As we are set to wrap up 2020, Microsoft and Apple continue to release tablets and laptops that shape the way we connect. Microsoft’s Surface line continues to grow in a variety of ways and Apple’s Macbook line never stops impressing. As these two giants battle to make their devices smaller and more robust than ever, we can’t help but be wowed at how many variations and options are available on their ever-growing product lines.
Microsoft continues to expand its Surface line with new devices aimed at reshaping everything we know about multitasking and performance. Apple has also pushed their boundaries in thinness, formfactor and performance. It becomes harder and harder to recommend one device over another as so many of these new models aim at being the perfect addition to a specific type of user.
Laptops, for the most part, are truly becoming a dying breed. There are some impressively cheap laptops still on the market and there are equally impressive gaming and performance devices. But 2020 has definitely made it harder to recommend a traditional laptop over the various devices Microsoft and Apple continue to unleash.
Lowest doorbuster price
Chromebooks continue to dominate the low-end laptop price range and we predict that this year will be another doorbuster Chromebook season! Many Chromebooks are already in the $100 to $200 range, so we predict that several retailers will feature $99 or less Chromebooks as their doorbuster deals.
Most affordable high-end laptop
The Dell XPS 13 laptop continues to be one of the best, most affordable laptops on the market and the 2020 line is absolutely no exception. The device can come fully loaded for $1,900 with an i7, 16GB of ram, a 512GB solid state drive and a 4K display. Shoppers looking for a less-expensive version of the XPS 13 can get it in an i3 and 4GB of ram for only $999. We predict that some, if not all, variations of the Dell XPS 13 will be on sale for Black Friday, with prices dropping as much as 20% for the holiday season.
The slimness of the device combined with the power make it one of the best high-end laptops on the market. Click here to read a review on the ultra-thin powerhouse.
Most affordable high-end gaming laptop
When it comes to heavy gaming on a laptop, shoppers should look no further than the Asus ROG Zephryus G14 line. The most expensive version is perfect for any gamer on the go, featuring an AMD Ryzen 9-4900HS, a RTX 2060, 16GB of ram, and a 1TB solid state drive for only $1,999 (note: there are two variations of this particular build, with the other being only $1,499 but 1080p display rather than a 1440p display). There is a slightly cheaper model with only a Ryzen 7 and a GTX 1660i for $1,299. Budget gamers might even find the lower end model appealing with many of the same specs as the $1,299 version but with a GTX 1650 instead. This model runs only $1,099 but might not be worthwhile for many gaming needs.
We predict that the ROG Zephryus line could also drop up to 20% off during the holiday season.
After Apple removed the standard Macbook line last year and left just the Macbook Air and the Macbook Pro, it was anticipated that both models would focus on different features and users. However, the Macbook Air 2020 model that released this year has proven to be quite similar to the Macbook Pro. If you are looking for a powerful, portable unit than the Macbook Pro is still what you should be picking up. However, if you decide you want something less pricey and a bit less powerful, you won’t find all that many distinctions if you head for a Macbook Air.
Early in the year, right before the pandemic, Apple announced their two new Macbook Air laptops. Apple currently sells two versions of the Macbook Air; one with an i3 processor and another with an i5 processor. Each device features several key differences outside of the processor. The i3 model sells for $999 while the i5 retails for $1,299. Both devices feature a 13-inch screen and 8GB of memory, but the i3 only has 256GB storage while the i5 features 512GB.
We predict that either device could see a small discount during the holiday season, especially since they’ve already been out for longer than six months and will most likely receive an update version sometime next year. However, given the pandemic, it is possible that new models might be delayed for next year, making these versions of the Air the last we’ll see for a little while. In any case, the Airs are great for non-power users looking for a sleek, compact, and useful device that is sure to get smaller jobs done. If you’re a power user or do a lot of video or photo editing, we recommend checking out the Macbook Pro instead.
There are two Macbook Pro models that released late last year; the 13-inch and the 16-inch. Apple advertises that the 16-inch Pro is designed more for heavy power users while the 13-inch model is designed for users looking for portability over power. The 16-inch models come with an i7 or i9 while the 13-inch models only have i5 or i7 processors. The screen and graphics card are also of higher spec on the 16-inch model compared to the 13-inch. Storage is also bumped on the 16-inch, starting as low as 512GB but going up to 8TB. The 16-inch also sees an added boost in speaker performance. As a result of the higher specs, the 16-inch model starts as low as $2,500 while the 13-inch starts at $1,299. Apple did release a newer version of the Macbook Pro 13-inch already this year, but has not released an overhauled Macbook Pro since last year. As a result, there is great expectation that Apple will be upgrading the 16-inch model still this year, but there has not been a release date schedule (all rumors point to late October or early November). Apple held an event on September 15 which showcased several new items, none of which were the new Macbook Pro. We predict that Apple is still set to unveil a new Macbook Pro 16-inch this year and, if you’ve got someone on your shopping list asking for this particular model we suggest you hold off for the newest iteration.
Apple Macbook Black Friday 2020 Predictions
|Macbook Model||Current Retail Price||Black Friday 2020 Predictions|
Microsoft Surface Predictions
In 2012, the Surface line included only two devices: the Surface and the Surface Pro. Here we are eight years later and it’s literally hard to keep track of every device sporting the Surface name. Microsoft have distinctively buried themselves in Surface product, which feels ultimately like the literal polar opposite of Apple’s treatment of their Macbook line.
When it comes to laptops or portable computers, Microsoft’s Surface line currently has several options available: The Surface Go 2 (think Chromebook), the Surface Pro 7 (tablet combined with PC), the Surface Pro X (most comparable to the iPad Pro, but yet not), and the Surface Book 3 (part tablet, part laptop). There’s also the Surface Laptop 3, which falls somewhere between the Surface Book 3 and the Surface Pro X, yet with no tablet functionality whatsoever. Microsoft also has the Surface Studio, meant to be a giant tablet for your desk, and is still teasing us with their Surface Neo launch (possibly sometime this year), and their newest phone (that they refuse to call a phone) Surface Duo.
We predict that this will be yet another stellar year for Microsoft’s Surface line, namely because they have so many models to meet so many different types of users expectations.
While the first two iterations of the Surface Pro were clearly meant to be an alternative to the iPad, Microsoft made the decision starting with the Surface Pro 3 to reform the device to be more easily mistaken with Apple’s incredibly popular tablet. Microsoft has continued their determination to combat the iPad with their Pro line and the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro X are quite the contenders.
The Surface Pro 7 comes in several options with various build specs. Shoppers can find an i3 model, an i5 model, and an i7 model. Each model can be purchased with varying internal components, making the Surface Pro line an ideal choice for customization. And while the Surface Pro may look like an iPad, it is anything but. While the iPad runs iPadOS (not full iOS), the Surface Pro lines run full Windows 10. This means a Surface Pro can do anything a Windows 10 PC or Windows 10 laptop can do, but in tablet form (with removable keyboard sold separately). The Surface Pro X has beefier specs and is the first Pro to offer LTE connection.
The cheapest unit sells for $799 and comes with low-end specs compared to the higher end models. We predict that both the Pro 7 and the Pro X will see slight discounts this year. There are rumors that a Surface Pro 8 and Pro X 2 are both in development and could release this fall. If they do, and if the long-teased Surface Neo drops, it would seem logical that the Pro 7 and Pro X would be the ones discounted during the holidays.
Users who have no interest in a tablet version of a laptop should set their eyes on the Surface Laptop 3. The Surface Laptop 3 currently comes in two sizes; 13-inch and 15-inch. Both devices are touchscreens, but feature plenty of differences when it comes to the specs. The Surface Laptop is meant to be lightweight and portable, with it competing against other non-Chromebook laptops.
The existence of the Surface Laptop can be a bit confusing, given that it nearly directly competes with both the Surface Pro and the Surface Book. We would recommend either of those devices over the Surface Laptop, and can only recommend the device if you have absolutely no desire for tablet features (and don’t mind the Laptop featuring a touch screen). Having said that, there is a model of the Surface Laptop 3 that is aimed directly at gamers. The $2,800 model comes with Ryzen 7, 32GB of ram, and a 1TB solid state drive.
We predict that the Surface Laptop 3 is well poised to see savings during the holiday season this year, given that the space it fills in the Surface line is pretty narrow. While the gaming-centered version will most likely not receive a Black Friday deal, it is likely that the i5 model may.
The Surface Book line of devices is currently on their third iteration. The device is essentially a tablet and laptop hybrid. It has the base of a laptop, but the screen can disconnect and function like a tablet. But don’t be confused: the Book is not part Surface Pro 7 and part Surface Laptop 3. Instead, the specs fall somewhere in between, combining to give users a modest element of both lines. The Surface Book 3 launched in May 2020 and currently sits at $1,600 for its base model. If looking at the top of the line model, the price jumps up to $3,400. Since the Book 3 is new this year, we predict that any Black Friday savings will land on the Book 2.
We’d recommend skipping any deals on the Book 2 as the device is pretty outdated compared to other available devices.
Microsoft has confirmed that their latest Surface tablet will be a dual screen tablet, similar to the just-released Surface Duo. We don’t know much about the Neo, but Microsoft says it is still set to be released later this year. If the device does launch in time for the holidays, we predict it will become Microsoft’s focus for the holiday season which could drop prices on other Surface devices. We’ll update this page as more information comes to light.
Microsoft Surface Black Friday 2020 predictions
|Surface Model||Current Retail Price||Black Friday 2020 Predictions|
|Surface Pro 7||$799||$699|
|Surface Laptop 3||$999||$899|
|Surface Book 3||$1,599||$1,499|