Saturday, I woke up and my laptop wouldn’t charge. It would plug in and work, but with a 0% battery, the power was not dependable and it shut off several times. It’s a big shame, because, even though it’s 4 years old, it’s still a very capable computer (aside from this new battery issue).
I used to be a fan of buying cheaper computers in the $300-$400 range, but if you can afford $800, you may be able to get 5 years out of the investment. The computers today are faster than four years ago, but overall they don’t change much.
Fearing that I’d be without a computer for a while, I went on a search for a replacement. I’ve always been somewhat lucky to find a decent computer deal when I need it. Once again, luck was on my side. I want to share the deal with you, but I want you to know that I won’t make a dime if you buy it. I also bought it myself. I only write 2 or 3 “Deal!” articles a year, so consider this the highest endorsement I can make.
Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Deal
When I’m looking for a deal, I usually go to Slickdeals. The search functionality works great. I simply typed in “laptop 16GB” as I only wanted a laptop with 16GB of memory. (This may be more than more people need, but I like buying high-end.) A lot of gaming computers showed up which you can usually see with the mention of a graphics card and a price over $1000. I don’t do any gaming, so I just skip over those.
That’s when I came across this Lenovo Thinkbook 14. I’ve usually gone with “thin and light” 13-inch laptops in the past, and this is a little bigger, but not bad at 3 pounds. It also has an SD card reader which is very handy, though I’ve gotten used to using them less and less.
It checks off all the boxes for most power users. It has a top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 5700u chip, 16GB of memory, and a 512GB SSD drive (and an extra bay for an additional drive). The screen is FHD (1080p) and some may prefer 4K. I’m used to 1080p and the battery lasts longer with it, so I’m happy with that. The chip is powerful. I looked at the benchmarks and one common measure had it as three times faster than my Intel i7 from four years ago. It’s not surprising as technology keeps on marching.
The laptop retails for $1309, but they automatically apply a coupon code to make it $850. It’s not bad to get $450 off, but we can do so much better. As the Slickdeals post says, coupon code “THINKBFRIDAYNOW” will get it to $720. That’s a great deal if that was all. If you go to the cashback site, Rakuten and shop through that, you’ll get 10% in cashback. Lenovo will also give you around 7 or 8% in Lenovo reward dollars. (I may use this to buy an active pen for dabbling in art – mostly for my son.) Combine those last two and it’s about $100 in value.
I was able to use ID.me as military for an additional discount (another 8% off I think). If you are a teacher or first responder, you can do it too. It’s worth checking to see you can use that benefit as there is a significant list.
I ended up paying $720 after tax (the military discount essentially canceled out the tax), but have that $100 in value coming in the future. In a way, it ended up costing me about $620. That’s a lot better than the $800 that I paid for my last top-of-the-line computer.
The downside is that it looks like it will take 2-3 weeks to arrive (7-9 business days to ship and a few days in shipping).