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Should I buy a music-making laptop on Black Friday?

Should I buy a music-making laptop on Black Friday?
(Image credit: Future)

The Black Friday music deals are nearly upon us. For producers and studio owners, Black Friday – kicking off on November 27 – offers perhaps the best opportunity to pick up a bargain on that sweet piece of tech you’ve been eyeing up all year. Experience tells us that the deals you’ll find on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) are likely the hottest you’ll find, particularly when it comes to picking up the best laptops for music production so it’s worth keeping an eye on what’s out there.

In this guide we’ll offer some advice about securing a Black Friday laptop deal, and point you in the direction of where the best offers are to be found. Whether you’re looking for a back-up machine to be used when you’re out and about, or a replacement for the studio warhorse you’ve relied on for years, Black Friday is the perfect time to shop.

5 reasons to buy a laptop on Black Friday

  1. Price, price, price
    The deals we see offered by retailers on Black Friday will tend to be among the most generous/tempting you’ll see all year, so it’s worth paying attention. 2020 has been, as we’ve all experienced in some way, a difficult year and especially for retailers, who’ve seen demand in many areas drop significantly. Expect to see major price drops, bundle deals and clearance offers as stores try to make way for next year’s stock.
  2. Timing
    Even in ‘regular’ years, retailers tend to wait until Black Friday to offer their best deals, tempting you through their doors before the mad rush for Christmas begins. What we’re seeing more and more, however, is sites starting to reveal offers even before the day itself, so you may be opening your new music-making laptop sooner than you think. 
  3. Shopping with confidence
    Online retailers all have solid returns policies - by law - so even taking into account the big savings, you can shop in the same way you did before. Find yourself opening a box you wish you hadn’t ordered? Simply send it back – providing you’re in line with the retailer’s returns policy. And, as you’d expect, we’d only promote retailers who we know can be trusted to do right by you.
  4. Look for ‘halo deals’
    If the specific product you want isn’t subject to Black Friday reductions, fear not. With retailers so keen to ensure a profitable return, you may find them more amenable to offering discount codes, or free shipping. It all helps, right?
  5. The thrill of the chase
    As musicians and producers, we’re all partial to keeping an eye on that next piece of gear. On Black Friday you have the best opportunity you’ll get to treat yourself to an impulse purchase, safe in the knowledge the price is likely to be as good as it’s been all year. 

Should I wait for better deals?

Person buying products online using a credit card

(Image credit: Getty/Johnnie Davis)

Essentially, Black Friday exists purely to boost sales before the Christmas period kicks in, so it makes sense that retailers use deals and discounts to give shoppers a reason to choose their store. 

That said, it’s not the only time they’ll use discounts to entice customers in. The real question to answer is how soon do you need the gear, and is a site’s Black Friday deal really a good one? There are tools online which show pricing information over a period of time so you’ll know if a retailer’s Black Friday deal is the lowest something has been all year. 

Ultimately, you’ll know yourself if it’s best to snap up a Black Friday offer or wait, but you do run the risk of the gear you want not being available if you leave it…

Should I shop in-store or online?

Normally, the answer to this question would be entirely dependent on you, and your desire to traipse around in the cold carrying heavy shopping bags. In 2020, however, shopping online isn’t just more convenient, it’s also potentially mandatory depending on where you are in the world and your current pandemic restriction level. 

What deals can I expect?

While we’ll each have our own specific items we’re looking out for in 2020, there were some outstanding deals we noticed on Black Friday 2019 which will give you a flavour of what’s in store. 

For Apple fans, now the new M1 Silicon Macs are here, look out for deals on Intel MacBook Pro models which will handle themselves well in a studio environment. You’re looking for as much RAM as possible, along with a decent CPU to ensure a snappy workflow. In 2019, the amazing Apple MacBook Pro 16” with a 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM was on sale with $200 off the list price on the BH Photo & Video site. We also found great deals on the Dell XPS 15 Core i7 (256GB DDS/8GB RAM), knocking nearly $300 off the list price.

As well as the laptops themselves, it’s worth keeping an eye out for site-wide discount codes as these could offer further discounts, or even just mean you can throw in a few extras to make the most of the deals on offer. It’s not uncommon to find discounts of 15% thanks to voucher codes, so it pays to pay attention to any email newsletters you receive around this time of year. 

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

(Image credit: Future)

How can I prepare for Black Friday?

To give yourself the best chance of making the most of Black Friday 2020, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, do your research beforehand. Will the music-making laptop you’re eyeing up have enough juice to handle what you’re asking it to do? Try and get a handle on how it’s been priced throughout the year too, so you know a Black Friday deal is actually worth dipping on.

Email newsletters and social media pages for the major retailers are worth following, especially at this time of year, so you can jump on any flash deals. Ideally, you want to be in a position where you know what you’re looking for, so if and when it gets reduced, you’re ready to pounce. 

The latest Black Friday deals around the web