Top 10 Places to Buy a Laptop: Online and In-Store

A adult setting up account using laptop

Walk into any Starbucks or library and you’ll see business professionals, students, and individuals using a laptop. As advancements in technology have reduced the size of computing power, laptops are the quintessential tool for personal and professional use, whether surfing the web, conducting research and generating important reports, or watching movies.  But where is the best place to buy laptops?  

We examine the top 10 places where you should consider purchasing a laptop and what makes them the ideal spots to get the best deal for the computing power you need.  

Product FAQ

Product FAQ

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1. What Is a Laptop?

2. What Does a Laptop Do?

3. Where Can You Buy a Laptop?

How We Reviewed the Best Place to Buy Laptops

laptop

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We conducted research to determine which are the top 10 most likely places to be the best place to buy your laptop. From there, we investigated ease of purchase, availability of products, shipping costs where applicable, and the range of products available for purchase.  

Overall Price Range of Laptops Available for Purchase

 Price Range of Laptops Available for Purchase

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The overall price range of laptops available to purchase from the stores listed here range from around $50 to over $10,000.

What We Reviewed

Reviewed

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  • PCMag
  • Best Buy
  • Fry’s
  • Overstock
  • NewEgg
  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • WalMart
  • TechBargains
  • TigerDirect
PCMag

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Features

PCMag has built a reputation of being a terrific source for reputable reviews of technological products from desktops to computer accessories, including laptops. It should be unsurprising that the company would also be a best place to buy laptop.  

Purchasing a laptop from PCMag also gives you the opportunity to search through their reviews based on the laptop you may need. For example, they review the top “cheapest laptops of 2018” and the top laptops for college students. These reviews give an unbiased version of the features that will matter to you as a purchaser and break down the advantages and disadvantages of each laptop they carry.

If you’re searching for a terrific deal on a laptop, you can also search for refurbished models in addition to essential accessories like docking stations and padded laptop bags, to make the most of the portability.

Pros

  • Reputable reviews of products
  • Accessories available
  • Free shipping
  • 3-year extended warranty available

Cons

  • Restocking fee for returns
  • Most items for sale are refurbished products
  • Limited selection


Pricing

Laptops are available to purchase from around $170 up to around $2,900.

Online or In-Store?

Purchased can be made online only at pcmag.com.

Return Policy

Extended warranties are available from PCMag’s store and items may be returned within 30 days from the delivery date with a 15% restocking fee.

Best Buy

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Features

Chances are you’ve been in a Best Buy store or landed on BestBuy.com when conducting your own search for the best place to buy laptop. As a big box store with a physical location, Best Buy definitely provides a secure way to receive your laptop without worrying about a package being stolen off your front porch.  

Having a physical location is definitely an advantage in Best Buy’s favor, because not only can you pick up your laptop at the store, you can also demo the most popular brands and models of laptops to see what you features you like before you commit to buying, thus reducing the likelihood of needing to return the item after you purchase.  

Pros

  • Ship to and pick up at store
  • Top of the line laptops available
  • Brand new laptops available under $200
  • Competitive pricing
  • Sales person at physical stores to answer questions
  • Laptops on display

Cons

  • Not all laptops at the store
  • Shipping to a store can take over a week
  • 15-day return policy

Pricing

Laptops are available at Best Buy from between around $140 to around $5,700.

Online or In-Store?

You can purchase a laptop in one of Best Buy’s many locations nationwide or online at bestbuy.com.

Return Policy

There is a 15-day return policy for items for standard customers. For Best Buy Elite Members you have 30 days to return, and for Best Buy Elite Plus Members you have 45 days to return the laptop. You can also return to the store, with a 15% restocking fee for special orders, or return by mail via the carrier of your choice or use a prepaid label from Best Buy to return the package for you.  

Fry’s

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Features

Fry’s is also a best place to buy laptop because, like Best Buy, they have physical locations around the U.S. where you can test the most popular brands and models available to see if you like the features before you buy one. Fry’s often has better pricing than Best Buy on comparable laptops with rebates conveniently listed online and in store.

Pros

  • Wide selection of laptops available.
  • Comparably priced with rebates
  • Demo before purchasing
  • Sales person available to answer questions
  • Refurbished laptops at cheaper prices
  • 30-day return policy


Cons

  • Limited physical locations
  • Not all laptops are available for shipping

Pricing

Laptops are available from around $70 to around $4,500.  

Online or In-Store?

You can purchase a laptop in the store and online shipping to a specific store, but not all laptops are available to ship to your home. You must check which laptops can be shipped to the location of your choice at the time of purchase.

Return Policy

Fry’s offers a 30-day return policy for items that are accompanied with the original receipt of purchase and come in the original box with original packaging, manuals, and registration card in an undamaged, clean, and brand-new condition.

Overstock

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Features

You may not think of Overstock as a best place to buy laptop, but it definitely has many advantages. With an eye on the value of items they sell, Overstock offers brand name items at overstock pricing. With the Marketplace Seller option, Overstock provides a larger selection of laptops to choose from at potentially better pricing.

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Thousands of laptops to choose form
  • Laptop accessories available
  • Free standard shipping

Cons

  • No physical location to pick up laptop
  • Can’t demo laptop before purchase
  • Variable return policies from Marketplace Sellers

Pricing

Laptops are available from around $130 to around $4,700.  

Online or In-Store?

You can purchase a laptop online from Overstock on overstock.com.

Return Policy

Laptops purchased from Overstock are eligible to be returned within 30 days from the delivery date, provided they are in new or unused condition with all original materials included in the original shipment, unless they were purchased from Overstock’s Marketplace Sellers, in which case the return policies vary. You will need to be mindful when purchasing a laptop from Overstock about whether you are purchasing one directly from Overstock or from a Marketplace Seller and contact individual sellers for their return policy before purchasing to find out returns policies.  

NewEgg

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Features

As a lesser known website, NewEgg is a savvy tech lovers go-to as a best place to buy laptop; however novices may have a difficult time navigating the site to find the best possible pricing and deals because, instead of having a list of all available laptops, each different category, like Chromebooks and gaming laptops, are separated from the other one. You could easily be confused and spend more for a more advanced laptop than you need.  

Pros

  • More concentrated selection
  • If you know what you’re searching for, up can quickly find it

Cons

  • Website is cumbersome
  • Post sales customer service issues
  • Have to search for cheaper priced items
  • Returns require a Return Merchandise Authorization number


Pricing

Laptops are available from around $75 to around $5,700.  

Online or In-Store?

You can purchase a laptop from NewEgg online at newegg.com.

Return Policy

New items still in unopened, original packaging are eligible for a 30-day return, with a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number and may be subject to a restocking fee.

Apple

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Features

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Apple and know it is the listed as a best place to buy laptop on many lists, ours included.

While perhaps an Apple laptop is a status symbol, as a brand Apple concentrates not only on making their items look sleek and modern, but making sure they are high quality. The design adds to the functionality instead of taking away from it. As a brand, the company leads the charge in slimmer, lighter laptops for ultra portability.  

In an era where many big box stores are failing, Apple uses their stores as a marketing tool, where you can come in and try out their products to see how intuitive and user-friendly they are. The only drawback is that the operating system for a Mac differs from a Windows-based laptop, so if you purchase an Apple laptop, you must learn different quick keys, and a few other features will be different at first.  

Pros

  • High-quality laptops
  • Certified refurbished laptops available
  • Sleek design
  • Demo products in store
  • Ships anywhere
  • Slimmer, lightweight laptops
  • Financing available


Cons

  • Not Windows compatible
  • Only Apple products available
  • Higher cost
  • 14-day return policy

Pricing

Laptops are available to purchase from Apple at around $1,100 to around $2,800.  

Online or In-Store?

You can purchase one of Apple’s Mac version of laptops at one of Apple’s store or online at store.apple.com.  

Return Policy

You have 14 calendar days from the day you receive the item to return it for a refund. Only Apple laptops purchased from an Apple store or online at apple.com are eligible for return. Items purchased at another retail location must be returned to that retailer.  

Amazon

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Features

In the last 10 years, Amazon has quickly become everyone’s first place to search for their must-have items and is easily identifiable as a best place to buy laptop. With so many laptops, brands, and options available, you may easily get overwhelmed unless you know exactly what type of laptop you want to buy.
If you’re not as worried about features but prefer to search by cost, Amazon will definitely have the most options available to you no matter your price range.  

Pros

  • The widest selection available
  • Reviews of items are available from other buyers
  • They can ship items to a location for secure pick-up
  • Cheap pricing


Cons

  • Another seller can fulfill items
  • Refunds for returns take up to 3 weeks to be credited
  • Too many options can be overwhelming.

Pricing

Laptops are available to purchase from Amazon at around $75 to around $8,000.

Online or In-Store?

You can purchase laptops online at amazon.com

Return Policy

You can return most new, unused items sold and fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. Like other online-only retailers, Amazon offers items from other sellers through its website. You will need to make sure the laptop you are purchasing is sold and fulfilled by Amazon, otherwise you will need to contact the individual seller on their return policy.

WalMart

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Features

Second only in popularity to Amazon, Walmart is also a best place to buy laptop when you’re shopping around and want to make sure that you find a quality item at the lowest price possible. With a large variety and the option to pick items up at one of the thousand locations nationwide, Walmart is a terrific store to explore if you’re looking to purchase a laptop.  

But, like Amazon, with so much variety, you must be knowledgeable enough about the laptop you want or the price range you want to explore. If you’re just searching for ideas, the sheer volume of laptops available will easily overwhelm.  

Pros

  • Low prices
  • Pick up items in store
  • Free and easy returns
  • Large variety available online

Cons

  • Website lists component parts in laptop search
  • Marketplace sellers may have different return policy

Pricing

Laptops are available to purchase from Walmart from around $80 to around $10,000.

Online or In-Store?

You can purchase laptops at a Walmart store or online at walmart.com.

Return Policy

Walmart has a free and easy return policy.  You can return the laptop at a store or by mail.  Like many other online retailers, Walmart has Marketplace Sellers that offer items for sale.  If you purchase an item from a Marketplace Seller, you may face a different return policy.  

TechBargains

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Features

Rather than an online store in the sense that most people think about it, TechBargains operates more like a portal that helps you find bargains and low prices. The goal of TechBargains is to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck at online stores like Dell and HP that make your build-your-own laptop from the ground up.

They also claim to know how to get the best coupons and promo deals available. However, their web portal is confusing to operate and you can’t easily filter the products.

Pros

  • Low prices
  • If you know what you want, it is an excellent site for price comparison shopping


Cons

  • Cumbersome website
  • Have to do a lot of research on the website for best deals

Pricing

Pricing for laptops on TechBargains.com varies from around $220 to around $1,300.

Online or In-Store?

TechBargains is an online web portal that will send you to a merchant link to complete your purchase, but you can find great coupons and promo codes on https://www.techbargains.com/

Return Policy

Because this is a web portal to shop the best coupons and promo deals for products, you don’t purchase the laptop through TechBargains, but rather are linked to a website with the lowest price. Return policies will be up to the site you are linked to when you complete the purchase.  

TigerDirect

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Features

TigerDirect is one of the few online stores that is not only a best place to buy laptop but caters to business and corporate customers. Like NewEgg, it is an online retail outlet that is also more friendly to those individuals that are tech savvy enough to know what they are looking for in a laptop computer.  

Pros

  • Caters to business and corporate customers
  • Wide selection of laptops available

Cons

  • Unfriendly return policy
  • Must check shipping and delivery costs before purchasing

Pricing

Laptops are available to purchase from TigerDirect at around $50 to around $5,400.

Online or In-Store?

You can purchase laptops online at www.TigerDirect.com.

Return Policy

Apple laptops are not eligible for return. For other laptops, you must contact customer service within 30 days for a Return Authorization number and to determine if the product meets the return criteria.

The Verdict

If don’t know what you’re searching for, or need direction, Best Buy will be one of the best options available to you. With the ability to go into a store and demo the computer before you buy it you will get the best laptop that fits your needs.

However, if you know what you want and how much you’re willing to spend, you can’t beat Amazon. If you’re a Prime member, you get the item shipped to you within two days, and you can opt to have it shipped to a secure location for pick up at your convenience instead of left on your doorstep. Amazon offers the best selection and the easiest online searching and purchasing method.

 
 

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