You know the drill. When the model year nears its end, new cars gets cheaper. The same is true of winter clothing when spring approaches, and it's equally true of computers when a new generation is on the horizon.
PCs with Intel's next-generation microprocessor, known as Broadwell, should be available early next year, so it's time for manufacturers to clear out some inventory. There are lots of PCs on sale today, but I'm focusing on machines with Intel's fourth-generation Haswell chips. They're powerful, energy efficient, and they're selling for well under list price -- in some cases, hundreds of dollars less than list.
These three deals from Dell, and one from Lenovo, are all worth a look.
Dell is offering a great deal on its Latitude 15 3000 Series. You can get yours for just $669, or $268 off the list price. (That number does not include tax or shipping.) One thing I especially like about this deal is the fact that you can buy it with Windows 7. I don't know about you, but I want to avoid Windows 8 at all costs. The Latitude 15 3000 comes with an i5 Haswell processor, 4GB of memory and a 500GB solid-state drive. You can find it and a few other Dell deals on the company's website.
Lenovo is knocking $200 off the price of its Z50 with a 15.6 inch display, which means you'll pay $559. Like the Latitude, it comes with Intel's i5 Haswell, but it has more RAM (6GB). It has a 500GB hard drive, runs Windows 8.1 and comes with a useful complement of ports, including USB 3.0, HDMI-out, and a card reader. This deal likely won't last, so act fast if you're interested.
The Microsoft Store offers the Dell XPS 13 7144sLV Signature Edition Laptop for $1,199 with free shipping. It packs an Intel Haswell Core i7, 2GHz processor, a 256GB solid state drive, a 13.3-inch 1080p display, and it gets up to six hours of battery life, according to Dell.
If you're looking for a convertible -- not the kind you drive, but a laptop that doubles as a tablet -- Dell's Venue 11 Pro 7000 is one option. It normally sells for $1,214, but it's on sale right now for $650. It comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, Windows 8.1 and a 128GB solid state drive. You can use it as a standard laptop, or disconnect the 10.8-inch HD screen and use it as a tablet.
If you don't need a PC right away, there are a few reasons to wait until next year. Broadwell systems will certainly be faster and more power-efficient. As we get closer to the holiday season there will be plenty more bargains. Another reason you might want to wait is the advent of Windows 10, which is expected in 2015. It will likely be a significant improvement over Windows 8.1, and it should look and feel a lot like the more familiar Windows 7 -- Start Screen and all.
However, if you need a PC now, all of these options are worth a good look.