Wait till Holidays on a Laptop or Tablet Purchase?

October 16, 2013

In my August post, I recommended you wait till “Fall” on a laptop purchase. It’s now looking like very late Fall (November, December) is the magic time to wait for. At least that’s what Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich says. He expects laptop and tablet manufacturers to push prices down over the coming weeks, and that this will result in $99 tablets, $299 Haswell laptops, and $349 hybrid tablets and notebooks in time for this year’s holiday PC line up.

That’s good news for you as a consumer. And it does give me pause before recommending any specific laptop or tablet model right now. There have already been a ton of new Haswell laptops and Bay Trail tablet product announcements in the last weeks, so many I’ve given up on reporting them here on my blog (unless something really catches my eye!).

So it’s looking like pricing on Windows 8 tablets will be similar to Android tablets soon, which should make these Windows tablets much more widespread.

Surface 2?

It also gives me pause on recommending the new Surface 2 tablets for most users (launches October 22), as their pricing seems to be in the premium range. Granted, pricing for the low end is similar or better than iPads—but Apple’s iPads have no direct iOS competitors—and Microsoft does in its OS. The Surface 2 tablets do seem to have excellent build and design, so many buyers will want them. But many buyers’ sweet spot is a full Windows Pro tablet, iPad-sized, under $500; and you can’t get close to that with the Surface 2 line. You either lose the “Pro” part (the lower-end Surface 2 doesn’t run all Windows software) or you get the Surface Pro 2 and miss on the price and the handheld size/weight. The new Bay Trail tablets from other vendors are what hit that spot. For example, Dell announced some nice ones recently

New Macs as Well

New MacBooks are about to be announced in a few weeks, all with Haswell. And the 13-inch MacBook Air has been running Haswell since July—it’s one very nice machine.

So keep watching product announcements as November comes around. You may find just what you are looking for.

Michael Linenberger

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