What can you get in a $99 laptop this holiday season?

Dell will put a $99 Inspiron 11 3000 laptop on sale on Black Friday, in limited quantities

If you're looking for dirt-cheap Windows 10 laptops, many will be available this holiday season, but don't expect superior hardware.

Dell appears to be the first major PC maker making a move in the holiday price wars. In the U.S., the company will sell its Inspiron 11 3000 for $99.99, starting at 6:00 p.m. ET on Nov. 24. It'll be available in limited quantities, and the price will go back up to $199.99 after the sale period ends.

The Inspiron 11 3000 has an Intel Celeron processor, Windows 10 Home, 2GB memory and 32GB storage. It also has an 11.6-inch 720p display, which is being phased out of laptops.

The Dell laptop won't be able to store many large data or video files, so it could be used for basic computing and web-based tasks. It is configured much like a Chromebook, which is targeted for people who surf the internet, use online services and store files online.

If you don't snap up the Dell laptop, such low-cost models will undoubtedly also be on parade from other PC makers. Expect other low-cost laptops to have similar configurations with limited memory, storage and low-end processors.

PC prices are going up, as new features are added to laptops. But every year, PC makers try to clear out excess PC inventory by selling them at fire-sale prices during the holiday season. No doubt this year will be the same.

"It's better to sell a product than to keep it in a warehouse," said Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates.

Moreover, low prices could reinvigorate interest in PCs, Gold said. Some users may be looking to buy tablets, but low prices could draw them to laptops.

"It's been pretty bad for PCs over the last two to three years, even over the holiday time," said Gold, referring to the continued decline in PC shipments.

Dell's also going to sell a $99.99 Inspiron Micro Desktop, which will have specifications similar to the Inspiron 11 3000.

Some inexpensive PCs may have low-end processors from AMD, which is coming out with new Zen-based chips in the coming months.

High-priced PCs with superior hardware, like gaming systems, have actually been doing well as the general PC market declines. So if you are willing to up your budget, Dell on Nov. 25 will sell a full-powered Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 with Intel's latest Kaby Lake Core m3 processor for $299.99.

That laptop will have an 11.6-inch touchscreen, 4GB and a 500GB hard drive. It can be a tablet in a pinch, but the hard drive could slow down and reduce the battery life of the hybrid PC.

Like some Windows 10 PCs, Chromebooks are also already available for close to rock-bottom prices, and they may fall a bit further during the holiday season. IDC, however, doesn't expect Chromebook sales to be overwhelming this holiday season considering they are bought more by educational institutions than consumers.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?