questionswhen is the best time to buy a pc/laptop?

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Black Friday deals are awesome, if you're the person that doesn't mind being first in line in the end of November outside for 24+ hours. If you're not first in line, kiss any "awesome" deal away.

If you're looking for a cheap way to get a computer, I'd suggest going to http://www.newegg.com and building your own. You can find plenty of guides on how to do it online, and you really only need seven or so parts. I'm not computer savvy at all (hardware wise) and I somewhat figured it out in just one day. Never built it though, money's always tight.

Other than that, shop around. Technology is always doubling every two years, so don't expect what you pay for to be worth much a couple of years down the line.

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Any time is a good time to buy a computer. Technology advances forward very quickly and by the time you wait for the prices to come down, you are already buying one generation or two back. At the same time, you have lost that few months of use (which is value) a newer faster computer to (hopefully) get more things done.

Black Friday mostly is a scam. Checking past Black Friday computer deals, most were under-specified notebooks, or the quantity is so limited that people just end up going to the store to look (or bought something else), which is exactly why they do Black Fridays.

When you need a computer, figure out your budget, your need, then just find the best deal you can find at the time.

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@holymythos: I agree with this completely. I actually built my first PC this February with no previous experience. Just some curiosity and a little bit of research.

For PC building I think that if you're more technically inclined, it might be a good idea to keep track of processor releases and their reviews. Since the CPU determines what motherboard you're going to buy and vice versa, it is worth noting whether or not the performance/price of today's latest and greatest hardware is worth it for YOUR needs. New tech is going to be better, faster, etc. but stuff from a few months to a year old might be more than sufficient for your purposes, and could save you a lot of money.

Edit: For this route I don't think there's a particular time of the year where there are deals that are especially good. It seems to me as though different components go on sale at different times all throughout the year. You just have to be vigilant.

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Lifehacker is doing an excellent tutorial series on building a PC from scratch. It's not always the most economical way to get a new machine, building it from scratch can mean upgrading the machine in the future may be easier. Take a look here http://lifehacker.com/5826509/how-to-build-a-computer-from-scratch-lesson-1-hardware-basics?tag=night-school

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The best time is when your current system dies and you're in a lurch. There is nothing more urgent, and also it's a time when you're less likely to nickle and dime components. You just do it.

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Right now your best incoming time to buy would be Tax Free Weekend. Which I believe is this weekend. Also if you have a .edu email account you can get a free xbox 360 if you spend more than $700 on a laptop.

http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2011/05/12/students-we-ve-got-you-covered.aspx

But Black Friday and Cyber Monday are honestly probably your best price times. So hold out till then if you're scrapping your money together.