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19 solid laptops for everyone on your holiday list (including one for $179)

I found the best laptops to give as gifts this holiday season so you can focus on enjoying family rather than panicking about shopping.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

The holiday season is fast approaching and before we know it, Thanksgiving will be in full swing -- and Christmas will be soon after. 

While the holidays are about appreciating our friends and family, there can be a financial element, too: and with the cost of living and economic turmoil, many of us are saving our dollars where we can. 

Laptops were once considered a luxury item, but now, they (or desktop tower PC alternatives) are often necessary for work and study. Thankfully, there is now a hugely diverse ecosystem of laptops suitable for different budgets and intended uses. 

If you're stuck for ideas when it comes to laptops suitable to give as gifts this holiday season, check out our top picks below. We will be updating our recommendations as Christmas approaches, and we will be keeping an eye out for the best deals we can find. 

Must read:

The best laptop gift ideas for the holidays

Below are 12 laptop gift ideas I found for the holiday season this year. 

  • Price: $300 (save $100)
  • Tech specs or features: 15.6" Full HD display | 4GB RAM | 128GB storage

A reasonably-priced laptop that could be the right choice for a gift over the holiday season is the Acer Aspire 5. This laptop model is equipped with a 15.6" Full HD display, an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD storage. We recommend this laptop as an average all-rounder suitable for all ages and basic tasks. 

Sure, the specifications aren't the best we've seen on the market, but they are still fair considering the price point. 

  • Price: $1134
  • Tech specs or features: 15.6" Full HD display | 16GB RAM | 1TB storage

If you're planning to treat a loved one over the holiday season to a high-end laptop, if they happen to enjoy gaming, you might want to consider the Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop. This device is equipped with a 15.6" Full HD display, an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce RTX Graphics, and 1TB SSD storage.

Stocks tend to sell out quickly.

  • Price: $380
  • Tech specs or features: 14" HD display 4GB RAM | 64GB storage

A Chromebook option at Target is the HP 14" convertible 2-in-1. As a Chromebook, this laptop operates on Chrome OS and Google Assistant is integrated into the device. Thanks to a hinge and touchscreen display, the HP Chromebook can be used as either a traditional laptop or tablet, and the device comes with a 14" HD display, an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB eMMC storage.

You can expect approximately 13 hours of battery life on a single charge. 

  • Price: $830
  • Tech specs or features: 14" touchscreen Full HD display 8GB RAM | 512GB storage

The HP Pavilion range is a solid gift option best suited for teenagers and adults who need a reliable, sturdy laptop. Over at Best Buy, you can pick up an HP Pavilion x360 with a 14" touchscreen Full HD display, an Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 512GB SSD storage.

As an added bonus, the laptop's 360-degree hinge and 2-in-1 design mean you can flip it around to operate in a tent shape or close the keyboard and display together to become a tablet. The laptop runs on Windows 11 Home. 

  • Price: $2029
  • Tech specs or features: 15.6" display 32GB RAM | 1TB storage

While it isn't cheap, the Acer Predator Triton 500 is a beast of a laptop that will be future-proof for years to come.

While extravagant, perhaps, the Acer Predator Triton 500 is a laptop gift option if you're looking for your device to have top specifications. The laptop is equipped with a 15.6" display, an Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD storage, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Graphics, and a backlit keyboard, among other features. 

At just over $2000 for a refurbished model, you are saving over $1000 on the typical RRP. 

  • Price: $1049
  • Tech specs or features: 13.6" Liquid Retina display M2 processor | 8GB RAM | 256GB storage

The Apple MacBook Air range is known for being lightweight, extremely portable, and a common sight across college campuses across the United States. 

MacBook Air laptops are a great choice if you need a gift idea for students or people who frequently travel for work. This particular model, currently available for a $150 discount at Best Buy, comes with a 13.6" Liquid Retina display, Apple's M2 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage.

  • Price: $1599 (save $400)
  • Tech specs or features: 14" Liquid Retina display M1 processor | 16GB RAM | 512GB storage

An alternative gift option for an Apple laptop is a MacBook Pro. The 14" latest MacBook Pro model comes equipped with a 14" Liquid Retina display, an Apple M1 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD storage. 

The MacBook Pro range is weightier than the Air line but trades portability with improved specifications and a larger screen size. You can expect up to 17 hours of battery life on a single charge with casual use.

  • Price: $1049
  • Tech specs or features: 13.3" touchscreen Full HD display | 16GB RAM | 512GB storage

The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 Alpha 2-in-1 laptop, which can also be used as a tablet, offers high specifications that will keep the laptop going as a valuable work tool for years to come.

The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 Alpha comes with a 13.3" touchscreen Full HD QLED display, an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and 512GB SSD storage. This laptop operates on Windows 11 Home.

  • Price: $250
  • Tech specs or features: 17.3" display | 4GB RAM | 64GB storage

The Acer 317 is quite unusual for a Chromebook as most models on the market have small to medium-sized screens. This Acer option, however, comes with a 17.3" Full HD IPS display set with an anti-glare coating and a thin bezel. If you're looking for a Chromebook with more screen space as a gift, this could be the model for you.

You can expect up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. 

  • Price: $559
  • Tech specs or features: 15.6" touchscreen Full HD display 8GB RAM | 512GB storage

Another holiday gift to consider is a convertible laptop with a screen large enough to satisfy work requirements -- as well as to enjoy video content in its full glory. The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5i is equipped with a 15.6" Full HD touchscreen display, a hinge for using the tablet as a tent, tablet, or traditionally; an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 512GB SSD storage.

The laptop operates on Windows 11 Home. 

  • Price: $1200 (save $450)
  • Tech specs or features: 17.3" Full HD display | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD storage

With a sale price of $1200 ($450 off), this could be the right time to purchase an ASUS ROG Zephyrus gaming laptop as a gift for the holiday season. 

This laptop comes with a 17.3" Full HD display (refresh rate: 165Hz), a 12th-gen, 14-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Graphics. The laptop operates on Windows 11 Home and also includes intelligent cooling modes to stop your device from overheating, a common problem when you are running resource-intensive games. 

  • Price: $179
  • Tech specs or features: 11.6" touchscreen HD display 4GB RAM | 64GB storage

If you're on the lookout for an affordable starter PC for your children, you could consider the Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook. With an $80 discount, this 360-degree convertible Chromebook can be used as a laptop, tent, or tablet, and has specifications that are adequate for daily tasks, watching video content, and web browsing. These include an 11.6" HD touchscreen display, a MediaTek MT8183 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB eMMC storage. 

For added safety, you can go into the laptop's settings and opt for different levels of parental control. 

The best laptop deals during the holidays

Below are other laptop deals I found happening right now.

How did we choose these laptop gift ideas?

The holiday season can be the best time to snag a deal on a new laptop, but for some, Christmas also represents a financial burden. 

You may need to balance expectations, budget, and the need for new equipment -- and, perhaps, even more so considering the shift toward remote and hybrid working. 

Laptops or tower PCs are needed for work and study, and on the entertainment side, can also be used to stream media, use creative applications, and play games. 

While choosing these products, we tried to include options to suit a range of budgets while also keeping age ranges and their intended use in mind. 

What laptop should I buy?

When you are searching for a new laptop, the first thing you should ask yourself is what its main purpose will be. 

If you intend to use your laptop for work and at home, for example, you will probably want a model with at least a 15.6" display. However, if you will be traveling with your new device, you might prefer a more lightweight and easily portable 13.3" laptop. 

Gamers might opt for a larger screen still and higher resolutions, whereas with daily tasks such as email and study -- with the occasion video call or social media check -- you can easily get away with mid-range specs, such as 8GB/16GB RAM. 

Unless you are a Linux fan, you then need to decide what operating system you are the most comfortable with. The most common options are either Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS. 

What is the best laptop for students?

If you plan to make use of the holiday sales to pick up a laptop suitable for a student in the family, or for a friend, it's helpful to know what kind of class or degree they are undertaking. 

You tend to see many Apple MacBook Airs and Pros around campus, and the majority of courses won't require a laptop that must run high-powered, specific software packages. 

However, if the course is creative, things can become a little more complicated, as you will probably want to focus on a screen of at minimum 15.6", at least 16GB RAM, and a high-quality graphics card. 

Does laptop storage matter?

The amount of storage on offer when you buy a laptop varies. Typically, you can expect storage to range between 128GB and 1/2TB solid-state drive (SSD) storage, although when it comes to Chromebooks, the smaller form facts mean that embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) storage is used, reducing capacity drastically.

1TB is usually adequate for apps, software, games, and music. However, in any case, you can purchase portable hard drives to boost your storage space -- and to create backups of your valuable data. 

What are the best gifts by category this holiday season?

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