, Apple is putting its still-capable 2016 models in the clearance bin with prices starting at $1,019. This base configuration features a 12-inch 2304 x 1440 LCD, 1.1GHz Core m3 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. It’s also backed by the same 1-year warranty included with new Apple laptops.

The Best Time to Buy a Notebook

Nothing causes buyer’s remorse quite like seeing the laptop you bought last month for $1,000 go on sale for $750.It’s equally unpalatable was the purchase of an expensive new DELL XPS 13 in August, and then watched DELL launch a faster, more advanced model in September. Most notebooks drop the final price, and the new model always appears in the corner. So when is the best time to buy a laptop? The answer largely depends on your environment.

Do You Need It Now?

The best time to buy a new laptop is when you really need one. If your current notebook is broken, you need stronger performance for work or play, or this is a child’s first computer, there’s no good reason to delay your purchase. However, if you have a competent but aging laptop that you plan to replace in the near future, you might save money or benefit from newer technology if you wait strategically.


Apple refreshes its laptops around once per year, though the company doesn’t always release all the new models at once or follow a consistent schedule. Apple last refreshed all of its MacBooks, including the 12-inch MacBook, MacBook Pro 13-inch, a MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar, MacBook Pro 15-inch (also with Touch Bar) and MacBook Air in June 2017. Except for the Air, all of the MacBooks are now running on Intel’s current-generation “Kaby Lake” processors.

Though anything is possible, we don’t expect to see any MacBooks with Intel 8th Generation “Kaby Lake Refresh” processors until Spring 2018. However, you may see some discounts and sales during the holiday season, particularly around Black Friday.

Bottom Line: Buy now, unless you can wait a long time for a sale that may never come.

PC Laptops Sale and Refresh Schedule

The major PC manufacturers release new laptops at three times of year: back-to-school season (June to August), holiday season (September to December) and spring (February to April). New models usually ship at the beginning or middle of these windows. However, the best deals tend to appear in July/August and November/December, which are the heart of the school and holiday shopping seasons.

“There is a best time to buy notebooks, and it is exactly when you think it is, between the last week in July and the first three weeks in August, when the back-to-school merchandising frenzy is in full force,” said Analyst Stephen Baker, who studies laptop pricing and sales for the NPD Group, a market intelligence firm. He noted that this time frame applies to both Macs and PCs.

Not surprisingly, we’ve found that prices can be just as low if not lower at the end of the year, when consumers are busy buying gifts for family members or for themselves.

For example, the 12-inch Apple MacBook (Core m5, 256GB SSD) started at $1,299 on Amazon in March 2016 but sank to $1,149 in August, before shooting back up to around $1,250, until November, when it went back down to $1,149 for a short time and then up again to $1,199.

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee the product you want will be any cheaper in August or December than it was in April. You may find a newer model at the same price, though.

In 2015, Dell didn’t offer significant discounts on the XPS 13, our favorite laptop overall, for either season. However, during the fall 2016 buying season, Dell refreshed the premium laptop with a new Intel 7th Generation Core Series CPU, a larger battery and a Killer Wi-Fi card, which together offer better performance, two hours longer Dell xps m1330 laptop battery life and stronger connectivity. The new models carry  the exact same prices as their predecessors, while the earlier models left the market entirely.

Bottom Line: You’ll find more deals in the July/August and November/December time frames and will see new model releases in early spring, midsummer and fall.

Intel CPU, Nvidia GPU Refreshes Lead the Industry

Though PC vendors tend to release new products at three times of year, they usually don’t refresh each model more than once a year. Business notebooks in particular can stay on the market unchanged for as long as 18 months. Most updates are timed to coincide closely with Intel’s CPU release schedule, as manufacturers want all their laptops to carry the latest generation of processor nearly as soon as it’s available.

Intel announced its new 8th Generation “Kaby Lake Refresh” chips in August 2017, with manufacturers planning to roll out new laptops based on the chips starting in September. However, only the Core i5 and Core i7 U series chips, which appear in mainstream consumer laptops that usually cost over $500, will roll out this fall. Any laptop that currently uses a more powerful, Intel H Series CPU or a low-power Intel Y Series CPU will not be getting an 8th Generation Core refresh for many months, probably not until at least  January 2018. Budget laptops that use Intel Celeron, Pentium or Core i3 processors also won’t be refreshed for a long time.

The 8th Gen Core refresh is more significant than most prior CPU updates, because the mainstream U series will get upgraded from two to four CPU cores, which promises much better multitasking. Intel boasts that some users will see performance increases as high as 40 percent when compared to 7th Generation “Kaby Lake” chips. So, if you want to buy a mainstream consumer laptop, you might want to wait for one with an Intel 8th Gen Core Series chip inside.

When shopping for a new system, you can tell that a laptop’s processor is 8th Gen Core if the first digit of its four-digit model number is an 8 (ex: Core i5-8250U).  Most CPUs today are still Intel 7th Generation “Kaby Lake” chips that use a 7 at the beginning of the model number (ex: Core i5-7200U).

For many years, AMD’s laptop processors were nothing to write home about as they appeared on a handful of low-performance, low-budget systems. However, in fall 2017, the company is launching its powerful new Ryzen platform for laptops. We expect to see Ryzen primarily on gaming systems, however.

In the world of gaming laptops, graphics chip updates are even more important than CPU refreshes. In August 2016, Nvidia released its new “Pascal” GPUs, which carry model numbers beginning with 10 (ex: GTX 1060, GTX 1070). Gaming laptop vendors such as Alienware, Asus and MSI immediately began refreshes of all of their models to incorporate Pascal, which offers significantly faster performance and VR-readiness than the previous generation of Nvidia 900 series (GTX 960, 970 and 980) chips.

The evolutionary improvements in performance and battery life between two generations of Intel processor — 6th Gen to 7th Gen, for example — may not be significant on their own  However, manufacturers often use a CPU or GPU refresh as an excuse to make a laptop lighter or add new features like a higher-res screen, a faster SSD or new ports. The Thunderbolt ports on Lenovo‘s 2017 ThinkPads, for example, allow you to connect to charge the laptop, power dual monitors and connect to high-speed peripherals over a single cable.

Many times, a chip refresh also leads to the release of completely new products, such as the super-slim Asus ZenBook 3, which launched with Kaby Lake. Other times, it leads to major design changes to existing models as we saw on the Pascal update to the Alienware 13. You might not tell from looking at it, but the ThinkPad T470, which has Kaby Lake, is 0.25 pounds lighter than the prior-gen T460.

Bottom Line: If you’re buying a consumer (not business or gaming) laptop and spending over $500, wait for 8th Generation Core chips. If not, don’t wait.

Older Models Don’t Often Get Cheaper

You would expect to see great prices on the old models after a refresh, but more often than not, the original manufacturer discontinues these versions without offering a discount. You can always find a third-party retailer selling last year’s model, but it might actually cost more than the current unit does.

For example, a configuration of the MSI GT72 Dominator Pro gaming laptop came out in October 2014 with a price of $2,300, but by August 2015 it was down to $1,899. After newer versions with faster CPUs had replaced it, the old model jumped up as high as $3,319 and then settled at around $2,649, while the new model costeds just $2,199.

There are a few noteworthy exceptions, which usually occur when the vendor keeps producing the old model at a lower price. For example, Microsoft cut the Surface Pro 3‘s price by $100 after releasing the slightly better Surface Pro 4.

How to Know if You’re Getting a Good Deal

Whenever you find a laptop sale — in December, August or April — it can be hard to tell whether you’re actually getting a great price or just a slight discount off the MSRP, unless you know what the product normally sells for. There are a couple of ways to tell:

To Wait or Not to Wait?

When deciding whether to buy now or wait, you have to consider both price and obsolescence. From a price perspective, you are likely to see more and better deals during back-to-school buying season in June, July and August. However, there’s no guarantee that the product you want will be cheaper during that time period.

If you’re worried about your new laptop becoming obsolete soon after you buy it, the answer depends on the brand and type you choose. Apple fans who are considering a MacBook Pro, shouldn’t expect any major changes until 2018 and those who want a business or gaming laptop probably won’t see models with new Intel CPUs until then either. Gamers may see some performance gains from AMD Ryzen-powered notebooks at the end of 2017.

If you’re buying a PC laptop that’s not for gaming or use as a workstation, you should probably wait for models with Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs to hit the market in September and October 2017.

LAPTOP: Should I Buy a New Laptop or a New Battery?

Many people have laptops for four years, five years or even longer, and still find that they are powerful, functional and suitable for everyday use. But can’t your old computer stay out for a long time? Unlike computer chips, LCD screens and hard drives, lithium-ion batteries in all laptops have very limited life. Over the course of several years, the battery began to have less and less charge.

Forum user Mr. Crackers has a 5-year-old Sony VAIO laptop that he still enjoys using, but now it lasts only 1 hour on a charge. He’s wondering if he should spend around $100 on a new Sony vgp-bps9a notebook battery, or pony up a lot more money for a brand-new laptop.

Deciding whether or not to replace an older but still good laptop is rarely an obvious choice. Here are some questions to ask when deciding whether to fix up your old system or buy a new one.

1. What kind of new laptop can I afford?

If your old laptop was a premium device and you can only afford a budget notebook now, fix that old laptop. Though you can find serviceable new laptops for under $500, and even under $200, a brand-new budget system might not have the same good build quality, screen and keyboard as an older laptop that cost over $1,000 when it was new. And a new laptop with a Celeron or Core i3 CPU is not necessarily much speedier than an older notebook with a Core i5 or Core i7. Your 2012 MacBook Air is still better than a 2017 HP Stream 13.

2. Can I fix my old laptop?

Many laptops don’t have a replaceable battery. If the problem isn’t battery life but a broken keyboard or screen, you also need to see whether these parts are easy to swap out. Screens are extremely difficult to replace without breaking the chassis. The best way to find out what parts of your laptop can be replaced and how easily it would be to do so, is to look for the service manual on the manufacturer’s site. If you can’t find a service manual, you can search for online tutorials from other people who have swapped out the HP 484170-001 laptop battery, screen, RAM or hard drive on your specific model. For RAM and storage drives specifically, you can use Crucial’s Advisor tool to check whether you can upgrade and what type of components you need.

3. Is this an opportunity to get new features?

Perhaps your old laptop had a lower resolution screen than you’d like, or its performance just isn’t good enough for all the apps you want to run today. Maybe its battery life wasn’t that hot in the first place. A new laptop would not only offer better battery life, but also a host of other potential improvements. Five years ago, most laptops did not have touch screens, 4K panels or one-touch fingerprint readers and none of them had Windows 10 or USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Ultimately, all of these questions come back to money. If you can afford to get the same class of laptop that you’re replacing, get a new one. If you can’t, look for a fix.

Acer swift 3 and ASUS Zenbook ux330ua: battle between two value laptops

There was a time when the “value notebook” means a bleak black Friday, especially in WAL-MART, built from cheap plastic, an almost invisible display. Those days are over. Today, the “value laptop” refers to a machine with a solid chassis and decent components, which is more affordable. In our Acer swifts 3 showdown with ASUS Zenbook ux330ua, we pit the latest two value machines to see each other, which is affordable champion.

We reviewed the 13.3-inch ZenBook UX330UA in a configuration that includes a seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7200U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, for $730. Our review Acer Swift 3 was identically equipped for $650. We found them both to offer solid value for the money, with a bunch of great qualities that make them well-suited for buyers who need a workhorse productivity machine that won’t weigh them down, nor make their wallets feel too much lighter. Yet there are enough differences between the two machines to make for a clear winner.


Acer Swift 3


Asus ZenBook UX330UA


Size 13.43 x 9.31 x 0.71 inches 12.7 x 8.7 x 0.53 inches
Weight 3.31 pounds 2.64 pounds
Display 14-inch IPS non-touch display 13.3-inch IPS non-touch display
Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (157 ppi) 3,200 x 1,800 (276 PPI)
1,920 x 1,080 (165 PPI)
Operating System Windows 10 Windows 10
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB PCIe SSD 256GB or 512GB SATA SSD
Processor 7th generation Intel Core i3, i5, i7 7th generation Intel Core i5, i7
Camera/Webcam Front HD webcam Front HD webcam
Keyboard Backlit chiclet Backlit chiclet
Connectivity Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
Biometrics Windows Hello fingerprint scanner Windows Hello fingerprint scanner
Battery 49 watt-hour lithium polymer 57 watt-hour lithium polymer
Ports 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 X USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI, SD card reader, combo audio jack 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type C, 1 x micro-HDMI, microSDXC card reader, combo audio jack
Price $500 to $850  $700-780
Availability Newegg, Amazon Amazon
DT review 4 out of 5 4.5 out of 5

Build quality adds value, but one is just a bit better

There was a time not too long ago when buying a machine close to the $500 price point meant accepting cheap plastic and a creaky design. Those days are over, and we’ll begin by talking about design and build quality — both the Acer Swift 3 and the Asus ZenBook UX330UA sport a metal chassis and solid builds that belie their relatively budget prices.

As a 14-inch machine, the Acer Swift 3 is naturally a bit larger than the ZenBook. It weighs in at 3.31 pounds and is a tiny bit chunky at 0.71 inches, with metal used in both the display lid and the lower half giving it a build that we described at robust and premium. We noticed some flexing in the chassis when we really pressed the issue (no pun intended) but in normal use, the Swift 3 felt plenty solid.

The ZenBook UX330UA was thinner at 0.53 inches, and lighter at 2.6 pounds, given its smaller display and overall chassis size. It also benefits from a generous helping of metal in its chassis, and the “spun metal concentric circle” pattern that’s common to the Asus line added a bit of design flair. The build quality was also solid, with no more flex than Acer’s value-oriented machine.

While the competition is close here, we give the nod to the ZenBook. It’s quite a bit more portable, feels a bit more luxurious, and stands out more than the Acer Swift 3 because of the concentric circle pattern etched into the lid.

Winner: Asus Zenbook UX330UA


As noted earlier, we reviewed identically equipped machines. Both came with workhorse Intel Core i5-7200U processors and 8GB of RAM. The main difference in terms of performance was the choice of solid-state drive (SSD) technology. Acer went with the faster and more modern PCIe version, while Asus saved some money by going with the older — and slower — SATA version.

Unsurprisingly, performance in the Geekbench benchmark was nearly identical, with the Acer Swift 3 scoring 3,809 in the single-core test and 7,515 in the multi-core test, and the ZenBook UX 330UA scoring 3,711 and 7,075. Those are close enough to be a wash.

On the other hand, in our more intensive Handbrake test that encodes a 420GB video to H.265 format, the Acer Swift 3 took 1,084 seconds and the Asus ZenBook UX 330UA took a significantly longer 1,445 seconds — that is significant. It’s possible that the ZenBook’s thinner chassis wasn’t as good at dissipating heat, and so the CPU was throttled.

Next, the Acer Swift 3’s PCIe SSD scored 1,169 MB/s on the CrystalDiskMark read test and 512 MB/s on the write test. That compares to the Asus ZenBook UX330UA’s slower SATA SSD, that could garner only 489 MB/s in the read test and 422 MB/s in the write test. While both machines were plenty fast in terms of booting, opening apps, and accessing and saving data, the Swift 3 promises to avoid slowdowns when working with lots of stored data compared to the ZenBook UX330UA.

In the end, both machines are solid performers, particularly for the price. But when it comes to heavier workloads, the Acer Swift 3’s thicker chassis helps it maintain higher speeds and its faster SSD gets a performance assist as well.

Winner: Acer Swift 3


One area where manufacturers sometimes cut down on costs in value laptops is the keyboard and touchpad. It’s not uncommon to receive a mushy keyboard and unresponsive touchpad if you’re not willing to pay considerably more money. We’re happy to report that both Asus and Acer spent some time getting their respective input mechanism in order.

The keyboard on the Acer Swift 3 offers a solid typing experience, and the keys are backlit with two brightness levels and, unfortunately, some uneven lighting. The expansive touchpad supports Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad protocol and so worked without issue across the full complement of Windows 10 gestures. Windows Hello support is provided by a fingerprint reader to the right of the touchpad.

The Asus ZenBook UX330UA’s keyboard is similarly comfortable, with good spacing, a generous palm rest, and a respectable 1.5mm of key travel. The ZenBook’s backlighting offers three brightness levels, but we found all of them to be too dim, and lighting was also uneven. The touchpad also provides Microsoft Precision Touchpad gesture support, and was adequately sized, but we found the surface to be too slick for comfort. Finally, the Windows Hello fingerprint scanner was a welcome addition, but we found its placement in the upper-right corner of the touchpad to be distracting — it doesn’t support touch, so it takes away from the overall swiping area.

It’s a close call here, but the Acer Swift 3 seemed just that tiniest bit more pleasant for typing and gesturing, and we preferred the location of its fingerprint scanner. Therefore, it earned the win by the narrowest of margins.

Winner: Acer Swift 3


More expensive newer systems (outside of Microsoft’s Surface line) are likely to include the newest USB Type-C port. Value laptops haven’t all caught on to the new standard yet, but don’t tell that to Acer and Asus. Both of the machines include USB Type-C connections and so are relatively future-proof when it comes to connecting to newer accessories. Neither machine added in Thunderbolt 3 support, which is a bummer, but not surprising at this price point. Also, both machines disallow charging via USB Type-C, and so require proprietary power adapters.

The Acer Swift 3 is the thicker machine, as we’ve noted, and another area where some extra girth can come in handy is in connectivity. Acer took full advantage of that fact, packing in two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB 2.0 Type-A port, and the USB Type-C port, to go with a full-size HDMI connection, an SD card reader, and a combo audio jack. That’s a solid selection of ports that ensure you can plug in a full complement of peripherals.

The Asus ZenBook UX330A also offers two USB 3.0 Type-A ports to go with the USB Type-C port, but it eschews USB. 2.0. It slips in a micro-HDMI port a, a microSDXC card reader, and a combo audio port. That’s a fair complement of ports for a thin-and-light machine.

Both machines offer good connectivity and are future-proof given the support for USB Type-C. The ZenBook UX330UA has one fewer port, it requires an adapter to connect to full-size HDMI, and it doesn’t support full-size SD cards. Overall, this category has a clear winner.

Winner: Acer Swift 3


Both of our the Acer Swift 3 and ZenBook UX330UA review units came equipped with Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) displays. That’s more common for value laptops, but not yet ubiquitous. Yet it doesn’t mean that we found the displays to be identical.

To begin with, the Acer Swift 3 is a 14-inch machine, and so a Full HD display is a bit less sharp at 157 PPI compared to the 13.3-inch ZenBook’s 165 PPI. That’s not enough to tell a huge difference, but pixel peepers might discern a few more pixels on the Swift 3. Beyond that, Acer chose a decent but not great display that offered only average contrast at 540:1, below-average color gamut at 67 percent of sRGB and 50 percent of AdobeRGB, and low brightness at only 242 nits. Color accuracy was average at 2.34 (1.o or less is considered excellent).

The Asus ZenBook UX330UA, on the other hand, didn’t only rely on its slightly sharper display to be superior here. It also enjoyed almost twice the contrast at 940:1, covered a much more dynamic 98 percent of sRGB and 74 percent of AdobeRGB, and was much brighter at 315 nits. Color accuracy was also average at 2.56. The display was anti-glare, and so performed better in bright lighting than the Swift 3’s glossy display.

Simply put, the Asus ZenBook UX330U scores big here. Its display is sharper, brighter, enjoys better color, and has significantly better contrast. It’s also more comfortable to use in bright environments. For its first win, the ZenBook’s much superior display is significant.

Winner: Asus ZenBook UX330UA


As mentioned earlier, the ZenBook UX330UA is a bit lighter and a bit thinner than the Acer Swift 3, due in part to its smaller display. That makes the ZenBook easier to slip into a backpack and head out for work.

When it comes to how long each machine will last away from a plug, the dichotomy is a little more clear cut. Whereas Acer made use of the Swift 3’s thicker chassis to squeeze in better connectivity, it left some space unused when it came to packing in the battery. The Swift 3 had to make due with a 49 watt-hour Acer as07b31 laptop battery, which resulted in respectable but not outstanding battery life. In our video loop test that replays an Avengers trailer from local storage until the battery gives out, the Swift 3 lasted for 10 hours and 22 minutes. In our web browsing loop test, it lasted for six hours and 14 minutes.

Asus was a little more aggressive in making room for a battery with the ZenBook UX330UA, managing to cram in 57 watt-hours of Asus A42-G73 noteboook battery capacity. That resulted in a machine that lasted considerably longer in our battery tests. The ZenBook UX330UA lasted almost three hours long when looping our test video, at 13 hours and three minutes. Our web browsing test told a similar story, with the ZenBook lasting an impressive 10 hours and 25 minutes — more than four hours longer than the Acer Swift 3.

Clearly, the Asus ZenBook UX330UA is going to let you get more work done when you can’t plug in. And it’s lighter to boot.

Winner: Asus ZenBook UX330UA


Acer has a number of configurations listed for the Swift 3, ranging from $500 for a machine with a Core i3-7100U CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD all the way up to $850 for a Core i7-7500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 5126GB SSD. Our review unit was priced at $650 for a Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. All Swift 3 machines come with Full HD displays.

Currently, although Asus plans for more configurations, the ZenBook UX330UA is basically available in two configurations. Our review unit with a Full HD display, Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD cost $730, and the same configuration with QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) resolution is available for $780.

While the Acer Swift 3 is a bit less expensive and comes in more configurations (some of them quite pricey), the Asus ZenBook UX330UA wins us over for offering a higher resolution display. They both are well-priced value laptops, but we give a slight edge to the ZenBook.

Winner: Asus ZenBook UX330UA


Two value laptops entered this battle, and the Acer Swift 3 took home some early wins. Its performance was better than the Asus ZenBook UX330UA could muster, at least in terms of storage speeds and when the CPU was being pushed to the max. It also has slightly better connectivity and input, with one additional port, full-size connections, slightly better keyboard backlighting, and superior fingerprint scanner placement.

The Asus ZenBook UX330UA came on strong, however. It enjoys a superior display that’s more usable in all light conditions and just looks so much better. And, it lasts considerably longer away from a plug. Display quality and battery life are two very important laptop characteristics, and the ZenBook scored some huge wins here. Toss in the availability of a higher resolution display for not too much more, and we’re convinced that the ZenBook UX330UA is the superior value laptop.

How to Choose a Corded Power Drill for Woodworking

If you walk around the power tools section of the home and look at the electric drill, you’ll find that almost all of the options are made up of cordless models.

Obviously, cordless drills are very popular. Does that mean that corded power drillsare antiquated and you should only consider a cordless model? Absolutely not. There are plenty of times where a corded power drill is the right choice for a task, whether it’s on a job site or in the woodshop.

Why You Should Consider a Corded Power Drill

While cordless power drills are very useful due in part to their portability, there are still tasks that still require more power than a cordless will provide. When drilling numerous holes of large diameter, particularly large paddle bits, a power drill should be your tool of choice. Performing such tasks that require considerable power would place tax a DEWALT DE9074 Cordless Drill Battery far more than recommended.

What to Look for in a Power Drill

When looking for a power drill, you’ll find that most of the features mimic those found in cordless drills, namely a keyless chuck, reversible action and comfortable grip. However, while cordless drills have 2-speeds, power drills are typically variable speed, which can be very useful when you need to slow down the action. Additionally, some power drills incorporate a hammering action that, while not usable for woodworking, is handy for drilling through concrete, bricks or cinder blocks.

Drill Sizes

Power Drills typically come in two different sizes, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch. This relates to the size of the chuck, and is indicative of the largest diameter bit that the drill will accommodate. In most cases, a 3/8-inch will suffice, but if you need to drill larger holes regularly or simply want more power, you might consider spending the additional money for a 1/2-inch model.

Safety While Operating Your Drill

While power drills aren’t typically overloaded with safety features found on other power tools, that isn’t to say you shouldn’t exercise caution when using your power drill. Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing or jewelry that could get caught up in the drill, unplug the drill when not in use, and always wear safety glasses. Additionally, be sure to read and follow the safety instructions found in the power drill’s owner’s manual.

Beyond these obvious safety precautions, there are a couple of additional safety suggestions that typically need to be mentioned in any discussion of power drills. A power drill should never be carried by the cord. This can cause the cord to dislodge from the casing and cause the power cable to possibly short out. Regularly check your cord for damage.

Hold on Tight

Second, when drilling with paddle bits, be sure to hold onto the drill with a bit firmer of a grip than you normally might, perhaps even holding with two hands. Because of their spade-like shape, paddle bits can occasionally bind against the stock, which will cause a considerable amount of torque back to the drill and subsequently, into your hand. It doesn’t take more than one sprained wrist caused by a binding paddle bit to remind the operator to hold on tightly.

Forget back to school sales – saving real money on discounts on MacBook Air refurbs

Some companies have quite good back to school sales each year, and some companies go back to school year after year with bad sales. Apples belong to the latter every year. 2017 no difference – Apple will offer you free Beats, solo3, beatsx, or powerbeats3 wireless headsets this year, if you buy an Apple’s expensive laptop. Guess what: now all three headphones are on sale at amazon. The problem is whatever you want to follow along with a heavily discounted MacBook Air laptop refurbished machine.

Apple MD711LL/A MacBook Air 11.6-Inch Laptop

Apple MacBook Air MC965LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

Apple MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop MD760LL/B

The Best Tips for Laptop Battery Saving in 2017

The laptop has a good battery backup, and when it’s under new conditions, the battery stays longer. However, over time, wear and tear results in lower battery power. When you work, you have to keep it, and that’s what I and some friends say about moving desktops. At this stage, the power of your laptop is very small, which is not a good habit for your laptop. We’ll discuss some tips for saving tips on laptop batteries. Applying these simple techniques will improve your laptop battery life and make it last longer.

Disable unused stuff of your laptop

Sometimes we may not know that some unwanted stuff keeps on running on our computer. If you want to save your laptop battery, just turn them off. The devices or ports runs with a power function. Now, this consumes a maximum portion of your laptop power. If you don’t use them, kindly disable them.

Battery maintenance tool to save battery

Normally, the manufacturer of the laptop provides the battery maintenance tool. You have to use that particular tool to save your laptop battery. The brands of laptop such as Sony, Lenovo, etc. have their battery maintenance panel. You must utilize the same to the extend your laptop battery life expectancy.

Adjustment with settings

If you operate the laptop, it will be must to use the display and keyboard. This will obviously consume a lot of power. But, there are some settings that can help you and changing those can reduce the power consumption. As a result, your laptop will save some power. You may reduce the backlight and switch off the unnecessary light present in the keyboard.

Turning off application programs (apps)

Some of you may have a view that the computer hardware is extracting battery in your laptop. But, it is not always true. The software applications are equally responsible for the same. They are responsible for extracting your maximum battery life. Thus, you must turn off the apps which you don’t need to keep the Sony vgp-bps9 laptop battery in order.

Keep it cool

It is always important to keep the battery in cool place. In professional organizations, like computer academy, laboratory, etc., laptops are kept in cool place. They are kept in an AC room. This will increase the efficiency of the system. As a result, the battery life will increase.

No full discharge – take care of this thing

Some people have a conception that discharging the laptop once in every fortnight is good for its health. But, expert says something different. You should not discharge the full battery of your laptop ever. This may affect the battery life. It is good to avoid full or complete discharge.

Disconnect Charger from Power when Fully Charged

Some people have the habit of leaving their system on charge even when the system is fully charged, this is not good for your laptop battery because the cells can not charge above their charging capacity and keeping the laptop on charge will only reduce the battery life and increase the rate of discharge.

Use the Right Charger

Most people make the mistake of thinking that all laptop chargers are the same provided they have the same charging pin but this is very wrong because the chargers have different rating and this is one reason why you can not use any and every charger with the same pin as yours. If your charger goes bad, do yourself some good by getting another one with same model with your laptop.

Mind The Power Source

Yes you need to work with your laptop and you need electricity to do that when your Sony Vgp-bps8a Battery is down but the source of power you connect your laptop to can reduce your laptop battery life and result to more expenses in the future therefore, it is very important that you use a source of power with standard rating as specified in your laptop manual. Avoid charging your laptop battery with low voltage and small generators as this will reduce your battery life.


Your laptop is an important electronic gadget and you need to handle with care and one of the most important thing you have to ensure, is the laptop battery retaining charge and applying the guidelines stated above will help you achieve that with less effort.

Just save 6 great laptop deals for up to $299 at school time

Shopping for a new computer can be a time-consuming hassle, so we pick some of the best laptop transactions and reduce your work. In addition to providing like apple and MSI brands discount computer, these hot notebook computer transaction also includes various types, suitable for different needs, to help hardcore games from general use you to find the most suitable for your PC lifestyle.

The budget option: Asus EeeBook

First on our roundup of laptop deals is the budget-friendly Asus EeeBook L402SA. This PC features a 14-inch 1,366 x 768 LED display that delivers a crisp and color-rich HD picture. The Intel Celeron dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of high-speed flash storage work together to provide sufficient power for work, light gaming, and general use, making the Aspire ES 15 a great choice for an affordable everyday laptop. The Asus a32-m50 laptop battery can last more than six hours on a single charge, giving you enough power for a day’s work on the go. You even get a complimentary one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal — a $70 value — totally free.

You can score the Asus EeeBook L402SA for just $189 on Amazon after a $40 discount. This is a great deal on a Windows 10 laptop, as most computers in this price range are either Chromebooks or compact 11-inch notebooks.

For the student: Dell Inspiron

Another budget-friendly option, and one that’s the perfect laptop for college students, is the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series. A step up specs-wise from the EeeBook, the Inspiron 15 5000 Series comes equipped with a 2.4Ghz Intel Core i3-7100U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. The 15.6-inch widescreen display offers a 1366 x 768 resolution to let you enjoy your games, videos, and pictures in HD, while the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 is sufficient for graphics work and light gaming. The Inspiron also features USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI ports, as well as an SD card reader.

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series normally goes for $499, but B&H has it on sale for $150 off, bringing this workhorse laptop down to just $349.

The slimline option: Asus ZenBook

For those wanting something a bit smaller, the Asus ZenBook UX306UA is a solid option. This slim laptop features a 13-inch HD display, a 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U dual-core CPU, and 8GB of RAM, while the 512GB SSD gives you improved disk speeds over traditional hard drives. The ZenBook’s aluminum construction is durable and lightweight, and its glare-free screen makes for easy viewing when you’re outdoors.

The full-size keyboard is backlit and features a rubberized palm rest for increased comfort during extended typing sessions. The oversized, glass-covered touchpad utilizes the same technology seen in large phone touchscreens. The Asus ZenBook UX306UA comes in at $929 from B&H, which is a nice $100 discount off of its usual price.

The hybrid option: HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1

Tablets are great for their portability and touchscreen functionality, but the lack of a mouse and keyboard makes them less suitable for work and extended use. Enter the 2-in-1 HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop. This PC functions as a normal 15-inch notebook complete with keyboard and touchpad, and also features a Full HD touchscreen display that can be flipped around and folded down for use as a tablet. A seventh-generation Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 1TB hard drive deliver more than enough power and storage for most needs.

The HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop is currently on sale for $450 from HP, giving you a nice $130 discount.

For the gamer: MSI GL62M

The MSI GL62M 7RD-058 is a laptop built for gamers that — unlike many portable gaming machines — won’t cost you a fortune. With its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, the GL62M is the only laptop on our list equipped with a dedicated graphics card. The seventh-generation Core i5-7300HQ processor is clocked at 2.50GHz, while 8GB of RAM gives you plenty of memory to handle current games and is also expandable up to 64GB. The 15.6-inch IPS display lets you enjoy your gaming in full HD, and makes this laptop a good desktop replacement without being too bulky to carry around.

Newegg is currently offering the MSI GL62M 7RD-058 gaming laptop for just $699 after a $100 rebate. You also get three free gifts with your purchase: An MSI gaming backpack, I Game journal, and a free copy of the hit game Rocket League. You get a total discount of $200 along with the freebies, making this one of the best laptop deals on our list.

For the Apple lover: MacBook with 12” Retina display

If Windows isn’t your speed, then we’ve included another option among our laptop deals just for the Mac crowd. Apple laptop deals can be tricky to find sometimes, but Amazon is currently offering a generous $299 discount on the 12-inch MacBook with a Retina display, bringing the cost down to $1,000 from its standard $1,299 price tag.

Apple’s Retina display technology features an impressive resolution of 2304 x 1440, giving you an extremely crisp picture for a compact 12-inch screen. Under the hood, the MacBook comes loaded with a dual-core Intel Core M3 processor with Turbo Boost technology, 8GB of installed RAM, and 256GB of flash storage. A USB-C port allows for high-speed charging and data transfers, and the long-lasting integrated Apple a1012 notebook battery provides up to 11 hours of power.

How to Finance Your Notebook: Everything You Need to Know

Although you can buy a good laptop at a bargain price, the high-end models will be very fast. To meet the needs of buyers, many retailers offer financing plans to make expensive laptops cheaper, as long as you can pay over time.

However, when it comes to financing, there’s always a catch. Here’s a list of pros and cons that come with financing a laptop, as well as the financing services provided by large retailers. 

The Good

The Bad

Laptop Financing Services


Amazon provides special 6- and 12-month financing for shoppers making purchases with an Store Card. Laptops that cost over $149 are subject to 6-month financing without interest, while laptops priced higher than $599 are eligible for zero interest if paid off within the year.

Select Amazon-sold items are eligible for 24-month financing. Interest (minimum charge $1.50) will be applied to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid within the time frame selected. Monthly payments must be met to receive these promotions. Non-promotional purchases and voided promotions under the Store Card are subject to variable 26.99 percent APR. 


Apple has various financing plans for business, education and consumers that can be applied to MacBooks. Special perks are included with each financing program, such as two-year device refreshes with AppleCare support for businesses, and flexible cost-sharing that provides upgrades and third-party products for institutions.

Apple also offers zero-interest repayment for consumers, ranging from 6 to 24 months, through the Barclay Apple Rewards Card. Interest (14.99 to 27.99 variable percent APR) will be charged to the account from the purchase date if the balance is not settled by the end of the promotional period. Apple Financial Services also offers customizable financing options for your budget and technological goals, including delayed payment structures, trade-in and recycling services.

Best Buy

Best Buy offers storewide 6 and 12-month financing that can be applied to the laptop of your choice, provided that its price is over $199 or $399, respectively. For these promotions, interest is deferred until the promotional period’s end.

If the balance is paid in full by the end of your financing terms, no interest is charged. But if you fail to do so, the accumulated interest will be charged to your account with a 9 to 28.99 percent APR depending on your creditworthiness. Minimum monthly payments must be met, but you will probably have to exceed the minimum listed on your statement to pay the laptop off completely without interest. 


Dell provides a number of special financing options for its many laptop brands and series, some of which include Alienware, Inspiron and XPS. The financing periods range from 6 to 12 months for purchases over $599 and $899, respectively. All promotional offers are available for no interest if they’re paid in full prior to the end date.

If the balance isn’t settled by the promotion’s expiration, interest will be charged to your account from the transaction posting date at variable 19.99 to 29.99 percent APR. Dell also offers Preferred Account financing through WebBank for U.S. residents, where charges are 3 percent of the new balance or $20 on a monthly billing statement.


HP has a Premier Upgrade Program in which shoppers can split the cost of an Envy or Spectre laptop within 24 months at zero percent APR via Citizens One. Interest or other fees may be applied to late payments or unpaid balances from the issuer of your credit card based on prior agreements. 

Once your laptop with Hp pavilion dv3500 laptop battery is paid off during the promotional period, you’re free to upgrade to a new device under the same financing terms. The program also includes accidental damage protection, unlimited access to personalized support, hassle-free setup and migration. If you choose to not renew your membership after the 24-month period, you will lose access to damage coverage and HP Premier Support.


Lenovo provides laptop financing through WebBank and Swedish payment servicer Klarna, which offers 12-month, zero-interest payment plans for purchases between $299 and $799, and 9.99 percent APR on purchases over $799. 

Late and returned payment fees are up to $35 depending on tardiness and impending balance. Business customers are also eligible for promotional pricing, but non-promotional purchases are subject to standard 19.99 percent APR (no less than $2 interest per month). Additionally, Klarna allows automatic credit-line increases for those who qualify.


Microsoft is another major brand that’s joined forces with Klarna, in this case to roll out the new Surface Plus program, in which shoppers are provided 24-month financing on all Surface products for zero percent APR. For late payments, 19.99 percent interest is charged, plus a $35 fee.

Through Surface Plus, consumers can get their hands on a Surface device starting at $34 per month, along with personalized support and 18-month upgrades. There’s a pricier and enhanced Surface Plus for Business program that’s financed by LiftForward and provides 18-, 24- or 30-month payment cycles with upgrades available after 12 and 18 months. Microsoft also has a flexible Surface as a Service leasing plan and other financing programs with third-party providers.


Newegg has storewide financing that can be applied to the laptop of your choice with the Newegg Store Credit Card. No interest is charged on $199 to $498.99 purchases paid in full by 6 months or purchases above $499 paid in full by 12 months.

On select items, Newegg provides extended financing for up to 18, 24 and 36 months at zero interest. However, if you fail to pay off your balance at the end of the promotion, you’ll have the accumulated interest from the purchase date at 29.99 percent APR (minimum $2). Monthly payments must be met to upkeep your selected promotion, and higher payments may be needed to pay off the balance within the promotional period.


Origin offers a financing program of up to 36 months on systems above $1,000, which includes all of its EON gaming and professional-grade (NT, NS, N7) laptops, as well as accessories. At a fixed 16.99 percent or variable APR depending on creditworthiness, Origin makes high-end laptops accessible to U.S. residents on a budget via GetFinancing. 

Payment terms are set by participating GetFinancing lenders based on credit amount, limit availability, calculated interest, grace period and balance. Assorted fees are also determined by the lender, including annual membership, late payment, over-the-limit, returned and bounced checks, and more.

Bottom Line

Financing can be helpful, but it works out only if you’re confident that you can pay the balance in full in a timely manner. One slip up, and you’ll be hit with hefty fees, interest and a potentially damaged credit score. If you’re good at scheduling payments, budgeting and appreciate the additional perks retailers throw in, financing can very well be worth the effort, especially when it comes to zero interest.

You also need to determine what kind of laptop you’re getting and whether you’re willing to upgrade within a year or two, which often calls for a new financing plan to shell out cash for. All in all, if you’re going to finance, read your terms carefully before agreeing to anything. It might just save you from the temptation of “buy now, pay later.”

Notebook: Should I Buy a MacBook or a ZenBook?

If you’re looking for a lightweight 13 inch Laptop under $1000, ASUS and apple have an attractive choice. Forum user miguelestevez wants to choose between Zenbook ux303ua and 13 inches MacBook Air.

Both laptops have 13-inch screens, Core i5 CPUs and 8GB of RAM. However, the MacBook configuration he is considering has a 128GB SSD, while the ZenBook has twice that amount of storage.

We strongly recommend that Miguel forget about the UX303UA, which is a discontinued model with an outdated CPU, and consider the Asus ZenBook UX330UA instead. It also has a 1920 x 1080 display, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, but it has a 7th Generation Core i5 processor instead of a 6th Gen one. You can get the UX330UA, our favorite laptop value, for $699.

But how does the UX330UA compare with a Core i5 MacBook Air? Let’s take a look at some key differences between the two.


The ZenBook and the MacBook Air are both very thin and light, but Asus’ laptop is noticeably more compact. The UX330UA weighs just 2.7 pounds and is 0.5 inches thick at its thickest point, while the Air is 2.96 pounds and 0.68 inches thick.

Both systems have an attractive, silver aesthetic, but Apple’s notebook has an all-aluminum unibody design and Asus has an aluminum lid, but a non-aluminum chassis.

Winner: ZenBook UX330UA. The MacBook has a more premium design, but the ZenBook is lighter.


The MacBook Air is stuck in the past with a 1440 x 900 resolution display, while the ZenBook UX330UA offers a full-HD, 1920 x 1080 panel. The ZenBook also covers an impressive 106 percent of the color gamut, while the last MacBook Air we tested (a 2015 model with the same screen you get today) covered just 66 percent of the gamut.

The MacBook Air does have a brighter display, hitting 334 nits on on our light meter, compared with 286 nits for the ZenBook.

Winner: ZenBook UX330UA has a sharper, more colorful screen.


We haven’t tested the latest configuration of the MacBook Air, which updates the laptop’s processor to a 7th Generation Core i5. However, we can say that the ZenBook UX330UA, which also has a 7th Gen Core i5 CPU, should offer similar performance in every area but one.

The MacBook Air uses PCIe Flash storage, which is much faster than the SATA SSD in the ZenBook UX330UA. The ZenBook’s storage drive copied files at 159 megabytes per second on our transfer test, as compared to 358 MBps for the last-gen MacBook Air.

Winner: MacBook Air by a hair on the strength of its SSD.

Battery Life

The ZenBook UX330UA lasted a very strong 10 hours and 17 minutes on the Asus a32-k52 laptop battery test, which involves continuous surfing over Wi-Fi. However, the last MacBook Air we tested blew it away by enduring for 14 hours.

Winner: MacBook Air


The MacBook Air starts at $999. For that price, you get it with a 128GB SSD, half the capacity the ZenBook comes with. If you want to step up to 256GB of storage on the Air, the price goes all the way up to $1,199. At $699, the ZenBook UX330UA is $300 below the base model Air and $500 less than a similarly configured Air.

Winner: ZenBook UX330UA is a lot cheaper.

The Bottom Line

While the MacBook Air has a slight edge in storage performance and in Apple a1278 notebook battery life, this is really no contest. The ZenBook UX330UA is a much better value, weighs less and has a far superior screen.

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