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The best Prime Day laptop deals: Save on MacBooks, gaming laptops and more

It's the last day to save on the best laptop deals we could find for October Prime Day.

Photo by Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

We're rounding the corner on Amazon's October Prime Day event, but if you're hoping to grab a new laptop, you can still take advantage of a few worthwhile discounts. While major Amazon sales like this week's Prime Big Deal Days aren’t quite a haven for deals on the best laptops, we've managed to find a handful of noteworthy price drops on MacBooks, gaming laptops and more. Just remember that you'll need to be a Prime member to access some, but not all, of the deals available, and that there's always a chance we see lower prices on Black Friday.

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Apple MacBook Air M2 (15-inch)

  • Apple MacBook Air (15-inch, M2)

    Save $250

The 15.3-inch version of Apple’s MacBook Air is down to $1,049 for an entry-level model with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. That matches the best price we’ve seen and takes $250 off Apple’s list price. The MacBook Air is the top pick in our guide to the best laptops, and we gave the 15-inch model a review score of 96 earlier this year, as it covers just about all of the things we look for in a quality mainstream notebook. Compared to the 13.6-inch version, it also includes a more powerful speaker system and a slightly upgraded GPU. The SSD in this base configuration is technically slower than the one in higher-capacity SKUs, but that shouldn’t be a major problem unless you’re looking to do more complex work. In general, you wouldn’t buy the Air for things like high-res media editing, though its M2 chip is still plenty powerful for everyday tasks.

If you do need more storage space, the 512GB model with 8GB of RAM is on sale for a low of $1,249. Variants with double the RAM are up to $250 off as well. Meanwhile, the 13.6-inch MacBook Air isn’t discounted on Amazon, but it’s down to $899 at Best Buy. That’s $200 off the notebook’s list price. It's worth noting that there’s a chance we see new Macs by the end of the year, but that doesn't appear to be a certainty as of this writing.

Apple MacBook Air M1

The previous-generation MacBook Air with Apple’s M1 chip is back down to $750, matching the lowest price we’ve seen. Apple sells this entry-level config with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $999, though we’ve often seen it go for $800 or less in recent months. This notebook arrived back in 2020, so it’s harder to recommend these days when the M2 models offer a faster chip, sharper webcam, slimmer bezels and improved speakers. If you only need a laptop for more basic tasks though, it’s not a bad value at this specific deal price. It’s still quieter and more solidly built than many mid-priced laptops, and its keyboard, trackpad and battery life remain excellent. We gave the M1 Air a review score of 94 at launch.

Dell G15 5530 Gaming Laptop

A configuration of Dell’s G15 5530 Gaming Laptop with an Intel Core i7-13650HX processor, 16GB of RAM, an upgradeable 1TB SSD and an 8GB GeForce RTX 4060 GPU is down to $1,130 for Prime Big Deal Days. That’s roughly $270 below its usual going rate. This is an updated version of the “best budget” pick in our guide to the best gaming laptops: It’s heavy, and it can run warm, but this configuration is more than capable of playing modern games at high-ish settings, and its 15.6-inch, 165Hz, 1080p display is sufficiently bright. It is stuck with a 720p webcam though. The slightly larger Dell G16 7630 is also on sale at $1,500 for a model with a Core i9-13900HX and RTX 4070.

Acer Nitro 5

The Acer Nitro 5 is the runner up to the Dell G15 in our guide to the best budget gaming laptops, and right now a model with a Core i5-12500H, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD and GeForce RTX 3050 GPU is down to $700 for Prime members. That’s about $100 off its usual street price. These are not the latest specs, so you’ll need to crank down the settings in more demanding games to reach a respectable frame rate. The chassis itself is chunky and made of plastic too. But there’s enough power to at least keep up with recent titles, and getting a 144Hz display at this price is nice. For those on a super tight budget, it’s competent.

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

If you’re looking to spend less than that, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 could be worth a look. A 2022 model with a Ryzen 5 6600H CPU, 15.6-inch 120Hz 1080p display, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and GeForce RTX 3050 GPU is currently down to $600 for Amazon’s sale. Outside of a brief dip to $550 last Black Friday, that’s the lowest price yet for this configuration. If the specs didn’t give it away, this is very much an entry-level model. The RAM and storage count are low, and some reviews suggest that its display isn’t all that great, so it’s worth stepping up to the Nitro 5 above if you can. But if you’re determined to spend as little as possible on a gaming laptop, this should be enough for basic 1080p gaming with less strenuous titles. There are spare slots to upgrade the RAM and storage down the road as well.

Razer Blade 14

A config of the Razer Blade 14 with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU, 165Hz 1440p display, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU is on sale for $1,950. That’s certainly not cheap, but you’d buy the Blade 14 if you’re willing to pay extra for a gaming laptop with a more slender, portable and premium-feeling design. This is a 2022 model, but the newer editions cost several hundred dollars more, and the last-gen CPU and GPU here are still powerful enough to play most modern games at high settings. Its keyboard is also great, though the whole thing can run hot. We recommend the slightly larger Blade 15 in our guide to the best gaming laptops, but that one isn’t discounted. And if you’re not into the Blade aesthetic, consider our top overall pick, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14, instead.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is down to $1,800 for a model with a Core i7-1265U chip, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. That’s about $100 off its usual going rate. Chances are you know where you stand on the Surface Pro at this point: It’s still not especially comfortable to use on your lap, but it remains the gold standard for 2-in-1s that behave and perform like a laptop more than a traditional tablet. While this version isn’t a huge shake-up, it'll be a nice bump for those upgrading from a three- to five-year-old model. Just note that this deal doesn’t include a keyboard or stylus. We're reaching the time of year where Microsoft would usually introduce a new model, but as of this writing it’s not clear when a potential Surface Pro 10 might arrive. For now, the Pro 9 is the top Windows pick in our guide to the best tablets.

Your October Prime Day Shopping Guide: See all of our Prime Day coverage. Shop the best Prime Day deals on Yahoo Life. Follow Engadget for Prime Day tech deals. Learn about Prime Day trends on In The Know. Hear from Autoblog’s experts on the best Fall Prime Day deals for your car, garage, and home, and find Prime Day sales to shop on AOL, handpicked just for you.