This $280 Lenovo laptop is the cheapest Memorial Day PC deal actually worth buying

Lenovo IdeaPad 1i
(Image credit: Lenovo)

Memorial Day deals are well underway, and we're seeing tons of great prices on laptops, PCs, gaming hardware, monitors, and more. While there are a lot of premium laptops on sale for Memorial Day, one deal that immediately caught our eye is for a Lenovo IdeaPad 1i. It's not the flashiest laptop out there, but it's certainly well worth its budget price.

Regularly tagged at $500, Memorial Day Monday has it down to $280 at Best Buy. That's $220 off the regular price. The deal is set to expire at the end of Memorial Day, so don't wait too long if it's the right PC for your needs. It's one of the most affordable laptops you'll find on Memorial Day, and it should be great for general productivity around the house or for homework use for the kids.

Lenovo IdeaPad 1i | was $500now $280 at Best Buy

Lenovo IdeaPad 1i | was $500 now $280 at Best Buy

The $280 IdeaPad 1i has an Intel Core i3-1215U CPU, 8GB of upgradeable DDR4 RAM, 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD storage, integrated Iris Xe graphics, and a 15.6-inch IPS touch display with FHD resolution.

✅Perfect for: Casual PC users who need something affordable for general productivity.

❌Avoid it if: You plan on heavy multitasking or gaming.

💰Price check: $379 at Walmart (512GB SSD)

🤔 Why Best Buy: My Best Buy memberships get free 2-day shipping, 60-day return windows, and more.

More affordable Memorial Day laptop deals

The best cheap laptop deal for Memorial Day

There are a lot of great Windows laptops discounted for Memorial Day, and they range greatly in price from premium gaming PCs to affordable productivity machines for casual use. 

Lenovo's IdeaPad 1i is firmly in the latter camp, coming in at a $500 regular price that's always attractive to more casual users. Thanks to Memorial Day savings at Best Buy, you can now pick it up for just $280, a discount of $220.

Why is it so cheap? It's using an Intel Core i3-1215U processor (CPU) from the 12th Gen lineup, which at this point is a couple of years old. Nevertheless, it remains a snappy chip with six total cores and eight threads, with a 4.4GHz max frequency for the Performance cores. 

The discounted model has 8GB of DDR4 RAM — the minimum recommended amount of memory for smooth operation — that can be upgraded after purchase. It also has a 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) and an SD card reader to handle removable storage. The internal SSD is upgradeable should you need more permanent storage in the future.

This is enough performance hardware to handle general productivity and homework, but don't expect it to be a multitasking champ or capable of impressive gaming. For many people, that's more than enough, especially at the asking price. 

The keyboard is comfortable and there's a number pad, further adding to the laptop's productivity appeal. Lenovo says the 42Wh battery can go for up to 10 hours with local video playback, so expect between about five and seven hours of general productivity use.

The laptop features dual 1.5W speakers with Dolby Audio tuning, and above the display is a 720p webcam. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 handle wireless connectivity, and there are plenty of physical ports for your favorite laptop accessories. Ports include USB-C 3.2 (Gen 1), two USB-A, HDMI 1.4b, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Looking at the display, it's a 15.6-inch touchscreen with an IPS panel, 300 nits brightness, anti-glare finish, and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It's the best display that Lenovo offers in this laptop, beating out low-res TN and non-touch IPS options.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 1i should be a great choice for any parents shopping for a laptop that handles homework, but it's also a quality option for practically anyone who just wants a cheap laptop around the house for email, web browsing, and streaming.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.