Try this little experiment... think of a creative industry that doesn't rely on a laptop computers as an essential tool. We've racked our brains and can't think of a single one. But new laptops can be expensive, so now and then you need a discount or a special offer to help you out.
(When you've finished reading it, head over to our Black Friday deals page for even more cheap laptop deals.)
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Having the right laptop for you can make a significant difference to your professional life. It can be the difference between pain-free, powerful processing, and a sluggish machine that takes an eon to upload your images. The degrees between dull, murky screens and dazzling displays that let you create eye-catching illustrations. And ensuring you avoid erratic touchpads that are virtually impossible to control.
You could simply head to Amazon, find the most expensive laptop it sells and buy that – you're unlikely to be disappointed. But this new guide to the best laptop deals on the market will help you save a packet, and we'll update it regularly so that you see the best current deals – whether on Black Friday or not.
We also dispel the myth that a cheap laptop is a synonym for a bad laptop: as well as the very best laptop deals on the market now, we've highlighted competent computers that you can buy on a budget all year round.
A disclaimer before we start: the list of laptop deals below may contain some Chromebooks (laptops that have no software besides Chrome, relying instead on the G Suite of apps and browser-based tools). We know that Chromebooks will be no good for graphic designers needing Photoshop or 3D artists needing to render models, but they have their place as a cheap second machine for composing emails, invoicing and other less intensive tasks.
Best laptop deals to buy in the US today
Dell XPS 12: The Dell XPS range is a staple for designers, thanks to its accomplished teaming of power, pixels and precision. And this one has a beautiful 4K display. A great option if you're looking for a Windows 10 laptop, it's a steal for just $619 on eBay.
Dell Inspiron 15: This Inspiron's specs - 7th generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive - should provide more than enough power to fly through video editing tasks. There's $150 off the list price, so only $549 on the Microsoft Store.
Asus VivoBook X540SA: One of the cheapest 15.6-inch Windows 10 laptops we've ever seen. Packing a quad-core Intel Pentium processor alongside 500GB of spinning storage and 4GB of RAM, it has more power than we'd dared to hope for the price. It's $278 at Amazon
Acer Aspire E5: This Acer Aspire 's 17.3-inch FHD screen, Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 950 graphics chip are the ideal companion to a designer who needs to see their images sing. The whole thing is 18% off at just $699 on NewEgg.
HP Chromebook 11 G5: If you need a cheap, portable notebook for research, admin and taking notes in briefings, then you could do much worse than this. It's a very attractively discounted 18% off for only $179 on NewEgg.
Acer Aspire 3: 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive - they're the specifications on this Aspire 3 that we think will appeal most to video producers. That's an awful lot of hard drive to play with, with power to match. There's $140 off the list price at just $289.99 on Staples' website.
Lenovo Ideapad 110: Another 15-inch laptop for less than $300. These don't come around easily, so if it's a large-screened resident of your desktop that you need, and you can't spend a fortune, then try this Lenovo. It's $120 off the list price at just $279.99 on Staples' website.
Dell Inspiron 13: This Dell 2-in-1 laptop with an Intel Core i3 CPU and 4GB of RAM also has a Full HD touchscreen that you can flip back to use like a tablet. Handy for showing drafts and finished work to peers. There's a whopping $120 off the list price at just $479 on the Microsoft Store.
HP 17: HP has issued a 17-inch laptop, with an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive behind an HD+ display at $100 off its list price. That brings it down to less than $500, which is almost unheard of for a machine this large! It's just $420 on Staples' website.
Best laptop deals to buy in the UK today
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: The latest MacBook Pro wins our praise thanks to the remarkable power, immaculate Retina display and vast trackpad. It's an obvious choice for most designers. We don't expect this to last long at £1,599 from Currys (that's £150 off).
Asus ZenBook 3 UX390UA: This is one of our favourite-looking laptops of 2017, and it has specs to match with an i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid state drive. Get it cheaper than anywhere else on the net, with free delivery and a two-year guarantee for just £999.95 at John Lewis.
Asus ZenBook UX390UA: If you fell in love with the gorgeous Asus above but don't want to spend that much money you can get one with lower spec for £200 less. The 8GB of RAM and i5 processor will still be plenty powerful enough for creating and editing. It's now £799.97 at Laptops Direct.
HP 250 G5 i5: The HP 250 series of 15.6-inch laptops are excellent for day-to-day activities and multitasking. This one has 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive. It's a great laptop deal at £448.96 at ebuyer with options for extra add-ons.
HP 250 G5 i7: If you're worried that the model above isn't quite powerful enough for the professional design programs and large file sizes you'll be playing with, this Core i7 processor version comes with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. This is a super choice for just £527.97 at LaptopsDirect.
Lenovo IdeaPad 320s: A slightly smaller 14-inch laptop than some of the other deals here, but if you're after a faster hard drive then you could be tempted by the 128GB SSD here. We really like Lenovo's comfortable keyboards, too. It's £349 at Currys.
HP 255 G5: Take a look through our other deals and you'll notice cheaper laptops with 4GB of memory, but this one is worth a look as it comes with a 128GB solid state drive (SSD). That will give you faster processing and start-up speeds. It's just £379.99 at Tesco.
HP 14-inch Intel Pentium: Another sub-$400 laptop, another Intel Pentium processor, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. But this package from Argos also comes with a subscription to McAfee Internet Security and a carry case. All for just £349.99 at Argos.
Asus Chromebook C300SA: If you're already a Chrome fan and just need a cheap, portable machine for taking care of your Gmail and Google Docs admin while you're out and about, then this deal should tempt you. It'll cost just £241.32 from BT.
Acer Chromebook 14: If you like the sound of the Chromebook above, but want some extra screen space then how about this 14-inch Acer model. It's not particularly powerful, but for basic tasks like browsing and document editing you'll be sorted. Check out this cheap laptop for £229.99 at Currys.
Asus C201PA Chromebook: Aaaaand here's another Chromebook, this time smaller and cheaper. A laptop for basic needs, this 11.6-inch Chromebook comes with a 13-hour battery life. Save an additional £20 this week as it's only £191.50 at Amazon.
Dell Inspiron 15 5000: This 1TB HDD, 4GB RAM laptop from Dell has specifications more aimed at people shopping for a family laptop. But it should have enough oomph for creatives, and you may even be swayed by the DVD drive. Not bad at all for just £399.98 at Currys.
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