A cheap laptop? Our advice and great Black Friday offers


For several days now, the computer world has been in turmoil and offers from distributors have multiplied to boost PC sales in this crazy week of Black Friday. Let’s forget the few margoulins who artificially raise prices upstream to better lower them as soon as the promotional week arrives, to concentrate on real promotions. Yes, they exist!

It remains to be seen how to spot them and keep a cool head to buy what you need at the right price. Because in terms of IT, it must be recognized that the offer is plethoric, the references not always easy to understand, and the series of letters and numbers (generally X or Y) serving to differentiate the devices within ‘the same brand, more than esoteric. To simplify our approach, we have therefore chosen to focus on portable PCs, also called notebooks or laptops, to generally emphasize the finesse of the device… or lose ourselves a little more in this maze.

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Some benchmarks

To simplify the operation, here are some basic tips for the uses that interest us, either a laptop PC to telecommute without worry or to equip your teenager for the duration of his studies:

You should first choose the size of your laptop. For nomadism, a 13 ‘or 14’ will do very well.

Then we have to look at the RAM memory and the storage of the PC. RAM, or random access memory, allows the processor to store data necessary for its calculations. The minimum required today is 6 GB, but it is better to go up to 8 GB (for office automation) and go to 16 GB to run greedy software such as Photoshop.

Then we move on to storage capacity. There, two techniques coexist: an HDD hard drive is an older generation of storage. The new technique, called SSD, is faster, and therefore to be preferred. We will therefore turn, for this range of prices and use, at least to a 256 GB SSD, but the good compromise remains the 512 GB SSD.

Last item to look at: the processor. Today we find mainly Intel and AMD. At Intel, to have something efficient, you have to start at least with an Intel Core i5 in the 10th or 11th generation. For example this reference: Intel Core i5-1135GT. You should know that the 11th generation of Intel processor dates from 2020. We are therefore in the nails. For a good price we therefore take in the i5, and the more we go up in the figure, the more we go upmarket. FYI, the Zenbook pro duo from Asus, a high-end laptop, has an Intel Core i9.

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For AMD processors, we find roughly the same concept. We start with R5, then we go up. The good compromise is R7.

Finally, note: we have chosen to round the prices, basic and promotional, to the euro ready. Because frankly, in 2021, we should stop writing that such and such a PC goes from 599.99 to 499.99 euros!

And now here are the beautiful offers spotted, by manufacturer

At ASUS:

Founded in Taiwan, the brand is the leader in consumer computers in France. He is also known as a manufacturer of motherboards and graphics. A good point in a period when we fear shortages of equipment. Two years ago their “ZenBook Pro Duo” or “ZenBook Duo” stood out, notably at the IFA in Berlin, thanks to the presence of a “ScreenPad Plus”, ie a second screen in the extension of the first. (and just before the keyboard). A small revolution which ended up finding its uses (especially in teleworking for switches from one screen to another).
It is mentioned here on the off chance that this PC is also affected by the Black Friday offers since it goes, with 32 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage, from 4000 euros to 3000 euros, at FNAC DARTY … In addition, it You should know that the brand has chosen to “democratize” the Oled panels on its PCs and this summer launched its “Asus ZenBook 13” at less than 1000 euros.

UX 325-ASUS ZenBook: Oled at a reasonable price

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Asus UX 325

Asus UX 325

This range is one of the flagships of the brand, with very thin and ultra-light devices. These models bring together all the elements sought for a student or nomadic teleworking at a reasonable price, with the added bonus of an Oled panel, sums up at Asus. At FNAC DARTY there are two devices of this range in promotion, the prices of which differ according to the processor and the storage capacity. Note that both have a numeric keypad (NumPad), very practical to avoid the Shift keys if you are handling a lot of numbers. Very appreciable, they can also be recharged via a small USBC cable (as for smartphones).

-The model UX 325JA-3, in 13 ‘, is therefore equipped with an OLED UHD panel, and has 8 GB of RAM memory and 256 GB of storage. Its processor is an Intel Core i5-1065G1.
Its price: 700 euros instead of 850 euros.
The UX 325EA-1 model, is a little more powerful and efficient. Still in 13 ‘, it is equipped with an OLED UHD panel, has 16 GB of RAM memory and 512 GB of storage. Its processor is an Intel Core i-1135G7
Its price: 800 euros instead of 1000 euros.

VivoBook S533 (S533EA-L1895T): the right mid-range

At Asus, the VivoBook range, a little thinner than that of the ZenBook, is rather mid-range and designed for student use. Just released in September, the VivoBook S533 displays a 15 ‘screen, has an AMD Ryzen R5-5500U processors, 512 GB SSD storage and an 8 GB memory card. It is sold with Windows 11 native. Clearly, it is a very good, recent product which is sold at Rue du Commerce for 500 euros instead of 700 euros.

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ROG Strix G15: for the power

Rog Strix G15

Rog Strix G15

We go up in price with this range designed for gamers. But we do not exceed 1000 euros with the Auchan promotion. Besides play, these models are great for creative uses.
This laptop has a large 15.6 ‘screen and features an AMD Ryzen R7-4800H processor, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. For the game, we pay attention to the graphics card, here an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, again a good compromise, knowing that we can go up to 3,080 euros.

Another point to consider for this use, the refresh rate of the screen, here at 144 Hz

At Lenovo:

Lenovo ultra portable Yoga Slim 7

Lenovo ultra portable Yoga Slim 7

At Lenovo, for student use, Guillaume Lesguillier, the brand’s consumer product manager, advises to favor a product that is thinner than the average, with more autonomy, “ because the device will move from right to left and it must not stop in the middle of the course ” . As with Asus, and even if you are on a tight budget, the idea is not to focus too much on the entry level but to favor “Comfort and performance over time” . If its budget allows it, we will look for a processor a little faster with a little more RAM than an entry level. However, we chose to start this selection with a Chromebook offer at a tight price, then we go upmarket according to the criteria selected.

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Lenovo IdeaPad 3 CB 14IGL05 (Chromebook): to start on a budget

The advantage of the Chromebook is that it works under the operating system of Google, efficient, well known… but above all less expensive than Windows. On this model, we have a 14 ‘HD screen, an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB and 64GB storage. Its autonomy is 10 hours. At Cdiscount it is displayed at 250 euros instead of 350 euros.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14ADA05 AMD 4GB 256GB : a little more power at a good price
Under Windows 10 (but upgradeable), this PC has a 14 ‘screen, 256 GB SSD storage, 8 GB RAM and an AMD Athlon Silver 3050U processor. 300 euros instead of 430 at FNAC DARTY

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14ITL05 : the best choice

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Power and autonomy for this convertible laptop with 14 ‘touch screen which has an 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16 GB of Ram, and a 512 GB SSD storage capacity. Currently under Windows 11, it can be upgraded to Windows 11. At 8OO euros on Amazon (against 1000 euros). But beware the prices are moving… Compare!

Ultraportable Yoga Slim 7 PC: an iconic range
For the student, or the teleworker, we are on the emblematic range of Lenovo with a 14 ‘screen, an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, with a storage capacity of 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM. This is an excluded FNAC at 800 euros which should increase to 680 euros.

At Huawei

HUAWEI MateBook 14 2020 AMD

HUAWEI MateBook 14 2020 AMD

Since its concerns with the American administration, the Chinese manufacturer Huawei has greatly diversified its offer, in particular by deploying a beautiful range of thin, elegant, and high-performance laptops, with beautiful screens (with the camera at the keyboard), and especially a very good autonomy, which is one of the strong points of the brand. No out of stock announces the manufacturer, but great offers for Black Friday, called Super Deals tonight. Good to know, for those who have followed the brand’s woes on smartphones with the Google suite, Huawei is indeed under contract with Microsoft and Windows, and “zero problem” with them we are told.

2020 AMD HUAWEI MateBook 14: Power, Versatility, and Optimized Screen
We are on a light (1.5 kg), thin, and powerful laptop PC that has a 14 ‘touch screen. Released last year, it has Windows 10 Home, and will receive the update (free) Windows 11. On the program, an AMD Ryzen 7th generation processor, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. A good point: it is equipped with a blue light filter.

It is sold 700 euros instead of 1,100 euros for these Super Deals.

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At Microsoft:

Small reminder, it is at Microsoft that we concoct the Windows operating system, including the latest Windows 11 we talked about here. Microsoft also builds beautiful machines, the most recent being equipped with Windows 11, the oldest taking the queue like everyone else. For the subject that interests us, we have chosen to highlight two laptops from the Surface range:

Surface Laptop Go: lightweight for everyday use

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Elegant, light (1.1 kg), this laptop launched last year announces an autonomy of one day. It displays a 12.4 ‘PixelSense touchscreen, an Intel Core i5-1035 processor, and an Intel Iris Plus Graphics G1 graphics card. Note, the update to Windows 11 is announced for the end of the year, or even early 2022 and will be free. Starting price 600 euros (but with 4 GB of RAM). To compare the Black Friday offers (there are some), take a good look at the power, the storage … Thus, a Surface Laptop Go with 8 GB of Ram and 128 GB of SSD storage is currently offered at Darty at 600 euros instead of 800 euros. Also take a look at the Microsoft site, where manufacturer offers are available.





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